Noise Phobia and Your Dog
The fear and anxiety associated with noise is commonly called noise sensitivity, anxiety or phobia, depending upon the types and severity of clinical signs.
Noise aversion is a term used to encompass the spectrum of degrees of fear and anxiety associated with noise. While some phobias cannot be completely eliminated, the severity of the disorder can be greatly reduced in most cases.
Symptoms range from mild anxiety, trembling, clinging, barking, hiding, pacing, to severe panic attacks, trying to escape, inappropriate soiling, salivating and destructive behavior. Although noise aversion is common, dog owners often do not seek help from their veterinarians. One reason may be that pet owners recognize that their dogs overreact to noise, but do not recognize that these behaviors are a demonstration of fear.
As is true for any behavioral disorder, it is ideal to avoid the trigger for the anxious response when possible. Accessing weather reports can provide some degree of predictability for high risk days for storms. Events such as fireworks, thunder, celebrations, construction work and traffic or street noise will reliably increase the risk of exposure to potential noise sensitivities (especially fireworks).
Additionally, if left untreated, noise aversion can progress, resulting in an increased intensity of signs, aversion to other types of noises and /or development of other types of anxiety. Sometimes it is possible to transport your pet to a quiet area, some boarding facilities will have specialized noise sensitive areas, and some clients are able to sound proof an area of their home. Ideally the dog will have human company for the storm but there are times this will be impractical.
Here are some wasy you can help to control and manage your pet's noise phobia:
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We appreciate the confidence you've shown in us by telling your friends about our hospital, and love having you as part of the family!