NO FUN IN FIREWORKS FOR OUR FURRY FRIENDS

by Team Skipper's on October 31, 2019

NO FUN IN FIREWORKS FOR OUR FURRY FRIENDS

An estimated 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks; the UK 2018 dog population was estimated at 9.9 million pet dogs. This means during the November 5th celebrations and others taking place before, after and over the festive period, over 4.45 million dogs will be affected.

Due to the noise, bright lights and unpredictable nature of fireworks, dogs can perceive these as a threat which in turn can raise their fight or flight response. Dogs, along with humans, actually have four fear responses: Fight, Flight, Fret, Freeze. Ways in which these responses are elicited can vary from one dog to another but mostly include:


  • Fight: barking, pacing, raised hackles and general restlessness.
  • Flight: cowering with tail between legs and ears back, frantic running to try and find a hiding place and hiding.
  • Fret: panting, whining, tail chasing and self-harm such as chewing feet etc, soiling inside.
  • Freeze: stiff body and muscles, staring eyes sometimes showing whites.

We’ve put together a variety of suggestions for making these times easier and less stressful on you and your dog.

Chews

Giving your dog something to chew might not be your first thought when wanting to calm stressful or anxious behaviour. It is however completely natural and really important to encourage dogs to chew. It is important we are encouraging them to chew the correct things and not the furniture!

Chewing actually helps to relieve stress through the release of endorphins (Happy Hormones) when giving our dogs the correct thing to chew it is engaging for both their mind and body. Chewing is a natural hard-wired behaviour and is an essential part of being a dog, not only does chewing relieve stress and anxiety it is also good for keeping teeth clean and healthy.

By allowing your dog to chew selected products it has a calming and comforting effect on the adrenal-pituitary axis in the brain, this triggers the release of endorphins and allows the dogs to self-medicate for stress and anxiety.

Our best selection of Skipper’s recommended chews

Here at Skipper's we offer a range of durable, natural, healthy treats for your dog to enjoy and help alleviate some of the stress of bonfire night. Not only that they're great for keeping their teeth clean too. You can take a look at our collection of durable Fish Skin Chews by clicking the button below.

Coats & Wraps

Canine Magnetix – Magnet Dog Coat
These coats have a calming effect on many dogs and can really reduce their anxiety levels. Magnets work by relaxing capillary walls and surrounding soft tissue. This improves blood flow and oxygen around the body helping to promote calm behaviour, healing and speed recovery times. The Canine Magnetix® magnetic dog coat can also help to boost your dog’s natural healing process.


  • Made of a good quality mesh material so can be used in the summer and winter
  • Therapeutic Neodymium magnets at 2,000 gauss
  • Fully adjustable chest strap
  • Elasticated and adjustable leg straps with quick release clips
  • Padded neck line with 2 magnets targeting the neck area
  • Machine washable at 30ºC

To find out more and to purchase please visit - www.magnetixtherapy.com 

ThunderShirt by Thunderworks

The Classic ThunderShirt is the original natural calming solution. Like swaddling an infant, ThunderShirt's patented design applies gentle, constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues. Great for thunderstorms, fireworks, separation anxiety, travel, vet visits, problem barking, reactivity, and other stressful situations.


  • Over 80% effective
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • No training required
  • Completely drug-free

Herbal Tablets & Feed Supplements

Nupafeed Stress-Less

Stress-Less is a completely different sort of calming supplement for dogs. Unlike other anxiety supplements, Stress-Less does not include any drowsy ingredients such as valerian, herbs or L-tryptophan. Our key ingredient is MAH® magnesium, which works by helping your dog to cope with the stresses of everyday life, work and competition.

All animals need to have the correct balance of calcium and magnesium. When a dog becomes stressed, anxious, nervous or excited, they burn off magnesium. This allows calcium to overload muscle and nerve cells and replicates the rise of adrenaline. This can cause erratic behaviour, sensitivity, nervousness, aggression and/or tension.

Nupafeed Stress-Less calming supplement can be introduced into your dog’s normal feeding regime. The tablets can also be given with a treat or the liquid can be administered directly into the mouth.

Stress-Less is totally safe and the feeding level can be adjusted, enabling owners to find a level that suits each individual animal. It is the ideal calmer for any dog showing signs of stressful behaviour including fear, nervousness, tension or aggression.

To find out more and to purchase pleased visit - www.nupafeed-dog.com

Dorwest Herbal Medicine - Scullcap & Valerian Tablets For Dogs And Cats

Phobias and nervous disorders can be really hard to deal with – both for pets and from their owners’ perspectives. Widely used as a treatment for noise phobias and fears associated with fireworks, thunder and gunfire, as well as for general excitability and hyperactivity, this herbal medicine is one of our best sellers.

It calms and relaxes dogs or cats without causing drowsiness or sedation, enabling them to have improved concentration, making it ideal for use in showing, agility, or sporting activities.

Popular for use in travel-related anxiety and also for territorial urine spraying in cats, this licensed product is also used under veterinary supervision to control epilepsy, often alongside conventional treatments. Top tip – buy your supply of Scullcap and Valerian Tablets well in advance of fireworks night (there’s often huge demand around this time.)

