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A night sky filled with dazzling fireworks or illuminated by an arc of lightning, followed by a boom of thunder, are enjoyable parts of summer for many of us, but our pets probably feel differently.

Noise anxiety in pets is common among the four-legged set, and it can reach its peak during the summer months. For some pets, noise anxiety can develop into a full-blown phobia, resulting in a variety of destructive, repetitive behaviors, such as barking, chewing, and even self-injury.

A little preparation and a lot of empathy may be all you need to help your pet cope with his or her noise-related anxiety. Let your friends at Soundside Animal Hospital help!

Coping with Noise Anxiety in Pets

It’s tough for pet owners to watch their pets suffer from anxiety every time a storm rolls through or loud noises erupt. We can’t explain to pets what’s happening, but we can do our best to make them feel secure:

  • Stay inside – Even pets who aren’t especially fearful of loud noises should be indoors during any type of severe weather, fireworks display, or other noisy event.
  • Safe space – No room is completely soundproof, but, if possible, find a centrally located room or area within your home with no exterior walls that your pet can hang out in during noisy times.
  • White noise – Background noise such as a fan, radio, or TV, may help to muffle the outside sounds.
  • Distraction – Distracting your pet with an activity can be helpful for alleviating noise anxiety. Use the storm or fireworks display as an opportunity to engage your pet in play, snuggles, or to work on obedience training.
  • Pack mentality – Dogs tend to seek out their “pack members” during times of stress. Stay near your dog and allow him or her to sleep in the bedroom with you if it helps.
  • Thundershirt – Pressure-based garments like the Thundershirt can be very effective at reducing noise anxiety in pets.

More than Anxiety

When a simple case of noise-related fear or anxiety gets out of hand, a pet can develop a noise phobia, which is basically a fear so extreme that it’s out of proportion to the actual “danger” associated with the noise. Noise phobia may manifest as:

  • Pacing
  • Barking/whining/howling
  • Hiding
  • Destructive digging/chewing/scratching
  • House soiling
  • Frantic attempts to escape

Severe anxiety not only causes problems around the home, it can also be detrimental to your pet’s health. If your pet is suffering from noise phobia, please contact the staff at Soundside to schedule a consultation.