There’s a lot to love about summer, but a pet’s noise anxiety isn’t usually on the list of favorite things. Long stretches of beautiful, sunny days, time spent on the water, or going camping can quickly spiral into a frightening experience for a pet unaccustomed to thunderstorms or fireworks (both of which occur with some frequency between May and September). Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with some effective strategies to keep your pet’s noise anxiety at bay.
Know the Signs
Pet owners familiar with their pet’s stressors can almost predict the timing and characteristics of a noise-related meltdown. Panting, pacing, hiding, or bolting are common symptoms of stress, and can be mitigated if caught early on.
One of the most important aspects of responsible pet ownership involves guarding against loss or separation. While your pet’s collar and ID tag is critical to their safety, these can be removed or fall off.
Microchipping your pet is not only a safe and easy procedure, but adds one more layer of protection in the case of noise anxiety. As many animals respond to a fight or flight instinct, they may inadvertently run away from home out of fear. If they are collared and microchipped (and your contact information is up to date), their chances at returning home are much better.
A Place of Refuge
Another great strategy to calm a pet’s noise anxiety is to provide them with a relaxing, comforting room. Stay with them and encourage them to drink fresh water, enjoy a treat or two, and snuggle. White noise or a low-playing stereo can help diminish the loud noises of a storm or fireworks display.
Since your pet cannot tell you what’s bothering them, watch their body language and behavior for clues. The following symptoms of a pet’s noise anxiety should always be tended to gently and patiently:
- Sudden panting without exertion
- Shaking or trembling
- Whining or other uncharacteristic vocalizations
- Digging or other destruction
A pet’s noise anxiety can escalate to full-fledged panic if not supported with compassion and understanding. They can pose a danger to themselves or others, and must be closely supervised and contained to reduce the risk of escape.
Understanding a Pet’s Noise Anxiety
At the first sign of a storm or the initial pops of a fireworks show, do not allow them to stay outside. As they respond to your emotional state, try to exude neutrality and calm.
If you’re worried about them, they’ll respond in kind. Close all the doors and windows, and attempt to distract them as much as possible. Pressure-based garments can reduce fear and anxiety.
If your pet’s noise anxiety worsens over time, they may benefit from behavior modification techniques, acupuncture, or prescription medication. Please give us a call at (530) 823-6306 for additional help. Bowman Veterinary Hospital is always happy to help!