It’s absolutely normal to wish that you were able to help your dog when he or she is scared of something. There are plenty of products out there that are meant to help your dog with various issues, but few that can actually make those problems go away. One typical phobia for dogs comes from low-frequency noises like thunder, so it makes sense that many dog owners would want to make that noise disappear. Soundproofing sounds like an ideal way to solve this problem—or at least it would if it actually worked. But now your task is to learn exactly how to soundproof a dog crate.
Let’s take a moment to consider what it really means to truly soundproof a space for your dog. You’ll need to buy specialized materials and essentially construct a space for your dog into which no sound could travel. You’ll need thick walls, special padding, and you’ll have to give up any hope of being able to move your dog’s crate around your house. You’ll also spend a fortune on materials at the same time, only to find out that you can’t actually get rid of all low-frequency noises that tend to freak out your dog.
A Note on Sound
It’s always a good idea to understand why soundproofing is going to work before you decide you know better and try it anyway.
The incredibly short version here is that sound doesn’t travel in a straight line to your dog. Instead, it enters your house in all sorts of ways, whether it’s through your exterior walls, gaps in the floor, or even through the windows. Noises are incredibly good at traveling, and that’s generally a good thing for us. It is, unfortunately, not that great for a dog who might be scared of noises.
If your dog’s in a crate, he or she is definitely going to be exposed to noises. If you’re really looking to soundproof dog crates, what you’re trying to do is to eliminate any pathway that the noise has to the dog kennel.
Soundproofing and You
So, what does it really mean to soundproof a space?
In short, you’re looking for a way to block out all of the ways that sound can get into a given space. Part of this means making use of a number of different sound absorbing materials—those that can eliminate the soundwaves as they enter your home. As you might expect, these materials tend to be both expensive and fairly substantial. The other part of the process means finding a way to disconnect the space from all the ways through which those sound vibrations can travel. That means a disconnection not just from exterior walls and flooring, but also from the open-air pockets through which sound can travel.
What does that mean if you are trying to make a soundproof crate? For one, you’re going to have to make sure that nothing in your crate is touching anything else in your home. That means making sure it’s not only not touching the floor or walls, but also that it is isolated from anything through which sound could travel in your home. You’ll need to build barriers—big barriers—in order to stop sound from traveling, and that means size, specialized materials, and enormous costs. Oddly, it may truly be the materials here that make real soundproofing an impossibility.
If you want to soundproof a dog crate from low-frequency noise, your looking’s at materials that have an incredibly high soundproofing rating. Even more than that, you’re looking at materials that seem to be specially calibrated to deal with low-frequency noises, something that materials that are even as dense as concrete are really not designed to handle. Even worse, your attempts to soundproof the crate still wouldn’t work here because you are going to have to give your dog a way to get in and out of the crate!
What About The Blankets Or Dog Crate Covers?
Those of you who have easily-scared dogs may now be wondering about the blankets that you throw over your dog’s crate whenever it thunders. You’ve certainly seen that your dog calms down when you put a dog crate cover, so it simply must follow that your dog isn’t hearing the sounds when the blankets are present, right?
While dog crate covers are cozy, they aren’t all that great in terms of soundproofing. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t better than nothing, of course, but they aren’t exactly professional-grade materials. There’s a reason why you don’t see blankets being used in professional recording studios, after all, and a reason why an entire industry exists to sell you soundproofing materials even though you happen to have a perfectly lovely linen closet in your home.
While blankets might blunt a bit of noise, their real value is providing your dog with comfort. The blankets may block out visual stimuli, for example, which can help your dog to feel less overwhelmed and can give him or her one less thing to worry about. The blankets may also help your dog to simply feel safe because he or she knows that putting the blankets on the crate means that the noises will eventually stop. This means that while the blankets may not do much for noise, they can still help your dog.
The Low-Frequency Problem
The real issue with any kind of soundproofing for dogs is that you’re actually dealing with a specific range of sounds. Most of the sounds that tend to scare dogs are high-frequency sounds, which are ‘bigger’ soundwaves that are also much harder to block with any kind of standard material .
Remember, soundwaves are actually waves of pressure. These pressure waves go through not only the gases that make up the air, but also liquids and solid materials.
