Does your dog show signs of fear at certain noises? Or perhaps scared for seemingly no reason? If so, your beloved companion may be suffering from a noise phobia. Dogs have drastically more sensitive hearing than humans, and certain sounds that dogs hate may even trigger a fear reaction in them.
This article will cover what causes noise phobia in dogs, frequencies that tend to affect dogs, familiar sounds that dogs hate, signs of noise phobia in dogs, and how you can help your best friend feel more stable and secure in their environment.
Don’t let your dog suffer from these fears alone. There is plenty you can do to help them and keep them safe. These phobias can be quite severe and may even lead to injury if not dealt with correctly. Continue reading to learn more.
More Sensitive Than Humans
Dogs have hearing that is considered hundreds of times better than ours but may also have sensitivities similar to ours.
Some sounds are either too high or low frequency for us to hear, but dogs can pick these sounds up with ease. Their hearing is very acute, more attuned than ours. Why is their hearing so good? Do they have a sixth sense?
Dogs can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. These sounds are too high-pitched for us to hear, it’s sound only dogs can hear. Keep in mind, sounds over 25,000 Hz with significant volume may trigger anxiety or fear in your beloved companion.
Your furry friend can also hear sounds much softer than we can. This range is between 3,000 and 12,000 Hz. This is too quiet and low-pitched for us to hear, more peaceful than a whisper, but your dog can listen to and pick up these sounds too.
Why Is This So?
Dogs share a heritage with wolves who feed on small prey. Their ears have become attuned better to hear the little sounds of their typical game. Our ears, however, were adjusted only to listen to the voices of other humans. This is an evolutionary advantage to dogs that allows them to hear their prey. Unfortunately, some sounds may cause anxiety for your pet.
Due to their acute hearing, dogs may be able to predict earthquakes or even hear someone arrive at your door long before you do.
Some say dogs have a sixth sense, but it’s actually due to their acute hearing and sense of smell that they can pick up on things before they can.
Distress From Sound?
Dogs may become distressed by everyday noises, including a vacuum or a power drill, perhaps even sirens. This is because not only do they hear these sounds much louder than we do, but they also can listen to higher frequencies from everyday noises that we can’t. Anything over 25,000 Hz at a significant volume may cause some dogs anxiety.
Do High Pitched Sounds Hurt Dogs Ears?
Many people think it is just the frequency only dogs can hear that affects them. It, however, is the volume as well as the particular decibel level. The higher-pitched the sound and the louder it is, the more likely it is to cause your best friend distress. Frequencies above 25,000 Hz at sufficient volume may cause a sound dogs hate, and even pain and discomfort. There is a variety of everyday sounds that may trigger anxiety or fear in your pet.
Common Sounds That Dogs Hate
So we know that the sounds have to be both loud and high-pitched to cause your canine companion distress. But what are familiar, everyday sounds that would bother your pet?
What are the sounds that dogs hate most? Check out our shortlist below for familiar sounds that dogs hate. This list isn’t conclusive, and there may be other sounds that annoy dogs or trigger their anxiety and fear.
- Power drills
- Loud vehicles
- Air horns
- Dog whistles
Signs of Noise Phobia in Dogs
There are various causes of noise phobias in dogs. It requires a particular volume and pitch, but it could seem like an everyday thing to us as per our list above. But how can you tell if your furry friend is in distress from a sound that dogs hate? There are multiple signs that your dog may give to show that they are experiencing discomfort.
Signs of distress include whimpering, whining or running away from sounds that make dogs crazy or causes them pain. They may yelp, howl, or you may notice your dog startles easily. There are a variety of things you can do to help your noise-phobic companion. Keep in mind not to keep them too enclosed during times of stress as they can easily injure themselves or try to escape.
How You Can Help Your Dog
Distraction can be your best friend when it comes to calming your dog from a sound dogs hate. Have them do some known tricks, insight a game of tug or fetch. If they can’t focus, take this as a sign of severe distress and try not to associate enjoyed activities with these scary sounds. Distraction may be the first line of defense in helping your canine cope, but don’t become angry or force it upon them if they can’t focus.
2. Reward Calmness
Try intervening before distress happens. You can play calming music or turn on your television to diffuse the sounds that dogs hate. If your pet remains calm during a distressing sound, reward them! This could be with a special treat or a favored activity such as a walk, tug, or fetch.
3. Have a Safe Space
Put their bed, blanket, or crate in this area. Give them a special long-lasting treat or rubber chew toy that can be stuffed with something tasty. Combine with calming music or television for optimal effect. Make sure this is a mostly quiet place away from sounds that dogs hate, where your pet can feel relaxed and at ease. Keep familiar smells in the area, nothing fancy, just their bed and maybe a blanket from your bed so that they have your scent to comfort them as well.
4. Do NOT Close the Crate
If they are scared, they will not want to be confined. Dogs can easily injure themselves in their crates if they are in distress. If their fear is so severe that they try to escape, talk to your vet about some aiding medication. It is very easy for your best friend to become injured when in distress. Your pet may paw at or even chew on their crate if confined; this can and will lead to injury as the crate may become sharp if this happens.
5. Supervise Them
In times of distress, your dog probably doesn’t want to be alone. Stay nearby to comfort them and try to keep them in the home when these sounds may occur so that they do not attempt to run away or try to escape through sheer panic. Try petting and comforting your dog by whispering to them. Your company may do wonders for your furry best friend.
6. Use Natural Calming Remedies
Here’s a list of natural calming remedies that are very effective in reducing anxiety in dogs. The list also has some links to detailed articles about each remedy and how they can work for your dog:
- CBD oil
- Calming Chews
- Hemp infused treats
- Anise (Dognip)
- Calming Music
Zen Calming CBD chews – Packed with natural ingredients like chamomile, Ashwagandha, Tryptophan and CBD, this unique formulation helps promote stress relief and support neurological functions so that your dog can achieve a calm and relaxed state in any situation. Your furry friend will find them so yummy, they won't EVEN NOTICE they're taking an anxiety remedy!
7. Talk to your vet
If these other options do not work, consider talking to your veterinarian about calming medication. Meds such as Prozac and other anti-anxiety medication may help to soothe and calm severe phobias and anxiety in your dog. Your vet will be able to assess your dog’s overall health and eligibility for such medication.
Do NOT give your pet any medication unless advised by your vet and only provide the dose prescribed by them. Dosing can vary on a variety of different factors, including age, weight, and overall health. Studies have shown some success with this when it comes to severe anxiety in dogs.
Dogs are much-loved members of the family, and it’s always distressing to see them struggling with a noise phobia.
This is particularly true when the kinds of sounds that dogs hate are a high pitch noise only dogs can hear. When frequencies are beyond the human hearing range, it’s difficult to identify the cause and come up with an effective solution.
The good news is there are a variety of positive actions you can do to relieve your dog’s anxiety:
- Reward calm behavior
- Create a safe space
- Ensure your dog doesn’t feel confined or trapped
- Use natural calming remedies
- Talk to your vet
Noise phobia in dogs is very real, and it can make your furry best friend very fearful and miserable. By using the advice in this article, you can transform how your dog responds to unexpected or distressing sounds.
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All information in the article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.