While most people enjoy celebrating with a variety of activities, it can be scary for some pets, particularly when fireworks are involved. The loud, sudden noises are frightening and can make certain animals feel vulnerable, threatened and even trapped.
Ford Motor Company has come up with a way to make pets feel safer when in the presence of fireworks. The company has developed a noise-cancelling kennel that has features comparable to the technology used in some cars and headphones, according to Ford Europe. Rather than banishing pets to another room and away from others during what can be a very stressful event, the kennel enables pet owners to secure their animals in a safe place.
“Many animals find fireworks scary – and compared to people, dogs can hear things that are four times further away, and across a much wider range of frequencies,” noted British dog trainer Graeme Hall. “Preparing in advance of firework displays is the key – and part of that is to identify a place where your pets feel safe and happy.”
Humans are believed to hear frequencies between 20Hz and 20,000Hz, while dogs can hear in a much wider general range of 67Hz to 45,000Hz.
The kennel contains microphones that detect fireworks. A built-in audio system blocks out the noise by emitting opposing frequencies. The interior is made of high-density cork to aid in the soundproofing.
Currently, the noise-cancelling kennel is in the concept stage. It uses the same technology that’s found in the Ford Edge, which aims to make travel quieter for drivers and passengers. When a microphone in the vehicle detects high levels of noise from the engine and transmission, the vehicle’s audio system cancels it using opposing sound waves.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations,” explained Lyn West, brand content manager, marketing communications, of Ford of Europe. “Making sure dogs and their owners could enjoy a stress-free New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect application for our Active Noise Control system, and we have a few more ideas in progress as to how our everyday lives might benefit from a little Ford know-how.”
Ford is working on multiple initiatives dubbed “interventions” that use automotive know-how to combat common issues.
Watch a video about the kennel here.
In case the noise-cancelling kennel doesn’t become available to consumers, here are some other tips for calming your dog down during fireworks:
- Slowly acclimate them to the sound of fireworks
- Create a safe place for them, such as a crate
- Distract them with treats
- Tire them out early in the day, which may make them less anxious
- Put a thunder shirt on them (many dogs find the gentle pressure soothes them)
- Close the curtains and leave the TV or radio on to distract them
- If necessary, get a veterinarian to prescribe anti-anxiety medication