How To Soundproof A Dog Crate

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If you react to every barking dog, if you stop for every barking dog, you’re never getting home – John Calipari 

Dogs bark, it’s what they do. They bark when they’re happy, they bark when they’re sad, they bark when they see other dogs and when you come home. And they bark when someone unexpectedly decides to pay you a visit and when the mailman delivers your post. 

Barking comes with the territory when you own a dog and it’s something that you learn to take in your stride, tune out from and simply get used to it over time.

But just because it’s part of your life and something that you’re willing to live with, it doesn’t mean that your neighbors feel the same way about barking as you do. After all, you chose to live with your dog, your neighbors didn’t. 

How To Soundproof A Dog Crate

A dog who barks while you’re at home and barks while you’re at work is one of the easiest ways to fall out with your neighbors and end up in the sort of long-running dispute that most of the time ends in legal action.

It sounds crazy, we know, but noise pollution is a serious issue and it’s one that every dog owner should be particularly concerned about.

This is because, in addition to ruining any convivial relationship that you might have with your neighbors, it can also end up hitting you where it hurts the most, in your pocketbook. 

During the nineteen seventies, when the world was gradually getting louder and louder, Congress passed two laws that were drafted to protect the average American from the increasingly devastating effects of noise pollution, the Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1972 and the Quiet Communities Act of 1978.

And while neither act is still technically funded by Congress, they both remain in effect. This means that if your dog barks all day and night, you might end up being visited by a representative of the local Police Department as well as being on the wrong end of a civil suit.

You may not think that your dog is a serious threat to the peace and quiet of your neighborhood, but the other residents probably think differently, and rather than having to put up with it, they might just decide to do something about it. 

How Loud Is Too Loud? 

Unfortunately, that’s the million-dollar question as neither act specifies a uniform decibel limit, but due to the way in which the 1972 act is worded, which uses the phrase “unreasonable noise” as the parameter to ascertain what does and doesn’t constitute noise pollution, it’s fairly safe to assume that excessive barking would qualify as being “unreasonable”.

Especially when you take into account the fact that the bark of a medium to a large-sized dog can reach around 100 decibels. 

The problem isn’t that a dog might bark once or twice, it’s that when a dog starts barking it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, and the very act of barking is enough to make them excited enough to carry on barking.

And as you know, when one dog starts barking it isn’t long before another starts to follow suit and join in, and if it was your dog that orchestrated the neighborhood canine band to begin their barking chorus, then guess who your neighbors are going to blame every single time a dog begins barking?

That’s right, they’re going to point their fingers directly at you. 

Crate Training Your Dog

A dog’s crate is the canine equivalent of a safe space and provides them with somewhere to retreat to when they’re excited, over-stimulated, or just need somewhere to go to for a little solitude and to escape from the confusion and rigamarole of the everyday world.

It should never be viewed as a place of punishment or somewhere that they should be banished to when they’ve been “naughty”. 

Your dog should see its crate in a positive light and it should be somewhere where they want to sleep and relax and spend their time in, and it should be a sanctuary that they want to retreat to when you leave the house.

It isn’t easy to crate train your dog and some dogs, like Beagles, take to crates like a dog to water, while others, such as Corgis, can find adapting to life with a crate a lot more difficult. 

Crate training is an intricate process that we could spend all day explaining, but we’re here to discuss soundproofing your dog’s crate and not how to get them to see it as their second home.

If you do need a few handy pointers to guide you in the right direction, there are hundreds of easy-to-follow tutorials on YouTube. So it might be prudent to spend a few hours watching some of them before attempting to crate train your dog. 

The Inconvenient Truth About Soundproofing 

Before we start talking about some of the ways that you can reduce the amount of sound that comes out of your dog’s crate, we feel that we should really address the rather noisy elephant in the room.

There is absolutely no way to completely soundproof your dog’s crate, all you can do is dampen or reduce the sound that he’ll make while he’s in it. 

