Ask a Vet

How to Treat Your Dog’s Noise Anxiety?

Photo of author
Jacquelyn Kennedy
Updated on

Dog scare of fireworks and hiding under bed

We all fear something. Some of us fear the darkness; others cannot imagine looking at a spider for longer than two seconds.

Thankfully, when we grow up, most of us learn to deal with our fears, with varying success.

Unfortunately, if you have a dog or any other pet, then you probably know that it is the problems of those that we hold dearly that hurt us the most.

No dogs like to hear loud noises, but some of them react more negatively than others. In a second, you’ll learn how to treat your dog’s noise anxiety.

How to spot your dog’s noise anxiety?

We live in a world where loud noises are nothing uncommon. It’s not to say that in the primordial times, there weren’t thunderstorms that could cause the dogs even back then to whimper.

However, nowadays, loud noises are just a part of our lives. Planes, gunshots, fireworks, to name just a few, would seem much scarier if we didn’t know what caused them.

There is a reason why so many civilizations have assumed that gods were responsible for the thunderstorms.

Unfortunately, the animals lack this understanding, which is why the loud noise caused by fireworks seems even scarier.

A single traumatic event can cause noise anxiety, or there might be several similar events that make your dog anxious when a particular stimulus, such as a loud noise, appears.

Dog loud noise

You might notice that your dog is trembling, but there are also other signs that he feels anxious.

If he runs away from the source of the noise or gets close to you as if seeking protection, it might be caused by noise anxiety. You can find more information about dog behavior at Pet Place.

It might even be possible for your dog to become nervous when hearing a noise that previously didn’t cause any reaction.

That’s not unlike how our brains react. Some veterans who struggle with PTSD report that the stimuli don’t always have to be quite similar to the one that caused the trauma.

Okay, so if your dog becomes anxious when there is a loud noise, then how can you help?

Well, there are different ways of dealing with your dog’s noise anxiety.

The one thing that you should definitely stop doing is treating the anxiety episodes of your dog as a matter of extreme importance.

It’s not that you should stop caring about your dog, but you shouldn’t show that the situation requires your reassurance and protection.

Instead, to break the cycle of stimuli and a negative reaction, you should help your dog to focus on something different.

It could be a play, or anything that would take away your dog’s attention from the noise. What is important, though, is to behave normally, as if everything were okay.

Otherwise, your dog will sense that there is a valid reason to be scared and the behavior will be reinforced.

Unfortunately, this method works only in some cases. If your attempts are unsuccessful, or if your dog becomes severely distressed every time there is a loud noise, you might want to contact a veterinarian who would prescribe some anxiety drugs for your dog.

This method is usually more successful, though unfortunately, there are no medications that work with surgical precision.

It means that although such medications could help your dog with anxiety, there could be some side effects – your dog could become less active and tired.

Still, if the noise anxiety makes it impossible for your dog to function normally, it’s an option that you should consider.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to try medications that potentially could have side effects, you could try other methods of dealing with this problem.

You could purchase earmuffs for your dog, so that the noise would seem to not be as loud.

Obviously, if a frequency of loud noises in your neighborhood is significant, then your dog would have to wear earmuffs all the time.

Earmuffs for dogs aren’t particularly expensive, which is why we recommend at least trying out this method.

Earmuffs for dogs

Some dog owners recommended anxiety wraps. The pressure comforts the distressed dogs and helps to deal with difficult situations, or, at least, that’s what the anxiety wraps are supposed to do.

There is an ongoing discussion about the efficiency of anxiety wraps. It shouldn’t be the first method that you try, but it is also another viable option.

If you own a dog, then most likely just as your four-legged friend, you aren’t a fan of loud noises.

That’s because seeing your dog anxious and distressed is a source of frustration for you, especially if you don’t know how to help him.

In this article we have included several methods that could be useful if you want to treat your dog’s noise anxiety.

Photo of author
About the author

Jacquelyn Kennedy

PetDT was founded by Jacquelyn Kennedy, a dog lover and pet admirer. She built the website to provide pet owners with information, experiences, and opinions on breeds, temperament, personalities, health, nutrition, products, and care.