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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

Changes in Noise Control for Animal Care Facilities

Updates to Noise Control Recommendations

Many aspects of building design have changed drastically in the past 50 years, particularly for animal shelters and rescues. And noise control is one of those aspects! Noise control refers to any aspect of a building, materials, or operations that work to mitigate noise in a given location. Animal shelters are notorious for being very loud and stressful.

Past Noise Control Consideration for Animal Care Facilities

  • Noise in shelter environments historically was tolerated and ignored.

  • Staff and the public expected a dog pound to be noisy.

  • Dogs were housed in large, oversized rooms causing continuous mutual barking stimulation.

  • Cats and smaller animals were subjected to this noise continuously.

Current Noise Control Recommendations for Animal Care Facilities

Today the animal care industry is aware that barking noise - whether in an animal shelter, veterinary clinic, or boarding facility - is a significant stress for dogs, cats, and people. Continuous barking from dogs affects the behavioral and physical health of all animals at the shelter.

5 Recommendations for Building Design

  1. Zones are architecturally and mechanically separated areas with no cross communication

  2. Create multiple, smaller kennel zones with 10 to 15 dogs maximum

  3. Create an isolated zone specifically for dogs that bark incessantly

  4. Create floor plans with circulation that precludes walking through one animal area to get to another

  5. Engineer lighting controls to reduce lighting levels during periods of rest and follow circadian rhythms

Recommendations for Building Materials

  • Wall and ceiling construction materials with superior noise transmission and reverberation characteristics are now available.

Recommendations for Operations

  • Group dogs by age, temperament, size, health, and play style.

Why Update Your Animal Care Facilities to Noise Control Recommendations

Why these changes are essential:

  • Stress in animals is now recognized as a critical issue in animal behavior and health

  • Pressure on staff is directly affected by noise

  • Older kennels would not meet OSHA standards for exposure to noise today

  • Large, open kennels create a stressful environment where many dogs bark simultaneously in response

  • Reducing noise by creating multiple, smaller zones minimize the barking response

  • Creating various, smaller kennel zones reduces a dog’s ability to hear stimuli outside of that kennel

Improve Your Building with Noise Control

Animal sheltering and welfare have transformed over the past 50 years and continue to do so daily. Noise control is one of the many aspects in the engineering and design of these building types that has changed dramatically over the years and continues to evolve.

Are you ready to address the building issues in your animal shelter, veterinary hospital, or boarding facility? Call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online to discuss this further.

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