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The Healing Effects of Music for Pets Part 1

We already know that music has a positive effect on our daily lives. It’s one of the best ways to reduce stress, increase relaxation, and even help us get better sleep and feel more alert throughout the day.

 

Studies show that classical music is perfect for this, but other professionals also seem to deal with things.

 

Vet Professionals use music therapy for dogs to treat dogs that are stressed or even aggressive.

 

Studies show that dogs can benefit from listening to classical music, as well as the kind of music they enjoy (and would listen to) in their everyday life.

 

Listening to soft and slow melodies is not only calming for your pet; it also keeps them quiet for some time and can even help against separation anxiety.

 

More and more veterinarians advise pet owners to play music for their pets while away or when they take a trip in the car.

 

Studies show that dogs react positively to different types of music and that specific melody might have soothing effects on them.

 

Different types of music

 

Music can have a lot of benefits for us, but what about our pets? Most people who live or work with animals know that music does affect them too, but like small children, they’re unpredictable, and there’s no telling exactly how they’ll react to certain types of tunes.

 

What we do know is that the kind of music you choose can impact them too.

 

The right music is vital for our animals, especially when soothing them or distracting them from something they’d rather not deal with.

 

Different types of sounds, frequencies, and rhythms will elicit different reactions, so choosing the best kind of music to soothe your pet can be difficult, especially when we don’t know precisely how they’ll react to certain types of tunes.

 

But there is a growing number of pet lovers and animal behaviorists who believe that music can be used as a positive training tool and has a vital role in the ability of our animals to learn, behave and feel relaxed.

 

Here are some popular types of music for your pets and what they can do to help them feel better.

 

Classical music: This type of music is the most commonly used around animals for its soothing nature.

Its calming tones are often an excellent way to keep pets calm before surgery or other procedures.

 

Still, it can also reduce anxiety in abused dogs, according to a study published by the American Kennel Club.

 

It can also be used for training and to distract animals from unpleasant noises.

 

Rock and Pop: Rock music might seem like an odd choice, but according to a study published in the British Journal Animal Welfare, the genre may help pets with noise phobias (such as thunderstorms).

 

Rock music’s loud, constant beat can help distract dogs from overpowering stimuli by focusing their attention on the music itself.

 

When paired with treats, it’s also an effective training tool.

 

Country/Western: The slow rhythm of these genres is often used for comforting pets that may be distressed or anxious about something that has happened to them.

 

Slow country songs are particularly useful for helping some dogs and horses to learn their communication skills better.

 

Classical Indian music: This type of classical music is often used with animals rescued from abuse or neglect.

 

The quick, light rhythms of Hindustani and Carnatic classical songs can help them feel more secure and safe. It’s also sometimes used at shelters and no-kill animal rescue centers worldwide.

 

Jazz: The positive effects of jazz music on pets is a little more unsure since it’s not as widely studied as classical, rock, and country/western music.

 

It can be used to encourage activity in dogs or to distract them from frightening stimuli.

 

Latin/Salsa: Like the rhythms of classical Indian music, the quick, steady beats of salsa music are thought to help pets feel more secure and safe because they mimic natural heart rates. It can also be used to distract animals from disturbing stimuli.

 

Soundtracks: Movies often have soundtracks that are ideally suited for soothing or distracting your pet.

 

Since many movies feature characters similar to our pets, movies can often help pets feel more comfortable associating their positive feelings with a familiar thing.

 

New Age: This type of music is not precisely defined, but it generally features slow or moderate rhythms and sounds to inspire a peaceful feeling around the listener.

 

It’s been used to help aggressive dogs become calmer and more accepting of their new owners since the noise isn’t overwhelming, but its gentle nature is soothing.

 

Techno: The constant, upbeat rhythms of techno music are often used to encourage activity in pets that may be depressed or lethargic.

 

It can also be helpful for training dogs and horses, but it shouldn’t be played too loudly since loud noises can distress some animals.

 

Symphonic: This type of music isn’t typically considered soothing or peaceful, but it can be used for both purposes.

 

Like other types of classical music, the slow, melodic tones are often used to calm pets before they go into surgery or veterinary procedures.

 

Still, it can also help dogs recover from trauma by reminding them of positive experiences.

 

Jazz: The positive effects of jazz music on pets is a little more unsure since it’s not as widely studied as classical, rock, and country/western music.

 

It can be used to encourage activity in dogs or to distract them from frightening stimuli.

 

Rock and Pop: Rock music might seem like an odd choice, but according to a study conducted in 2009, the loud beat of rock songs can help dogs ignore distractions that might otherwise be overwhelming. The constant rhythms are also good training tools for other animals.

 

What can music therapy do for anxious dogs?

 

This is the question veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker was asked by a magazine back in 2009, which prompted him to research canine music therapy.

 

Becker’s interest was sparked when he learned that one of his patients, a genetically chilled golden retriever, would often become stressed and even threaten to bite owners who played the radio.

 

Noise phobia

 

One of the most common causes of behavioral problems in dogs is noise phobia. In severe cases, a dog’s fear can become so great that it becomes hypersensitive to even the slightest sound from thunderstorms, fireworks, and lawnmowers.

 

Typically, the unconditioned stimulus (US) triggers an unconditioned response (UR) of fear, anxiety, and aggression.

 

The unconditioned response (UR) is an unlearned reaction to certain stimuli. The conditioned stimulus (CS) comes to trigger a learned response via the process of classical conditioning.

 

It’s not unusual for dogs with noise phobia to act aggressively in self-defense when exposed to the noise.

 

Dr. Becker became interested in music therapy after learning that other animals could benefit from it; such as horses who were rescued from a feedlot where they lived in terrible conditions before being brought to a sanctuary and went on to live long and happy lives once they began listening to classical music.

 

Birds benefited too who stopped plucking their feathers when placed in sound-proof rooms that played different classical music selections.

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