The music stopped being just for entertainment a long time ago. It has a therapeutic purpose now. You must have heard of music created especially for babies or even prenatal music or birthing music. They are used to create a Mozart effect on babies but don’t you think this can be true for dogs too. If you have had a dog in your family for a while, you might have noticed it react to music. A lot of us don’t believe this, but dogs do have a reaction to music for real. Different genres affect dogs differently. A study was conducted in 2017 on 38 dogs to find out how does music affects them.
Their heart rate and general activities were noticed while playing five different genres (soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae, and classical) to them for five days. The study concluded that the HRV (which is the time between each heartbeat) was longer in dogs when they were listening to music. Higher HRV means lesser stress. Dogs perceived music as relaxing. Another observation of the study was that while the music was on, dogs spent lesser time standing and more laying down. Laying down is a sign of a relaxed state of mind. In some of the cases, barking habits changed too, but not so much in others. They also barked more when the music stopped.
The dogs listening to pop music did not seem to have any reaction. The heavy-metal music prompts barking and agitation while on the contrary, classical music has a calming effect. It is a well-established fact that music can influence our moods, Classical music, for example, helps to reduce levels of stress as much as grunge music promotes hostility, sadness, tension, and fatigue. The overall conclusion was that some genres of music like soft rock and reggae are soothing for dogs and drive them to a relaxed mental state.
Music can be helpful for dogs and useful in treating complicated issues like anxiety and sleep disorders. Genres like soft rock and reggae have slow tempo, and the rhythm is similar to the rhythm of a dog’s heartbeat. That is why dogs find reggae and soft rock more appealing. Puppies try to cuddle with their mother in times of stress because their mother’s heartbeat has a soothing effect on them. This similar feeling is attained from soft rhythm music by dogs.
There are music producers who create music that is appealing to dog ears. After the previously mentioned study came out, many pet owners tried the same on their pets and got admirable results. As the results got popular, a new genre of music, Dog reggae came out and is loved by dogs. It’s not only the genre that matters for dogs but volume. Music can soothe, upset, or put a dog in a playful mood, depending on the type of music and also the volume level. Also, dogs’ ears are much more sensitive than humans, so avoid playing loud tunes.
When choosing music for your dog, keep in mind that an adult dog has the intelligence of a human toddler, and efficient to choose- what to play is to consider whether you would play this music for a baby. Also, pay attention to your dog’s reaction to the tune when you’re around. Some dogs are known to howl along with their favorite songs. If your dog shakes, whimpers, or pants to a particular song or a genre, it’s making them anxious and needs to be changed, lowered, or turned off.
Classical music is also a good option to relax your dog if they’re anxious, having separation anxiety, or need to sleep. If you need to drown out loud noises like construction or fireworks, however, reggae or classic rock may work better since they tend to have louder bass in their songs. Play music on shuffle with variety on genres, as long as the song you choose is louder than the noise you’re trying to drown out.
New year, Diwali and Thanksgiving are very hard times for dogs due to the loud bangs of fireworks and other noises. Loud noises have a bad effect on a dog’s psyche and trigger anxiety and stress in it. Pet parents turn toward specialized dog albums to help their pooch get through these difficult times with a little ease. Music can be useful to provide a feeling of comfort when you leave your dog with a pet sitter or if they are feeling lonely.
Music for dogs is not a new concept. Now it is becoming rather popular. A recent advertisement on Spotify featured a special playlist curated for dogs. In 2010, artist Laurie Anderson performed a concert for dogs in Sydney, Australia. She later did it again and ended up drawing crowds of canines to Times Square in New York City, where she performed songs only easily heard by dogs. Owners had to wear a pair of headphones to follow along. She then performance again for an episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Some of the dogs reacted positively to her music.
There are albums by RelaxMyDog and Petflix designed to help dogs with categories ranging from reducing anxiety, reducing loneliness, curing separation anxiety, calming your dog, or just putting them to sleep. There are also songs made for the entertainment that put them into a playful mood instantly. All dogs have different tastes and your dog might not react the same to a song as your neighbor’s dog. The only way of finding out what appeals to your dog is through hit and trial method. Start by playing different songs of different genres and then eliminate the ones that don’t get a good reaction while slowly increasing the ones that calm your dog.