Classical Music For Anxious Dogs
My dog’s suffer from mild separation anxiety when left alone. From the home camera I can see that they settle after a few minutes but are on high alert to outside noises, like traffic and other dogs barking. At first I tried to distract them from this type of noise by playing a chatty radio station or white noise to block out outside sounds. However, I recently discovered that studies have shown that classical music can have a great effect on dogs levels of anxiety.
I have been using this method to help my dogs relax and found that classical music does have a calming effect. They settle down better and are less distracted by outside influences.
What Did The Studies Show?
Studies have found that humans benefit in many ways when listening to classical music. It reduces blood pressure, lowers anxiety levels and helps with pain control .
So, if this helps humans, does the same apply when classical music is played to anxious dogs?
In this study by Dr Lori Kogan, kennelled dogs were played different types of music including classical and heavy metal. Kennelled or boarded dogs often suffer from increased anxiety. As well as an unfamiliar setting they are without owners and are triggered by the loud noises of other dogs barking and howling.
Playing classical music into the kennel showed that the dogs slept more and barked less. On the other hand, heavy rock music increased body shaking in the dogs, which is a symptom of anxiety.
Another study did tests to find a specific type of music which resulted in reduced anxiety for dogs both in kennels and a home environment . This study, by Susan Wagner showed that solo piano with simplified arrangements at 50-70 beats per minute had the most beneficial effect when tested against four different types of classical music.
This YouTube channel called Calm Doggy – Music For Dogs features Calming Classical Piano Music For Dogs To Relax..
A study performed by Queen’s University Belfast compared a group of dogs listening to an audio version of Harry Potter to dog’s listening to Mozart’s Sonato and a third control group who were played nothing at all.
Here is what they found:
Dogs exposed to classical music were significantly faster to lie down than animals in the audiobook condition and quicker to settle than animals in the audiobook and control conditions
The study is extremely interesting and can be found here.
(The effect of auditory stimulation on pet dogs’ reactions to owner separation by Rachael F. Kinnaird and Deborah L. Wells.)
Playing Classical Music For Anxious Dogs Can Really Help
- Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety when left home alone settle down to sleep when classical music is quietly played into the room.
- It can calm a puppy when introduced into a new home, away from his or her mother for the first time.
- Dogs that cry when left alone at night will be less likely to cry or bark if music is played close by.
- As mentioned above, kennelled or boarded dogs will relax and sleep more when classical music is played.
- Soothing music can be played at times when fireworks are expected.
- Older or sick dogs will benefit from a calm, soothing audio experience.
- Dogs who are frightened of thunderstorms will have reduced stress levels when calming piano music is played during a storm.
Dog’s hearing is much better than humans, so the music should only be played at a low level.
Spotify has many playlists designed specifically to calm and relax anxious dogs. Try playing different ones to see which your dog prefers.
This is a highly rated audio CD from Amazon featuring relaxing music for dogs. Amazon also feature MP3 Download’s in this genre.
What Type of Music Does Your Dog Like Listening To?
Does your dog howl to the sounds of Pavarotti or prefer a heavy metal track like Guns N’ Roses?
Have you tried classical music for anxious dogs?
Please let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.