Do Dogs Like Music? Research Says YES!
Here’s How to Use Music Therapy for Anxious Pups
What do you do to lift your mood as you drag through a long, boring workday or a monotonous car ride?
Turn up your favorite tunes, of course!
Just as you can use music to soothe your soul, you can use the power of song to help your dog get through tough times.
The Big Question: Do Dogs Like Music?
They don’t understand the lyrics or know how to dance, so how can we be sure that dogs like music?
We cannot ask our dogs how music affects them and which genres touch their soul the most. However, researchers have found creative ways to measure the canine response to different tunes.
Researchers can measure a dog’s pulse before, during, and after a performance to see which tunes slow their heart rate. They can also measure cortisol concentration in the saliva to see which genres are best at de-stressing anxious dogs.
Does YOUR Dog Like Music?
Remember, science is not just about researchers in labs with control groups and fancy equipment. Observing your dog’s reactions to music can be a fun at-home science experiment. You can learn what your dog likes best and even compile a playlist of tunes for them.
What Genres Do Dogs Like Best?
A few research studies suggest that classical music has a calming effect on dogs in shelters. Dogs in shelters and kennels tend to be more stressed than dogs in their forever homes. This is because of the lack of individual attention, the noisy environment, and the cumulative stress between the dogs around them.
However, these studies also show that, over time, the dogs become habituated to calming classical tunes. They eventually return to the high-stress levels they experienced before introducing music to their facility.
A more recent study, conducted in 2017 at the Scottish SPCA, found that dogs respond to many genres of music, namely soft rock and reggae. Researchers also found that varying the types of music can prevent habituation over time.
So, while low, slow tunes can slow the tempo of your dog’s heart rate, don’t be afraid to mix up their playlist.
How to Be the Best Doggy DJ
While you may not have the means to measure cortisol concentrations in your dog’s saliva, you can still analyze how they respond to different songs.
The best way is to watch your dog’s body language.
What types of music make your dog feel playful?
- Do they hop around and go down into a play bow when you play Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”?
- Maybe they yawn and shake off anxiously when you play stress-inducing death metal ballads by Cannibal Corpse?
- Perhaps they blissfully stretch out and relax when you play the low-and-slow Moonlight Sonata from Beethoven?
When you discover music that calms your dog, you can use it to help combat separation anxiety. Music can also help them cope with long car rides or other stressful situations.
If music alone isn’t enough to calm your stressed pup, consider trying a supplement formulated to support relaxation for your four-legged friend. Okoa Pet’s “Hush, Puppy” CBD+ calming chews are formulated with naturally calming ingredients including broad-spectrum hemp with naturally occurring CBD, chamomile, tryptophan, and choline.
Stick Around for More Ways to Enrich Your Dog’s Life
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