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How to Manage Fear of Loud Noises with Your Dog

on August 19, 2023

Do you have a pup who gets stressed during loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks? Is your dog’s fear of loud noises causing them to hide under the furniture, bark incessantly, refuse to relieve themselves outside, or shake and tremble in fear? You are not alone! Many pet owners find their furry best friends struggle with fearful reactions when faced with loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks. Luckily, there are ways to help your fur baby overcome their fears to feel safe and secure once again. In this blog post, we will explore ways to alleviate your pup's fears of loud sounds, along with some tips on how you can provide comfort for your dog when loud noises are happening. 

Recognize Signs of Fear in Your Dog 

Dogs are often scared of seemingly harmless things like loud noises. While we know the noises can’t harm us, explaining them to our pets is impossible. To best help our furry friends with fear of these disruptive moments, it’s essential to first recognize the various signs of fear in dogs by reading their body language. These can range from changes in behavior, such as hiding behind furniture or shaking, to vocalizations that may signal distress. Once these signs are recognized, you can take a few simple steps to support and comfort your pup through their anxiety. Read on to learn how to help mitigate your dog’s anxiety.

Create a Safe Environment While the Loud Noise is Happening

One of the most comforting ways to help dogs with fear of loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks is to create a separate, dark, safe space for them, like their crate or a bathroom. Fill the space with comfy blankets and interesting, long-lasting toys; you can also provide an item that has your scent on it for added comfort. When possible, try turning on a fan for white noise or playing calming tunes (paws up for classical music!) to provide a distraction from the sound of storms or firecrackers. Additionally, periodically give your dog small treats to give your pup something else to focus on besides the noise. Lastly, embrace the power of cuddles! Dogs respond well to our touch and affection when they’re scared – so don’t hesitate to give them lots of hugs during these times for comfort. Most importantly: stay calm throughout the experience and speak soothingly to your dog; this will let them know there's no cause for alarm.

Desensitize your Dog by Gradually Exposing Them 

Desensitizing your dog to the sound of thunderstorms and fireworks is possible and can be done by gradually exposing them to the noises in a controlled and safe environment. Start by playing the noise at a low level (YouTube or Spotify usually have these sounds available) and keeping the experience positive for them. While listening to the noises, give your dog treats, gentle pets, and praise. As your dog gets used to the sound, you can increase the volume. However, if your pooch starts showing any signs of distress, turn down the volume again and start over. Be careful never to make the noise too loud or close to your pet’s sensitive ears! With time and dedication, your pup will learn not to be afraid whenever they hear a loud noise!

Establish a Plan and Routine for When Loud Noises Occur 

Having a plan and routine in place before the sounds occur can be helpful for both you and your pup. Ensure you have your designated space ready, that your dog has been walked and has relieved itself, and that you have engaging treats at the ready. Then, distract your dog with toys and treats as soon as you hear the noise start. 

Seek professional help if your dog’s fear of loud noises persists or worsens

If your dog’s fear of loud noises persists or has worsened after trying basic remedies, it may be time to seek professional help. It is entirely understandable - loud noises can be overwhelming, mysterious, and scary. A trained professional can work with you to create a plan that best suits you and your pooch so that being scared of thunderstorms and fireworks becomes a thing of the past. 


Helping your beloved pup through fear of loud noises can make a difficult situation much easier for them. Remember to establish a routine, create a safe environment and comfort zone for them, recognize signs of fear, and desensitize them gradually to the stressful noise if possible. Consult your veterinarian for assistance and an action plan if all else fails. Taking action now and providing this necessary help for your four-legged friend will have lasting benefits! Together you can work on making these tasks easier with time and patience, one day at a time.

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