Humans often forget just how noisy their environments are. The TV is often going in the background. Cars are racing by outside. The wind is battering the trees against the roof. Many of these sounds are normal for us, but they can be quite frightening for dogs. Over time, many dogs will get used to these sounds. However, some canines are naturally more anxious and may be particularly fearful of them.
If your dog is acting scared for seemingly no reason, you may want to consider the sounds that they’re being exposed to. While you often can’t stop these sounds completely, knowing the source of your dog’s anxiety is essential to helping them calm down.
The 9 everyday noises that may be scaring your dog are:
1. Construction Noises
The loud sounds of construction sights often make many dogs anxious. Many canines are not around construction noises much in their life, so they may not have the opportunity to get used to them. For this reason, when construction does pop up next door, dogs are often scared of the noise.
Luckily, construction is usually short-lived. In many cases, the trucks may be gone in only a few days. If a major project is going on, they can stick around for months, though. In these cases, your dog may need help calming down and relaxing despite the racket.
2. Loud Vehicles
Most dogs are around cars from a young age. However, dogs aren’t always exposed properly to cars, especially at a close distance. The noises that cars make can also be unpredictable. Even if your dog knows that cars are a normal occurrence, they may jump when a loud truck suddenly races down the street.
Some cars are louder than others. Dogs tend to be more scared of the larger cars and trucks, like garbage trucks, as these tend to make the most noise. Car horns and sirens can also be sources of fear.
3. Lawn Care
Leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and trimmers can also be quite loud and may scare your dog. Preferably, you should introduce your dog to these louder sounds at a young age so they can become used to them. However, this isn’t always possible, and some dogs will be scared of lawnmowers despite your best effort.
Luckily, the yard doesn’t need to be mowed every day. You may be able to put your pet somewhere away from the noise when it comes time to mow the grass. If this isn’t possible, you can look into short-term anxiety relief solutions.
Refrigerators, dishwashers, and dryers can all make strange and seemingly random noises. While we may be expecting the noises (we are the ones that start the dishwasher, after all), they can be completely random for our dogs. Most dogs get used to the appliances that they grew up with. However, if you purchase a new one that makes different noises, it can take them a while to become used to it.
Continued exposure can often make pets calm down and get used to the sound. You may want to consider short-term anxiety relief until your pet has become used to the new sounds.
Unless your dog is specifically trained, they likely are not used to gunshots. There is a reason that hunting dogs and police dogs are trained to ignore gunshot sounds. These naturally loud sounds frighten many dogs.
Luckily, most companion dogs aren’t going to be around gunshots often, so this usually doesn’t stress them out too much. If your dog needs to be around guns for whatever reason, you can get them used to the sound using the same methods that hunters use. Simply get a gun that fires blanks, shoot it, and then praise your dog when they don’t react. You’ll likely need to start your dog away from the gun and slowly work them closer.
A word of warning: Many dogs that are regularly around gunshots often experience hearing loss. We recommend getting your dog ear protection if they are going to spend a great deal of time around firearms.
Alarms are sudden and often loud — that’s the point of an alarm! This is frightening to many canines, though. Some dogs are only scared of certain alarm noises. If this is the case with your pet, consider switching your alarm to something else. In many cases, it is simply the loudness of the alarm that startles the dog.
You can get your dog used to the alarm by playing it more often and treating them when they do not react. Eventually, the alarm will be normal, even when it plays in the early morning hours. Consider using other short-term anxiety relief measures until your pet is used to the sound. These can include medications prescribed by the vet or weighted jackets.
7. Noises From the TV
Often, noises from the TV are often loud and unusual. Your dog probably won’t be scared of people talking. However, they may experience anxiety when they hear loud cars and gunshots from the TV. You may want to consider simply removing the dog from the area when you’re watching something that may potentially upset them. This is sometimes difficult to predict, though.
Over time, your dog may become used to these noises and stop reacting. But you shouldn’t necessarily count on this. Consider using anxiety relief for your dog when the TV is on.
8. Vacuum Cleaners
Many dogs are scared of vacuums. Not only do they make loud noises, but they also move! The easiest thing to do usually is to remove the dog from the area where you are vacuuming. Put them outside or in a different room. They will still be able to hear it, but it won’t be nearly as loud, and the movement factor will be gone.
You should aim to introduce your dog to the vacuum early in their life so they aren’t so scared of it. However, this doesn’t always work. Sometimes, they are scared of the vacuum no matter what you do. It is best to utilize anxiety relief options, like weighted jackets and similar options, and simply keep your dog away from the vacuum.
Yelling and loud conversation can be overwhelming for some dogs. This is particularly true if they aren’t used to loud noises and typically live in a quiet household. Often, dogs will become agitated and potentially even aggressive when they are placed in the middle of a loud celebration for a few hours.
If you’re taking your dog to a family event, be sure that you keep a close eye on them. If you notice that they’re acting stressed, consider removing them from the heavily trafficked area to somewhere a bit quieter.
Why Is My Dog Scared of Every Noise?
It is understandable for dogs to be scared of louder noises. However, some dogs seem to be scared of even quiet noises, like doors closing or showers. Some dogs are particularly noise-phobic and may be sensitive to even slightly loud noises. These dogs often need a great deal of exposure to noises in a variety of situations.
You might need to consider using some form of anxiety relief to calm these dogs down. For instance, some dogs benefit from weighted vests and similar anxiety-reducing options.
How Do I Get My Dog Used to Loud Noises?
You should start by introducing your dog to the loud noise but at a slightly lower volume. Eventually, as your dog stops reacting to the sound, you can slowly increase the volume. At some point, your dog will be able to stand the louder noises without much of a problem. This may take a while, but desensitizing your dog is the best option.
In the meantime, we recommend using anxiety-relieving measures to keep your dog calm. You should also avoid the source of anxiety as much as possible unless you’re in a desensitization session.
It is common for dogs to be scared of louder noises. Often, these noises happen suddenly and spook the dog. Some dogs may be anxious around all loud noises, while others may just not like a particular loud noise. For instance, some dogs may only be scared of yelling and loud talking. If you know the source of your dog’s discomfort, you can desensitize it to them.
Look at the source of the dog’s discomfort when determining a way forward. If your dog suddenly becomes scared of things, consider visiting the vet. Certain illnesses may make dogs a bit more skittish.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick H, Shutterstock