Have you ever noticed your dog staring at your television while you binge-watch your comfort show? If so, you may have wondered what exactly they were seeing. Do canines see the same images as we do, or are they just reacting to the sounds coming from the TV?
Do dogs like to watch TV?
Canines have varying levels of interest in television programs. Some dogs seem to pay absolutely no attention to the TV. To them, it’s just another piece of furniture. Other canines will watch for a moment if a noise or image catches their attention.
Then there are some dogs that truly seem to enjoy watching TV, especially if a program includes other animals or objects that are moving quickly. These dogs will watch the screen intently or even leap or bark at an image that interests them. Herding breeds especially seem to enjoy the quick movements and actions that may appear onscreen.
What does your dog see on TV?
While you enjoy the latest episode of Love is Blind, your pup is likely not seeing things exactly as you are. What a dog sees on TV will be less colorful and more blurry than what a human sees because our eye structures are different.
Colors, for instance, are not the same for dogs because the human retina contains three types of cones, while dogs only have two. This difference means that humans can identify combinations of three colors — red, blue, and green — while dogs can detect only two. Although no one knows for certain what those colors are, many experts believe that they may be blue and yellow.
Also, in comparison to humans, most dogs are nearsighted. Canines will often move closer to the TV screen to get a better view of the action.
Why do dogs like to watch TV?
Dogs are pack animals, and many don’t like being left alone. So even if your dog doesn’t seem that interested in watching TV, you may want to leave it on when you’re not home. Some people believe that the human voices and sounds coming from a TV can be comforting to canines when they are by themselves.
The TV can also mask outside noises that may frighten your dog, such as thunder or fireworks. If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhome, the television could also keep your dog from hearing noises coming from other units that could cause them to bark.
And in fact, watching TV with your dog may strengthen the bond you and your pet share. According to a 2018 Netflix survey, pet parents agree, with over 58% admitting that their dog is their favorite binge-watching partner.
TV for dogs
If you own a canine that appears to enjoy watching TV, you may want to invest in a subscription to DOGTV. This streaming channel airs programs that have been scientifically designed to keep your dog happy and entertained throughout the day.
If you're on a tighter budget and can't splurge on a whole channel for your pet, we recommend checking out Youtube for calming, pet-friendly channels.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist 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.