The Surprising Science Behind Dog TV

Kicking back and binge-watching the latest Netflix series or tuning in to watch a game are some of the most common pastimes nowadays. But the next time you’re watching TV, check to see if your dog is also enjoying the show, movie, or game. They most likely are! Studies conducted by the University of Oxford, UC Santa Barbara, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Bristol found that pets like watching TV, especially certain programs.

Continue reading to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dogs watching TV.

What Do Dogs See When They Watch TV?

Unlike human vision—which is trichromatic—dogs have dichromatic vision, meaning they only see blues, greens, and yellows. Dogs’ eyes also register more quickly than ours do, so a show playing on an older TV with a slower frame rate will look more like a flickering 1920s movie than the smooth-flowing images we see.

Even with their dichromatic vision holding them back, our four-legged friends still perceive TV images similar to how we do. In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Animal Cognition found that dogs could identify images of other dogs shown on TV.

Benefits of Letting Your Dog Watch TV

Even if the frame rate may look a bit slower and your dog may not recognize red images on the screen, letting your dog watch TV can have the following benefits:

  • Mental Stimulation: Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical exercise. Leaving the TV on for your dog while you’re at work or out running errands gives them something to focus on while you’re away. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes; wouldn’t you rather have the TV on than sit at home in silence?
  • Relaxation: Every dog owner knows that utter chaos ensues when their pets get a little too much stimulation. Studies suggest that you can turn the TV on to help your dog settle down and relax when they’re over-stimulated. Of course, you’ll want to avoid turning on an action movie. A soothing nature documentary, like Planet Earth, works much better.
  • Exposure to the Outside World: Like humans, dogs need to experience the outside world to get the most out of life. Unfortunately, that’s not always a possibility when their owners are at work or school all day. One way to give your dogs exposure to things they may experience outside is to put on a show or movie featuring plenty of animals.

Which Channels Do Dogs Enjoy?

We already touched on putting on a soothing nature documentary to calm your dogs down. But researchers have found that dogs prefer watching shows with animals in motion, and they’d rather watch a real animal than a cartoon.

Of course, all dogs are different, so some dogs might prefer certain shows to others. Our advice to find the best TV for dogs to watch is to pick a few shows to let your dogs watch and see how they react. Are they paying attention to the screen? Are their tails wagging? Do they seem distressed by what they see? Keep testing different programs to see which ones your dogs pay the closest attention to seem the happiest while watching.

There’s a channel called DOGTV, and as the name suggests, it’s a TV channel devoted entirely to dog programming! DOGTV is an HD channel with much higher frames per second and is specifically colored to tailor to your dog’s dichromatic vision. The programs on this channel are easier for dogs to see and the programs are things your dog wants to see.

DOGTV has all of the programming your four-legged friends need. For example, shows of dogs laying in grass paired with classical music help your dogs relax, while videos of dogs surfing provide some mental stimulation. Additionally, DOGTV has videos of dogs obeying commands, providing them with information for real-world scenarios.

Can TV Replace Human Interaction?

It’s important to note that while TV provides mental stimulation, it’s no substitute for human interaction. Because of that, you need to take your dogs out for walks and play with them whenever possible.

With pet doors leading to fenced-in backyards and open greenspaces, playtime is easy when you live in our pet-friendly homes for rent at Christopher Todd Communities.

We Have Everything You and Your Dogs Need

Along with our fenced-in backyards, our rental homes feature smart home technology and come internet ready to stream your favorite shows or DOGTV programs. Find A New Way To Live® at Christopher Todd Communities by contacting us to schedule a tour today.

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Christopher Todd

Christopher Todd Communities creates neighborhoods and communities for people to enjoy, share, and live. Here, you’ll find luxury, single-story, rental homes in gated, planned communities that are professionally managed. These come complete with amenities designed for socializing, energizing, for peace of mind, and even for pets.