Ear protection for dogs
The new Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech era protection for dogs is a completely new concept to protect your dog's ears and sense of hearing. It was developed in the USA for service dogs in the army. In addition to the main function, noise protection, which is given with the sewn ear capsules, the design attention was also paid to functionality and quality. The materials used are high quality and promise a long product life. Due to the tube-like concept, the hearing protection is simply put over the dog's head. This ensures a secure fit of the ear muffs on the dog's ear and protects your dog's sense of hearing from harmful noise.
New and tested ear protection for dogs
How well does the Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech protect against noise?
We adopted the best practices used by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct real ear tests on dogs to determine the effectiveness of Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech. These tests were conducted at lower frequencies, as these are the most difficult to attenuate.
The real ear tests were conducted in a sound booth with the noise exposure set at 95dB (white noise). 95dB cause for example: tractors, mixers, motorcycles, power tools, helicopters.
See graph below for results. At very low frequencies (20Hz - 120Hz), Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech attenuates or reduces noise exposure between 18 dB A and 24 dB A. As frequency increases, so does the effectiveness of the product.
What are the reasons to buy Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech dog hearing protection?
High Quality Materials.
The Rex Specs Ear Pro is constructed with the best low frequency noise blocking foam that could be found and tested.
Hearing protection is only as good as its fit.
There are no holes or penetrations in the foam. There are no adjustments or straps that need to be fine-tuned for a good fit. If the Rex Specs Ear Pro moves a little - it still works. Other products lose effectiveness when the product moves away from the ear.
When does hearing protection for dogs make sense?
If you've ever been to a dog pound or shelter, you know that there is often a deafening noise from the dogs' barking. For the dogs living there, it can literally lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hearing protection for dogs can help prevent this.
Especially for working dogs such as military, police, search and rescue dogs, hearing, both for the safety of the dog and the safety of the handler, is essential. Working dogs need to be able to navigate their environment and hear commands. But when dogs suffer from noise-induced hearing loss, they can't do this as well and can put everyone at risk. In some circumstances, these dogs may then be limited in their ability to function. Similar to humans, dogs can get damage to their sense of hearing from any form of sustained loud noise such as truck or helicopter transport, gunshots, or even a loud construction site nearby.
That's why Rex Specs has partnered with Zeteo Tech and Dr. Peter M. Skip Scheifele, PhD - a leading animal audiologist in the United States - to help develop hearing protection for military dogs, active working dogs and their civilian counterparts. To answer all your questions about hearing protection for dogs, Rex Specs spoke directly with Dr. Scheifele. Here's what he had to say.
(Answers have been edited for clarity and efficiency).
What is noise-induced hearing loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss is what happens to the ear when it is exposed for extended periods of time to sounds that are in the range of the animal's hearing frequency and loud enough to fatigue the stereocilia that form the tip of the hair cells in the inner ear. These stereocilia eventually fatigue to the point that they no longer function, so the brain can no longer receive sound from the ear.
How can you see if a dog is suffering from hearing loss?
We perform an actual audiological test called the BAER test - we call it the bear test, although it is not spelled like bear. This is an electrophysiological test that tells us what the dog's hearing threshold is in each ear. Hearing threshold is defined as the level the dog can actually hear at the time of the test.
Generally, we do these tests on puppies, and when we do a BAER screening test on a puppy, we put a very loud sound in the ear that the ear should absolutely be able to hear. If the dog's ear and brain do not respond to the sound, the puppy is deaf.
With an older dog, we would go through a series of different intensities and, wherever the intensity stops - where the waveforms no longer match, then we know that the dog can hear up to that point, but after that, it can't hear.
What are situations for noise-induced hearing loss in dogs?
There are actually many situations. But the bottom line is that any type of noise that is prolonged and intense within the frequency range that they can hear can cause hearing loss. For example, dogs kept in kennels (larger kennels in animal shelters that are not usually built to muffle sound) are exposed to noise from barking, etc. Dogs that are regularly exposed to gunfire - such as hunting dogs - can suffer noise-induced hearing loss. Even dogs kept in situations that are very noisy outside the home. Any of these things can cause hearing loss.
What problems can result from hearing loss in a dog?
When the dog becomes deaf, there are obviously problems that need to be solved with the behavior of the human and the dog. If the dog has mild, moderate, or certainly severe hearing loss, the dog will not respond as quickly to the owner, the dog may seem very confused, or the dog may not be able to locate where the sound is coming from. So, all this leads to some problems in working with the dog and making the dog understand what a human handler is trying to communicate to it.
How does the Rex Specs Ear Pro by Zeteo Tech hearing protection for dogs work?
Hearing protection for dogs works much like hearing protection for humans. The Ear Pro covers the ears and is more or less impervious to any sounds outside the hearing protection. The engineered, stretchable fabric and acoustic foam used to make the device help the Ear Pro fit snugly against the dog's head and form a good seal around the ear. In audiology, we use the term attenuated or dumped, even eliminated, to describe what happens to sound when it tries to pass through sound-blocking materials. The goal of hearing protection is to muffle as much noise as possible - reduce stereocilia fatigue, reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
Why was the EAR PRO designed specifically for military and working dogs?
These hearing protection devices were originally developed for the military. The amount of training these service dogs do in noisy conditions, the kennel environment (where they can have up to 100 dogs in one kennel), transportation noise in helicopters and airplanes, or gunfire, can have long-term effects on a dog's hearing. All of these can reduce the dog's ability to hear and thus affect the dog's ability to continue its work.
Finally, military personnel, law enforcement officers and members of emergency services rely heavily on their dog's ability to perform to its full potential. We want the dog to be able to hear as well as possible, not only for the dog's benefit, but also for the handler's safety.
In what situations would you recommend hearing protection for a non-service dog?
There are countless situations in which dogs could benefit from hearing protection - these include
- Hunting - where there is repeated exposure to gunfire
- Transportation in planes, trucks and other vehicles where there is noise exposure from the engine
- Loud outdoor environments, such as concerts, sporting events or near buildings
- Holidays when dogs are exposed to noise from fireworks, honking horns, etc.
- Anxious dogs upset by big city noise such as motor vehicles, streetcars, etc.