Spotify Has Gone to the Dogs

Yes, Music for the Mutts

Spotify has gone to the dogs

Big news on the music and pet scene — two “scenes” that rarely play well together. Spotify, the music-streaming service, has gone to the dogs and has just launched playlists for home-alone pups. A podcast too!

The playlists are selected by algorithms (all hail the algorithm) to match your pet’s personality, energetic or sluggish — I mean, mellow.

To be honest, I cannot think of this as progress. When I was growing up, we considered it a sin to let dogs sleep inside the house, no less buy them specialized food, cutsie toys, and monogrammed beds. (And yes, I admit it. We commit all these sins in our home.)

Spotify for Dogs

The podcast featuring soothing music, doggy praise, and re-assuring messages is meant to ease the stress dogs feel when they’re left home alone. Personally, I cannot relate. I love peace and quiet on those rare occasions when I’m home alone. The last thing I want is somebody yacking in the background, yammering on about “Who’s a good girl? You are. Yes, you are, Karen. You are.”

The Swedish-based Spotify says it came up with the idea of a doggy playlist/podcast product after a survey found that one in four pet-owners play music for their pets to listen to when they are away from home, with 42% of owners saying their pets have a favorite type of music.

Olga and the Volga Boatman?

And it is this 42% favorite type of music statistic that has got me worried. What if Olga, our Labrador, and I have conflicting musical tastes?

Olga came to us from Florida. She was part of a group of dogs that were evacuated amid Hurricane Erma and brought to the Berkeley Humane Society where we adopted her. We know she previously lived with a family that also had a Chihuahua. If Olga’s musical tastes run to salsa or merengue, then we’re simpatico. But if her tastes match her Russian name and she favors ditties like the “Volga Boatman” or music by Maestro Prokofiev, well, then … she may indeed find herself on a slow boat to …

Rock ‘n Roll Rebel

I now worry that Spotify may turn Olga into a wild rock ‘n roll rebel. While we don’t know her exact age, she is young and impressionable. And based on the mischief she creates when we’re around, I’m worried what a little wild music will inspire when we’re away.

I’ve always been against censorship, but should I consider controlling Spotify’s pet playlist? I  definitely don’t want her hearing that Top 40 hit “Who Let the Dogs Out?” If she does, will it give her inappropriate ideas? Will she start using the doggie door for more than just the call of nature? Will she start heeding the call of the wild? You know, if I’ve said it once, I have said it multiple times: I’ve never liked the look of that schnauzer next door. That mutt looks like he’s ready to lead our sweet stray astray.

When I was young, my mother worried about me going astray. Then I married and had children. Suddenly I was constantly worried about the kids, who they associated with, and what they were up to. Goth, then “Emo,” were the musical rages. And rage I did!

The Call of the Wild

Now I’ve got to worry about the dog? I’m too old for this. And, come to think about it, maybe it’s a bigger problem than just Olga going out and barking to the beat of  “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

After all, that doggie door swings both ways. Maybe Olga’s going to start entertaining gentlemen callers. Maybe she’ll start inviting all the neighborhood canines in for wild musical dog-a-palooza parties.

Maybe I should drag out the old Nanny Cam to spy on Olga. Activate the camera on the computer for good measure.

Oh, my aching over-active middle-aged muddling imagination!

Spotify for the Dogs is for the Dogs!

But then, maybe I’m just being prudent. After all, remember the old saying, “while the cat’s away, the mice will play?” Well, now, thanks to Spotify, we’ve got to update that adage and worry about while the master’s away, what tunes the dog will play!


And please note: no music was playing through the headphones when Olga “posed”  for this week’s photo shoot. Multiple treats, however, were provided to get her to sit still!

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