Beware of the VACUUM CLEANER MONSTER! Run for your life it’s going to get you! Oh NOOOO a motorcycle just growled at me! EEK! SKATEBOARDERS! & Then there is the dreaded FIREWORKS on the 4th of July & let’s not talk about THUNDERSTORMS EEK! Although we may not enjoy these noises either, we humans have adjusted and accepted this noise pollution as a part of everyday life.

Our pets however for the most part do not enjoy it at all, although there are always exceptions to the rule. First of all let me say our pets… especially dogs & cats have way more sensitive ears than we do, and they hear noises differently. They would never choose to live in such noisy chaos purpose… but when they become part of our families they come into our world.

In the wild they would have lived in a quiet area with flora & fauna to hide & camouflage themselves. This would be for protection & also so they could stalk their prey more efficiently, you get the point. Now having said all this… the good news is our pets can adjust to our world with some training, patience & consistency on your part.

TOOLS to get for your DOG

1. Purchase a THUNDERSHIRT – This shirt is made to give your dog security when he is feeling anxious

2. Get a all natural Calming Formula – I like Rescue Remedy by BACH the best

3. Have some of their favorite treats on hand – NO I’m not talking about treats from a bag… some succulent chicken or beef for this training is a must.

4. Get a CD of soft relaxing piano music to help relax his bio rhythms

5. Lastly be present with him to comfort him until he adjusts

First IDENTIFY what your Dog is afraid of

Begin your behavior modification program by finding a recording (or combination of recording and other stimuli) that causes your dog to react fearfully. Thunderstorm recordings for example on tape, CD or the internet are available at most music outlets. So first find the sounds that your dog are afraid of and get the recording for training. Next give your dog his all natural calming formula. Now play the the sounds your dog is afraid of. As soon as the dog begins to show fear of the stimuli, turn them off. You don’t want to evoke a full fear response; you just want to find the level at which your dog begins to respond.

How to begin training to De- Sensitize your Dog to noise

Once the dog is totally relaxed again you can begin the training program. Start by playing the recording below the level that would evoke a fearful response. This may be at a level that you cannot even hear. Remember that your dog’s hearing is infinitely better than yours. After five minutes or so, increase the sound slightly. (This is the desensitization part.) While your dog is still calm, feed him absolutely wonderful treats – roast beef or steak, chicken , or anything else that your dog would normally do backflips for.You want him to think that absolutely wonderful things happen when thunderstorm noises occur or whatever he’s afraid of.

Be generous with totally terrific treats, petting, and praise, and keep the sound at each level for several minutes before gradually increasing the volume again. At some point, your dog will start to exhibit a mild, fearful reaction. (If it is not mild, you have increased the volume too quickly.) Watch for panting, pacing, clinging to you, and other signs of tension. When this happens you have two choices. You can either immediately turn the volume back down, or wait and see if the dog habituates to that level of intensity. If the reaction is truly mild and you have been very gradually increasing the volume, it is preferable to wait for habituation.

Keep the volume at this level for a considerable period of time before increasing the volume again (the exact definition of “considerable period of time” depends on the individual dog). As soon as the dog relaxes – when the signs of stress go away – resume treat-feeding and petting.

NEVER RUSH or Tease your DOG when he is afraid

You will also want to change locations from time to time, so the dog accepts the stimuli package in any room of the house. Later on, the onset of the artificial storm should occur outside of formal training sessions – at first perhaps while the dog is playing with a favorite toy, or eating dinner, then at other random times.

When your dog is comfortable with storm noises in all of these situations, you can set your storm on a timer to play at very low levels for very short intervals (at first) when you are not home. Don’t forget: Every time you change an aspect of the exercise you must reduce the intensity of each element of the stimulus package.

Your Dog may take a while to come around. DO NOT RUSH! It is important for your Dog to have confidence he can rely on & trust you.

When is it Time To Talk to The Vet?

If you have a CAT or DOG that cannot seem to get over fearfulness, and that fear is affecting the pet’s quality of life it can be beneficial to call the veterinarian. In these extreme cases, medication can help a cat to feel more relaxed. Some pets will only require medication for a short period of time, while others may need to be on meds for much longer. Be sure to follow all dosing instructions to the letter if your vet prescribes medication for fearfulness. You never want to over-medicate a pet, and under-medicating will do little to help alleviate the problem.