Dogs Fear Footie as much as Fireworks
Dogs’ fear of fireworks has been well documented but new research has revealed that it’s not just November 5th that dog owners need to prepare for. Every family afternoon spent supporting a favourite sports team on TV is a potential meltdown for the family pet.
Forty-two percent of dogs in a UK national survey reacted fearfully to raised voices and the level of fear appears to relate to the emotional content of the voice with just over 35% of dogs showing fear of angry voices, 25% reacting to shouting and 13% being afraid of loud voices.
Animal behaviourist and vet, Jon Bowen, who conducted the research on behalf of animal health company Zoetis, comments: “It’s surprising that such large numbers of dogs react fearfully to a wide range of human vocalisations from crying and screaming to shouting because previously fireworks, thunder and gunshot sounds have always been regarded as the most common sources of noise related fear in dogs.
“Our study shows that social gatherings could be a significant source of stress for dogs particularly when people are distressed or arguing. With a TV in almost every home, there is no shortage of times when voices are raised or emotions run high; just think of the last time you watched your favourite football team, I wonder how many dogs were hiding behind the sofa!”
For noises that do not have a social origin, fireworks, thunder or gunshots remain the biggest cause of fear (46%) with vacuum cleaners (26%) and roadworks (16%) featuring in the top five scariest noises for dogs.
A new non-sedative, fast-acting treatment for noise anxiety in dogs is now available from your local vet and, once prescribed, it is the only treatment that can be given to your dog as and when needed for each noise anxiety event.
With up to half of all dogs reacting fearfully to sound, noise anxiety is a common behavioural concern in dogs. Typical signs include panting, trembling, pacing, hiding or trying to escape but if left untreated, the condition typically worsens.
Jon Bowen continues: “One of the reasons for undertaking this research was to understand more about the types of noises that frighten dogs. By being aware of those noises, owners can plan ahead to manage the situation and greatly reduce their dog’s stress.”
(Source: Pet Dialogue)