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Woof Wednesday: Happy “Musical” Howl-idays

Music helps calm fussy howl-iday pups.

I love music. Couldn’t get away from music during my growing-up years, since my Dad was a music teacher. Piano lessons started in second grade, cello lessons in fifth grade, and I found my “major” instrument (voice) in high school. Yep, I was a music major in college–sang opera, among other things.

And then I ended up with a career writing about cats and dogs. Funny how that happens. But to bring it back to the Woof Wednesday theme, our animal companions also have a relationship to music. I’m preparing for the Christmas Eve church services (we have two), and will sing a solo at the 7 pm and accompany the congregation on piano for the 11 pm events. So I’ve been practicing.

My dog Magic howls along if I happen to sing above a certain range. Everyone’s a critic–I guess it’s good that I chose writing as my work. Dogs (and coyotes) answer sirens with howls, and probably think human singers are simply inept at howling. Ahem.

On a more practical note (pun intended), music can be a therapeutic tool in your dog’s home health care kit. Pleasant music can mask scary noises like thunder or New Year’s fireworks, or upsetting sounds like barking neighbor or raccoon scrabbling in the back yard. But more than that, the cadence of certain sounds influences the body’s natural rhythms and can speed them up and energize the listener, or slow them down to calm him.

So, does your dog appreciate music? what kind gets his woofer working and tail wagging? If you have a dog stressed out by the coming “howl-idays”don’t neglect the benefits of calming music. Here’s an article with more details about how you can make music work for your dogs (hint: it helps cats, too!). 

Have a wonderful Christmas! Don’t forget to visit the blog for Feline Friday and more furry tips for life with your special pets. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some practicing to do . . .

amy *humming*

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About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant, award winning author, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

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