Health & Wellness

7 sounds that may be scaring your dog

Published: 
Author: 
Bianca Amponsah
Main Blog Image - Scared dog with ears covered by human hands

Similar to humans, most dogs don’t like lots of sudden loud noises. 


That’s because dogs' ears are far more sensitive to ours and they can detect a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz! 


When you compare that to the human range of 64-23,000 Hz, it’s no shock that certain noises can frighten our furriends! 


They can even pick up sounds that are four times farther away than what we can hear! So, you can only imagine how loud something sounds to our dogs when it seems noisy to us. 


Because of this, some dogs may develop a severe irrational fear or phobia to certain sounds in their lifetimes. Most commonly fireworks or thunderstorms. 


This is also known as noise anxiety and it can trigger many anxious behaviours and can even cause our buddys to bolt out of fear and go missing. 


Many pet parents will have seen their precious pooch flinch in fear at least once after a certain noise is made. 


There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog terrified and in distress, especially if the sound is out of your control. 


But by understanding some of the most common sounds that dogs don’t like, you can support your best friend better. 


Fireworks


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Fireworks are one of the most commonly known noises that frighten dogs.  


And is it any wonder? All those loud sudden bangs, crackles and pops must be quite shocking and scary for our companions. 


Thankfully, fireworks usually don’t get let off all year round and are often saved for certain holidays, like Bonfire Night and Diwali.


Because of this, it’s easier to predict when they will start and you can plan ahead to comfort your dog. 


Vacuuming


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A lot of dogs seem to really hate the hoover. Is it because it’s annoyingly noisy or because it sucks up all the treat crumbs they were saving for later? 


Whatever it is, dogs seem really confused when it comes to vacuum cleaners and this can drive them mad. 


Some dogs will run out the room and hide when the hoover comes out. Whereas other dogs may begin barking and even biting at it and some playful pups even think it’s a game! 


If your dog has a fear of the hoover, the best thing you can do is to move them into another room farthest away from where you are vacuuming. 


That could be a crate, an enclosed outdoor space if the weathers right or any cozy safe space they love.


Vehicles


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Have you ever walked your dog and witnessed them cowering on the pavement as a loud, rattling van zooms by? 


Some dogs are terrified of busy roads and traffic, some even try to leap away or flinch at passing cars. 


If you try and picture the street from your dog's perspective, it’s not hard to see why they do this. 


The size of the vehicles alone must be quite intimidating to our companions without the speeding sounds and beeping horns. 


Construction Noises


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Concrete mixers, drills, vans beeping as they reverse and hammers banging make building sites especially scary for dogs with noise phobias. 


If you know there’s work being done, make sure you avoid the area and walk your dog a different way. 


If the noise is coming from inside the house or on your doorstep and is disturbing your dog, take them to their safe haven. 


Thunderstorms

 

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As we mentioned earlier, a dog’s hearing is almost four times as amplified as humans!  

That must make loud booms of thunder quite terrifying. 


Dogs’ sensitivity to the changes in barometric pressure can trigger fearful reactions to thunder long before we even hear it.  


Similar to when there is a firework display, close all the windows and drapes, and snuggle up next to your dog. 


The loud and oscillating high pitched noises caused by sirens and alarms can be very frightening for many dogs. 


Sirens and Alarms


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Thankfully, emergency service vehicles are on their way to save the day so the noise of their sirens passes quickly. 


Car and house alarms are usually so irritatingly loud that you can hear them from far away.  

Sometimes they can even cause windows and door frames to rattle and the repetitive sound can drive our canines crazy! 


If an alarm has been going off for a suspiciously long time and it’s sending your furriend into a frenzy, it might be worth reporting/investigating.


Balloons 


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Some dogs LOVE to boop, chase and pop balloons and hear the big bangs, whilst others simply hate them. 


We're not sure if it’s the static that comes off them or the surprise bang when they pop. Certain dogs simply just don’t dig balloons. 


If your dog is one of them, consider their feelings when you have a celebration at home and choose different decorations instead. 


Symptoms of Noise Anxiety: 


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  • Trembling or shaking 
  • Pacing 
  • Panting 
  • Hyper alertness 
  • Whining 
  • Barking 
  • Drooling 
  • Hiding 
  • Attempting to escape 
  • Destructive behaviour 
  • Urinating or defecating indoors 


How To Treat Noise Anxiety


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There are a number of things you can do to soothe your dog and prevent them from suffering as much. 


If your dog is shaken up by these sounds or any other, remove them from the situation before it arises. 


For example, if you have planned building work, provide a safe space within the home for your pet to retreat to when scared. 


A comfy bed under your bed, under the coffee table, a crate covered with a blanket. Anywhere it’s cozy and your pet is happy to go. 


Add lots of blankets, one of your t-shirts for extra comfort and a few of your best buds favourite toys.  


If the sound is out of your control, like fireworks or thunderstorms, create this safe space in a room where the noise is quieter, away from flashes of light. 


Stock up on treats to help distract your dog from the sound, we recommend combining them with Snuffle Mats or LickiMats.  


Stuffing a Kong full of peanut butter and treats and sticking it in the freezer is also a great way to distract distressed doggos.  


Remember to stay calm, sit with your dog and quietly comfort and reassure them.  Our canine buddies often take cues from how we react, if you panic to the sound, your dog will as well. 


Play calming noises like classical music or nature sounds such as waterfalls. White noise from the radio and TV also works well to drown out thunderstorms and fireworks. 


Desensitisation is also a great method to soothe noise anxiety. Introduce a recording of the sound your dog is scared of very quietly and gradually increase the volume.


This has to be done very gradually with plenty of positive praise and encouragement as well as reward.  


Only do this if your pet seems comfortable with the sounds being played and it isn’t causing them any distress. 


Give our Calm Care for relief of stress induced behaviour in dogs and cat a go! It's a natural supplement with a specific mixture of ingredients designed to support dogs and cats through periods of anxiety and stressful situations. Available as a liquid or capsules!


If your dog really suffers, you should see your vet or book a free online consult with one of our vet nurses first. They can help you identify triggers and offer support personalised to your pets individual situation.


Book your free vet nurse consult here

 

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Hi! I'm Fiona, Buddycare's lead Veterinary Nurse and I'm here to answer all of your pet related questions dog and cat emoji
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