Celebrations with fireworks, loud music and noises are part of our festivities. Are you aware that these loud sounds can harm and stress your dog immensely?
Noise phobia is an excessive fear of a sound that results in the dog attempting to avoid or escape from the sound. It’s an irrational, intense and persistent fear response that can develop at any age and in any dog breed.
Dogs try to escape from the noises and the normal instinctive behaviour, is to seek shelter to avoid danger. But things can go amiss when dogs overreact to sounds that do not even represent any danger as such.
Dogs are highly sensitive to the Barometric pressures.
In certain cases if a dog is already suffering from anxiety and nervousness the exposure to these loud sounds can lead to destructive behavioural tendencies.
Behaviours like hiding, urinating, defecating, chewing, drooling, panting, pacing, trembling, shaking, and barking. A fearful dog might try to escape and run away or jump through barriers or even worse if locked up might try to chew through walls!
The most common causes of noise phobia are fireworks and thunderstorms, but inconsequential sounds can also cause scare and phobia of noise in dogs. A jammed door being opened, someone using an insect swatter, hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, can all provoke a reaction.
Dogs are pack animals and look to you for guidance and reassurance. Be CALM in the face of your dog’s fear and anxiety.
In such cases, the dog owner should avoid scolding the dog. You can try out these few things; distraction by TV, radio or other music sounds and possibly provide a space that has relatively lesser access to outside noise.
The way forward and the treatment approach includes behaviour modification where desensitisation in a controlled fashion under the guidance of an experienced behaviourist is recommended or environmental controls, where a secure and comfortable zone is allotted to the dog to rest and feel safe in like a dog crate covered with heavy blankets acting as sound barriers. Another option would be thunder vests or sound mufflers or in worst cases under the Veterinarian supervision drug therapy is suggested.
I have outlined the exact programme to help out with Loud sound sensitivity. You can find it in the K9 Arsenal section on this website. Here is the link to it. https://k9companionsindia.com/k9-arsenal/