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How to support a noise-phobic pet

How to support a noise-phobic pet

If loud noises make your pet anxious, summer storms and New Year’s Eve fireworks can unfortunately be a terrifying time.

For mild cases of noise phobia, it may be enough to “protect” your dog or cat from the noise by giving them a safe place to shelter. It’s generally best to keep them indoors whenever possible during these times (preferably with a familiar human friend nearby), as many pets get injured or lost when they make panicked escape attempts.

During loud events, we suggest the following for any noise-phobic pet:

Close your blinds or curtains.
Try playing soft, soothing music or white noise to help mask outside sounds.
Create a safe hiding spot for your pet in a cupboard, behind a couch, or in their crate, with some blankets or a quilt for them to snuggle under.
Apply a calming pheromone spray to your pet’s bedding. Spray brands include Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
Offer your pet some tasty chew treats or puzzle/food-based toys (e.g. a Kong filled with peanut butter), but don’t force it if your pet is too nervous to eat.
Calmly comfort your pet if they come to you for reassurance. Never punish your pet for being afraid, destructive or for having toileting accidents during these times – punishing them will only worsen their fear.
If your pet still seems scared despite these supportive measures, or if they seem anxious about other things too, we advise consulting one of our vets for advice. Pets with moderate-to-severe noise phobia or anxiety benefit most from starting anti-anxiety medication and a program of behavioural modification to calm their excessive response to noise.

Ask one of our friendly vets if you have any further questions about noise phobia in your pet.

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