Summer storms with lightning and thunder, particularly over December and January, along with Christmas eve / New Year’s eve fireworks are often a source of stress for noise sensitive greyhounds, impacting on racing programs.
To ensure greyhounds across Victoria have a happy and relaxed Christmas and New Year, GRV’s Greyhound Welfare Department has some useful tips for dealing with noise sensitive greyhounds:
- Do not be afraid to comfort your greyhound. It is a myth that comforting them will make them more scared. However, you need to be calm and reassuring.
- Be prepared! Summer storms are usually forecasted, and you can help your greyhound cope better by:
– creating a safe space, well-insulated from noise, for your greyhound to retreat to; for example, a crate (with the door left open) covered in blankets. The crate can be moved into a race kennel, the laundry or a place in your home/kennel block away from windows. The blankets help reduce the sound and create a feeling of safety while blocking out lightning flashes; and
– playing music, a TV, a fan, or a white noise CD or sound app can help to dull the sound of the storm.
Sensitivity to storms and loud noises is not something that happens all at once. It is often a learned fear and becomes worse as greyhounds get older.
GRV’s Greyhound Welfare Department has some useful fact sheets on managing fear of loud noise you may wish to read. If you notice your greyhound becoming more sensitive to noises, seek help early from your veterinarian!
Not only will they give your greyhound a complete health check to ensure there are medical conditions making the problem worse, they may also recommend a simple solution such as using a calming Thundershirt or similar rug in the kennel.
In some more severe cases they may recommend medication or treatment by a behavioural expert.
Comforting your greyhound in an area they feel safe in can help them overcome their fears.
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