Music for pets may be exactly what could make all the difference in helping your dog or cat learn to relax when you are away. Music is used by people to feel settled, comfortable, and relaxed and pet owners want to do the same for their pets. Many will leave the television or radio on for a pet that is left alone at home or when guests visit and the pet is confined to a bedroom. Music can also be helpful to pets that are dealing with an illness or trying to remain calm during a thunderstorm or fireworks. Music for pets can be a wonderful tool in assisting an animal in learning to self-relax.
Pet owners should use music that has a continuous and steady tone and rhythm. Music by Kenny G. has been found to be a favorite among house pets such as dogs and cats. By playing different types of music and watching how your pet behaves will give you an indication as to their taste in music that they find relaxing. Don’t be tempted to turn up the volume too loud because your pets have better hearing than you do.
Owners should not assume that the music that they like will be a favorite of their pet. In a recent study it was determined that animals are most impacted by music that contains tones and rhythms that coordinate with their own natural vocal tones and heart beats. One of the researchers has started to produce music especially designed for pets along with a professional music composer and cellist.
Charles Snowden, a music for animals researcher and animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, remarked in a recent interview saying, “We have a very human tendency to project onto our pets and assume that they will like what we like. People assume that if they like Mozart, their dog will like Mozart. If they like rock music, they say their dog prefers rock.
“We have some work-in-progress where we've transposed music and put it in the frequency range for cat vocalizations, and have used their resting heart rate, which is faster than ours. We find that cats prefer to listen to the music composed in their frequency range and tempo rather than human music.”
Mr. Snowden added that they now sell the cat preferred music for download through a company called “Music for Cats”.
Dogs have such a wide range of types and sizes in the different breeds that their choice of music can be just as large a variable as the difference in dogs from a Yorkie to a Great Dane are in sizes. Mr. Snowden remarked on the music preference of dogs saying, “So, it is possible that they might be responsive to music in our frequency range. My prediction is that a big dog might be more responsive to human music than a smaller dog such as a Chihuahua.”
The important thing to do is to expose your pet to a range of artists and music. Stay with a calming genre of music for their listening pleasure such as soft jazz, easy listening or classical music. Then observe your pet as they listen to the music. If they soon lie down in the vicinity of the music and begin to relax and sleep then the music is a good match. By quietly petting your pet during the music you can teach them to relax to the music much like a young child learns to relax when it is rocked gently back and forth. The action of being put into a relaxed state with the music will result in the music later inducing a relaxed state just by hearing it played again. Stress is as pronounced in pets as it is in the human members of a family. By reducing stress and allowing your pet to relax to music you are prolonging good health and the good mental health of your pet. Finding music for dogs, cats, or music for pets of any type is a good idea to help them learn to self-relax and another way to show you care.