Obviously, dogs are the best things that walk on this planet. That’s just a fact. Sadly, though, we don’t always treat them with the kindness they deserve. On the whole, humans are pretty noisy, and that can make a lot of dogs very nervous.
As a new pet owner, one of the first eye-opening incidents that will alert you of your pup’s noise sensitivity is going through their first 4th of July or New Year’s Eve. Despite frequent warnings not to play with pyrotechnic displays, specifically because dogs and other smaller animals can literally die of fright, people continue to bring out the firecrackers every chance they get.
Unfortunately, after a while, you realize that you can’t really stop those people. And even if you could, there would always be other sources of noise, like thunderstorms. So, it’s time to think about ways you can make your dog as comfortable as possible. This is where dog crate and kennel soundproofing comes in.
Why You Should Soundproof Dog Crates and Kennels
As I previously mentioned, most dogs are about as easy to scare as they are excitable. You can use various soundproofing techniques to soften the sounds which may irritate your dog enough to start barking.
For example, my neighbor once told me that he never leaves his dog alone without leaving the music or a fan on. Both of these things can act as a sort of soundproofing since they are practically white noise. The sound of music distracts the dog from the noise coming in from the street. And it even disguises the sound of people walking down in front of his apartment and the structural noise in the building itself.
Still, there’s a better way to soundproof a dog’s environment. If your dog lives in your apartment, you can improve its surroundings by implementing some simple and budget-friendly soundproofing solutions. Or, you can do it professionally. Any of these solutions should:
- Help the dog feel safer, calmer, and less distracted
- Prevent your neighbors from hearing your dog’s barking
Still, the soundproofing methods I’ll share in this article are more specific to your dog’s crate and outdoor kennel. However, as with any soundproofing, it will need to be airtight in order to be the most effective. Obviously, we can’t make our dogs’ crates and kennels airtight, as they need to be able to breathe. So none of these methods will completely muffle the sound of your dog’s barking.
Ways to Soundproof Dog Crates and Kennels
Aside from soundproofing the walls of your home or apartment, there are some things you can do to make your dog’s crate or kennel a calm space. If you’ve been following my articles for a while, you’ll know that a soundproofing material needs to be one of two things: high in mass or density. Preferably, the materials you’re working with will be a bit of both.
Another important thing about sound absorption is having plenty of soft materials around which can prevent soundwaves from hitting hard surfaces. Outdoors, or in wire crates, barking can either keep spreading until it dissipates, or bounce off the walls, causing an echo. If your dog is barking around your apartment, you’re going to need to abandon your hopes of having a minimalist home. Filling the room up with soft surfaces will be the way to go if you want to reduce echo.
I should mention that most pet-specific products aren’t made to be soundproof. Even so, I will close this article with two crates which were designed to be soundproof. But before I get to these products, there are several other things you can try.
You can even use the things you find around the house. DIY your own soundproofing and use regular old blankets and pillows to line the crate. If that fails, there are also soundproof and moving blankets.
Now, I’ve already explained the difference between these two types of products. Essentially, though, both can provide the mass and density which can help you soundproof your dog’s space. In fact, I’ve even listed which products are the best on the market.
There’s no need to repeat the products I listed in the linked article. So I’ll just point out some of the best choices for soundproofing dog crates. Namely, dog owners might like US Cargo Control’s Supreme blanket, which is not only incredibly effective but also washable.
The Big Boxer Grommeted Industrial soundproof blanket is another fantastic yet affordable choice if you want to be able to machine-wash your blanket. The metal grommets around the edges will make it easy to attach to your dog’s crate.
In addition, many dog owners recommend Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes blankets. They even have Textile blankets, which are completely made of compressed cotton. However, you know your dog best – so you’ll know which kinds of materials it’s most tempted to chew on. If your dog likes chewing, either don’t use softer materials or put a chewable toy in the crate which will hopefully divert your pup’s attention.
Once you have your blanket, you can line the bottom of the crate with it. Also, you may drape and attach it over the crate or kennel. If you’re working on a bigger outdoor kennel, you’ll want to make sure to get enough to cover all sides of the cage, even the top.
Speaking of which, if you cover the top, you’ll also have to get a waterproof blanket, or simply cover it with plastic. Just always remember to leave a part uncovered, to regulate airflow and temperature.
For a more crate and kennel-specific option, you can turn to dog crate covers. Of course, if you already have a wire crate, you’ll need to shop for a cover of the correct size. Fortunately, many covers come in various sizes. And if you don’t have a wire crate already, I’ll discuss the merits of soft crates in a little while.
But let’s get back to dog crate covers. Once you start looking for them, you’ll see that there are so many products to choose from. However, just a few companies seem to be getting a lot of praise.
If you want to use your dog’s crate as its outdoor dog house, you may be looking for a waterproof and windproof crate cover. In that case, something like the Petsfit Polyester cover would be a great choice. The cover has windows on two sides, and you can completely roll up the top and door flaps to allow for more airflow as well.
For a prettier cover that won’t be an eyesore in your living room, you can go for the Molly Mutt cover which comes in many colors and patterns. It doesn’t have windows, but you can roll up all four walls. Even better, you can buy a matching duvet pillow to cover the floor of the crate.
To up the ante a bit, you can go for one of Pet Dreams products, like their 3-Piece Crate Bedding Set. The cover itself should turn your dog’s crate from a transportation device to a true sanctuary, as it will effectively block light and reduce the noise that reaches the dog. Even the bedding, with foam bumpers that cover half of the walls’ height, should provide padding which will reduce outside noise and increase your pup’s comfort.
Acoustic Foam Products
If your dog lives in a magnificent canine palace (or just a bigger outdoor kennel with walls) you may benefit from acoustic foam products. As you know, foam prevents sound waves from bouncing off walls and absorbs them. So, using products like absorption sheets, acoustic foam and acoustic tiles, may be just the thing.
