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Wales Online
Wales Online
Sarah Lumley

Top 10 best - and worst - road trip playlist songs to help calm dogs' car anxiety

A music expert has revealed the top “soothing” road trip songs most likely to calm dogs that are anxious about car journeys – with “How Deep Is Your Love”, by the Bee Gees, topping the list. Other top songs likely to soothe canine car stress include “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley, “Everything I Do (I'll Do It For You)” by Bryan Adams – and Kate Bush's “Hounds of Love”.

And Sam Sutton, senior lecturer of music at the University of West London, also revealed the top 10 “no-no” songs for the pooch playlist –with Led Zeppelin's “Black Dog” being the top track to avoid. Other songs least likely to help calm down anxious dogs include “Back In Black” by AC/DC, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and “Ace Of Spades” by Motörhead.

The dog-friendly playlist comes after a study of 2,000 dog owners found two-thirds (67 per cent) notice their canine companion getting stressed when in the car. But three-quarters are still planning to take their pooch on a staycation this year, with 72 per cent travelling by car.

The four-hour long playlist should help keep dogs calm during road trips this summer (hoo)

Sam Sutton, who has worked with hotel booking platform justhooit to create the playlist, said: “A recent research study from the University of Glasgow suggests music can indeed affect dogs' behaviour. Dogs were exposed to a variety of sounds and styles to assess physiological and behavioural changes.

“The interesting thing they witnessed was that dogs displayed positive behavioural changes when exposed to certain music types.

“Reggae and soft rock appear to have been the canine tunes of choice. Perhaps the combination of pristine studio production and pleasing sound aesthetics contribute to what makes the dog’s playlist of choice.

“Reggae is often associated with sunshine and chilling out, so perhaps this type of soothing emotional response is shared with our canine companions.”

The study also found that while a well-tuned 68 per cent of dog owners are aware certain types of music cause their dog distress, more than a quarter (28 per cent) had no idea it could upset them at all. Sam Sutton also named the 10 tracks to avoid playing around dogs – including AC/DC’s “Back In Black”, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, and Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades”.

He added: “Since a dog's hearing range is wider than the human’s, you may want to avoid any music with whistling, as this could trigger their natural sense of response and curiosity.”

Adrian Murdock, from justhooit, said: “It is heart-warming to see 81 per cent of dog owners would change their in-car listening habits to ensure their furry friends don't go barking mad on the motorways if caught in traffic jams.”

But the research, carried out via OnePoll, found over a third (36 per cent) of dog owners could not identify the signs of stress and anxiety while their dog was travelling. And one in four (26 per cent) were unaware that stress and anxiety could cause harmful illness for their dogs, by lowering their immune system.

The Bee Gees topped the soothing pooch-friendly playlist with their 1977 hit 'How Deep Is Your Love' (Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Blue Cross behaviourist Becky Skyrme explained her top tips for introducing dogs to car journeys.

She said: “Becoming familiar with car travel from the earliest possible age will really help them to learn that car travel is a normal, everyday event. For slightly older dogs, or for dogs that are worried about travel, there are lots of other things you can do.

“Some dogs experience motion sickness, and this can be greatly helped by speaking to your vet. Otherwise, its all about helping your dog to feel safe, secure and comfortable in the part of the car they will be traveling in.

“To begin with, start with a stationary car. Use their favourite things to reward them for jumping in and out, and then start to build up the time they spend inside the car. Then progress to going on short journeys that end in something really positive happening – like a favourite game, fun walk, or receiving a tasty food treat.

“This will help your dog to build a positive association between car travel and their favourite things. If the problem persists, always seek help from your vet or a qualified behaviourist.”


  • How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees
  • No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley
  • Everything I Do (I'll Do It For You) – Bryan Adams
  • I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  • Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  • One In Ten – UB40
  • Hounds Of Love – Kate Bush
  • Desperado – The Eagles
  • Many Rivers To Cross – Jimmy Cliff
  • Love Is King – Sade


  • Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
  • Back In Black – AC/DC
  • Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  • Chop Suey! – System Of A Down
  • Duality – Slipknot
  • Enter Sandman – Metallica
  • Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
  • Runnin' With The Devil – Van Halen
  • Ace Of Spades – Motörhead
  • Master Of Puppets – Metallica
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