Elvis sang about hound dogs and the Baha Men asked “Who Let the Dogs Out,” not that your dog cares; according to researchers, Fido would rather listen to pet music than humans singing about dogs or any other subject matter. Cats care even less. What is music to our ears is screeching and wailing to theirs. At best most pets are uninterested in human music, and at worse your pet may become distressed with your love of gangster rap. But while your dog, cat, or pet goldfish may never appreciate your favorite CD they might tune in if you play specialized pet music with tones and tempos made to suit their species.
According to Discovery News, Animal Psychologist Charles Snowdon has studied animal reactions to music and created songs based on a species’ frequency range and heart rate. On a music recording for animals, a lower frequency would lead to a lower pitch and tone, while reduced heart rates mean slower tempos. A cat’s vocal range and heart rate is higher than a human, making for pet music that sounds awful to us but like classical music to them. On the Music For Cats website, Snowden has teamed up with Music Composer David Teie to compile a series of “authentic music for cats.”
On the other hand, man’s best friend has proven harder to please with dedicated pet music. Discovery News notes that differences in dog breeds mean differences in frequency and heart beats per minute. This means that the vocal range and resting heart rate of a Chihuahua is different from that of a Bull Mastiff, and one size may not fit all when it comes to dog tunes. However, there are some songs for dogs available and if your dog doesn’t like your first selection, try to get a little more breed specific with the second one. Larger dogs, like Labradors, may even prefer human music, so don’t rule out your music collection for them yet.
And what about pet owners looking for the perfect little fish melody for your goldfish? Pet music for fish has yet to be researched, but fish heart rates vary widely and they communicate with both audible sounds and body movements. Since we tend to think of fish as relaxed quiet animals, classical music might be the answer for those looking for the best goldfish songs. Or perhaps the low, steady beats of reggae music would enhance their quality of life?