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Ask Dr. Henry

Ask Dr. Henry

Question: Hi Dr. Henry! My dog Dakoda always hides in the shower when there are loud booms from fireworks or thunderstorms. Lately, he’s in there all the time! He’s still eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom just fine, but I am worried that he’s secluding himself all the time. What should I do?

Thanks for your help!
– Melissa R.

Hello Melissa! Thanks so much for asking this question, because this time of year—with summer thunderstorms and July 4th fireworks—it’s important to talk about noise aversion in pets.

Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans, and so the condition of noise aversion is quite common. With many dogs (and it sounds like yours may be one of them) noises bother the animal more and more over time, causing the condition to become worse rather than get better. This can really compromise a pet’s quality of life.

There are several things you can do to minimize the effects of noise for your pet, including:

  • Putting your pet in a room and turning on white noise or soft music to dull the sounds
  • Distracting your pet with games and toys
  • Avoiding comforting or punishment—both reinforce the fear reaction
  • Consider getting your pet a Thundershirt or a natural remedy such as Composure Pro

At Kimberling Animal Hospital, we can also recommend pharmaceutical assistance for severe cases: both the sedative Trazadone and Sileo, a product made specifically for pets with noise aversion, can be effective. We’d be happy to discuss all available options for helping your pet—just give us a call at 417-739-4090.

We’re here to help!

Dr. Ross Henry