Many dog owners dream of taking their furry sidekick to work with them — a luxury often only afforded to those with pugs, working in trendy creative offices that are run by millennials.
Separation anxiety runs both ways and while the world works, our loyal and faithful four-legged friends are often left home alone, bored and lonely and eagerly awaiting for their two-legged friends to return.
After finding from a survey of 3000 UK pet-owners that 74% play music for their animals in the hope of keeping them company during their absence, Spotify has made a very smart move by creating a podcast and playlist for dogs.
Playlists are also available for cats, hamsters, birds and iguanas — but not rabbits much to the chagrin of one bunny owner called Brian who penned an open letter to the Swedish audio-streaming company in TechCrunch.
Spotify now allows pet-owners to create their pet a playlist in seconds by offering tracks selected by algorithms based on the animals’ characteristics (such as energetic or slow) and the humans’ taste.
The algorithm intends to create playlists that will allow both species to listen along together which experts say can be helpful for animals.
Neil Evans, a pet physiologist and professor at the University of Glasgow, told Independent: “While there is a lot of scientific research that has shown that short periods of music can make dogs more relaxed, we have shown that providing dogs with varied auditory enrichment can be used to reduce stress and anxiety over longer periods of time.
“When dogs have appropriate auditory enrichment they may bark less, lie down and sleep more, and their body’s are in a more relaxed physiological state.”
The new Spotify podcast exclusively for dogs is called “My Dog’s Favourite Podcast” and features soothing music, dog-directed praise, stories named such titles as “The Tail Begins” and “Pup Fiction,” and messages of affirmation and reassurance narrated by actors to reduce stress for these left home alone.
Interestingly, the survey that inspired Spotify to start catering to pets also found that 42% of owners say their pets have a favourite type of music and a quarter said they have even seen their pets dancing to music.
Dr Samantha Gaines, RSPCA dog welfare expert, said: “While nothing can ever replace the company and presence of a dog’s two-legged friend, research is increasingly showing the effect of music on dog behaviour.”
“The type of music a dog listens to is important and research has shown that some music can help dogs relax while other types may have a less beneficial effect so it’s really great Spotify have curated and produced music with dogs in mind.”