The impact of darker and shorter days on dog’s behaviour

Natural daylight begins to shorten as we move into Autumn and towards Winter. Many of us enjoy the cosy dark nights that come with this and the seasonal celebrations such as Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night and Christmas.

Our dogs may not enjoy these so much and some may already have negative associations with these events through classical conditioning. Dogs often associated darker nights with fireworks.

With the darker nights and shorter days, going for walks with our dogs may prove more problematic. If walking with your dog is only possible early in the morning or during the evenings, make sure you can both be seen by motorists. There are many harnesses, collars and dog coats that are reflective, and it is worth investing in a Hi-Viz jacket for yourself. A small torch is also a great help so you can see where your dog has toileted!

Halloween can be a problem with unexpected visitors at the door. Remember to secure your dog safely behind a door or stairgate to prevent him running out or jumping up at someone.

It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:
  • In a public place
  • In a private place, for example a neighbour’s house or garden
  • In the owner’s home

The law applies to all dogs not just certain breeds. Under the changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act it mean owners will be liable if dogs are ‘dangerously out of control’ on any private property. Previously the law applied only to public places.

Dogs don’t have to bite– if the person they jump on or bark at feels threatened or that the dog could injure them, they may fall foul of this law.

It is against the law to allow a dog (any breed) to be dangerously out of control, anywhere. Out of control is described as:

  • If a dog injures someone
  • If a dog makes someone worried that it might injure them
  • If a dog attacks someone’s animal
  • If the owner of a dog thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

Fireworks can cause so many problems for dogs, and not just those who are noise sensitive. If you have a puppy or young dog that has not experienced fireworks before, now is the time to start some training to prepare him. It is a little late to start desensitisation and counter conditioning work for this year’s firework season as it can take a long time but do consider contacting a qualified canine behaviourist for help ready for next years fireworks.

For dogs who are already fearful of fireworks, make an appointment with your Vet now to see what help is available.

“If you have a puppy or young dog that has not experienced fireworks before, now is the time to start some training to prepare them”

Some general advice for Firework season:

  • Double-check fences, gates, and doors to make sure they are escape-proof
  • Ensure you use a stairgate if you need to open the front door during peak times to avoid them bolting out of the door
  • Try to walk your dog earlier to avoid walks during expected peak times
  • Try to ensure your dog has a sniffy walk before the fireworks start. We know from various studies that sniffing is good for their brains and helps them relax (Duranton & Horowitz, 2018)
  • Feed your dog earlier than usual to avoid peak times
  • Use enrichment toys or fun games to deliver food
  • Accompany your dog into the garden for toileting, even if they are normally fine along, in case any unexpected load bangs occur
  • Close curtains and use white noise machines, or some of the dog music tracks now available
  • Turn on a TV or radio
  • Ensure you have set up a cosy, comfortable, covered den area, close to where the family will be
  • Ensure there is always access to fresh water. When dogs are anxious, they pant more frequently
  • Use a thunder shirt or TTouch wrap if your dog is happy wearing one
  • Plug in Pet Remedy or use the spray on their bedding
  • Have chew toys, licky mats or stuffed Kongs ready
  • Above all, grab yourself a book and try to stay clam and relaxed yourself! Our dogs are tuned into our emotions (Sundman et.al., 2019)

Dogs love foraging and fallen autumn leaves are a big hit for many dogs, but we must remember some of the potential dangers. For example, conkers and chestnut leaves are poisonous for dogs if chewed and can also cause blockages. Choose your area carefully for treat searches and foraging. Acorns and oak leaves are also poisonous and can cause stomach upset and in very severe cases, kidney failure and death. They can also cause a blockage.

Seasonal Canine Illness is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that affects dogs in autumn, usually after a walk in a forest or wooded area. The cause of this illness is still unknown although some studies suggest that harvest mites might play a role in this illness as several the dogs who have fallen ill have been found to have mites, (McGarry, 2012).

