DOGTV is the first-ever streaming television network for dogs. Launching on November 8, it aims to help dogs with their separation anxieties while their human families are at work and school.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
According to the ASPCA, one in eight dogs are naturally inclined to experience separation anxiety, which is a form of distress arising from being alone from their pet parents. There are a number of theories about why separation anxiety occurs, but the truth is still unknown. Often, it just happens, and it can manifest later in life in response to a big change, such as moving to a new home. The symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs can be quite diverse. In some cases, dogs will pace and generally remain uneasy throughout the period in which they are left alone. But it can also manifest in much more destructive ways too, including chewing, digging, forceful escaping, urinating and so forth.
How DOGTV Treats Separation Anxiety
Leaving the television on has long been a technique to help dogs with separation anxiety. But television for humans is not always interesting or helpful to dogs, and it can be unpredictable. With DOGTV, there are no channels to select. It streams one carefully curated flow of content aimed at your dog. The color pallet is chosen based on how dogs see, and the sounds and images are all carefully chosen as well. Another interesting aspect of DOGTV is that it does not use the same approach at all times. It actually has a rhythm to it as it cycles between periods of rest and periods of stimulation.
The Science Behind DOGTV
As mentioned, using television to treat separation anxiety in dogs is not a new concept, and the content that was created for DOGTV was done with the help of scientists and other professionals who specialize in dog behavior. In addition, the content was not created and then released into the wild. All of the content is tested and continues to be refined, and lessons learned are applied to new programs created. After DOGTV became publicly available, the company also began accepting feedback from their customers and have been collecting even more data to help them continue improving the service.
Current and Future DOGTV Content
DOGTV does have individual programs, but they are not presented to the user in that manner. Instead, the streaming services play their programs one after the other in a never-ending cycle, and the order in which these programs are shown has been curated by hand. Earlier, we mentioned that DOGTV has a rhythm to it, and the three core phases are exposure, stimulation and relaxation. During the exposure period, the dog is acclimated to door bells, car noises and other potentially triggering sounds. During the stimulation period, the dog is shown content to stimulate the mind and avoid boredom, and in the relaxation phase, soothing sounds encourage your dog to rest and recuperate. DOGTV currently has 500 hours of unique content, which can come across as a bit repetitive to human viewers, but plans to continue adding more in order to keep dogs interested and their at-home pet owners sane.
How You Can Add DOGTV to Your Streaming Services
DOGTV is a UK-based streaming service but is available in 30 countries around the world. You can access DOGTV through most of the popular streaming devices, such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Sign up through the website or the app on your device of choice. The base price for DOGTV is $8.99 a month. Cable subscribers can get it at a special rate of $4.99 a month, and if you are not a cable subscriber, you can still save a bit of money by paying $84.99 for an entire year in advance.
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