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When Senior Dogs Become Sensitive To Loud Sounds

When Senior Dogs Become Sensitive To Loud Sounds

As Sherman ages it’s obvious that he’s becoming sensitive to loud sounds.

Sounds that he never seemed to bother him when he was younger now make him nervous.

Sounds that senior dogs can be sensitive to

The most common sounds that make him nervous are sirens, thunder, fireworks, smoke alarms, loud music and most recently, the periodical cicadas.

These bugs are loud. They sound like a muffled siren and the make noise until the sound goes down. (You can hear them on a video I posted to Facebook last week)

His degree of anxiety over loud sounds has been increasing slowly over the years. It’s not extreme but it’s definitely noticeable.


Signs that a dog is sensitive to sounds

His signs of anxiety are heavy panting, velcro newf to the extreme, and pacing. Sometimes he will get diarrhea.

I hate seeing him get so upset so I do what I can for him.

When Senior Dogs Become Sensitive To Loud Sounds

I let him be by me as much as he needs to be by me.

Products that may help dogs sensitive to certain sounds

I try to drown out the sound with white noise such as a fan, or soft music. I have heard that Through a Dog’s Ear is wonderful but I haven’t used it yet.

I give him a massage. Who doesn’t want a massage when they’re stressed out?

I give him a few drops of Rescue Remedy. I’ve been lucky with this product because it seems to take the edge off. I’ve been known to take a few drops myself BUT I know several people that have used it and did not see any results.

I don’t use a ThunderShirt. I’ve looked into them and I’m a fan of the product but in the summer, I don’t think that it’s a good idea to put more layers onto my already layered up Newfie. Again, I like the product, it’s just not a product right for us.

CBD oils can also help ease anxiety in senior dogs that are sensitive to loud sounds. 

Is your dog sensitive to sounds? Have they always been sensitive or is it something that came as they aged? What tips do you have to share?

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Kimberly Gauthier

Monday 13th of June 2016

Our dogs are still young so they're not sensitive to sound. I found that I wrecked Rodrigo, because I would reward his fear as a puppy and I created a fearful dog. I wish I knew better then.

Thanks for sharing about this, because it makes sense that our dogs can change over the years.

The most recent new fear are wind storms, because we had a doozy last year and the dogs were outside. Rodrigo been terrified sense. Sitting with him helps and sometimes just saying "it's okay, Rodrigo" will calm him down. For now.


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

That seems to work with Sherman for right now although I can't help but wonder how much his fear is going to intensify over the coming years.


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Linus is sensitive to sound. We live close to Disneyland and he's not to fond of the fireworks around 9pm. The two main things we do for Linus is drown out the sound with white noise (we usually use the TV or radio) and Linus has a Thundershirt which I think helps him a little bit, but as you said it's not the greatest in the summer months.


Friday 10th of June 2016

Oh wow. Every night with the fireworks? Poor Linus!

Monika & Sam

Monday 6th of June 2016

As Sam has gotten older he has started getting more sensitive to various sounds. I have used "Licks Zen" (homeopathic calming remedy) to Sam when we travel but may give the Rescue Remedy a shot. Along with lots of essential oils (lavender, tangerine), he should be sedated/calm enough to be able to get through the fireworks season which has started earlier this year and now seems to bother him. Hope Sherman gets some relief-nothing worse than watching them stress out.


Monday 6th of June 2016

Thanks. I forgot about lavender being a calming oil and I have a whole bottle of it!

The thing I've heard about the Rescue Remedy is that it helps on some and not on others. I don't know if it depends on the severity of the anxiety or what.

Dachshund Nola

Monday 6th of June 2016

Poor guy. Nola has separation anxiety, and I've had decent luck with various "calming" treats, and the ThunderShirt helps when she's crated away from me.


Monday 6th of June 2016

I've heard great things about the ThunderShirt and so so many people have said that they have had good results with it but I just think it would be too warm for him in the summer when it seems like he needs it most. I'm going to have to check out the material.


Monday 6th of June 2016

We've really only been dealing with this since Hay-Li joined us last year. And, for Bay-Li and Car-Li, when I got a new pressure cooker!

Hay-Li spent 6 years trapped in a cage inside a puppy mill an AKC judge had in his house in Parma. I don't have any idea what that man did to Hay-Li (& the 32 other rescued Shih Tzus), but certain things petrify her. Beeping of any type, horns, loud sounds, when we yell watching sports (grrrr Cavs!!), and thunderstorms. The vet just prescribed us Trazadone for the storms because she can keep me up all night, gives herself diarrhea, and she gets in such a state we're worried she could fall off our tall beds and hurt herself. The Thundershirt and Thunderspray work great for her, and the shirt keeps her warm...during the day, at night not so much.

I've also used Rescue Remedy and couldn't tell if it worked. I let her stick close to me too, unfortunately during storms she's also a pacer and seems like she just wants to leave, but anywhere we'd let her go, including her playpen safe place, she can't relax. Sometimes calming music for dogs, on YouTube helps. Our first dog, Ashe-Li, was afraid of storms but simply would hide under the bed until they were over and that was it.

With Bay-Li & Car-Li they WERE fine, but maybe it's aging as well because I got a new electric pressure cooker that beeps, as well as periodically releases steam and now they're scared of things that beep! Which makes serving their dinner at the same time as ours, in a kitchen with many beeping appliances, tricky. Car-Li will actually run away and not eat, so we let her dine in the Executive Suite...aka a bedroom! I won a pressure canner last winter and do a lot of canning from June-November so I hope it's not too loud!

Since this is also new for me, I'm glad you posted this and look forward to others responses. They're going to be repaving our street and rest of the neighborhood the month of July and I'm absolutely dreading it because I don't think the dogs are going to react well, especially if they're cooped up inside too much!


Monday 6th of June 2016

That is crazy that the pressure cooker scares them. That is something I never would of thought of!

I felt so bad for Sherman a few weeks ago when our fire alarm went off! He was terrified.

Fingers crossed with the repaving!

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