Managing Dog Anxiety Caused by Noise

Dog anxiety caused by noise can lead to panic attacks and unusual behavior. Noise anxiety can be triggered by powerful thunder, fireworks, ambulance sirens or a loud TV. Canine anxiety can be managed with a few techniques. Some of these will work on some dogs, while others may not have the expected effect.

Noise Anxiety: Causes and Symptoms

All dogs have sensitivity to noise, and the threshold depends partly on each dog. Some dogs may react negatively to loud music, while others will only be afraid of fireworks that are close to your house.

Other factors that may trigger anxiety in pets include:

  • Sirens
  • Thunders
  • Pressure wraps
  • Sudden slapping of doors
  • Loud TV
  • Noisy ceremonies

These triggers will lead to a sudden change in behavior. Your dog will be agitated and will try to hide under beds, in the bathroom or a place he feels safe in. He may also shiver, breathe heavily, whine or bark.

If the dog is very stressed he may become aggressive, because he feels threatened. He may escape from the house.


Desensitization is the overexposure of the dog to the factors that cause noise anxiety. Finding the trigger is easy, as the symptoms appear during or immediately after the exposure to noise.

During the desensitization sessions, the dog will be gradually exposed to his anxiety trigger. At first, the dog will be exposed for a short time to a similar noise that's lower in intensity. The time will be increased and at the end of the therapy, the dog will be exposed to the trigger at its usual intensity.

Note that strong noises may lead to hearing problems in dogs, as the dog eardrum is sensitive.

Safe Place

If your dog is sensitive to noises, you need to have a safe place where he can go while the anxiety trigger is present. This safe place may be his crate, under or in your bed or your basement. You also need to use reassuring words and give your dog treats.

Covering the Noise

You can cover the noise with a monotonous sound, such as a fan or a washing machine. Make sure that the safe place of your dog is a secluded place, where noises are not as loud as in the rest of the rooms; basements are ideal. Place a radio or a fan in the safe place so the dog may not hear the loud noise.


Initiate some interactive games during storms or fireworks, so that your dog's attention will be sidetracked.

Note that this method does not work in severe panic attacks.

Pheromone Diffusers

Pheromone diffusers are efficient in relieving stress. The dog may be calmed when sensing a familiar odor that reminds him of his mother and puppyhood.


If none of the above techniques work, you may need the help of a vet, who can prescribe tranquilizers.

Tranquilizers may be administered before the occurrence of the noise (if you know or can predict its occurrence) or after the event.