• One in four dogs suffer from separation anxiety
• The vacuum cleaner and doorbell are among top noises that stress our pets
• Classical music is one of the most popular ways to soothe our canine companions

Leaving our dogs on their own, using the vacuum cleaner and the doorbell ringing have been revealed as the top three things that agitate our canine companions in the home. And it’s not just our dogs that are suffering. According to the new research by EUKANUBA, British pet owners feel worried and unhappy when they know their dog is stressed.

Top 5 things that make our dogs feel stressed
• Leaving them on their own
• Using a vacuum cleaner
• The doorbell ringing
• Going to the vets
• Having a bath

When it comes to soothing our pets, almost half of us are guilty of reaching for the treat jar, while one quarter will switch on the radio claiming that classical music helps to relax, calm and make their dog feel happier. With a shocking 49% of dogs in the UK now considered overweight or obese by vets, the latter is a healthier option, but does it really work?

Kellie Ceccarelli, EUKANUBA’s Veterinary Expert comments, “In the wild dogs live in packs and when domesticated we become their pack, so it makes sense that being left alone can cause canine separation anxiety. Additional causes for concern include a change in routine, the introduction of new and unfamiliar objects or particularly loud sounds, such as the vacuum cleaner. In fact, in today’s modern world, combined with our busy lifestyles, many things can contribute to the anxiety our dogs can feel.“The good news is stress levels in dogs have been shown to decrease significantly after listening to music, and in particular when listening to classical music, helping to reduce heart rates as well as creating an increased feeling of calm.”

To explore the impact that music can have on our dogs’ wellbeing, EUKANUBA teamed up with composer, Iain Jackson, to create a five-minute neo-romantic piece of classical music titled ‘A Dog’s Tale’. During the initial observation, in which the pulse rates of a group of dogs were taken at rest before the music was played, and again afterwards, there was an average decrease of 22%, proving that classical music does in fact have a relaxing effect.

Composer Iain Jackson said: “I wanted to create something that would have a calming effect and help to relax dogs. In humans, fairly slow music tempos of approximately 60 beats per minute, similar to the heart beat, have been shown to elicit relaxing effects and decrease anxiety, as well as heart rate and respiration rate. Depending on the breed size, a dog’s heart rate is between 60 and 160 beats per minute. So, we developed a piece that settles into 60-80 beats per minute to induce the same relaxing effect proven in humans.”

Signs that your dog may be feeling stressed

If your dog is acting out of character or exhibiting any of the following he may be experiencing stress
• Blinking or squinting
• Avoiding eye contact
• Staring
• Ears down
• Yawning
• Lip-licking
• Drooling
• Coughing or sneezing
• Barking or growlingListen to and download ‘A Dog’s Tale’ from here.

This is a guest essay by Kellie Ceccarelli. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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