Music has a special way of capturing our attention and evoking certain memories and emotions that make us feel alive. Oftentimes, it also provides us with the inspiration to get through particularly hard days. You may already know how much it helps your mood to listen to your favorite movie soundtrack or the latest album of your favorite musician. But have you also wondered about whether it can deliver the same effect to your canine companion?
If music and animals are two things you love in life, it may delight you to know that there’s a connection between them. Even though dogs don’t understand the lyrics to songs or can’t appreciate the complex harmonies of instrumental pieces, there’s some anecdotal evidence that points to the fact that they like music.
What drives a dog’s affinity for a tune? Let’s take a look at some surprising facts from PrideBites about dogs, music, musical genres, and how can you and your dog enjoy music together:
1) Dogs Like to Listen to Specific Genres of Music
Music encompasses a multitude of genres, and each one comes with distinguishing features that set them apart from the rest. For example, classical music is easily recognizable by its use of orchestral instruments like the piano and violin. The contemporary and distinctively raw sound of indie rock, on the other hand, makes it stand out from classical music and genres related to pop. These elements are what draw particular kinds of people to certain genres of music and shape their musical preferences. The same thing may actually be said for dogs, and a study held in Queens University in Belfast showed that pooches were more inclined to classical music over pop music and heavy metal.
You can tell if your dog is enjoying the music they’re listening to if they seem calm and relaxed while they’re doing so. That means, among other things, that what they’re listening to doesn’t cause them stress. You can experiment with different genres to know what preferences your dog may have.
It’s generally a good idea to start with music that’s soft and easy to listen to. Classical and reggae music are great genres to start with because the tempo and sound of most classic and reggae songs can help your fur baby feel cozy, especially when they’re lying on comfortable custom dog blankets.
2) Dogs Do Sing (or Howl) Along to Songs
There are hundreds of videos online showcasing dogs “singing” along to different types of music. If you stumble upon any of these yourself, it may put a smile on your face.
Dogs howling to music is a fairly common behavior in their species. However, no one is exactly sure why they do it. Some believe that canines mistake the sound of instruments for other dogs howling in the distance. This explains why music that features the sound of wind instruments, like clarinets and saxophones, urges dogs to howl.
Others, however, think that dogs howling to music is their attempt at mimicking an ancestral practice. This is because when wolves howl together, each wolf sings a different note. Therefore, howling while listening to the melody of a song may make them feel as if they’re howling with their pack.
3) Music Can Be Painful to Dogs if You’re Not Careful
During the process of finding the type of music your fur baby likes to listen to, please remember not to blast the volume on high. A canine’s sense of hearing is known to be four times as sensitive as a human’s. As such, if you suddenly expose your pup to loud music, it could hurt their ears and cause them physical pain.
Take note that long exposure to loud music can also cause dogs to go deaf. Only play music at a comfortable volume so that you and your dog can truly have a good time listening to your favorite tunes together.
4) Music Can Be a Great Accompaniment to Dogs When They’re Alone
Lastly, if you’re worried that your dog will feel stressed when you leave them at home alone for a while, a great way to help them feel secure is to turn on some music for them. Letting a playlist of your dog’s favorite songs play in the background will help your canine companion feel less alone, which can reduce their anxiety.
The music can also muffle outside noise that can cause them stress, like the roar of motorcycles. Soothing tunes can therefore help your fur baby feel just as relaxed you become when you indulge in your favorite pick-me-up music.
Again, even though most songs and instrumental pieces are mainly created for a human audience, they may be capable of leaving a positive effect on dogs. The different sounds generated by certain musical pieces have a way of keeping canines calm and making them feel safe. Moreover, as you can see from the insights above, listening to music gives dog owners a chance to bond with their four-legged buddies and create lasting memories while enjoying a rewarding new activity together.