Recent Consumer Research Indicates More than 40 Percent of Dog Owners Say Their Dogs Suffer from Noise Aversion

Fireworks and thunder are most common triggers

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – June 23, 2016 – During the Independence Day holiday, many dog owners across the country see their dogs hide, pace or even run away at the loud sounds of fireworks or other celebrations. Even sounds of thunder or construction can cause signs of fear and anxiety in dogs year-round.

A recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll and commissioned by the animal health company Zoetis found that 44 percent of dog owners reported their dog shows signs of noise aversion, which refers to the behavioral, emotional, and clinical signs of fear and anxiety that dogs experience in response to noise1.

“July 5th is the busiest day of the year for pet shelters primarily because they’re accepting dogs that have run away due to fear of loud noises or, in some cases, because pet owners surrender their dogs due to behavior issues caused by noise aversion. Many pet owners don’t recognize noise aversion as a medical condition, but it is important to get treatment early because if left untreated, noise aversion can progress to a more severe state,” said Sharon Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Veterinary Specialist, Medical Lead, Analgesia, Sedation, Anesthesia for Zoetis.

Dog owners now have a new treatment option with SILEO® (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel), the first and only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of noise aversion in dogs. SILEO is an oromucosal gel formulation of dexmedetomidine, a highly selective alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist that blocks norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a chemical in the brain that is involved in the development of fear and anxiety.

Pet owners administer SILEO by placing the gel between the dog’s cheek and gum via a needleless syringe. SILEO typically takes effect within 30–60 minutes after application. The first dose can be given as soon as the dog shows signs of anxiety and fear, or approximately 30–60 minutes before a known anxiety- or fear-causing noise stimulus, such as fireworks. Each dose of SILEO lasts between two and three hours. SILEO calms the dog, but the dog is still able to interact with their owners and other animals in the household as they normally would. The dog just won’t experience fear and anxiety associated with the noise event.

“SILEO gives pet owners flexibility because they can tailor when and how often to give it to their dogs based on the timing and duration of the noise event. SILEO is easy for the pet owner to administer. Since the effect of SILEO is to calm the dog, but still allow him or her to interact normally with family, SILEO helps maintain the human-animal bond,” said Dr. Campbell.

According to the survey results, in many situations, pet owners reported trying to comfort their dog during episodes of anxiety caused by loud noises. They either try to hug their dog (70%) or distract them with food or toys (55%).

In the survey, the most common signs of noise aversion included trembling or shaking (62%), hiding (52%), and whining, whimpering or barking (47%). Other signs included panting (36%), pacing (36%) and escape behavior (23%), which can result in self-trauma as well as property damage. Fireworks are reported as one of the top triggers for noise aversion (81%), but pet owners also said that thunder (73%), gunshots (45%) and construction noises (20%) are additional triggers. For some dogs, a doorbell (20%) or sirens (20%) can trigger noise aversion behaviors.

SILEO is only available at veterinary clinics for pet owners to administer at home. Dog owners should ask their veterinarian about noise aversion and whether SILEO is the right treatment for their dog.


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. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handle gel-dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth. For full Prescribing Information, go to

Survey methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Zoetis from May 23-25, 2016, among 2,136 adults ages 18 and older (887 are dog owners). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Zoetis

Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit

For Further Information, Contact :

Colleen White
973-822-7203 (o)

Lindsey Goodman
Archer Malmo
706-201-6721 (c)


1 Trembling, shaking, clingy, hiding, panting, pacing, whining or whimpering, cowering, escape behavior, or property destruction



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