How to Handle Noise Anxiety In Dogs During Fireworks or Thunderstorms
Most of us have seen our dogs getting extremely hyper and anxious during loud sounds from thunderstorms or fireworks; and felt extremely helpless. This is known as noise anxiety and can also be caused due to loud gatherings, warning alarms, unpredictable sounds, etc. Their first instinct is “fight or flight,” which includes getting aggressive or doing anything to escape the sound. Each year there are more cases of lost pets during July 4th – 6th than any other time of the year. There is also a spike in shelter entries during this time as well.
A survey by the ASPCA found that almost one in five lost pets go missing because of getting startled by loud noises, including fireworks or thunderstorms. This isn’t specific to the Fourth of July.
Symptoms of such stress include trembling, drooling, panting, barking excessively, whining, putting their ears back, getting in a defensive mode, or trying to escape.
Here are a few tips to keep them safe in such times:
Keep Them Indoors
You might be having a cookout or gathering and think your dog will be fine because you are there. This can be a fatal mistake. Put your dog inside as a loud noise can startle them and they have been known to bolt, often into roads, or woods and do not return. Before an event such as the 4th of July, exercise them a lot. Tired out your pup so it is less stimulated at the time of the noise.
Create a Safe Space
The idea is to create a comfortable place for them where they feel safe. Dogs have an instinct to hide somewhere dark, quiet, and comforting. If your dog is used to a crate, you can focus on that. You can even cover it with layers of blankets that act as a barrier to the sounds. Provide additional comfort by adding their favorite toys or treats.
Spray their bedding, blankets, or put a bandana on them with our EARMUFFS spray. The product works quickly. We tested Earmuffs on our dog Skippy who is the worst at loud noises. We literally would take a road trip on the 4th of July so he didn't have to be inside and hear the fireworks going off. Now we start spraying his favorite areas prior to the evening. Does it cure him 100%, no, but does it help take the edge of-heck yeah! Since we started using this product he has literally slept through the fireworks. This has NEVER happened in his 15 years of life.
Microchipping or Dog Tags
Obviously your dog needs to always have a collar with a tag. If your dog is microchipped, make sure to keep the details updated. A study published in the American Veterinary Medical Association Journal stated that more than 52% of lost microchipped dogs found in shelters were reunited with their families. Otherwise, only 22% of lost dogs are lucky to be reunited.
Desensitizing puppies with loud noises is a trend that has started just a few years ago. With new puppies gradually get them used to the loud sounds. Start playing firework sounds weeks before the Fourth of July. Give treats while you play these sounds and try to play with them. Of course this usually is not effective for older dogs, rescue or adopted dogs.
Our own dogs are what ignited our interest in finding solutions to their angst during loud noises. We started using K9 Comfort Spray years ago and through trial and error have created the best solutions to your dog's fears and anxieties. It makes sense, your dog loves you, they love your scent and getting a highly concentrated dose of their favorite smell, YOU, is scientifically proven to create feelings of happiness and comfort.
Thousands of pet parents know that the true solution to their dog’s anxiety is their scent…and capturing it in a bottle has changed the lives of their dogs. For loud noises we recommend our line of EARMUFF products in either a spray or oil to add to your air diffuser