For more information on how they work and which products are the best, you can turn to my article on the best soundproof foam materials. The thing that may present a bit of a problem with foam materials is that some dogs seem to have a personal vendetta against soft materials. Mine certainly does. All padding in my home tends to find its way to the floors.
To preemptively protect the foam, you can choose to only put it across the ceiling and the tops of the walls, wherever your dog can’t reach. You can soundproof the lower parts of the walls and floors using more durable materials, like MLV.
Soft Crates and Kennels for Dogs
As promised, I’ll now share some soft crate alternatives. Soft crates are often collapsible, so you can put them away if you don’t need them. In addition, they usually have some kind of padding to start with, which makes them more comfortable and quieter than wire crates.
The Petsfit Indoor/Outdoor Soft Portable and Foldable Crate is just about as basic as they come, and it has a very simple metal frame. You’ll be able to roll up two walls and even the top of the crate. The walls and top are also made of a mesh material, which is good for ventilation, although it won’t be as soundproof as other products. There’s also a washable, and most importantly, removable dog bed inside.
The Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate is another product with similar features. However, even though it’s outwardly perhaps a bit more attractive than the previous crate, it doesn’t include soft bedding. Overall, your dog’s barking will be somewhat quieter than it would have been with an uncovered wire crate. And, of course, a soft crate will reduce outside noise for your dog, too.
There are plenty of similar products to these two, too, including:
- Precision Pet Soft Side Pet Crate (which even has a pocket and a water pouch)
- Go Pet Club Soft Crate (which has pockets and soft bedding)
- AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate
However, none of these products are actually meant to offer your dog a quiet and stress-free getaway. Even though many dogs love their crates, especially when you introduce them properly, only a few products were specifically made to protect dogs from loud and sudden noises. I’ve actually found only two genuinely soundproof crates.
Soundproof Crates and Kennels for Dogs
Prestige Pets Quiet Kennel
The Quiet Kennel can be completely closed, and it relies on a double fan circulation system to provide airflow. There are no mesh materials or holes. So, the soundproof walls and polycarbonate transparent doors can completely shut off all outside noise.
The doors automatically open and close thanks to proximity and weight sensors in and around the kennel. Also, the same sensors turn the ventilation system on only when the dog is in residence, so to speak. As good as this product may sound, I can’t confirm its effectiveness since it’s only available in the UK. However, it may be something worth considering if you’ve exhausted all other options.
ZenCrate – Smart Anxiety Relief Solid Furniture Grade Dog Crate
The other product that’s meant to keep your pooch relaxed is the aptly named ZenCrate, which calls itself the world’s first anti-anxiety “smart” dog den. This product was financed via Kickstarter back in 2016, reaching its goal of 80 thousand dollars in only 11 days. By the end of the first month, the campaign had 325 backers who raised almost $150,000. But what could have persuaded these people to back this project?
Well, it’s by far the most attractive of all of these crates, being made to fit in with your home’s wooden furnishings. Like the Quiet Kennel, the ZenCrate has proximity sensors which activate the speakers, fans, and camera. Just like any other appliance, you can plug the crate into an outlet, and it also has a backup rechargeable battery which can take over during power outages.
Since the ZenCrate is WiFi-enabled, you can also check in on your dog, or adjust any of its settings via a free mobile app. Even the music is composed of special anti-anxiety tracks. The inside of the crate houses a waterproof memory foam bed to ensure the comfort of your pet. Most importantly, though, the den has vibration-dampening feet, which can come in handy during earthquakes and thunderstorms.
Of course, with these insane features, the ZenCrate is about as expensive as you can imagine.
Ford Noise-Canceling Kennel
Yes, you heard that right: the car manufacturer Ford is making its first foray into the world of soundproof dog crates.
One of the first things that will catch your eye about this dog kennel is its appearance. In fact, I’d say it gives the ZenCrate a run for its money. The kennel has a very attractive modern design that still manages to evoke the look of a traditional dog house.
It has the triangular shape reminiscent of a roof, but the clean geometric lines and the white and tan color scheme give it that something extra. This kennel will certainly blend in with your home’s other furnishings, and it’ll even look stylish in your backyard. However, since this is only a prototype, I’m not entirely sure about the full scope of capabilities the kennel will have. So whether you’ll be able to keep it in the yard is still in question.
The fact that Ford has come up with this technology makes sense when you think about it. They actually used the very same Active Noise Control feature they use in their cars to create this kennel. The walls of the kennel are fully padded with acoustic insulation, and it even has an automatic door.
Once the door closes, the microphone outside will register noises, like fireworks, while the speakers inside will counteract them with opposing frequencies. So, you see, this kennel uses similar principles white noise machines use (read Can you use white noise for dogs), only more honed towards a specific frequency.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to purchase this impressive kennel for a while. However, if you want to see it in action, you can check out this video from Ford.
Final Thoughts on Soundproofing Dog Crates
As you’ve seen, if you have a wire crate or kennel, you can soundproof it using any number of materials:
- Regular old blankets and pillows
- Soundproof (moving) blankets
- Crate Covers
- Acoustic Foam Products – absorption sheets, acoustic foam and tiles
You might also purchase soft crates which wouldn’t add to overall noise like wire crates might. Or, if you have the budget, you can even buy a soundproof crate.
Essentially, to soundproof a wire crate, you’ll only need to line the inside with soft materials and cover it with a dense blanket. Dogs actually love settling down in small, dark spaces, so whichever material you choose is bound to be better than a bare crate. As for bigger kennels, you may cover them up in a similar way, or even use acoustic foam materials to do it.
Ultimately, as always, it’s all a matter of personal preference – your dog’s preference, that is.