Blue Suede Paws! Music and sounds to calm an anxious dog
Good music can improve anyone’s mood, your canine friends included! Some tunes might encourage us to put on our dancing shoes, while others have the downright power to put us to sleep, that’s just the magic of it.
But there’s more to music than this – if your pooch often experiences anxiety and shows signs of stress, playing relaxing music for dogs might be a good option to consider when trying to get them to calm down.
Like most dog owners, you probably dread the thought of your furry friend having to go through the ordeal of loud and stressful noises like the sound of thunder or fireworks. Although the idea of using
soothing music for dogs to combat stress and anxiety might be unconventional, studies have shown that music can indeed have a positive impact on a dog’s behaviour.
Read on to learn more about how you can help your dog better navigate stressful experiences and what types of sounds and music are best for calming them.
Do dogs enjoy soothing music?
Absolutely! Dogs, like humans, are drawn to different patterns of sounds, tempos, and rhythms. Although they can’t perceive certain pitches because of their limited hearing range, they will enjoy the noises and respond to them, regardless of whether they’re pups or adult dogs. In fact, some music has been created specifically for dogs which is meant to provide them comfort in anxious situations.
What’s the best music to calm dogs?
This often depends on the dog’s preferences, but the most important things to consider when choosing music for dogs are tempo, simplicity of the tones, use of regular rhythms, and the length of the musical notes. Dog preferences point to classical music which has calming effects and has been shown to significantly reduce stress levels.
It’s not just classical music that can have a soothing effect on your pooch, though. It might surprise you to know that reggae and soft rock are also favourites among our furry friends, as improbable as this might sound!
In fact, they seem to like these two genres more than classical music. So next time your dog needs a bit of unwinding, just crank up some Bob Marley, Phil Collins, or Fleetwood Mac and enjoy the chill out session!
On top of a dose of Mozart or Bob Marley, relaxing music for dogs can also include background noises like the sounds of nature. The calmer the noise, the more soothing the effect is.
When should we play relaxing music for dogs?
There are multiple scenarios in which your furry friend might benefit from soothing music. Here are just a few situations that might cause them stress and anxiety:
- Bringing them into a new home – either as a new pet or when changing homes. An unknown environment is something that takes time to get used to and so for most pets it can be anxiety-inducing.
- During loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms.
- When they suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs, especially highly-social breeds, usually form a close bond to their owners and so, if they’re left alone for long periods of time, they can become very anxious.
- While travelling – either by car, plane, or boat. Travelling is something that most pets are not very comfortable with. They find it difficult to stay in the same place without moving and exploring, and this is exacerbated when they are not very familiar with the place they’re in.
- During social anxiety episodes. Not all dogs are social and some can become very anxious when meeting new pets or people. Introducing them to new people and animals with some nice reggae tunes in the background can help lift their spirits and provide a relaxing environment for everyone involved.
- When visiting the vet. Most pets hate going to the vet, but perhaps their exams could be a bit more pleasant if accompanied by some relaxing music for dogs.
How should I introduce my pet to music?
Getting your dog acquainted to music should be done gradually and carefully: you don’t want them getting more stressed than they already are. Follow these steps to successfully turn your pet into a musical connoisseur that knows how to unwind:
- Start by playing some relaxing tunes at home, where they feel comfortable. It could be at any time of day, as long as they’re not engaged in other activities like eating which might cause them not to pay attention.
- Watch their reaction while playing different music genres to see which ones seem most appealing to them. If they move away from the music, that’s a clear indication that you should skip that track.
- Although us humans usually enjoy music more if it’s loud, dogs might become stressed at the sound of loud music so the volume should be kept low or moderate, at most.
- Listen to music when you’re at home together. If you only play it when your pet is alone, they might grow to associate it with your absence and become distressed.
All in all, keep in mind that routine is key when trying to get your dog acquainted to music. Results might take time to show and so, when trying to get dogs to better navigate stressful situations with the help of soothing music, it’s important to be patient. Music can be a powerful tool in overcoming stress and can also be a wonderful way to bond with your four-legged friend.
However, be ready to find out if you share the same taste in music or if you’re going to need some noise-cancelling headphones next time your pooch is in the mood for some tunes!
(Article source: Purina)