Ep. 161: Enhancing pet health with species-specific music that calms anxiety and improves behavior; with Janet Marlow

How does music affect pets?

Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

Janet Marlow is a fifth-generation musician and sound behaviorist who has conducted groundbreaking scientific research on the profound effects of sound and music on pet anxiety and behavior. Janet’s work has led to the creation of clinically proven calming music specifically designed for dogs, cats, horses, and birds. Discover how your pet’s sound world differs from yours, and how modifications can lead to overall improved health and well-being for your beloved companion.


My guest today is Janet Marlow, a fifth-generation musician and “sound behaviorist” who has done ground-breaking scientific research on how sound and music can affect anxiety and behavior in pets. Janet has used this research to create clinically proven calming music specific to various species. Her research has also led to a global brand, Pet Acoustics Inc. Pet Acoustics is known as a leader for contributing to animal welfare. And its award-winning products have helped thousands of pets and pet parents, veterinarians, and rescue shelters worldwide.

Janet Marlow


We discuss:

  • Janet spent the first 35 years of her career as an international performer and recording artist. Then in 1997, she began researching sound and its effects on the behavior of animals.
  • Janet explains the concept behind Pet Acoustics and how she discovered the potential impact of music on pets.
  • Marlow began creating pet-centric music when she noticed that her pets sat by her side as she practiced, and that they enjoyed it.
  • Marlow calls herself a “sound behaviorist.” In 1997, she began researching sound and its effects on the behavior of animals. Specifically, she explores the biology of how sound impacts animals and the behavioral response to the vibrations produced by sound.
  • Psychoacoustics is the perception of sound and the physiological response to sound, and one of the most overlooked trigger of animal behavior.
  • In 1997, she solidified the formula of modifying frequency and decibel levels according to the hearing range of the animal in originally composed music (“Species-Specific” music).
  • Marlow composes songs to help alleviate stress in pets.
  • Our companion animals’ behavioral stress is triggered by sound.
  • A recent study showed that over half of dog and cat owners use some type of calming product, including medication, special collars and shirts, and other products.
  • How Janet determines the appropriate music for different species.
  • Janet shares success stories from pet owners who have used Pet Acoustics products.
  • In addition to relaxation and stress reduction, there are other ways in which music can be beneficial for pets.
  • Why stress reduction and relaxation is so important for our pets’ overall health and well-bing.
  • How the sound world of humans differs from the sound world of our pets.
  • The unique considerations or features that are taken into account when creating music specifically for animals.
  • Janet’s scientific studies are peer-reviewed and published in veterinary science publications.
  • Pet Acoustics’ latest product.
  • Janet’s latest piece, Equine Relax Trax, is designed specifically for horses. Horses are incredibly susceptible to stress, which leads to costly gastrointestinal problems. 90% of racetrack horses have ulcers, and 75% to 80% of performance horses do too.
  • Janet’s books and products, including free

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:

In-Episode Promo

This is a quick break to tell you about my new favorite energy bar – a bar that has combined two of my favorite things: music and food! JAMBAR is a Certified Organic whole food bar that was created by Jennifer Maxwell, a food science and nutrition expert, athlete, and musician. Jennifer was also co-creator of the original, iconic PowerBar in the 1980s that launched the entire energy bar industry!

Jennifer’s love for music inspired the creation of JAMBAR, and you can see that reflected in the music-themed flavors that include Musical Mango, Jammin’ Jazzleberry, Chocolate Cha Cha, and Malt Nut Melody.

One of the things I like best about these bars, besides the great taste, is that they are higher in protein and less sweet than the all-natural bars I’ve found in the past. Each JAMBAR is packed with ten grams of protein and is minimally sweetened with only all-natural sweeteners. JAMBARs are non-GMO and gluten-free; and two of the four flavors use plant-based protein, for a dairy-free option.

On top of all that, JAMBAR donates a whopping fifty percent of net profits to programs that support the art of music and active living.

For a convenient way to eat whole foods on the go, while supporting causes that are making the world a better place, join me in reaching for JAMBARs. Available at Amazon, select retailers, and jambar.com. For more info, you can also visit Episode 160.


Janet shares a sampler of the Pet Tunes Canine music (©PetAcoustics 2023 BMI).

Closing Words

Thanks so much to Janet for joining us today and for enhancing the lives of our furry friends! Even if your pet is not experiencing a significant problem, like the narcolepsy example Janet gave, I love how she points out that all pets can use stress reduction, which leads to overall improved health and well-being — just as it does in humans. Check out Janet’s Pet Acoustics playlists on Spotify or wherever you get your music. As always, there are lots of links in the show notes, including links to Pet Acoustics products  (on Amazon and the Pet Acoustics website), Janet’s books,  and some great free resources, like Janet’s free book for kids, the hearing test for pets, and Janet’s blog.

All Enhance Life with Music episodes are evergreen; so check out the back catalogue for more ways that music can make your life better.

If you know of someone who would enjoy this episode, please share it with them! It’s easy to do right in your podcast listening app – just look for your app’s “Share” function to share by text, email, or social media. And of course you can always share the show notes webpage as well.

You can always connect with me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

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