Leaving the radio on for your dog when you’re not home probably has no effect
Researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast have found that playing the radio for your furry friends has no effect on them
DOGS are very sensitive to change. After weeks of being surrounded by people, these fur children often get the blues when their humans go back to work or school. This phenomenon has a name: separation anxiety.
This condition translates into signs of distress when the dog is separated from their human or from people to whom they are very attached. Some signs include incessant barking, loss of appetite, aggressive behavior, and even self-harm. These behavioral problems disappear as the dog overcomes their fear of being alone in the house.
Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland have found that classical music can help. They conducted the experiment with 60 dogs; after separating the dogs from their humans for a short period of time, they then observed their behavior under acute stress.
The researchers had them listen to Mozart’s ‘Sonata for Two Pianos’ or an audiobook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to determine which soundscape calmed them more. A control group of dogs, who stayed in silence, was also included in the study.
Does classical music help combat stress?
The researchers noted that none of the soundscapes they tested reduced the stress felt by the animals when their human left. However, they did have an impact on how quickly they calmed down afterwards. Dogs exposed to Mozart’s ‘Sonata for Two Pianos’ settled down and went to sleep much faster than those exposed to the Harry Potter audio book. The researchers explain that one reason was that the canines spent more time looking at the speaker in the second case.
The results contradict the idea that leaving the radio on all day is a good idea to soothe your dog when you are away. “Many dog owners leave the radio on while they’re at work or when they are separated from their dog for a while. However, the findings show that this type of audio has little value in situations where animals are likely to be experiencing acute stress – for example, separated from their owners for a few hours,” noted Dr Deborah Wells, a member of the School of Psychology at Queen’s University and co-author of the study.
While it is often said that music helps soothe, it is less effective than silence in dogs suffering from anxiety. The study indicates that Mozart’s ‘Sonata for Two Pianos’ has little effect on the well-being of dogs separated from their owners. Proof that, as the saying goes, silence is golden.
source – ETX