Scottish SPCA create music album to relax dogs

Singer Emiah with pug Bella (15 weeks) . Picture: Peter Devlin
Singer Emiah with pug Bella (15 weeks) . Picture: Peter Devlin
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The songwriter best known for writing hit songs for artists such as Rod Stewart, Westlife, Busted, Cliff Richard, and Sandi Thom, appearing as the music coach on BBC’s Fame Academy and being the current manager of the Bay City Rollers, has teamed up with the Scottish SPCA to create a music album aimed at relaxing dogs.

John McLaughlin helped the charity put together the tracks on the album, ‘Paws, Play, Relax’, based on the results of scientific research from academics at the University of Glasgow.

Singer Emiah and guitarist Stuart McInnes with Labrador Harley 'Picture: Peter Devlin

Singer Emiah and guitarist Stuart McInnes with Labrador Harley 'Picture: Peter Devlin

The study found music can help dogs to relax when they are stressed and anxious, leading to lower levels of stress hormones, better cardiovascular control and more chilled behaviour.

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While all of the genres of music tested (classical, pop, motown, soft rock and reggae) help keep dogs calm, the dogs seemed to particularly benefit from reggae and soft rock.

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Song writer and producer John McLaughlin said, “As soon as Ian Adie, MD of TheBiGroup approached me on behalf of the Scottish SPCA about the idea of a music album for dogs I wanted to be involved! I’m a huge animal lover so was happy to assist in any way I could to help dogs and the charity.

“It wasn’t easy making music that will be enjoyed by dog owners just as much as it will by their beloved pets, but it was very worthwhile and I can’t wait to see the reaction from dogs all over the world.

Scottish SPCA Officer Milly Mendes Ferriera,  singer  Emiah and guitarist Stuart McInnes  with pug Bella (15 weeks) , cockapoos Olly and Milly and Golden Retriever Harley. Picture: Scottish SPCA/ Peter Devlin

Scottish SPCA Officer Milly Mendes Ferriera, singer Emiah and guitarist Stuart McInnes with pug Bella (15 weeks) , cockapoos Olly and Milly and Golden Retriever Harley. Picture: Scottish SPCA/ Peter Devlin

“Dogs enjoy the change of genre and also tempo which shows that they have both heart and soul – that’s why I just had to write the songs, and why people should go out and buy the album!

“It was great to work with some extremely talented artists to create the album. Featuring on the album is Gamu Nhengu who shot to fame after starring on the X-factor in 2010 and loves animals.”

Scottish SPCA Head of Research and Policy Gilly Mendes Ferreira said, “It can often be a bit overwhelming for dogs arriving into our care as they’re in an unfamiliar environment. We’ve worked with the University of Glasgow to research ways to help relax our animals, both in the centre and in a home environment.

“The team at our centres across Scotland enjoy listening to the album and our dogs have had a very positive reaction to the music. They’ve been barking less, spending more time lying down and generally displaying more chilled behaviour.”