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Do Dogs Like Music When They Are Alone? 5 Benefits

Do Dogs Like Music When They Are Alone

Dogs are highly sociable creatures. 

That’s why it’s strange seeing them be quiet and alone.  

When this happens, you might think of playing music to help Fido. 

However, do dogs actually want music during their alone time?

Continue reading to discover…

  • Credible vets’ opinions on playing music for Fido. 
  • What it means when our pooch wants some space.
  • 5 holistic benefits of dog music on Fido’s quiet times. 
  • And many more… 

Do dogs like music when they are alone?

Dogs like hearing soothing music when they’re alone. 

Playing music in the background when they’re by themself helps them feel less isolated.  

Soothing music gives a tranquil feeling because of the following elements:

  • Repetition. 
  • Slow attacks. 
  • Ambient noise. 
  • Steady tempos. 
  • Constant harmony. 

These factors change one’s mood, according to E. Thayer Gaston’s study on music. 

No wonder, Fido finds it relaxing to listen to soothing music such as the classical genre.

Especially because the mentioned elements are usually present in it.  

Why do dogs want to be alone?

When our dogs want some time alone, don’t take it personally. 

They aren’t snubbing you. Dogs tend to isolate themselves when they begin to feel:

  • Anxious.
  • Depressed.
  • Other health-related issues (like heart diseases).
  • Emotional pain (such as fear, boredom, or helplessness).
  • Physical discomfort (like bone disease, infections, or arthritis). 

Another common reason why dogs want to distance themselves from us is their age.

Especially if they learned socialization at a later age.

However, another reason could be experiencing unfitting types of socializing. It involves:

  • Inconsistent dog training classes. 
  • Forcing your dog to socialize with other canines. 
  • Bringing them to dog parks when they’re not ready.
  • Overwhelming your pooch with socialization activities. 

A study suggests that early-age socialization is vital in shaping dog behavior. 

However, researchers revealed that poorly socialized puppies don’t automatically become problematic adult dogs. 

You can still train them or help them socialize as they grow up. 

So if old dogs tend to move away from you, they may be feeling those various emotions I have mentioned. 

You might be interested in: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Wants To Be Alone (What It Means)

Does music help dogs with separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety in dogs happens when they get separated from their fur guardians. 

Not only that, but even to people they’re used to having around, like family members. 

Some furbabies become hyper or anxious when they see us about to go. Others tend to feel depressed when we leave them. 

There are some instances when we have to run errands or attend to urgent matters. These situations may push us to be away for a couple of hours.  

When that happens, Fido may let loose and do what he pleases at home. 

In fact, one of the major complaints of some fur parents is their dog’s disruptive behavior. While they’re home alone, they could be:

These unwanted behaviors show separation anxiety according to ASPCA

Read also: 13 Odd Reasons Why Your Dog Howls When You Leave + 7 Tips

However, our pooch may suffer separation anxiety even if we don’t leave them. Other factors may include:

  • Changes in their regular routine. 
  • A traumatic experience in a vet or kennel boarding facility.
  • Meeting a new family member or changing the family’s structure.
  • Experiencing a loss of a family member or other fur babies at home. 

Remember that anxiety may lead to a boost in Fido’s stress hormones. Furthermore, it can increase their heart rate and respiratory functions. 

How long can my dog safely stay home alone?

Every dog is different. Thus, their needs and behaviors vary as well. 

Guernsey’s state veterinary officer David Chamberlain had a simple answer:

Dog’s ageMaximum period Fido should be left alone
5-month-old puppies.Should not be left alone for long periods during the day.
5- to 18-month-old adolescent dogs.Increasingly build up to 4 hours during the day.
for 18-month-old mature dogs.Up to 4 hours during the day.

Note:  A dog’s breed impacts their personality such as sociability, fearfulness, and aggressiveness. Knowing this will help you understand how to socialize or train Fido. 

If you want to know what some dogs typically do when they’re left alone…

Check out this cool 360° shot:

Read next: 15 “Home Alone” Dog Breeds With Low Separation Anxiety

Can music soothe an anxious pooch?

Researchers confirmed music influences behavioral and/or physical changes in dogs. It improved the well-being of dogs too.

Thus, it can be a good solution for a dog’s separation anxiety. 

One of the genres you can play in the background while they’re alone is classical music. 

It calms and eases our anxious canine friends. Plus, it enables them to lie down and settle quickly while they’re alone. 

If that’s the case, it’s a useful therapeutic tool to maximize when you decide to leave woofers on their own.

Not to mention…

While classical music plays, there’s a significant decrease in dogs’ stress levels. Scientists used the following to determine Fido’s stress conditions:

  • Behavior. 
  • Heart rates. 
  • Saliva samples.

Other than classical arrangements, Fido loves reggae and soft rock. These music genres have a positive impact on our canine friends too. 

However, aside from leaving them with their canine playlist on… 

WebMD suggested that one way to treat separation anxiety is to consult the vet. It’ll help us understand why Fido’s feeling like such, and rule out any medical issues. 

Another thing they recommended is to ensure we provide our pooch with the right amount of exercise every day. 

Since tired dogs from training or playing games are less stressed. So, ensure to expose them to many brain games. 

