We love to celebrate – fireworks, loud noise, music from a core part of our festivities. The louder the better, little do we realise the condition of our panic stricken pooch to whom loud noise in any form–music, cracker, thunderstorm can spell pure disaster.
Sabina Chopra, a pet parent said, “I had adopted two strays who lived in the compound of my building, the loud noise of thunder during the last rainy season made them so frightened that they both ran away and till date nobody knows where to find them.”
Saleem’s Labrador was scared of the loud crackers bursting outside his home and in a frantic attempt to escape the sound, he ran out of the house on to the road and met an untimely demise from a speeding taxi.
Kiran Srivastava, a pet lover, said,” I lost my dog Robby due to fireworks. The children in my building were playing with fireworks while Rani and Robby (my pets) were in the house in a room with closed doors; unfortunately I forgot to close the window. When I went inside the room after finishing household chores I was aghast to see Rani and Robby in order to save themselves from the dreadful noise had jumped out of the window. Rani survived with a broken leg but we lost Robby.
It is very essential to be extremely careful, cautious and give a lot of care and concern to one’s pet.
Loud noises: disastrous for pooches
Loud noises traumatise dogs so much that sometimes it also changes their behavioural pattern. There have been incidents of pets running away from home, never to be found again. At times, they run in fear and knock down solid objects, thereby hurting themselves. The sound emitted from some fireworks is so loud that it can destroy the hearing capacity of the dog. Besides, the pollution caused by these fireworks cannot be ruled out which is equally harmful to humans as well.
Signs of anxiety and fear in your dog
- Heavy breathing
- Shaking or trembling
- Destructive behaviour
- Self – trauma
Desensitising your pooch to loud noise
Before the festival season starts, it is advisable to desensitise your pooch to loud noise. Here’s the easy way to do it at your home:
Make a recording with firecrackers and thunder sounds.
- When your dog is in a happy and carefree mood that is when she is eating, playing, play the recording at a low volume so that your dog gets used to these sounds and doesn’t respond in an alarming manner.
- Depending on her comfort, next time, play the recording a little louder and slowly increase the volume, while you feed or play with her. This way, your cutie pie will get used to the sound and will not get frightened when she hears these unfamiliar loud noises again.
- Be patient, do not rush her, this takes time. Do it very slowly over a period of time.
What not to do when your pet is scared of loud noise
- Never try to pet your dog when she is afraid. It will only reinforce her fear of fire works and thunderstorm.
- Never inflict punishment on your pooh for being afraid. The act of punishing will make her more fearful.
- Do not try to force your doggy either physically or mentally to experience or be close to the loud noises that frighten her.
Getting ready for the festival time
- Go for noiseless crackers that look aesthetically beautiful and are animal and human friendly.
- Keep a first aid kit along with all the necessary medicines handy so that you can attend immediately to the injured pet.
- Watch out for children who play pranks on scared animal. If you see someone, act fast, immediately stop them – attend to the animal in distress, inform the parents, try to make the children understand that animals too feel immense pain and fear.
- During the festive season if you want to exercise your dog, do not take her near the areas where there are celebrations and bursting of crackers.
- Take your doggy to a safe place where she can sit down comfortably with closed windows and doors.
- Play television, this will this drown the other scary sounds.
- Remove all the harmful products from the room where she is relaxing so that she does not hurt herself.
- Distracting your dog’s attention is one of the best methods that can work wonders. This method proves beneficial when your pooch starts to get uneasy after hearing the loud sounds that frighten her. Try to make her participate in any activity or game that distracts her from being afraid.
- Take a ball and play ‘Fetch’ with your pet. If your cutie pie does not respond to this, throw the ball and run along with your doggy to find the ball you had thrown. Give her a treat every time she brings the ball back to you.
- You can also distract her mind by playing ‘Catch’ with her. Take her favourite treat and toss it the air. Let her catch it before it hits the ground.
- You can also play ‘Find the Treat’ with her. Hide her favourite treat and ask her to ‘Find’.
- Consult your vet if your pooch is very scared and is uncontrollable.