We rescued our sweet little Rex about 3 years ago and it’s a wonder he hasn’t chewed off all his feet and shredded his ears by now. We’ve been to a number of veterinarian specialists, changed his food and treats numerous times, put him on allergy supplements, used special salves and soaks for his paws, and nothing – absolutely nothing keeps him from chewing his feet and scratching his ears. Until this week…
Calming Music for Dogs
You’ll never guess (well, maybe you will if you read the title of this blog) …This week we started playing soothing music in the background and it has settled our “Nervous Nellie” right down. No lie! Just a couple of minutes after we put the music on, he lays down – nearly right in front of the speakers – and relaxes. No frenzied chewing of his feet, and no scratching of the ears. When the music stops, Rex gets up, stretches and shakes, and within minutes he’s back to his old habits.
We seriously can’t keep music in the background for him all day, but fortunately, Rex is able to be with us as we work, so for a good 8 or more hours, he enjoys soothing music. And I do mean soothing. Whereas rock or country causes him to be even more hyper, soft new age or classical music does the trick. We’ve actually seen the difference… One of the artists we were listening to has a more upbeat song in their playlist, and when it cycled through, Rex stood up and started looking around for something to chew. Amazing, isn’t it?
Music That Calms Dogs
Behaviorist professionals have always praised the use of music to calm our animals. They even make CD’s with proven comforting melodies for dogs and cats. Supposedly, dogs do not process audio like we do. They hear at a different frequency. What we find uplifting, they may find agitating. Also, the fewer the instruments and contour (the ups and downs of the melody), the more calming it is for them.
Holiday Barn owner, Michael, has encouraged the playing of soft music in our dog grooming department. Grooming can be a very stressful time for a dog. The loud sound of the blow-dryers and other equipment can be unsettling… especially for a first-timer. Soft music helps our guests relax.
Likewise, the right music has been known to help pets relax in noisy, crowded animal shelter environments. Shelter animals may be suffering the most confusing and distressing time of their life. Kudos to the establishments who care enough for these pets to attempt to calm their fears with soothing music.
Allergies? Dry Skin? Or just Nervous?
There are so many reasons why a dog may chew at his feet or scratch incessantly. Generally, it’s medical or nutritional, so it’s possible that music will not be the answer to your problem. It works for Rex, though, so I just had to share this breakthrough with you. Even if your pet isn’t a “Nervous Nellie”, he may appreciate the pleasant ebb and flow of beautiful music. You may too!
Read more about the impact music can have for your dog here.