Is Your Dog Afraid of Loud Noises? 5 Ways to Help Them Cope

Is Your Dog Afraid of Loud Noises? 5 Ways to Help Them Cope

Noise phobia in dogs is a common problem that many dog owners are concerned about. Dogs who are afraid of loud noise may show signs of distress that range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Whining or vocalizing
  • Drooling
  • Shaking
  • Seeking shelter or fleeing
  • Destructive behavior such as chewing furniture
  • Urinating or defecating

Some dogs seem to only be triggered by specific noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, nearby gunshots, or engines backfiring. In other cases, a wide variety of noises might trigger certain canines into a panic…even as subtle as the sound of a floorboard creaking or the garage door opening.

The causes for this behavior in dogs are not entirely understood. What we do know is that anxiety-related behaviors such as separation anxiety, thunderstorm phobia, and noise phobia have a high correlation. That is, research shows that a dog that has one of these conditions is more likely to have one of the others. And, research also suggests that this condition can be a learned response or the product of brain imbalances similar to some anxiety disorders in humans.

If your canine is afraid of loud noises, here are 5 things you can do to help:

#1: Anticipate the Trigger

One of the most powerful ways to help your dog cope with fear of noises is to learn precisely the kinds of sounds that make her anxious and try to anticipate them. For example, if she is afraid of fireworks, then you know she may need some extra support on the 4th of July. If it is thunderstorms that get your dog in a tizzy, then keeping an eye on the weather during the summer is a good idea.

Of course, it is not always possible to know when the neighbor’s motorcycle is going to backfire, so advanced notice isn’t always possible. However, when you can predict a potentially triggering situation, it gives you the advantage of managing the environment to make sure that your dog will at least be safe in the event that he panics from noise phobia.



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