As much as we'd all love to stay in and hang out with our pets all day, many of us have work, errands, and other tasks where we can't bring our four-legged friends. But instead of feeling guilty for leaving your dog or cat at home alone, Spotify is encouraging you to use its new features to help your pet relax.
The music streaming service revealed in a news release it just launched "algorithmically generated" playlists as well as a podcast just for pets. After surveying 5,000 owners from around the world, Spotify found that 71% of owners have played music for their pets in the past, and eight out of 10 owners think their pets like music. With that information in mind, the company decided to create features tailored to animals.
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Here's what you need to do to access the pet playlists. Head to the spotify.com/pets and log into your account. (It works with both free and premium accounts). Indicate whether you have a dog, cat, bird, hamster, or iguana. Next, you'll be prompted to describe your pet's personality to help the site "pick the playlist vibe" (some options include relaxed versus energetic and shy versus friendly). After that, you enter the name of your pet and an optional photo. The site then syncs to your music taste and curates a personalized playlist consisting of about 50 songs for your animal.
If you think your furry, scaly, or feathery friend prefers a podcast, go to My Dog's Favourite Podcast, where you can currently choose from four episodes. According to CNN, animal experts helped develop the podcast with Spotify to "help relieve stress" in animals. Alex Benjamin, an animal psychologist from the University of York in England, worked on the podcast and spoke to CNN about the benefits of the new tools. She said both the playlists and the podcast could calm pets by covering up the "startling sounds of the outside world such as traffic, car doors slamming, or the bins being emptied."
The podcast currently has four episodes, though one is a trailer and another is a 14-minute introduction. The other two episodes are five hours each and feature "human voices, relaxing music, and ambient sounds," CNN notes. Fun fact: Those voices belong to British actors Ralph Ineson from Game of Thrones and Jessica Raine from Call the Midwife.
Of course, music isn't going to replace human interaction, but it could help your pet (and you) feel a little bit better about being separated.