What to do if your dog is afraid of loud noises

While many dogs will bark or react to loud noises, some dogs show signs of actually being afraid of them. If your dog doesn't bark at the noises, but instead hides, whimpers, or shows signs of anxiety, it helps to know how to calm the dog down. Here is what you can do when you have a dog afraid of loud noises.

Create a Safe, Comfortable Spot

The first thing you need to do for your dogs is give them a cozy and comfortable spot to go in your home when loud noises occur. The dog wants to feel safe and protected, and if you are not home when the noises occur, it helps to give them somewhere to go. Dogs that are crate-trained often prefer their crate. Even with the door open, they feel safe and comfortable in the crate. Set it up to give your dog a place to hide if they are scared from noises or other things going on in the household with a dog bed, blankets, toys, and access to water.

Distract the Dog

If you are home when the noises occur, such as having loud sirens outside or thunder and lightning during a storm, try to distract the dog in any way you can. You can't always stop the source of the noise, but you can give your dog something else to concentrate on. Try getting out some of their favorite toys and playing with the dog while the noise is occurring. It may take a short period of time before your dog is distracted enough to play, but noises like loud construction sounds can last quite a bit of time, so it helps to distract the dog in any way you can.

Don't Leave Them Alone

When you are home when the loud noises first begin and your dog is obviously terrified, don't just leave them alone where they are. Try to stay with them until either the noises stop or your dog shows that it is calming down. Many dogs simply want to know they are not alone and will relax just by being in your presence. If you need to go upstairs during a loud thunderstorm, bring the dog with you so it can remain comforted.

When you have a dog that has severe anxiety with all loud noises and nothing seems to calm it down, it is time to visit your veterinarian.