Thursday, March 21, 2013

Noise Reduction

Vito has always been sensitive to noises, but as he's gotten older his sensitivity has increased (argh, I still can't believe he turns 7 this summer!!). The poor dude barks at practically everything and unfortunately we live on a pretty busy street and share a driveway with our neighbor. None of those factors help Vito.

Mom, there are noises outside!!!

Silence Speaks Volumes

One of the things I've done recently is get a white noise machine for Vito (thanks Amy W.!!). White noise is a sound frequency that one hears as a gentle hiss, similar to radio static. It's created by using the entire spectrum of frequencies the human ear can hear so that it filters and masks distracting noises. The gentle, continuous sound promotes a calm mood to help you relax or fall asleep. And just as awesome, it works for pets too :).
This is Vito's handy dandy contraption.
Early evening seems to be the worst for Vito as our neighborhood is full of families - so people coming home from work, people out walking dogs, children out screaming, etc. Noises everywhere basically! The really nice thing about the white noise machine is that it's portable. So if we are on the kitchen in the early evening, I can plug it in where it is most effective. And if I know I am going to be gone, I can plug it in upstairs where his kennel is. That way the white noise can just follow Vito around :). While my neighborhood is noisy in the early evening, it's actually very settled all the other times. So I haven't had to use it all the time, just for those few evening hours when Vito needs it. I'm sure once summer hours hit, the machine will be on more!

Bark If You Hate Noise Pollution

Can't you hear Vito barking?!? :) The other thing I have been doing for Vito, which helps everyone else in the household, is playing relaxing music (Nicholas calls it Death Music because it makes him tired, LOL). I heard about these CDs called Through a Dog's Ear and thought those sounded perfect for Vito. The CDs are produced by Joshua Leeds (an expert in psychoacoustics) and he worked with Susan Wagner (a veterinary neurologist) on researching the effect of sound on dogs in order to create music that could calm nervous canines.
Vito's CD selection so far.
I also play other 'stress-relieving' CDs in order to mix-up the rotation. They might not be geared directly at pets but they still follow the same sound principles. Fast rhythms excite our pulses (as well as our canines); slow rhythms calm us all down. Oh, the things we do for our loved ones :).

Does your dog have a sound sensitivity? What have you done to help them? Vito would appreciate any responses (that way he doesn't feel so alone in his quirkiness!).

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