It’s the time of year where holiday fireworks and crackling thunderstorms leave dogs who suffer from noise phobia terrified, and their pup parents stressed to the max. The fear of loud noises, or noise phobia in dogs is extremely common. They hear sounds four times farther away and at nearly twice the frequency, so what’s loud to us is BOOMING for them.
Here are a few ways you can stay prepared and keep your pet safe during this particularly noisy season:
Keep Safety in Mind
Scared dogs are flight risk. If they perceive a situation as threatening, they will often attempt to run from it as a means of escape.
During loud holidays, such as the 4th of July, ensure your yard is fully escape-proof. Look for holes under the fence, faulty fence latches, or anything else that could make escaping easier. Don’t leave your dog outside unattended, and if you’re having gatherings, ensure they are safely inside your home.
During actively loud times, keep your dog in an enclosed room within the house. In other words, ensure they do not have access to the front door! Fearful dogs can easily become “door darters”, and may try to slip out using the front door. Make their room as comfortable as possible. Include a crate with a blanket draped over it and their bed inside, give them a distracting treat to keep them preoccupied (see Dr. Angie’s favorite frozen Kong recipes here), and close the blinds to reduce stimuli. Play white noise with either a sound machine, computer, or just the TV on low.
Make sure your dog is wearing their collar with up to date tags that include their name and your contact information. If there’s an unfortunate scenario where your dog gets out, this will make reuniting much more likely and a lot quicker. If your dog is microchipped, ensure the microchip company has all current contact information. You can use a site such as this one to keep it updated.
A lot of summer thunderstorms are unpredictable. However, for days that have a high chance of thunderstorms or days leading up to the Fourth of July, schedule a lot of pre-event hikes and walks. In other words: tire them out as much as possible!
Give your pup plenty of time to finish their meals BEFORE the fireworks begin. A scared dog is much less likely to eat. Offer potty breaks before the sun goes down (when fireworks are likely to begin) so that all “back end business” is tended to.
Natural Support for Noise Phobia in Dogs
There are a lot of supplements that can help reduce fear and anxiety in our pets and help calm noise phobia in dogs. These can generally be used long-term or as needed. Making sure your “natural tool box” is fully stocked BEFORE a stressful event is essential!
Our favorite natural approaches for reducing anxiety in dogs include:
CBD. CBD can be game-changing! For dogs, we suggest HempRx Forte and Dr. Angie’s dosing chart is here. Offering this twice a day, or approximately 60 minutes before the anticipated stressful event, can be hugely beneficial.
L-Theanine. This amino acid is another natural approach to reducing anxiety and promoting well-being in dogs. Nutricalm is an herbal blend for dogs that includes L-Theanine.
Both of these supplements can be purchased at a discounted rate using Dr. Angie’s Pet Anxiety Bundle.
ThunderShirt. This is like a swaddle for infants, but for dogs! The gentle, constant pressure from a ThunderShirt is like a hug that lasts for hours. Research shows that this type of pressure promotes good-feeling hormones (like oxytocin) and endorphins. Here is the one we recommend for dogs.
We are here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with pharmaceutical intervention for noise phobia in dogs. If you have tried everything, and nothing is working, there is no reason that you and your pup should suffer alone! Anxiety begets anxiety, and so intervention is key. Ask your veterinarian for help! Many pharmaceuticals can be used in conjunction with natural supplements. Find a protocol that works well for your pup, and work closely with your vet. It can sometimes take a few trials and tweaks of medications and dosage to find the perfect formulation for your pup. Stay patient, and know you’re doing what’s best for YOUR dog!
Noise phobia in dogs is a big deal, and it’s hard. You are doing a great job, and we are here for you!
Lots of love,