Have you ever imagined why newborn babies are kept wrapped up in a cloth? The baby sleeping peacefully surely looks like a cocoon. If you think the answer to this question would be to protect them from the cold, then you are just partially correct. This cloth is called a swaddle and babies are swaddled so that they do not get anxious on slight noises and feel the same security as they felt in their mother’s womb.
But it is not just the babies who need swaddling. It is also our little pups who require this therapy at times. Now, this could be due to a particular situation or it might be that you have a nervous dog. Dogs have been known to show anxiety when exposed to loud sounds or voices. This is also because dogs have the ability to hear ultrasonic voices which are not audible to the human ears. This means that their ears are much more sensitive to sounds than us. Now imagine how a firework would sound to them. These sounds are nearly equal to an explosion for a dog and thus they become quite panicky and stressed.
Thus, to avoid such stress for both you and your dog, dog swaddling is suggested. A dog can be swaddled in many ways. Different types of clothes and material can be used. But before this, the correct technique for swaddling.
Take the two ends of the cloth and wrap them around the dog’s chest. After this, take the two loose ends and cover your dog’s necks and then take the cloth from below the stomach of your dog to its legs. Make a knot of the cloth over your dog’s back and your job is done.
Your dog has been successfully swaddled. A basic question that arises here is how tight you have to be with the swaddling. Both humans and dogs have the tendency to feel comfortable when they have been subjected to a little bit of body pressure. So, the main purpose of the swaddle is to provide this pressure to your dog through this cloth. So, it has to be considerably tight for your dog to feel secure. But you certainly don’t have to suffocate your dog, so if your dog starts barking too much, you have supposedly tightened the knot much more than required.
A basic diagrammatic representation of how your dog should be swaddled is given below
It is not always that you have a cloth available to swaddle your dog. But there is nothing to worry about in this situation. You can simply use your shirt for this purpose. A demonstration for this is give below:
Loud voices can have long term traumatic impacts for some pets. So it is very important for us to do proper swaddling in such cases. If you feel that your dog is usually nervous in such situations, it is suggested that you buy a thunder shirt for your dog.
A thunder shirt is wrapped like cloth that is specially designed for dogs. It contains Velcro and hooks for providing a proper and comfortable pressure to your dog. This also inhibits any use of knots that are likely to cause rashes on your dog’s skin.
How to swaddle a small dog?
For a small dog, it is usually preferred to use a cloth that is narrow. This is because your little fellow might entangle itself if you use a cloth that is quite long or broad.
So, for the breeds like the Boston terriers or the Bolognese, it is better that you use an ace tape. Ace tapes are usually very narrow and are strong enough to provide warmth and comfort to your dog.
How to swaddle a big dog?
For swaddling a bigger dog, it is usually advised that you use a thunder shirt. But even if it is not available, a long length muffler can be used. For a muffler too, follow the same steps as when you had a normal cloth.
How to Swaddle a Dog for Fireworks?
Fireworks might create a very beautiful atmosphere for you to see. But the same might not be with your dog. The lit skies also carry along with them huge decibels of sounds which are really very disturbing for the sensitive ears of our dogs. So proper swaddling is required in case of crackers. You just have to follow the same steps as given above with a little change. You have to saddle your dog within two layers. This means that after you have swaddled your dog with a cloth or an ace bandage, you need to cover and swaddle it properly with a blanket. This is because loud sounds create an imbalance in the heartbeat pattern of your dog, thus making them much more anxious. Hence, they require much more warmth.
If your dog still does not stop barking or getting anxious, it is advised that you pick up your dog and take it to a place that is cracker-sound free. This is because these sounds can cause long term traumatic impacts in your dog.
Also, you can give your dog some anti-anxiety toys that can divert your dog’s attention from the booming firecrackers to some extent. But this is not a proper way to tackle this situation and swaddling is usually done.
How to swaddle a dog using a blanket?
This can be understood much better through a video.
These are the few methods in which you can swaddle different breeds of dogs using different clothes.
But there is another method that works magnanimously better than the above discussed methods. It is simply called human warmth. Have you ever wondered why you feel at relief after hugging somebody when you are really scared? The reason behind this is that your heartbeats tend to match when you hold somebody really close. The same thing applies to your dog. If your dog is really scared, pick it up and hold it really close to your heart. Hug it and cuddle for a while till your dog feels normal.
This therapy is also suggested by vets and is much more effective than swaddling.
But there are few cases where you might feel that your dog is usually nervous all the time. In this situation, it is better to consult your vet. It may be that your dog has a weak heart and the vet might suggest some anti-anxiety pills. But all these problems can be solved easily if you spend some time with your dog.
It is most likely that your dog might be developing anxious behaviour but it is usually locked up in house with nobody inside. Dogs are just the same as us. They also need somebody to be with them, to play with them and reciprocate their amount of love. It is always suggested that you take your dog out for a walk in the evenings and usually keep somebody around your dog always. We need to understand that it is not the physical but the emotional swaddling that a dog needs.
Concluding by saying that
“Looking for materials that bind,
Chains and shackles answers mind,
But stress to be the correct answer,
Destroys both man and soul combined.
Thus, it is advised that you prevent your dogs from entering traumatic conditions and parent your dog like you would do to a kid. Anxiety spares none. Give your dog the time and love it needs and there would be no signs of tenseness in their lifetime.