Fear of noises such as thunder and fireworks is a common problem in dogs and will start early on in life with noises encountered on a daily basis that make us jump.
We know where the noise comes from, but our pets don’t and noises such as fireworks are similar to things like cars backfiring, slamming doors and high pitch alarms – all of which attract our hearing, let alone our pets with their sensitive hearing.
What may be worse is that the pet may associate these noises with other things, which may cause them to become fearful of too. Being attuned to body language, your pet may also pick up on your nervousness and if you reassure them and comfort them during these problems, they may believe there really is something to be fearful of and makes it even more likely that they will become more frightened by fireworks.
Signs of Noise Phobias
Different animals may display different signs of noise phobias which include:
- Hiding (most common sign in cats)
- Chewing, urinating and defecating
- Panting and pacing, drooling, trembling or shaking and barking constantly
- Trying to escape (digging, jumping through windows or going through walls, running away)
- Seeking their owner
- Ignoring calls and not eating
What Can We Do To Help You?
A desensitisation programme, started early in the year should help your pets to deal with loud and sudden noises, particularly those around bonfire night and New Year celebrations.