MIAMI — There's a high-tech way some pet parents are hoping to ease what their dogs experience when left home alone, CBS Miami reports.
Your dog may yelp or cry when you head to work and you leave him or her alone, whether roaming or locked in a crate. Dogs deal with the experience differently, says Dr. Ian Kupkee of the Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.
"Some dogs were bred to sit and be content with nothing; other dogs are high-drive working dogs that need a lot of stimulation," Kupkee said.
DogTV hopes to provide that stimulation. It's a subscription channel created just for dogs that also claims to provide relaxation and exposure to things that may be new to your pet, like children or outside noises.
"I can't believe it," said Marty Feinberg, a Miami man who takes his rescue dogs Shadow and Hope to the park daily. He's not so sure about putting them in front of a TV, joking, "I wonder if I put on cartoons will they sit and watch the cartoon?"
DogTV doesn't play cartoons. Its programs have modified sound and video only your pup can pick up on.
The company explains on its website: "Through years of research, special content was created to meet the specific attributes of a dog's sense of vision and hearing," with enhanced color contrast and brightness and the use of sound effects and music at "specific ranges of frequencies ... tailored to a dog's unique sense of hearing without startling or annoying their sensitive ears."
With the average American dog staying home alone roughly six hours per day, the idea has a big potential audience.
A testimonial on DogTV's YouTube page suggests dogs in a California animal shelter appear more calm and "show better" since they installed flatscreens playing DogTV.
Much like the toddlers with iPads debate, the question formight be: how much screen time is too much time?
"As an adjunctive form of entertainment, I don't see why it would be harmful," said Kupkee, though he prefers stimulating games that reward your dog with a treat and human interaction.
"The better solution would be atype arrangement where they're actually physically interacting with other dogs, around other people," he said.
Still, it's an alternative some – including pet hotels – are experimenting with, even if not every dog owner is convinced.
"I mean, I can't see my two dogs sitting in front of the TV watching TV," says Feinberg.
DogTV has different plans at less than $10 per month and is available through DirectTV and RCN cable as well as on-demand streaming video services like Roku and Apple TV.
The company won't share how many subscribers they have.