By Fran Faulkner
Have you ever left the radio on for your pet while you’re away? You’ll be happy to hear that you’re on to something! There is plenty of scientific evidence which has revealed the healing properties of music for our beloved companion animals.
Music has been proven to have physiological effects on our pets similar to us. Depending on the tempo and arrangement, it influences heart rate, brain waves and respiratory rate. Studies have shown that low instrumental density (1 instrument as opposed to an orchestra), slow tempos and simplistic arrangements have a more calming effect on animals. 7 out of 10 dogs who have exhibited anxiety toward a multitude of stressors (other dogs, children, visitors, thunderstorms, fireworks and separation anxiety) had decreased anxiety with psychoacoustically* designed music, revealed in a study by BioAcoustic Research and Development.
The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia reports that animals’ interpretation of music may have an emotional component. Physiologic changes induced by music played for lab animals actually improve animal welfare by means of environmental enrichment, stress reduction and behavior modification.
An article in Modern Farmer Magazine claims dairy farmers see a 3% increase in milk production in addition to a positive calming effect. In fact, a 2001 study performed by University of Leicester showed the most milk is produced with the songs “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” courtesy of Simons & Garfunkel. We have even seen the possibility for animals actually being musically entertained! Horses have been known to sync their gait to match the rhythm of a musical number.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Fran! You’re throwing a bunch of factoidal mumbo jumbo at me but how can I practically apply this stuff at home?!?”. I’m glad you asked! My recommended listening for your furry friends is “Thru A Dog’s Ear” or (if you’re a cat lover) “Thru A Cat’s Ear”. This music is edited specifically for your pet’s needs. There are albums available for a variety of stress-induced issues you may be having with your pet from thunderstorm anxiety to calming your elderly hound. Even better, they are easily accessible through your iTunes Store!
So, tell me…will you be making your pet’s day a little more manageable with this easy, non-intrusive and holistic approach?
*psychoacoustic- the study of the perception of sound