Have you ever noticed how your dog runs and hides during thunderstorms or fireworks shows? Maybe they get scared when a train goes by or there’s a loud noise on the television screen. This could indicate that your dog suffers from noise anxiety! A common occurrence, probably around 33% of dogs worldwide are affected. Because noise anxiety is so prevalent, here are some ways you can help to decrease noise anxiety in your pup!
Make their dog tags silent. When your dog runs and plays, their dog tags can make noise when clinking together. Instead, consider getting silent dog tags, such as a silicone pet tag, for your pup. This way, they won’t scare themselves when running around the yard or your home. Many dog tags have unique features these days, such as a pet ID tag QR code, where all your contact information can be viewed with the scan of the code using an electronic device. Perfect for dog owners and pups who are always on the go!
Hang curtains in your home. Curtains are a way you can soundproof without needing to tear down walls or replace windows. For renters, sometimes hanging curtains is a simple hack for soundproofing that doesn’t cost a lot of money and doesn’t always need to damage the walls in your rental home. Instead, use a tension rod in order to hang up the curtains. No hassle, no fuss!
A shower curtain rod will probably have the correct dimensions and weight allowances needed for heavier curtains. Blackout curtains are a great option when looking for a quick and easy way to soundproof your home and decrease loud noises that can disturb your dog. They’re pretty heavy, though, and they sometimes pull on tension rods, so a shower curtain rod will do the trick just as well as a tension rod would.
Curtains also double as a way to remove stimuli from your dog’s line of vision. When your dog can see what’s happening, sometimes that can create more anxiety in them. Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for, so they might start to associate wind speed and smells with upcoming anxiety triggers. When you use your curtains to block them from seeing external stimuli, you can keep them from experiencing an anxiety trigger.
Get them a vest. There are many clothing accessory options for your pet that is experiencing noise anxiety which help to quell their immediate responses to hearing loud noises. These vests sometimes release calming scents or hormones to your dog, while others find that the sensation of having the weighted vest on them is enough to calm them down. Either way, a weighted vest might be a beneficial tool to invest in as a dog owner that can help your dog feel less anxious when hearing loud noises.
Try to avoid exposing your dog to the sounds scaring them. While animals are highly resilient and can adjust well in many situations, sometimes it’s just too much. Try to avoid exposing your dog to any of the sounds that scare them. Turn your television volume down, talk with your neighbors about their noise habits late at night and even consider moving if your dog seems to always spaz out whenever the train rolls by and blares its horn.
Your dog can’t always voice what’s scaring them, and you can’t really explain to them why they shouldn’t be scared. Noise anxiety develops in dogs due to a trauma response, and the more and more they’re exposed to the sounds that scare them, the more and more anxious they’re going to become. This isn’t good for you or your pup!
Play classical music. Some studies have shown that playing classical music can help to calm dogs down, especially during events where noise can trigger anxiety in them. If you’ve got an old radio lying around, plug it in and tune it to the local classical music station. This is great for when you’ve got to go on a day trip or out to work for the day. Let the music play while you’re gone so that your dog can have some additional white noise to help keep them calm while you’re out for an extended period of time. Music is a great way to calm anxieties, and not just for humans. Whatever you like to listen to that calms you down, consider playing that for your pup too!
Consider giving your dog a treat to distract them. If your dog won’t take a treat offered to them during the noise anxiety, then they’re definitely too scared of whatever’s going on. However, if they take the treat, then you might be able to use it in the future as a way to keep them distracted from the loud noises. Dogs love treats, and if they aren’t too far into their anxiety response, then they will surely love the chance to chow down on their favorite thing besides their food or favorite toy.
Establish a safe space for your dog. Some dogs need to know there’s a place to go when they get scared or anxious. Put together a safe space for your dog that’s away from doors and windows. Add some blankets or even a small dog bed for them. Some dogs will even go so far as to tuck themselves into the dark corners of bathroom cabinets, while others prefer closets and spaces under your bed.
Either way, wherever they like to go when it gets loud, let them go in peace. When they feel it’s safe to come out, they will. Making the space they like to retreat to soft and comfortable for them will remind them that you’re there to take care of them even if you can’t make the noise stop. Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans. However, dogs don’t have the same skills that we do to process it and cope with it. Instead, many of them have to hide away, shaking in fear. There are some things you can do to decrease the noise anxiety in your dog that will make them feel slightly safer.