Most dog owners have experienced the puzzled look from their furry friends when they sneeze, but some dogs may even show signs of fear or anxiety.
While it may be amusing to see our dogs’ reaction to such an everyday event, it’s important to understand why this happens so that we can help them feel more comfortable.
There are a few possible explanations for why dogs might get scared when we sneeze. In this article, we’ll explore what might be causing your dog to feel scared or anxious when you sneeze and how you can help ease their anxiety.
What Causes Dogs to Get Scared When We Sneeze?
This condition is known as noise anxiety which can be triggered by any number of noises, including the sound of a sneeze. Dogs with noise anxiety may become agitated, fearful, or even panicked when they hear the sound that’s causing them distress.
In extreme cases, dogs with noise anxiety may try to escape from their homes or yards in an attempt to get away from the source of the noise, which can be dangerous.
What Causes Noise Aversion?
There are a number of possible causes of noise aversion, and it is believed that some breeds are naturally predisposed to developing this condition. Herding dogs like German shepherds are particularly susceptible, as well as some working dogs.
Dogs that are in close proximity to one another and are exposed to the same noises can also start to share the same anxiety.
Dogs are highly social animals, and they often take their cues from other members of their pack. If one dog is afraid of something, it’s likely that the others will pick up on this fear and become frightened as well.
Another cause of noise anxiety can include traumatic events. Dogs that have had negative experiences with particular noises are also more likely to develop noise anxiety.
For example, a dog that was injured by a firework may become anxious or scared when they hear similar noises in the future.
Symptoms Of Noise Anxiety In Dogs
Dogs that suffer from noise anxiety may show a variety of different symptoms. Here are some of the most common signs that your dog may be experiencing noise anxiety:
- Shaking or trembling
- Whimpering or whining
- Trying to escape
- Urinating or defecating in the house
How Can I Help My Dog With Noise Anxiety?
There are a few things you can do to help ease your dog’s anxiety and make them more comfortable when they hear noises that trigger their fear.
1. Finding The Cause
It can be hard to watch your dog suffer from noise anxiety, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing their distress. However, the first step to helping your furry friend is to try and determine the source of their anxiety.
This may require some detective work on your part, but it will be worth it to help your dog feel better. Look for patterns in when and where your dog becomes anxious.
In some cases, the cause may be obvious, such as if your dog was traumatized by loud noises during a thunderstorm. However, in other cases, the cause may be more subtle, such as if your dog was always anxious around loud noises but never had a negative experience.
Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can start to look for ways to help your dog relax in those situations.
2. Change Your Dog’s Environment
One way to help your dog feel more comfortable is by providing a safe haven for them to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed. This could be a quiet room where they can go to get away from the noise.
You can also help by playing calming music or using a white noise machine to help drown out the sound of the noise.
Finally, it is important to provide plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog is calm and relaxed.
3. Desensitize Your Dog To The Noise
To help their dogs cope with noise anxiety, many owners try behavior modification techniques.
The most common of these is desensitization, which involves gradually exposing the dog to the sound he fears, starting at a level that does not cause him distress.
The volume is then slowly increased over time until the dog is no longer afraid. The process can be tricky, and it is important to work with a qualified trainer to ensure that it is done correctly.
However, desensitization is often successful in helping dogs to overcome their fear of loud noises.
In addition, it can be used in combination with other techniques, such as counterconditioning and positive reinforcement, to further reduce a dog’s anxiety.
4. Apply Pressure Wraps
One way to help your dog feel more calm and secure is by using a technique called “pressure wraps.” This can be done with a Thundershirt or other type of pressure wrap.
The idea behind this method is that the gentle pressure on the dog’s body has a calming effect, much like being hugged. This may help to ease your dog’s anxiety and make them feel more comfortable in situations that trigger their fear.
5. Use Medications
If your dog’s anxiety is serious enough, you may need to consult a vet for medication options. While there are some effective natural solutions as described above, sometimes prescription medications are necessary to provide real relief.
Your vet will be able to assess your dog’s individual situation and make recommendations accordingly. In some cases, a combination of medication and behavioral therapy may be recommended.
6. Use Pheromones
Pet parents who are looking for more natural remedies to keep their dogs healthy and happy may want to consider products that contain pheromones.
Pheromones are chemical substances that are produced by animals and humans and that affect the behavior or development of other members of the same species.
For dogs, pheromone products can help to reduce stress and anxiety, promote bonding and socialization, and even encourage calm and confident behavior.
When used correctly, pheromones can be a safe and effective way to treat common behavioral issues in dogs. And since they are not drugs or medications, they carry none of the risks associated with traditional treatments.
7. Use Supplements Such As CBD Oils
CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and has been shown to have many health benefits. It can be used to treat anxiety, pain, and inflammation. CBD oil is also non-toxic and does not have any psychoactive effects.
When choosing a CBD oil for your dog, it is important to choose one that is organic and has a high potency. Start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
You can give CBD oil to your dog by putting it on their food or treats. If you are concerned about your dog’s noise anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about using CBD oil as a treatment option.
Dogs can get scared when their owners sneeze due to the noise it produces. This is often referred to as “noise anxiety” and can cause dogs to become agitated, fearful, or even panicked. If your dog seems to get scared every time you sneeze, there are a few things you can do to help ease their anxiety.
You can try behavior modification techniques such as desensitization or counterconditioning. You can also use products that contain pheromones or CBD oil. If your dog’s anxiety is severe, you may need to consult a vet for medication options. With a little patience and effort, you can help your dog to overcome their fear of loud noises.