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How to Calm Your Anxious Dog Using White Noise

While white noise machines are excellent for helping the 10% to 30% of adults out there who suffer from sleep issues at night, the fact is that they aren’t just for humans anymore. As of mid-2020, nearly 68 million households across the United States had pets, and that number was only expected to continue rising. Dogs and cats specifically are excellent companion animals, offering emotional support and stress reduction to their human owners. The positives of being a pet parent far outweigh the negatives in most situations, but there’s certainly one area in which having a dog or cat can be a real negative, and that’s when it comes to sleep.

If you’ve ever struggled to sleep through a particularly rough night of your anxious dog barking and growling at every noise, then do we have the solution for you. In “The Top 3 Pet-Related Perks of Sound Machines,” Yogasleep customers show off the surprising ways a white noise machine can help dogs and cats stay calm and sleep soundly.

Soothing A Dog with Separation Anxiety

One of the top reasons owners often give for having to rehome their dogs is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is when a dog becomes distressed and anxious when alone or not immediately in the presence of its owner. According to the ASPCA, signs of separation anxiety are destroying furniture or possessions, howling and barking, as well as defecating in the house when left alone. If your pup is engaging in these behaviors when left alone, it’s a good idea to first check with your veterinarian to rule out any medical or health issues.

Once you’re able to identify the issue as separation anxiety, the next step is to help your pup learn to cope with being alone. Training for these types of issues usually involves rewarding dogs for good behaviors, like staying calm and not following you all over the house or apartment. Easier said than done, right? It can be difficult to get your dog into the right frame of mind to begin with, which is where a sound machine may just come in handy.

White Noise For Your Anxious Pup

In our earlier article, “Six Awesome Reasons Why White Noise Helps You Sleep Better,” we outlined how sound machines can help human adults and kids alike stay asleep and get a better night’s sleep. Now it turns out, white noise isn’t just for people. In a 2018 study, when white noise was introduced to a colony of adult male rabbits while they slept, the bunnies’ cortisol levels were significantly reduced. Cortisol is a stress hormone our bodies produce when we’re in a “fight-or-flight” situation. It’s the same type of hormone response our dogs endure when they experience separation anxiety when left alone.

Since sound machines help to reduce stress, you can use them to keep your dog calm and anxiety-free during the day while away at work. Apart from the mess an anxious dog can cause when left to its own devices, no owner wants their furry best friend to be afraid all day long without comfort. Our Dohm Sound White Noise Machines are great options for anyone looking to soothe their stressed dog. Use them to calm dogs during the initial training stages and again when you put the training into practice, leaving them alone for extended periods.

Use White Noise to Calm a Dog Triggered By Loud Noises

The reason why sound machines work so well on us humans when we’re falling asleep at night is that the white noise, or more often pink noise, they emit works to mask other sounds that might interrupt us while we’re sleeping, such as car doors slamming, nocturnal roommates, or even our noisy upstairs neighbors stomping around at night. White noise is every sound at every frequency played at random, which stops these abrupt noises from waking us up as we sleep. We can apply the same principle to our dogs.

Not only do dogs seemingly love to bark, but they also have excellent hearing. For many dog owners, this is a perfect storm to create incessant dog barking. Whether you’re worried about a dreaded call from the building’s landlord or are fielding important conference calls from home, everyone dreams of finding a way to stop the barking from even happening in the first place. White noise can mask the sound of neighbors in the hallway outside your apartment or any other barking triggers for your pooch.

Calming a Dog During Fireworks

You may already be familiar with this statistic, but it’s important enough to bear repeating, more dogs go missing and end up in shelters on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. The obvious reason for this stunning fact is the fireworks. Dogs and fireworks are not a good match, and the same can be said of thunderstorms. After all, fireworks and thunder are both loud booming sounds that come down from the heavens. Of course, some dogs are more afraid of fireworks and storms than others, but if your pet is one of the ones who panic every Independence Day, we suggest using a sound machine to drown own the expected barrage of fireworks.

Can a white noise machine really cover up such loud noises? The truth is that the way we hear sounds is more about the waves these sounds produce that travel through the air to our ears than anything else. When you play white noise for pets, it creates sound waves on all levels, so the introduction of another wave, even a big one, won’t have nearly the same impact as it would if your pet were sitting in silence.

Is Your Pet Restless at Night?

There’s a lot of back and forth about whether or not pet owners should share a bed with their cats or dogs at night. We’re not here to tell you what the right answer is, but we do know that about 41% of dog-owners and 62% of cat-owners choose to snooze with their cuddly friends. One study made national headlines when it proclaimed that women prefer sleeping with dogs over both cats and their human partners. That’s not to say that everyone gets a good night’s sleep when sharing their bed with a pet.

For instance, cats are nocturnal and are notorious for deciding to play a rousing game of chase at two in the morning or even deciding to sleep directly on top of their human’s face in the middle of the night. Dogs can be restless too -- growling or barking if they hear noises outside of the bedroom. In these cases, white noise works well for both you and your pet. Turn on your Dohm Classic white noise machine to mask the busy pitter-patter of paws on hardwood or evening sleep adjustments during the night.

Drown Out Sounds of Other Dogs Barking

As every dog owner surely knows, there’s nothing worse than when your pup has finally settled down for the evening only to be awoken by a neighbor’s dogs barking. It’s not your dog’s fault. How else are they supposed to respond when a fellow dog loses their head over some unseen disturbance in the distance? The trouble is that now you’re back at square one trying to get your dog to calm down again. Dogs bark at night to alert you — their pack — to any potential dangers, something that would have been extremely helpful back when early humans needed to be on their guard at all times.

Some breeds are more prone to barking at night, usually dogs that would have been watching over farm animals or livestock. Dogs bark when they hear other dogs barking due to a psychological phenomenon known as social facilitation. A neighborhood full of barking dogs is probably intended to warn off any potential intruder. The beauty of using white noise for pets is that you can cover up unwanted sounds, including a neighbor’s barking dog. Turn a sound machine on just before bed to stop any “bark fest” in its tracks.

Help Your Dog or Cat Sleep Through the Night

By now we’ve established that dogs enjoy sleeping at night like their human counterparts, but that they are often woken from their slumber by all sorts of noises. The same is not true of cats. Cat owners know that their feline pals can get a little crazy at night. These evening “zoomies” can make it hard for cat owners to consistently get a good night’s sleep. Cats are considered crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at night and in the early hours of the morning. Hence why you might hear your cat running through the halls like an absolute maniac at 3 in the morning.

How can you help your cat adjust their sleep schedule so everyone in your home can coexist? There’s some evidence to suggest that changing the timing of meals can help your cat feel sleepy at night, along with making sure they’re getting enough exercise during the day. Unfortunately, as with most things our animal companions do, the only option for bad behavior is usually to ignore it completely. Many YogaSleep multi-sound machines use pink noise, which can help keep your sleeping pets calm and relaxed and mask any bumps in the night that do occur.

Crate Training at Night

Many dog owners enjoy sharing their beds with their dogs, but some also prefer to keep their doggy friends separate at night. Whether it’s a personal preference or an effort to combat separation anxiety, owners may choose to crate their dogs at night. If a dog is new to sleeping in a crate, this may not go over so well in the beginning. Dogs who already suffer from separation anxiety may engage in harmful behaviors if kept in a crate overnight. The Humane Society offers some great steps for crate training your dog.

If you’re at the stage where you’re ready to start leaving your puppy or new dog in a crate through the night, it might be time to introduce a sound machine into the bedtime routine. Calming dogs with sound lessens anxiety and drowns out any triggering noises. This should help your dog to fall asleep faster, and stay asleep through the night.