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Using Music to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety

Using Music to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety

By Mary Jane Gallagher

Over the past 16 months, South Africans had to contend with an influx of stressors that have sent their anxiety levels through the roof. While we deal with our stress and anxiety, many of our beloved canine companions have their own contend with. In fact, one in seven dogs are believed to suffer from separation anxiety while countless others are scared of thunderstorms, fireworks, and even loud talking or cars driving past the house. While there are a number of effective remedies that can be used to address anxiety in dogs, studies have found that one is particularly effective: music.

Music impacts a dog in various ways

Music can have a number of very positive effects on an anxious dog. It is not surprising that many of these are the same that are experienced by humans when we listen to music. Playing music to your dog when they are visibly anxious can help lower their respiratory rate and significantly reduce the levels of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone, in the body. Apart from easing general anxiety, music can also be used to address excessive barking in a dog and effectively deal with bouts of insomnia.

Not all music will have the desired effect

While it is no secret that South Africa is a music-loving nation, not all our favourite tunes may help ease a dog’s anxiety. Reggae and soft rock are particularly good choices while classical music has always been known for its calming properties. If you have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument such as the guitar, now may be a good time to do it as melodic, acoustic music has also been found to be very relaxing for dogs. Thanks to a range of quality music learning apps that have become available, you can learn to play without leaving home.

Music can be useful in a number of situations

There are many anxiety triggers that a dog may be exposed to from time to time. Although background music can help promote a general sense of calm, it can be particularly useful in certain situations. When your dog is home alone, music can help ease separation anxiety. It can also help drown out loud noises and make the adjustment period after moving home become more tolerable. Music can even be used to help calm a nervous pup while traveling in the car.

Music can do wonders for a dog with an anxious disposition. Even if your dog is particularly stressed, music can help them sleep better and be more relaxed in general.