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Author: Erin Schneider | Date: March 30, 2012

When you leave your dog at home while you run errands or go to work, do you leave the TV on or play music for them? I always feel better leaving some noise on for Bailey when I leave. I don’t think she pays much attention to it, but I think it helps drown out some of the city noise.

I recently heard about a new TV channel called DogTV.

At first, I thought it was just another gimmicky tool to get dog owners to fork over more money. But after doing some research, I’m intrigued.

DogTV was designed by pet experts, including Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell. DogTV is intended for dogs that stay home for a few hours at a time or dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. The content is made up of three types of programming: relaxation, stimulation and positive behavioral reinforcement. DogTV’s website says this about its programming, “Dogs that are left alone tend to become anxious so the relaxing sounds and music in the relaxing segment were created to keep the dog calm and peaceful. Many dogs also suffer from lack of stimulation, which becomes acute when their owner is away. The stimulating content will provide the dog with invigorating images, animation and exciting real world sounds to keep the dog up and running. DogTV’s programming meets a dog’s typical daily cycle and helps prevent mental fatigue, depression and boredom.”

The website says to try it out on your dog before you leave them home alone. But everything about the sights and sounds are made specifically for dogs. Unlike regular TV, which often gets louder with commercials and more annoying for the dog, DogTV is meant to be tailored to dogs needs. They do this by adjusting the colors and frequencies of the screen to be more appealing to our pets. The programming also combines soothing and more stimulating content to help minimize boredom, which hopefully will lead to less destruction.

One feature I thought was cool is that the content is interspersed with “periods of exposure” such as the sound of a vacuum cleaner at a low level in the background. This is to help desensitize your dog to some everyday sounds that may otherwise be an irritant.

Currently, DogTV is only available in San Diego but it is hoping to launch nationwide shortly. So keep an eye out for it. There will be a monthly fee of $4.99, so not an expensive investment. If you are interested in getting a sneak peak, take a look at their website.

DogTV isn’t meant to be a substitute for our love and companionship, but it is supposed to help while we are gone for a few hours. What do you think of DogTV? Is it just another way for the pet industry to make a few bucks, or do you actually think it will help your dog?


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