As pet owners will know, there are countless benefits of having a dog, one of which is the feeling of increased security they can bring. Many of us feel safer at home with the knowledge that our canine friend is to hand should we feel threatened by potential intruders. Break-ins are a terrifying experience, in particular if it happens while you’re at home, so the presence of a dog can be a very comforting factor both to help prevent and provide protection should the worse happen. Dogs’ barking can work to deter burglars and alert residents and neighbours and studies show that burglars are less likely to target houses where dogs reside due to the increased risks of detection, arrest or injury. Their acute hearing means your dog will likely be alert to any usual noises or disturbance often before a break in, so helping to increase our sense of security and peace of mind.
There’s a reason why they’re called man’s best friend – dogs are fiercely loyal creatures and won’t think twice before putting themselves in danger to protect and defend you. Their immediate barking at any potential danger to you or your family can help alert others and raise the alarm. And it’s not necessarily the case that it’s just larger dogs who are better for security; they may look more intimidating, but small dogs can have just as lively a bark and it’s this noise which can make all the difference as an alarm.
Dogs have very quick reactions, more so than humans, and will most often act immediately upon detecting anything unusual. This fast action can be enough to scare off an intruder, or may be the difference between alerting you in time to get to safety and call the police. Another highly useful advantage of our furry security guards is that they come with their own very effective weapons – their teeth and claws! Anyone who’s experienced the power of a determined dog’s jaw will know their vice-like grip will clamp on to something (or someone) until they decide otherwise. For those who wouldn’t feel confident or comfortable defending themselves in an emergency, this can be very reassuring to have a willing and ‘armed’ protector constantly nearby.
So not only do they bring us companionship, joy and even benefits to our health and wellbeing, but dogs also help us to feel more safe and secure. And after all, we think a furry alarm system is the best kind any day!
Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pets
Being a responsible pet owner means keeping your furry friend safe at all times, and this includes daily walks – something we do so regularly that it can become easy to overlook the more common dangers and risks out of habit. Have a think about your walking routine and whether you’re doing everything you should to ensure your dog’s safety while they enjoy their daily exercise, like some of these simple steps:
- Always keep your dog within view so that you’re able to keep a close eye on them; if you can’t see them then you won’t know if anything happens which may put themselves, or others, in harm’s way.
- Sniffing is natural for dogs, but make sure it doesn’t go any further – be careful not to allow your dog to eat or drink anything unfamiliar; it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Make sure anytime you’re out of the house that your dog has proper identification on, this can be in the form of an ID tag or microchip. The Control of Dogs Order (1992) states that ‘any dog in a public place should wear the name and address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or a name plate or disc attached to it’, so be a responsible owner and follow this at all times.
- Nice day? If the sun is out and you’re planning on going for a walk then check the temperature of the pavement before you set off. In summer, they can get very hot so if it’s too hot for your hand then it will also be too hot for your dog’s paws!
- Take some water along with you. This way, should your dog become tired or dehydrated, or something happens which means you’re out for longer than expected, then you’ll be prepared. It also prevents them from being tempted to drink other unknown water sources which can cause an upset stomach.
- Walks through parks or the countryside can be full of all sorts of objects your dog will come across. Some are prone to eat anything, regardless of any dangers, so be aware of their actions and look out for this. Sticks and rocks can be especially dangerous, causing intestinal blockages if swallowed. If this is a persistent problem then keeping your dog on the lead or making it wear a ‘basket’ muzzle can help you to spot and prevent this behaviour, or keep them busy with other activities such as playing with an interactive toy (our Busy Buddy range is ideal for this).
- The warmer seasons mean higher pollen levels and also fleas, both of which dogs can have allergies to. Other irritants include grass and various plants, so if you notice your dog suffering from a reaction or symptoms such as scratching, sneezing or even losing fur that seem to be heightened by time spent outdoors then it’s likely they’re suffering from an allergy. Your vet will be able to help you identify what’s causing it and advise on any suitable treatments.
- Dogs are more likely to pick up ticks on walks in the summer too, which can carry diseases that are transmitted to dogs when they are bitten. Using repellent sprays can prevent ticks from settling on your dog and biting them.
Moving house can be both an exciting and stressful time for everyone, and that includes your dog too. Owners often worry about potential problems once in a new place but its important not to overlook the move itself. Think about the effect the process might have on your pet, then you can take steps to make it as hassle free as possible.
Dogs in particular get very attached to the familiar and so can become concerned or unsettled if this appears to be disrupted. This means that the days leading up to and the day of the move could potentially upset your dog, who will quickly pick up on changes in smells and surroundings and become aware that something big is happening. The best way to help tackle this is to keep their daily routine as normal as possible – take breaks from packing to go for your usual walk and maintain mealtimes, you may even find you’re glad for the time out too! No doubt your normal routine involves affectionate time and cuddles with your pet, so make sure this doesn’t get missed out. Your dog will need extra attention if they’re feeling anxious and ignoring them may only heighten their anxiety. If you think you might struggle to do this, then consider putting your dog into kennels or leaving them with a friend or family member for at least the day of the move itself, to give you peace of mind that they’re being looked after.
For those times in between walks and meals, when you’re busy sorting and packing, it’s a good idea to put your dog in one room of the house that they’ll be able to remain in safely without getting out. This way you won’t have to worry about them getting in people’s way or witnessing all the upheaval. Be mindful, however, not to choose a room they aren’t used to going in as this could alert them to the fact that something may be up. Why not put one person in charge of looking after your dog during the day of the move? Then you can rest assured they’re being looked after and that someone is regularly checking on them. What’s more, it might be a good job to delegate to keep someone busy and out of your hair!
During the journey to your new home, let your dog travel with someone familiar and maintain any usual routine you have for car journeys. Taking your dog in the moving van could be distressing for them, and make the journey stressful for you both. Once you arrive at your new house, try to keep your dog in one room again to prevent them from escaping or becoming overwhelmed by the new surroundings. Set them up with their bed, and any blanket or favourite toys as familiar objects and scents will help to reassure them and provide some comfort. Then, once you have things sorted, help introduce them to the new place. It will be a lot to take in, so it’s best to stay with them while they begin to explore and get used to the new environment, and before you know it they’ll feel settled and at home in no time!
Another way of managing your dog’s anxiety during stressful events like this is to consider a DAP diffuser or a DAP collar. DAP are ‘dog appeasing pheromones’ which are used to keep your dog calm under stressful situations and can be a good option for more extreme cases.
Filed under Dogs, Holiday, Pets