Dogs have a wider range of hearing, therefore some noises can be potentially painful to a dog’s ears.
Why do some dogs react fearfully to loud sounds and others do not?
Several possibilities for noise sensitivity may include genetic factors, gender or hormones, (female dogs are found to be 30% more likely to be more fearful of noises than males), a traumatic experience associated with noise exposure, social transmission (learning from other dogs), or a result of how the owner treats the dog (punishing the dog for its behaviors, or reinforcing the dog's fear by being overly comforting).
There are a variety of levels of fear or anxiety related to this behavior. Some pet owners aren’t even aware that an unwanted behavior they are seeing is caused by noise anxiety.
Noise sensitivity might be an indicator of an underlying physiological mechanism that makes some dogs more reactive to potentially stressful events in their environment.
A dog that is fearful of loud noises turns out to be three times more likely to show separation anxiety and other behavior disorders.
Older dogs are much more likely to react to stress in various situations than are younger dogs. In some dogs, the anxiety-related effects can persist for hours.
Noise sensitivity or phobias do not only pertain to dogs. Cats, birds, rodents, reptiles, and even fish can be affected.
Noise-related phobia may be triggered by a variety of sounds.
Screaming and yelling
Noises from a television
Alarms and noises from phones and devises
Chirping from smoke detectors low battery
Smoke detectors alarm
Visuals, smell, and even barometric pressure or electrostatic changes can become associated with these noises causing more intense responses.
Signs and symptoms of pet noise phobia may include:
Urinating or defecating
Hiding or cowering
Trying to jump out of windows or otherwise escape
Seeking out the owner
Tucking their tail between their legs
Pushing their ears back
Refusing to move, sometimes to the point of seeming catatonic
Milder symptoms may become worse after repeated exposure.
What can one do to mitigate these symptoms?
Silence the devices.
Turn down TV and radio
Be mindful of their presence when having loud discussions.
Change batteries more frequently in smoke detectors.
Remove them from a room where loud noises might occur.
Exercise and good nutrition - This works great for us! Why not for your pets. It can help to decrease stress.
Sound therapy - Certain ambient noise or music can be played to calm and entertain.
Be aware of your pets when people are visiting for the holidays and making lots of noise. Your pets can't just leave the household and stay away.