Fear of loud noises in Cats and Dogs
What is Fear?
Whether it is irrational to us or not, having a scared cat or dog is not fun for any owner. Many pets suffer from fear and anxiety related to loud noises. This can be due to thunder, fireworks, guns, cars backfiring, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, and even someone clapping.
We all instinctually feel fear when we are in a situation where there is a perceived or actual threat to our safety. It is one of the things that trigger our fight or flight response and can sometimes be the difference between life and death in a dangerous situation. But sometimes, our animals can become too sensitive to these loud noises and have a more than stressful reaction.
So why do animals get so scared of these loud noises?
Let’s take thunderstorms, for instance. They can be dangerous. If you are out in them, you run the risk of being hit by lightning, branches, and other debris falling on you, and also, there can be flooding. So if you look back to an animal’s natural instinctual past, why would they not be afraid of a thunderstorm?
But why are some animals so frightened more than others?
You would think that if they had been through a few and not been hurt, why would they worry anymore? It is because they develop a phobia your pet has at some stage had a frightening experience, this becomes etched on their subconscious, and so when the event happens again, or something triggers the memory of that event, they have the reaction you see to the thunderstorm.
What are the signs?
Your scared dog or cat will show different signs of fear, ranging from mild to excessive. So you could see any of the following:
- looking uncomfortable and anxious
- try to appear smaller. Lie down flat on the floor
- restless, and won’t settle
- tail tucked between the legs
- they may go and hide
- shaking and trembling
- urinating or defecating themselves
- trying to escape and running away
What can you do to help?
Being able to know when your pet may go into this state will help, so if you know a thunderstorm is coming, you can take action:
- Have the TV or radio up louder to try and drown out the noise.
- Introducing your pet to loud noises as young as possible will help with them not developing phobias
- If you have to go out or away, try and get a sitter for your pet, as the company will help.
- Do they have a safe place of their own? Creating an area where they can go and feel safe is very important. It may be a cat cave or a crate with a blanket over the top.
- Please don’t make a fuss or over sympathise with your pet, a little reassurance is fine, but too much will only reinforce their frightened behaviour and make them think their fearful reaction is acceptable.
How can Natural Pet help?
Our Fear Less remedy from our Tagiwig range can help support your cat or dog suffering from these fears. It is packed with great homeopathic remedies, all based around fear and anxiety.
Our Drama Queen remedy also helps with stress, anxiety and emotional upset.
We also offer a full consultation service, where we can develop a treatment plan individualised for your animal. If this is of interest, please email or phone.
Posted: Friday 25 November 2022