Training Tip: Helping your Dog Cope After an Emergency

firefighter dog

Emergencies are stressful for everyone involved. For our pets, they will be confused and potentially scared from all of the activity and stress of their families. They may be left behind, rushed out into new environments or placed somewhere strange on their own. This is hard on everyone and the stress can have an impact on your dog’s emotional and behavioural well-being. Below are some simple ways you can help to ensure you minimize the impact of the stress after an emergency.

Exercise
Ensure your dog is receiving adequate amounts of exercise. It is important that they have an outlet for their energy, but ensure exercise is not over-done or causes them to over-stimulate. Take them to quiet areas and allow them to walk and sniff at their own pace. Let them observe their environment and help to keep it calm and positive.

Quiet Time 
Just like you, your dog will be exhausted after the ordeal. Give them ample time to rest. Keep the house or new place as quiet as possible. It is likely that there will be a lot of activity, so provide them a nice, quiet space away from all of the bustle so that they can get some rest.

Interactive Toys 
They will also need some mental stimulation and it is understandable that your time will likely be limited. Provide them with interactive toys such as Kongs and treat balls to keep them busy. It is also a good idea to supply them with chew bones and other items to provide them an adequate outlet and to keep them occupied while you tend to yourself and your family’s needs.

Be Patient
Your dog may be unsettled, cranky or over-exuberant. All of these can be symptoms of their stress and it is important that you understand this. It is stressful for everyone, so do not become frustrated by their change in behaviour. Show them patience and provide them with outlets to keep them occupied.

Get Expert Advice 
If you are struggling with your dog’s behaviour, be sure to contact a certified trainer or speak to your vet about options to help them through this time. There are a variety of calming options available that your vet can recommend to help those dogs that are struggling. dogma is providing free Skype or phone consults to anyone who is seeking assistance with their dogs as a result of the Fort McMurray fires. Contact us at training@dogmatraining.com to get this set up.

Love Them
You have both survived a tremendous ordeal and came through safely and are together. Comfort them and yourself through extra snuggle time. Spoil them and give them ample affection. It is proven that time spent petting our dogs lowers our blood pressure and heart rate, so take advantage of this and show them your love.

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Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by the Fort McMurray fires. We are selling ABstrong dog cookies for a minimum donation of $5 with 100% of the proceeds going to animal organizations involved in rescue efforts. We are also donating 100% of our add-on sales and will provide free training services for anyone who needs assistance with their dogs. Stay strong Alberta. We love you.

*Update: Our hearts are with those who are affected by the BC Wildfires. To donate, please go to http://bit.ly/2t4YW0u

Helping YOUR DOG COPE

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