Dogs are steadfast companions who enjoy each second spent with their beloved pet parents. However, much like humans, canines still need alone time once in a while. All pups require a place where they can get away from stressful situations. This is especially true for dogs with anxious or shy dispositions. Some dogs get nervous when they meet new people, while many are often perturbed by loud noises. Whether it’s raucous fireworks on the fourth of July or a big house party, certain situations can be mentally exhausting for canines.
If you own a pup of your own, it’s essential to create a safe space where they can relax whenever they need a break. This not only helps them cope with anxiety or stress, but also gives them the opportunity to unwind without any disturbances. To encourage your fur baby to take refuge in this space, it should be comfortable, free of hazards and quiet. It should also have the necessary provisions to keep your dog happy and occupied, like food, water and toys.
If you want to learn more about these requirements, below is a simple guide on how to set up a designated safe space for your canine:
Create a Comfortable Space
To create a welcoming space for your dog, make sure to keep it cozy and situate it in an accessible area. Your dog might already have a preferred area in the house where they like to rest, so you can situate their safe space there. Wherever it is, make sure that it experiences optimal temperatures no matter the weather. For example, it should be warm during the winter months yet cool during the summer. The area should also have enough space for your pup to lie down and relax in. To make things more comfortable, it’s recommended that you provide cozy bedding like a customizable dog teepee.
To keep your dog’s space accessible, make sure they can enter or exit it as they please. It should also be located in an area that’s not completely isolated. While your pup does need some alone time, they still want to be in relatively close proximity to you.
Remove Safety Hazards
As the name suggests, your fur baby’s safe space should be free of any objects that may cause them harm. Taking this into consideration, clear the area of items that are potential choking hazards. Toxic plants—like sago palm, autumn crocus and castor bean—that your dog could chew and ingest should also be removed from the area. To protect your pup from electric shock or burns, make sure to cover or store any cords, cables and chargers.
A dog-proofed area is sure to keep your pooch healthy all throughout their rest time.
Maintain a Quiet and Calming Environment
Your pup’s safe haven should have a quiet and calming environment that’s conducive to relaxation. After all, it’s the one place your canine can go to when there are loud noises from the outside like fireworks. Keeping this in mind, make sure the space is far enough from any windows or entrances in the house, as these are usually the places closest to external noises. If you have little ones in the house, teach them how to approach your canine respectfully. If your dog is in their safe space, younger children should avoid being loud or rambunctious nearby. If there’s still some noise that’s hard to avoid, you can turn on a fan for white noise. Research has shown that some music genres—like classical, soft rock and reggae—are particularly effective at soothing canines and reducing their stress.
Provide Food and Water
Make sure to include food and water in your dog’s safe space. You may opt to place them in durable stainless steel bowls that they can easily drink or eat from. Additionally, give your pup regular meals in their safe space, as it allows them to enjoy their food in a calm environment. It also helps them develop a more positive association with the area, encouraging them to approach it whenever they need to.
Give Fun and Engaging Toys
While your canine’s safe space is mostly a place of rest, it also helps to provide them with fun and engaging toys to keep them mentally stimulated. Toys serve as pleasant distractions for your fur baby when they’re nervous and allow them to channel their frustrations in healthier ways. You can place a toy basket in your pup’s area with fun play items like frisbee ropes, tennis ball slings, and plush dog toys. This way, your dog can choose what toys they want to play with whenever they need them.
It can be hard for your canine to deal with stressful situations that are out of their control. For this reason, your pooch should have the freedom to leave these circumstances when needed. As a responsible pet parent, you must provide your fur baby with a calming space to unwind and rest. With a proper safe haven, you can keep your pup happy and healthy no matter what comes their way.