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As a pet owner, it’s your job to care for and love your pet. Sometimes, your pet may experience certain things that give them anxiety. Animals can be afraid of things and have anxiety just as much as humans can. It’s important to know if your pet is experiencing this so that you can properly help them. One of the common things that gives animals anxiety, causing them to potentially react negatively is noise phobia. Noise phobia is a profound and excessive fear of noises. Fireworks, gunshots, and thunderstorms are common canine noise phobias 

Knowing the Signs and Triggers

Knowing the signs of noise phobia, and how it can affect your favorite furry friend is extremely important. Animals with noise phobias can exhibit a wide range of fear-related behaviors including: salivation, trembling, destruction, hiding, vocalization, escape attempts, pacing, panting, urination, and defecation. Even the smallest of everyday noises that you experience inside or outside of your home can trigger your pet to exhibit one or more of these symptoms and have anxiety. Some common noise triggers that can lead to this noise phobia include: 

  • Alarms/ringtones
  • Construction noise
  • Doorbells
  • Fireworks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Indoor home improvement 
  • Lawnmowers
  • Music
  • Noise from parties
  • Shooting ranges
  • Sirens
  • Snowplows 
  • Sporting events
  • Thunder
  • Traffic sounds 
  • Vacuum cleaners 

To us, these things seem ordinary. To your pet, they may be what is scaring them and making them anxious. Knowing what can cause these triggers, and the signs of noise phobia your pet may show is vital. 

Solutions 

The solutions to treating your pets noise phobia may be challenging and take time. It’s important to remember to have patience during this time and consult with your veterinarian. Here are a few solutions that can help with this condition: 

Ease up on the Cuddling

Although you might think loving all over your furry friend may help them with their anxiety and reactions to scary noises, but most of the time it’s better to ease up on the cuddling. Reassuring our pets that it is “okay” when our body language is telling the dog otherwise, inadvertently relays the opposite of what we intend.  “Okay” can turn into a cue that means the dog needs to be on high alert, something bad or scary is coming. If you just remain calm and relaxed, your pet will see these and exhibit similar body language.

Cease Punishment

Another big one is to cease punishment. In our attempt to stop an undesirable behavior we may yell or even hit our dogs. It is important to remember the dog is really fearful, just like us it is not something they can just “get over.” Punishing your dog is more likely to increase your dog’s anxiety and fear, not only toward the feared object but to you as well. You want to build a relationship with your pet, not break one. 

Remain Calm 

Remember to remain calm when your pet is experiencing symptoms of noise phobia. They can read your body language and if you are all worked up, they may become anxious and worked up as well. We need to breathe deeply and calmly, “walk the walk” and let our dogs know that it truly is “okay.”

Teach your dog it’s okay to be away from you. Help your pet by teaching them coping mechanisms for their noise phobia. Let them know that it is okay to be away from you. The reality is, we can’t be with our pets every second of the day as we want to. Whether it’s work or school, your pet needs to learn to self soothe and comfort themselves without us. Our pets need to know what to do when we are not there. Beds, mats, and crates can all be places of comfort for your pet. 

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