A terrier barking

Canada Day is just around the corner. Most people will be excited to celebrate with picnics, carnivals, concerts, fairs, and parades. Their pets, however, may have other ideas. 

Without a doubt, most of our celebratory events are not only off-putting to the animal world, they have the potential to cause pet noise anxiety.

How can we bridge the gap between observing cultural and seasonal holidays, and supporting our pet’s essential needs?

Everyone, No One

Some pets are completely unaffected by crowds, loud noises, and unpredictable events. They might be able to accompany their owners to firework displays, barbecues, and block parties – all while maintaining an enviable inner peace. That doesn’t mean that they’ll be this way forever, or at every event. 

Alternatively, many owners know that their pets simply cannot abide by large gatherings and loud noises. They may have had a traumatic experience before they were adopted, or simply become unglued by a jarring noise, like a firecracker or loud laughter.

Overwhelming for All

Whether you anticipate pet noise anxiety, or you’re simply hoping to prevent it, there are strategies designed to keep your pet safe and happy. 

Knowing your pet’s triggers is an important defense. For example, if you know your pet dislikes fireworks, loud booms, and crackling sounds, keep them away from firework displays. Likewise, since pet noise anxiety can stem from things like the vacuum cleaner, blender, or power tools, only use them when your pet isn’t in the same area. 

Know the Score

A terrible outcome of pet noise anxiety is that animals respond to a fight or flight instinct. When they hear unsettling or upsetting noises (like thunder), many pets try to run away. A proper defense against losing them to pet noise anxiety is to have them microchipped and equipped with their identification tags.

Hiding Out

Other pets tend to hide, sometimes in unsafe spots or places they cannot get out of. The answer to both scenarios is to provide them with a safe environment they cannot escape from. If your pet isn’t crate trained, you can use a back room away from the action. Close all windows and doors. Provide low lighting, soft bedding, fresh water, and lots of cuddles to reassure them.

Setting the Tone

While you want your pet to know that you are there for them during thunderstorms, fireworks or other loud summer events, it’s important to stay as neutral as possible. Their anxiety may get worse if you overreact to their symptoms.

You can try positive reinforcement training (rewarding only behaviours you want to see more of, and ignoring the unwanted behaviours), as well as desensitizing your pet from triggers. ThunderShirts are also quite effective at reducing the symptoms of pet noise anxiety.

Don’t Ignore Pet Noise Anxiety

Left alone, pet noise anxiety can have significant health ramifications. Aside from pacing, soiling inside the house, or vocalizing uncontrollably, pet noise anxiety can develop into full-fledged phobias that make life less fun and enjoyable.

If you have further questions about how to help your pet this summer, please contact us. Team Parkside is always here for you.