Noise sen­si­tiv­ity in dogs

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - News -

NOISE sen­si­tiv­i­ties in dogs are a highly stress­ful and in some cases a po­ten­tially life threat­en­ing con­di­tion that can be man­aged.

Your dog may be sen­si­tive to a noise be­cause they have not been ex­posed to it when they were learn­ing new things as a puppy or be­cause they had a scary ex­pe­ri­ence around that sound.

Cer­tain noises such as sirens, fire­works, guns, vac­u­ums, thun­der or even ket­tles may cause your dog to ex­hibit symp­toms.

Phys­i­cal signs you may see in­clude pant­ing, in­creased heart rate, tense mus­cles, di­lated pupils, uri­na­tion or bark­ing.

Th­ese highly stressed dogs may also de­stroy prop­erty or in­jure them­selves try­ing to es­cape the noise or to ac­cess their safe area.

Along with the harm to the dog, noise sen­si­tiv­i­ties can cause is­sues due to noise com­plaints when the dog is bark­ing, or dogs be­com­ing lost and end­ing up at the lo­cal pound, or even worse, be­ing in­jured by cars.

The good news is there is plenty we can do to stop your dog from suf­fer­ing through such stress­ful events.

Noise pho­bias are not a train­ing or obe­di­ence issue, they are a med­i­cal con­di­tion.

Like other med­i­cal con­di­tions they can be man­aged through changes to the en­vi­ron­ment, be­hav­iour mod­i­fi­ca­tion and, where re­quired, med­i­ca­tions.

Pu­n­ish­ment makes the sit­u­a­tion worse and must be avoided.

When your dog is highly stressed due to a noise they can­not think clearly so any de­struc­tion is not them be­ing naughty.

Pho­bias of­ten get worse with time so if left un­man­aged are likely to be­come more se­vere.

Preven­tion is al­ways bet­ter than cure so when you get a puppy you can teach to ac­tu­ally en­joy loud noises.

If you pair the noise to some­thing plea­sur­able they will pre­dict some­thing good is about to hap­pen.

If a noise sen­si­tiv­ity is sus­pected early in­ter­ven­tion is im­por­tant to try and pre­vent it from spi­ralling into a pho­bia.

Some tips for milder pho­bias:

1. Avoid the noise where pos­si­ble or block it out with mu­sic, shut the blinds and turn the lights on;

2. Pro­vide a hid­ing spot for your dog (prefer­ably a space they choose);

3. teach your dog calm­ing and cop­ing mech­a­nisms;

4. com­fort your dog – re­mem­ber this will not re­ward fear but rather al­le­vi­ate it;

5. pro­vide treats or toys to change your dog’s emo­tional state; and

6. con­tact your vet­eri­nar­ian for treat­ment ad­vice and use med­i­ca­tion when rec­om­mended.

Felic­ity Miller BVSc, vet­eri­nar­ian

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.