If you’re a pet parent, chances are that your cat (or dog, or iguana) is your world. And, since we find joy, energy and even comfort in listening to music, why not share the power of music with our cats, dogs and other furry, scaly or feathered friends?

Spotify’s Pet Playlists, which launched in 2020, is a fun way to create a custom playlist for your pet. Whether you want to give your pet something to listen to while you’re out of the house or you want to share a musical moment with your favourite animal friend, a Pet Playlist is a fun and simple way to start.

Let’s explore more about Pet Playlists, how to make one and what my dog thinks of his.

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Is music for pets really a thing?

While Spotify is likely biased, they did conduct some interesting research that suggests that many pet owners really are interested in music for their animals. 

According to an online survey of 5,000 music-streaming pet owners from five countries, Spotify found that 71 per cent of pet owners surveyed play music for their pets and eight in 10 pet owners believe their furry friends like music. And, if you often find yourself dancing and/or singing with your pup or kitten, you’re not alone. The survey found that 69 per cent of pet owners sing to their animals, while 57 per cent of owners dance with their pet.

So, we like to listen to music with our pets, but could there be actual benefits? While there’s not a definitive answer for all animals, Spotify’s survey of pet owners found that most of us think that music can help our pets to relieve stress, boost their happiness and keep them company. Supporting this, studies do suggest that some types of music (such as classical) can be relaxing for cats, while other research suggests that different music genres (like soft rock and reggae) may be relaxing for dogs.

Related: 10 laziest dog breeds that are perfect for small spaces.

Sharon Miki Chan © Sharon Miki Chan Sharon Miki Chan

How do Spotify’s Pet Playlists work?

The process of making a Pet Playlist on Spotify is pretty simple. If you already have an account, it takes less than five minutes from start to finish. Here’s how I made a playlist for my seven-year-old pup, Michael. 

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Step one: pick your pet

Once logged into a Spotify account, visit spotify.com/pets to get started. 

Click on “Let’s Go,” and then choose the type of pet you’re making a playlist for. Currently, the choices are: dog, cat, iguana, bird or hamster.

For Michael, I chose, of course, “Dog.”

Related: Need another reason to adopt a pet? Long-term pet owners may have slower cognitive decline.

Step two: slide the scale

Next, Spotify will ask you to rate your pet on a scale for three different metrics: from relaxed to energetic, shy to friendly, apathetic to curious.

If you’re curious, Michael is fairly energetic, very friendly and mostly curious.

Related: Dogs can recognize multiple languages and nonsense words: study.

Step three: customize

Finally, to customize the playlist cover for your pet, you then have the option of adding a picture of your pet (if you want!) and typing in their name. 

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Step four: listen up

Voila! Spotify will then generate your pet’s playlist. You can share the playlist on social, or make it a private listening party for you and your pet.

The playlist that I made for Michael featured 30 songs and kicked off with a fairly apt choice: Jamie Broza’s “I Want a Dog.” The playlist itself was an interesting mix of genres (who knew that Michael was into country music?) as well as some choices that seem to cater, through word choice, to the fact that Michael is a dog (see: “Diamond Dogs” from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack). 

While I was disappointed to not see the Baha Men on the playlist (who did let the dogs out, after all?), I enjoyed answering questions about my pet. As for Michael? It’s hard to say if he appreciates his custom playlist, but he did happily curl up beside me while I played it as I wrote this — which is, in the end, all I could really ask for.