Summer is the season to entertain. If you’re like me, the word entertain can make you a bit uneasy if you have a noise sensitive or anxious dog.
Door bells, laughing, glasses and bottles clanging together, the smell of food and non-stop attention can all lead to an overwhelming disaster.
With the help of herbs, flower essences and some positive training techniques, you can set your dog up for success so everyone can be happy and enjoy the event.
Have you ever been watching a movie and one of the characters rings the doorbell? I know I can’t get to the remote fast enough! All my dogs run to the window and start screaming and barking. It takes me more than ten minutes to calm them down again. Imagine what your dog feels like when your guests are constantly ringing the doorbell.
As a party host, small actions like warning your guests ahead of time not to ring the doorbell or making a sign that tells guests to come inside without alerting you to their presence can help de-stress your dog before your guests even get in your door.
Noise sensitivity can be a real problem if your event is more than a few people and that is where herbs can be useful. A combination of oats, nettles, and motherwort tincture can help calm your dog while you and your guests have a good time. Mix 10-15 drops of tincture in 1 ounce of distilled water. Administer 1 milliliter dropper an hour before your event and another dropper 30 to 45 minutes after your event starts. (Herbhealers.com) For added benefit, you can use flower essences like Rock Rose, Lavender and Mimulus in conjunction with the above mentioned herbs. Mix 3-5 drops of each essence into 1 ounce of distilled water and administer the mixture with a dropper as needed throughout the event. (Bachflower.com)
Just like you can get anxious about meeting new people at parties, your dog can get anxious as well. This can be a problem because many times dogs deal with anxiety much differently than humans do. One way is by going to the bathroom. I have caught my pug Hogan trying to pee on someone’s leg because he has been anxious. Totally embarrassing. Avoid the humiliation and make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before your guests start arriving. After the pees and poops are out of the way try this positive training technique. Instruct your guests to ignore your dog until he or she have completely calmed down. Giving dogs attention when they are exhibiting negative behavior just reinforces those behaviors and make matters worse.
Using a Thundershirt is another method that can help deal with canine anxieties while entertaining. Thundershirts work by applying light calming pressure via a specially designed shirt or vest. For anyone who has used a Thundershirt for storm anxieties, you know how well they work. It is great to know that Thundershirts work equally well for anxious situations. (Thundershirt.com) When dealing with canine anxieties using herbs,
I use Chamomile tea mixed with a small amount of broth. I give this to my dogs thirty minutes before people come over. This remedy works for people too. Use the same dosage but skip the broth and the dog bowl.
Don’t forget flower essences if your dog is pacing or just won’t lay down and relax. I like to treat acute anxiety with the flower essence Mimulus mixed with Bach’s Rescue Remedy tincture. This combination helps minimize the feeling overwhelm that accompanies being a furry party favor.
We want to make our canine friends feel comfortable and safe while entertaining. Noise sensitivity and acute anxiety are the big issues that most dog owners have to deal with when throwing a party or having a soiree. Proactive measures mixed with safe, herbal support can go a long way into making sure your dog and your guests have a wonderful time
From Farm Dog: Try our product Relax Stress and Anxiety Formula. Apply a few drops to your dog's neck and ear flaps about 30 minutes before your event and reapply as needed.