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.

Here is a list of tools to get to help your DOG & CAT adjust to the noise factor

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.

For your CAT

1.  Get a all natural Calming Formula – Rescue Remedy by BACH

2. Get a CD of Smooth Jazz to be played on low in the background.

3. Have a secluded room for the cat to go to. Make sure this room is dimly lit.

4. Have their favorite snack – some succulent Chicken, Tuna or Turkey

5. Stay with them until they calm down & do not rush the process.

Causes for Cat to Fear Noises

Cats instinctively have natural reactions to loud or unexpected noises, but some cats have an excessive fear of noise which leads to skittish behavior. Sometimes, that fear is so extreme that it affects a cat’s ability to enjoy daily life.

In most cases, a fear of noises is caused by deep seeded insecurities and a lack of trust in humans. If your cat has a fear of noises, there are steps that you can take to foster a trusting relationship with your cat and methods that will help your cat to feel more secure in its environment. It takes time and patience, but eventually your cat will be able to overcome these fears.

Provide Cat-Only Space in the Home

To help a cat feel more secure in the home, you will need to provide your cat with a safe hideaway where it will not be disturbed. This may be under a bed, behind a couch, or in a far off corner of the home. If your cat has chosen a spot where it likes to hide, talk to other members of the household about leaving the cat alone when it is in this area. If the cat is having troubles finding a safe place, try to provide one with a box, a hideaway kitty condo, or a kennel with an open door and a blanket draped over it.

Give Your Cat Reasons to Trust You

Cats can overcome fear when they trust the people around them. Forming a trusting relationship with a skittish cat will take time and patience, but with perseverance you will eventually be able to form a lasting bond with your cat. Try to give the cat plenty of opportunities to be near you; when the cat approaches you talk quietly to the cat, and try not to make any sudden movements.

Do not ever force your cat to be near you. Some owners will remove their cats from hiding places in an effort to force the cat to be held. This will only intensify the cat’s fear. Let the cat come to you when he’s ready. You can try to coax the cat out with treats or toys, but don’t get discouraged if this does not work the first, second, or even the fiftieth time you try. If you consistently maintain a calm and reassuring attitude and tone near the cat, he will eventually begin to trust you.

When your cat eventually climbs onto the couch to sit next to you, your instinct may be to pet him or hug him instantly because you are so overcome with joy. However, always remain calm and relaxed, and don’t touch the cat. Only raise your hand to pet your cat after he’s settled in for a few minutes. Always move slowly and pet your cat gently. If your cat bolts when you try to pet him, don’t become upset. Simply wait a little longer next time before attempting to establish contact.

Slow Acclimation to Noise

Before you begin make sure to give your cat it’s calming formula on a his favorite tasty treat. Then wait for about 10 to 15 minutes before introducing the noise stimuli. Busy households, especially households with children, can be especially frightening to cats that are not used to that type of environment. If a new cat becomes skittish in the house, let the cat stay in a quiet room for a while until it begins to get used to its surroundings. Make sure to have SMOOTH JAZZ on a low level in the room can help the cat to become accustomed to noises. Turn the music up gradually each day, slowly acclimating the cat to more stimulation.

Get a Second Cat

If you have just one cat and that cat is fearful, it may be helpful to get a second cat. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for introducing a new cat into the home, so that your pet does not become further traumatized by the new addition. Over time, your fearful cat may begin to mimic the behaviors of the new cat, learning that the house isn’t such a scary place after all.

This technique can be extremely effective, but it also has tremendous power to backfire. If the new cat is domineering or aggressive, it may cause your fearful cat to withdraw even further. If you are looking for a second pet, consult with both your veterinarian and a cat behaviorist before introducing a second cat into the house.

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.