When most people think about summer, they think of fun, relaxing, and warm days. For many dogs, it is completely the opposite.
More than half of all dogs suffer from "noise anxiety." During the summer, with window-rattling thunderstorms and earsplitting fireworks, it is quite a stressful season for them. A dog's senses are much better than a human's are, and one of their greatest senses is hearing. While a human might think fireworks are loud, to dogs the impressive Fourth of July displays are even louder. Their keen hearing abilities amplify the sounds, thus creating a panicky environment for our loyal companions.
Countless other sounds like lawn mowers and coffee grinders frighten dogs as well and cause them to cower in corners or quake violently. Some dogs might climb into the bathtub or shower when scared, or even run down stairs, a technique that isn't safe for older dogs.
Over the years, many remedies have been developed to help 'scaredy-dogs', but none seem to work efficiently. For a long time, vets treated such anxiety with sedatives and tranquilizers. This method merely helps dogs avoid fear, however, and does not cure it. That is, these drugs just immobilize the dogs, who remain alert and frightened, just frozen. The poor pooches can hear the fear-activating noises, but they are immobile inside their slumbering bodies, terrified, and not able to run away. Some veterinary behaviorists theorize that this may even make the fear worse.
That's where a new drug called Sileo could come into play. It is the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for canine noise aversion. Sileo inhibits a brain chemical associated with anxiety and fear response. Though it isn't a miracle cure, Sileo is a worthy option.
Hopefully, this drug will prove successful soon and save our beloved dogs from another summer of fear.
The New York Times