The Science Behind How Music Can Soothe Anxious Dogs

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As pet owners, there is nothing more distressing than witnessing our dogs struggling with anxiety or fear. Sometimes, it seems impossible to alleviate their symptoms, no matter what we do. However, research has demonstrated that music therapy can provide an effective solution for reducing anxiety levels in canines. This article discusses the science behind how music can soothe anxious dogs.

Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to rely on their senses, especially their hearing, as crucial survival tools. They can hear sounds that humans are incapable of, and their instinctual tendencies make them sensitive to heightened frequencies, like thunderstorms or fireworks. When dogs are exposed to loud noises or unfamiliar sounds, they become anxious, and their nervous system triggers a fight-or-flight response. This physiological reaction activates the sympathetic nervous system, causing various symptoms like panting, pacing, whining, and tremors.

This is where music therapy comes in. Music has the power to influence our emotions, and dogs are no exception. In fact, research has shown that dogs are not only capable of perceiving and differentiating between different musical genres, but they also have individual musical preferences. Studies have found that classical music, specifically classical compositions with a slower tempo, can significantly reduce anxiety levels in dogs.

The reason behind this is that the rhythms and tones of classical music can alter the dogs’ brainwaves. Classical music can induce beat patterns embedded in the music that coincide with the brain’s neural frequency, triggering a calming effect in dogs. A study conducted by Cornell University found that playing classical music significantly decreased the cortisol levels, the stress hormone, in dogs undergoing surgery.

Another study in a shelter environment played different genres of music to determine dogs’ responses. The findings showed that dogs had a lower heart rate and stress indicators when listening to classical music compared to heavy metal music. This demonstrates that the genre of music can have a direct impact on the dogs’ behavior and provides evidence that classical music has therapeutic effects.

Furthermore, music therapy can also provide a sense of security and familiarity for dogs. Playing soothing music can help mask outside noise that might trigger anxiety, and providing a constant source of auditory stimulation can create a comforting environment for dogs. Using music specifically designed to calm dogs can also be beneficial as it contains sound frequencies and melodies that are tailored to reduce anxiety levels in canines.

In conclusion, music therapy is a holistic approach to help reduce anxiety levels in dogs by altering their brainwaves and offering a sense of comfort and familiarity. Classical music, in particular, has proven to be the most effective genre in providing therapeutic effects for dogs. Pet owners can consider incorporating music therapy in their pet’s daily routine, especially during stressful times like thunderstorms, firework displays, or car travel. By utilizing the power of music, pet owners can help their furry friends overcome anxiety and lead a more peaceful life.

i am a musician With over 10 years of experience, articles written distilled from the soul.

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