We’re All Ears: Do Pets Like Music?

Do you play the radio for your dog while you’re at work during the day? Are you convinced that your cat prefers jazz over heavy metal? Maybe you’re at the other end of the spectrum, and you simply listen to whatever music you like without considering whether or not your pet has an opinion.

It’s just as easy to assume that pets like music as it is to assume they don’t really care. As it turns out, both scenarios may be true! Music can have varying effects on animals, so figuring out whether your pet enjoys music (and which genre they prefer) can be a valuable tool in your pet care arsenal.

Soothing Melodies

Although making music is a distinctly human activity, research shows that animals have the capacity to listen to and even enjoy some types of music. A 2002 study of shelter dogs conducted by Dr. Deborah Wells, a psychologist and animal behaviorist, found that dogs did indeed react to music. Classical music was shown to reduce stress (the dogs barked less and rested more) in comparison to heavy metal songs, which raised their agitation levels. Pop music and the sounds of human conversation didn’t affect the dogs at all, most likely because they were used to hearing both.

Award-winning concert pianist and canine musician Lisa Spector runs a nonprofit called “Music in Shelters.” She has donated CDs of her playing piano to over 1,500 shelters worldwide. The soothing classical music played at dog-specific tempos helps increase adoption rates by reducing barking and creating a more peaceful atmosphere that encourages visitors to stay longer.

The Heartbeat of Sound

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that animals tend to prefer “species-specific” music that’s designed using unique pitches, tones, tempos, and even heart rates of particular species. Based on their findings, researchers have composed music specifically for cats designed around feline vocalization frequencies and heart rates.

Other animals, such as elephants, cows, birds, monkeys, and goldfish, have been shown to have their own unique responses to different types of music.

Pets Like Music!

Do your pets like music? If so, which kind do they prefer? We’d love to hear about it during your next wellness checkup or post about it on our social media. The team at Schertz Animal Hospital is always here for you and your pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.