Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Soothe Your Doggie's Nerves with Harp Music

Guest blogger David Drasnin's little rascal Shih Tzu, Roxane
We've all heard the saying that music can "soothe the savage beast", but there are very real findings that harp music has an effect on man's best friend. My friend and guest blogger, David Drasnin, explains...

"Throughout the years, music has proven its therapeutic effects. It's significant role in healing and rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul is indisputable. Many listen to their favorite bands, solo artists, and composers the minute they feel down, stressed out, or simply when they've just had a bad day at work. Others recommend listening to special tunes when trying to relax, meditate, and read, or when practicing light breathing exercises. Some even prefer leaving their music player on when going off to sleep, while selecting ambient sounds of ocean waves, birds singing, and soft background harp music. 

The power of music influences our mood and temper. Keeping that in mind, we could select just the right music for our own benefit and channel positive emotions, thoughts and feelings. Recent studies prove that this is the case with animals, too!

It turns out that dogs--man's best friends--have a taste for music and specific music genres. For instance, according to the study conducted by R. Kogan, “Behavioral effect of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs”, dogs tend to like to sleep when you play classical music to them. Sleeping is generally associated with feeling relaxed, calm, and secure. Therefore, we might also conclude that classical music actually calms dogs down. As another behavioral psychologist puts it: “Long, continuous notes were universally used to soothe or calm dogs."

Today, there are a number of music therapists that attempt to help people (as well as pets) overcome stress and depression without drugs and harsh medications. For instance in Austria, harpist SonjaGrace, preps harp therapy sessions for animals and particularly dogs. She found that dogs which are known to be hostile changed their attitudes thanks to her harp music. She quotes medical authorities like Dr. Diane Schneider to explain that, “Harp music lowers the pulse, blood pressure, and respiration in animals, increases oxygen and endorphins to relieve pain, relaxes muscles, improves digestion, induces sleep, reduces anxiety”.

So, if you prefer the more natural approach, find the best harp players, whose works are available for download online--Including music from harpists like Anne Roos-- and play it to your puppy. Help your pet overcome fears and tension. You'll bring happiness to your pet and you’ll feel utterly refreshed and relaxed just as well."

--Special thanks to David Drasnin, a frelance writer and a sworn music fan from London. He loves animals, especially his little Shih Tzu rascal Roxane, who is full of surprises. Currently he is involved with a fascinating project on puppy adoption at San Antonio Dog Life.

Anne Roos' little parrot, Pippin
Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers. Contact me through the email address on my website at to submit your article. 

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