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Calming Music For Anxious Dogs

A pug lays on the floor, looking balefully at the camera.
Matthew Henry

Does your pet have separation anxiety? Music can help.

Last summer, my dog started to develop pretty bad separation anxiety. If you spent a lot of time at home in the past year and a half, you know what that can be like: chewing on things, howling when we left the house... even for a dachshund, it was dramatic. So my partner and I promptly launched a series of routines for our dog’s alone time. We set up a comfortable pen for him to hang out in, gave him his favorite puzzle toy to chew, and in possibly the strangest intervention, made him a playlist to enjoy.

There are roughly a million pop science articles about playing classical music for your animals. I try not to put too much stock in pop science, but since one of my dog's biggest problems was freaking out when he heard neighbors on the street outside, I figured it could only help to give him some noise distraction.

So does it work to calm my dog? Does it calm ME down, triggering a sympathy response and making him realize it's okay to chill when I leave? Unfortunately, I can't say for sure. But if I'm being honest, it gives me solace to know that instead of destroying the furniture, he's quietly listening to The Lark Ascending at home whenever I run errands.

My calming classical playlist for my dog is below. Try it for your pet, or for yourself! I won't tell.

Jay Fondin is a WCRB alumni who hosted Boston Sunday Brunch