It is a lazy weekend, and you’re watching an exciting show on the TV with your dog, who is cuddled up beside you. An advertisement for dog treats comes up, and suddenly, your dog dashes to the front of the TV- barking at it. This makes you wonder, “Can dogs watch TV?”
A short answer to that question is yes; dogs can watch TV. However, what they see on the TV is different from what we see. Dogs cannot see the vibrant images that we see, since they are colorblind. They can only discern yellow and blue shades. Dogs’ eyes are also much more sensitive to movement than ours, so they would see a lot of flickering on a low definition TV.
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Can Dogs Watch TV?
As aforementioned, dogs can watch TV. They need around 70 frames per second to translate static images into moving images. All modern televisions have high frame rates, resulting in higher resolution animations which your pooch can see without trouble.
Dogs can even recognize images they see on the TV screen. They have been known to react to pictures of other dogs and also non-living things they are used to seeing, like treats! The breed of your dog can influence their reaction to seeing something on the TV. For example, watching small animals run can trigger your Terrier’s prey-drive and cause him/her to bark at the TV.
What do Dogs See on the TV?
Your dog sees everything that you see on the TV, in just a different colored version. Their vision can be compared to that of a human with red-green color blindness.
Dogs have dichromatic vision, which means that they only have two kinds of cones (photoreceptor cells) in their eyes. This limits their vision, allowing them only to see yellow, blue, and gray. You may have noticed your dog getting attracted to blue and yellow toys. That’s because those colors stand out to them. The common belief that dogs see the world in black and white is a misconception.
However, if you own an old TV set, the chances are that your dog might not see anything at all. Old cathode ray TVs have a low frame rate. Because dogs have a heightened flicker sensitivity, they will only see fast flickering light. And since they can’t make out any images, they are likely to ignore the TV. In some cases, the constant flickering can even distress your dog.
You might also be interested in: Can dogs see in the dark?
The First TV Show Dedicated to Dogs!
In February 2012, Ron Levi and Guy Martinovsky founded DOGTV. DOGTV was the first TV network that fully caters to the entertainment of dogs. The programs were developed with the help of dog behavior specialists and various experts.
DOGTV broadcasts dog-centered shows that include clips of dogs playing and soothing music that can reportedly help anxious dogs. Keeping dog colorblindness and flicker sensitivity in mind, the programs provided by DOGTV have altered colors that will appeal to your pup, and a high frame rate.
Did you know?
A pet food brand- Bakers, launched an advertisement especially created for dogs, in 2012. The ad contained high-pitched noises that would only be audible to canine ears.
Does Watching TV Benefit Dogs?
TV shows have been growing in popularity in recent years. It is not uncommon to hear a dog owner saying that they leave their TV turned on with their dog alone when they are at work. You might’ve done so too at some point, thinking that your pooch may feel better hearing people talking in the background than being in eerie silence.
Most veterinarians agree to this. They believe that watching TV can be beneficial for dogs who have to stay alone most days. Having a TV play while they’re alone can reduce separation anxiety to an extent.
Dog shows are suitable for this very reason. The soothing music and dog clips can make your pooch feel at home with their kind. Some dog shows feature programs that can help your furry friend get over their fear of thunder or loud noises from the street.
Will Watching TV Harm Your Dog?
It is improbable that your dog will show the side effects of watching TV. Letting a dog have extended TV time is much different than letting a child have one.
Your dog will not become a couch potato by watching too much TV. They need lots of physical and mental stimuli, and sometimes, even dog shows can’t provide them that stimulation. When that happens, your dog will walk away and get busy doing something else. Unlike humans, dogs can’t use the remote and switch to a channel they like better. There have also been no records of dogs’ eyesight weakening due to watching TV or standing close to TV screens.
Nonetheless, it is better not to expose your puppy to TV early on. Growing up seeing flickering 2D screens is not natural for them.
(Note: As responsible dog owners, playtime must be encouraged even though watching TV causes little to no harm.)
Dogs Can Watch TV, But Are They Interested in It?
It is hard to say if dogs are interested in TV. Every dog is different, and your dog could fall anywhere in the spectrum of dogs who love watching TV and dogs who ignore them completely.
Many people, as well as, experts wonder what it is that exactly draws some dogs to TV. Is it just the visuals? What about the audio? Since dogs have a stronger sense of hearing, it is common to speculate that they are drawn to the TV’s sounds rather than just the sights.
Spycam footage of dogs being left alone with the TV turned on showed them getting distracted by other toys in the house. Whether your dog is enjoying the football match as much as you are or if he/she is watching it to snuggle close to you is a mystery.
Check out this orthopedic dog bed that can keep your dog cozy when you aren’t around to snuggle them!
Can Dogs See Phone Screens?
Dogs can see phone screens, but they can’t recognize all images on it since the screen is too small for them. If you face-time your dog, they will have a hard time identifying you. Sitting still and repeating phrases you usually use with your pup can help them recognize you using other senses. Your dog will have little problem recognizing you by your voice, although they will be perplexed at how they can hear you but can’t see or smell you. Therefore, they are likely to get distracted than intently stare at a phone screen.
So, in a nutshell, yes, dogs can see TV. However, depending on the type of screen, they see less decipherable images than we do. But they are still likely to react to other dogs seen on the screen or sounds coming from the TV. As for if dogs should watch TV, it depends on the convenience and interest of you and your furry friend. For more interesting facts about dogs, visit our website at Dogs Wiz.