Is your pet keeping you up at night? Are they disturbing you during the day? A noisy pet can be frustrating not just for you and your family, but also to the people who live around you. Man's barking best friend, talkative cockatoos and purring felines who love to knock things over are part of our families, but the noise is enough to drive anyone mad. Put an end to naughty behaviour with these easy-to-follow measures.
GIVE THEM LOVE
Just like children, bored pets will give you grief. Make sure you're stimulating your pets by taking them for walks and playing with them regularly. In doing so, you allow them to get rid of any excess energy that might otherwise be released through barks, meows and squawks. If you know your dog barks during the day, take them out for early morning walks so they will rest while you’re at work. You should also leave toys around the house and the yard that your pets can occupy themselves with.
REWARD THE GOOD AND IGNORE THE BAD
Positive reinforcement is the best way of ensuring that your pet understands what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. Reward them with treats or attention when they are exhibiting calm, quiet behaviour. If your usual response to your pet making noise is to go over and comfort them, you're showing them that being loud will get them attention. Although it may seem mean at first, walking or looking away from your pet when they vocalise will teach them that this kind of behaviour has negative consequences.
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CREATE A CALM ENVIRONMENT
Overly stimulating environments can also lead to excessive noise. Birds are especially prone to this, but you can address it by being quiet with relaxed movements around them and covering their cage with a breathable cloth overnight to minimise light exposure. If you live in a heavily populated area with a lot of traffic around your house, contemplate leaving your pets indoors while you’re out.
HAVE THEM PRACTICE BEING ALONE
A pet left at home alone can become quite lonely. For those who don't work from home, leaving pets alone for several hours a day is an unavoidable part of life. The more comfortable your pet is being alone, the less noise they will ultimately make. Try to introduce alone-time gradually, by first putting them out in the yard or in an empty part of the house for a couple of hours when you're at home to keep an eye on them, and then increase the time from there.
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SEE A PROFESSIONAL
There are just some problems that you can't solve on your own. If you've tried all the above steps and you still can't stop the noise, it's time to seek professional help. First, book yourself into the vet to make sure that there is no medical issue causing your pet's behaviour. If you're given the all clear, visit an animal behaviourist who will be able to examine your specific case and help you resolve it.
Do you have a noisy housemate of the four-legged variety? Share your tips for keeping thing quiet with your (grateful!) neighbours below!