Music is usually an escape for people whenever they feel sad or anxious — people find comfort when they hear a song or musical piece that they connect to somehow. But we humans don’t listen to music only when we’re feeling negative things. According to a 2017 study by Nature Neuroscience, human brains release a healthy ounce of dopamine (the chemical mostly associated with euphoria and cravings) when listening to happy songs — in the same way that we feel sad and depressed after listening to a melancholic tune.
Little did we know that music also makes a significant impact on our dog’s behavior. After all, dogs are also capable of being affected by beats and melodies, and as such, relaxing music for dogs can be a stellar way to treat a variety of anxiety and phobias.
In this article, we have listed the most essential reasons why music therapy can be of big help to a struggling pooch. We never know how these peaceful lullabies can benefit our lovely woofers in the long run!
Dogs can experience severe anxiety
Like humans, dogs exhibit feelings of anxiety for a variety of reasons. The most common causes of anxiety are the following: (1) abandonment by owners, (2) loud explosions and noises, or (3) a prolonged life in a substandard shelter environment. They manifest this behavior by biting, barking, or even destroying objects. More on this point later.
Through the power of calming therapy sounds, dogs’ stress levels can be reduced and sleep quality can even be improved. Harp music, for instance, has been known to be a natural audible sedative for dogs.
Music helps prevent destructive behavior
When anxiety attacks don’t get prevented from the get-go, our beloved dogs could manifest some sort of destructive behavior towards people (especially strangers), objects, and fellow dogs. But unlike humans, dogs seldom destroy things because they’re angry or they need to seek revenge. Instead, they do it to get themselves out of an anxious state or as a way to vent out unnecessary stress.
This usually happens when their owners need to leave them alone at home. Most dogs who aren’t used to this tend to panic and think that they’re being abandoned. They’ll bark nonstop, scratch the door, jump on furniture, and even pee and poop because of their stress.
Apart from regular mental stimulation games and walks outside before leaving your dog, music will also be beneficial to avoid these types of damaging tendencies. It fills in the gap of you not being there, the music, in a way, makes them think that someone is with them.
Dogs have a more profound connection with music
We all know that dogs have way better hearing than us humans. We only hear up to 20,000 Hz on average, but here’s a little fact for you: dogs can actually hear up to 45,000 Hz, so it is natural for them to be more sensitive to noise.
When dogs hear loud fireworks, phone alarms, and other screeching sounds, their instinct is to bark and be agitated. As an effective countermeasure, soothing lullabies such as classical music can help fill a pooch’s audible environment with peace and calm.
According to PetMD, A 2002 study conducted by animal behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells shows that classical music helps dogs relax. The dogs rested more, spent more of their time being quiet, and spent less time standing than when exposed to stimulation such as heavy metal music, and pop music.
Dogs seem to relax when exposed to music with a tempo of 50-60 beats per minute. This usually includes classical music, reggae, and some types of soft rock.
These comforting music are commonly played in grooming salons, training academies, and veterinary clinics where dogs are required to be still. You can also use this method to alleviate negative tendencies your dog might have when they’re at home with you.
If relaxing music for dogs still is not working, try pairing it with these:
Consistent Physical Activities
It’s been proven and tested that walking your dog daily and/or going to dog parks help make dogs less anxious or destructive. They’re able to release their pent-up energy while moving and it ultimately makes them behave better at home. If your schedule does not permit this, try considering a dog walker!
Provide them Safe spaces
Just like humans, doggos need to have their own dedicated space at home. It doesn’t have to be big or grand, a corner with a bed or blanket will suffice. It’s important to acknowledge that dogs need to feel they have somewhere to retreat to when it all becomes too much for them.
Many dog-safe brands have created synthetic, liquid pheromones, which are diffused around the house, calming your pet’s anxious tendencies. These options also come in spray and collar varieties. Please remember that not all scents and forms of aromatherapy are dog-safe, some are incredibly toxic – research a product first before using it.
Here are a few of the scents that are guaranteed to be safe for dogs: Myrrh, Frankincense, Chamomile, Lavender oil, Ginger, Rosemary, and Bergamot.
While all of those mentioned above can potentially help you and your doggo, don’t assume that they are definite cures/solutions. Each dog is different and their reaction to music may vary.
It’s always best to consult your vet or a dog behavior specialist when there are behavioral concerns.
After ensuring that your dog’s behavior does not have a medical basis, your veterinarian may refer you to a trainer or veterinary behaviorist to evaluate stress-related issues. They may also prescribe anxiety-reducing medications if appropriate.
This is a trial and error process, but it’s for the best. We know that seeing your dog stressed can also be quite stressful for you, especially if you don’t know what to do – that is why we aim to be of help when it comes to these things. Relaxing music for dogs, when combined with exercise, training, and a healthy diet, will truly help maintain your dog’s health. Our website is filled with helpful information, as well as other cool things to try with your dog.