Actually, that’s not quite true as you could theoretically completely soundproof a crate with the aid of a sound engineer, but as the crate would need to be completely enclosed in acoustic tiles, it wouldn’t actually be beneficial to your dog. Why?

Well, because if they were in a completely sealed crate they’d either suffocate or boil, as there wouldn’t be any ventilation that would allow them to breathe, and without the aforementioned ventilation, the crate would heat up incredibly quickly and would, in effect, become an oven. 

So, the problem that we’re left having to address isn’t how to soundproof your dog’s crate which, as we’ve already established isn’t an option for either you or your faithful hound, but rather how to dampen and reduce the sound that will come out of it, if your dog starts barking and howling while he’s inside it. 

And the good news is, there are a number of ways that you can do it without hurting your pocketbook too badly or damaging your bank balance. However, which of the following methods you choose to employ is entirely up to you, as you’re the only person who knows which of them will best suit your dog, you, and your home. 

How To Soundproof A Dog Crate

Location Is Key

The easiest solution to your chaotic canine crate conundrum is location. Where you house your best friend’s second home is key to controlling the amount of noise that’ll filter out of it, past the walls of your home and into the outside world.

Of course, the ideal place for your dog crate if you have the space, live in suburbia and your home actually has one, is in the basement.

It’s the quietest room in any house, and as it’s located underneath your home, any noise he does make by barking will have to filter up through the floor and out through the walls of your home, both of which can, and will significantly reduce the volume of his barking, and dampen the sound that comes out his crate. 

If you have a drop ceiling in your basement, you can also take it a step further, and turn the volume down another couple of notches by replacing the standard ceiling tiles with acoustic ceiling tiles which will absorb most of the noise that your pal will make while he’s barking.

But why stop there? You could also retile the walls with acoustic padding which, combined with the new ceiling would reduce the noise coming out of your dog’s crate to an almost negligible level.

Sure, it seems like overkill, dampening the crate by effectively creating a “soundproof” room to house it in, but if you can turn a basement into a man-cave, why can’t you turn it into a “dog-cave”? 

There is one glaring issue with that solution, which is, what if your home doesn’t have a basement? What do you do then?

Well, in that case, you can always house your dog’s crate in either a closet or a cupboard and line the inside of the space that his crate is in with the same acoustic padding that you would have used on the walls of a basement if you had one.

The only avenue that will let your pals breaking escape the purpose-built acoustic den that his crate is in will be through the open door but as the tiles will absorb most of the sound coming out of his crate, by situating his second home in a new, and admittedly over-engineered location you’ll have effectively “soundproofed” your dog’s crate. 

It is by far the least pocketbook-friendly option that we’re going to look at, but it is also the most effective and time-consuming. And you do have to be more than a little devoted to your dog to choose this option and will have to have the room to do it,  but it does work.

Trust us, we know these things. And since we’ve explored the most expensive way to do it, we’ll now run through the most affordable ways to “soundproof” your dog’s crate. 

Cover It Up

The cheapest way of dampening the sound that your dogs’ crate is going to make is with a crate cover. Granted, most of them aren’t made of very thick material so they won’t actually dampen, or absorb a lot of the sound that will come out of the crate, but they’re not meant to and they don’t work in the usual soundproofing way, as they’re not an acoustic solution, they’re an emotional one. 

By situating your dog’s crate in the quietest room of your house and then covering it, you’ll effectively be removing all of the things that he might find stressful and would cause him to start barking in the first place.

If you take away the cause, the symptoms will follow and a covered crate is a stress-free, quiet crate. It might not follow the usual rules of soundproofing and doesn’t involve any engineering work, but it’s a cheap and cheerful way to dampen the noise in your dog’s crate. 

The Heavy Duty Cover 

There is an alternative to the standard cover that’s a much more effective, and almost as affordable way of soundproofing your dog’s crate that follows a similar path to the previous method. If we’re honest, it’s actually the same, you’re just going to use a different cover to reduce the amount of sound that your dog makes in his crate. 

