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Music has a way of powerfully affecting both people and animals alike. It can pump us up, soothe and relax us, or give us a gentle lift. There are even studies showing how it helps Parkinson’s and stroke patients with their lost neurological deficits (e.g. verbal control). Since canines have much better hearing than humans (hearing sounds about 80 feet away), it should come as no surprise that music has an even greater effect on them.
How the Type of Music Affects Your Dog
Since dog behavior is affected by music, it’s only natural to wonder how this will vary depending on the genre. Here’s what a study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior has found:
- Classical music will positively affect your canine’s behavior by calming him down and soothing him. It may even put him to sleep because it will lower his heart rate and brain activity.
- Reggae and soft rock tend to be even more calming than classical music for your pet.
- Rock music will make your canine act even more anxious and agitated than he may already be feeling – accelerating physical signs like shaking.
- Pop music doesn’t have much effect on your pet.
How Canines Determine Pitch
Your dog has an uncanny ability to determine a song’s pitch and tone. This is something that many musicians throughout history have found quite useful. Some notable artists who have their best four-legged friend to thank for at least part of their success include:
- Richard Wilhelm Wagner played different melodies to his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Peps, who’d respond by wagging his tail and barking.
- Dr. George Robinson Sinclair played the organ at the Hereford Cathedral in London alongside his Bulldog, Dan, who’d growl at anyone who sang out of tune.
- Composer Nurock created many performances for canines including Howl (1980), Sonata for Piano and Dog (1983), and the Expedition (1984). In each piece you’ll hear Siberian Huskies howling, barking and yipping along to the music.
How you can use Music to Help Your Pet
According to dog behaviorists your pet can benefit from listening to music during many different situations including:
- Training sessions – This will help your pet concentrate better when you’re trying to teach him new tricks and commands.
- During stressful situations (e.g. fireworks, traveling in a car)
Even if you don’t know what type of music to play, there’s been so much research done in this area in recent years that there are even albums available just for your pet. For instance, pianist Lisa Spector (in conjunction with scientist Susan Wagner) created “Through a Dog’s Ear” in 2003 after spending years raising puppies for blind people. She created the album after discovering that her 6 golden Labrador puppies were lulled to sleep by the piano.
Music is just one of the many important facets of keeping your dog healthy. Regardless of whatever else your canine needs, the Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center has you covered. They understand your pet is a member of your family who deserves nothing but the best care possible. So, when you need to take your canine to the vet, contact them for the top-notch service their clients have come to expect.
Picture Credit: Ylanite Koppens
Music has a powerful effect on people – providing us with adrenaline, relaxation, and a boost to our mood. Research shows music also helps people with Parkinson’s disease and those who have suffered from a stroke. All of this is because music stimulates lost neurological deficits. Since dogs have much better hearing than humans, it should come as no surprise that music has a power effect on your pets too.
How Different Genres Impact Your Dog
For quite some time people have known that classical music has a positive effect on pets – calming and soothing them by lowering their heart rate. However, this isn’t the only genre that positively affects them. Researchers believe that reggae and soft rock can be more calming than classical music. They also found that rock made them feel more anxious and agitated because it accelerated their body’s symptoms of nervousness (e.g. shaking). The one genre that seemingly has very little impact on our pets is pop music.
This is probably because pets have an uncanny ability to determine pitch and tone in songs. Of course, we’ve seen this throughout history since most influential artists have their dogs to thank for some of their best work. For instance, Richard Wilhelm Wagner’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Peps would respond differently to the various melodies he’d play in different keys. This is what led to the concept of matching music to emotions. Then there was Dr. George Robinson Sinclair, the organist at Hereford Cathedral in London. He had a Bulldog named Dan who kept his choir participants in tune by growling at them when they sang out of tune.
How we can use Music to Help our Pets
Pets can’t only help us with music, but we can help them too. Playing music is an effective way to calm them during stressful situations like fireworks or traveling in a vehicle. Some trainers are even playing classical music during training sessions to help them concentrate better. This is because music truly does have a powerful effect on your dog thanks to his advanced hearing anatomy and inherited traits that have led him to have an essential connection to music.
When you don’t know what type of music to play for your dog, simply look at what researchers have discovered. There are even veterinary neurologists like Susan Wagner who have developed albums specifically for our pets today. One of the most popular dog music albums is “Through a Dog’s Ear” by Lisa Spector. Consider playing these when you think your dog may need them.
Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center encourages this link between our pets and the music we play, saying it’s important to use music to help your pets ease their stress. This is just one of the many holistic health treatments they recommend as these treatments are better for your dog. Now that you can see how much they truly do care about your dog, get in touch with them the next time you’re in search of a vet.
Picture Credit: Avi Naim