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Thursday, March 9, 2023

This Spotify Playlist Is Scientifically Proven To Help Anxious Dogs


Dog Behaviorist and Nutritionist, Anna Webb, with the help of Czech car brand Škoda has come up with a playlist of songs scientifically proven to ease car travel anxiety in dogs. Entitled Happy Hounds, it’s available on Spotify.

The playlist was created after research from Škoda revealed 6 out of 10 dogs become anxious in cars. It also emerged that 75 percent of dog owning drivers have been distracted on streets, lanes, and motorways by the behavior of their anxious dog.

Dogs can become anxious in cars for many reasons including the space being unfamiliar, hearing unusual sounds from the road and weather, the temperature being too warm in the car, previous bad experiences, and motion sickness.

Anna Webb, a leading UK Dog Behaviorist and Nutritionist for over 20 years, also revealed her top mindfulness tips to guide listeners on how to help their canines enjoy car journeys. These are available to download on Spotify by searching Top Tips for Happy Hounds with Anna Webb and Škoda.

Webb’s tips include ensuring your dog is comfortable in their harness before entering the car, starting with the music volume low at first, and keeping the car under 20 degrees Celsius.

Pop icon Harry Styles can give himself a round of a-paws after his smash hit Watermelon Sugar made it onto the specially curated Spotify playlist, due to his velvety vocals. Styles is in good company, as his hit track is joined by songs from both SZA and Rihanna, amongst other music icons. Bob Marley and the Wailers and Adele also feature on the playlist.

Anna Webb advises that the beats per minute of a song is key to keeping dogs calm on long journeys. She comments: “Emulating the heartbeat is thought by science to offer a calming effect. Small dogs and puppies normally have heart rates of 120 to 160 beats per minute. These songs work as they are not heavy metal or similar genres which is known to disturb sleep patterns in dogs.”

“I included some reggae songs on the upper end of the BPM as it’s proven dogs like reggae, so these will work well for smaller dogs as their heartbeat is faster than bigger dogs.”

Anna Webb also added: “We based the playlist on a deep understanding of the relationship between beats per minute and high and low frequencies. The larger the dog, the slower the normal heart rate. This means it is a slow tempo, which science has proven is calming to dogs. So slower tempo songs work for bigger dogs.

“This is important for dogs as their hearing is more attuned to hearing the vibrations in high and low frequencies than us. Their responses to music genres will be different to how humans respond to music, as they have increased sensitivity to the high and low frequencies we cannot hear.

“It’s worth acclimatizing your dog to the playlist before you get into the car, so the dog makes positive associations with these songs before moving them into the car. These songs therefore will offer a ‘memory’ that all is okay in situations like weather conditions making the car suddenly a bit scarier, or suddenly sensing the movement of a larger vehicle overtaking you.”

While the problem affects most dogs, it seems a large percentage of people (24 percent) have no idea how to ease their dog’s discomfort. Overall, six out of 10 owners said they had tried but failed to solve the issue.

Listen or download the Happy Hounds playlist here, or listen to Anna Webb’s Top Tips for Happy Hounds podcast here.

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