Fireworks

29th October 2017
It’s that time of year again. The fireworks are out and it’s great fun for all the family… except the dog. No matter what you try (short of building a soundproof bunker…. but that’s a post for another day), your four-legged friend is going to hear those strange, loud bangs. Some dogs suffer worse than others, but I can’t say I’ve ever met a dog that liked fireworks. Whilst you may not be able to avoid them, you can take some steps to make things as stress-free as possible for your four legged friend. Some are quick and easy, others require a bit more planning – but are well worth investing the time and effort!   Exercise Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day. Those boots were made for walking, so get to it! Throw in a few games of tug or fetch. Whatever you can do to get your buddy as tired as possible before the evening’s events start. It’s hard to get stressed out when you’re fast asleep!   Companionship Keep your dog inside during the fireworks and, if you can, stay with them. Scary noises and flashes may be terrifying to your pooch – but it will be that much easier for them knowing you are there (and being able to sneak onto the sofa for a cheeky cuddle). Where possible, close the windows and curtains.   Safe Place Provide a safe place inside where your dog can retreat to. When scared of sounds they don’t understand and can’t find the source of, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog is comfortable in a crate that’s a good option, especially if you can cover it with a blanket (this helps with the noise and any bright flashes, as well as making them feel safe).   Distraction Distract them with something fun. A Kong toy is always a good choice – just make sure you get the right size and fill it with something your little buddy loves. Maysie’s Pet Care recommends: Kong Classic Dog Toy   Sound Therapy This one may sound a bit new-agey for some – but stick with me! Sound therapy can work wonders with dogs. Gradually helping them get used to the sound of fireworks beforehand can be well worth the effort. Using audio recordings and gradually increasing the volume over time will get your pet used to the idea that loud bangs don’t have to signal the end of their little doggy world. Better yet, you don’t have to go out and hand over loads of cash for the right stuff; Dogs Trust have a few handy booklets and sound files you can download right here.   Thunder Shirts Dogs really respond to tactile sensations. Thunder shirts can work wonders during times of stress (such as fireworks night). The basic concept is that it’s a cuddle in jacket form, that provides instant therapy for many of the things your doggy is afraid of; storms, loud

Doggy Photography

11th June 2017
As some of you may know, Chloe and I tend to get a bit snap-happy where our doggy guests are concerned. We’ve spent plenty of time getting great shots of our canine pals (and some not-so-great shots of blurs that kind of resemble a dog…) In this post, we share some photography ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ for capturing your doggy at their best. Like most things, there are easier ways to photograph your pet, and ways to make things more difficult for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for making life easy, so we’ll start there: Doggy Photography Do’s   Get your dog comfortable with the camera First and foremost, it is much easier when your dog isn’t scared of the gadget you’re using to take photos with (or in some cases, trying to chew it thinking it’s a treat…) Let’s be honest, you don’t want a photo of your dog looking scared, or the inside of their mouth as they try to eat your camera/phone. Get them used to you holding your camera whilst you make a fuss of them. Give them a few treats to help them see the camera as a nice thing. Have some practice sessions; take a few quick photos, praising/treating them when they stay still or give you a good shot. They’ll be pro-posers like these boys in no time… Entrapment! You know your dog best. There will be something they just can’t resist. Stealing socks? Drinking out of the toilet? Rolling in leaves? A small pile of dog treats left mysteriously unattended in the middle of the living room? Get creative and you’ll find something too tempting for your pup to pass up. Once they’re engrossed in whatever trap you’ve laid for them it’s lights, camera, action! Give us a smile! This one works every time. Take Fido for a quick walk or play a few rounds of fetch. Make sure you get them good and excited. Direct them back to where you want your photo (bonus points for setting a trap!) By now, your little buddy should be panting up a storm, tongue dangling in the breeze with a particularly soppy look. Get snapping! (Don’t forget the water bowl too!) Get Sneaky If you just can’t get them to sit still long enough for that perfect snap, it’s time to initiate stealth-mode. Lose the shoes and sneak up whilst they’re sleeping. If you can catch them snuggled in a bed, on the sofa or under a blanket, all the better! If you pull it off, fantastic; you’ll have a sleepy shot worthy of framing. If not, at least you’ll capture the expression as your buddy realises they’re busted!   Get down! It may seem like a lot of effort, but trust me – it’s worth it. Get down on the floor, at your dog’s level. This enables different shots due to the angle, whilst also helping to put your dog in a more playful and cheeky mood (always good for
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