Fireworks, Storms, and Traffic, Oh My!

Written By: Briseis Schreibman

Noises! They’re a constant presence, especially in a big city like Chicago. Although some sounds like fireworks or other outdoor celebrations may be temporarily on pause, there’s still stormy nights and loud upstairs neighbors. Some animals pay these distractions no mind, but unfortunately, others turn into a mess of anxiety. My greyhound George certainly leans toward the latter. Fireworks are his kryptonite, one loud kaboom, and he would start whining and try to hide in the nearest crevice. At first, we thought he would grow out of this fear as he became familiar with the sound, but after a few rough nights, we realized it was time to take a more active approach. With some research online, along with trial and error, we found some reliable solutions. The most effective treatment for George was offering a safe place.

We put his bed in the most soundproof part of our home. This gave him peace of mind and a place to retreat to when he was feeling scared, allowing him some ownership of the process. When the sound is prolonged, we will often try to “compete” by playing a white noise machine or some other soft music. This provides a gentle distraction that can redirect a sacred animal’s attention. The use of thunder jackets and different calming scents are also often promoted by animal-help guides. For George, a safe place and some calming sounds are just the tricks to get through some spooky loud noises. Of course, every animal is different, and the solution to one pet’s anxiety might not be the same as another.

Whatever your pets’ speed, CUP would love to hear about your tips for managing animal stress.

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