7 Smart ways
To Help Your Dog Handle Loud Noises
One fairly common thing that can freak dogs out are loud noises. Things like fireworks, fire alarms, thunderstorms, and construction noises are just some of the more common sources of loud noises.
Most dogs, if not used to loud noises, will likely be freaked out and scared of them. Your dog may start shaking, showing more of the whites of their eyes, or running to a hiding spot. Those are symptoms of their fear or anxiety.
What does fear look like?
You might be familiar with some of the common signs of fear in dogs such as a tucked tail, slicked back ears, “whale eyes” (when you can see the white of a dog’s eyes), and running to hide. In addition to those signs, your dog may exhibit something known as a calming signal.
When dogs get scared, they tend to do things to try to calm themselves down. These things are commonly referred to as calming signals. A scared dog might also begin panting, licking their lips, or yawning.
If your dog is showing these signs around loud noises, odds are they are afraid of them. Here are 7 smart ways to help your dog out. Many of these can be mixed and matched to help find the perfect solution for your dog!
7 Ways to Help
Here are just a few useful tips to help your dog handle loud noises.
Brown Noise or Music
You’ve most likely heard of white noise and its uses and benefits to productivity. There is a very similar sounding noise called brown noise. Brown noise helps to calm and relax, especially in dogs. A lot of people say it sounds like rushing water or soft TV static, but it works wonders for calming dogs down.
When there are prolonged loud noises, you can try putting on some brown noise or soft calming music to help drown out the loud noises and keep your dog calm.
Much like other things in a dog’s life, they can learn to become used to loud noises. Let’s use the example of fireworks. If your dog is afraid of fireworks one way you can help train them to get used to them is to pull up a video of fireworks on your computer or your TV. Keep the volume soft and reward them when they stay calm. Then do this every day, slowly increasing the volume of the video each day and rewarding them when they stay calm. HOWEVER, if the video is too loud and freaks your dog out, stop working on it for the day and come back tomorrow at a lower volume, slowly building up again.
This is best worked on when your dog is still a puppy. However, despite common belief, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. We have a blog post going over just that with some awesome tips to help your older pup learn!
Get Away from the Noise
What better way to help keep your dog from freaking out at loud noises then to get your dog away from the loud noises?
While this works great, not everyone has a vacation house to go to, or even if you do there may still be loud noises out there too! A good solution to look into is to check with your preferred pet resort and see if they are located away from loud noises. For example, we here at Bark ‘N’ Town are located far enough away from most of the local towns that during the Fourth of July we don’t really hear any fireworks.
One thing that helps calm dogs down is pressure. Pressure in the sense of feeling like they are being held or swaddled. There are various ways to achieve that feeling for a dog, but one of the most popular is the Thundershirt. A Thundershirt is a fabric shirt that your Velcro on to your dog nice and snug and provide that pressured wrap that helps to calm them down.
If you want to give pressure wraps a try before investing in a Thundershirt, there are a bunch of different DIY methods to give your dog a pressure wrap! Search “DIY Dog Pressure Wrap” on Google and you should find a whole variety of different methods.
Dogs are very good sniffers. Their noses are much more powerful than yours or mine. One trick that takes advantage of this fact is aroma therapy! By using small amounts of certain scents, you can help to calm your dog down. One scent that works very very well for this purpose is lavender, which has a calming effect on dogs. To best make use of lavender consider getting some lavender scent spray and spritzing some on their collar, or get a lavender scent plug in and put it in whatever room your dog spends the most time in.
Long Lasting Treats
Most dogs love treats. Something to try when they are getting scared of something is giving them a big long-lasting treat, either a tasty chew bone or a Kong filled with peanut butter. Some dogs will be some engrossed by the treat that they are eating that they forget about the loud noises that freaked them out!
If you’ve tried all the tricks above and none of them seem to be working quite as you’d like them to, try reaching out and talking with your dog’s veterinarian. Talk to them about your dog’s fear of loud noises, there are a medications that can be prescribed to help calm your dog down.