Pet parents often find themselves bonding over that one quirk that is leaving on the radio for their pets during the day. Why do we do this? Sure, as humans we enjoy feeling that rhythm and singing along to our favorite songs, but what do dogs think of all the noise coming from those speakers?
The answer is dogs DO like music. What kind? Well, their taste is apparently more sophisticated than talk shows or pop tunes. Animal behaviorist Deborah Wells studied the preferences of our pooches and discovered that they appreciated the relaxing sounds of classical music. However, it is not all about the genre, but rather the specific pitches, tones, and tempos. Charles Snowdon, an animal psychologist from the University of Wisconsin, called this "species specific music", where most species will enjoy music that matches the pitches and tones of their own vocal ranges, and tempos that match their heartbeats.
Of course people like music that is made by and for humans - our hearts can synchronize with the beat of the bass, and aside from autotune, vocals are guaranteed to match our normal perception of pitches and tones. Classical music may capture the attention of dogs since it eliminates all of our extra "weird" noises. The variety of sound from musical instruments can also please high-pitched squeakers to deep-throated barkers.
When music is personalized for a dog's ears, it resembles classic compositions with ambient noises of other dogs, animals, and even human conversation. These musical pieces additionally offer a therapeutic benefit for dogs, and will often be played in shelters to ease stress and promote relaxation, especially during storms or holiday fireworks. Live Science reported on a study by musician Alianna Boone, in which harp music was played for hospitalized dogs. The findings resulted in lowered heart rates, which suggests that listening to music may aid in a dog's recovery.
If you are interested in listening to one of these canine melodies, it might be worth looking into if your dog is nervous or afraid of thunderstorms. And yes, there is specific music for cats as well!
So sit back, relax, and listen to some tunes. ♫
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