Loud Noises and Pet Anxiety

Peak City Puppy Loud Noises and Pet Anxiety

With the Fourth of July coming up, people around the U.S. are planning their barbeques, parties, and, most importantly, their fireworks displays. Despite how lovely these displays can be, the loud noise can cause severe anxiety in our pets. Knowing this, how can we protect and  reassure our pets when they are alarmed by noises and disturbances? 

Preparation is crucial because we can’t always predict when and where there will be disturbances that frighten our pets. You can keep your pet from encountering uncomfortable circumstances by understanding their triggers and being on the lookout for situations that could cause them to get anxious. Keeping an eye on the local forecast, for instance, can help you prepare your pet for the weather if they are afraid of thunder. 

 

What to Look Out For

Some common signs of anxiety in pets include panting, dilated pupils, drooling, hiding, excessive licking/grooming, shaking, and aggressive behavior. If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, assess the situation and try to de-escalate the situation. Removing them from the trigger and following the given tips will help soothe your pet and prevent any serious situations. 

 

Creating a Safe Space

One of the best ways to help soothe your pet is to create a small, enclosed space for them to hide. This could be a room, crate, kennel, etc. Start by blacking out the area by closing curtains and windows, and providing blankets. Next, place toys or distractions for them in the space so they have something to keep them occupied. Try to keep them from being alone in the space, and provide them as much comfort as is required without spoiling them. If you fuss over them excessively, they could become confused and be much more frightened. 

Once they enter the space, try to play with them or play music/white noise to muffle any sounds. Playing with them shouldn’t go on if you see them getting more agitated or distracted; instead, stop and switch off any music you may have been playing. Continued play with them could lead to them associating enjoyable activities like fetch with their fears. You can also try to use pet-safe aromatherapy to relax them. 

 

Medication and Training

The most appropriate course of action may be to talk with your veterinarian about short-term soothing medication if your pet has extremely severe anxiety. The medication should generally only be administered when your pet is displaying extreme signs of anxiety and fear. 

Slowly guiding your pet through their fear in these circumstances is another method for controlling their anxiety. As part of your training, you should gradually increase the time and volume of the sounds they are afraid of to desensitize them and lessen their anxiety. Avoid criticizing or reprimanding them for their fear and instead reward them when they become calm. Although this method of training does not work for all dogs, it might be a good strategy to reduce their anxiety.