Fireworks, Parties, and Thunderstorms: Addressing Noise Anxiety in Pets
Most pets are sensitive to loud noises because their hearing is much more acute than our own. This sensitivity to sound is what causes some emotional and physical disturbances when your pet hears loud noises. Couple that with the unpredictability of some of these sounds, is cause for stress in some animals.
What Is Noise Anxiety and Its Cause
Noise anxiety is a high level of stress responding to a loud or erratic noise. Some common triggers for this anxiety include:
- Gun shots
- Loud parties
- Noise from radio or TV
Whatever triggers the anxiety, some pets develop full blown phobia when the anxiety progresses.
To diagnose your pet with this condition, they must have a reaction to loud noises. Noise anxiety symptoms are as follows:
- Open mouth breathing
- Panting excessively
- Trying to get away
- Diarrhea or stomach upset
- Lack of appetite
- Increased heart rate
There is no one cause for the condition, but there is evidence that links other forms of anxiety to noise anxiety. Over 40% of dogs who have noise anxiety also have separation anxiety, which is an intense fear of being left alone.
Pets who have not been adequately socialized or have experienced some form of trauma are also more likely to develop the condition. Phobia is similar to noise anxiety, except it is more severe and chronic in nature.
Some symptoms, though, can be related to a medical condition your pet may be experiencing, so it is recommended that they have a thorough examination and behavior consult to come to a right diagnosis.
Treating Noise Anxiety in Pets
Your veterinarian will have some suggestions for you to minimize the symptoms. Sometimes, we use medications and supplements to help ease your furry loved one’s anxiety. There are some good changes you can also make at home to help.
- Keep your pet in a secure part of the home during loud events, where they can feel safe.
- Make sure you or a family member stay with them as reassurance and distraction.
- Play white noise, such as a fan, TV, or radio, during the commotion, to mask outdoor sounds.
- Use a Thundershirt, which is a snug-fitting garment that alleviates stress in pets.
- Pheromone sprays and pet safe aromatherapy can also calm your fur friend.
- Ensure their microchip and ID tags are current, should they escape the home.
If you would like additional information about noise anxiety in pets, please reach out to us. We can get to the bottom of the issue and offer some suggestions to help ease the fear in your best friend.