How music can help calm pets this bonfire weekend
Paws for thought
As we all know, a dog (or any pet for that matter) is for life – and not just for summer! So, it’s time to get used to muddy paws, chilly walks and wrapping up warm all over again.
It’s also time to get used to darker evenings and keeping your pets cosy and safe – including of course, during bonfire night and other seasonal events that are taking place over the coming months ahead.
As a nation of animal lovers, many of us often feel concern during this time, not just because of the noise or the disturbance that fireworks can cause, but also because of the way they make pets feel.
According to our research, 64.8% of people said that fireworks make their pets feel anxious and stressed, a figure that was higher than going to the vets or being left alone. Many also said that fireworks affected their pets more than changes to their routine or other animals.*
With firework events expected for much of this weekend, many of us have probably already started to think about ways we can help to reduce our pet’s stress and keep them calm – including playing music to them.
Frequent listeners of the radio may be aware that some stations, such as Classic FM, are playing music this weekend that is specifically designed to calm and settle anxious pets.
The station, who have partnered with the RSPCA are planning to play the most soothing and comforting classical music during their evening shows this Friday and Saturday, due to the positive impact that music is thought to have.**
Playing music to our pets over the next few days, particularly soft, calming songs, could not only help to reassure them and make them feel more relaxed, but it can also help to reduce awareness of outside disturbances.
As resident behaviourist at tails.com, Carolyn Menteith explains “a high proportion of [animals] suffer from noise phobia around firework season – and for many it is a time of real misery”. Music however can be really helpful over the firework season as it can mask distant firework sounds and lessen their impact”. It can give pets and owners “something to listen to rather than just sitting and waiting for the next bang.” ***
Since pets often sense how their owners are feeling, playing music can be just as important for owners this weekend as much as it is for our four-legged friends. After all, the calmer we are the calmer our pets are more likely to be.
This means that owners don’t necessarily have to feel confined to just one genre or style and might want to consider playing a range of music, including some songs that make them feel particularly happy and relaxed.
According to our recent survey, while 44.1% of people said they played classical music, over 30% of people said they actually play pop to help their pets relax, while a small percentage also choose reggae and jazz.*
Providing it is of a reasonably calming nature, owners may want to consider playing a mixture of music, especially if they alter what is played according to the time of day or level of disruption outside.
This may mean playing something uplifting during the daytime, for example, to help them to lift the mood and make owners feel good, before then switching to some softer, more melodic sounds during the evening.
Whatever it is, playing music that is relaxing and enjoyable for ourselves, as well as our pets, could help to create a more positive and calming environment, helping to destress both ourselves and our pets in return.
So, whether its tuning into the radio or playing some of our favourite songs, remember to ‘paws for thought’ this weekend and consider how music could help bring some calm to pets (and ourselves) over the coming nights ahead.
- Survey of 400 dog owners conducted on 13/06/2022 via Attest by PPL PRS
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