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

Common Characteristics

About Noise PhobiaPage 3 of 13

Common Characteristics

What are the noise phobia incidence/prevalence rates?

  • Up to 50% of dogs may be afflicted with a noise phobia. However, only 16%2 of owners reported that they would actually seek advice for treatment for their dog from their veterinarian; this means that for every 3 cases seen in practice 17 cases may go unmentioned.
  • The most common noise phobias (listed in descending order) are: 1. fireworks, 2. thunderstorms, 3. vacuum cleaners, 4. loud voices, 5. engines, 6. door bangs, 7. party poppers and 8. bird scarers.
    • However, the first four account for >65% of cases.4

What is the average patient signalment?

  • Breed – Working group dogs, specifically herding group breeds and hounds.
  • Age – Typically doesn’t develop at less than 1 year of age. Dogs of all ages can be afflicted with noise phobias.
    • However, 78% of the cases presented in one study, were between 1 and 5 years.
    • Dogs that have not previously been exposed to noise at a young age, but that may have future exposure to noise may be at higher risk.
  • Sex – No sex predilection.

Are there any genetic or breed commonalities?

  • All breeds are susceptible to developing noise phobias. However, there appears to be a higher incidence among the working dog group, specifically herding breeds and hounds. It is suspected that there is a genetic component to this disease.
  • Dogs adopted from animal shelters also appear to have an increased risk of developing noise phobias.
2 July 2014, Burke Brand Equity Report, prepared for Ceva Animal Health
4 Sheppard G, Mills DS. Evaluation of dog appeasing pheromone (DAP) as a potential treatment for dogs fearful of fireworks. Veterinary Record, 2003; 152, 432-436