PetSmart Rolls out Playlists for Pets and Owners

(CBS NEWS)PetSmart is putting a modern twist on the 17th century notion that music may "soothe a savage beast." It's offering specially crafted tunes at its more than 1,450 stores "designed to appeal to pet parent shoppers and also their furry four-legged friends."

North America's largest pet specialty retail chain hired Mood Media to develop "upbeat" playlists to appeal to owners, who are allowed to bring their companions on their PetSmart shopping trips, as well as to the stores' employees.

Dogs and cats that are boarded at the chain's "PetsHotel" will be serenaded with "modern mellow tunes" to keep them calm so they can better enjoy their stays. Rescue groups also frequently hold events at PetSmart locations, with animals available for adoption.

"We had to select a solution that combined both organic textures and atmospheric styles -- avoiding selections that feature bizarre instrumentation, dominant vocals and errant high-pitched passages (for obvious reasons)," said Danny Turner, a Mood Media global senior vice president.

Shane McCall, vice president for store design and visual merchandise for PetSmart, said the idea was "an obvious one to us" based on feedback from customers. He added that the chain's goal is to "create an even more pet-friendly and vibrant environment in our stores."

Mood Media's Turner added that as "the world's leading provider of music experiences across a multitude of spa, resort and luxury hotel brands, we put the same degree of attention to this as we would designing a spa experience at a luxury hotel."

PetSmart began its broadcasts in April when it started installing specialized Mood Media equipment, and it expects all the stores to be equipped by the end of the month. The retailer can schedule its music programming like a radio station with different tunes broadcast at different times. Messages can also be shared on a store, regional or company-wide basis.

Neither PetsMart nor Mood Music would comment on which songs would be included on the playlists, although it seems that Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" and the Stray Cats' "Stray Cat Strut" would be a natural fit.

Pet owners can continue to entertain their furry pals at home, thanks to a wide of variety of videos designed for cats and dogs. Pets, too, can become couch potatoes, given the variety of video channels now geared toward the feline and canine demographic.

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