Instead of using a normal crate cover, you can dampen the noise coming out of his crate by covering it with a sound absorption sheet, or as it’s more commonly known, a sound dampening blanket.

What’s the difference between the blanket and a standard crate cover? It’s mainly the thickness of the material and the way the blanket is stitched together. 

As the material that the blanket is made from is thicker and heavier, it’s far denser than a crate cover is which means that it can, and will absorb far more sound than a crate cover can. And because it can absorb more of the sound from the crate, it’s a far more effective deadening material. 

However, like most dog lovers we’re not fans of this method. Using a heavy-duty blanket to cover your dog’s crate can reduce the airflow in the crate, which will make it more difficult for him to breathe and exponentially increase the temperature in the crate, which can be detrimental to your dog’s wellbeing and health.

Realistically, you should only use a blanket to soundproof your pals’ second home if you’re going to be at home as well so that you can regularly check on him and pull the blanket off his crate every hour or so in order to make sure that he can get some fresh air and cool off. 

The Engineering Solution – Mass Loaded Vinyl And Acoustic Padding

This is possibly our favorite solution and involves combining a little engineering know-how with one of the previously mentioned solutions.

The choice of material that you’ll use, either mass-loaded vinyl or acoustic padding is entirely dependent on how quiet you want your dog’s crate to be. The padding is more effective than the vinyl, but both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Mass-loaded vinyl is a heavyweight vinyl liner that’s fashioned from a heavy, non-toxic compound that absorbs sound (usually barium sulfate) and rubber. It’s easy to cut and shape to the size of your dog’s crate, and easy to fix INSIDE the crate using a non-toxic spray adhesive once it’s been measured and cut. 

You’ll need to line three sides, and the floor and ceiling of your dog’s crate with the vinyl, and make sure that the end of the crate with the door in it is left clear.

The vinyl is easier to cut, shape and fit than the padding is, but it won’t absorb as much sound as the padding will, so bear that in mind when choosing which material you’re going to use. 

Lining your pal’s crate with acoustic padding uses exactly the same principle as the vinyl method. Cut it to size, and fit it to the three sides, ceiling, and floor of the crate with adhesive, making sure to leave one side of the crate, with an entrance and exit, clear for your dog.

The padding, because of the way it’s shaped, isn’t as comfortable as the vinyl is, so you’ll have to leave a blanket inside for your boy to sleep on too. 

We know what you’re about to say, there’s an uncovered side of the crate, which means that any noise your dog makes can escape from the crate, and that would be true were it not for the icing on the soundproofing cake that makes this method, the definitive and easy way to soundproof a dog crate.

The final ingredient is a crate cover, which will still allow air to freely flow through the one, unlined side of the crate which means that your dog won’t overheat and will be able to breathe freely and easily.

And as the crate is completely covered, he’ll be calmer, so less likely to bark and even if he does, as his crate is also lined with the sound dampening material, the amount of noise that will emanate from it will be negligible. 

Your dog will be calmer, he won’t bark as much and your neighbors won’t get mad at you because your dog won’t be driving them crazy with his howling and yapping, and all it’ll take to make that a reality and make everyone, including you, happy is a couple of hours of your time and a few bucks to “soundproof” your dog’s crate. 

And Finally – The Most Obvious (And Easiest) Way

Of course, the most obvious and easiest way to soundproof your dog’s crate is to make sure that your dog doesn’t bark while he’s in it. You’re probably thinking something along the lines of “That’s easier said than done”, but it really isn’t.

Dogs usually bark as a response to their surroundings or an immediate emotional need, and both can be controlled with proper positive, reward-based training and socialization and obedience classes. 

A quick google search will turn up any classes, and how to enroll your dog in them, in your local area, and in the off chance that there aren’t any, you could always spend a couple of hours watching some of the thousands of training tutorials on YouTube.

The classes and the tutorials will change you, and your dog’s (and maybe even your neighbors) lives for the better, forever. And it’ll be a lot easier than trying to soundproof your dog’s crate.