As humans we know that soothing music can help to mellow us out, but a group of veterinarians conducted a study to test the same theory on kenneled sheltered dogs to see if different types of music could in fact reduce anxiety and improve behavior.

Originally published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, the Clinical Sciences Department at Colorado State University selected three types of music and studied how the effected 112 sheltered dogs, of varying ages and dispositions. The music included three (3) classical selections, three (3) heavy metal selection, and one (1) anti-anxiety compilation.

After exposing the test group to the different music types, it was determined that the genre of music did effect the shelters dog’s behavior, and that classical music showed to reduce anxiety levels and improve the dog’s overall welfare. They also drew the conclusion that if shelter dogs were less stressed, due to their environment, they could be more likely to be adopted.

These conclusions were drawn because during the classical music selections, the participating dogs were silent and slept more than the heavy metal selections.

If you’d like to choose a playlist to help reduce anxiety in your dog, follow these three easy tips:

Don’t assume your dog likes the same music you do.

Many pet owners, especially those dealing with separation anxiety with their pet, will leave their favorite playlists running when they leave the house. Understand that your dog hears music differently than you do, and typical top-40 “human music” is extremely grating to their ears. Look for “species-specific” music to find some tunes that will appeal to your canine companion.

Check out Through a Dog’s Ear

Building on the research of Dr. Alfred Tomatis’ psycho-acoustic research that asserts music can be used as a nutrient for the nervous system and created an arrangement that triggers the relaxation sensors in your pet. This will help them chill out and get some shut eye.

A Howling Dog is (Sometimes) a Happy Dog

If your dog seems to respond to the music by howling along, let it roll. IT has been proven that dogs do understand musicality such as pitch and tone, and could actually be singing along to the music.

Next time your dog is anxious, try one of these anti-anxiety songs, and see how he or she reacts, we’d love to hear about your experience!