Further reading: 19 Proven Ways To Calm Your Anxious Dog (How-To Guide)

5 benefits of music when dogs are alone

#1: Reduces loneliness

Like us, dogs have various emotions. Loneliness is one of them. It can cause:

Playing Fido’s favorite playlist will help them feel at ease and relax while you’re not around.  

A study proved listening to music is effective to reduce stress. 

Furthermore, Dr. Ann Hohenhaus confirmed our four-legged furiends enjoy the same benefits from music.

She said music is therapeutic for dogs. Thus, it’s a suitable coping tool to improve dogs’ conditions, especially those living in shelters.

#2: Increases social interactions

Music is a safe and inexpensive intervention to improve our canine’s social dilemma. 

According to a study, dogs interact with other canines or humans using their: 

  • Scent. 
  • Posture.
  • Hackles.
  • Vocalizations. 
  • Facial expressions. 
  • Tail and ear positions. 

So how is music related to the social bond with Fido?

Researcher Nathan Oesch’s study pointed out that music and language have similarities. Both have:

  • Structure.
  • Social situations. 
  • Acoustics (the process of how sounds progress).

He said verbal and non-verbal signals in music regulate and promote social bonding. Dogs respond effectively to calm sounds that affect their behavior.

Plus, when dogs are stress-free their brains release “feel-good hormones.”

  • Oxytocin. 
  • Serotonin. 
  • Dopamine. 
  • Endorphin. 

If that’s the case, dogs can produce endorphins from listening to music. Resulting in a boost to social connections. 

Thus, if we leave Fido a good playlist it’ll help increase these positive hormones. Leading to a more relaxed and social doggo.  

#3: Heightened empathy

You may argue canines have the mental capacity of a 2-year-old child and it’s too early for them to develop empathy. 

But guess what, dogs can match our emotional behavior. This is one of the findings of Animal Cognition’s study.

Fido can experience emotional contagion or a phenomenon where someone catches another’s emotions.

Meaning, if thunderstorms scare you, your dogs may interpret it as something fearful. And that they should be afraid of it also. Same with listening to music. 

If your pooch catches you loving every beat of Bon Jovi…

They might associate the same feeling each time they hear it. 

Thus, playing music when dogs are alone can help them feel better and more empathetic. 

Fun fact: Our fur babies get empathetic towards strangers who pretend to cry. This is confirmed by Goldsmiths University of London Psychology lecturer Deborah Custance. This reveals our pooch isn’t only concerned with us, but with what others feel as well. 

#4: Modifies mood and emotion

Listening to music makes mixed emotional reactions when the brain processes sound beats.

Loud sounds can trigger anxiety and fear. While soft music is relaxing and soothing to our dogs. 

Thus, music is therapeutic to them. 

A study even presented the power of familiarity on a dog’s brain. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns found out dogs know how to associate things with humans.

For example…

If listening to classical pieces is a daily routine, dogs won’t feel alone if you play Mozart when you leave. 

This is why it matters that you play music even when you’re around. So our pooch won’t associate music time with parting time.

#5: Stimulates mental health

Many scientific pieces of research proved that music works for dogs well being. 

Some of the benefits include quality sleep and less anxiety. Music can mask sounds that make Fido anxious or scared. 

If we leave them alone, we don’t know what type of noises they’ll be exposed to. 

Since they have sensitive hearing, dogs can intensively hear loud sounds such as:

  • Fireworks.
  • Thunderstorms. 
  • Household appliances. 
  • Barking of neighborhood dogs.

Playing background music to cover these anxiety-causing noises can help calm Fido. 

However, it’s still best to know the triggers of our fur babies’ mental health issues by consulting trusted vets.

What do the vets think about music for dogs?

Music has been one of the most effective tools in the clinical industry to decrease anxiety. 

Not just in humans, but even for our four-legged companions. 

A study revealed that in highly stressed environments, music can relax patients. 

This is one of the reasons why some vets adapted to playing classical music in their clinics. 

Because of this, hospitalized dogs showed calmer behavior while being treated. 

Read also: 11 Types Of Anxiety In Dogs + Tips To Manage It

What kind of music should I leave on for my dog?

It’s best to play music that falls into the following genres:

  • Reggae.
  • Classical. 
  • Slow rock.

These sounds have been confirmed as helpful to make Fido calm and relaxed. 

You may prepare a playlist before you part ways with them. AKC also shared a long list of dog music.

Some of these include:

  • Sublime’s “I Love My Dog.” 
  • Dolly Parton’s “Cracker Jack.” 
  • The Beatles’ “Martha My Dear.”
  • Pink Floyd’s “Seamus The Dog.” 
  • Harry Nilssom’s “The Puppy Song.”

Also, ensure to set the right volume of music to avoid overwhelming your dogs.

Keep the volume lower than 85 decibels. This is equal to the noise of a power lawn mower or a hair dryer.

Sound researcher Joshua Leeds confirmed Fido may suffer hearing loss if they’re constantly exposed to sounds above this decibel level.

Vets also confirmed that dogs can experience hearing loss. Thus, be mindful not to exceed the recommended volume.  

There are protective earphones you can buy for your canine friends, such as: