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Calming Canines Methods for reducing your pup’s anxiety and stress

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Every other month, our pet expert and Canine Coaches dog trainer, Jill Bailey, will answer your pet questions. Email her at jill@m3group.biz. For more information on Canine Coaches visit caninecoaches.com.

With thunderstorm season upon us and fireworks in our future, I’ve had so many people ask, what can I do to help my anxious dog deal with these things?

This is a tough one because it can be very difficult to desensitize a dog to something you have no control over, such as thunderstorms. There are a few different things I’ve learned about that you can try. 

DAP diffusers

Dog appeasing heromone (DAP) diffusers imitate the pheromone in a mother dog’s milk, helping to ease stress and anxiety. There are also sprays, collars and bandanas available that work along the same lines as a diffuser, meaning they are pheromone-based products that can be used to help ease your dog’s stress. 

Music Therapy

A series of CDs called “Through a Dog’s Ear™” are available to help calm dogs through piano music. They are used to help slow the heart rate. 

Thundershirts

A Thundershirt provides a calming effect that is similar to swaddling a baby. One of the tricks with the Thundershirt is to be sure to get your dog used to it before you need it. You want to be sure your dog isn’t associating the thing you want to help him with (the thing he fears), so be sure to put the Thundershirt on the dog as many times as possible before you will need it and leave it on the dog for about 20 minutes at a time. As always, I would recommend consulting your veterinarian before making any purchase to help figure out what will work best for your dog’s particular situation.

Classes

With the nice weather upon us, you want to get out there with your pooch, right? Well, if you’ve never heard of it, a great way to spend time with your pup and get some great training in, is with a Canine Life and Social Skills class.

This class is a great way to strengthen the bond with your dog so implementing positive reinforcement training. Essentially you are working to improve your dog’s life and social skills and you will do so through continued training. These training exercises teach your dog the day-to-day behavior that will make both of your lives easier as your dog learns and/or strengthens basic obedience skills. This is also an amazing program for shelter pets, as it is a great way to ease the stress a shelter pet may be experiencing and to increase their chances of being adopted. Your dog will need to be registered in order to go through the C.L.A.S.S. evaluation. All the information you need is on their website, you can visit it at mydoghasclass.com.


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Jill Bailey

Jill Bailey is the Media Specialist at M3 Group by day, by night she is helping train dogs for Canine Coaches! Having a life-long love of dogs, Jill decided to get her training certification in 2012. Visit caninecoaches.com for more information.