7th November 2020
We love our forever puppies from the bottom of our hearts, so when they get anxious, nervous or scared, we feel it too.
Our Frenchie Coco is pretty chilled generally, but there are those little things that sometimes spook her – from loud fireworks to motorbikes (though she can also think these are exciting when we're out walking!) and it’s tough to see her scared.
We’ve put together a list of some of the things we’ve found useful for calming her down and ideas you might like to try; including some products we loved so much we just had to stock them.
1. Give your dog a massage
This is probably our number one remedy for Coco. Holding her close and stroking those areas that put her in a ‘tickle trance’ really does calm her down when she’s worried. For Coco the insides of her thighs and her soft underbelly are best, but every dog has their favourite spot!
You can also use a special dog massager too for an extra boost of calming power.
As soon as we saw these Mookie products we had to stock them for you – they double up, so cap off, the brush can get deep into their fur, whilst cap on, you can give them a lovely muscle massage.
Try these: Dog Massager Brushes
2. Put on the TV or some music
A really common method of calming dogs down is known to be background noise, and you'll find what works best for your dog. From a gentle bit of background music, to day to day sounds which help to reduce any negative distractions without exciting them too much - trust yourself to be the best person to understand what will work best for your dog.
Classical music is often the sound recommended as the best choice (anything that stays at a steady volume), however for us it's anything loud enough to drown out the odd firework or car backfire - Coco lives in a quiet area and so anything 'different' spooks her. We find that on events such as Bonfire Night or New Year's Eve, making sure the house isn't quiet means she's distracted and doesn't latch on to the noises she doesn't like is the best course of action.
3. Try swaddling them in a blanket or jumper
Like babies, a lot of dogs can feel really protected when they are wrapped up.
Not only do they enjoy the comfort of their favourite blanket, but it can remind them of their early days snuggled up as a puppy to mum, and if you’re able to gently wrap their ears in their blanket or jumper at the same time you’ll help drown out any stressful noise too.
Just make sure they don’t get too warm.
4. Distraction technique
It may sound really obvious, but try distracting them - whether with treats, playtime or their favourite toy to take their attention away from whatever is causing the stress.
This can be considered in the long term to be a way to transfer the negative connotation of whatever scares them to be conditioned to think of it as a more positive experience too i.e. when 'x' happens I get to play with my favourite toy!
5. Use a calming product
Just like humans, dogs can benefit from the calming, soothing power of scents.
We found this brilliant dry shampoo from Max & Lucy that’s designed specially for dogs, and is infused with calming lavender and essential oils, which nearly puts US to sleep, let alone our Coco!
It’s really easy to apply too – just squeeze the applicator and the shampoo powder will come out in a puff. You can gently puff it above your dog, let it settle and gently massage it into their fur, or, as we prefer, puff a little above their bed, blanket or favourite area at home to help create a lovely calming space for them.
Here’s the link to take a look: Max and Lucy Lavender Dry Shampoo
6. Make sure you've got the right level of exercise for them
If it's not an event-based trigger, like fireworks or squirrels (both true for us!) and they're regularly not calm or they're nervous, you might want to consider upping their daily exercise where possible.
Also consider an execise and sleep diary; gradually increasing the amount of exercise they're getting (making sure you're considering their age and breed) to see if this shows you a pattern in calming their nerves.