I’ve always left the TV on, not only to keep my dog company while I’m gone, but to distract from outside noise that might have a negative effect on the dog’s relaxed behavior-quiet enjoyment of his environment if you will:)
The other day I came across Pet Acoustics My Pet Speaker product on Animal Planet‘s “Your Pet Wants This, Too!”, designed to filter out all the agitating frequencies that cause dogs to get unnerved. Does that mean you can play your rock and roll loud without negative effect? Um, no – it’s not just higher and lower than human hearing frequencies that excite dogs’ fight or flight reaction, but volume matters too.
Dogs react to sudden loud sounds like thunder or the clanging of train couplings that ring across distances. I’ve seen this with my dog Tashi - he can’t pinpoint where the horrible noise is coming from, and so panics, running to and fro, jumping up and around with confusion.
Janet Marlow, CEO of Pet Acoustics, has captured the species-specific aural frequency range that includes many breeds of dogs, cats, and horses. The bass has also been dampened to avoid any bone-shaking reverberations. Vets have experienced the usefulness of this calming music in their own offices for their patients, and suggest it for use in shelters, at groomers, in cars, and at home. You can see the many testimonials on their site. At $249.95, it may not suit everyone’s budget, but there are CDs and an iPhone app.
With the holidays at hand, it was pleasure to find that Through a Dog’s Ear Lisa Spector, concert pianist, and Joshua Leeds are offering free music downloads until the end of the week. Their psychoacoustically engineered tracks are designed to reduce the heart and respiratory rate of those who listen, inducing a state of calm.
You may notice that familiar tunes suddenly present at a slower tempo, sometimes repeat where they don’t in the original classical work, and it gets results. Susan Wagner, a veterinary neurologist, held a clinical trial that showed a 70% reduction in stress, where regular classical music showed a 36% reduction of anxious behaviors, according to an excellent report by Janet Tobiassen, DVM, an About.com guide. There are also several reports on the music of Through a Dog’s Ear at Edie Jarolim‘s wonderful blog. Janet Tobiassen, DVM, mentioned that trails were ongoing, so I would hope we hear the outcome on the expanded testing sometime soon, though the initial trails were impressive.
I’ve heard several reports of success in calming dogs with this special music – how about you? The whole trial of dogs who moan and howl in cars comes to mind!