I recently had an experience with my dogs that I will never, ever forget and need to share what I learned with other dog owners for their dogs and other inside pets they may have.
When a smoke alarm's battery is about to die, it will beep nonstop until it is replaced. Some alarms are louder than others, we have two within our home.
Last year when one of the batteries died and started to beep, it was loud and scared all three of my dogs. I had to run outside to our detached garage, get a ladder, run back inside, climb up and remove the battery. It took a little longer than 3 minutes and my dogs were visibly shaken. I stopped the loud noise and it took several hours for my dogs to calm down.
Time passed and I took one of my dogs to PetSmart. While there, she heard the forklift in their warehouse area and completely fell apart in the store. She was shaking all over and was absolutely terrified. I've taken her back a few times and each time the same thing happened so I now shop at PetSmart alone.
I wrote on my calendar when to change the battery and actually will probably physically do so much earlier than I need too. I never want my dogs to be that terrified again. I felt like an unfit mother. It never occurred to me to change the second smoke alarm because it was wired into the ceiling. I didn't know that it had a back up battery in it.
Well to make a very long story short, I was taking a shower when it decided to die. All of my dogs jumped into the shower with me, literally, shaking. Ginger is 95 pounds, Emma 70 pounds, and Rosie 65 pounds. I had just put hair conditioner on when it happened. If this wasn't so sad, it would of been almost hysterical to watch.
Thank God, I'm disabled and was actually home when this happened. If I was still able to work and this had happened while I was gone, my three dogs would have been extremely stressed, if not worse.
Afterwards, my now muddy dogs, each had to have a bath and it took several hours to clean up the house and bathroom after their desperate escape to get away from the shrieking alarm.
Due to this, all three now panic when they hear trucks backing up. There's nothing I can do, to undo how they react to the noise, but if I can help other owners and pets, this hint is well worth it.
By CPJ from Madison, AL
You learned a very hard lesson. Your dogs surely are lucky that you were home when this happened. I also am unable to work and have had mine go off scaring my 2 dachshunds terribly, although luckily not as badly as yours. Mine just went out the back door (they made sure I knew to let them out) and way out to the back end of the yard. The "tips" say to change them at the same time you change your clocks for daylight savings time. I change my batteries at the start of every new season, spring, summer, fall, winter.
The is really good advice. Something I never though of. Thanks!
What great advice! I would never have thought of it. I tried hard not to snicker at the picture of all of you in the shower....I failed. Thanks so much for sharing.
I have a rescued border collie who is terrified of thunder and fireworks etc. She would run and cower under the stairs as far away as she could find to escape the dreadful scary noise. Part of her problem was being beaten and screamed at before we got her also, so she had the emotional anguish to cope with too.
I made a big fuss of the noise in a good way, as one of the posts suggested. Beef jerky comes out (Fave food in the world!) toys, games and all the fun stuff I could think of. I also recorded the next lot of fireworks and played it every day, low volume, for a couple of hours, gradually increasing the volume. This worked really well in de-sensitising her to the sharp noise.
Now she gets startled and a little edgy, but one piece of beef jerky and a game has her back to normal. I feel the problem with your dogs needs to be treated with care, as to DE-sensitise is a good idea, but at the same time use it as an opportunity to train them to leave the house through their doggy door (?) when they hear the beeper going off. The last thing you want is to have them lose their fear of the noise, but stay happily in a burning house if you are not there to shepherd them out.
Vicki, Queensland, Australia