Humane Scholar Whitney Joy Engler
University of California Davis
Effects of Music at a Vet Hospital on Behavior of Pets and Owner Satisfaction
SINCE VETERINARY CARE IS IMPORTANT for animal health, and also reported to be important for pet retention, compliance for regular care is important. To that end, pet owners may be more compliant with future veterinary visits if prior visits were positively perceived. With the support of American Humane Association, this study evaluated the effect of classical music in reducing anxiety on owners, and on the health care team and on the pets (dogs and cats).
Results of the study showed no differences based on the type of classical music. Clients were more satisfied with music versus without music and clinicians stated they also enjoyed the music. Pets exposed to music, compared to controls, showed a trend toward lower client-reported anxiety ratings and lower clinician-reported aggression levels. It was important to select proper music, with some clients commenting that “Mozart’s Funeral March” spurred negative thoughts regarding an experience. Interestingly, owners perceived more anxiety in their pets than did clinicians.
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