|Different tempos and genres of music evoke different emotions in people’s lives. Interestingly, music also affects pets / Photo by: lightfieldstudios via 123RF|
Different tempos and genres of music evoke different emotions in people’s lives. Interestingly, music also affects pets. This was explained by Lisa Spector, co-founder of the album Through a Dog’s Ear. She said that lower frequencies, simpler patterns, and slower tempos discharge the canine nervous system. On the other hand, higher frequencies, more complex music, and faster tempos charge the canine nervous system.
Auditory stimulation and its effects on dogs
An animal welfare study titled “The influence of auditory stimulation on the behavior of dogs housed in a rescue shelter” has also revealed that dogs are quieter and more relaxed when they are listening to classical music. They are also not particularly interested in radio shows and pop music but they tend to bark more if they hear heavy metal music. The authors explored the five types of auditory stimulation in their study: human conversation, classical music, pop music, heavy metal music, and control.
The Spotify study on pets and music
Recognizing that music helps calm pets and relieve their stress, music streaming platform Spotify recently launched a playlist meant for pets and their owners. The international media services provider published in its platform that they conducted a study on various pet owners in five countries who use music at home. The result showed that 71% of the pet owners play music for their pets, 69% of pet owners sing to their pets, and 57% dance with their pets. The genres that pets seem to prefer are classical and soft rock. Eight out of 10 pet owners believe that their pets enjoy music and one in five pet parents named their pets after a music group or artist.
Spotify added that the top five pet names that are influenced by a music group or artist are Bob Marley, Elvis, Freddie Mercury, Bowie, and Ozzy. The study shows that as pets give unconditional love and cuddles to their owners, humans also consider their well-being. Pet parents play them music even if they are not at home because they take into account the emotional well-being of their pets who are alone.
How to create the pet playlist
As for the “Pawfect Playlist” launched, Spotify encouraged pet owners to state whether their pet is a cat, dog, iguana, bird, or hamster. The platform then asks certain information about the personality of the pet, such as whether it is energetic, shy, relaxed, or friendly. Pet parents then choose the trait that best aligns with the personality of the pet because that would make the playlist more appealing to them.
Spotify then asks the user to add a photo and name on the playlist so that it could be saved. A customized share card is also made available so that pet parents can share it with other Spotify users. They can use the hashtag #SpotifyPets as well. “Get those tails wagging and wings flapping,” the platform wrote.
A pet physiologist weighs in
University of Glasgow professor and pet physiologist Neil Evans also shared via home magazine Country Living that providing dogs with varied auditory enrichment can lessen their anxiety or stress for a longer period. As a result, they may sleep more, lie down, and bark less because their body is in a more relaxed physiological state. He added that many pets are left alone during the day as their owners work outside. Dogs may suffer loneliness for a few hours but listening to music will help ease their loneliness.
Dogs display common behaviors when they are lonely. For instance, a lonely dog might follow the owner around the house to get the companionship and love that they crave. Second, the pet might not want to play as much as usual because of inconsistent companionship with the owner; they tend to withdraw themselves from wanting to play. Third, they may lick or bite their fur more often. These are manifestations of anxiety and boredom in dogs. They might become destructive by chewing furniture or destroying things as a way of getting attention. Lonely dogs are also known to sleep more often as a form of distraction.
Togetherness is the surest cure to a dog’s loneliness, but putting on some background music also helps in some ways. Getting another dog as their companion would also help. If you have a puppy and getting another dog isn't an option, get your puppy used to being alone to prevent them from feeling separation anxiety as they grow older.
Spotify user statistics
Including pet parents, Spotify now caters to 217 million monthly active users, according to app development news provider Business of Apps. Out of the 217 million monthly active users, 100 million are Premium subscribers. An average Spotify user listens to 41 unique artists every week and 44% of the total Spotify users listen to the platform daily.
The most listened-to-music artist in 2017 was Ed Sheeran and his song Shape of You was the most listened song in the platform’s history. Spotify said that the song had nearly 2 billion streams. The Spotify users by region are as follows: 29% North America, 22% Latin America, 36% Europe, and 13% the rest of the world. In the US though, Apple Music takes the lead as the biggest subscriber music service. However, since Spotify is a global enterprise, it remains in the lead worldwide.
Spotify said that each Pet Playlist created in their platform is composed of about 30 music tracks. This allows energetic dogs to hear upbeat sounds while shy felines can hear slower tempo music. Live events agency Listen Entertainment and Spotify also produced the My Dog’s Favorite podcast, which compiles dog-directed affirmation messages, stories, reassurance, and praise to help dogs relax while their owners are not at home. These affirmation messages are played for the first hour. Then, it is followed up by ten hours of the pet playlist. Ambient sounds can also be heard, such as wind rustling in trees and light rain.
Who would have thought that music could also be a treat to give your pets? Observe how your pet reacts to music while you are at home and start from there. Maybe you'll even find out who your pet's favorite artist is.