Dogs, known for their loyalty and courage, can be scared of certain things. These scary elements may be potentially harmful and produce a range of effects on your canine companion. It’s not unusual for dogs to have an aversion to loud noises. According to a study of dog owners, 50% reported seeing their pooch display signs of fear when exposed to loud noises. Such indications could take the form of trembling, whimpering, fleeing or having ‘accidents’ in the house.
If your dog is displaying signs of fear, particularly in response to loud noises such as thunder and fireworks, there are a few measures you can take to help them feel more at ease.
5 methods to enable your dog to remain composed during a frightening situation:
1. Be sure to be present for your loved one the whole way through. No matter how hard it is, it’s crucial to support them and be there for them. Now more than ever they’ll need you. Your presence and words of comfort are able to settle your pup down. You can then provide a distraction for them by offering treats or playing with toys. This will help to refocus their attention away from whatever is causing the anxiety. For puppies learning about fireworks, it is essential that you are there with them. The potential response of the subject is unknown, leading to uncertainty of whether they might flee.
2. A comfortable area in your house should be designated for your pooch to hide. This spot could be beneath a bed, behind a sofa, or within a closet. Let them know that this is a place they can go to when feeling overwhelmed or needing some time for themselves; it will give them sense of safety and security during tough times. When scared, certain canines seek a secure hiding place, such as under the bed or in the bathtub. Let them stay there and don’t attempt to make them come out. Provide the hiding spot with blankets and toys to make it as comfortable for them as you can.
3. The sound of noise can be quite disruptive and distracting when one is attempting to concentrate or relax. Finding something that can overpower noise can be a way to combat it. It’s essential to locate a sound that is suitable for you, so you are able to zone out the disturbance and concentrate on what is required. Playing different noises as an alternative to cover up the sound of fireworks can help keep your dog from being startled. Placing a TV show on, playing music, and utilizing either a white noise device or app are effective tactics to make anxious pets more secure. Though this isn’t foolproof, it can be of assistance since dog ears are more perceptive than human ones and they can discern sounds that we cannot.
4. If at all possible, shifting to a soundproof area is suggested. This will help to reduce the level of extraneous noise that one has to endure. Soundproofing materials can be used in order to shield a room, or you may want to think about relocating somewhere that is normally quiet. Keeping your dog inside is a safe way to ensure that you can concentrate and get work done. Taking it a step further, you may want to consider making sure they are in a sound-insulated part of the house for additional safety. Muting loud noises can be done by keeping windows shut and playing white noise, music, or TV.
5. Two primary forms of behavior therapy exist for treating phobias: desensitization and counterconditioning. The process of desensitization involves gradually introducing the canine to the object or situation that makes them uneasy, beginning with short exposures and eventually leading to longer ones. By counterconditioning, we can help a dog link a fearful object or situation with something positive (such as relaxation) until they no longer feel scared when exposed to it. Desensitizing your pup to frightening experiences may lead to them being less scared in the future. Desensitization through exposure therapy can be advantageous for dogs. Watching fireworks videos on YouTube, at a low volume, is one way of doing this; gradually increasing the sound as your dog becomes more comfortable with the noise. Your pup can be desensitized to noises by playing with them and offering treats, leading to the sound being linked with pleasant feelings and rewards.
To ease fear in your pup, you can demonstrate affection, utilize synthetic pheromones, or even provide prescription medication to make them feel safer and more secure. Pet owners want their animal companions to be spared from distressful experiences. It’s important to consult with your vet for help throughout the process. For the best results, be sure to follow safe practices that benefit both you and your pet.