08 Oct Canine Noise Anxiety: Ways A Pet Parent Can Help Their Dog
A widespread issue many dog owners experience is erratic or unusual behaviour from their beloved pet. However, this is typically brushed off since many do not understand the reason behind this odd behaviour.
There are many possibilities and reasons why your dog is displaying behavioural issues. One of the most common reasons is noise anxiety, which is the fear of loud or prolonged noises. In fact, an estimated 1/3 of the canine population suffers from noise aversions and whilst such a disorder is common, treating your furry friend is hardly as straightforward or easy. After all, it is tough to explain to your furry kid what the sounds are and that it is of no harm.
Both constant exposures to frightening stimuli and past distressing events can cause various reactions from mild anxious behaviour to extreme phobic responses. Noise sensitivity can occur during various life stages of your dog. It could crop up during the socialisation period, which is between 3 to 12 weeks old, to their first sensitive fear period, which is typically between 8 to 10 weeks old.
It’s perfectly normal for a dog to get startled by loud noises, such as thunder, sirens from police cars and even other dogs barking. However, dogs that suffer from noise anxiety will display exaggerated and excessive response to such sounds, even going as far to hiding in the bathroom for hours after that particular noise has ceased.
It is never easy seeing your pet dog trembling in fear and suffering from noise anxiety, but it is treatable. Before you take things into your own hands, it’s vital to first consult a veterinarian at the nearest 24-hour vet clinic for professional advice and diagnosis. Once diagnosed, here are some options you can consider to treat noise anxiety in your dog.
Create A Safe Space
When noise anxiety is triggered, your dog would tremble and dart around your house looking for you or a place to seek comfort. Building them a safe haven and a place to go to when stressed would best help them to calm down.
You can pick a spot in your house that is typically quiet and put soft pillows as well as a warm blanket. This calming environment would be the area that helps them find comfort while slowly overcoming their fear.
Get A Pressure Wrap
A simple remedy for dogs under stress is a pressure wrap. Pressure wrapping is essentially wrapping your dog’s torso to give it a gentle and consistent pressure.
Applying constant pressure on your dog’s torso has been proven to lower anxiety and promote relaxation. The therapeutic feeling on key pressure points of your dog effectively calms it down when it is going through an episode of noise anxiety.
The best part of this remedy is that you can make your own DIY pressure wrap! Making a pressure wrap is straightforward and only requires a scarf, t-shirt or a bandage. A simple google search will present tons of tutorials on making your pressure wrap. Do take note that it’s best not to leave your dog unattended when your DIY pressure wrap is on because your dog could get entangled in it.
The most common approach dog owners sought to treat their pup’s noise anxiety is to visit their veterinarian. Depending on the severity of your dog’s noise anxiety, your veterinarian will prescribe medications that are deemed most suitable. Such prescriptions vary with some only needed during anxiety episodes, while others have to be administered regularly. If this is the remedy you are going for, it is critical to check for the potential side-effects that come along with the medication.
Since you’d be able to get a vet’s opinion, this approach is highly encouraged, even more so for those who have a dog insurance.
Noise anxiety is something that can be fixed over time. As dog owners, it is your responsibility to observe your dog and help it navigate through its noise anxiety. It’ll be a tough journey that requires utmost patience and perseverance, but you and your pet will reap the rewards! So the next time your beloved pet shows signs of noise anxiety, you can have peace of mind knowing what to do!