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  • Writer's pictureMobile Veterinary Practice WI

Noise Aversion

Hi Everyone!

With the Fourth of July this weekend and it being fireworks season, we thought we would look at Noise Aversion today.

Does your dog or cat cower in the corner or hide in the bathtub on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July? How about during thunderstorms? Although most animals don't love loud noises, for a large subset of pets - nearly half, by some estimates - the sensitivity to sudden, loud noises is more than a dislike. It reaches fear- and anxiety-inducing levels that can lead to behavioral and health challenges. This extreme reaction is called noise aversion. It is important for pet owners to recognize that their furry friend may be suffering, and that noise aversion is a real medical condition that can be treated.

There are some indicators that pets might be predisposed to noise aversion, particularly if they display other signs of nervousness, such as separation anxiety and extreme aggression toward strangers. When loud sounds occur, a pet with noise aversion might exhibit signs that include: abnormal clinginess, chewing on furniture or walls, cowering or hiding, excessive panting, inappropriate elimination, persistent barking or whining at the sound, refusing to eat, trembling or shaking, trying to escape, or uncharacteristic aggression.

A variety of remedies - both medical and environmental - can be used to relieve your pet of the fretfulness that results from noise aversion. In many cases, it's a combination of treatments that garners the best results.

The Dos and Don'ts of Treating Noise Aversion: -Don't Scold -Don't Force the Experience -Don't Overreact -Do Create a Safe Space -Do Provide Distractions -Do Consider Natural or pharmaceutical Remedies

Read the attached handouts or visit the link below for more information on the Dos and Don'ts!

***If you suspect your pet is suffering from noise aversion, be sure to consult with your veterinarian, even if you have already started to institute some of the nonmedical solutions. Left untreated, the chronic anxiety associated with noise aversion has the potential to cause health problems and shorten the lifespan of the affected animal.

Information and Fast Fact Sheet by American Veterinarian Staff

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