Lysanda, the skilled Griffon Bruxellois breeder behind Tiggindor Kennels, recently shared insights with Starts at 60’s CEO on ensuring your furry companions remain calm, secure, and content.
Despite the seemingly unimpressed expressions of Griffons, rest assured that Lysanda’s canine haven is one of pure canine joy! With a wealth of expertise spanning over 15 years in breeding and showcasing dogs, Lysanda imparts valuable advice on ensuring your pets are blissfully comfortable, starting with tips for weather-related well-being.
If your dog gets too hot or too cold, they won’t be happy and you might risk coughs or they might get very ill requiring vet care. You run the risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias if it’s too hot. When too cold your dog may start to shiver and end up with hypothermia. For any of these symptoms see your Vet.
Cooling mats in summer
In summer I have multiple cooling mats on the floor in the lounge room, giving them a choice to layon the mats or not. Giving them choice is super important so they can get off the cooler mat if they are too cold. Remember with smaller dogs, they will cool down a lot faster than a larger animal. Your dogs, especially puppies or known chewing culprits, should be supervised to ensure they don’t eat the gel inside the mats. You can get a cover for your mats if you have this issue. Any perforated mats should be removed from the dog’s reach.
Calming Round bed
In winter, you can’t go past a calming fluffy bed for your fur pets. They feel surrounded and therefore safe and calm. For sizing, I recommend buying a size snug enough that your pet can feel surrounded. If you have multiple pets and they are likely to snuggle up anyway, buy a size larger for them to share, rather than one each.
Thundershirt Dog Calming and Anxiety Jacket
When the weather turns a little wild or fireworks are being set off nearby, some dogs cope better than others. For the stressed dogs in your world, I recommend a firm fitting coat. Make sure you buy the right size. Sizing is important or they won’t feel the pressure needed to make them feel secure. For many animals, these Thundershirt calming and anxiety jackets are a game changer. Combined with managing their surroundings (depending on the trigger: white noise, putting the TV on, pulling the blinds down), thundershirts can be a useful tool to manage anxiety. Particularly in a smaller breed.
Just like humans, dogs can get bored and just like humans, if they get too bored, they’ll get up to mischief! Lysanda outlines her favourite dog enrichment activities:
Puzzle toys are a great way to entertain your dogs, especially if you need to leave them at home alone. Not only will they associate you walking out the door with a positive treat, they will be kept occupied, working for their treats while you are away.
Licking is another calming activity for dogs. A Lick mat slow feeder can be a great way to entertain your pup at the same time as keeping them calm. I am a big believer in investing in a good lick mat as if a puppy gobbles their food too quickly, they can have a tummy ache. A lick mat slows them down, whilst also making them feel good – a win win!
Lysanda’s ultimate favourite is a snuffle mat dog for dog enrichment.
There are so many great options to purchase for your pets. A good snuffle mat has sturdy construction but provides lots of places for you to hide treats. Dogs are entertained while they are searching, sniffing and snuffling for their treats in all the hiding places.
You can make snuffle mats at home with treats wrapped in tea towels or by utilitising the inner cardboard tube of the toilet roll, but you have to be prepared for a lost tea towel and cardboard strewn over the floors, so I am a big believer in a sturdily constructed version, many of which you can easily buy online.