Pet Acoustics, Tunes for Dogs, Cats, Horses Too & Free Give-Away

by Mary Haight on December 8, 2010

Snoopy Orchestra
Image by thenerdsangle via Flickr

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!

17 comments
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Kate
Kate

This sounds really interesting - thanks for the heads up! Now I am really curious to find out more.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Kate, and you're welcome - gotta love finding all the things out there available to help animals deal with the big loud life of the human race:) Thanks for chiming in!

Pamela
Pamela

I have this sample CD and have played it for Honey. Luckily, she's not an anxious dog so I haven't seen a big chance in her behavior. However, I did have two quite anxious dogs many years ago who would bounce off the walls until the local classical station started playing Bach organ music at the same time each night. Although Bach does not have the simple structure of the Dog's Ear music, Agatha and Christie always responded well to it. I recommend anyone with an anxious dog to try to free download and give it a shot.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Thanks Pamela for sharing the story of your pups - named perhaps alluding to unlocking the mysteries of the anxious duo? - I'd be interested to actually see the difference btw classical and this special rendition for dogs - wonder if there's a video anywhere... Thanks for stopping in!

Kim
Kim

I may try the free downloads. I also keep the tv on for my dogs when I'm gone - for the same reasons. Something like this might be much better - sounds better! Thank you ;-)

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Kim, and you're welcome! I was also thinking about getting one of those nanny cams just to check out what Tashi does while I'm out!

Peggy
Peggy

I'll have to try this for Kelly. I think she mostly sleeps the whole time I'm out of the house, perhaps I need lullabyes.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Peggy! I was thinking I'd like to add this to our thunderstorm regimen, and see how it might give us an assist with what we already do:) That would be especially important if I'm not home when one starts! See you round the Tweetdeck, and thanks for stopping by! Oh, let us know when you're book is coming out!

jetsagenda
jetsagenda

I leave the TV on for the dogs if I go out at night for this reason. Not sure if it helps with Bender though, particularly on bin night. He absolutely hates the sound of the plastic wheels of the bins being dragged along our common driveway! Barbie is ordinarily so calm anyway, it gives me a bit of a fright if she gets up and barks or shows any other reaction to noises while we are in the house.

Rick
Rick

This is a great post. I used to work at a boarding facility. I bought a couple of CD's that were designed to calm dogs. They worked great at night after we put the dogs down to sleep for the night.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

That's a great application for this music, Rick! Thanks for sharing!

PetsAdviser.com
PetsAdviser.com

The pet speaker sounds like an interesting product. Some dogs need a little more comforting than others, so this might help. But with this device priced at $250 I'm not convinced it's any better than playing gentle (Classical?) music over your own sound system.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

I liked that they did extensive testing in different environments in the first clinical trial, and I'm interested to hear what a larger cohort reveals. The 70% vs 36% figures of reduction in anxiety when using the player vs just playing classical appear to be really significant. I know, it's a high price-point and as serendipity would have it, the free downloads at Through a Dog's Ear can help people see what effect the music has on their dogs. But the free thing ends this week, so check it out before it quits:) Thanks for stopping by.

Edie
Edie

That is one dangerous show, Your Pet Wants This Too. I now covet My Pet Speaker as well as the PowerLoo! Thanks for your (continued) kindness in linking to -- and saying nice words about -- my blog.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Edie - it *is* a dangerous show:) Did you see the backpack to take your parrot for a stroll in? I had to wonder about the efficacy of that poop vacuum, though, seemed a bit unhandy to lug around on a walk, but I'm all for whatever makes people decide to pick up the poop:) Thanks for stopping by, and you're welcome - you have a great blog, so I'm just tellin' the truth:-D

reggittino
reggittino

I must try some of these on Dru in the car. She gets so worked up about being in the car she inevitably vomits.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi, and thanks for stopping in...I'm guessing you've tried something for motion sickness, but if you can keep the cat calm before you get her in the car and continue that experience in the car with the music that would be interesting - and I'm sure a welcome relief for the clean-up crew:)

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