Some noises are really scary to our furry friends. To help them overcome their fear, we use a technique called desensitisation. Read on to learn more.
What is Desensitisation?
Desensitisation involves exposing your pet to scary sounds in a controlled and supportive way. We start by playing the sound to the pet very quietly when they are relaxed and rewarding them (lots of treats!) when they don’t react to the sound.
We continually repeat this over several days and weeks, each time turning up the volume just slightly. After a time, you should be able to play the sound at a high volume without any problems. Hooray!
A couple of notes: It’s really important that you pet is not exposed to the “real” full-volume noise during the desensitisation time. For example, if you are desensitising them to thunder, it’s best to do it in the winter when thunderstorms are unlikely. Also, if your pet starts reacting to the sound played during desensitisation, simply turn down the volume again to a point where they no longer react and then continue.
We have a great website dedicated to desensitisation. It has a booklet with much more information, and a whole library of sounds you can download to get started.
Booklet: Sounds Scary Booklet
Sound Library: Sounds Scary Sound Therapy Library
Occasionally, pets may need additional help with desensitisation therapy, such as medication to help them relax. If you have any questions, we’re here to help! Contact us anytime.