Most folks would like to soundproof a dog crate to stop neighbors from complaining about the barking. However, a dog crate or kennel can be effectively used to shield your dog’s ears from fireworks and thunder.
The methods described in most articles on ‘soundproofing a dog crate’, will only help in some amount of sound muffling. Most suggest foam which, unfortunately, does not do a great job. I have written a detailed article on why foam is ineffective for soundproofing.
Another suggested method is to use blankets to cover the inner or outer walls of the crate. This is also an ineffective way of soundproofing and, moreover, it would be a pain to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
The third suggested material is acoustic panels to absorb sound. However, sound absorption is not the same as soundproofing and therefore, is not an effective method either.
Unfortunately, after all the effort you put into adding the materials brought out above, you don’t get the desired results.
Also read: How to Make a Soundproof Bird Cage (DIY)
How To Soundproof A Dog Crate For Fireworks And Thunder
The methods that have been propagated in articles on the web are barely effective for controlling barking noises. For fireworks, gunshots, and thunder, they are virtually useless.
The methods which I bring forth in this article will be useful as they employ the same principles of soundproofing that is effective for rooms in a house, and cars.
A dog crate or kennel can be soundproofed by the following steps/options which I will cover in detail later on in this article:-
- Go For A Solid Built Dog Crate or Kennel
- Build a Crate within a Crate
- Use a Sound Deadener
- Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Install a Soundproof Glass Door
- Ventilate the Crate
The downside of these methods is that it will add weight to the dog crate or kennel, so you will need to find a way to strike a balance depending on your needs.
Problems With Dog Crate And Kennel Designs
A dog crate has to be lightweight so that you can easily carry it around. They are usually made of a combination of metal mesh and plastic.
Kennels are usually constructed of metal mesh panels, so clearly sound is free to enter or leave it. The problem with these designs is that dog crates and kennels are not designed for blocking sound and do an awful job at it.
Here are a few ways that will effectively block most of the sounds coming from fireworks and thunder so that your dog would be comfortable.
1. Build a Solid Built Dog Crate
The metal mesh panels are the parts which constitute most of the weight of a dog kennel or crate. While these are good for ventilation and ensuring that your pet has enough air to breathe, they let in and let out a lot of sound.
The plastic part does not help either as it provides little resistance to sound vibrations. But, these types of crates is designed with portability in mind.
If you want a crate that is capable enough to block sound from fireworks and thunder, it has to be solidly constructed with the least amount of gaps.
An example of such is the one created by Prestige pets. The cage in the video below is the same one by Prestige Pets.
2. Build a Crate within a Crate
A crate within a crate is an ideal construction for a soundproof crate even though it is not a very practical one.
A crate within a crate design is one that has double-layered walls and roof. A crude design is an image below. The gap between each side is created with the help of spacers.
The air gap in between acts as an insulating layer of slow-moving air and is the most effective element of soundproofing.
It would also be desired that the crate be constructed of heavy wood such as MDF. However, if portability is the priority then creating a crate with two layers of MDF is not a practical solution.
The crate within a crate is an offset of the room within a room construction which is known to be the most effective way to soundproof a room.
Make sure to fill the cavities in between the surfaces of the walls and the roof with insulation so that problems of resonance are not encountered.
Though the construction of a crate within a crate would be the most effective for soundproofing, there exist no companies which manufacture crates of this design.
If you are comfortable with DIY, then this is a great option that you may look into.
3. Use a Sound Deadener
The kennel sold by Prestige pets uses acoustic foam for soundproofing which, as I have covered earlier, is not very useful.
Instead of foam, sound deadener used for cars such as Dynamat (see it on Amazon) would be a much better and effective option. Read my article which will give you a clear understanding of the capabilities of Dynamat.
These sound deadeners usually come in a peel and stick form and all you have to do is stick them on the interior walls and roof after removing the adhesive backing. This is a quick and effective process and may not cost very much depending upon which sound deadener you go for.
The most effective is the Dynamat which comes at a high price. Alternatively, you can go for cheaper options and install two layers of the material that would as effective as Dynamat.
Though this method is not as effective as the room within a room construction, it will do an excellent job at reducing the sound from fireworks, thunder, and gunshots entering the crate.
For sure, it will be much more effective than the methods have been described in some other articles on the web.
4. Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
Instead of putting up sound deadeners, you have the option of Mass Loaded Vinyls (MLV).
However, MLV is considerably heavier and is more practical to be used when portability is not a concern.
5. Install a Soundproof Glass Door
As we have done away with metal meshes, we have to have glass doors so that your pet feels secure.
Coming back to the example of the prestige pets kennel, the doors in the design have been constructed out of double-layer perspex and polycarbonate. Double layer perspex is very effective for soundproofing, although it raises the costs.
How to Address Ventilation
Without meshes and bars, you need to employ a separate system to ensure that there is adequate air available for breathing inside.
There are some who would suggest sound mazes but I wouldn’t because this will over-complicate the design of the kennel and the difference would not be that much.
Instead, have a good circulation system that is installed as shown in the design by Prestige Pets. That should be good enough to ensure that ventilation is available at the cost of minimal sound leakages.
How to Soundproof Metal Cages/Crates For Dogs
If you already own a dog crate or a kennel made of metal mesh panels, there are a few things that you can do that will reduce the sound entering and leaving it.
However, unless you cover it up wood, it will not be as effective as solidly constructed crates.
What you need to do is find a way to line up the roof and walls of the crate with the sound deadener or mass loaded vinyl as brought out earlier. However, this could be a bit tricky for metal mesh panels.
If you have a cover like this, it would be easy to stick the sound deadeners on the fabric. However, if you don’t have one or can’t afford one, a blanket can be used as an alternate to wrap the kennel with the sound deadener stuck on it.
Important Points to be Kept in Mind
The crate that you design for your dog should provide a sense of security that he or she requires.
If your dog is barking a lot inside the crate, either it is due to lack of kennel training or, merely put, the dog is just not secure.
Dogs are scared of fireworks and thunder primarily because they are very sensitive to hearing and they don’t understand the sounds. Read this to know more.
You may have noticed dogs tending to hide behind chairs, tables, or beds when fireworks, thunder, or gunshots are heard.
Your crate should be capable enough to lower the anxiety levels of your dog, and that is why soundproofing is the number one priority.
Secondly, the dog should be able to breathe freely. A solidly constructed crate is required for soundproofing it, but it is equally essential to cater for ventilation.
Also, ensure that there is adequate lighting available inside. If possible, provisioning of soothing music too will also be helpful in calming the dog.
Final Thoughts on How to soundproof Dog Crates and Kennels
It needs to be clearly understood that foam is not a good option for soundproofing anything. Foam is just too light and you require mass to stop sound vibrations.
While it is not practical to have kennels and crates made of heavy stuff such as MDF, it has to be solidly built with minimal air gaps if sound leakages are to be arrested.
The best option is to have the kennel made of lightweight wood and a double perspex glass door. The interior walls and roof can be covered with sound-deadening materials such as Dynamat used in cars.
If you were the DIY type guy, the crate within a crate is an option really worth considering.
In the end, the comfort and security that is provided to your pet are of utmost importance. Or else all efforts whatsoever are a waste.