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Canine Couch Potatoes: A Deep Dive into the World of Dog TV

Recently TikTok was awash with dogs watching Bear in the Big Blue house - for some reason they love it. YouTube has lots of 'Dog TV' streams, but which ones are good? And is it even healthy for dogs to watch TV? Let's take a look.

dog watching tv with two women

You know those moments when you catch your pup staring intently at the TV screen as you binge your favorite show? Well, turns out our curious copilots might be more interested in what's happening on-screen than we thought. Welcome to the fast-growing world of Dog TV. Let's break it down.

Benefits of TV for Dogs

So, is there any real benefit to letting your dog watch TV, or is it just a quirky trend? Here's the deal:

1. Stimulation and Entertainment

Just like us, dogs can get bored, especially when left alone. Television can provide a source of noise and visual stimulation that mimics the company of humans or other animals.

2. Anxiety Relief

Some shows and YouTube channels offer soothing sounds or music that can help alleviate stress and anxiety, particularly in dogs that have trouble with separation or noise phobias.

3. Habituation

TV can help dogs get used to sights and sounds that they might not encounter regularly, like traffic, crowds, or other animals. This can be particularly useful for dogs living in more secluded areas.

What's on the tube for dogs?

Sure, they don't have Netflix accounts (yet), but our pets have a surprising number of viewing options available to keep them entertained when they're home alone.

YouTube and Dog TV

YouTube isn't just for cat videos and daily vlogs. There's a ton of content specifically created to capture the attention of our soulful sidekicks. Channels like "Relax My Dog - Relaxing Music for Dogs" offer hours of content designed to calm anxiety-prone pups, while "DOGTV" broadcasts programs created to entertain, relax, and stimulate your dog.

One surprise hit among dogs on YouTube? Lo-fi hip-hop radio channels. They're a win-win; the chill beats can help soothe anxious pups while the animated graphics keep them visually engaged.

Bear in the Big Blue House

Sometimes, it's the unlikely shows that end up being a hit with the canine crowd. Enter Bear in the Big Blue House - for some reason, dogs love it. Maybe it's the combination of colorful characters and catchy songs. TikTok has been flooded with videos of dogs mesmerized by this old-school kids' show.

Most popular TV options for dogs

  1. DOGTV: An actual television network designed for dogs. They offer three types of programming - relaxation, stimulation, and exposure - which can help keep your dog entertained and also work on reducing stress and anxiety.

  2. Through a Dog's Ear: While not a TV show, this YouTube channel provides music clinically tested to calm dogs. It's perfect for background noise to help your pup relax.

  3. The Nature Channel: Many pet owners report their dogs enjoy watching nature shows. The visual appeal of other animals and the soothing sounds of nature can be calming for dogs.

  4. Bear in the Big Blue House: As already mentioned, this classic kids' show is a surprising hit among the doggy demographic. The colorful characters and engaging music seem to grab their attention.

  5. 101 Dalmatians: This Disney classic, and indeed any other movies with dogs or animals as the main characters, often gets a paws-up from our canine friends.

  6. Planet Earth: The famous nature documentary series by David Attenborough provides a mix of beautiful visuals and sounds that can entertain and relax dogs.

So how much do dogs really like the aforementioned programs? I volunteered my senior American Bully Greta to participate in an extra-scientific experiment to get some answers.

Experiment: Greta's TV Show Test

Dog TV

Greta settled in on the couch as we flicked on DOGTV. She seemed slightly interested in the sounds and the changing colors on the screen, but after about 15 minutes, she seemed more interested in her chew toy. She did appear calmer, though, which was a bonus.

Watch Time: 15 minutes
Reaction: Mild interest
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴(3/5)

Through a Dog's Ear

We swapped to the Through a Dog's Ear YouTube channel, and Greta's ears perked up instantly. She seemed to enjoy the soothing sounds, relaxing on her dog bed while the music played. She didn't pay much attention to the screen but seemed chilled out.

Watch Time: 25 minutes
Reaction: Relaxed, not visually engaged
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴🦴 (4/5)

The Nature Channel

The Nature Channel got a mixed response. Greta was fascinated by the scenes featuring squirrels and birds, staring directly at the TV. However, she lost interest in less interactive segments.

Watch Time: 10 minutes
Reaction: Highly interested in some segments, disinterested in others
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴 (3/5)

Bear in the Big Blue House

Just like the dogs on TikTok, Greta was thoroughly engrossed in Bear in the Big Blue House! She watched it for a solid 15 minutes before we finally turned it off. The colorful characters and catchy songs seemed to keep her attention.

Watch Time: 15 minutes
Reaction: Very engaged
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴🦴🦴 (5/5)

101 Dalmatians

Greta seemed to enjoy the hustle and bustle of 101 Dalmatians, tilting her head as the puppies yapped on screen. However, her attention started to wane after about 20 minutes.

Watch Time: 20 minutes
Reaction: Interested initially, but lost interest over time
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴🦴 (4/5)

Planet Earth

Planet Earth provided a mixed bag for Greta. She was fascinated by the scenes featuring animals, often perking up her ears or cocking her head. However, during quieter scenes or those featuring landscapes, she seemed to lose interest.

Watch Time: 25 minutes
Reaction: Interested in animal segments, disinterested otherwise
Rating: 🦴🦴🦴 (3/5)


While there's a whole world of dog-oriented content out there, remember that TV should be just one part of your dog's day. They still need plenty of physical exercise and human interaction to stay happy and healthy. So go ahead, and let your dog enjoy their favorite show, but don't forget to switch off the screen and go for a walk, too. After all, you're their favorite companion, not a big anthropomorphic bear.

Lizz Caputo is the Manager of Content Strategy at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.

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