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Music to Soothe the Soul – and Calm an Anxious Pooch

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dog being transferred to shelter in IowaMusic has the power to heal our spirit. We use it as an antidote during some of life’s greatest challenges. Music therapy is often prescribed as a way for people to “sing their way out of the blues.” As it turns out, that logic may hold true for our four-legged friends as well.

Homeless dogs and puppies are transported through PetSmart Charities’ Rescue Waggin’® program from communities with more pets than adopters to communities where adoptable pets are in demand. During their life-saving journey, soothing music is piped into the kennel area of the vehicle, providing the dogs with a comforting effect that mimics their mothers’ heartbeat.

“Social isolation or restriction, a major stresser for many dogs, can lead to the development of both physiological and behavioral problems,” said Lori Kogan, researcher at Colorado State University. Music has been found to result in more relaxed and restful behavior in dogs – but don’t think that your favorite death metal or hip-hop playlist will ease Fluffy’s anxiety!

Dogs don’t have the same sense of melody and harmony as we do, so it’s more about what works for them – not us. They’ve been known to take comfort in music with slower rhythms, fewer instruments and simpler melodies. Animal welfare experts often suggest that shelters refrain from playing rock or rap music during their daily kennel cleanings. Classical music or simple sounds have been found to be the most effective choices.

Listen to a sample of the sounds that more than 60,000 dogs who have climbed aboard a Rescue Waggin’ vehicle have enjoyed during their travels.  

Many people who play these soothing sounds for their dog comment on how relaxing it is for them as well. So Roll Over Beethoven and turn on the tunes...it just might do you both some good!

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