QotW: Can loud music hurt my dog?
Robin got in touch to ask "I often wonder when I listen to music in the car when my dog is with me: since they hear higher frequencies than humans, do they also perceive for example loud music louder than us?"
Adam Murphy put the question to animal behaviour specialise Nancy Dreschel...
Robin - I often wonder when I listen to music in the car when my dog is with me: since they hear higher frequencies than humans, do they also perceive for example loud music louder than us?
Adam - Nothing better than rocking out on a road trip. Dog Days are Over, Hungry like the Wolf, How Much is that Doggy in the Window... so many choices. But it could be hurting your furry friend? Nancy Dreschel is a specialist in Animal Behaviour from Penn State University.
Nancy - Noise induced hearing loss in dogs occurs and is related to the decibel level of the noise, rather than the frequency. The most common cause of noise induced hearing loss in humans and dogs is injury to the hair cells inside the inner ear. This can occur after exposure to loud noises like that stereo turned up too loud, or even a kennel or shelter where there are a lot of barking dogs.
Adam - So same as us in a lot of ways, I hate that feeling in your ears when a noise is too loud. And some dogs have bigger ears than I do.
Nancy - Researchers at the University of Illinois described hearing loss in working dogs. It is thought that a one-time exposure to a really loud, percussive noise, like a gunshot over the head of a dog while hunting or loud sirens can cause both temporary and permanent hearing loss. So, your dog is as susceptible to hearing loss related to these activities as you are.
Adam - Dogs are susceptible then, but how does that translate to rocking out in the car with your four legged friend.
Nancy - I think another question is, does your dog enjoy the same music you do? While you can tell your sister to change the radio station if you aren’t enjoying her music, your dog can’t tell you that he doesn’t like your selection. Watching your dog for signs of distress like licking his lips, putting his ears back, panting, or yawning while listening to music, may give you a clue that your dog doesn’t share your musical tastes. On the other hand, if you and your dog are having a good time, and he seems happy with you singing along with the radio at a reasonable level, enjoy your time together and rock on.
Adam - Thanks Nancy for making sure we’re not barking up the wrong tree. Next week we’re looking for an answer to this question from Robert.
Robert - Hi. I’ve been wondering, in terms of net greenhouse warming effect, which is better, sending your organics to a landfill, or composting them at home?