Storms can be so scary

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

I thought this week it would be a great idea to address some noise phobias in pets (particularly dogs).  With the week of storms approaching, many people may find themselves with a pet that is quite distraught.  Here is some information about Noise Phobias.

Storms with thunder and lightning can be scary for pets.  No one really know why a certain pet has a noise phobia.  It could be any number of things.  Maybe they had a bad experience with loud noises, or certain breeds tend to be more prone to the phobia.  Or your pet could have developed it because you yourself are scared of storms and loud noises, or maybe that is just the way they are.

If your pet has a noise phobia, here are some tips you can try to help your pet.

1.)  Create a place in the house where they feel safe, this may be a crate or a room where the noise may be muffled.

2.) Don’t react to the pet.  If you praise them and keep telling them it’s OK, you could be reinforcing the anxious behavior.  Don’t yell at them to calm down either, or you could be creating more anxiety in the situation.  The more they hear the noises with no reaction from you, the more they could become desensitized to it.

3.)  Wear your pet out if you know a storm is coming.  Give them lots of exercise in a scenario they enjoy, the beach or the parks.  If they are tired, hopefully they will be less likely to react to the storm.

4.)  Keep a level head and try not to react  to the noise.

5.)  If your pet has a favorite activity or toy, give it to them only when there times the phobia may arise.  After time, they may associate the noise with something they really enjoy.

If you have a pet with noise phobias and have more questions, e-mail me at dbozlinski@petopia.tv

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