What Music Works Best In Veterinary Clinics
Running a successful veterinary clinic goes beyond providing state-of-the-art equipment and exceptional services, although those are an integral part. One of the most essential yet overlooked elements in a vet clinic is the use of music.
Music in a vet's office is a necessary prescription that plays a significant role in your business. However, with the various types of music existing today, choosing the right music can be an understandably tricky feat.
In this article, we have provided the best types of music for your animal patients and their human partners.
Should Music be a Significant Part Of Your Veterinary Service?
Many studies have established the fascinating effects of music on human behavior. Several researchers have uncovered the physical, emotional, and psychological responses humans have toward music, which vary from an influence on the mood to improved memory, reduced stress, and better pain management.
From prehistoric times to the present day, music has significantly influenced people and has become an integral part of society today.
However, just as it exerts influence on people, music can influence the behaviors and responses of animals. This has prompted many veterinary clinics to encourage the use of music in their practices.
Traditionally, a veterinary clinic is filled with the howls, yelps, and other sounds made by animal patients. However, what if music was an alternative option to these agitating sounds?
A study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reports showed that music calmed the behavior of dogs. While this study was essentially to look at the effects of music on dogs in a kennel, it is undoubtedly just one of the numerous researches that have uncovered the effect of the right kind of music on animals.
Animals are not so different from humans. The human brain is more developed than the animal brain, but regardless of this, these studies have proven that animals enjoy specific sounds and music just like humans. While, of course, the feeling being processed will differ by a wide margin, animals experience a feeling of calmness when exposed to certain musical sounds.
The right kind of music playing in your vet clinic can be the key to running a successful business.
Importance Of Music in a Veterinary Clinic
Like any business, running a successful vet clinic depends not only on your ability to spread brand awareness but also on your ability to retain customers. Retaining customers- both human and animal- means creating a comfortable environment with a customer experience they will never forget. A great choice of music is an ideal way to set the stage.
In your vet clinic, music is as essential to your furry or scaled patients as it is to their owners. Some effects of music in your clinic include:
1. Reduced Pet Owner Waiting Perception
Everyone dislikes waiting. It doesn't matter if it's on a queue in a retail store or a chair at a vet clinic, no one likes waiting. Unfortunately, waiting is an integral part of a visit to the vet.
Taking a pet to the vet can be stressful, especially for animals. Stuck in unfamiliar surroundings with possibly unfamiliar faces, the animal will feel anxious or even terrified and might display violent tendencies.
These violent tendencies may be displayed by barking, hissing, scratching, and an overall aversion to the necessary sensory simulations. Since these sensory simulations are the point of visiting a vet clinic, often, nothing can be done until the pet calms down.
When introduced to an unfamiliar and stressful environment, most animals require a full acclimation period. This period is the space of time needed for a pet to achieve physiological, psychological, and nutritional stabilization before any procedure can occur.
The acclimation period for animals in a vet clinic can vary from a few minutes to an hour. This waiting time is essential, and skipping it could result in handling a distressed animal, which might further harm it and stress its owner.
Giving the animal time to get used to the environment slowly means a longer waiting time for its owners. The longer the owner waits, the less satisfied they are and the less likely they will return for a visit.
Playing music is a great way to tackle this problem by providing a form of engagement the owners can enjoy as they wait. Instead of standing there and thinking about all the other errands they could be running, the pet owners will be distracted by the tunes and the lyrics of the music playing.
Reducing the perceived wait time that comes with bringing a pet to the vet is most likely the most important function of music in a vet clinic. Playing great music in the waiting room can soothe the wait time and increase customer satisfaction.
2. Reduces Anxiety
Just like humans, animals experience anxiety when introduced to stressful situations. This is obvious in their heart rate and behavioral responses to the vet’s stimulation.
To make things worse, pet owners also often pick up on their pet’s anxiety and begin to exhibit anxious behaviors. Pet owners may begin to fidget, pace, complain, and essentially regret bringing their pet to the clinic.
As the pet owners grow increasingly disturbed, the animal latches on to these signs and its anxiety will increase. This eventually leads to an unhealthy never-ending cycle of anxiety.
Despite the different auditory sensitivity, animals have been studied to have positive responses to music when stressed.
Animals have physiological responses to music that feeds back to their nervous system and performs functions like lowering their heart rate and increasing their metabolism.
In many cases, pets are already attuned to music. With their owners playing it at home or in their car during car trips, hearing music in a vet’s clinic will induce a sense of familiarity. This will, in turn, reduce their anxiety and help them relax.
With their pets calm, pet owners do not have to worry. They are calmer and more confident, in turn, portraying their behavior to their pet.
Music also is used as a form of therapy for dogs in pain. With music triggering physiological responses in the animal, the animal is calmer.
3. Blocks Out The Noise
Usually, when you walk into a vet clinic, you are sometimes met by a disturbing mix of barking, hissing, howling, and other noises. This in itself is a disturbing sound that can trigger anxiety in pets and their owners.
Animals find loud and sudden noises unpleasant. While your music will not be loud enough to drown out all the sounds made in the clinic, it can work to reduce your client’s stress level effectively.
Animals are also intelligent enough to process other animals' noises in pain or otherwise. These loud noises might trigger adrenalin and negatively impact the pet’s health and safety.
Finding a great animal and human-friendly song is a great way to blanket all the uncomfortable sounds and distractions. This creates a controlled environment that will help both your animal and human clients relax, causing the appointment to go faster.
4. Brand Your Business
Because not every vet clinic employs music on their premises, when you do, you create a brand that stands out from the rest.
