Humans have, for a long time, enjoyed entertainment in the form of soothing music. Ideally, and as proven by empirical studies, the benefits of listening to music is noted in its impact on our memory and emotional stability. Additionally, there is evidence showing that melody can indeed help us to heal from certain illnesses and even physical injuries. Therefore, the power of music therapy cannot be ignored, as its effects on humans are well documented and proven. However, can music have the same effect on our pets, considering that both humans and pets are all animals? Amazingly, the benefits of music therapy on humans can be applied to our pets!
How Does Music Therapy Work On Pets?
In 2012, Lori Kogan, Regina Schoenfeld-Tacher, and Allen Simon studied the behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs and found that playing classical music to dogs kenneled in professional facilities had positive effects in mitigating some of the psychogenic stresses provided by the kennel environment. From this research, it was proven that classical music not only alleviates behavioral shifts in pets but also reduced anxiety and lowered heart rates.
Did you know that pets are receptive to sensory triggers such as sound? Because animals are accustomed to sound, it allows music therapy to work on them. Ideally, the music sends sound vibrations that are then picked up by the animal’s brain, triggering a response. It is this response that has the potential to affect psychological changes.
For instance, a loud melody can cause an adrenaline boost while a gentler melody has a relaxing effect on their nervous systems. Because of this, we get the understanding that music therapy can be used effectively in reducing the stress levels of our pets in our homes, at the vet, in our cars, or in animal shelters.
Benefits of Music Therapy For Our Pets
Pets are extremely delicate, considering that their psychological status is easily affected by common stressors such as loud noises. How many times have you seen your cat dash under the table following a thunder strike, or your dog hiding underneath the bed during a thunderstorm? Even strangers can potentially trigger anxiety in our pets. Unfortunately, anxiety, fear, and destructive behavior all have a negative effect on the health, safety, and overall quality of life of our pets.
Music therapy helps our beloved pets to cope with these conditions in a way that is not only safe and non-invasive, but also extremely effective. Moreover, considering that music therapy effectively helps our pets to better cope with stress and anxiety, it has also been shown to alleviate pain in animals that are suffering from chronic pain. Soothing music, such as classical music, allows them to sleep more comfortably in a calming environment.
Just as we love playing online games, watching movies in theatres, or simply listening to music, pets respond to the same stimuli.
If you have taken your pet to the vet recently, you might have noticed soothing music playing in the waiting area. The benefit of it is that, as science has shown, soothing music has benefits on the psychological wellbeing of pets. The vet clinic is where sick animals are brought for a checkup and, with soothing music playing in the waiting area, it calms them down and reduces their anxiety.
Animal shelters are recognized as having psychogenic stressors on animals, and to reduce the effects of it, classical music tends to help the animals to calm down in these shelters.
The benefits of classical music on pets cannot be overstated. There are myriad benefits of music therapy as explained herein. Not only does classical music reduce the anxiety levels of pets, but it also helps them to better cope with other psychological stressors, such as loud noise or thunderstorms.
Music has a similar effect on both humans and animals. The way music calms you down when you’re busy reading a book is the same way music calms pets in an animal shelter. Now you are in the know, but what are your thoughts on this? Share them below!