Bark About! Blog

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two dogs watching tv together on the bed with dogs on the screen

Does My Dog Watch TV?

Published May 17, 2023
| Comments: 1

These days, in the competitive pet care industry, some dog boarding businesses offer TV in their overnight suites. Usually, DOGTV or Animal Planet are the chosen channels. This assumes your dog is going to watch TV in the first place, which is meant as a calming tool for the overnight stay. Are these “suites with TV’s” really for the dogs or for their human’s peace of mind?

Depending on the breed, dogs’ senses are created differently than humans. This is obvious, of course, with their sense of smell and hearing being superior. But the eyes, in many ways, are not superior to ours.  

Generally speaking, dogs’ eyes are better at night and more sensitive to motion. However, they come up short in more than one way:

  • Vision: Dogs vision is about 20/75, and probably why your dog will bark at someone across the street but okay with someone closer.
  • Color perception: Dogs have fewer color rods and see only blues, greens and yellows. This explains why green grass, on a blue-sky day with a yellow toy is so awesome.
  • Image perception: TV’s display about 60 frames per second. Humans require 30 frames per second to see smooth motion. Dogs require 70 frames per second, so your TV may look more like a Power Point presentation to them. 

And then, what about the sounds a TV makes? You’d think, with their superior hearing, dogs would really capitalize on this. My dogs only react to dogs barking and go nuts over doorbells on TV, which is strange because my house does not have a doorbell, so they’ve never heard one in real life.

If you are having good luck with leaving your TV on while you’re away, Animal Planet and DOGTV would be better choices than cartoons. Dogs can see real animals better than animation. Also, it could be about the sound your TV makes that may give your dog a positive and calming memory of watching TV with you.

In summary, a dogs’ definition might be… “TV is a bright and loud toy my human sits and stares at, then reacts to the strange flickers it makes. Sometimes it makes interesting sounds, and I can see another animal on it if I get really close. But the best part is I get to hang with my human, and sleep on their lap and get loving, and that’s why TV is wonderful.”

Finally, statistics say 78% of Americans watch TV with their dogs with 40% preferring to watch with their dogs rather than their own family.  TV can be a strong bonding tool for you and your pup. So, what’s your dog’s relationship with TV?

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1 Comment

  1. Marguerite McGuigan

    Jambow watches TV and barks when she sees dogs and sometimes other animals also.
    She also likes the sounds of Wheel of Fortune (and barks thru the whole show) because my Mom has watched it daily with her since she was a puppy.


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