Oh the sounds of summer. People are outside more, cheering their children at the ballgame, riding motorcycles or making trips to the lake. Throw in the mix a thunderstorm or a lawn mower and you have a recipe for some stressed out dogs.
More than half of all dogs fear noises like fireworks, thunderstorms or even a crying baby. Dogs with noise fears are often fearful of all loud noises.
Some common symptoms are:
Helping the dog cope
There are many things that a family or trainer can try to give a dog fearful of noises the support he or she needs in stressful situations.
Make sure someone in the family stays close to the pet during these stressful times. And ensure that person is someone who doesn’t get stressed out. If you’re calm, it will help the pet to remain calm. You may also try playing with the animal or use the time to learn some tricks or to focus on other training needs. For some dogs these kinds of distractions work well
Establish a safe and secure place for the dog to go. This could be an interior room where sounds or flashes of lightening can be shut out. If your dog has a favorite hiding place, try to make that spot as comfortable as possible for him or her. A dog will go to where it feels the most safe and secure. He or she will stay there until the stressful event is over. Some dogs respond well to music with a steady beat or white noise that can help to disguise the sounds happening outside.
Some dogs need a little more support
Introduction of a pheromone product can also help to take the edge off these stressful situations. Adaptil® is a synthetic copy of a comforting hormone emitted by a bitch after birth. These pheromones help comfort and reassure puppies. This pheromone can be detected by dogs of all ages and signals a calm and confident presence.
The product works like this: dogs take in the pheromone through nerve bundles around the nose. The brain interprets the presence of pheromones as a reason to be calmer and more relaxed.
Adaptil is clinically proven to significantly reduce the anxiety both during and after a thunderstorm. Within a month, 7 out of 10 dog owners reported a significantly lower overall fear of noises. Owners also reported that they saw improvement in 93% of the symptoms associated with fear.
The product is available as a spray, collar and wipes.
Some actions never work
- Punishment should be avoided. Being punished for a natural response will increase the pet’s anxiety and stress.
- Encouraging or praise is also not helpful because these actions don’t work to calm the pet or teach a desired response.
- Never try to forcibly remove a dog from its safe place. Doing so could elicit an aggressive response.
With a calm and thoughtful approach summertime doesn’t have to be scary for our dogs. For more information about Adaptil, contact your veterinarian or visit www.makinghappierpets.com.
This content is sponsored by Ceva Animal Health, makers of Adaptil® & Feliway®.