Next time your dog begins to pace and pant during a storm or you have to go somewhere for a day and you can sense separation anxiety starting, think about turning on some music. However, not just any music—a recent study in the journal Physiology and Behavior found that dogs prefer the sounds of reggae or soft rock over all others.
For the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) study, researchers from the University of Glasgow played six-hour playlists of music for shelter dogs from five different genres. The dogs heard classical, soft rock, reggae, pop, and Motown over the course of the study. Researchers monitored the dogs’ heart rates, cortisol levels, and stress-related behaviors like barking and lying down while they were listening.
The results showed that canines were less agitated while listening to soft rock or reggae, proving that dogs enjoy listening to Bob Marley in the same way that we do while relaxing on our beach vacations. Their stress levels were higher when they were listening to Motown, research co-author Neil Evans told the Washington Post.
According to Evans, “overall, the response to various genres was mixed, emphasizing the possibility that, like humans, our canine friends have their own unique musical preferences.
Reggae and soft rock, however, produced the greatest behavioral improvements.
Based on the study’s findings, Evans and his team think that playing reggae or soft rock music for dogs in stressful situations would be beneficial for both dog shelters and dog owners. When an animal enters a shelter for the first time, the unfamiliar circumstances might be frightening, resulting in barking, trembling, or crouching. Dogs living at home may also have noise phobia or panic when their owners leave. Here are some methods for determining whether your pet is ill or just stressed out.
In earlier studies, it was found that listening to classical music made shelter dogs more at ease, less likely to bark, and more likely to lie down. Unfortunately, the study also revealed that the dogs’ restlessness returned after seven days of classical music listening, leading Evans and other researchers to surmise that “the animals were getting accustomed to the music, or even getting bored. These earlier findings prompted the researchers to experiment with different genres for the new study.
Two Scottish SPCA shelters are taking the study to heart and will start playing music in their facilities so that the dogs may enjoy the calming effects.
Reggae and soft rock may be healthy for Fido, but the study’s authors have not yet shown whether cats like the same music. You can review what your cat is attempting to tell you in the interim.
What music is most suitable for dogs to hear?
It begins with a somber string sweep in a low note, then transitions into birdsong before returning to the ambient strings. This goes on for twelve hours.
The target audience for this music is dogs, not humans; to the untrained ear, it may seem like one of the sleep playlists that have been increasingly popular in recent years. This calming (or annoying) muzak really contains canine-friendly frequencies that can help with separation anxiety or stress reduction.
Dog-themed music is far from a novelty; instead, it is quickly emerging as a lucrative new genre, with the production business RelaxMyDog at the fore. The service, which was established in 2011 by businessman Amman Ahmed and producer Ricardo Henriquez, has 10 million monthly users: In September alone, their work was streamed for 600 years.
This is the busiest time of the year for RelaxMyDog because Bonfire Night, Diwali, and Thanksgiving all coming up. There are several pharmaceuticals and herbal cures to relax pets, but Ahmed, 31, says he wanted to create something that was entirely natural and used music. We initially had a team of two, but we now have 12 employees working for us in Manchester, the UK, El Salvador, and India, and our readership is now worldwide. We expect our content to benefit roughly 15 million pets this year.
There is a devoted fanbase because to the positive response to their music and sibling firm RelaxMyCat, which was created in 2012. We receive comments from owners requesting that music be played at their pet’s funeral because their dog or cat used to like listening to it, adds Ahmed. “Our information integrates into these creatures’ daily life.
Ahmed is evasive when describing the hazy musical formula that underlies their success, though. According to him, it includes “a variety of frequencies that dogs can hear paired with music that is designed to be calming to people, so if the human is comfortable, that energy can be transmitted on to the dog as well. Instead of using scientific research to inform their compositions, he claims that “the finest research comes from actual users,” who regularly provide feedback through their 600,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.
One of these comments was that dogs seemed to enjoy reggae music, which sparked the creation of a new series of dog reggae. A 2017 study from the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow supports this conclusion. The study discovered that while listening to classical music initially helped to relax the dogs, after a few days they started to get bored. Reggae and soft rock were discovered to be the greatest genres for lowering heart rates, stress, and barking. Gilly Mendes Ferreira, the director of research at the SPCA, hypothesizes that this is because “certain genres have a rhythm that is similar to the dogs’ own heart rate.” This soundtrack imitates how a stressed-out puppy will cuddle up to its mother and utilize her heartbeat as a source of comfort.
When I leave the house, I leave the radio on Classic FM for my dogs, and they seem to like it. They’ve undoubtedly never voiced a complaint.
The SPCA last year worked with producer John McLaughlin, widely known for his work with Westlife, Blue, and 5ive, to develop Paws, Play, Relax, a charitable album created for dogs, taking the research a step further. According to McLaughlin, “I’m sure many others thought our initiative was barking crazy, but it made perfect sense to me. “Dogs require entertainment just like people do, and who doesn’t enjoy some reggae? Even more, McLaughlin created dog-centric lyrics, culminating in lines from love ballads like, “I was barely holding on / But I knew you were the only one / From the moment I saw you.
McLaughlin is pleased with the outcomes: “We held a listening party where a number of my friends’ dogs visited the house and it clearly works.” Some of those dogs might be quite animated, but this album helped to quiet them down.
On November 3, Classic FM will air a special show dedicated to animals, showcasing songs with pet-related themes like John Barry’s Crazy Dog. Despite the research showing that dogs prefer Bob Marley over Mahler, the show’s host Bill Turnbull, who also has three dogs, claims that his pups appear to like Classic FM when he leaves the house. No, they have never voiced a complaint.
