Anxious dog on dog bed

If you’re a pet owner on Vancouver Island of an animal who fears loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, you know how easily that fear can negatively affect their well-being. It’s no secret that when pets are confronted with a noise they find threatening, they tend to exhibit irregular and concerning changes in their animal behavior. 

A pet’s response to loud noises, while startling to pet owners, is an animal’s natural response to their environment. Fortunately, in most cases, a pet’s noise-related distress stops once the trigger sounds are eliminated. 

Unless a pet’s behavior is harmful to itself, others, or property, the best way to help a noise-frightened pet is to assist and support them until the troubling sounds subside. However, if your pet’s response to noises is severe, and includes signs of being unwell, be sure to contact your veterinarian promptly.

Can dogs have noise anxiety?

Yes! Have you heard of a dog owner of an anxious dog coming home after a thunderstorm? Was it a tale of destroyed belongings chewed while the animal was in distress? The dog in question likely has noise-related dog anxiety. 

Whining, panting, pacing, and general restlessness are common responses by dogs experiencing mild to moderate noise-related type of anxiety. And for dogs with severe anxiety to strange and startling noises, their reactions are often much more severe. Dogs with severe noise-anxiety commonly cause themselves, or surrounding property, harm when exposed to a specific sound that causes distress.

Are cats affected by loud noise?

Yes. Our feline friends are solitary animals, and they don’t often exhibit signs of distress the way we would expect. But, cats can experience distressing anxiety disorders and noise phobia too. Our feline friends are more likely to hide until the threatening noise has ceased rather than seek their two-legged caregivers for support.

Regardless of what type of pet you care for, if your animal exhibits anxiety towards loud noises, there are ways to reduce their stress and support them. How? By using some common strategies used to reduce stress and calm furry family members.

If you’re concerned about your pet and loud noises, try some of our following stress-reducing tips (listed below!). But, if those don’t help, be sure to consult your veterinarian.

Tips to Help Pets With Noise Anxiety

Choose to Leave Your Pets at Home

When attending noisy events, like a Halloween festival in Victoria with firecrackers, choose to leave your pet at home. Even if the activity is pet-friendly, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to bring your animal with you. Having our furry friends with us for an outdoor event sounds fun, but dogs can behave unpredictably when scared and may even try to run-away upon hearing a threatening noise.

In the United States, the busiest days of the year for animal shelters is July 5th, the day AFTER our southern neighbours host their biggest firework celebrations of the year!

To keep your pet safe, for any firework show or outdoor symphony you’d like to attend, it’s best to leave your pup safely at home.

Create a Safe Space for Your Pet

Many frightening noises cannot be avoided, like those from thunder or active construction equipment. When scary sounds affecting your pet cannot be avoided, create a space for your pet to go for safety and security. Examples of safe spaces are:

  • Crate. Crating your anxious pup during a noisy situation will help them feel safe and keep your belongings protected from anxious chewing or clawing.
  • Hiding Spot. Cats can usually take care of themselves in times of distress, and as pet owners, we need to give them the space to do so. If Mr. Jinxy has fled to his favorite hiding spot during one of our rare (but real!) Vancouver Island thunderstorms, let him stay hidden until he’s ready to come back out. If you’re concerned he’s not well, put some water and food nearby to keep him comfortable.

Use Calming Tools

Calming tools are available if your pets need some extra care to help deal with noise-anxiety issues. We suggest trying some of the following aids:

  • Weighted vest. Weighted vests, like the ThunderShirt, are harness like covers for dogs and cats that apply gentle pressure to an animal’s whole body aiding their ability to calm themselves. Ideal for pets with noise and/or separation anxiety.
  • CBD oil. Pet-safe CBD oil can help ease your animal’s anxieties. If choosing to use a CBD product, make sure it’s pet-friendly and is certified THC free. For a quality CBD oil product that’s certified safe for pets, try the one here.

At Puppy Love Pet Care, we want all our Vancouver Island clients to be well-informed on pet care best practices. We also practice what we preach! When we care for your animals, we provide only top-quality services to our furry clients (and their two-legged owners too)! If you know you’re going to be away from your pet when they could be exposed to threatening noises, consider hiring a pet sitter for the evening or, even easier, book them for a peaceful night at our trusted boarding facility.

Are you in the Greater Victoria Area and looking for the best kennel for your furry friend? We’d love to show you and your pet our Puppy Love facilities! Come for a visit to our sprawling acreage in Saanich and see why we stand out in Victoria and the surrounding area. Give us a call at 1-250-652-2301 any time of the week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or send us an e-mail at to get started. 

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