Caring for a canine that suffers from anxiety can be challenging. Not only is it difficult to see your doggo struggling, it also makes your pet’s day-to-day care more difficult as you try to shield your pooch from the things that scare her.
Thankfully, there are a number of possible tools, treatments, and management strategies that may help.
One such tool that an increasing number of owners have found helpful is something many people use: a white noise machine.
We’ll explain what white noise machines do, how they may help your dog relax, and identify a few of the best ones on the market below.
Quick Picks: Best White Noise Machines for Dogs
- Adaptive Sound Technologies [Best Overall White Noise Machine for Dogs]: This compact unit comes with everything you need to calm Fido without a hefty price tag.
- SNOOZ Classic [Best High Tech White Noise Machine for Dogs]: With a programmable schedule, companion app, and adjustable tone, this high-tech noise machine has all the bells and whistles you’re looking for.
- Magic Team Sound Machine [Best Budget-Friendly White Noise Machine for Dogs]: This affordable white noise machine won’t break the bank while providing over 20 different soothing sounds.
What Does a White Noise Machine Do for Dogs?
Before diving into the benefits white noise machines provide dogs, we need to explain what white noise is.
“White noise” is defined as a type of sound that is comprised of the full range of the audible frequency spectrum.
Think of it like this: Light comes in different colors based on the frequency of the light rays. Waves at X frequency look blue; waves at Y frequency look yellow. But if you combine all of the different light colors (frequencies), you get white light.
It’s more-or-less the same with sound (though they’re different kinds of waves).
Frequency X sounds like a given note; frequency Y sounds like a different note or pitch. But when you make sounds at all of the frequencies in the audible range, they combine to make “white noise.”
Subjectively, it sounds kind of like crashing waves or the sound your TV makes when you put it on a “snow” channel.
A white noise machine is simply a tool that produces this kind of sound.
Now that you understand what white noise and white noise machines are, it is time to discuss their purpose: In a nutshell, white noise machines make noises that cover up other noises.
So, when you use a white noise machine with your dog, it makes it more difficult for your pet to hear upsetting sounds like the neighbor’s dog, the stray cat outside, or the UPS guy pulling up in your driveway.
This often helps your canine remain calm, cool, and collected in the face of upsetting auditory triggers.
Some examples of situations where pet parents may opt to use a white noise machine include:
- During storms. Many dogs become absolutely frantic during storms or when fireworks go off, and a white noise machine can help drown out some of those sounds, to at least some degree.
- To prevent nuisance barking. Sensitive canines can easily become triggered by noises outside which can send them into a flurry of barks. These dogs aren’t trying to be annoying with their excessive non-stop barking – they’re just super anxious and easily startled by sounds outside like the mail truck, the Amazon van, trash cans, and the like. While you’ll likely need a longer-term plan to stop your dog from barking at everything all the time, noise machines can help in conjunction with behavior modification. White noise machines are especially ideal when you know exactly when your dog’s auditory triggers are most prevalent (such as the hour when the school bus drops off children down the street).
- To calm a dog when guests are over. Dogs who aren’t crazy about visitors may feel much more at easy in a cozy crate setup with a crate cover and a white noise machine rather than being out and about at a party.
- To help a dog sleep. If you have a hard time getting your dog to sleep, a white noise machine can provide the same calming and lulling sensations that they provide for humans with insomnia.
The 7 Best White Noise Machines for Dogs
Without further ado, here are some of our top picks for white noise machines for furry friends. Keep in mind that different sounds work best for different dogs, so you might have to experiment with a couple of options before landing on an ideal machine.
1. Adaptive Sound Technologies
About: The USB-power Electro Fan is a feature-packed, easy-to-use white noise machine that produces 20 different sounds to soothe Spot. This compact white noise machine is small enough to take on the road, but still packs plenty of power to help block out the excess noise.
- Can be powered via USB or the AC adapter
- 10 fan sounds and 10 white noise sounds to choose from
- The compact machine only weighs 1 pound
- Flat bottom makes this sound machine easy to place in your space
- Compact enough to take on the go
- Lots of owners reported it helped dogs relax
- There are a few different models to choose from
- Pet parents reported excellent customer service
- The thin power cord isn’t super durable
- A few owners felt it wasn’t loud enough
2. Magic Team White Noise Machine
About: If you want to be able to experiment with different types of white noise, this affordable model by Magic Team is worth considering. In addition to basic white noise sounds, this machine offers fan, wave, fire, bird, water, rain, and clock-inspired sounds to help calm your canine.
