Canine Noise Aversion

In just over a month, summer will fade to fall, and we will begin to notice many things: leaves changing colors, cooler temperatures, and in many parts of the country, severe weather and thunderstorms.

When it comes to pets, storms, often, are the cause of much fear and anxiety. Dogs, in particular, are usually terrified of thunderstorms. According to National Geographic, the reasons for this are varied.

One reason is that dogs can sense the drop in barometric pressure that occurs during storms. Couple this with a dog’s acute sense of hearing, darkening skies, thunder, wind (and its associated noise), and you get a perfect recipe for an anxious pet.

Some dogs even have what many experts refer to as, “Canine Noise Aversion,” which makes them anxious or even phobic of loud sounds in general.

So how can dog owners help calm their pet during thunderstorms? We discuss three potential strategies below.

Suppress the Noise

To calm your dog during a storm outside, you could fortify your pet’s space with noise dampening materials.

Sound proofing a room to keep your dog calm during thunderstorms doesn’t have to cost a lot of money for expensive renovations. All you really need is to pin blankets or pillows to a wall, window, or doorway.

There are also a number of great apps and videos on YouTube that are designed to calm your dog and block out the noise of thunder. Another option is investing in a white noise machine. There are a number on the market that you can get for under $20, and most have multiple sounds: from white noise static, to oscillating fans, to the sounds of calming ocean waves. Whether used on their own, or in combination with the room soundproofing tips above, these machines work wonders in easing a dog’s noise related anxieties during storms and other noisy occasions.

Distract Your Pet

Give your dog lots of love, attention, toys and treats during thunderstorms.

It’s important you do whatever you can to take your dog’s mind off of the noise of the thunderstorms outside, so be sure to play with them a lot.

Keep special toys and treats on hand that you offer only during thunderstorms. This not only serves to distract your dog, but it can also teach your dog that thunderstorms aren’t scary. The opposite may become true in their minds, as a matter of fact: storms lead to very positive things like their favorite toys and treats, as well as quality time with their human.

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