How To Calm Down A Dog That's Terrified Of Noise
An ambulance siren, heavy rain, a slamming door, firecrackers... the list of alarming noises goes on and on
There are any number of different noises that make our dogs feel anxious, and can even cause them to have tachycardia. Some dogs, of course, remain impassive in the face of all these triggers. However, others seem on the verge of a heart attack at the slightest provocation. So, what can we do to calm down a dog that’s so frightened by extraneous noises?
Here we’re going to share some handy tricks to help you deal with this tricky problem. Remember that, in your role as your dog’s human dad or mom, helping your dog deal with its anxiety is a priority – and it’s surely difficult for you, too, to see your dog suffering in this way.
Is your dog scared of noises? Check out these tricks!
A viral video going around on the Internet at the moment shows a dog relaxing. Of course, it only relaxes after having a cotton band tied in a certain way over its body. It seems to be a trick that works well. But, perhaps it’s meant for dogs that are most sensitive to noise.
There is a wide range of intensity among dogs who are afraid of noise. And, of course, if your dog suffers from an acute phobia, it’s worth seeking professional help. For instance, visit a veterinarian or pet psychologist.
Bear in mind that your dog is even able to anticipate noises that you haven’t heard yet. That’s why it’s very normal for them to get anxious and scared. Basically, they try to run away from the source of the noise or hide away.
Some steps to follow
These are some key steps to follow when trying to deal with this problem:
- The first thing you should do is make sure that your dog’s fear is not a phobia. If it does turn out to be a phobia, it requires different treatment, because a phobia is a serious problem which will need intervention from vets and professionals.
- Create a safe zone. When your dog hears noises that scare him or her, it will naturally want to run away or hide. Remember that animals do not think consciously in the same way as we do, but rather act on the basis of instinct. That’s why your dog will not care if there is furniture or other items in the way, that could end up hurting him or her. So, for example, if it’s a day when there are likely to be fireworks, clear a space for your dog to hide under the bed, or some other space where it feels safe and secure.
- If you think your dog will run to its carrier or cage to hide, it’s a good idea to take off the door and leave it somewhere where it’s in plain sight, without any furniture or other household objects blocking your dog’s path to it.
- Be sure to choose the location of your dog’s safe space wisely. If you’ve had the dog for a while already, you’ll know where it tends to hide when it gets scared by noises. If your dog already has a favorite spot like this, it makes sense to put the safe space there. Then cover the windows with blankets, as this will help to reduce the noise levels. If you do these things in advance, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to reduce your dog’s level of fear.
These 3 additional steps could help to further soothe your concerned dog.
- Try to keep calm. Don’t tell your dog off for getting scared or acting erratically. This will, of course, only increase the level of stress. But at the same time, it’s not a good idea to give the dog treats when he or she is scared by noise. Because, this will reinforce the idea that its behavior is normal.
- Company. If the safe space is in a part of the house that you’re not currently in, stay with your dog. This way, it knows you are there for moral support. But remember: don’t encourage the dog to think that you approve fully of its behavior.
- Don’t force the dog out of its hiding place. Even once the noise has subsided, make sure you give your dog time to emerge from its hiding place. Your dog is the only one who will know when it feels right to come out again – forcing him or her to come out before being ready will only make things worse.
The best way to care for your frightened dog
If you follow these tips, you will be able to help your dog cope with the noise of party firecrackers, for example, in the best possible way. Of course, there are many such noises that can’t be anticipated, like ambulance or police sirens for instance. So, take these steps during scheduled events which you expect to be noisy. And, this will make your dog feel more secure.
Above all, try not to worry too much about your dog. It’s very natural for dogs to be afraid of noises like the ones we’ve discussed. Sure, there’s no doubt that their super sensitive sense of hearing has something to do with their fear levels. However, there is almost definitely another reason for it. And, maybe one day we will discover it.