This, Summer, Don’t Let Pet Noise Anxiety Surprise You
Before small children understand that fireworks were designed to entertain and awe, they are often scared. With language, conditioning, and ongoing positive experiences, kids learn as they grow that fireworks are enjoyable and help us celebrate Independence Day, New Year’s and more.
Pets, on the other hand, don’t come equipped with the knowledge that fireworks (and other loud, jarring, unpredictable noises) won’t harm them. When they feel threatened by loud noises, like thunderstorms, construction sounds, etc., frightened pets either hide or flee. Especially for city-dwelling pets, it can seem impossible to shield them from the hustle and bustle that can lead to anxiety symptoms.
To prevent the dangerous and sometimes painful side effects of pet noise anxiety, we’ve got some tips to help you through the summer.
Some pet owners know from experience that their pets don’t handle fireworks, storms, crowds or other loud noises very well. Others may not have witnessed firsthand the effects of pet noise anxiety on their best friend. Either way, the safest place for animals during loud celebrations, block parties, and fireworks displays is at home.
Go into a closed room that is furthest from the action. Turn on music and low lighting. Distract them with a treat or toy. Simply being with them can sooth pet noise anxiety.
Don’t Leave Me
Pet noise anxiety can be excruciating for pets and people alike. It’s hard to watch a normally relaxed pet go into a fearful, confused state. Crate-trained pets are likely to enter their own personal place of refuge to wait out a storm. Otherwise, they might crawl into a hard to reach place that you didn’t even realize existed!
To prevent your pet from getting stuck in one of these places, it’s best to stay home with them and reassure them with lots of encouragement and praise.
Microchips Can Save Lives
The worst scenario is when a frightened pet bolts out through an open door or window because they think they can escape the threat.
Microchips are an essential part of puppy and kitten care. If your pet isn’t microchipped, we encourage you to have this done as soon as possible. A chip doesn’t substitute a collar and ID tag, but can be useful if these come off.
Always keep windows and doors closed and be sure that screens are intact. It’s not uncommon for pets to run out into traffic during storms or fireworks.
Overreacting to symptoms of pet noise anxiety can inadvertently reinforce them. Try to remain as calm and neutral as possible. If you are out and about with your pet and they start to act strangely, it could be the change in barometric pressure that precedes a storm. This is a good sign that it’s time to return home.
Pet Noise Anxiety
Thundershirts can help reduce pet noise anxiety. Introduce it to your pet before they actually need it so they aren’t stressed out by noise and a new piece of clothing! Be sure to remove it as soon as the threatening noises stop.
Sileo Gel is a product we offer that can help alleviate anxiety in your pet during times of stress (thunderstorms, fireworks, etc). Sileo is the first FDA approved treatment for noise-anxiety and relieves stress without sedation so your pet can still function normally with the family. Give us a call if you think your pet could benefit from Sileo and be sure to stock up on these kinds of supplies before a particularly noisy event.
If you still struggle with pet noise anxiety, we encourage you to reach out to us at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn. Your veterinarian can help establish a plan that minimizes stress and fear as much as possible.