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PET CARE: Paws. Then play

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Available now is the perfect music playlist for your furry darling companion which can soothe dogs, cats, birds and even an iguana

We tried: Writer Katie Mettler tested Spotify’s pet’s playlist for you to see how soothing it was for pets when left alone at home.

Pet owners of the world: Spotify wants you to know that it sees you – and your furry beloved – and is acknowledging the range of emotions that come with your version of parenthood.

No longer should you worry whether your best bud likes Adele as much as you, nor should you feel guilt over the separation anxiety your cat or dog or even lizard may be experiencing while you work off your own tail for hours every day. Your pets might be alone, but they won’t be lonely. There’s a Spotify playlist for that.

This week the popular music-streaming service announced it had developed an algorithm to curate “pawfect” playlists that serve the soothing needs of you and your pet, as long as your pet is a dog, cat, bird, hamster or iguana (sorry, teacup pigs). Its five-step process asks pet owners to identify their animal’s breed and then select on a sliding scale whether they are relaxed or energetic, shy or friendly and apathetic or curious.

For this reporter, the owner of a large, fluffy black cat named Tank who purrs like a diesel engine, drools like a dog and hates it when others feel peace, the curation quiz meant toggling each slider hard to the right.

The final step includes telling Spotify your pet’s name and uploading your favourite picture of its cute face. Then the streaming site’s algorithm says it is “syncing your taste” and spits out a personalised playlist.

Tank’s Pet Playlist included Velvet Kitty Cat by Prince, a song from the Moana soundtrack and a Rose Cousins tune titled The Benefits of Being Alone – which reflects his human’s brand and seems to communicate a special message for his frenzied, feline ears.

To develop the Pet Playlists algorithm, a Spotify representative said the streaming company consulted musicologist David Teie, a cellist with America’s National Symphony Orchestra who pioneered species-specific music and composed two albums of music for cats.

“An energetic dog might get a playlist with tracks that are upbeat while a shy cat might get something with slower tempos,” says the news release.

Spotify says pets seem to prefer classical music and soft rock.

A survey of 5000 animal lovers from the US, UK, Australia, Spain and Italy found that 71% of owners play music for their pets and that 70% consider the emotional well-being of their pets every day. Sixty-nine percent of pet owners sing to their animals and 57% dance with them.

And more than half of pet owners surveyed said they would pick their pet over a human partner if forced to choose.

Spotify’s initiative is one of many pitches that tech companies and others have served up for pet owners who are hoping to help their animals be happier.

Spotify concedes that pet music “isn’t an exact science”, but says the goal of Pet Playlists is to build upon the “true connection” pet owners feel between their “beloved animals and music”.

This pet owner just hopes Tank’s Pet Playlist becomes the calming soundtrack that keeps him from peeing in her potted plants.


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