Is Your Home Too Loud And Busy For Your Dog?
We live in a very fast-paced world. People are working harder and longer hours. There is a constant stream of information and distractions from our devices. Managing everything from your utilities to your healthcare has become complicated and time consuming. It has been proven that being on the go all day is detrimental to our health. The human mind needs downtime so what about our dogs? The quick answer is YES!! They absolutely need to time to chill. They need time without noise. More than you would think.
According to the Sleep Foundation (www.sleepfoundation.org), dogs need an average of 11 hours of sleep per day with puppies needing considerably more. They usually don't get all of it at once so naps during the day are absolutely necessary. If your dog doesn't get enough sleep, it can lead to behavior problems. Here are some things to consider.
1.) If your house is busy with people coming in and out all day or the tv is constantly blaring, you'll want to incorporate some quiet time for both you and your dog. I've been inside homes where there are so many things going on at once: construction on a room, kids playing table hockey in another, Dad on the phone, a housekeeper cleaning in the kitchen, gardeners out front, and Mom talking to the dog trainer. It's too much for our dogs who want to keep track of it all.
2.) Give those devices a rest. A dog's hearing is so much more sensitive than ours. I've known two dogs from separate homes who became sensitized to text messages. When a message would arrive, they would start to cower and shake even if the sound was "off" on the phone. Clearly, they could hear something that we couldn't and they didn't like it.
3.) Start becoming aware of the noise environment in your daily life. Maybe you don't make a lot of noise but you live in an area of constant traffic, construction, sirens, or leaf blowers. If that's the case, add a white noise machine to your house to drown out some of the startling sounds.
4.) Be aware of volume settings on your tv and stereo. Does it really need to be that loud? Remember how sensitive your dogs ears are and that they can't escape the sound. You can opt for headphones if you really want to hear every note clearly.
5.) Look at the overall schedule of your household. Does your dog wake up with you at 5 am and then stay up with your son until 11pm? That's not enough sleep. Start training your dog to go to bed with you instead so he gets plenty of rest at night.
6.) Be mindful of overdoing the activities. If you love teaching your dogs new things, take them with you everywhere you can, or are using a behavior modification plan for your pup, please keep in mind that they still need time to rest.
7.) Do you turn off your lights when you leave a room? Having a home that's lit up like a Christmas tree can be overstimulating. Make sure your dog has a place to go that is quiet and dark (such as a bedroom) if he needs downtime. Put a mat or his bed in there along with some water and chew toys.
The thing to remember is that constant stimulus makes dogs anxious and grumpy. Slowing down and examining your surroundings can make your dog happier and healthier.