Symptoms often present as gastroenteritis so if your dog is unwell and you have walked in forest/wooded areas, do have him checked by a Vet to ensure it isn’t Seasonal Canine Illness.

Autumn also sees an increase in the tick and flea population, (Rosatti, 2017).

When Winter arrives, dogs exercise opportunities are often reduced greatly due to icy roads, bad weather and shorter days.

There are lots of enrichment activities for dogs that can be done inside the house or in the garden such as find the treats, interactive food toys and searching games.

Play is important for bonding. If your dog is not keen on playing with other dogs, playing with a human can be just as rewarding, (Payne et. al., 2015). Contrary to belief, tug games are a great way of interacting with dogs and it is fine to “let them win”.

For smaller dogs and hairless breeds, do get them a coat to help keep the cold out. Coats are also useful for our senior dogs who may have arthritis or other painful conditions that are affected by the cold. Keep beds out of draughty areas and try to use orthopaedic ones for senior dogs.

There are several substances that can affect our dogs in Winter. One is the use of antifreeze in our cars. Do check where you are walking for any leaked or spilt antifreeze.

When the icy weather arrives, grit and rock salt used to de-ice pavements can cause burns, pain, and illness. Remember to wash your dogs’ paws after a walk to prevent them ingesting these substances by licking.

Christmas is often a busy time and highly exciting for everyone. Remember to give your dog something fun to play with while you settle visitors and open presents. A stuffed Kong or licky mat can provide stimulation and enjoyment as well as distract your dog from the general hustle and bustle. Look out for items that are poisonous to dogs during this season.

Where to find our expert!

Lisa Hird is a canine behaviourist and joint Principal and course tutor for The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour Ltd

The Dog Behaviour Clinic was founded by Lisa Hird, offering a wide range of services to cater for all aspects of canine behaviour and training.

For more information: www.dogbehaviourclinic.co.uk

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Check out some of our related articles!

Dealing with Bleeds

Cuts and bleeds are one of the most common first aid emergencies that dog owners and handlers are faced with. For that reason, it’s essential to be prepared for this scenario.

Read More »

Hot Dogs

Instead of worrying about it being too cold, we need to start thinking about if it will be too hot for our dogs.

Read More »

Lisa Hird is a canine behaviourist and joint Principal and course tutor for The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour Ltd

The Dog Behaviour Clinic was founded by Lisa Hird, offering a wide range of services to cater for all aspects of canine behaviour and training.

For more information: www.dogbehaviourclinic.co.uk

Check out some of our related articles!

Hot Dogs

Instead of worrying about it being too cold, we need to start thinking about if it will be too hot for our dogs.

Read More »

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Download the app for FREE to read more great articles!

Sign-up to the K9 Nation newsletter to get website access to our collection of articles and find out first when new articles are added!

Privacy Policy

Protecting your data is very important to K9Nation Limited (“K9Nation”, “us”, “our” or “we”). This policy, together with our Terms and  conditions, sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by K9Nation.

It applies to your use of the website www.K9Nation.uk, the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”), all communications between you and us and (unless expressly provided otherwise) all agreements entered into between you and us which involve the collection by, or disclosure to, us of personal data.

Information we may collect about you.

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. This includes information you provide at the time of registering (including, but not limited to, your name, telephone number, address and email address) or at any subsequent point;
  • if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
  • your responses to surveys you choose to complete on the Platform from time to time;
  • details of any photographs, comments, posts, or other information you post on the Platform;
  • device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information); and
  • details of your visits to the Platform (such as the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from the Platform (including date and time); page response times; page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the Platform).

Information we may collect about others.

We may collect and process data about others that you provide us with, including (but not limited to) information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. You represent and warrant to us that you have obtained the express consent from the individuals whose data you provide us with.

For the avoidance of any doubt, any reference in this privacy policy to your data shall include data about other individuals that you have provided us with.

