JoAnna Lou
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Calming Music for Rescue
Through a Dog’s Ear offers free music and a chance to help shelters
Donna Pierce's foster dog, Ben, listens to the Through a Dog's Ear CD while undergoing heartworm treatment.

It probably comes as no surprise that classical music has a calming effect on animals, as well as humans. Many animal shelters and boarding facilities play soothing music to create a less stressful environment for pets.

A few years ago, concert pianist and Julliard graduate, Lisa Spector, and sound researcher, Joshua Leeds, teamed up to figure out what exactly about classical music had a soothing effect on animals. They discovered that certain rhythms and musical patterns were more effective in calming dogs.  

Based on their research, the duo founded Through a Dog’s Ear and recorded a series of Calm Your Canine CDs. Today their music plays in over 125 shelters internationally. 

If, like me, you’ve been curious to hear Through a Dog’s Ear’s music, this week the company is making seven of their songs available to download for free. A new song will be featured each day. When I played today’s download, Cello Sonata in D, my crew was already napping, but I must say the music is pleasing and calming for humans too!

Additionally, Through a Dog’s Ear is running a word game throughout the week to help out animal rescue. The company regularly gives CDs to worthy organizations, but this week you can have a say in who receives their next donation. The first 10 winners of the word game will decide which rescue group will receive a set of Calm Your Canine CDs. 

Visit the Through a Dog’s Ear website to try out the music for yourself and play a fun word game to help out a good cause.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Donna Pierce/Facebook.

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Submitted by petsadviser | December 8 2010 |

Some pups do need a little more comforting than others, and this type of gentle music could help. Don't play your usual alt rock, though, if you want to calm your dog... the bass can actually agitate canines. Sounds like this collection is specially designed for doggie ears.

Submitted by Carolyn | December 8 2010 |

I enjoy classical music -- good to know my dog does too! Actually, it's not really a surprise; she always seems happy with classical music on. I was impressed with the science that has gone into determining which pieces of much are most effective. And I'm enjoyed the downloads and playing the word game.

Submitted by Frances | December 9 2010 |

I'm playing the New World Symphony theme - and have both dogs and one of the cats heaped on my lap - seems to be working!

Submitted by FunnyFidos | December 12 2010 |

Almost every time I play classical music my dog will curl up on the couch with me and fall a sleep. It totally mellows her out.

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