Music makes us feel good. When we’re down, our favorite song can cheer us up. When we’re super sad or maybe heartbroken, there’s always that one song that makes everything just a little bit better. But have you ever wondered if dogs like music? Well, the answer is yes! Dogs actually do like music. We often think that we should play calming music for dogs, for example, some classical music. But did you know that classical music isn’t always the best option?
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Calming music for dogs
There are many reasons why you would put on some calming music for your dog. For example if there are fireworks outside, or if your dog was alone for some time and just feels a bit anxious.
Some situations in which your dog might benefit from music are:
- While adjusting to their new environment, for example when you first bring home a new puppy or dog.
- While your dog is alone at home
- While your dog is in its crate, puppy zone, or in their safe space
- During thunderstorms or fireworks on holidays
- Music can help them fall asleep
- At the vet’s office during checkups
- In the car if your dog has travel anxiety
This is when dog owners tend to put on some relaxing music for their pooch in order to calm them down a bit. This is nothing new. In fact dog-oriented music is fast becoming a successful new genre! There are so many playlists on Apple Music, Spotify or even Youtube with the title “Calming music for dogs”!
Yes, of course, there are medications and other natural remedies that you could give your dog to calm them down, but what is more natural and completely non invasive than music?
But why does music have such a great effect on dogs?
Science behind calming music for dogs
There aren’t many studies that have been done on dogs and music, however the most notable study has been done by Dr. Lori R. Kogan, Regina Schoenfeld-Tacher and Allen A. Simon.
This study looked into the effects of relaxing music for dogs in stressful environments.
According to the authors this study ““evaluates the behavior of 117 shelter dogs exposed to classical music and heavy metal music”.
“The study found a significant calming effect with classical music, while there was an agitating effect by the metal music; subsequent studies found similar calming effects with easy listening music.”
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However, it’s not only classical music that has such a great effect on dogs. According to an article published by The Guardian titled “Pet sounds: why your dog loves listening to Bob Marley”, reggae music has the same calming effect on dogs!
You read that right! Dogs love Bob Marley, who would’ve thought.
In the article, it says that pet owners have noticed that their dogs were responding very well to reggae music! And these claims have actually also been backed up by a scientific study! In 2017 a study has been conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow.
The researchers have found that even though classical music had an initial calming effect on the dogs, after a few days they became very bored with it.
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However, that was not the case with reggae and also soft rock music! According to the study, the dogs responded even better to these two genres. Researchers came to the conclusion that these two genres are best for reducing stress, barking and heart rates.
The SPCA’s head of research, Gilly Mendes Ferreira, speculates this is because “those genres have a rhythm that is similar to the dogs’ own heart rate. When a puppy is feeling stressed it will snuggle into its mother and use her heartbeat as relaxation, so this music mimics that.”
Music is a great and powerful tool in calming your dog down. However, calming music for dogs doesn’t always have to be only classical music!
As you could read, studies have actually shown that reggae music and even soft rock can be a great choice if you want to calm your dog down.
So, next time your dog feels all over the place for whatever reason, you might want to play them some Bob Marley or Brian Adams music!