Pet Music Can Soothe the Savage Human

A number of music producers caught a ride on the wave of new and innovative pet products that emerged in the late 1990s when they created musical arrangements especially for our furry friends. Take Laurel Canyon Animal Company, for instance, a music company that produces “Music to Make Dogs Happy.” Humorous pet-related verses keep dog owners giggling, while squeaky toys and other sound effects stimulate their dogs.

Then, enter Pet Music, a company that recently reintroduced pet music specifically designed to calm pets and help with separation anxiety. No cutesy verses or stimulating sound effects here. Just soft, lulling instrumentals that promote relaxation.

When the results of a study at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, were released in 2002, it confirmed what these music producers have been claiming all along: Animal behavior is influenced by music. Heavy metal can get canines in a tizzy and classical compositions can quiet them. But what Dan Rappoport, president of Pet Music, probably didn’t count on was the affinity humans would have for the same pacifying music.

A modern alternative to classical music, Pet Music’s tranquil CDs seem to appeal just as much to the human senses, according to some of the consumer reviews on One CD buyer boldly admits, “Forget the pets, I love the soothing music.”

Amy Brodsky, owner of a pet sitting business called The Waldog Astoria in Warwick, NY, confides, “I have listened to it for years. It’s very relaxing, and we all need to relax.”
It shouldn’t be surprising that pet owners are usurping the use of their pets’ stress-reducing music, since humans, perhaps, suffer even greater stress than their animal companions. An American Psychological Association survey in 2004 indicated that 54 percent of Americans were concerned about the level of stress in their every day lives.

The number of pets experiencing stress is likely to come in a close second, since animals are known to be extremely perceptive of human emotions. Body language and voice tone speak volumes to a pet, so if Master is stressed, Fido and Fluffy probably are, too.
“I think pets cheer up their owners and do know when they are stressed,” says Brodsky. But in the process of turning to pets for stress relief, pet owners may not realize they are transferring tension to their animal companions.

Lorraine Zdeb, a professional pet sitter in Manville, NJ, who specializes in stress reduction for both people and their pets, speaks of a love energy connection between humans and their animals. “People do not realize just how powerful that is,” she says. “If the owner is not calm, the animal will not be.”

The vicious cycle of stress is easy to envision: Master comes home from a stressful day at work and passes stress on to his dog. The dog is stressed from being left home alone all day, so he chews up the couch in frustration and passes stress on to his master. Stress could be considered the most highly contagious psychological zoonosis known to human (and animal) kind. So it makes sense that humans and animals should seek the same treatment.

Rappoport concurs. “Pet Music is good for human stress, too; just don’t listen and drive at the same time,” he jokes.

The inter-species benefits of stress-relieving music obviously apply to dogs, cats and birds, but the benefits to humans were not a consideration when Rappoport first embarked on a quest to help distressed pets. “When our original series was released in 1999, my partner and I did it almost as a lark, being as we were refugees from the record business.”

If dogs could classify stress-reducing pet music, they might call it great music “to chew a bone by” or “to take a nap by.” Humans might discover the same CD provides perfect music “to crochet by” or “to do yoga by.” Would it be such a bad thing to abandon the TV in favor of listening to music “to read a good book by”?

Better yet, pet owners can share the experience with their pets by including peaceful pet music in their interactions. It is, after all, good music “to groom a pet by.” There’s nothing like a mellow melody during dog training sessions to encourage pets and their people to take things slow and be patient.

The calming effect of a Pet Music CD obviously has more applications than are immediately apparent. While Rappoport’s original intention was to create “a natural way to address pet stress and separation anxiety,” he has also succeeded in soothing the savage human.

Doggy, Doggy, Needs a New Home – Adopt Your Pet

Your family finally agrees it’s time to bring home a new friend. Your family pet of fifteen years is sorrowfully missed and you can’t imagine ever finding brown eyes like his again. Visiting the pet stores, reading the pets for sale ads, and talking to friends, you wonder; what’s the best way to add a new member to your family?

Pet adoption is an option pet lovers should definitely consider. Although it may not be for some, it’s a true gift. Not just for you to be able to find that special pet, but for little ‘Rover’ whose only crime was being too furry. Pets like Rover are looking for a family who will just love him as he is. Even if he’s not perfect, they want the love of someone willing enough to teach them what is best for the family. With love and gratitude, your little adopted friend will want to do all he can to make you happy.

Seeing the row of big brown eyes in a shelter is enough to break your heart. You would love to take them all, but your place can only hold one. Knowing that by helping just one little friend find love and comfort is a great place to start.

Pet adoption centers and shelters typically let you know which pets are good with kids or other pets and which ones wouldn’t be. They will give you a small history of what the pet has been through. Giving hope to a dog can be all he needs to be the greatest friend you’ll ever have!

Often you will see a display of mixed breeds and mutts, but they can be incredibly fun. They usually have their own look, and like many dogs, just want to be loved. Better yet, they just want to love you and make you happy. Whether you adopt a young pup from a shelter or whether you decide to give an older fellow a place to grow old is up to you, but the choice to love one of these dogs can be more rewarding than you can imagine.

Don’t count them out. A dog in a shelter isn’t there because he was bad so much as he just had a bad start or someone who did love them simply couldn’t care for him the way he needed. Give this friend a chance, it may be the greatest decision you’ll make for you and your family.