What is the best music to help dogs sleep?
Some dogs like to fall asleep to the sound of music every night. Others need a little help drifting off only when there’s a scary thunderstorm outside. But which type of tunes is best in terms of getting dogs to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep? Here’s what we know about the best kind of music to help dogs sleep.
Classical or Heavy Metal?
Research into this question provides some answers. A 2012 study conducted Dr. Lori Kogan of the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine studied the effects of different types of music – specifically, classical music, heavy metal, and “psychoacoustically designed” music composed specifically for dogs – on 117 shelter dogs. Music was played for 45 minutes at a time followed by a period of silence to record the dogs’ behavior. The study lasted four months.
The results: Classical music won out. It not only beat out the other genres, but it had more positive effects on the dogs than no music at all. The dogs were more likely to sleep and less likely to bark when classical music was playing. Heavy metal had the opposite effect and seemed to induce stress in the dogs. They showed more nervous shaking when exposed to heavy metal.
(For reference: Classical music selections played were Fur Elise and the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, the Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss, and Air on a G String by Bach. Heavy metal selections played were Ace of Spades by Motorhead, Angel of Death by Slayer, and Turbo lover by Judas Priest.)
Or Reggae and Soft Rock?
Dr. Kogan is not the only person to study this topic. Professor Neil Evans headed up a study published by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow that also looked at the effects of different genres of music on dogs. The genres played were soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae, and classical.
The researchers measured the dogs’ heart rates as an indication of stress levels. Heart rates – and presumably stress levels – decreased when the dogs were exposed to music of any genre, with the most marked effects seen with soft rock or reggae. The dogs also spent significantly more time lying down and less time standing when music was played.
Try Out Different Music on Your Dog
While these studies are an interesting starting point, they don’t give us a definitive answer about which type of music is the best to help dogs fall asleep. They also looked at which music was the most relaxing for dogs, not specifically which kind helped them fall asleep. But it makes sense that a dog who’s more relaxed and less stressed will fall asleep more easily.
Try out different genres with your dog and see what works the best. Start with selections of slow classical music, reggae, and soft rock, and go from there. Look to see if your dog sits or lies down, if their breathing slows down, and if their pulse slows. These are all signs of increased relaxation.
Whatever kind of music you play for your dog, make sure they have a cozy spot to sleep on, like a premium hand sewn dog bed from Snoozer, when they do finally drift off to sleep!
Maple's a little older, but with age comes wisdom, and Maple is always ready with great life advice! He's seen a lot in his lifetime, and he's happy to be spending his golden years sharing that experience with others.