How To Choose The Best Music For Dogs & Cats
With over 60% of Australian households owning a pet it’s highly likely that most of us would have left on some music for our dogs and cats while we popped out on an errand or headed to work.
I think it’s fair to say that we can recognise when our dog or cat is listening to music, but how do we know if they are actually enjoying this music and how do we decide what the best music for dogs and cats is?
For many of us, we believe that leaving the tv on or playing music will help our pets relax and not feel so alone. But does playing music help our pets, especially if they suffer from separation anxiety?
We explored what really is at play here (yes pun intended!) so you can provide the right music for your cat and dog.
What Music Do Dogs & Cats Prefer?
Interestingly, research has definitely highlighted that animal behaviour can be influenced by the type of music they listen to.
One of the first studies performed in dog rescue shelters in 2002, showed that dogs barked more and were more restless when played heavy rock music.
Comparatively, when classical music was played, they seemed more relaxed and would lie down for longer periods.
More recent research by those at the University of Glasgow has shown that regardless of the genre, when music was played, dogs spent significantly more time lying down and less time standing.
That could only be a good thing surely?
However, this research did show that dogs habituate to the music quickly, so the effect was short term unless you mixed up the beats!
When looking at the research into what music cats enjoy, the findings are very similar.
What Is The Best Calming Music For Dogs & Cats
According to this research, the following genre of music seems to help relax dogs and cats the best:
- Soft Rock
When we take a look at why this music might be more effective at calming a dog (or cat), we note that music that plays at a tempo similar to the resting heart rate of your pet will be more inclined to result in your pet being more relaxed.
Music that is played at a beat of between 60 to 80 beats per minute can help a dog relax
We need to remember that just because we like a particular genre of music it doesn’t mean that our dogs will enjoy the same. In fact, it may actually create or add to stress!
Do Animal’s Hear Music Like Us?
Listening to music is a past time that many of us enjoy. But, can we say the same for our pets?
What we do know is that animals don’t hear music in the same way that we do.
Music designed for us often has vocal ranges, pitch, tone, frequency and rate that creates a melody that just doesn’t appeal to our pets.
Our animals also can’t appreciate relative pitch – which is kind of lucky and why they don’t seem to care if we sing out of tune.
Music and sounds that do appeal to our pets are often composed at a lower frequency and at a tempo that is very similar to their resting heart rate. It is likely that the actual pitch we hear has no effect whatsoever and this is why talking in monotone may drive us batty, but for our pets can be beneficial.
Can Music Help With Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a horrible condition that requires intensive training and often medication to manage appropriately.
Sadly, 1 in 5 dogs suffers from separation anxiety so providing some form of sound to be played to our pet when we aren’t around can assist in the holistic management of this condition.
When we can’t be with our pets we want to encourage them to relax and chill and spend more time sleeping.
Playing music or a podcast with voices and sounds at a lower pitch, stable modulation and balanced frequency can help drown out noises that can upset our pets and result in a happier, more relaxing time.
This year, Spotify worked in conjunction with researchers to bring out a podcast that would create a calming environment for our pets.
The podcast ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ has an option of either a male or female voice and offers up to 5 hours play at a time. It provides a combination of voice narration with calming music.
If you go to Youtube there are many relaxing tunes for your dogs and cats to listen to. The following are some examples.
PetTunes – Music for Pets
Relax My Dog – Relaxing Music for Dogs
Relax My Cat – Relaxing Music for Cats
Calm Your Dog – Relaxing Music and TV for Dogs
Choosing the right music or podcast to play for your pets can help to create an atmosphere that promotes relaxation and a feeling of safety even when you aren’t at home.
Try playing these tunes and let us know what responses you see in your pets!