- Produces 20 different sounds
- Compact, portable machine
- Powered by AC adapter or USB
- Sleep timer function
- 32 volume levels
- Despite the low price, it comes with a sleep timer
- Small enough for travel
- Provides 32 different volume levels
- Produces a litany of different sounds
- Some of the sounds aren’t very relaxing
- Too quiet for large or loud spaces
3. Big Red Rooster Sound Machine
About: This simple and functional white noise machine by Big Red Rooster is great for owners who want a straightforward noise machine that’s easy to take on the road. In addition to being small, it can be powered via battery or AC adapter, making it especially portable. The sound machine also comes at an excellent price for having six sounds to choose from and an built-in sleep timer.
- Features 6 different soothing sounds
- Built-in auto shutoff sleep timer
- Can be powered with AC adapter or batteries
- Easy to use
- Simple, white design
- Two different power options (batteries and AC cord)
- Compact unit is great for travel
- Users were impressed with the volume
- It only produces 6 different sounds
- Some found the sound quality underwhelming
4. HoMedics White Noise Machine
About: If you want to save some space, this low-profile white noise machine by HoMedics is definitely worth checking out. The compact machine emits six different types of sound and comes with easy-to-operate knobs so that you can quickly calm down your canine.
- Choose between 6 different soothing noises
- Easy-to-use volume knob
- Built-in sleep timer
- Powered by batteries or AC adapter
- Lightweight design
- Works with batteries or an AC power cord
- Low profile design allows it to fit in tight spaces
- Slim and lightweight enough for travel use
- Only produces a handful of sounds
- Noise is emitted upward instead of at your dog’s ears
5. SNOOZ White Noise Machine
About: If you’re looking for a sound machine for a large space or something a little more high-tech, you can’t lose with SNOOZ. The powerful white noise machine features 10 different sounds, and can be customized to your canine’s needs using the free SNOOZ app.
Note that we don’t know for certain that this is truly the loudest white noise machine on the market – we just think it is the loudest model that meets our other selection criteria.
- Adjustable tone and volume knobs
- Connects to SNOOZ app for sound customization
- Doubles as a programmable night light
- Built-in sleep timer
- Programmable schedule
- 10 volume levels and tone adjustment options
- Users report an impressive sound from the unit
- Can be programmed using the SNOOZ app
- Owners love the variety of volume levels and sound tones
- Sleek, contemporary design
- This is the priciest option on our list
- Some users found the companion app finicky
6. Housbay White Noise Machine
About: If you’re looking for a white noise machine with a little more style, check out this small but mighty white noise machine by Housbay. The wooden design will likely catch your eye, but this is much more than just a slick-looking noise maker — it also features a sleep timer and 31 soothing sounds to choose from.
- Contemporary wood-like design
- 31 different sound modes
- Can be powered via USB or AC adapter
- 1 to 3 hour sleep timer
- 15 different volume levels
- It looks great in just about any setting
- Offers the most sound choices of any model we recommend
- The hi-fidelity speaker is loud and projects well
- We wish it came in multiple colors
- Some customers could detect when a sound was looping
7. SNOOZ Go
About: SNOOZ offers a portable version of their larger white noise machine – the SNOOZ Go. This compact white noise machine features six different soothing sounds and has an impressive battery life of 20 hours, despite its small size.
- 6 soothing white noises to choose from
- The compact device is only 3.8 inches long
- Can also be used as a speaker
- USB-C powered battery lasts for as much as 20 hours at once
- Subtle design helps this white noise machine fit in just about anywhere
- No distracting lights come on during use
- Doubles as a portable Bluetooth speaker
- Two power options available
- Cannot be controlled through the SNOOZ app
- Some users noticed the sound looping
Picking a White Noise Machine for Dogs
So, now that you understand that white noise machines can help prevent your dog from hearing upsetting sounds, you’re probably ready to try one out.
But you don’t want to just buy the cheapest one you can find or the first one that shows up on your search engine. Finding the right white noise machine for your woofer is very important, but it’s relatively easy to do by considering a few key factors.
