A new streaming service aimed specifically at a canine audience is being launched in the UK. DOGTV becomes available on November 8 and aims to relieve tension and anxiety in pet dogs by offering a range of programs attuned specially to the senses and interests of a non-human audience.
In a similar fashion to other streaming platforms like HBO, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, DOGTV features a bunch of different program types. The company has worked with pet experts around the world to study the effects of different kinds of music, auditory and visual stimulation on dogs. There are three categories to choose from: Stimulation, Relaxation, and Exposure.
Stimulation programs offer “playful animated sequences, dogs, and other animals designed to prevent boredom and provide mental stimulation,” the DOGTV website claims. Relaxation programs, on the other hand, are designed to soothe dogs with “calming scenes and soothing sounds.” The last of the three types, Exposure, focuses on getting a dog used to potential causes of stress, such as the sound of the doorbell ringing or riding in vehicles.
“The behavior of kennelled dogs is influenced by visual stimulation in the form of television programmes,” noted research from the Queen’s University in the UK. The quietening influence of classical music was also studied.
There is one more type of program offered by DOGTV, and that’s MYDOGTV, which is for owners as well as pets. This includes shows by celebrity dog trainer Laura Nativo, top tips for better pet care, and a cookery channel teaching recipes to add variety to a dog’s dinner time. However, do not expect that it will look and sound like regular TV.
“The brightness, saturation, contrast, camera angles, and music are adjusted to fit your dog’s hearing and seeing abilities,” says DOGTV.com. “It may seem odd to you, but the adjustments make the images on screen more alive and interesting for your dog.”
DOGTV is also not primarily designed to be watched by dogs and their owners together. “When you are there with your dog, he will always be more interested in you than the TV screen,” the website warns. Instead, DOGTV should be used to lessen the effects of separation anxiety while pet owners are out at work, or need some quiet time and separation from their pooches to work from home.
“DOGTV is an excellent resource for dog owners to help alleviate some of the behavioral problems that can arise when dogs are left alone,” said Professor Nicholas Dodman, chief scientist at DOGTV. “With numbers of dog owners rising over the pandemic, and owners now returning to work, DOGTV helps canines to feel relaxed and comforted until their owners return home.”
The company originated with trialed programming in Israel and then San Diego, California. It is now available around the world and will be included in the UK on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Play Store, and Apple’s App Store. Subscriptions are also available on an annual or monthly contract, able to be canceled any time, on the DOGTV.com website.