White Noise for Dogs: Do They Work?


Is your dog often scared or agitated by the sounds coming from the outside world?

Does your furry friend bark a lot whenever they hear a door slam shut somewhere besides your apartment and do you often get complaints from your neighbors because of it?

Well, would you believe us if we told you that the right solution for you might be to add even more noise to your surroundings?

Let’s learn more about white noise and how it can be used to calm your dog.

White Noise for Dogs

What is white noise?

By definition, white noise is a combination of sounds with different frequencies.

Because of all the distinctive levels of frequencies, this noise is capable of drowning out other noises and this is why a lot of people use white noise to fall asleep or concentrate better.

Most white noise is computer-generated, but this sound can also be found in nature.

The sound of the waves crashing, rain falling, or a lot of people chatting and mumbling are great examples of white noise that you can find naturally.

Because of its ability to block out sounds, white noise is considered a reliable choice for calming your dog.

You can either get a machine that produces white noise or visit websites and download some of the many apps that will play you this sound.

Related: White Noise vs Pink Noise vs Brown Noise

But the question is, will this actually work on your dog?

How to use white noise for dogs

If your dog has a bit of problematic behavior or is overall an anxious type, the possible solution for you could be to add white noise to your life.

However, there aren’t many types of research conducted about the effect of white noise on dogs, so the real reason why this works, or doesn’t work, isn’t known to us just yet.

An interesting fact is that there are plenty of studies conducted about the effect of music on dog’s behavior, but some studies show that white noise shows better results.


The first thing that you should know before you play white noise to your pet is that every dog is different, so the way that they react to the sound might be completely unexpected.

The one thing that you can know for sure is that they’ll definitely hear it.

Dogs are notorious for their heightened sense of hearing, after all.

Even though your dog will be able to hear the sound, what’s important is their reaction.

The only way to know if using white noise is going to work on your dog is to play it and follow the dog’s reaction to the sound.

But how will you know whether the reaction that your dog is having is good or bad?

Lucky for you, we have some examples of how your dog might react when white noise is being played and what those reactions mean.

Your dog’s reaction to white noise

Experimenting with white noise and your furry friend has to be done under a watchful eye, so don’t even think about just leaving your dog alone with white noise playing.

There are different ways that your dog might react to this sound, and you should follow their every step to figure out whether this is an effective solution.

Here are three ways that your dog might react to white noise.

how to soundproof a dog crate

Your dog notices the sound, is curious about it, and you notice improvements

If you can see that your dog is noticing the sound and showing curiosity about the source of it, you’re probably on the right path.

Of course, the most important thing here is knowing how to properly read your dog’s body language.

Every dog is a bit different, and you probably know best what your dog’s behavior is portraying, but most of them are still going to have the same reaction to hearing white noise, because it’s a new sound that they haven’t heard before.

Most dogs would be alert and curious, and you can see this by their wide eyes, closed mouth, ears that go up and forward and maybe a cocked head.

They also might try to get closer to the source of the sound and sniff it.

These are all the things that dogs do when they’re trying to figure out whether this new thing is a threat or not, so there’s no big deal about it.

The real reaction is what comes afterward.

Once your dog is familiar with the sound of white noise you should be able to notice changes.

Does your dog bark less? Do the sounds from the outside affect your dog less? If so, the white noise is working.

Your dog is agitated by white noise, and it makes their behavior worse

Unfortunately, your dog could also have a completely different reaction to the white noise.

If you notice that your pet is curious at first, but soon starts barking or cowering, it means that the sound that the machine or app that you’re using is producing isn’t right for them.

There’s no point in trying to get them used to the sound once you notice that it makes them act even worse, so the only solution is to either stop emitting the sound completely or try to change it.

white noise dogs

As we mentioned before, there are two types of white noise: computer-generated and natural.

Dogs are usually keener on natural-sounding white noise, so try that out if you notice a bad reaction to the computer-generated one.

Of course, if neither of these is good for your dog it’s better to stay away from them completely.

See here for a list of white noise machines.

Your dog notices the white noise but doesn’t react to it

Another way that your dog might react to the white noise is that they show interest at first, with all signs that we mentioned above, but they soon completely start to ignore the noise and show no change in their behavior.

This can happen because dogs hear completely differently than us.

In this case, you can also try to change the sound that’s being played, but if your pup doesn’t react to that either you should start looking for another solution.


Benefits of using white noise for dogs

Using white noise for dogs has some benefits that are good for both your dog and you.

As mentioned above, there aren’t many studies about this, but here are some of the pros.

Less barking

Dogs usually bark when they’re scared or excited, but it all comes from them noticing a sound that starts their barking.

This doesn’t bother them, but it could bother you or your neighbors.

And this is where white noise comes to the rescue.

Because white noise can drown out sounds from the outside, your dog is less likely to react to them by barking, resulting in a more peaceful life for you and your neighbors.

Related: Debarking: Benefits, Ethicality and Alternatives for Reducing Dog Noise

Good for their health

Unfortunately, sometimes dogs react to the sounds from the outside in a bad way.

This is usually the case with fireworks and similar disturbing sounds.

The effect that these sounds have on some dogs can be very severe, and most of them have a direct impact on their hearts.

Playing some white noise to your dog can help drown out all of those sounds, resulting in a pup that’s less nervous and healthier.

Good for the owner

If you’re a light sleeper and your dog (or significant other) snores a lot, playing some white noise might make your nights better.

Playing white noise can help you drown out all of those sounds, resulting in a better sleep and a well-rested body.

Of course, you can use this as a solution only if your dog doesn’t have a bad reaction to the sound.

Related: White Noise for Snoring: Does It Actually Work?

Conclusion: White Noise for Dogs

Remember, whether you decide to use an app or a white noise machine, every dog is different.

The best tip that we can give you is to play some more natural white noise and to follow your pet’s reaction carefully.

Good luck!

You might also like: How to Soundproof a Dog Crate

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