Playing music as a tool to help your animal clients calm down shows their owners that you care about them. This promise of well-being helps you bond with the pet parents and show them that they are a priority.
Music reduces the complexities that come with evaluating and treating pets. It provides a more comfortable and relaxed environment, making the process easier and streamlined than the pet parents can get anywhere else.
This is valuable to your business as it shows your clients that you provide an experience they cannot gag anywhere else. The music you play might be in the background, but it creates a sense of value and breeds loyalty between you and your patients.
Choosing to play music will help you create a pet-friendly brand image. You’ve gone to extra lengths to help your clients feel comfortable, and this is a bond they will not be able to create in other vet’s offices, especially those without music.
The Best Music For Veterinary Clinics
Humans and pets process music differently. While you enjoy everything from the lyrics to the rhythm and the tune at a lower decibel, animals are exposed to these sounds at a higher decibel.
However, certain tones and melodies have been shown to induce positive physiological responses in animals.
1. Classical Music
It is time to whip out your Mozart and Debussy records.
Classical music is unsurprisingly one of the best types of music you can play in a vet's office. Both human and animal clients enjoy classical music thanks to its calming effects and ability to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Research carried out on dogs in a kennel yielded positive results on the calming effect of classical music. As the music played in the kennel, there were obvious signs of reduced stress and anxiety as the dogs barked less, with some even falling asleep.
While the research was successful, the effect was short-lived as the dogs got used to the auditory stimulation that classical music provides.
Regardless, classical music is shown to reduce kennel stress and positively impact a dog’s behavior.
2. Cat Music
Although it might look like cats are not interested in music, they are. The problem is that they are not interested in our type of music.
Other types of music, like classical music, work on other animals, but a cat’s music taste extends past even Mozart’s best piece. Unsurprisingly, a cat’s best music is either one made with familiar sounds like purring or one written specifically from these sounds.
Cats are blessed with the ability to differentiate sounds through sound waves. The type of sound they hear will determine if they get freaked out or if they lose their innate “flight or fight” response and relax instead.
Cat music is probably not a genre you come across often. Cat Music is species-specific music composed originally for cats.
It is created by taking into account a cat’s musical taste through tons of research on the sounds made by cats. These purring and suckling sounds in high frequencies inspire the species-specific genre that has become quite popular amongst the feline population.
It makes sense that a cat will respond more to music written in the frequency and range of similar sounds used for its communication. Regular music might be compared to a juicy fish fillet, but cat music can be compared to catnip.
Cat music might not make so much sense to human clients, but to be fair, the animals are the ones in need of positive auditory stimulation for their anxiety.
Cats who listen to cat music experience less stress and anxiety as the music eases their nerves and helps them relax. If you are a cat-oriented vet with furry problems due to anxious cats, cat music is an excellent option.
3. Soft Reggae and Rock
Soft rock and reggae are a great option in any vet’s office. This low-tempo genre is perfect for keeping your clients calm as you attend to them.
Studies have shown that dogs enjoy listening to soft reggae and rock. In fact, they enjoy listening to it more than soft rock, Motown, pop, or classical, all of which they were studied with.
Although dogs responded well to classical music, reggae showed the most significant positive changes in their behavior. Playing reggae decreased the dogs’ stress levels significantly, with soft rock coming at a close second favorite.
While pop music might not induce a significant reaction in your animal clients, they are a fun way to keep your pet parents engaged. Pop music is fun to listen to and will keep their mind off the ordeal of waiting through their pet’s checkup.
Pop music also serves as a blanket to lower the noises of the other pets, the workers moving around, and other uncomfortable notices. It creates a relaxing atmosphere that will encourage positive human and animal behavior reactions.
5. Smooth Jazz
Although your animal clients will probably not understand the lyrics of the songs, the smooth glide of a smooth jazz tempo is a refreshingly relaxing song for humans and animals.
Although your animal clients do not understand music as we do, they can still enjoy the sound they find satisfying.
Tips For Playing Music In Your Veterinary Clinic
- Controlling volume is essential. Animals have better hearing than humans and can hear a wide range of sound frequencies. Don't play your music too loud. Animals are irritated by loud noises, and it can cause them to react negatively. Loud sounds can improve their heart rate and stress levels, leading to the exhibition of negative behaviors. Ensure your music doesn't pass 60 decibels.
- Play a variety of music genres. While you might be tempted to stick to one genre, it is essential to remember that just like humans, animals can quickly get used to one sound. This is especially true of dogs who have exhibited an interest in different music genres.
- If you catch yourself treating a cow, remember to play classical music. Classical music helps cows calm down and boosts milk production.
- Encourage your clients to expose their pets to music before arriving at your clinic. It will help them acclimate faster as they are already relaxed.
Turn Your Screens On
Music is an integral part of a veterinary clinic. It is the best tool to implement to help your animal clients and their pet parents relax and enjoy a relaxing experience. A visit to the vet is rarely fun and borders on tolerable, however, with the right music, your clients will always look forward to visiting your clinic.
Loop TV provides businesses over 100 music video channels in a variety of genres, including all those mentioned in this article (except for Cat Music). For the best results, create a playlist of the best music genres for your clinic. You can also schedule specific genres to play during different times of the day with the unique Loop TV scheduling feature. Loop also includes a digital signage platform that allows businesses to add customized content to their screens to promote events, special promotions, seasonal tips and more.
Playing music in a vet clinic is now a simple option which can keep human customers and their pets happier, more relaxed, and make wait times go more quickly.