Through a Dog’s Ear is a series of compilations of music therapy for pets. Classical piano music, with a slowed tempo, has a calming effect for many dogs. It can be useful for anxiety, hyperactivity, or simply if you need your dog to be chill. Shelters commonly use the music to lull group sleep at end of day. Though it may not be effective on every dog, I’ve yet to try it on a dog and not see a calming reaction. Most dogs are snoozing within 10 minutes. Limited bioacoustic studies have been conducted and results are listed on the site: http://throughadogsear.com/research/
The iCalm is essentially an MP3 player with external speakers. Micro SD cards can be purchased with various recordings to insert into the player. I’d been using Through a Dog’s Ear CD’s for years, but purchased the player when Jay and his extreme anxiety came into our life. I love the product because:
- it’s portable and small, unlike a CD player, so I can use it in any room of the house, at the vet’s office or groomer’s, when traveling, during conditioning sessions at outdoor locations, in his kennel at daycare, etc . . .;
- unlike many personal MP3 players, it’s designed to be heard aloud (no ear buds required), and has a long battery life. A 9-hour recording is available for separation anxiety – for dogs left home alone while pet parents are at work. The recording minimizes repetition of songs and provides silence breaks. This is a key difference between using the iCalm and simply leaving a radio or TV on during the day;
- A sound card is available for counter-conditioning specific phobias – thunderstorms, fireworks, etc.
The iCalm is one of the best investments I’ve made to ease anxiety and it’s oh-so-handy when multiple dogs are in the house and a bit of serenity is needed.