Here are a few things to consider before picking out one for your pooch:
- Volume: Your white noise machine will need to be loud enough to block out other noises that may trigger your dog. Larger spaces will require machines with a higher volume threshold.
- Size: Consider where you intend to place your white noise machine. You’ll need to check the product’s overall size and weight to make sure it fits soundly within your space. If you have a larger space, it may make sense to get multiple machines to provide more coverage for your canine.
- Price: High-quality white noise machines can be surprisingly pricey. But you can find a white noise machine to accommodate your dog’s needs without breaking the bank.
- Power Source: Some white noise machines use AC/DC power. Others can be powered via USB. Just make sure to pick the style that makes the most sense for you and that it has a long enough power cord to work in your space.
- Noise Options: Many white noise machines allow you to adjust the pitch of the white noise, or the sound itself. You might want to select a machine with a variety of noises if you’re unsure of your pup’s preferences.
- Ease of Use: Find a white noise machine that comes with everything you need to quickly shut the noise on and off to calm your canine. Some white noise machines are controlled exclusively by the device’s physical buttons. Others can be connected to another set of controls on your phone for remote use.
- Portability: If you frequently hit the road with Fido, it’s essential to select a white noise machine that you can easily pack in your suitcase.
- Timer: White noise machines with a built-in timer can help you conserve energy after your dog has drifted off to sleep.
Tips for Using a White Noise Machine for Dogs
Now that you’ve found the perfect white noise machine to help calm your canine, here are a couple of tips for getting the most out of your white noise machine for your doggo:
- Don’t place the machine right next to your dog’s crate. Contrary to what you may think, you shouldn’t place the white noise machine directly next to your dog’s crate or wherever he hangs out. Try to place it at least 3 feet away from your pet and angle it toward your furry friend. This lets you turn it up louder without bothering your pooch, which often yields better overall results.
- Demo different noises with your dog. If you’re unsure about what sounds your pooch may respond best to, demo a couple of different types of white noise for your dog. YouTube has plenty of videos with varying noises like fan and wave white noise sounds for example. This way, you can start to get a sense of noises your dog responds the best to before making your purchase.
- Try to place it around your dog’s ear height from the ground. Make sure that your white noise machine is roughly placed at the height of your dog’s ears. You may need to clear off a space to keep the noise machine elevated. Make sure that your elevated surface can support the weight of your white noise machine.
- Consider using more than one in bigger homes. You can try using a single, high-volume white noise machine, but you’ll likely have more success using multiple white noise machines in larger spaces.
- Experiment with different volumes, placements, and “types” or white noise. It can take a little bit of trial and error to find the perfect settings for your pooch, so don’t get discouraged if your furry friend doesn’t immediately relax when you start using the white noise machine.
- Introduce it to your dog properly. You should take the time to introduce your white noise machine to your pooch properly, especially if he is easily startled. Allow your furry friend to inspect the machine when it’s off first, and gradually turn up the volume while he familiarizes himself.
- Some dogs become interested at first. Note that some pups may initially react to a white noise machine with interest, rather than shutting it out as it’s designed. Hopefully, your dog will start to ignore the machine quickly but if it ends up not being a great fit, that’s OK too.
Hound Hearing: Spot’s Secret Super Power
Many people know that dogs have extremely powerful noses (Spot’s sniffer is about 40 times more powerful than our own), but forget that dogs also have very good hearing.
In fact, they often hear sounds we don’t.
To give you some perspective on your pooch, your dog’s sense of hearing is roughly four times as sensitive as ours is. In other words, you may be able to hear a cricket chirping 10 feet away, but your dog can hear the same cricket serenading his sweetheart from 40 feet away.
Dogs can also hear a wider range of frequencies. They can detect sounds between 45,000 to 67,000 Hz whereas the upper limit of our hearing stops at around 64,000 Hz. This is part of the reason dog whistles work.
Dogs can also perceive a wider range of volume as well. Humans have a hearing threshold around 0 dB. Depending on the frequency of the sound, dogs can hear sounds as low as -15 dB.
Considering our ear limitations compared to our dogs, it’s easy to understand why your pup might start barking at a neighbor far across the street or avoid fireworks like the plague.
Does your dog get startled easily? Have you tried using a white noise machine with your pet? Tell us all about it in the comments below!