Tacky Gift Ideas: Television Programming for Dogs

Thanks to crafty marketing and sappy bloggers like me, the average human is just as guilt-ridden about how they treat their dog as they are about their children. To be sure, marketers LOVE it that many of us call our dogs our kids, and refer to ourselves as parents. It humanizes the animal, and prompts us to spend more money on our furry companions.

One of the ways we feel guilty is in how we leave our dogs at home alone while we’re out earning a living. But now we have Dog TV, and your guilt can be alleviated. DirecTV is offering a free preview this week, so your dog can not feel lonely while you’re at grandma’s stuffing your face.


What is DogTV? According to their website, it’s a, “…24/7 digital TV channel with dog – friendly programming scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone.” The programming stimulates a dog’s sense of hearing and vision.

Vision? Forget about it! Rumpy does not watch TV, and I’m not going to buy a TV just for him. Though the visuals are dog-friendly. Scenes are filmed lower to the ground, as though from a dog’s eye view.

Hearing? The segment on now has sounds of cars going by, sirens in the background, and the occasional whistle or yell. Other segments we have (OK, I have) watched included one with goats and another with lapping water and soft music.


Does DogTV do any harm? No, unless the $60 for a year’s worth of programming hurts the wallet.

Does it help? Well, that’s for you to decide. My personal thoughts are that if you’re buying out of guilt, you’d do better to invest in a good dog walker or daycare service. But if you’re adding DogTV as an enhancement for a dog that’s already provided exercise and stimulation, then I say go for it. Besides, DogTV does support the HSUS’ Pets for Life program, and that can only be good.

Now excuse me while I work on my kickstarter campaign for Cat TV. 

20 thoughts on “Tacky Gift Ideas: Television Programming for Dogs

    1. I hear ya. But as someone who sometimes works long days, I can see where a human would want their beloved dog to have some stimulation while they’re gone.

  1. NTSC, Interlaced, 60Hz, CRT driven teevee can’t be seen by most dogs. Just – at all. Their synaptic brain frequency, lack of cones in the eye, and lack of artificial depth perception, makes it appear as a flickering white light. The 1575Hz horizontal sweep frequency is right in the “sweet spot” of their hearing curve, making the sound actually annoying to them. I have known a few dogs who have been able to “see” teevee, but the majority cannot. I’m not sure if these impediments exist in the newer plasma, DLP, LCD, or LED systems. It would be an interesting study to find out.

    1. According to the “experts” at DogTV, the new HD televisions xan be seen by dogs. I doubt it. But the sounds can be stimulating. Though, honestly, dogs respond to smell.

  2. Hmmm…the DogTV is a kind of very interesting idea…..I’m not sure if I bought it for my dog if Kevin was here though….daycare or dog walker sounds much better way….

  3. Laugh you may Jen and Rumpy and Kitties. But in my former incarnation before my ex-spouse’s midlife crisis I can tell you a tale, an interesting tale. When my daughter, who was in middle school at the time, had no after school activities and came directly home from school, one of my cats, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi had this habit. She would jump on a large comfy chair to use it as a launching spot to jump on an Ottoman with wheels. Somehow she would get the Ottoman in front of the television and then stare at us or cry loudly until we turned on the television to the channel that played her favorite show.The name of that show? “Dogs with Jobs.”

    Her littermate Duiker (named after a number of species of antelope in Sub-Saharan Africa) would watch the commercials for the Westminster Dog Show each year. When the time for the event came to be televised, Duiker would prefer to sit on a cat pedestal directly in front of the television. She did this each year through the entire program each evening. Sadly I lost her last year.

    So let us Kickstart away.

    Much respect and affection

    Candy and the Terrible but also Amazingly Terrific Trio, Raleigh, Triss and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

  4. Chancy shows no interest in TV so I doubt he would pay any attention to the program. He is never alone for long periods of time since we are old folks and retired. I know of some dogs though who do love TV. Hugs and nose kisses

  5. Sometimes, humans just have to go out – and not feel guilty. The Boxers have listened to classical radio since they were pups, and are quite happy to settle down with a chew stick for a couple of hours. The little Boxer sometimes gets spooked by TV, especially large, noisy characters, so we stick to the radio x.

  6. I used to laugh at Dog TV. But Molly does watch regular TV: certain types of people…she loves extreme sports shows like skiing…and of course if there’s a big dog (doesn’t care about the little ones) or a cat. She especially likes nature shows with birds….not lions and killing…just birds. And she likes the CBS Sunday Morning pretty nature minute at the end)
    I’ve never had a dog that actually watched TV before.
    When Dog TV had a free week on, we laughed and turned it on. She did like it. She tends get overly tired like a toddler and has trouble calming down – oddly that channel soothed her. (It makes me sleepy).
    We did add it to the TV bundle. While Molly gets plenty of exercise, play with friends, walks, and chase the ball runs, she does have to calm down sometimes. This seems to help her self moderate behavior and keeps her from chewing out of hyperactivity.
    Very strange is all I can say. The older segments are better than the new ones – I have a few questions about some of the ones now…maybe she’ll manage enough self control as she matures she will be happy with PBS or something…seems to like the travel channel…we hesitate to leave any chance of news coming on if we have to leave – you know how excited and annoying the news media is these days. Who needs that, Rumpy?
    (Yes she is spoiled rotten, but we are her last chance and we have to make it work for her sake.)

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