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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10060
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog is terrified of the noise a smoke detector makes. She

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My dog is terrified of the noise a smoke detector makes. She has come to associate the very act of cooking in the kitchen with the possibility hearing the noise and she begins panting, is underfoot, tail between her legs. Today she started it even though we were simply in the kitchen with nothing on so she seems to be getting worse. We put her in our bedroom and she urinated on the floor and bed. Any suggestions to break her from this phobia?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 7 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. One of my dogs is actually scared of the beeping by the smoke alarm. When dealing with noise phobia, the best way to start with is to desenistive to the sound. This can be difficult to do. You can try taping the sound the alarm makes and playing it over and over again on a very low volume. If she tolerates it at a certain volume, increase the sound gradually. This can take a while and doesn't work on all dogs. Often times, using anti-anxiety medication during this process can help her learn better. I often use clomipramine or fluoxetine, which is Prozac. I would talk to your vet about getting a prescription for one of these medications. If you coddle her when she is going through this, I recommend stopping that. If you are trying to reassure her, you are actually reassuring her behavior. This can cause the behavior to get worse, often times making it difficult to correct. It is really best to ignore the behavior and not give her attention for it. This will help her learn better. Be patient. The process is not quick. I usually recommend going through these steps under the guidance of a pet trainer. Your vet should be able to recommend one in your area. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
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