What to do for pets that are afraid of loud noises

Animal Speak with Lindsay Curry - What to do for pets that are afraid of loud noises

Many animals, like my dog, are afraid of sudden loud noises like thunder and fireworks.  They cannot help their reaction.  Scolding only intensifies their fear, which they cannot control.

Some animals are so frightened that they try to run away from the noise, which can lead to serious injury.

Signs of fear include: shaking or trembling; excessive panting or drooling; trying to get away or hide; refusing to eat; and losing bladder and bowel control.

To keep your animals safe, keep them at home when you are expecting thunder or fireworks.  Keep them inside when possible, especially dogs and cats, and provide them with a safe escape place.  Close curtains and provide white noise to mask the sound.  If animals have to be outside, make sure they are in a secure enclosure, on a leash, or in a carrier.  Animals may be too scared to go to the bathroom once the noise starts, so potty them beforehand to avoid accidents.

Keep horses securely stabled and stay with them if possible, taking care to remain safe if they panic.  Bring small pets indoors and cover their enclosures with thick blankets, making sure there is adequate ventilation.  And finally, make sure your animals have proper identification in case they do escape.


There are products to help, as well.  DAP for dogs or Feliway for cats, and Thundershirts for both, can be effective.  For more serious cases, consider behaviour therapy (under the guidance of a qualified trainer), or medication (under the supervision of a vet).