Music helps dogs cope with seasonal stress and some songs are festive favourites, with Wham! topping the list.
Yes, you heard it right. Dogs love George Michael music at Christmastime.
A new U.K. survey from the charity, Guide Dogs, shows the calming and positive effects of Christmas music for dogs during the hectic holiday season.
The survey polled 1000 dog owners with a selection of Christmas songs, and recorded their reactions such as tail-wagging, positive body language, and signs of relaxation.
Last Christmas by Wham! was awarded the top tune, with 10% of the doggie vote. Coming second at 9% was Jingle Bells, followed by the song we never escape this time of year - Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, with a 6% score.
The study also found that dogs overall prefer upbeat music to slow and quieter songs. A whopping 33% of pet-parents even prioritize their playlists for their dogs.
Music for a dog’s well-being is a real thing. 90% of the owners polled regularly play songs for their pups, and 25% note significant improvements in calmness and comfort when music is in the air.
This coping strategy is particularly meaningful during the noisier and busier days the holidays bring. And with the pandemic taking new turns, and lockdowns coming into effect, dogs can take solace in a good song. Especially a familiar one.
“As we look forward to spending the festive period with friends and loved ones, this Christmas will be a step change for an entire generation of new dogs born during lockdown,” says Dr. Helen Whiteside, chief scientific officer of Guide Dogs.
“Music is often used to calm dogs in times of change and stress, so it is unsurprising that it will play a key role for dogs this Christmas.”
Other songs played in the poll included Fairytale of New York by The Pogues, Silent Night, and Paul McCartney’s A Wonderful Christmas Time.
The U.K. dogs also listened to one of our hometown heroes. Vancouver’s own Michael Buble was part of the poll with his holiday classic, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.