How to Block Out Firework Noise for Dogs

The information in this article was reviewed and approved by registered veterinary nurse, Beth Walker

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker

As you’ll probably know, dogs have much more sensitive hearing than us humans – and fireworks are loud! In the UK, they can be as loud as 120 decibels, 35 decibels louder than the level that starts to cause hearing damage in humans. It’s no surprise then that many dogs find fireworks very frightening. In this blog we’ll discuss how to block out firework noise for dogs to help make bonfire night a little easier.

White Noise

One of the most effective ways to block out firework noise for dogs is by using white noise. White noise contains all the frequencies of audible sound in equal measure. It has been likened to the sound of static on an untuned TV or radio.

Because white noise contains all audible frequencies, it’s very good at competing with and drowning out other noises – like fireworks. It can ‘smooth out’ the different sounds in your environment, including abrupt booms.

You can access white noise soundtracks from free apps such as White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds.

Brown noise can also be effective. This is similar to white noise, but has a lower frequency. It can sometimes be preferable as it has a lower, deeper quality – some people liken it to the sound of rainfall. It can be great for masking lower tones like fireworks and thunder.

Fans, Air Conditioners, Air Purifiers

If you have one, a fan can be an easy way to block out firework noise for dogs. Air conditioners and purifiers also work well.

It’s even better if you have more than one of any of these. Layering the sounds of these machines together can be even more effective in creating a soothing soundscape. They create their own kind of white noise, perfect for blocking out fireworks.

Music

There are plenty of playlists available on YouTube that you can play on bonfire night. Classical music is a particularly popular choice when it comes to soothing pets.

Sometimes certain radio stations have a slot dedicated to pets on bonfire night. In 2022 for example, Classic FM teamed up with the RSPCA to deliver a show filled with calming music intended to help pets relax. The show also offered RSPCA-approved advice on how to reassure pets during fireworks.

TV

The TV is another useful device you can use to help block out fireworks for your pets. Not only does the TV help to mask the sounds of fireworks, but it’s also likely to be a comforting sound that your dog is familiar with. This can help them to feel safe.
Use a Decibel Metre

When blocking out the sounds of fireworks, make sure the soundscape you create isn’t too loud itself!

The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provides a free decibel metre. You can use this to check that the sounds you play to drown out fireworks don’t exceed around 65 decibels. You don’t want to accidentally cause hearing damage for your or your dog.

Create a Safe Space with Plenty of Blankets

A cosy den is a great way to help your pet feel safe on fireworks night. Not only is it somewhere they can retreat to and feel secure in, but an enclosed space with plenty of thick bedding material can help to muffle firework sounds too.

Firework Sounds for Dogs

In preparation for bonfire night, it’s a good idea to try and get your dog used to firework sounds. This is particularly effective if you do this when they are puppies.

Play firework sounds for dogs at a low volume, coupled with the calming music or white noise discussed in this blog. Try not to make a fuss and display calm body language the whole time. Gradually increase the fireworks sounds and decrease the calming music to help get your dog used to the noise.

This way, fireworks will be less scary to begin with. Coupled with a combination of the ideas listed above, bonfire night will hopefully trigger far less anxiety in your pet.

Mix and Match

The aim of all of these ideas is to create a kind of sound barrier inside your home. In fact, combining as many of the above ideas together will be even more effective than just one. This is because they will help to mask different frequencies and sounds, working together to block out higher decibel noises like fireworks.

Blocking out the sound of fireworks is a key way to lessen the stress for your pet during bonfire night. There are also other ways you can help. For a handy list of other things you can do to make fireworks night more comfortable for your pet, take a look at our blog How to Help Dogs and Cats Cope with Fireworks.

You can also explore our range of calming products. The Zylkene Calming Supplement and the Anxitane Chewable Tablets are both suitable for both dogs and cats and can help to reduce anxiety in your pet.