My cat, Sammy, is not bothered at all by loud noises. In fact, he barely notices them. But, my friend, Cindy, has a dog named Boomer who is afraid of every noise. I know that this fear of noise is more common in dogs than cats, but I wanted to do some research to give her some tips to help Boomer.
It is very common for dogs to be scared of noises and some hate all noises. Trucks, garbage pick-up and thunder all seem to trigger a reaction in them. Some of the dogs just pant heavily and want to be near their owners, while other dogs have a panic attack and try to get out of the house or hide somewhere to get away.
If you have a dog that suffers from anxiety induced by loud noises, below are a few things you can try to give them a sense of calm and retrain them.
A crate or even a closet where you dog can safely feel relaxed can ease the anxiety. A blanket and some toys can help distract your dog as well. Some dogs like finding a spot that feels like a den to them. It can make them feel safe and less afraid of the noise.
Distractions with other noises that are more common and normal such as a TV or radio can work to combat the thunder or fireworks. You may have to turn the volume up a little to drown out the outside noise.
There are CDs available that have loud noises that are geared for desensitizing your dog. Playing these sounds at a low volume and playing with your dog at the same time can slowly decrease the anxiety. As the days and weeks pass, play the sounds during play times and other times. Even if your dog never tolerates the real volume of these sounds, they may not be as nervous when the real storms are heard.
Lavender oil in a diffuser as well as other remedies can help ease your dog’s anxiety. It can also help ease yours! There are several types of natural oils and extracts available that can help create a calmer environment and a calmer pet. Some are aroma therapy based and others are liquid drops that you can give your pet a little before the noises begin. Talk to someone at your local pet store for his or her recommendation.
Remember that a tired dog is usually a well-behaved dog. If you know there will be a thunderstorm approaching, a long walk helps. Physically tiring out your dog can also make his or her mind relax. The loud noises might still scare your dog but from being worn out, hiding in a crate or sitting very close to you might be enough.
I hope these tips help and your dog is less scared the next time there is a thunderstorm.
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