IP Addresses

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical information about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and may be linked to an individual user through other information that is held by us or publically available.

Cookie Policy

The Platform uses cookies to distinguish you from other users. This helps us provide you with a good experience when you use the Platform and also allows us to improve the Platform.

Please note that it is possible to disable cookies being stored on your computer by changing your browser settings. However, the Platform may not perform properly or some features may not be available to you if you disable cookies.

For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our cookie policy.

Where we store your personal information.

The data that we collect about you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including the USA. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our service providers. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing.

Your passwords are stored in K9Nation’s database in encrypted form. We do not disclose your account details, postal or email addresses to anyone except when legally required to do so. We will only hold your information for as long as is necessary for the purpose we collect it for, or for such additional time as may be required by law or any relevant regulatory body.

Security

Sensitive information between your browser and the Platform is transferred in encrypted form using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When transmitting sensitive information, you should always make sure that your browser can validate the Platform’s certificate. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although K9Nation will do its best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Platform, any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try and prevent any unauthorised access.

How we use your information.

We use information held about you (and information about others) in the following ways:

  • to provide you with our services;
  • to reply to requests for information or any other kind of request as indicated by your correspondence;
  • to provide you with information about other goods and services we offer that are similar to those you have already purchased or enquired about;
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of the Platform when you choose to do so, including interaction with external social networks and platforms;
  • to improve the Platform and ensure the content on the Platform is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer or mobile device;
  • to administer our Platform and for internal operations ,including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising served to you on the Platform; and
  • to notify you about changes to our service, the Platform.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information to any business partner, sub-contractor or supplier of K9Nation for the performance of any contract we enter into with you, and/or a member of our group.

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • in the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets;
  • if K9Nation or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by us about our customers will be one of the transferred assets;
  • in order to enforce the Terms and Conditions and any other agreement between you and us; or
  • if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to protect the rights, property, or safety of K9Nation, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations.

Marketing communications and your rights

By registering for an account on the Platform, you give your permission for us to use your personal data for marketing purposes in relation to our products and services. You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data by contacting us.

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to access information held about you by submitting a request in accordance with the act and is subject to a £10 administrative fee. All such requests should be sent via our contact form.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page, and where appropriate, notified to you by email.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcome and should be addressed via our email address: hello@k9nation.dog

Cookie Policy

We use cookies and similar tools on our website, www.K9Nation.uk, and the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”) to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. This policy explains how we do that.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. We use the term “cookies” in this policy to refer to all files that collect
information in this way.

There are many functions cookies serve. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well the website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.

Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your user identifier. Most cookies will not collect information that identifies you, but will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use the website.

The cookies we use.

At the date of the last update of this Cookie Policy, the list below represents a comprehensive list of all cookies set on the Platform, but please note that the cookies we use are subject to fairly frequent change. The purposes of the cookies in use, as described below will not change without this policy being updated. However we may not update this policy every time the identity of a particular cookie or the party setting the cookie changes.

 

Category: Strictly necessary

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses cookies to enable the essential features of the website, such as the navigation system, signing up for the service, subscribing, verifying and messaging.

 

Category: Analytical /  Performance

Parties: Amplitude, Hotjar, Segment, Google Analytics, Optimizely, Improvely

Purpose: These cookies are used to analyse data from users’ visits in order to help us improve the service or create and analyse content tests to allow us to optimise the experience for future users.

 

Category: Functionality

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses functionality cookies to improve the experience for its users. For example, to save users from having to remember their username, we use a cookie to remember this information.

 

Category: Advertising

Parties: Google Adwords, Facebook, DoubleClick, Affiliate Window, Improvely

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses paid advertising in order to recruit new customers. These paid advertising channels will set cookies so that we can measure the effectiveness of this advertising.

Can you block cookies?

It is possible to block cookies, although remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of the Platform do not work properly.

More detail on how businesses use cookies is available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer at hello@k9nation.dog