TV Time… For Dogs?
Dogs watching TV isn’t anything new, many dog owners say their dogs watch and react to TV, to the sounds, to the picture, to the action. Does your dog(s) watch TV? Do you know there’s a channel coming just for dogs; Dog TV?
Now to be honest, mine don’t really get into TV too much, I think the cats are more entertained than the dogs.
Scientifically dogs don’t actually “watch” TV, they can follow the action but they don’t really “see” what is on the screen the same as we do. Their ability to see colors is quite limited compared to ours. No, contrary to popular myth, they are not color-blind, they just have fewer cones to sense colors but they do have many more rods which sense light and motion.
So when a dog is “watching” TV, they see the motion, shapes and action rather than the specifics of what is actually going on and of course they can hear and even detect the difference between real and “canned” sounds, although many will react to TV sounds quite enthusiastically.
Many vet associations advise leaving a TV or radio on for your pets when you’re not home, this is especially true in the case of dogs with separation anxiety. It’s “company” for them. I know I do this all the time.
The company behind Dog TV, the Jasmine Group, plans to expand across the US by year’s end. A premium channel, the cost is estimated to be $4.99 a month which they compare as much less than a doggie daycare. I wouldn’t necessarily compare the two but I can see some positives here.
You can’t always anticipate exactly what will be on the TV screen when you aren’t around and some dogs are very sensitive to specifically, certain sounds. Loud sounds can easily scare or intimidate a dog so rather than the TV being company or soothing, it can instead become a torture devise. I know one of my babies really, really does not like loud abrupt noises so on the occasions that the TV is on, the sound is rather low so not to startle.
The makers of Dog TV say that it will be specially calibrated to suit dogs’ vision, the colors will seem muted to us and the segments will be designed to alternately stimulate and soothe.
“We’re constantly doing … you can call them focus groups for groups for dogs,” said Neumann. “We’ve noticed, for example, that dogs are not thrilled about barking on the channel, so we’ve removed almost all barking.”
It’s an interesting idea…
So, what do you think? Do you leave the TV or radio on for your pets? Would you consider getting Dog TV when it gets to your area?
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