Music for anxious dogs, anyone?
Yep, music therapy for anxious dogs is actually a thing.
So if you’ve ever wondered how to help your anxious dog feel calmer and more relaxed, give music a try!
According to dog music and sound therapy solutions iCalmPet (formerly known as Through A Dog’s Ear), playing relaxing, soothing music during hectic and stressful times helps anxious dogs be calmer.
For example, during the busy holiday season, New Year’s Eve, July 4th, or when loud company is at your house.
My humble opinion as a professional dog walker & pet sitter: It sure works!
I’ve experienced the effect of relaxing music on dogs suffering from separation anxiety firsthand in many client homes.
The music is usually set on repeat while the dogs are home alone in between my visits.
That leaves them calm and relaxed when I get there to care for them.
Where To Find Relaxing Music For Anxious Dogs
So where do you find that wonderfully relaxing music for your anxious dog?
There’s a few different options:
- You can purchase the soothing music on iCalmPet’s website for around $30.
- You can also find soothing music for dogs on Apple’s iTunes, but you’ll need a subscription for that platform.
I personally added the album iCalmDog Calm Your Canine to my Apple Music Library. I subscribe to it on a monthly basis, so that’s an alternative to buying the entire album outright.
Free Calming Music for Dogs
However, I also did a little digging around online, and found free versions of hours of relaxing music for dogs on YouTube.
The channel is called Relax My Dog – Relaxing Music for Dogs.
I link to it below:
Bonus Tips: Combine Relaxing Music with Exercise & Essential Oils to Calm Your Anxious Dog
I suggest combining the musical experience with two other components for the ultimate relaxation experience: daily exercise and essential oils!
So what I would do is take my dogs for a 60 minute walk, jog, backpack hike or swim to drain them of their physical energy, and then play the soothing music once we’re back home.
Additionally, I found that diffusing certain essential oils really helps calm my pups too. My personal favorite is the Relaxation blend of essential oils that comes with an essential oil collection by Gurunanda.
It’s a mix of Lavender, Lavandin, Orange, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus and Basil.
I actually do this on a daily basis – we’ll go for a morning walk before I leave for my dog walking/pet sitting visits, and then play the relaxing music and diffuse the oils while I’m gone.
Most essential oil diffusers have a timer setting.
So let’s recap – it’s possible to calm an anxious dog with a combination of specific music, physical exercise and essential oils.
Instrumental music has a particularly relaxing effect on anxious dogs, especially piano music.
More hectic music like opera, rock or heavy metal is likely to have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for and might cause trembling and shaking.
The physical workout before playing relaxing music and diffusing essential oils can be anything that drains energy from your dog:
- Backpack walk/hike for higher energy dogs
- Bike riding
- Playing fetch or tug
Have you experienced the relaxing effects of calming music on your dog? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
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I turn on the radio for my dogs, but more to drown out noise outside the house. I think I will give relaxing music a try to see if my dogs are more relaxed when I get home. By the way, while searching for relaxing music did you happen to come across loud music like thunder/lightning, construction, loud outdoor sounds? I’m looking for something to play for the puppies to help desensitize them to those types of sounds. Thanks and happy holidays!
HA, I did! That was 5 years ago though during my socialization mission. I made a checklist of different people, things, and sounds I wanted to socialize the pups to. I found thunder and screaming kids online, but unfortunately I didn’t write down where I found those sounds. Bummer. I didn’t need construction sounds because we had major construction going on around the apartment complex we lived at the time, and also didn’t need the sound of planes because we lived 10 miles from Dulles airport 😉
Happy desensitizing and happy holidays to you and yours, Colby!
Awww…too bad you didn’t save links. Oh well, I’m sure I can find stuff on YouTube pretty quick. A couple days ago I did a few searches and found some thunder and lightning. My laptop doesn’t get too loud though so I think I need some external speakers.
Yeah..that was 3 years before my blogging journey began. Otherwise I would have saved them for sure. I’m pretty sure I didn’t find the links on YouTube though. External speakers are a good idea – or maybe you can find a show on the Discovery Channel or National Geographic that deals with storms etc.
We have always played music for our dogs since they were wee pups. Both of the dogs’ breeders taught us this tip, although I have to admit that we usually just play the local rock station. 🙂 If you hang around professional dog trainers at hunt tests, they always have music playing for the dogs on the trailer. Again, usually rock. lol
That’s awesome, music is such a powerful tool 🙂 So rock keeps your pups & the hunting dogs calm then?
It makes sense that the right music could relax a nervous dog. At the boarding kennel I used to work at, we played soft, classical music in the cat area. I don’t know if it actually relaxed the kitties or not. I also had a CD of Through A Dog’s Ear for one of my foster dogs. Unfortunately if it helped her at all with her separation anxiety I was not able to notice the difference. Poor girl. Great post, I shared it in That Mutt’s email today.
Thanks so much for sharing it in your newsletter, Lindsay! Very interesting to hear that the kennel you worked at played classical music. So far, I have no personal experience with relaxing music on foster dogs. I wonder if it takes a lot more time for music to kick in with dogs who’ve had a difficult past as opposed to those with an overall good life?
This is something I definitely need to try with Luke! If I could play music especially when we’re having workers at the house, it would be great if it helped him to relax some. Hopefully it would help the girls as well, even though they don’t get as nervous as he does.
I think it’s worth a shot! Let me know if it works!
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been looking for good dog music, as I heard about it, but I couldn’t find it. I will try these for Max next time we have company (he gets very nervous around new people)
I’m glad you found it, too 🙂 Much success & calmness to you and Max!
These are great music links. Thank you so much Barbara. I also use calming essential oils in a diffuser that seems to help.
Thank you, Sylvie, and my pleasure! I’m glad that you find the music links helpful – I play their music for my pups almost every day, and it really does have a relaxing effect on them! I haven’t tried the essential oil diffuser idea yet, but it’s on my mental to-do list!