Unusually loud noises can disturb beloved pets. Pets may hide or exhibit distress during thunderstorms and celebrations, including the Fourth of July. While annual displays of fireworks attract the attention of the community and is a way our nation celebrates its patriotism, many dogs and cats do not care for such loud demonstrations. Understand more about animal noise phobia to help your pet feel safe and secure during unusual periods of loud noise.
Look for Signs of Animal Noise Phobia
Dogs and cats can exhibit various levels of distress from thunderstorms and loud noises. Degree of anxiety can differ. Your pet may be exhibiting animal noise phobia when he or she:
- Snuggles, trembles or attempts to hide. Responsible pet owners can help their pet by reducing exposure to the noise and the elements.
- Screams, howls, demonstrates destructive behavior, or hurts themself in an attempt to escape. This situation may be more than a
pet owner can handle on their own. Intervention from a veterinarian behaviorist or using prescribed behavioral medication may be necessary to reduce the stress on a pet and make it less likely that they will injure themself when upset.
Your dog or cat can express a range of behaviors demonstrating their stress. Treatment depends on their level of animal noise phobia.
Reduce Environmental Triggers
Pet owners can reduce an animal’s exposure to the elements and decrease their anxiety. Veterinarians recommend:
- Closing any curtains or blinds to reduce the visual displays of the storm or celebration.
- Keep the lights on.
- Put on the TV or radio to create familiar noise inside to keep animals calm.
- Permit the animal to hide in a safe place if it allows him or her to relax.
- Exercise your pet before a storm or loud experience may occur. This will help decrease feelings of anxiety and can lower the level of a pet’s reaction.
- Stay calm yourself and attempt to engage the pet in an activity that they enjoy.
These actions are useful for pets that experience lower levels of animal noise phobia. For animals demonstrating behaviors at the higher end, medication or behavioral intervention may be the best solution.
Loud noise can frighten cats as well as dogs. Sirens, thunder, and fire crackers can cause discomfort to sensitive ears. The stress can impact their mental and physical well-being, depending on the level of noise phobia that they express. Cats and dogs can experience animal noise phobia. Intervention begins at reducing their exposure to the noise and their stress during the experience. Consult a veterinarian to determine the best approach for your pet’s animal noise phobia case.
You Can Help Your Pet
Cats and dogs thrive in calm and loving environments. Avoid punishing pets that eliminate or become destructive during a storm. Beyond the immediate need to reduce a pet’s anxiety during an incident, working to slowly desensitize your pet to specific noises is possible with collaboration with an animal behavior doctor. Your understanding of your pet’s stress is key to helping them begin to cope with their animal noise phobia.
Pet owners can reduce the intensity of stress in the life of a pet. Animal noise phobia is a condition that you can positively impact. You can improve your pet’s sense of well-being. Dr. Amber Naig, a staff behavior doctor at University Animal Hospital, guides pet owners in treatment of animal noise phobia. Contact 480-968-9275 to schedule a consultation and learn how to treat animal noise phobia in your pet today.