For many pets and their owners, summer brings a mix of delight and dread. It’s wonderful to be outside enjoying the warm weather, but the rumble of an approaching storm or the explosion of a fireworks display can send even the calmest pet into a frenzy of fear.

Prolonged periods of anxiety can cause pets to act out in destructive ways and will ultimately affect their physical and mental well being.

The team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital wants you and your pet to enjoy summer without all the worry. We’re here to help you develop a plan to combat noise anxiety in pets once and for all.

Recognizing Noise Anxiety in Pets

Hiding or attempting to escape (clawing at windows or doors, etc.) are common responses to noise anxiety in pets. Other signs include:

  • Excessive panting/drooling
  • Whining, barking, or other vocalizations
  • Trembling/shaking
  • House soiling
  • Destructive behavior (chewing, digging, scratching, etc.)

Some pets become so panicked they pose a danger to themselves or others in their attempts to escape. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags at all times; consider having your pet microchipped if you haven’t already. Pets who are microchipped have a much better chance reuniting with their families should they become lost.

The Comforts of Home

The best way to manage noise anxiety in pets is to make your furry friend feel as safe and secure as possible during a noisy event.

  • Stay near your pet to cuddle and offer verbal reassurance.
  • Keep all windows and doors closed to muffle outdoor sounds and to prevent escape (don’t ever leave pets outside during a storm or fireworks display).
  • Turn on the TV, fan, or radio to further drown out noise.
  • Try distracting your pet with a new toy or favorite game.
  • Crate-trained pets may find comfort in their crates or carriers.
  • Panting can cause dehydration – make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water.
  • Some pets respond well to pressure-based anxiety garments, like the Thundershirt.
  • Set up a cozy hiding spot for your pet that’s stocked with their bedding, toys, and water.
  • If you know you’ll be gone during a time of high anxiety for your pet, consider boarding them or leaving them with a friend or family member.

A Deeper Concern

For some pets, noise anxiety can become a chronic issue. Prolonged periods of stress can raise cortisol levels in the body, leading to a variety of undesirable symptoms.

Anxious pets may have increased heart rates and/or digestive issues, develop habits such as repeated licking or chewing, experience a reversal of house training, or they may become withdrawn or aggressive.

If your pet’s anxiety is affecting their quality of life, please call us to schedule an appointment.