From $200 webcam treat dispensers to foie gras dog biscuits, there’s no shortage of products created to keep pups well behaved or happy. But dog owners might not know that they already have something to achieve the same effect: music. Streaming a playlist—not adding to the collection of half-eaten squeaky toys—might be all you need to help Fido keep calm.
Even though it might be one of your first thoughts, skip the Snoop Dogg. No Three Dog Night, no Temple of the Dog, and definitely no “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Classical is what works. In fact, there are hundreds of dog-relaxation playlists on Spotify that have been collectively streamed 8.6 million times in the past three months—all of them featuring soothing classical tracks.
“We are unsure why classical music has such a calming effect, but it does appear to be inherently enriching,” says Dr. Deborah Wells. As Reader in the School of Psychology and Director of the Animal Behaviour Centre of the Queen’s University Belfast, she’s published multiple studies on animal welfare and behavior—domestic dogs being her primary focus. She specifically advises: No heavy metal. It only increases anxiety.
Two playlists, Dog Music and Relaxing Sounds for Your Dog, are especially popular. They account for more than 60% of the abovementioned 8.6 million streams. Given the frequency at which they’re played, it’s likely one or the other will lull your dog into a relaxing state as well or better than a new rawhide bone.
Think of playing music for your pooch after you’ve left the house? No problem. It’s easy to stream Spotify from your phone, tablet or desktop while you’re at work, out for dinner, or just running errands. Follow the simple instructions for setting up a Google Home, Alexa, or other speaker.
Once you’re up and running, queue up a playlist. Hopefully, you’ll arrive home to a happy, mellow dog—who has a taste for Claude Debussy in lieu of leather oxfords.
Stream the most popular dog relaxation playlist, Dog Music.