Most people look forward to summer fireworks shows and thunderstorms, but their pets may have other opinions. Sure, you might see some pets at different inland empire events this summer, but it’s unlikely that every single one of them will feel relaxed and happy to be there. Pet noise anxiety can be overwhelming, but it can also sneak up on unsuspecting pet owners in search of a good time.
Helping you support your pet’s health and safety is our top priority. Our go-to tips aim to help you prepare for the coming assault on your pet’s mood and well-being.
By some estimates, almost half of all pets experience some form of noise anxiety. It could be the vacuum cleaner or coffee grinder, or during the summer months, jackhammers, construction noise, thunder, and fireworks.
Loud, unpredictable noises can make pets behave uncharacteristically. Some animals bolt through the front door, jump the fence, race into traffic, and run for miles. It’s no wonder that one of the busiest times for animal shelters is the days directly following Independence Day.
Other animals hide and don’t come off their dark, comforting, hard-to-reach spots until well after the perceived threat passes. Some can even get stuck if their hiding spot was smaller than anticipated.
It’s also not uncommon to hear of pets feeling so overwhelmed by noise stress and anxiety that they pace endlessly, soil inside the home, or vocalize uncontrollably.
For pets whose owners know about certain fears or phobias to loud noises, the safest place is at home.
If your pet is crate trained, they’ll likely retreat to their special spot as soon as the first rumble of thunder is detected. This makes dealing with pet noise anxiety much more tolerable. Try to sit with or near them until the storm passes. Turn on soft music or other white noise, low lighting, and perhaps a satisfying treat or toy to distract them.
While it’s important to soothe your pet’s fears, try not to go over the top. They will learn what behaviors trigger your responses to their anxiety, inadvertently reinforcing them. Remain calm and as neutral as possible.
Animals know when a storm is coming by the subtle changes in barometric pressure. Because dogs can hear sounds well above our own auditory range, they can start to show symptoms of pet noise anxiety long before we hear anything threatening.
Some pet owners have had success in desensitizing their pets to frightening stimuli. Consistently playing recordings of certain noises, like thunder, can diminish future responses. Likewise, positive reinforcement training can make all the difference by rewarding good behavior instead of indulging other behaviors that are unwanted.
Our staff is always here to help your pet through scary experiences. Once other treatments or methods have been exhausted, some animals require additional help for pet noise anxiety in the form of prescription medication.
Please give us a call with any questions or concerns about pet noise anxiety.