Five Tips to Help Your Pet With A Fear Of Loud Noises

Lots of pets have a fear of loud noises.  This often grows worse when the pet gets older.  Thunderstorms, fireworks, gun fire, any loud noise may trigger destructive behavior as the pet desperately tries to hide or get away from the noise. Some pets bark obsessively in an attempt to scare the loud noise away.  Other pets may show symptoms of anxiety such as drooling, excessive panting, and shaking.  All of them need help, not discipline, to manage their fear of loud noises.

The first hint is to provide a safe place for the pet to go.  If your dog is crate trained, place him in the crate.  This is a good example of why it is wise to crate train your dog.  It gives him a safe place to go when scary things happen.  If you dog is not crate trained, placing him in a closet with a toy may help.  Be careful that he is comforted there, and does not become destructive when trying to escape the closet.

Second, you can try to counteract the noise with the radio, television, or other “white noise”.  Just be sure the noise is not blasted at elevated decibels, which might be as stressful to the dog as the thunder or fireworks.

Third, you can desensitize your pet to the noises.  You can get CDs of thunder and fireworks now.  Play them at a low volume while playing with your dog or feeding him.  As he becomes comfortable with the noise at that level, raise it a notch.  Continue doing this until the pet is comfortable playing or eating with the CD playing at the noise level he would encounter in real life from thunderstorms and fireworks.

The fourth tip is to use electromagnetism to help your dog.  Although it may sound like voodoo, some scientists think that it is the electromagnetism in a storm that really scares the dog, not the thunder.  You can try placing storm capes or shirts on your dog that shield him from the electromagnetism.  In addition, they fit closely and swaddle your pet, which may make him feel more secure.

If you have tried all these measures and your pet is still afraid of the loud noises and displays destructive or anxious behavior, consult a veterinarian.  There are veterinarians board certified in animal behavior that can help you come up with other tricks to try and calm your dog.  In addition, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe an antianxiety medication for your to give your dog when storms or other loud noises are imminent.  This medicine calms your pet and makes it easier on both of you to survive the storm or fireworks.

The bottom line is that  there are several things you can do to help stop destructive and anxious behavior in your pet during loud noise events.  No pet should have to live terrified of loud noises.