I must admit from the start that the first time I heard about Pet Music Therapy my natural ‘BS antenna’ went off. Sure,… and I guess the dogs will be setting up their own playlists too eh? But then I started speaking with a few trusted friends who had experimented with the therapy, and my skepticism started to fade. The trigger to try pet music therapy was very similar with each. After spending months working from home, with our furry friends getting used to our almost constant presence, the routines were now changing. And pets that were previously well accustomed to our absence were now exhibiting signs of separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety (SA) is a subject that I cover in a two part series. Its a very real and distressing experience for the pet and their owner. Broadly speaking, there are two main types of SA: One is an attachment-based anxiety while the other is a phobia of being left alone. There are a whole host of behaviors that result from SA (some quite destructive) and none are pleasant. Many pets were adopted during periods of quarantine and that lifestyle of frequent love and attention is literally all they have ever known.
So, I was pleased to learn that there are lots of sites online that offer music playlists that have been shown to have calming effects on pets. Spotify also has playlists specifically designed to calm pets and help with their anxiety when they are left alone at home. And, I suspect ultimately helping ease the guilt we feel for leaving them at home! Whether it’s soothing music for puppies or rainforest ambiance for older dogs, there is plenty to choose from.
Here are a few reason why you should at least try it with your dog.
Pets exhibit similar responses to music as with humans.
In fact there has been quite a bit of research conducted on this subject. Most findings concluded that in addition to relieving stress in pets, music could boost their overall happiness and keep them company when family members were not around. Similar to humans, music seemed to produce a soothing and calming effect on pets.
There is a positive impact in reducing Separation Anxiety.
Separation anxiety often manifests in mischievous behavior such as whining, persistent barking and / or destroying property. When established routines suddenly change, pets can easily experience feelings of abandonment giving rise to bad behavior that was not there before. In many instances, having soothing music playing near their bed has shown to help reduce this stress and improve overall behavior when alone.
To learn more about helping your dog’s separation anxiety please click here.
Music really does help with sleep patterns.
Some of the research involved monitoring the behavior of kenneled dogs whilst playing different types of music for them. They found that like humans, the dogs slept the most when listening to classical music. During this time a lot of their body agitation and anxiety also seemed to calm down.
Music is a very natural solution.
Now that I have experimented with some playlists and found they really do work, I’m convinced that Pet owners shouldn’t ever have to resort to complex solutions to keep their pets feeling calm and happy at home. Putting on music is a natural way to help your pet; and it’s quick and easy to set up before you go out. So try it for yourself and have some fun building your own playlist!
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