With owners reporting an 87% success rate, RelaxMyDog is now aiming higher. “Our goal is to become the Netflix of the pet world; we want to be Petflix.
In order to better engage the dogs, Petflix uses dog-themed imagery like treks through a forest with a purple filter and, of course, their favorite music. Its success is yet unknown as it only debuted in October, but for the time being, Ahmed is concentrating on a more well-known, seasonal objective: “We’re releasing a Christmas album and I want it to reach No 1.
What music works best for dogs to relax?
Dr. Deborah Wells, an expert in animal behavior, conducted a study in 2002 that found that classical music has a calming impact on dogs. In contrast to hard metal, pop, or chat, the dogs in this study spent less time standing and more time lying down when exposed to classical music.
In 2005, board-certified veterinary neurologist Dr. Susan Wagner discovered that solo piano music composed using psychoacoustic principles and featuring slower tempos, straightforward arrangements, and sounds was more successful at lowering anxiety than popular classic music. The solo piano was even more effective at calming the dogs in the study than either did at getting them to lie down.
Dr. Lori Kogan from Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a follow-up study in 2012 in which she examined the effects of classical music, heavy metal, and specially created music on 117 dogs kept in kennels. She discovered that while the dogs were listening to classical music, as opposed to other types of music or silence, they spent more time resting and less time vocalizing.
More recently, a 2017 study revealed that listening to soft rock and reggae in particular resulted in more laid-back actions and greater heart rate variability, which signifies lower levels of stress.
Is music enjoyable for dogs?
It’s not simple to handle a dog or cat that has separation anxiety. To keep their animals cool and collected while they are away, a lot of pet owners build noise buffers by turning on the radio or television. Dr. Ruth MacPete, a veterinarian and the creator of the acclaimed children’s book Lisette the Vet, says that a 2017 Psychology & Behavior study found that some genres of music can help dogs relax and cope with anxiety. Researchers discovered that heavy metal music increased the dogs’ anxiety, decreased their ability to sleep and made them bark more than when classical music was played.
While they emphasize that this method might not be sufficient for patients with an underlying anxiety issue, our experts suggest that noise buffers can occasionally reduce your dog or cat’s discomfort. The first step should be to address your pet’s anxiety issue with your veterinarian, advises Dr. Vanessa Spano, DVM of Behavior Vets. “As certain behavioral training strategies and medication may be a more appropriate first-step,” she adds. If you’re unsure whether to leave the TV or music on for your pets while you’re gone, ask a friend. Here is what she said when we asked both veterinarians for suggestions on how to make noise buffers for our animal pets.
Do dogs prefer stillness or music?
It depends, adds Radosta in response to the question of whether dogs enjoy music. According to research, music may be therapeutic for stressed-out pets.
A seminal 2002 study tested how shelter dogs reacted to dialogue, stillness, heavy metal, pop, and classical music. Researchers discovered that dogs could relax to classical music. The puppies switched between standing and barking and relaxing while lying down. A other study found that sick dogs who were listening to harp music had better respiratory and heart rates than those who weren’t.
However, a recent study discovered that audio books, not classical music, were the sound that calmed shelter dogs the best. How come? According to Radosta, having a repetitive sound to block out ominous noises like hospital equipment or other dogs barking is probably having the most influence.
What music do dogs enjoy listening to?
If you’re a dog owner and an audiophile, you undoubtedly wish your dog shared your taste in music. Your dog probably hears you blast your music every day, whether you want to listen to the newest pop tunes, country music, or the classics. But what if your dog had the ability to request music? You could be surprised by their response.
Canines hear a considerably wider spectrum of frequencies and tones than we can recognize when it comes to the differences between our ears and those of dogs. This explains why we are completely deaf to the sound of a dog whistle, yet your dog can hear it and become agitated by it.
Dogs can hear a lot of noises, so they don’t actually hear much variation in particular notes. Pups shouldn’t be able to distinguish the difference between playing the same notes in the same key and a different key, according to theory.
You can get lost in a YouTube rabbit hole of canine howl-along videos to the tunes of their masters. Some dogs enjoy howling along to their owner’s music, whether they are playing the saxophone or the radio. The fact that the song is pitched at a level they can understand and follow helps them communicate, not necessarily because they love the song.
Just keep in mind that a dog will always mirror the character of its owner. Your dog will mimic your behavior if you become slightly more excited or hyper when listening to a particular genre of music.
Try the classics if you’re looking for the ideal music for your dog. And when we refer to the “classics,” we mean Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach performed softly. Compared to faster-paced heavy metal music, which may excite puppies, or typical pop music, which seems to have little effect on dogs, studies have found that classical music has a relaxing effect.
Remember that a dog’s taste in music may also depend on the breed. The hearing range and heart rate of a little lap dog compared to a large Great Dane may be very different, which will affect how they really hear the music.
When dogs are alone at home, some owners like to play music for them. Despite how absurd it may seem, there seem to be some advantages to this. Some dogs experience anxiety when their owners leave them alone. Not only can background music make them feel less alone, but it can also help block out outside noises that might stress your dog out when they are alone.
Overall, you shouldn’t modify your musical preferences to suit your dog. Whatever music you want to listen to at home, they are content to be with you. Just keep in mind to occasionally play some classical music. Who knows? You and your dog could find the cultural influence appealing!
The benefits of playing
- Prevent separation phobia
- Stop obnoxious barking
- Calm a tense animal in the automobile
- abolish a fear of thunder
- whimpering pups on a console
- Calm down an energetic dog or cat.
- quiet down an ill or injured animal
- Pets are comforted during fireworks
Since 1985, these same traditional nursery tunes with research behind them have soothed millions of babies, kids, adults, dogs, and cats. They are the most popular therapeutic music albums because they are effective.