Noise phobias are real problems for some dogs, and even some cats. After all, dogs can hear a wider range of frequencies than humans can, and cats hear a higher pitch. Dogs and cats can also turn their ears, allowing them to take in surrounding sounds. Combine that with all the other higher-functioning senses they possess and it’s easy to see why they are more easily affected.
In addition, genetics, early conditioning, exposure to alarming sounds, and even circumstances such as being shipped by plane may play roles in developing noise phobia.
It most often won’t help or hurt your dog if you hug; you cannot positively reinforce fear. In other words, hugging your dog won’t make him more fearful. With that said, it also will not teach them coping skills, so they will not get better, either.
Research has not yet discovered all the pieces of this phobia puzzle. It has found that some products can help, though they can be a matter of trial and error.
-Medication on the advice of a veterinarian
-Pheromone products such as Feliway that mimic the animal’s calming or appeasing natural pheromones
-Nutraceuticals such as L-theanine, a water-soluble amino acid, or melatonin, a hormone
-Soothing music or white noise
However, the best solution is to give pets the ability to deal calmly with loud noises without their owners.
One of the best ways to do that is to teach your pet to go to a safe place when he is afraid, for example: a crate, a spot in the basement or a closet, even under a bed. It should be fixed up to be a bunker-like space, insulated from the sounds and away from windows. When your pet is first getting used to it, help by engaging him with play, treats, or affection.
We recommend you starting first with an evaluation from your vet. A professional can assess your pet’s level of fear, recommend possible treatment options, and develop a desensitization and counter-conditioning program to ease those periods of panic.