Noise Phobia in Dogs - Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment


SummaryPage 12 of 13

As we have learned, noise phobia is a reaction to a noise that is so intense and out of context that it interferes with the dog’s normal functioning, it is “all or nothing” (it typically results in a disproportionate response to the stimulus), and it often persists after the threat is gone.

The stats

  • Noise phobias affect a significant portion of the veterinary patient population, up to 50% of dogs seen. However, most patients are not diagnosed.
  • Only 16% of pet owners seek advice from their veterinarian. Many pet owners don’t consider reporting behavior problems until it impacts their property or quality of life.
  • Veterinary professionals should proactively probe for behavior issues – specifically noise phobias. Remember, only 3 out of every 20 cases are diagnosed and receive intervention and treatment.

Ask questions

  • Certain types of dogs such as herding dogs, hounds and dogs adopted from animal shelters are at a higher risk of developing noise phobias, but any dog is at risk. Questioning owners, in particular owners of dogs at high risk, is the key to opening the door to diagnosis and treatment.
  • Two starting questions are:
    • How does your dog react to loud noises?
    • Has your dog’s reactions to loud noises changed over time?
  • All dogs with an abnormal response to a noise require treatment, as without treatment virtually all of these dog’s clinical signs progress in severity over time.

The treatment options

As recommended by the BSAVA, all noise phobic patients require at least two points of intervention to start:

  • Use pheromones (ADAPTIL®) – which is clinically proven to help reduce fearful reactions to loud noises.
  • Teach your clients how to build a ‘safe spot’ or den.

Depending on the severity of the dog’s clinical signs a third treatment component may need to be added, that being short and/or long term medication.

Increase your clientele

With increased vigilance and screening, several outcomes become possible.

  • Veterinarians have the ability to treat a largely under-diagnosed patient population.
  • Earlier intervention is implemented which may lead to better outcomes with less treatment modalities.
  • More dogs receive the treatment they need decreasing their suffering.
  • The pet and owner will have an improved quality of life.
ADAPTIL® is a registered trademark of Ceva Santé Animale S.A.