Dogs have a much wider range of hearing than humans, and noises that don’t bother us can give them a very “ruff” time.
Fireworks are especially tough on many pups, and also hard on owners who have to calm their panicking pets. To potentially help them, Ford has developed a noise-cancelling kennel prototype that it says was inspired by the noise-control technology introduced in its Edge SUV to soften engine and transmission noises.
When microphones inside the kennel detect the sound of fireworks, a built-in audio system sends out opposing frequencies that Ford claims significantly reduces or cancels the cacophony. The kennel is also built with high-density cork to further mute outside noises.
The noise-cancelling kennel is not currently for sale, but Ford says it “is the first in a series of initiatives—called interventions—that applies automotive know-how to help solve everyday problems.”
It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.
Because fireworks are loud and unexpected, many dogs perceive them as a real threat, which triggers their “flight” response. They may even show signs of anxiety and restlessness, like panting, whining and pacing.
Remember, to your dog, the experience of fireworks is different than other natural loud noises, like thunder. Fireworks are closer to the ground, more vibrant, and are accompanied by sudden booms, flashes and burning smells. Dogs experience the world through their senses — nose, eyes, ears.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can prepare your dogs for holiday fireworks. There is also a product called the ThunderShirt that is supposed to help alleviate anxiety in dogs, but of course results will vary from canine to canine.
What you can do about it. A calming, comforting presence can make all the difference for our dogs. Stay close and make sure you’re putting off positive, relaxed energy. After all, getting upset or anxious won’t help our beloved furry friends.
Most importantly, don’t think of this in terms of your dog as your child who is missing out on a great, fun time. That’s human guilt. Your dog won’t know what their missing. You’re being a good pack leader by not exposing them to a situation that will trigger their flight instinct in a negative way. When the booms and bangs of the holidays are over, your dog will be grateful to you for having made it a less stressful experience!