Sound can have a stunning effect on the brain. Specific types of sound can create brain waves that make us concentrate and relax. Music composed by Bach and Mozart, among others, often possess the ability to achieve this favourable state. Why do we respond to music in this way? Our bodies, mainly through breathing and heartbeat, has a built-in rhythm. Depending on the way the music meshes with this rhythm, we feel calmer, invigorated or irritated. The same can be said for our pets.
Animal behaviour may be influenced by music, but what do pets have to be stressed about? It may seem like our pets are living lives of luxury, but it is likely they are also confronted with stress. In particular, it may be the ones that love them most that are the primary cause for their stress. Many people find stress relief in their pets, but they may not realize that this can actually transfer their tension to their furry counterpart. This can occur because pets are usually very attuned to the feelings of their owners, through a strong human-animal bond. This problem is often compounded because the dog (or cat) is already stressed because you have been away all day. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may become so stressed when you are gone that they destroy furniture, and wreck havoc in the house. When you get home to a scenario like this, if at all possible, try to avoid being angry or frustrated towards your dog. They will easily pick up on this, and it will only increase their anxiety. With all the stress our pets face, it is no wonder that people have been looking into methods to calm them and relieve stress, such as music.
Music that relieves stress seems to be soft slow songs. That makes sense, as these types of music have the same effects on people, promoting sleep and relaxation. In addition, dogs are not indiscriminate when it comes to their music listening tastes. They often become agitated and restless when exposed to loud, drum-based songs. So unless it’s a dog with unusual tastes, they will probably not appreciate your blaring rock music. If you would like to try leaving music on for you pet when you leave the house, a certain noise level should be adhered to. Your poor pet would not appreciate being stuck in a house with music that the neighbours can hear. A good volume is low so that a conversation could easily be held with the music playing in the background. Yes, your animal probably will not be able to hear it in every room of the house, but that’s the point. They can choose if they want to listen or not.
It hasn’t all completely gone to the dogs! Lets discuss how music can also impact our furry felines. Cats seem to love male-voice choirs, the double bass and the oboe. How’s that for a unique taste in music? However, this is not for all cats, and true to their natures they can be very picky about what music they like and do not like. A research study was completed in which hundreds of cats were observed as they listened to music. A piece of music that was appealing to cats would cause the cats to move closer to the speakers. If they disapproved of the music, the cats would either not move, or move away. This same study also found that cats with a fast pulse valued music with a deep tone and fast beat. As mentioned previously, these types of music must mesh very well with those cats with a fast pulse and promote the greatest relaxation over the other music offered. This calming effect will result in an overall less stressed cat, which is a happy cat.
There are now many Cd’s that have been made with specifically compiled songs meant to de-stress both the dog and the cat. In addition, there are also Internet websites that play radio specifically for your pet, and also ones for pet lovers as well. It’s just a matter of deciding what you think your pet will like the most!
Before you go tiptoeing around the house as to not cause the dog or cat more stress, consider also that the reason a lot of human stress is transferred to animals is because our pets show unconditional love that makes it so easy to confide in them and tell them all our worries. This is good for relieving your stress and thus your health, but give the dog a break when you can. At least play some soothing music for him after as he listens to your troubles.
*text from pets.ca