Taking your dog with you on holiday sounds like fun. You won’t have to feel guilty or worry about him being ‘alone’ at home with the pet sitter or at a kennel. Music is a great way to help keep your dog calm and, at the same time, get you in the holiday mood. Here are a few tips on how to compile the ultimate playlist.
Before the trip
Your dog might be just as excited as you are to go on the road trip, or he might be anxious if he’s not sure what to expect. It is not as if you can explain to him how long the trip will take, or answer the infamous question, “Are we there yet?” Whether your dog gets excited or anxious on a road trip, you’ll want to keep him calm for as long as possible.
The very first thing you need to do is to stay calm yourself. Dogs are very sensitive to our emotions and your pooch will struggle to calm down if you’re excited or anxious. Try to be your normal self as much as you can and keep your tone of voice constant as well.
When you compile your playlist, try to stick to soothing and more classical music. If you don’t normally listen to this kind of music around the house, start playing the songs at home before the road trip. Your dog will get used to the music and it will create a familiar atmosphere in the car. You will also be able to see how he reacts to the music while you’re at home. If he gets excited, howls or hides, then you know you should try different songs.
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when you choose music for the road. Even though you know the songs, listen to them again, and listen in particular to the high and low notes, the beats per minute and any sudden harsh sounds in the music.
The higher the notes are, the higher the frequency. As dogs hear much better than we do, the high frequency of some notes may irritate their ears. And the volume of the music also plays an important part in calming your dog. What may be acceptable for us might be too loud for your dog. That’s why it is so important to know your dog and what volume he is comfortable with.
The tempo of the music is also important. If the music is too fast, your dog might get excited. Scientists believe that the ideal is to pair the tempo of the music to the tempo of your dog’s heartbeat. The heartbeat of puppies ranges between 120 and 160 beats per minute, small dogs’ hearts range between 100 and 140 beats per minute, and larger dogs’ around 60 to 120 beats per minute. The larger the dog, the slower his heart beats. Ask your vet to check your dog’s heart rate if you’re not sure.
Make the playlist as long as possible. Neither you nor your dog wants to listen to songs on repeat. So, take time out before the trip and compile the best list ever.