Ep. 124: How can music enhance my DOG’s health and behavior? With Lisa Spector

How does music affect my dog?

Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash

Music can be strategically used to calm a dog’s nervous system, affecting their behavior, longevity, and health. Music can be used to treat and prevent behavior challenges and anxieties – and works symbiotically for those on both ends of the leash! Enhance life — for you and your dog together — with music!

Lisa Spector
Lisa Spector with Gina; Photo by Peter Buranzon


My guest today is joining me from Half Moon Bay, Calif, near San Francisco. Lisa Spector is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist who will tell you that her “Juilliard degree has gone to the dogs,” and she couldn’t be more thrilled. Lisa has applied her musical talent to improving the lives of dogs. Her piano playing is soothing pets in over 1,500 shelters worldwide, along with vet clinics and pet households. She’s been called The Pet Calming Maestro and featured on media outlets including NPR, The CBS Early Show, USA Today, and ABC Australia. 


We discuss:

  • How Lisa FIRST developed a passion for enhancing DOGS’ lives with music, and when she first noticed the effect of music on dogs.
  • What studies have found about the effects of music on dogs.
  • Resources offered through My Zen Pet.
  • Situations, beyond fireworks and thunderstorms, where music may be highly effective or helpful.
  • Preventative use of music, as well as music utilized as treatment for noise phobias.
  • The effect on HUMANS of this music developed for dogs.

Connect/Other Resources

In-Episode Promo

This is a quick break to tell you about Sonix, the service that I use to transcribe these episodes. Sonix is an artificial intelligence transcription service that automatically converts audio and video files to text – and can translate to over 40 languages. I transcribe these episodes to make them more accessible. I tried multiple services, and chose to stick with Sonix because of their accuracy, affordability, and because their site is just so easy to use; that’s a big plus for me, to not need to spend a bunch of time figuring out one more platform! While I love podcasts, I do tend to be a very visual learner. I figure other people probably are, too; and having that written form of your work just makes it more versatile. Sonix transcripts make the most of your hard work and can increase traffic to your site. Sonix is spelled s-o-n-i-x. You can check them out with a free trial PLUS an extra 100 minutes of free transcription by using the link sonix.ai/invite/enhancelife100. There’s a link in the show notes. Again, it’s sonix.ai/invite/enhancelife100 for a free trial AND an extra 100 minutes of free transcription.


Lisa says: “Gina, my 12-year-old black Lab, was about 3 years old when she ingested something dangerous. (Did I mention she’s a Lab?) She was at the ER Vet clinic and her lungs were filling with liquid quickly. She was going into surgery and I was told I should prepare to say good-bye to her in case she didn’t make it. We listened to my recording of music for dogs together. It brought me great comfort and helped build our emotional connection. Happy to report that all went well and we’ve been enjoying many years together since.”

Lisa shares the 1st track on Dog Gone Calm (her arrangement for left hand of Vivaldi’s Winter Largo from Four Seasons).

Closing Words

And that is the first part of track 1 from Dog Gone Calm. The link to the full album is in the show notes, as well as links to Lisa’s website, podcast, and many other ways to connect with her and her work. Exciting news – Lisa has made her Valentine’s Day dog massage event open to non-members! She mentioned this event in our conversation. It’s a Dog Gone Calm Club online event with guest expert Monica Bush, who is a canine massage therapist for The US World Agility Team. She’ll demo canine massage with her dog and teach participants about trigger point therapy. I LOVE massage therapy, so I think this event sounds awesome! It is free for Dog Gone Calm Club Members, and $30 for Non-Members. The link is in the show notes. If you’ve had an experience with music enhancing the life of your dog or pet, I’d love to hear about it! You can connect with me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can also send me a voice memo that I can share with the Enhance Life with Music community by playing in an upcoming episode! All links from today’s episode – and a transcript – can be found in the show notes; this is Ep. 124. All links are also in the episode details right in your podcast app. Thanks so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

View Episode Transcript

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