Our dogs rely on their hearing even more than we do.
Whether they’re hunting dogs or just like lounging around a gun range, it is essential to protect your pup’s hearing!
Just as with humans, loud noises of all sorts can damage a dog’s hearing.
This includes things like guns as well as airplanes.
So, as a rule of thumb, be sure to equip your dog with ear protection anytime you feel the need to wear ear protection yourself.
Without protection, dogs may find themselves losing their hearing as they age, especially if they’re around loud noises often. Purchasing ear “plugs” for your dog protects his future and ensures that he’ll be able to hear you whisper and birds sing for years to come.
Read on to learn more about protecting your dog’s hearing and to see our favorite canine ear protectors on the market!
Best Dog Ear Plugs: Quick Picks
- #1 Mutt Muffs [Best Overall Choice] — Affordable and effective, these ear muffs are the perfect choice for most dogs who need to spend time in loud environments.
- #2 K-9 Ear Muffs [Best for Dogs in Need of Maximum Ear Protection] — Made with FAA-approved materials, these ear muffs are the best choice for dogs who need maximum hearing protection.
Best Dog Ear Plugs
There are a variety of dog ear muffs on the market, but we’ve narrowed down our favorites to the two discussed below.
1. Mutt Muffs
About: Mutt Muffs provide over-the-head hearing protection to dogs of many different sizes.
The ear seals are made of wide foam for maximum comfort and keep the hearing protection lightweight. They are specially engineered to match the curvature of a dog’s head.
Well-fitting canine ear muffs
Affordable dog ear muffs designed to fit the shape of your dog’s head
Mutt Muffs are made with a dog’s head in mind, and they are designed to fit perfectly over your pooch’s noggin’. Because every dog is different, they also feature adjustable straps so you can find the perfect fit.
These ear muffs are designed to protect your pet’s hearing in loud environments, not wholly cancel out loud noises.
This is useful for hunting dogs but less useful for dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms or fireworks.
- Many sizes available from extra-small to extra-large
- Wide foam fills the ear seals for comfort
- Adjustable straps for a perfect fit
- Made to match the shape of a dog’s head
These ear muffs were inspired by pilots “who know the noise level of the cockpit is unsafe for man or beast,” so you can rest assured they were created by people who understood the importance of ear protection. Customers loved that their dogs seemed comfortable in the ear muffs and were able to relax around noises they were previously scared of.
The price is a little high for these ear muffs, and may be out of budget for some owners.
2. K-9 Ear Muffs
About: The K-9 Ear Muffs are more expensive than our top pick, but they’re made of top-quality materials – seemingly higher-quality than the Mutt Muggs.
If you’re going to need to protect your dog’s hearing a lot or have a few extra dollars to spend, these can be a good investment.
Made from premium materials (including FAA-approved foam), these dog ear muffs are ideal for extremely loud environments.
These ear muffs are made with the same FAA-approved foam they use in human aviation headsets. They were initially intended to be used on aircrafts! However, they are also suitable for nearly any situation where loud noises might be present.
These dog ear covers feature webbing instead of velcro, since velcro can get stuck on your furry friend’s hair.
Testing shows that these ear muffs provide a 45 dBHL sound reduction, which is one of the highest levels of ear protection on the market.
- Three sizes available from small to large
- Gel molded to fit well on your dog’s head
- Adjustable straps that buckle to make taking them on and off easier
- External attachment points provide more comfort than other designs
Based on testing, it seems like these ear muffs protect from higher sound levels than most others on the market. They are made out of extremely high-quality foam and human-grade materials.
These are premium products, and you’re going to pay for it. They are quite expensive, even when compared to some of the other premium options on the market.
Our Recommendation: Mutt Muffs
To protect your dog’s hearing, we recommend the Mutt Muffs. They’re effective and more affordable than many other options. They’re specially designed to fit your dog’s head and are made with extra-wide foam for comfort.
But, if you have some extra money to spend and want the very best ear protection available, you should go with the K-9 Ear Muffs instead.
Events that Might Affect Your Dog’s Hearing
Any event that can affect your hearing can also affect your dog’s hearing too.
If you’re wearing ear protection, your dog should probably be wearing some as well!
The most common occasions that dogs are exposed to loud noises is while hunting.
Gunshots are extremely loud, which is why most people wear ear protection while shooting. Dogs that do not wear ear protection in these situations are more prone to hearing loss.
For example, Labradors that are commonly exposed to gunshots while duck hunting often experiencing hearing loss as they age. Mississippi State University recently conducted research that found hunting Labradors often have worse hearing than Labradors who had never been around shooting.
They discovered this by testing the brain wave response of the Labradors when exposed to certain noise levels. If the dog’s brain wasn’t hearing the sound, it wouldn’t respond with brain waves. Labradors who’d worked around guns had a three-fold decrease in hearing soft sounds, like a human whisper.
A similar situation was found among police dogs that were regularly exposed to loud noises, like gunshots and even aircraft noises. While the sound level the dogs were exposed to did not exceed the current legal limits, dogs still experience some hearing loss.
While many dogs seem to lose their hearing when exposed to gunshots, there are other situations where hearing loss can occur. Dogs that ride in airplanes – especially dogs that spend time in the cargo hold – can experience hearing loss as well, as we saw in the study about police dogs.
Music events and other loud entertainment events can also cause hearing loss. While one concert likely isn’t going to have a severe effect on your dog’s hearing, regular exposure can cause your dog to lose his hearing.
Other Occasions for Dog Ear Muffs
While hearing loss is the main reason dogs should wear ear muffs, there are also a few other occasions where ear muffs might be helpful.
Loud noises that can startle your dog can be blocked with ear muffs. Fireworks on the 4th of July is a common situation that may require ear muffs.
More dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year because the loud blasts of the fireworks scare them.
Other loud situations like parades and thunderstorms may also require blocking out some of the sounds to keep your pooch calm.
Many entertainment events will also require hearing protection for your dog. The loud noises associated with racing events, for example, can frighten your canine, especially drag racing.
Both of the ear protection products we review above are great options for your canine. If you commonly take them hunting or around loud noises, be sure to protect their hearing with an appropriate pair of ear muffs.
What do you think about the ear muffs we used? Is there a different product you would have recommended? Why do you need to protect your dog’s hearing? Let us know in the comments.