Newsletter: October 2017

Newsletter: October 2017

Hello, and welcome to your October Smarter Wags newsletter. We hope that you are not getting too wet and muddy whilst out walking in this horrid rainy and windy weather!

Get £5 off your dog’s next groom – Refer a Friend Scheme

If you refer a new customer to us for the full groom package, then you can both benefit – you will get £5 off your dog’s next groom, and they will receive £5 off their first visit. Just ask them to mention your full name when making their first appointment, then you can both take advantage of this offer. And please feel free to refer as many people as you like!

Customer Loyalty Scheme
As a thank you to all of our lovely, loyal customers, do remember that we operate a Customer Loyalty Scheme. You will earn a stamp each time that you visit, and after you have received six stamps, you will then get £5 off your dog’s next groom. And to show our appreciation for your loyalty so far, I will backdate these so that you will receive a stamp for all visits that you have made so far to the Smarter Wags studio.

Online presence
The new Smarter Wags website has now officially been launched! Please do take a look at it – www.smarterwags.co.uk – as it gives further information on our services, plus the facilities to both contact us and even book an appointment online. Plus you will be able to see photos of your adorable pets on our gallery page! Additionally, many of you already know that we have a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smarterwags/ – on which we put photos of your lovely dogs, plus updates and reviews, so do please take a look at this as well. We would really appreciate it if you would “like” this page, and, if you have not done so already, it would be great if you could leave a brief review.

Remember, remember your dog this November!
We are heading towards the time of year that so many owners dread, when their normally happy dogs suddenly become quivering wrecks, completely traumatised by fireworks. And have you noticed how they seem to go on for longer each year, with other occasions such as Diwali, Christmas and New Year being celebrated with fireworks, as well as Bonfire Night itself? So, in case your poor dog is affected by fireworks, we have put together a quick guide to help them survive this noisy time.

1. Be prepared
Look out for notices/posters or contact your local council and ask for details of local displays so that you can be prepared to help your dog cope. Also, ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning any firework celebrations in their garden, as the proximity of these may cause extra trauma for some dogs.

2. Build a den
One way to reduce stress is to build a den for your pet – an area of the house where they can feel protected and retreat to if they are feeling anxious. This could be their usual bed or somewhere different, such as behind a sofa, wherever they feel most comfortable.
Training your dog to go in a crate can be very useful, particularly if he is anxious about certain situations. Choose a nice big crate and place it in the centre of the house, away from windows and walls, but leave the crate door open. Place a comfy bed inside, with extra blankets for him to burrow in, plus a selection of tasty treats, a stuffed Kong, and some favourite toys.

3. Be mindful of your own behaviour
Try not to make a big fuss of your dog if he displays signs of anxiety about the noise of fireworks. The more you react by comforting him, the more you confirm to him that there is something to worry about. Be as relaxed and normal as possible and your dog will mirror your mood. Never tell your dog off for showing anxiety — this will make the situation much worse.

4. Turn the TV or radio on
This can help to drown out the noise of the fireworks outside, especially if you go for action movies. Choose ones with plenty of explosions, car chases, and loud music then draw the curtains, close the doors, turn up the sound on the TV, and cosy in with your dog until it’s all over.

5. Desensitise your dog
Buy a CD of thunderstorms and firework noises to help desensitise your dog to loud bangs. Play the CD at a low volume initially, while doing something he likes such as feeding him treats, playing a game, or stroking him. This isn’t a quick fix, but will help to build positive associations and you can gradually turn up the volume until your dog tolerates the noise.

6. Distractions
You can try to distract your dog from the noises outside by doing fun things indoors such as playing fetch or trick training, offering tasty treats, toys, and verbal praise as rewards.

7. On the day
Exercise your dog earlier in the day to help relax him/her then offer food a couple of hours before the event and provide lots of fresh water. Ensure that you are settled inside with your pet well before the fireworks are due to start. It’s important to keep them inside, even if you don’t think they’re frightened of the noise. Draw the curtains, shut windows and doors, and block cat flaps if you have them. You want to avoid all possibilities of your pet escaping, however, check that your dog’s collar fits properly and his ID tag and microchip details are up to date just in case the worst happens and he does panic and somehow manages to run away.

8. Extreme phobia
If your dog shows signs of extreme phobia, ask your vet for advice. Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication, or suggest that for a couple of weeks before Bonfire Night you use a dog-appeasing pheromone (Adaptil) plug-in or spray to help soothe his fears. There are also a number of natural remedies that some owners find helpful, such as Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets.

9. What to look out for
If you know your pet well, then you will know if they are becoming anxious pretty quickly. However, here is a list of signs of anxiety to look out for:

  • Vocalising
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Cowering and hiding
  • Salivating
  • Decreased activity
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Urination and soiling
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Yawning
  • Scratching
  • Refusing to eat

Have a great month and we look forward to welcoming you and your precious pet back to our studio very soon.
Fiona

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