5 Ways To Help Your Dog Cope With Loud Noises
Summer is always a fun time, but it can come with a lot of extra noises for a furry pet! Fireworks, thunder storms, street fairs, you name it, summer brings on the noise!
My sweet dog Zeke is an Aussiedoodle. He is part Australian Shepard and part half Poodle. Lots of dogs are sensitive to loud sounds, but Australian Shepards are a known bread that gets anxious. Zeke is no exception to that. He is the sweetest dog in the world and has such a tender heart.
When we first got Zeke I did training classes with him. That was really great for me so I could learn more about him (he was 2.5 when we got him) and learn how I could best support him as his new mama.
We noticed with loud noises Zeke would get really anxious. When a thunder storm came around he would be so shaky, drooly and anxious for hours at a time. Sometimes it was all night long he was shaky. I felt so bad that he was feeling this way, I knew I needed to find some ways to help him relax when he was feeling this way.
We hired a dog specialist to come to the house and help teach us some ways we could best help him. Today I am sharing what we learned with all of you! We have spent a lot of time, money and trying lots of things with Zeke. So today I am sharing 5 things that we found effective, safe, and worth while to help our dog.
Finding a way to distract your dog when they get scared is a great way to help them. A few ideas are a white noise machine, music, or happy tv show to block out the noise.
Another way is get your pet moving! Play a game of fetch, go on a walk, or run around the house together.
Treats anyone?!?! This will sometimes work with Zeke if he hears a loud noise and I give him a treat. Giving him something he likes can create a positive association with the sound. Zeke has a favorite spot in the house where he feels very safe there. Often times when he starts to get shaky I’ll make a treat trail he can follow to his safe spot so he can recoup and relax. Food puzzle toys are great to help occupy your dogs mind for a bit too. We have used Kongs and those seemed to work well. You can make these in advance and freeze them to have on hand for when you need them.
There is an oil we have used for Zeke to help calm his nerves a bit and has worked good for short term stress. Plus Zeke likes the taste of it! It’s made from plants too which I like! If Zeke gets too anxious he won’t take it, so make sure to give it to your pet before they get too worked up.
We also use essential oils with Zeke. He is a big fan of doTERRA Cedarwood and Lavender. I have those in a glass spray bottle with distilled water and we spray a few squirts on his fur if he needs a little calming. Recipe here.
Safe Spot In The Home
Help your dog find a safe spot in your home that they love. Whether it be a bathroom, laundry room, crate, etc. Zeke uses a crate and I think he likes knowing he has his very own spot he can retreat to if needed. It took some time and training with him but it has paid off.
Have you heard of thunder shirts for dogs? These hug a dog and help them feel safe and secure. If you are familiar with anxiety attacks, they say feeling weight or pressure like a big hug can help calm a person down. Just like humans, dogs have pressure points . Applying pressure to the right areas on a dog have been proven to help calm them during fireworks or other noisy times. That is just what these jackets are supposed to do.
Hire A Dog Trainer
As I mentioned above this is something we did that really helped. We found a trainer that could come to our house, spend time with Zeke and us as a family and help us from there. Our trainer was amazing and helped us learn more about how we could help Zeke during his times of high anxiety. She was great at answering questions and leading us in the right direction. I would totally recommend googling and finding a dog trainer in your area!
Plan In Advance
Not all noises can be planned for, but if you know the 4th of July is coming up…. and there will be lots of fireworks, prepare for it! Take the tips above and make a game plan that would best be suited for your pup! Plan in an extra walk, oil up your dog, etc. Try out a few different things and see what works best for your dog.
If your dog suffers from severe anxiety, I wanted to mention another route and talking to your dog’s vet. There are medication options that can help. I thought this was worth mentioning if your dog is needing more than natural remedies. There are medications that can help for nights that are just for fireworks, etc. or medications that your dog can take daily to help with severe anxiety.