I know firsthand how stressful loud noises can be for dogs. One summer, my neighbors decided to tell the world where we lived with an abundance of fireworks. The noise sent my dog into a panic attack. He chewed through a door… One night of holding him tightly and a new door later, I cannot stress enough the importance of having a soundproof space for your canine friends.
I like to think of a soundproofed crate as a way to give the dog a space that is their own and not filled with the noises around them. Dogs can hear sounds that our human ears cannot register, so just making sure that the room is quiet enough for you does not mean it is quiet enough for Fido.
If you live in an apartment or a household with people who may be sensitive to your dog’s barking, soundproofing can also help reduce noise complaints. Just remember: you should give your dog lots of chances to exercise and enjoy time outside of the crate! They are playful creatures, after all!
Here’s how I recommend you how to soundproof your dog crate, so you and your pal can have the most comfort!
Materials you may need (depending on which route you choose)
- A dog crate large enough for your dog
- Foam Acoustic Panels
- Zip ties or Binder Clips
- Wall-hanging Hooks
- Moving Blankets
Train your dog to use the crate
The most important thing you can do when soundproofing a crate is making sure your dog will actually use it!
If you do not already have a crate for your dog, make sure to get one that will fit your dog at their adult size. Think of an adult trying to put on a ballgown in a tiny bathroom stall. Not fun! Cramming a dog into a crate that is too small will just heighten their anxiety, and they will not use the crate during thunderstorms or other stressful events.
The American Kennel Club stresses that you should train the dog to see the kennel as a place of rest/peace. Do this by putting the dog in their crate when they are in a peaceful mindset. Give your dog a treat to reward them when they are peacefully spending time in their crate.
Watch your dog when they are in the crate. When you leave the room, do they pace? Do they bark or whine? Be sure to reward them when they are calm. See what you can do to help them stay calm when they get anxious in the crate. Like a kid with a security blanket, your dog may feel calmer in the crate if they can bring their favorite toy.
As your dog learns to use the crate as “their space,” even without soundproofing, they may go to their crate during thunderstorms as a way to calm themselves.
Place the Crate in the Optimal Place
Putting your dog’s crate in the proper place will help your dog feel more comfortable, and it will maximize your soundproofing efforts. Placing the crate in a bathroom is not a good idea. While the tile floor will make cleaning up messes and sweeping up dog hair easier, the acoustics created in bathrooms will amplify your dog’s barking.
If you can keep your dog’s crate in one place, without needing to move it when there are fireworks outside or thunder, it will be easier to convince your dog to use their crate when they are stressed.
Small nooks, like under the stairs (yes, like in Harry Potter) can be great places for keeping your soundproofed crate. There is not too much light, so your dog will not be overwhelmed by seeing lightning of fireworks. The space is small enough, and hidden enough to block many sounds, but not small enough (unless you have a Great Dane or other large dogs) to make your dog feel claustrophobic. Decide which Soundproofing Method Best Suits Your Needs and Budget
I’m going to explore several soundproofing options with you. It’s up to your discretion to decide which soundproofing option will best fit your living space, your pup, and your budget.
If you live in an area with frequent thunderstorms, investing in a more permanent option can save you money and stress in the long run. Likewise, if you live in an apartment complex, you will likely want an option that can be removed at the end of your lease, but that will stop your neighbors from complaining about your dog’s barking.
The space you are soundproofing will determine how much soundproofing equipment you need. Be sure to measure carefully to get maximum soundproofing with minimum damage to your wallet.
Soundproofing with Acoustic Foam Panels
- Measure the surface area of your dog’s crate
- Pick the panels you want
- Cut the panels to size
- Attach the acoustic panels to the outside of your dog’s crate
Materials needed for this option:
- Dog crate
- Acoustic foam panels
- Binder clips, rope, or zip ties
Acoustic panels are a more costly option, but also by far one of the most efficient methods for soundproofing your dog’s crate. They also pack a one-two punch, because they will block sounds like sirens and thunder from your dog, and they will minimize your dog’s barking, making them a very apartment-friendly option.
1. Measure the surface area of your dog’s crate
You will want to measure the sides, front, back, and top of your dog’s crate. This measurement is crucial to making sure you order the proper amount of foam panels. If you want to soundproof the inside and outside, make sure you double these measurements when you order your foam.
2. Pick the panels you want
After you have measured the total surface area of your dog’s crate (measure the sides, front, back, and top), you can buy the foam panels. Acoustic panels come in different thicknesses and patterns. Some stores even let you personalize your foam panels, so you can turn your dog’s crate into the palace of their (and your) dreams!
3. Cut the panels to size
You get to decide how much of the crate you want to cover. Leaving the door uncovered will let Spot see out, but it will mean more sound gets both in and out. A removable soundproofing panel over the door (not covering the handle, of course) gives you flexibility.
