This Lifelong Composer Makes Music to Calm Your Pets


  • Janet Marlow is a performer and composer with a singular viewers: pets. 
  • Marlow started making music for animals 20 years in the past after realizing she may calm her pets with it.
  • Doing so helps Marlow pair a love of animals with “all of the music data my mind is stuffed with.”

Music flows by fifth-generation performer Janet Marlow’s veins. The classical and jazz guitarist spent the primary 35 years of her profession composing, recording, and acting on levels worldwide. 

Then, twenty years in the past, the Marlow started creating work for a brand new viewers: pets. 

Marlow started creating pet-centric music when she observed that her pets sat by her aspect as she practiced, and that they loved it. Marlow started finding out how sound influences animal behaviors and used her experience as a musician to compose 150 tracks to assist alleviate stress in pets, which she releases by her enterprise Pet Acoustics.

For pet homeowners, managing their fur-friends’ nervousness will be nerve-racking and costly. About 51% of canine and cat homeowners use some sort of calming product, in keeping with the 2021-2022 American Pet Merchandise Affiliation’s Nationwide Pet House owners Survey. Pet-calming merchandise vary from treatment to toys, calming treats, collars, and shirts.

As life returns to quasi-normal after COVID-19 lockdowns, homeowners fear about their pets’ separation nervousness after spending a lot time collectively. That makes pet calming — and Marlow’s musical strategy — extra necessary than ever.  

Janet Marlow, who has blonde hair and a denim jacket on, smiling next to a horse in a stable.

Janet Marlow.

Courtesy of Janet Marlow


“Music is a substance, and it has a profound affect of transferring organic cells by vibrations,” she mentioned. “The joy for me is that I can take all of the data I’ve about music and sectionalize it to be particular to the necessity of biology and affect it in a optimistic approach for well being.” 

In 1997, Marlow, who calls herself a “sound behaviorist,”  started researching sound and its results on the habits of animals. Particularly, she explores the biology of how sound impacts animals and the behavioral response to the vibrations produced by sound. Her scientific research are peer-reviewed and printed in veterinary science publications, and the findings spotlight the optimistic results of enjoying species-specific music.

Utilizing info on the listening to vary of particular animals, Marlow composes and digitally modifies music inside a consolation listening zone for every species’ vary of listening to. Her newest piece, Equine Loosen up Trax, is designed particularly for horses. Horses are extremely prone to emphasize, which results in expensive gastrointestinal issues. This specific monitor is a mixture of rhythms that by no means exceeds the decibel stage snug to horses.

“On the racetrack, 90% of horses have ulcers, and 75% to 80% of efficiency horses do too, which might price $1,000 to $2,000 to diagnose and deal with,” mentioned veterinarian Sarah Ruess, Equine Technical Supervisor at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Well being. “That does not even account for misplaced efficiency. Stress is a giant a part of these numbers. Making a extra optimistic surroundings by using music can assist reduce the affect.”

Composing for pets is far totally different than for folks. One motive is that the human mind absorbs sound and analyzes it spatially, recognizing the drummer and the guitarist, different devices, and vocals individually. That does not occur for animals. Marlow mentioned animals hear music in its entirety, and inside a second, resolve on a behavioral response.

“We’re analytical, and animals are bodily,” she mentioned. “In horses, that is the place the instinctive flight or battle reactions are available.”

Janet Marlow making a music track on her computer.

Janet Marlow.

Courtesy of Janet Marlow


Marlow mentioned creating music is much like baking a chocolate layer cake. Every sound chosen is inside the precise listening to vary of every animal. She begins arranging by ensuring every monitor does not go above or under a selected decibel stage. She listens to every be aware of the tune to make sure it follows a sample primarily based on a spread of modifications that observe the proprietary frequency vary she developed.

After arranging, she digitizes the music and confirms that it does not go above a sure stage, which might set off stress in that animal’s ear. For horses, she’s taken research a step additional and is at present finding out which devices specifically the species finds calming.

“Individuals who suppose classical music is boring assume it is calming to their animals, and that is not true,” she mentioned. “Composing music that’s inside the consolation zone of every of those animals helps them really feel calm and unstressed.”

As a toddler, Marlow wasn’t allowed to have pets of her personal. As an grownup, she’s making up for it by serving to as many animals as she will.

“I could not be close to animals as a toddler dwelling within the metropolis and this was all the time a smoldering a part of my life,” she mentioned. “It is such a ardour of mine to marry that with all of the data of music my mind is stuffed with.”



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