Homemade solutions

Skipper’s Soothing Snacks


Ingredients
  • Fish Skin Twirls or Flatties
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil per Twirl or Flattie
  • 1 tbsp Organic dried St John’s Wort
Method
  1. Melt coconut oil in a pan or microwave until liquid
  2. Dip Fish Skin Twirl or Flattie into the melted coconut oil
  3. Next, dip into dried St John’s Wort
  4. Place on grease proof paper and put into fridge for 30 minutes
  5. Once coconut oil has solidified feed to your dog

St. John's Wort is best known for it's anti-anxiety effects, but can also be used as a pain reliever in conditions such as intervertebral disk disease.
While St. John's Wort is typically thought of as promoting human mental health, research indicates that the herb is also anxiolytic (reduces anxiety) in some animal species. In addition, the herb is effective in animals at reducing depression and psychological stress. Because of these relaxant effects, some practitioners prescribe St. John's Wort for mild anxiety associated with thunderstorms, visits to the groomer or veterinarian, and other mild fears and phobias. Scientists have identified a chemical basis for the herb's ability to relieve pain, namely a mechanism similar to opiates, which are in the same chemical class as morphine. Hypericum finds use as an analgesic in the management of intervertebral disk disease and especially in the management of pain following declawing in cats. Topical application of the essential oil prepared from St. John's Wort may help with mild contusions, muscle aches, and minor skin irritations.
Chamomile Lavender Calming Dog Biscuits (Grain Free) Ingredients
    • 1 cup organic coconut flour
    • ½ cup cinnamon apple sauce
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup dried chamomile
    • ¼ cup dried lavender
    • Silicone mould or cookie cutter
    Method
      1. Preheat oven to 135°C. Place silicone mould on a baking sheet and lightly grease with coconut oil.
      2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix well. Dough will be slightly crumbly but will hold together when pressed into a ball in your hand.
      3. Take a small piece of dough and form a ball. Press into silicone mould, repeat until mould is full.
      4. Bake at 135°C for 45 minutes.
      5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes
      6. Flip silicone mould upside down onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before giving to your dog

    Additional Solutions

    Ensure your dog has had a good amount of exercise during daylight hours and before any fireworks start. Keep to the same routine if possible and never walk your dog during the fireworks.

    If you are unable to walk your dog during daylight hours try some of these exercises inside the house:

    • Create an obstacle course using cushions or blankets
    • Hide toys or treats around the house and allow your dog to find them
    • Play music or turn the TV up slightly to drown out firework noise
    • Keep lights on inside the house and close curtains to also block out firework flashes
    • Use puzzle games or save toilet roll tubes / cereal boxes to hide treats or toys
    • Freeze dog friendly foods inside Kong toys or bones for longer lasting activities
    Functionality of The SWIT+ Neurobalance System

    The key lies here in the term neurobalance and in our vegetative nervous system. This is, in addition to the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, the autonomous control unit of our body and the two components sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system, often referred to as antagonists, adjust your body correctly depending on the situation.

    In the "Fight and Flight" mode, the sympathetic nervous system activates all body functions necessary for highest performance, heart rate and blood pressure increase, the respiratory rate is increased and the bronchi dilate, so that your body has more oxygen available. In addition, energy reserves from the body's own stores are mobilized in the liver.

    When the body comes to rest, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, digestion begins, the body needs less oxygen, breathing slows down, heart rate and blood pressure drop. The glycogen stores in the liver are replenished. The regeneration of the body begins.

    If the individual does not feel well, has pain, stress, is out of balance, these systems are overactivated or underactivated. The organism does not come to rest, or is not able to perform at peak performance when needed.

    The SWITplus system starts exactly there, it sends rhythmically changing signals of a biologically harmless frequency band into the body environment, an induction field is created which is perceived by the body's own sensors. The nervous system synchronizes itself with this signal and is thus gently guided in the right direction. It supports the body in becoming active itself and restoring its natural balance to the heart cells.

    The SWITplus system offers 5 programs to support our body:
    Activate
    vitalization
    regeneration
    Calm
    Relax

    It is best suited to help you and your dog regenerate after strenuous training or injury-related interventions, to help the dog relax even in turbulent environments and under endogenous stress conditions such as injuries, fears or to get you in top form before training or tournament start.

    Summary

    All dogs react differently to fireworks and it is good practice to know your dog’s normal behaviour to be able to identify when they have a change in mood.

    The above products and techniques are suggestions only; if you find your dog exposed to longer periods of anxiety or stress it is advised you seek veterinarian or behavioural advice from the professionals.

    It is also important to remember that dogs read human body language better than other animals and even better than young children, so try to remain claim and relaxed yourself and try some known techniques for keeping yourself calm during these times.

    Never leave an anxious dog home alone and try not to raise your voice to them. Our dogs are not behaving in this way to upset us; they are simply reacting to their feelings and need their human companion by their side at this scary time.

    And Remember to check out our range of durable dog chews, they could be the answer!

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