If you need to cut some of the panels to cover the largest space possible, you will only need a pair of scissors. Use a ruler if you want to draw a guideline to make sure your cut is even.
4. Attach the acoustic panels to the outside of your dog’s crate
You can decide how permanent you want the acoustic panels to be. Using binder or alligator clips gives you an option that can easily be removed.
If you know you want to leave the soundproofing up long term (apartment-dwellers, I’m looking at you), you can use zip ties or rope for an option that will remain sturdier. You may need to poke a hole into the panel to attach the rope or zip ties. Some acoustic panels are self-adhesive, so if you know you are looking for a permanent option, start there.
It is easiest to start with the inside of the crate (if you are soundproofing the inside and the outside) towards the bottom. Do not leave cracks between the panels. Cracks leave room for sound waves to escape and undo your hard work. You may need to let panels hang over each other (think of shingles on a roof) to avoid leaving any openings.
As your dog gets used to using the new soundproofing, you will want to observe them and make sure that the soundproofing does not make them anxious. If it is, you may need to explore other soundproofing options.
Materials needed for this option:
- Moving blankets
- A fan (to check airflow)
Moving blankets are a budget-friendly option. They are not as soundproof, but they can block enough noises to calm your dog during a thunderstorm. If you know that you will only need the extra soundproofing a few times a year, moving blankets are very gentle on your wallet (and multi-purpose if you ever move).
1. Lay the blanket over the top of the crate
You will want to make sure to cover as much of the surface as you can.
2. Fold in the corners
Tuck the corners of the moving blanket under the crate. This will hold the blanket in place and create a tighter “bubble” to repel the sound.
3. Check the airflow
You will want to make sure that there is enough airflow in the crate for your dog. If you are worried, place a small fan in the crate and see if you can feel any air moving. Should you need more airflow, loosen the tucks, or lift a portion of the blanket.
Buy a Crate Designed for Soundproofing
Some brands have created crates specifically to minimize sound. This is not a cheap option, but if your dog is frequently anxious, this can be a life-saver.
Many of these crates are made of fashionable wood with extra padding to keep your pup comfortable.
Some of these crates come with cameras, forced air, and the option to play light music. Dogs with separation anxiety can find comfort from sounds and loneliness with these crates.
You can expect a soundproofed, comfortable crate to cost around $200. If you include all of the bells and whistles, though, the price can get as high as $600.
Soundproofing the Room
If your dog needs lots of space when they are anxious, or if you would like to have a more permanent soundproof space for your pup, you can soundproof an entire room. You can check out tips like these from the Spruce to help minimize sound in all of the rooms of your house, or you can double down on soundproofing a room.
- Make the room a place of peace for your dog
- Decide how much soundproofing you will need
- Mount your soundproofing
- Cover the cracks
- Don’t forget about the floor
Materials needed for this option:
- Acoustic panels
1. Make the room a place of peace for your dog
If you are going to use this route, you will have to train your dog to enter the room when they are anxious or disturbed by loud noises. If you intend to make this a space entirely for your dog (much akin to the space under the stairs mentioned earlier), you can keep your dog’s bed in the room, so they go there to sleep.
2. Decide how much soundproofing you will need
Deciding just how much noise you want to cancel will determine which supplies you need. You can either use blankets or soundproofing panels. Blankets will not block as much sound, but they can be taken down if you do not want to always have them up. Foam acoustic panels will offer more soundproofing, but they can be a pain to take down.
3. Mount your soundproofing
If you are using a blanket, hang hooks or hammer nails into the wall. Drape thick blankets (moving blankets will be the best for soundproofing) over these hooks. Cover as much of the wall space as you can. Place hooks on the back of the door, so you can block sound waves from escaping from there.
If you are using sound panels, you can buy soundproofing panels that also work as wallpaper. You can also just hang several panels on the wall to help block sounds.
4. Cover the cracks
You may want to buy a piece of foam to go underneath the door frame. This will stop the sound before it escapes from the crack underneath the door. Likewise, if the room has any windows you may wish to invest in thick curtains.
5. Don’t forget about the floor
If your soundproof room is on the first floor of your home or apartment complex, you do not need to worry too much about soundproofing the floor.
If, however, you have downstairs neighbors who make noise or who would be disrupted by your dog’s barking, you will want to soundproof the floor.
If the floor is wooden or tile, you will likely need acoustic panels on the floor to properly soundproof. If you are less worried about soundproofing, a thick rug can help block a large portion of the sound.
Do not assume that carpet is enough to soundproof the floor, though. While a thick rug can help, it will not block all of the barking and pawing that your dog may do. If you have carpet, you can place more acoustic panels or still add a thick rug.
Soundproofing the entire room is more work than soundproofing a crate, but it gives you plenty of options for customization and a permanent, large option that may be worth it.