How Various Types Of Music Affect Dogs


One of the most common issues most dog owners have to deal with is stress, anxiety, or fear in their pets.

There are many different ways to help reduce all of them, but one less common way that science has discovered is actually music. We, humans, love music. It’s great at cataloging our memories, soothing us when we need it, and just improving our moods overall.

So, when I learned that music can be used to achieve a similar effect in animals like dogs and cats, I was pleasantly surprised.

In this article, we will talk about what kind of music can help your furry friend calm down and relax.

What Kind Of Music Is Pleasant To Dogs

golden retriever lies on the bed and listens to musicgolden retriever lies on the bed and listens to music

When we think of music that might be relaxing, we usually think of what would help us as a stress reliever, but this is not something we can apply to animals.

Dogs have a very different brain than we do, and they might find different things more appealing than we do. 

Not to mention the fact that they also have far better hearing than we do, so certain high-pitched sounds might not be suitable for them.

So far, research has shown that most sheltered dogs respond well to soft rock, reggae, and classical music.[1] 

Hard rock, for example, may lead to even more feelings of anxiety or stress, so it’s better to avoid it. 

While it is true that music can help, it’s important to note that, like us, they can get bored of the same thing, and too much exposure to this type of music can eventually lead to more stress, so be sure to switch it up every once in a while.

How It Affects Older Dogs

When it comes to older dogs, the situation is a lot different. Some of them suffer from hearing loss, which means that they become more sensitive to certain frequencies of sound, so playing music typical for a normal dog might scare or anger an older one.

If you want to provide comfort for an old dog, your best bet is to play low-pitched music that won’t irritate their ears.

A small suggestion would be to play music from a YouTube channel known as ‘Relax My Dog –  Relaxing Music for Dogs’, as this channel contains a lot of music that is stimulating to canines, including music for senior dogs.

When Should I Play Music For My Dog

labrador lying on the laminate with headphones on his earslabrador lying on the laminate with headphones on his ears

If you are like me, and have never heard of people playing music to soothe their dogs, then you are probably wondering when the best time to do so is.

There are a lot of situations where putting some music on might be beneficial for canines.

Such situations are:

  • When there is a thunderstorm, or heavy rain.
  • During big events when there are fireworks outside.
  • When they are simply resting and relaxing.
  • If they are alone in the house.
  • At a veterinarian clinic to reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • When they can’t fall asleep.
  • To prevent barking.
  • During travels to help lower their anxiety.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can incorporate a little music into your dog’s life.

You just need to be attentive to their moods and play a little music for them every once in a while if you notice that they are stressed out.

[1] Lindig A, McGreevy P, Crean A. (2020, January 13), Musical Dogs: A Review of the Influence of Auditory Enrichment on Canine Health and Behavior. National Library of Medicine.