How to help dogs that fear loud noises. Do you have a pet that is scared of loud noises? We do! Rocky is literally terrified of loud noises. Fireworks, gun shot, car back firing and thunder are all included in his fears. Of course, fireworks and storms are the worse because of how long they last. Last year Rocky was really scared on the 4th of July, and he had a lot of anxiety. Ever since then his fears of loud noises got worse and have caused him anxiety.
How to help dogs that fear loud noises:
I spoke to my VET about Rocky's fear, and she shared with me some tips that might work. In addition, I did some additional research and found some strategies to help Rocky.
1. Create a safe space - this might be his/her dog bed, crate, your bed, under a piece of furniture, in a pile of blankets or in your arms. Find a safe space that your dog can retreat too when they begin to feel anxious from the loud noise.
2. Use a snug garment. We purchased a Thundershirt. It is the best investment we have made for Rocky. It really helps him feel safe. Now when he sees the Thunder shirt you can tell he wants us to put it on him. It fits snugly so that your pet feels secure and applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for over 80% of dogs. It took us using the shirt several times before we saw the results but now the Thunder shirt really helps Rocky within minutes of putting it on him.
The key is that it needs to fit snugly. I think at first it was a little loose on him but now that he fully grown it fits better and we see results. We also see results by placing the shirt on him prior to the loud noise. For example, this year on the 4th of July we placed the thunder shirt on 30 minutes before dusk. This really seemed to help him, and his reaction was almost none.
3. Consider using essential oils for calming. We use 1 drop of lavender oil on Rocky. We place the 1 drop of oil in his ear (for absorption and so that he can't lick it). Literally within minutes of placing the oil on him we can see a calming effect. This can also help if your dog has separation anxiety or other anxieties.
The Lavender Essential Oil has a really nice calming effect and can be used every night at bedtime or anytime that your dog feels anxious.
We find that the combination of the Thunder shirt and the Essential Oil has really been life changing for Rocky. With this combination we have seen his anxiety almost disappear. We also have found that by using these techniques as a preventative method it really helps his anxiety stay away.
I would also suggest using the Thunder shirt if you need to travel with your dog. That can be a stressful situation, especially with air travel.