Does Your Dog Overreact to Everyday Noises?

Sileo® (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel) is the first FDA-approved treatment for dogs that suffer from a serious condition called noise aversion. It is prescribed by your veterinarian to help keep your dog calm when he or she hears scary noises. 

Does your dog show these signs of noise aversion?

Dog under table

What is Noise Aversion?

A dog sitting under a green couch.

You may not realize that your dog is overreacting out of fear to sounds. There are many common signs your dog could be displaying that can help identify which noises, known as “triggers,” are causing them fear and anxiety. These reactions are known as noise aversion, a serious medical condition that is treatable with help from your veterinarian.

If you notice your dog overreacting to everyday noises around your home, he or she isn’t alone. In fact, 2 out of 3 dogs show signs of fear to loud noises.1

Noise aversion is not “normal” for dogs.

Overreacting to noise is a sign that your dog is fearful and anxious, similar to how you might react if you saw a monster! That’s why we call the sounds that bring fear and anxiety to dogs “noise monsters.” What may seem like a normal noise to you can be terrifying for your dog—like they’re in a horror movie that they can’t escape.

What Are the Signs and Causes of Noise Aversion?

Imagine you opened your closet and a monster jumped out from the darkness. How would you react? That feeling is similar to what your dog can experience when hearing a loud noise. Your dog thinks he/she is in danger and reacts out of fear.

Your dog’s response to noise is like a person having a panic attack but with different symptoms. Here are some of the signs of noise aversion and how commonly they are reported by dog owners like you5:

Signs of noise aversion.
Data on File, 2016. Noise Aversion, Zoetis Inc. N=472 Dog Owners, N=454 General Practitioners.

What Are the Causes of Noise Aversion?

Meet the “noise monsters”—sounds that can trigger fear and anxiety in dogs. 

Sure, loud sounds like fireworks or thunder can strike fear in dogs. But did you know that everyday sounds around your home can cause a similar reaction? Noise monsters come in all shapes and sizes—it’s one of the reasons why they’re so scary.

Here are some of the sounds in and around your home that can frighten your dog:

Noise monsters.
Cartoon drawing of a spooky house.

Think Your Dog May Have Noise Aversion?

See where they rank on the Scare Scale.

Your answers to questions about your dog’s reaction to everyday noises around the house are the first step in helping stop the “noise monsters.” If your dog is spooked by sound, share the results with your veterinarian and ask them if Sileo can help.

Help Stop the Noise Monsters With Sileo

A simple, safe, and effective solution to noise aversion.

Sileo is a medicine prescribed by your veterinarian. It helps calm your dog when frightened by loud noises around your home without making them drowsy. 

Sileo is different from other medicines:

  • The first of its kind—SILEO is the first FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs
  • Safe and effective—Clinically proven to work without other treatments or training6
  • Given as needed—When your dog hears a scary noise, SILEO is easy to give and works fast to calm them down. No daily medication needed6
  • Calms without making your dog drowsy—Helps stop fear and anxiety that they feel towards “noise monsters” while keeping your dog interacting normally with you and your family

Using Sileo

An easy, convenient at-home treatment for dogs with noise aversion.

Minimize the Effects From “Noise Monsters” Around Your Home

Sileo can help you keep your dog calm when “noise monsters” scare them. There are also things you can do around your home to help keep your dog safe from scary sounds.

  • Keep noises at a distance—Try to keep your dog away from sounds that trigger them to act out of fear and anxiety
  • Use a classical distraction—Play music to cover up noises that scare your dog. Like many people, some dogs find classical music to be relaxing7 
  • Find a safe haven—Encourage your dog to go to a soundproof area such as a basement or bathroom. Once the sound starts, your dog can feel more comfortable. Talk with your veterinarian about setting up a safe space for your dog 
  • Act like the noise isn’t a big deal—Play with your dog, read a book, watch TV. Carry on normal activities. Your dog will see that you’re not scared, which may help keep them calm 
  • Be there for your best bud—Just being around your dog can comfort them

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t punish your dog—If you discipline your dog for having an accident or destroying something in reaction to a loud noise, it can make them even more afraid. Remember, your dog is acting out of fear, not misbehaving
A dog is being examined by a vet.

Ask Your Veterinarian About Other Ways to Help Keep Your Dog Safe From the Fear of Sound

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: See Prescribing Information. Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver or kidney diseases, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation, or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue or in dogs hypersensitive to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. SILEO should not be administered in the presence of preexisting hypotension, hypoxia, or bradycardia. Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival disease that could have an effect on the absorption of SILEO. SILEO has not been evaluated for use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs or for aversion behaviors to thunderstorms. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handlers should avoid direct exposure of SILEO to their skin, eyes or mouth. Failure to lock the ring-stop on the syringe before dosing SILEO could potentially lead to an accidental overdose. Always review INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE before dispensing and dosing.

The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States. The products discussed herein may not have marketing authorization or may have different product labeling in different countries. The animal health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with an animal healthcare professional. All decisions regarding the care of a veterinary patient must be made with an animal healthcare professional, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

Sileo® is trademark owned by Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health. It is manufactured by Orion Corporation and distributed by Zoetis under license from Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health. 

©2020 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved.


  1. The Harris Poll: Custom Motion Sickness and Noise Aversion Omnibus Pet Owner Quantitative Research Report; December 2018.
  2. Shull-Selcer EA, Stagg W. Advances in the understanding and treatment of noise phobias. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991;21(2):353-367.
  3. Overall KL, Dunham AE, Frank D. Frequency of nonspecific clinical signs in dogs with separation anxiety, thunderstorm phobia, and noise phobia, alone or in combination.  J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001;219(4):467-473.
  4. Sherman BL, Mills DS. Canine anxieties and phobias: an update on separation anxiety and noise aversions. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2008;38(5):1081-1106.
  5. Data on File, 2016. Noise Aversion, Zoetis Inc. N=472 Dog Owners, N=454 General Practitioners.
  6. SILEO (dexmedetomidine). Prescribing information. Zoetis Inc; 2017. 
  7. Wells DL, Graham L, Hepper PG. The influence of auditory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Anim Welfare. 2002;11(4):385-393.