Canine noise aversion is defined as anxiety and fear based reaction to noise, which is also known as noise sensitivity, anxiety or phobia.1 The most common triggers of canine noise aversion are fireworks and thunderstorms.2 But other common, everyday sounds including construction noise, street sounds such as screaming sirens and honking horns, or the clamor of celebrations can also trigger noise aversion. It is important to recognize these other triggers of noise aversion because, regardless of the cause, noise aversion progresses when not properly treated. Progression of noise aversion includes one or more of the following:
- Increase in severity of signs
- Aversion to new noises
- Development of other types of anxiety
- Longer time to recover from each noise event
The signs of noise aversion can be subtle such as lip licking, yawning or remaining still. More obvious signs include panting, pacing, vocalizing or hiding. In severe cases, dogs may try to run away, which can result in self-trauma as well as property damage. The suffering associated with self-inflicted trauma is readily recognized. However, the physiological and emotional distress that dogs with noise aversion experience...