Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Home Alone- And Happy! book review and giveaway

What do you do about keeping the dog home alone? Does your dog bark, cry, have accidents or destroy the furniture? Do you feel guilty when you leave the house? What if you were able to help your dog learn to adjust to having you out of his sight?

Kate Mallatratt's book, Home Alone--And Happy! (published by Hubble & Hattie, 2016) is chock full of tips at how you can not only accomplish this, but also help your dog to feel relaxed and happy while you're gone. And I'm giving away a copy of the book at the end of this post.

Many of my friends have this problem with their dogs. While I don't recommend leaving a puppy home alone for long periods of time, there are times you're going to have to leave the house.

One of the ideas in the book is to teach your dog to be comfortable alone before separation becomes a problem. This should be part of your dog's regular training, as important as sit and stay.

The author first explains the home-alone scenario through your dog's eyes, then explains how you can help your dog build independence and learn to relax and enjoy his time alone. She explains various ways to manage your dog's environment, and deals with such questions as:

Should you keep the shades up so he'll be entertained by the view, or down to reduce visual stimulation?

Should you play music, and if so will any music do, or is there specific music that soothes dogs best?

Can certain scents calm a dog?

What kind of toys work best to keep dogs occupied?

Should you offer treats when you leave the house?

Separation anxiety can be stressful for both dog and pet parent. This book can help.

Hubble & Hattie
ISBN: 9781845848613
UPC: 6-36847-04861-7

Author: Kate Mallatratt lives in the U.K. and is a member of the International Canine Behaviorists and Pet Professional Guild for force-free training.

You can win a copy of Home Alone--and Happy! Enter here.
Sorry, U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Full Disclosure: Hubble & Hattie sent me one copy of this book for review and one for giveaway in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Fido and Fireworks-- Tips to help your dog keep calm

Explosions, powerful booms, sudden crashes---it's enough to send your dog running for cover. But fireworks do more damage than just cause dogs to cower. They can create severe anxiety, even panic. 
Keep calm, like Ike!

 If left alone during a fireworks episode, some dogs will scratch or bite at crates, doors and walls enough to harm themselves, or if possible, escape and run off to some place they perceive safer. Here are some ways you can help calm your dog this 4th of July:

1. Provide Hiding Places-- Make sure bedroom or closet doors are open, or that your dog has access to some place he feels safe. For some dogs that might be glued to your side, while others prefer to seek out a dark corner. But don't shut your dog in any place he feels trapped, or can't escape if he wants.

2. Distract--  Play a game with your dog, or practice your training routines. This could help take her mind off her fears.

Kelly and Ike think 4th of July is all fun and games.

3. Model Calmness--According to OneMind Dog, staying calm is key. If you are stressed about how your dog may react to the noise, your dog will feel stressed too. "Dogs automatically associate the emotion surrounding an experience with the event itself," the OneMind Dog behavioral trainers say, so stay relaxed and upbeat. They add that dogs respond to your body language too.

4. Music-- The CD Through a Dog's Ear is proven effective for calming many dogs. It works like magic for mine! Music may also drown out some of the noises of the firework.

This is a great CD.

5. Treats-- Reward your dog with small treats for being calm.

Have a happy, calm Independence Day!