It’s not unusual for a human to turn on a favorite playlist to relax and take it easy – but could dogs experience the same relaxing effects from music? Studies suggest yes, dog calming music can reduce stress signals in our canine companions!
You can use calming music for dogs who have separation stress, need help getting to sleep, or have noise aversion issues. Here is a guide for using dog calming music, how to use this strategy effectively, and where to find the best soothing music for dogs!
Why You Might Use Dog Calming Music
There are many reasons you might consider using the power of music to relax your pet:
- During separation stress
- During adjustment periods
- To help your dog sleep
- During thunderstorms or fireworks shows
- To help your dog relax during a road trip
Music to Soothe Separation Stress
Separation issues are very common in dogs of all ages and breeds. Our canine companions don’t like to be away from their best friends, and it can result in some troublesome behaviors like chewing, whining, and excessive barking.
We never want our pets to feel stressed out, especially not when we aren’t there to comfort them. Music can offer a solution! Playing relaxing music for dogs while they are alone can distract your pet from your absence. The sound of music might even indicate to your dog that you are somewhere in the house, so they don’t even realize that you are gone!
Tunes Can Help Your Dog Adjust
Some dogs struggle with change like welcoming a new member into the family, saying goodbye to a fellow pet, or moving to a new house. We all have to deal with new environments and changes – canines included. To help your dog calm down and deal with a strange setting or a new lifestyle, you might consider playing calming dog music to help them feel safe and centered.
Music for Dogs to Sleep Train
Music can be a wonderful way to indicate to your pooch that it’s bedtime. Some people use relaxing music for dogs to help sleep train a confused pet who has been in the shelter and doesn’t know about nighttime routines, or even a puppy who is still figuring out what bedtime means! The proper playlist might help your pet sail off into doggie dreamland.
Music to Drown Out Scary Sounds and Triggers
Does your dog bark at every noise he hears outside? It can be exhausting for both you and your pet if he’s constantly on edge, listening for scary sounds. This is normal behavior, though, called “alert barking” or “territorial barking.” Dogs do it to warn off predators. Even though the mailman isn’t a predator, your canine’s evolutionary instincts still apply!
Plus, many dogs struggle with noise aversion during events like thunderstorms and fireworks. One of the best uses of dog calming music is for situations like this. Having a playlist as background noise during a fireworks show or thunderstorm can help your dog focus on something else. The same concept applies if your pet is a constant alert barker when she hears foreign noises outside!
Road Trip Jams for a Relaxed Adventure Dog
Some dogs love the excitement of hopping in the car for a trip. Whether the outing is a cross-country camping trip or just a short drive around the block, they live for adventure! But other dogs might find car rides to be intensely stressful. They shake, whine, or growl to indicate their displeasure with any form of car travel. This can be a pain for pets and owners; even if it’s to go to the veterinary clinic, your dog will have to get in the car.
Music can be a wonderful way to relax your pet and help them cope with their dislike of road travel. Many pets find music to be soothing and distracting in an otherwise stressful situation.
Tips for Using Relaxing Music for Dogs
Now that you know some situations in which you might use music to keep dogs calm, you might be tempted to put together a playlist and turn it on repeat. But that won’t work! Here are some tips for using calming dog music effectively:
- Choose new music and change it up often
- Play music regularly
- Be careful with the volume
Play Lots of Different Music for Your Dog
The same study that showed dogs responding to calming dog music also showed that dogs eventually start to tune it out if the same music plays on repeat. In the same way you wouldn’t want to listen to the same album or playlist over and over, you should provide your dog with some musical variety, too.
You can mix up the order in which you play certain songs or play songs and artists your dog has never heard before. The world of music is vast – you’ll never run out of options that are sure to please your pooch’s ears!
Play Music Often, Not Just During Stressful Times
Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice when starting a relaxing music routine with your dog is this: Don’t play music only during stressful times. If you only play music when you leave the house or when there is a thunderstorm or fireworks show, your dog will start to associate music with fear. And that’s not what we want at all!
Play music during happy times, too. Listen to songs with your pet as you play and snuggle. This will give them a positive association with tunes that they can tap into when they hear the music at another time.
Choose the Right Volume
Dogs have sensitive ears, so it’s important to keep their hearing in mind when choosing a volume for their newest doggie playlist. We want to protect our dog’s hearing health so they can continue to live a full, happy life with all of their senses for as long as possible.
Generally, your dog will need their music volume lower than you typically listen to, especially if you are playing music just as background or white noise; it doesn’t need to be very loud. If you are trying to drown out a thunderstorm or fireworks show, you might turn it up a little more. The main rule with volume: if it sounds loud to you, it is definitely too loud for your dog!
Where to Find the Best Calming Dog Music
Dogs likely have musical preferences, just like people. It will be a pleasure to discover your pet’s likes and dislikes in the music world, but here are some places to start.
The Best Music Genres for Dogs
Even played at a low volume, heavy metal might not be your dog’s first choice. Soft rock and reggae music seem to be the preferred musical genres for many canines. Classical music is also popular and has been used to soothe dogs who are living in shelters.
If you love these genres, you’re in luck. If you’re unfamiliar with them, you and Fido can discover them together!
Music Made for Dogs
Some music has been made for dogs specifically to ease their stress and help them calm down. American musician Garrett Charles Nash made a song using reggae tones as a baseline and then experimenting with what his dog, Daisy, seemed to like. Listen to his 15-minute recording here and see how your pooch responds.
A company called iCalm also makes acoustic recordings that are intentionally designed to be soothing for dogs.
Pooch Friendly Playlists
Music streaming services like YouTube and Spotify have plentiful playlists designed specifically for pets. Spotify even has a feature that allows you to answer a few questions, and it will generate a playlist for your and your furry friend! You can also find pet companies and veterinarians with profiles on music streaming services, and they often provide free calming music for dogs.
Try Some Tunes to Soothe Your Faithful Friend
Whether you want to use music to help your dog with separation stress or you’re looking for the perfect sounds to support your pooch through the next thunderstorm, relaxing music for dogs can be a wonderful addition to you and your pet’s healthy daily routine. It can also be a fun bonding experience to explore new genres of calming dog music with your pet. Find something you both love, press play, and join your pet as they drift off into the land of chill.