Firework Frenzy: Is Your Pet Afraid of Loud Noises?
If your pet runs for cover or shakes uncontrollably every time there is a thunderstorm, a firework display, or any big party, then your pet may suffer from noise anxiety.
Noise anxiety in pets is common with our fur friends because animals are more acutely attuned to sound. The problem with not treating noise anxiety is that it causes emotional problems, such as phobias, as well as the risk that your pet will run if given the chance.
A pet afraid of loud noises is something we address often at our clinic. If you’re dealing with noise anxiety in pets, you are not alone. Our team at Embrace Veterinary Care can help you identify the cause and provide good solutions to easing your pet’s anxiety.
Fourth of July and Firework Season
During the holidays and after sports games, it is a tradition to display fireworks. This crack, boom, fizzle accompanies the summer months, but it can cause a lot of problems for our fur friends.
Because fireworks, like thunderclaps from a raucous storm, are unpredictable, your pet will perceive them as a threat. This causes stress and a fight or flight reaction, which is why so many pets become lost around Fourth of July.
The sound of police sirens, fire trucks, ambulances, and so on can also cause your pet to react in fear. Some dogs even howl along with the siren, not knowing what it is and whether it is a threat. Sirens are another source of noise anxiety for cats and dogs. Usually, though, they pass quickly and are short-lived in duration.
Other Loud Noises
Big parties, festivals, concerts, and other events may seem fun to us, but they are terrifying to most pets.
Unless your dog is highly adaptable to big crowds and noise, we suggest not bringing your pet to these gatherings. Crowds can be disorienting to furry ones, and the opportunity for them to get away from you is high. This is especially true if they are suddenly afraid and look for a way to get away.
Symptoms of Noise Anxiety
When your pet is feeling fear, there are some indicators that you can pick up on. These symptoms can manifest as behavioral problems, as well.
- Urinating/defecating inside
- Chewing (on self or other items)
- Lack of appetite
- Hyper-alert to surroundings
- Staying close to you
- Trying to escape
If your pet has this form of anxiety, it’s crucial to have them microchipped with current identification tags on their collar. Most pets with extreme noise anxiety are prone to get away from the home or yard. They’re at risk of being hit by a car, stolen, being permanently lost, and otherwise injured.
Tips on Easing Pet Anxiety
To ease your pet’s fears, you can take some simple steps. Being prepared means being aware of your pet’s particular fears (what causes the symptoms) and trying to avoid them or minimizing their impact, when possible.
- Call us for a behavioral consult to discuss possible medications and other forms of treatment.
- Before the event, find a secure, quiet place in the home where your pet can hang out.
- Use distractions like toys, treats, and favorite possessions.
- Try using calming oils formulated for pets or pheromone sprays, like Rescue Remedy.
- Some pets really respond well to the Thundershirt, which is designed to put light pressure on the torso to encourage relaxation.
- Buy a CD of music that is used specifically for pet anxiety. Music therapy has been proven to relax pets and lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- White noise machines and a TV or radio played at a lower volume can mask the source of the outside noise.
Is Your Pet Afraid of Loud Noises?
We can help! Call our team so we can discuss options to treat this anxiety and phobia. We can also answer any additional questions on helping a pet afraid of loud noises.