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Calming Music For Anxious Dogs

A pug lays on the floor, looking balefully at the camera.
Matthew Henry
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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 hosts Boston Sunday Brunch