Calming or soothing an anxious or nervous dog is a common challenge that many dog owners experience. It often takes a variety of methods and tricks to find what works for each dog. In some cases, playing sounds and music can help distract dogs or keep them calm. In fact, research shows that certain kinds of songs and sounds have a calming effect on dogs.
So, if you’re looking for ways to relax your dog, consider playing some of the following songs and types of music. Just like how humans have personal musical tastes, you’ll find that your dog will prefer some songs over others.
The 10 Types of Songs to Relax Your Dog
1. Reggae Songs
A study completed in 2017 showed that reggae music had a positive effect on dogs’ behavior1. Dogs that listened to reggae music were more likely to remain calm and spend more time lying down when compared with silence.
Some relaxing reggae songs your dog may enjoy are “One Love” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, “The Tide Is High” by The Paragons, and “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy.
2. Soft Rock Songs
The same study that discovered the calming effects of reggae music also discovered that some dogs enjoy soft rock songs2. Similar to reggae music, dogs that listened to soft rock songs were more likely to spend more time relaxing and lying down than dogs that weren’t listening to anything.
Some soft rock songs that may help relax your dog include “How Deep Is Your Love” by Bee Gees, “Sailing” by Christopher Cross, and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.
3. Calming Classical Music
Dogs can be classical connoisseurs and appreciate listening to certain classical songs and music. A study completed by Dr. Susan Wagner observed that certain types of solo piano music had a relaxing effect on dogs3. Solo and piano trio with simplified arrangements at 50 to 80 beats per minute seemed to calm dogs the best. Based on these findings, you can try playing slower classical arrangements, like Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1” or Debussy’s “Claire de Lune.”
4. Songs With Calming Frequencies
Dogs hear a wider range of frequencies than humans, so what’s calming to them may not be calming to us. In general, dogs seem to act calmer or more relaxed when they hear simple tones and sustained notes.
More research needs to be done on why they respond this way to these songs, but it doesn’t hurt to see if your dog will feel calmer when listening to these types of sounds and songs. In fact, it seems like many dog owners find success in getting their dogs to calm down with such songs because you can find several playlists and videos specifically created for dogs.
5. Sleep Music for Dogs
Just like some people ease into sleep with calming sleep music, dogs can also find it easier to fall asleep to calming music. Music can reduce distracting noises that dogs can hear, like cars driving by, clocks ticking, and a refrigerator humming.
Fortunately, you can find many playlists and videos with calming sleep music for dogs. Many of these types of videos surpass 8 hours, so you can rest assured that they’ll be playing continuously throughout the night.
6. 24/7 Dog Music Streaming
You can find several Youtube channels that have 24/7 live streams dedicated to playing calming music for dogs. These streams usually play a variety of music, so they’re more likely to attract your dog’s attention and keep them interested.
Live music streaming is a considerable option if you plan to leave your dog home alone for a few hours because it’ll keep playing until you get back home. It may not be the best option for sleeping through the night because they’re often interrupted by ads, which can end up waking both you and your dog up in the middle of the night.
7. Pink Noise
White noise is the most well-known type of color noise, but you can find a variety of color noises that can help reduce anxiety, increase focus, or help you sleep better. Pink noise is a type of color noise that can help filter out certain sounds that can be distracting to dogs, like cars and footsteps.
Pink noise is made up of lower sound waves and deeper sounds. It can be more soothing for dogs than white noise because white noise can sometimes include high-pitched frequencies that are unpleasant to dogs. While more research needs to be done on the effects that color noises have on dogs, some dog owners find success in playing pink noise to prevent their dogs from reacting to certain sounds in and around the home.
8. Songs for Fireworks
Fireworks and thunderstorms can trigger anxiety in a lot of dogs. It’s such a common issue that you can find many playlists and videos specifically curated to help dogs get through a night of festive fireworks.
It’s helpful to create a calming space for your dog to go to when fireworks start to go off. You can keep your dog in a room that’s away from windows and keep the room dimly lit while playing music.
9. Rain and Thunderstorm Desensitization
Sometimes, you can desensitize your dog from the loud sounds and noises accompanying thunderstorms. This process begins by slowly introducing your dog to thunder sounds by playing clips at lower volumes. It’s often helpful to play these sounds during mealtimes or playtime so that your dog can get used to them. You can also give your dog treats whenever you play these sounds to build a positive association with them.
When it comes to training your dog to become desensitized to loud noises, it’s recommended to work with the guidance of a dog trainer or behaviorist. These professionals can help you come up with a training plan and ensure that the amount of sound exposure is appropriate for your dog and doesn’t end up causing more anxiety.
10. Puppy Lullabies
It’s never too early to introduce your puppy to calming music and songs. You can find plenty of online videos that play soothing, simple songs that help puppies feel more relaxed. Playing puppy lullabies can help quicken the pace of crate training because they help puppies stay calm while they’re inside their crates. When it comes to choosing puppy lullabies, look for songs that have simple melodies and are played with a piano, as these types of songs are generally favorable to puppies.
Dogs have their own tastes in music, and certain songs can help them relax and feel less anxious. While it’s unclear why certain dogs react to certain music, there’s plenty of research that proves that music has an effect on dogs. So, take some time to play some tunes and see if they elicit a response from your dog. It’ll be fun to discover your dog’s music preferences and see if they match your own.
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