If there’s one group that actually benefitted from the pandemic, it’s our pets. They got to have us home all the time, taking them for walks as needed, playing all day, making sure they constantly had a full bowl of food and a hefty treat supply. But now that some of the workforce is returning to the office, and students in many places are going back to school, our pets will have to adjust to some new time alone. And since they’ve been so used to us being around, it could spur some separation anxiety.
I can already see it in my Boston Terrier, Ollie. He stands by the door as I walk out, staring up at me with those big eyes and slightly trembling, as if he’s willing me to hang my keys back up and stay inside. I wish I could, pup. But since I can’t, I needed to find a way to help him calm down while I was gone. The good news? There’s music specifically for that purpose.
Music Can Help Pets Relax
Studies have shown that when dogs listen to music, it can help ease their anxiety—as long as it’s the right type of music. According to a study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, classical music is the way to go, because the study suggested it helped “mitigate some of the stress inherent for many kenneled dogs” as opposed to other types of music like heavy metal. The study found classical music helped dogs sleep more than vocalize or exhibit other behaviors “suggestive of nervousness.”
Another study by the Scottish SPCA found classical music helps dogs relax by lowering their heart rate.
You may even have heard stories about artists such as this cellist who goes into shelters specifically to perform for dogs, or this pianist who plays for his many cats, who have taken this news to heart.
But even if you don’t have a cellist on hand to play some soothing tunes for your pet while you go back to work, don’t worry—there’s a playlist for that.
Classical Music for Pets Makes It Easy
“Classical for Pets” is a playlist of all classical music, curated through a partnership with Amazon Music and Warner Classics, the classical music side of Warner Music Group. The playlist, found on Amazon Music, is four and half hours long, with 55 classical songs, including favorites like “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker; “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff; and “Claire de lune” by Debussy.
“As Covid-19 and lockdowns occurred, shelters were emptied and more pets were adopted over the past 18 months,” said Markus Peterson, spokesperson for Warner Classics. “Now that there is a bit of return to leaving the house, pets are left alone more and more. These soothing, familiar, classical tracks provide a gentle, relaxing backdrop for animals in general…to relax and reduce anxiety.”
You can cue up the playlist anytime with a subscription to Amazon Music—included with your subscription to Prime. You can even ask your Alexa directly to play “Classical for Pets” and it will start up without you having to touch a thing—perfect for when you’re running late because you, just like your pets, aren’t accustomed to a new schedule yet.
Nothing Is Better for a Dog’s Anxiety Than Your Patience and Love
Every pet is different, and though this playlist is intended to help your pet with separation anxiety, it may not work for every type of stress, or your individual dog or cat.
Our Japanese Spitz, Gertie, is terrified of thunderstorms—nothing helps, not even thundershirts, so I turned on this playlist during a recent storm. While she was mildly interested at first, once a new thunderclap boomed, she couldn’t control her anxiety again, music or no. So instead, we snuggled up with her, spoke in soothing tones, and pet her with long, gentle strokes to help her calm down.
But there are other playlists—Spotify has all kinds of pet playlists, including this chilled-out mix—and other gentle distractions such as white noise machines, calming treats, and even puzzle toys that can help you help your pet with anxiety.