It is time to make some more room on the sofa because your dog will soon be joining you as a couch potato. Yes, you read it right – there are now a rising number of TV channels and shows, produced exclusively for dogs! With a variety of programmes showing dogs chasing, surfing, and all other sorts of fun activities, these exciting new channels are bound to provide endless entertainment for your dog.

What is dog TV?

This is the biggest question everyone will have, when first hearing about doggy TV – what exactly is in the programme? If you’re imagining your favourite hospital drama or crime show being played by dogs, there might be some slight disappointment. Although that may be a fantastic idea for some viral internet content! Rather, dog TV will usually consist of short, 3-5 minute clips, showing dogs doing all sorts of activities, including walking, swimming and playing. Visual stimulation is the key here, with the programmes packed full of animation and moving objects to get your dog’s attention. Unlike our human shows, however, the audio for doggy TV is much calmer and more relaxing (think classical music). This is to ensure its doggy viewers don’t get frightened.

Are there any benefits of dog TV?

There isn’t any concrete evidence for whether or not TV for dogs is beneficial or has any effect. After all, trying to conduct research on a group of enthusiastic dogs isn’t the easiest task one could come up with. The most useful thing about dog TV, many owners will tell you, is that it keeps their dog occupied during the day while everyone is out at school or work. Separation anxiety or fear is a common and real problem in pet dogs. Leaving the TV on for them could help with this, as it provides stimulation for them throughout the day. Creators of dog TV channels also promote other features, including specialized exposure programmes which are designed to desensitize your dog to scary sounds such as the vacuum cleaner or ambulance, by playing a soothing voice or music on top of the sound.

What are some good dog TV channels?

The biggest and most talked about channel for dogs currently would be DOGTV. It is one of the biggest platforms for dog TV, with 24/7 content available for streaming around the world. Created by a group of animal behaviourists, the channel boasts dog-tailored content designed to either relax or stimulate your dog, or desensitize them through exposure therapy. The filming technique is also designed to suit a dog’s vision, with different colour contrast and frame rates so they can watch comfortably. There is a subscription cost for DOGTV. But they do have some videos on their YouTube channel, so you (and your dog!) can have a taste of what the channel offers, before committing.

A great source for free dog TV content is the Relax My Dog channel on YouTube. The channel has hundreds of videos, showing either videos for dogs or playing relaxing music. Several of these videos will be over 8 hours long. They are designed to make it easy and hassle-free to leave something running in the background for your dog!

Another fantastic YouTube channel to look out for is Paul Dinning. If you’re tired of watching other dogs running around your screen, this might be the alternative you’ll enjoy. The channel’s nature-themed videos consist of quality shots of birds, squirrels, cows, and other animals. All using spectacular cinematography to display these creatures in their natural habitats. The videos are designed to entertain your dog, but you might also find yourself staring at the screen… Or your dog trying to jump into it!

Dog turned couch potato

Your dog might really enjoy dog TV. And it might be really tempting to let them watch as much as they like, since it keeps them happy. However, remember Mike Teavee from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, who ended up shrinking and was trapped in a TV? Well, that probably won’t happen to your dog, but the message still stands. TV is not a substitute for other forms of exercise or play, whether for a child or a dog. Leaving dog TV on during the day might help calm your dog, but it is also important to interact with them, play, and go on walks!

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