Are Ultrasonic Devices Harmful to Dogs?

by Kelly
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Ultrasonic Dog Anti-Barking Outdoor Device

Ultrasonic Dog Anti-Barking Outdoor Device

I have an inquiry about the ultrasonic usage for anti-barkers. (Guardian is one manufacturer). My neighbor, (who has also been caught with poisoned mice, and damaging my backyard-hence fear what else she will do) at this time is using 3 directed into my yard. And it is never shut off, while they are on vacation, at work, always on "HIGH", goes red with kids playing, squirrels & birds chirping, and other dogs barking from other yards.

My question is could these machines, on high, cause a dog that had suffered only 5 epileptic seizures (due to a car accident) at age 2 and is now 3 prior to the installation of this equipment any harm?

In July 2012 and since then my dog has experienced 192 seizures, increased medications, (Phenabarb and now potassium bromide). There have been several police requests for her to take them down (she watches the seizures as my other dog attacks the pup). The police can not take them down without her permission!

The humane society, ASPCA, etc feel it is criminal what she is doing. The Police can't do anything without a proper report.

But before I go further I would like some knowledge to back me up. After discussing it with my Veterinarian I am at the point where I am considering putting him to sleep. I can't move right now as I am in the midst of a divorce.

I do know that for example: the Serengeti
lions would have seizures due to sounds from helicopters, dolphins have beached themselves from drilling in the ocean. My dog started this the day she put them up and her comment was my dogs bark and she couldn't sleep.(they don't bark that often) There are several dogs that live in the area, plus she leaves the apparatus on while she goes on holidays. Tucker, suffers so much he won't go outside.

He is so drugged now that there is no quality of life for him. My other neighbors are on my side and are not bothered as the dogs do not bark hardly at all. One bark to be let in, and when I am out with them not at all. I am a nervous wreck,, walking on eggshells, if my dog barks I jump and let them in. I hope you have some form of information, or could direct me to someone who could shed some light on this situation to provide me with answers to take this equipment down.

If she doesn't like children, dogs and wildlife shouldn't she move to a condo? I love to garden (or use to) and I love my dogs, I consider them my kids. I love the outdoors watching the birds etc, they don't even come outside, they go on holidays.

And I as the police said I have to watch out for her as I may never know what she will do next.

Thank you,

Kelly Ward

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Apr 02, 2023
by: Anonymous

This is heartbreaking. Perhaps getting a letter signed by all your neighbors [and surrounding areas], local veterinarians, the ACPCA, and any other advocacy group. If you presented her with this, maybe she would feel more ashamed for her egregious behavior. I would send her a letter and photos of my invalid dog several times a week, pleading for a change in her behavior. It is terrible that some people are so disregarding of the lives of others and can be profoundly harmful. Is this not animal cruelty?

Can you get the news to report this? Or make her actions public ? Anything to make her feel the risk of continuing this is too great? Have you spoken to an attorney to sue for liabilities for your medical expenses and emotional harm? That could be a deterrent- if you stated you will drop the suit if she removes these devices.

I also wonder if you can deter the noise. Have you talked to anyone in the local electronics industry? Maybe you can find a solution.

Otherwise, I agree with the DVM. It may be that you have to let your beloved dog live somewhere else for a while until you can sort this out. I am sorry you are in this situation. Please know most people are kind and would not care if your dog barked , although it doesn't sound like the barking is the real issue here. This neighbor sounds unhinged.

Sincerely, a fellow dog lover. I am on your side.

Feb 11, 2022
Consider the Source
by: Anonymous

Have you considered that your neighbor likely installed these because your dog is left outside and barks at levels and durations that drive them crazy? They wouldn't have installed them if they weren't experiencing something that was likely deemed unacceptable. Maybe bring your dog inside except when you're outside with it and then approach your neighbor so that they understand that you're managing what is your responsibility. Only then are they likely to remove their response to your dog's excessive barking. The fact that you suggest your neighbor move to a condo tells me that you're not looking at it from the perspective of your impact on your neighborhood.

Feb 16, 2020
Be responsible
by: Anonymous

I have neighbors with barking dogs. I can’t even enjoy my backyard or service my A/C. Be a good neighbor and train dog b4 such action is necessary.

Dec 10, 2019
by: Anonymous

Go next door, then destroy the machine. Repeat as often as necessary. Let her take you to court. Have documentation of your explaining to her, and of her poisoning, and other mean and evil actions. IMO, you should win well.

Oct 23, 2018
Your mission if you choose to accept...
by: kungFuJoe

Hello Kelly,

I'm sorry you and your dog have to suffer or have had to suffer with such a terrible neighbor. I know its been 4yrs, but i have a solution for you. Even if the dog with the seizures is long gone, you may still have other dogs suffering from this neighbor.

Here is the process:

1. buy the identical make and model dog barking device that she currently has. Once it arrives, carefully open it up and take a quick look at the components.
2. cut one of the wires to the speaker. insert batteries and see if the light still activates when the dog barks. if so, then put together the dog device back together.
3. under cover of night, swap out one of the neighbors devices with your newly bought decoy device.
4. open up the neighbors dog bark device and cut the speaker device.
5. again under cover of dark, return your neighbors dog barking device. You should now have your dog bark device after returning your neighbors newly altered device.
6. wash and repeat for your neighbors remaining dog barking devices.

The important part in the altered dog barking devices is that the light still operates as anticipated because that's the only way humans will know if its 'working' or not.

Even if you dont use this approach, give me a shout and i will gladly do it for you. At the very least i hope this response brings a smile on your face. :)

good luck

Oct 12, 2018
Not Good for a Seizure Dog
by: Sharon

My dog, Jack, also has seizures. I am now in a condo, due to a divorce, and my other dog is barking about everything. I ask Jack's neurologist if I could get one of these devices and she said NO, they will cause him to have seizures.

It is really bad what that woman is doing. I hope you have found a way to stop her from using the device(2), but Karma will get her!

Aug 17, 2014
Dogs and Ultrasonic Anti-Barking Devices
by: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

Dear Kelly,

I am so sorry for what you are going through! It is possible that the ultrasonic devices your neighbor is using are a trigger for your dog’s seizures. Stress of any sort can make it more likely for seizures to develop in a predisposed individual, and while sounds are not recognized as common trigger I think the scenario you describe can’t be discounted as being at least partially to blame. I’m afraid you would have a hard time “proving” it to the extent where the police would be able to step in, however.

Is there any chance that you could send this dog to live with a friend or family member, at least for a short period of time? If his seizures returned to their “normal” frequency and intensity while he was away and then worsened when he came back, you’d know that something in his home environment was setting them off.

It would still be hard point the finger at the ultrasonic devices in a legal sense, but at least you’d know if it was worth trying to find him a more permanent foster home.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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