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According to veterinary behaviorist Bonnie Beaver, 20% of dogs of all ages and breeds suffer from noise phobia so severe that their people seek professional help for them. My guess is that percentage goes way up if you included dogs who are never seen by professionals. When our bio-acoustic research team originally went into phase two clinical testing on music that is now known as Through a Dog’s Ear, we purposely started testing just before July 4th in the U.S., due to the huge number of dogs who experience anxiety when they hear fireworks. After all, they are hearing loud, random booms that they rarely hear others time of the year. They can’t orient the sound, and they don’t know if the sounds signify upcoming danger.
Humans hear frequencies for 20 to 20,000 Hz (how fast a sound wave is traveling – one Hz is one wave cycle per second). The high range for dogs is at least 50,000 Hz. So they are hearing the fireworks significantly louder than we are. No wonder that more dogs escape their yards on July 4th than any other day of the year. The loud booms confuse them and they will do anything to seek safety and comfort.
Sound therapy to the rescue. While it doesn’t work on every dog, 80% of the dogs in the home environment who went through clinical testing exhibited signs of calming when listening to music of Through a Dog’s Ear (specifically Music to Calm your Canine Companion). Since our release in 2008, I have personally heard from hundreds of people in the U.S. who have replaced drugs with sound therapy on July 4th and the days preceeding.
Here are some of the comments and stories I received this week:
“I put the CD in at around 9:00 knowing the fireworks would be starting around 9:30. So down the basement, with Music to Calm your Canine Volume 1 playing, it couldn’t have been better! Thank you, Thank you! Three great nights of togetherness with beatiful background music and no shaking.” Molson Golden
“Annie and I thank you for your wonderful CD, she made it through the 4th peacefully!” Reba R., Boise, Idaho
“Yesterday was the 4th of July and even though it is illegal in our city to shoot off fireworks, some people will always do it anyway. Our 9 year old German Sheppard, Kobuk, is terrified of the sounds from fireworks. It had been very quiet in our neighborhood until around 11:30 PM when the fireworks began. Kobuk became very upset and looked for a place to get away from the noise. I got out of bed and played the sampler CD that came with the book, Through a Dog’s Ear. Within 3 songs, Kobuk was completely calm and beginning to go back to sleep. I cannot tell you how comforting your music is to own. I wish we had known about you and your product years ago. It is horrible to watch any animal, especially your own dog, be so traumatized and be so helpless to be able to calm them. Thank you very much. My wife and I (and our dogs!) wish you great success.” Daryl P., Anchorage, Alaska
“I used a Thundershirt and TADE music all weekend for my fearful/abused dog, Dax, who is terrified of fireworks – except for last night, he was relaxed and asleep for most of the fireworks, and I am very pleased that we were able to get through the long weekend without the use of medication!” Susan S., Central Ohio
“Thank you for your wonderful music. It is getting us through the fireworks.” Dianna B.
“Despite Lucy’s high anxiety about everything else, she has been amazingly calm during the heavy (and illegal) fireworks barrages in our neighborhood. Not a bark, whimper, shake, hide, quiver, or “”what’s that?” look from her. She goes outside willingly on her routine potty breaks and seems more interested in the fireflies than the boom booms. Thank heavens! No drugs needed. Though *I* will need the TaDE music to get myself to sleep soon!” J.J. B
How do your dogs do during fireworks? Thanks for sharing your stories below..