Hush, Puppies! Doggie Earmuffs Protect Sensitive Canine Ears
04/26/2010 AT 07:45 AM EDT
Long-term pilots often suffer from hearing loss or ringing ears. If the noise level in a small aircraft is high for a human, "you just know it has to be painful for a dog," McGuire tells PEOPLEPets.com. "You cannot in good conscience put your dog in that noise."
McGuire couldn't find any kind of protective device for dogs. So she asked a friend – a retired engineer who is also a pilot – for help in making something. "I thought he wouldn't laugh at me too bad," she explains.
He did laugh, but he also helped her create decibel-defying doggie earmuffs with the proper curvature for a canine skull, called Mutt Muffs. They aren't just for canine aviators, says McGuire, but for police dogs, hunting dogs, service dogs, dogs attending loud sporting events – even dogs fearful of fireworks or thunder.
McGuire had only to look to her own pup to see the difference protection makes. Cooper, who would huddle in a ball to comfort himself on the plane, now happily gazes out the window. (Other dogs, assaulted by noise, seem to sleep.) Of course, at first a dog will usually paw the muffs off. But on the second try, the dog, realizing the muffs mute the unpleasant noise, will keep them on. "That is all the doggy evidence required," she says.
Available in five sizes, Mutt Muffs ($52-$65, at safeandsoundpets.com and the earplugstore.com) come in standard gray, but can be customized with color because, as McGuire says, sometimes "you just gotta have pink."
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