Sound waves are pressure waves, and they pass through gasses, liquids, and solids. When you are dealing with low-frequency waves, you’re actually dealing with huge sound waves that tend to travel quite a long way. You’ve probably noticed that you can hear thunder even when you’re deep inside a building. This is because the soundwaves of the thunder are big enough and powerful enough that they are virtually impossible to block.
Can Crates Protect Dogs from Noise?
There are a number of different “soundproof dog crates” that claim that they can protect a dog from the sound of thunder or from other low-frequency noises. There are certainly crates that can do a good job of reducing the kinds of vibrations that can be picked up by the crate and some that can play a really great role in helping to keep your dog calmer, but there’s no true soundproof dog crate—even today’s best dog crates. There’s not a crate on the market today that is truly soundproof nor is there a single crate out there that can stop low-frequency noises from making your dog afraid. It’s not just that doing so would be difficult, but that doing so is more or less impossible.
Does this mean that there’s never going to be a soundproof dog kennel out there that can help your poor pup? Of course not! There are plenty of awesome tools in development right now that might play a role in canceling out noises. The issue is that these tools all use some fairly sophisticated technology, more in line with noise-canceling headphones than with the materials that are used in soundproof rooms. What this means for dog owners is that those who are looking for real sound control are going to not only have to get something much more sophisticated than a typical dog crate but also that these owners are going to end up paying a premium for cutting-edge technology at the same time.
Going to Extreme Lengths for Your Dogs
There are probably still a few people out there who are looking for a solution, so it’s important to know that even going to the extremes for your dog isn’t really going to do much for him or her when it comes to soundproofing. You could, for example, go out and try to pick up some soundproof vinyl in order to cover up your dog’s cage, but you’re going to end up with a product that’s not necessarily safe for your dog, that will make your dog’s crate uncomfortable, and that might not even do the job that you need it to do.
Likewise, even going with an incredibly expensive industrial sound absorber probably isn’t going to give you all the help that you need. These devices can retail for over a thousand dollars and they still won’t necessarily end up dealing with all of the sounds that might scare your pup. That’s right—this is a problem that’s so significant that even throwing money at it probably won’t be able to solve your dog’s issues.
All of this is being brought up to make a single point: there’s no magic bullet for dealing with low-frequency sounds. No matter how much you spend, no matter how clever you think you might be, there’s not a product out there that’s going to be both safe for your dog and able to absorb every decibel of low-frequency sound.
Sound Masking, Not Sound Proofing
So, what can you do about the noise? If you can’t make it go away, you can take some steps to make sure the noise is covered by something else for your pup to have a quiet dog crate instead. You can use a number of different kinds of recording to mask low-frequency sounds. There are a fair number of products out there that can do just that, and they’ll make a huge difference in the lives of some dogs.
As much as it hurts to see your dog get frightened or panic when he or she hears a triggering sound, there’s little we can actually do to help him or her when it comes to soundproofing. You can spend all the money you like on great products, but the truth is that there’s nothing out there that’s going to totally shield your dog’s cage from low-frequency noises.
Does this mean you need to stop covering up your dog’s cage? Of course not! Your dog might feel happier with the crate covered, like how soft-sided dog crates are, and doing so can have a soothing effect on him or her. It’s just important that you know that there are no magical devices out there that will help make the sound of thunder go away.
If you do want to help your dog deal with his or her sound issues, make sure that you take him or her to someone who specializes in helping dogs with problem behaviors. These individuals can help to train and condition your dog in such a way that the thunder can be less of a trigger for his or her behaviors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make a dog crate soundproof?
No, you definitely can’t soundproof a crate without turning it into something wildly different. You can definitely dampen noise and make it a little more pleasant for your dog, but actually making a soundproof dog crate would involve some heavy construction and a host of very expensive materials that still won’t deal with all kinds of sounds.
How can I make my dog’s crate less noisy?
If you’re looking to make things a little less noisy for your dog, you’ll want to cut off ways that sound can travel into the crate. Keeping the crate off the floor can help, as can covering the sides and/or top. In either case, you’re simply making things less noisy—there’s nothing you can really do to soundproof a dog kennel.