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Music for Pets Only

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Some say that over time pets can take on the personal traits of their owners. This may not be true when it comes to taste in music. Some pet owners leave the radio or music on when their pets are home alone or play music for pets videos; however, research now says that most of what your pet is probably hearing is just loud noise.

What are the pros and cons when you play music for pets?

The work of animal psychologist, Charles Snowdon of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been abuzz recently. His research proves that cats and dogs do have an appreciation for music, but not just any melody will do. Humans love music that “falls within our acoustic and vocal range” and has a tempo similar to heartbeats. The music that our four-legged friends prefer is also tailored to their breed type, their heart rate, and their vocal range.

Snowdon has teamed up with David Teie, a cellist and composer, to come up with music that our pets would prefer to listen to. Their music could prove to be helpful when it comes to music for pets therapy. Dogspired reports that the right music can influence dogs’ behavior, calming them down, reducing stress, and generally improve their overall health.

As of now the Snowdon and Teie team have made some progress with music for felines. They used the “frequency range for cat vocalizations and used their resting heart rate” to create the music. The team has had such success that they have even started selling their cat music online. You can listen to samples and download a cat lullaby, a kitty ditty, or a “feline airs.”

They are currently working on music for canines though it’s a bit more complicated. Since dogs vary in size, making music with the appropriate “vocal range and heart rate” can be challenging. A song for a toy dog would differ from one for a large herding dog. However, Teie and Snowdon do admit that larger dogs like Labs may have vocal ranges similar to humans, which means that they may appreciate the Mozart you leave playing before you got to work.

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