The music of iCalm and Through a Dog’s Ear has been clinically tested on more than 150 dogs — those with and without anxiety issues. If you have an anxious canine, we suggest you first play the appropriate iCalm sound card or CD when your dog is not exhibiting anxiety. This will allow your dog to associate the calming music with a positive state of being. When you have done this at least four times, you can proceed to using it when your dog is exhibiting anxiety. If the music doesn’t keep your dog calm at first, stop and use it several more times while not exhibiting anxmiety. You may also want to discuss additional therapies with your veterinarian, behaviorist, or trainer.
This music is psychoacoustically designed to calm your canine and can be used at any time to achieve this purpose. Specific applications include:
Music can be extremely useful in cases of separation anxiety. We recommend putting on iCalm CC sound card (Music to Calm Your Canine Companion, Vol. 1 CD) twenty minutes before you leave, so that your dog has plenty of time for the entraining rhythms to take effect. Set the volume at a fairly low level, but loud enough that it masks disturbing external sounds. Once your dog is relaxed, leave for a very short time — two or three minutes at first. Don’t make a fuss over leaving — you want your dog to remain peaceful and quiet. The music should keep your canine calm for that period of time. Gradually increase the time you are gone. Your behaviorist may have other exercises for you, so ask if the music can be added to the protocol. If possible, put the iCalm or CD player on repeat; you do not have to be concerned with overdosing your animal on beautiful and peaceful music.
Anxiety caused by storms can be one of the trickiest forms of anxiety to treat. Animals have an instinctive ability to sense changes in the weather. Prior to the tsunami of 2004, animals and birds were seen heading for higher ground long before the disaster struck. If the weather forecast calls for storms, have the iCalm or CD ready in the player. Your dog may have a preferred location for storms, a place where he or she feels safer. It’s important to allow your dog that safety, so a portable audio player may be necessary. If the music is not enough to keep your dog completely calm, working with a behaviorist may be necessary.
Many dogs are very fearful of fireworks. The iCalm Fireworks sound card (or Calm Your Canine Companion, Vol. 1 CD) can be a perfect solution, because we usually know when fireworks will occur. If possible, take your dog to the basement or a room far away from outside sounds. You may need a portable audio device (such as the iCalm). Put the music on for at least twenty minutes before the fireworks start, then play the CD during the fireworks display. It will help calm your dog and mask the unwanted explosive noise.
Excitement with Visitors
A behavioral professional will have many excellent training techniques regarding visitors coming into the home. The good news about this excitement dilemma is that it’s easy to work on before grandma comes over. You may want to have practice runs with your friends. The key to successful visits is to maintain control over your dog, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to keep him or her calm. Calming music can be put on twenty minutes before your guest arrives, and should help you with the obedience behaviors you will want to initiate. Sitting and staying are so much easier for your dog when he or she is relaxed.
Tip: After your dog has learned to be calm when people arrive, an additional Dog’s Ear music CD, Music for the Canine Household, may be perfect for the duration of the visit (iCalm title is Human-Animal Bond). The music is upbeat and lovely for background music, and will help keep your animal calm without putting your company to sleep.
Stressful Times for People
Life is not without challenges. Severe or chronic illness, employment issues, household moves, financial burdens, or the death of a friend or family member (or another pet) can create enormous stress. Animals in the household are affected as well. We suggest playing any of the Calm Your Canine Companion series (iCalm sound card is CC) as often as you can during these difficult times. If you are going at a hectic pace, even ten minutes of music therapy can support your animal companion’s well-being.
Many modern boarding facilities offer some of the familiarity of home — comfy furniture, natural lighting, and play time with other dogs. Even kennels that have been in existence for many years may have a sound system, or an area in which a portable audio device can be played safely. Ask your boarding professionals to play Calm Your Canine Companion series (iCalm/CC) for your dog while she is in their care. By association alone, this will help your dog feel a sense of comfort with the sonic environment, at the very least.