Do Dog Videos Calm Down Dogs?

There are many YouTube channels that offer content specifically designed for dogs. Some dogs are comforted by the videos; others are ambivalent.

Jun 2, 2024By Sara Payne
does dog videos calm down dogs

Have you ever seen YouTube channels that have shows for dogs? You may be wondering how effective these channels are.

Dog video channels build content scientifically designed to calm dogs and soothe separation anxiety. They benefit some dogs, but not others. Whether your dog is comforted by dog TV depends on many factors.

Read on to learn more about dog TV and how it can comfort your dog while you’re away from home.

Some Dogs Respond to Dog TV

dog tv
Image credit:

Since televisions have become digital, content creators have a new audience: dogs. Before digitalization, dogs could not see CRT TVs because their eyes function differently from ours. They saw choppy images that did not flow together, and dogs can’t see color the same way we can. However, digital TVs are more dog-friendly, allowing dogs to see pictures similarly to how we see them.

According to Dog TV, its channel runs 24/7 with videos and music designed to alleviate your pup’s stress and anxiety throughout the day. You can watch a live stream or customize the videos to meet your dog’s schedule with a paid subscription. There are three genres: exposure, stimulation, and relaxation.

Since Dog TV’s inception, many other dog channels have followed its lead, bringing content meant to soothe anxious dogs while their owners are away. There are countless, free YouTube channels that offer similarly designed videos. Some offer dog walks from your pet’s point of view, while others stream recordings of birds and other wildlife.

How Does Dog TV Work?

dog on chair
Image credit:

Dogs are sensitive to motion tracking, a feature of their eyes where they use predictions about the movement of an object to follow it. This feature helps them to capture prey, but it is also something that creators of dog-specific channels focus on.

Certain sounds are more soothing to dogs than others, as well. Content creators of dog television have worked to pick music that keeps dogs calm. Not all dogs like TV, but the ones who don’t also benefit from the calming sounds.

However, there are limitations to dog TV—namely, that dogs rely on their sense of smell more than sight and hearing. Television programming cannot target that sense, but sights and sounds may be enough to ease symptoms of anxiety in many dogs. In the long run, dog TV can reduce common behavioral problems (such as excessive barking) and redirect a dog’s focus when it feels anxious.

Dog TV Can Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety

lab looking out window
Image credit:

Separation anxiety is a condition that many dogs experience. When a dog has separation anxiety, they suffer extreme distress in their owner’s absence. This is more than waiting for hours by the front door or being excited when you get home. A dog suffering from separation anxiety may:

  • Bark for hours on end
  • Defecate in different parts of the house
  • Tear up cushions
  • Pant excessively
  • Drool or slobber
  • Become quiet and withdrawn
  • Hide
  • Attempt to escape

Treating a dog with separation anxiety includes providing audible cues that help to relax the dog while their owner is away. Dog TV can be a way for you to comfort your dog. If you regularly have the noise of TV in the background while you are home, your dog may associate that sound with you and the comfort they feel when you are home, which can help ease anxiety.

Other Ways to Ease Separation Anxiety

anxious german shepherd
Image credit:

Dog-specific videos are a great way to soothe a dog with separation anxiety. However, if your dog doesn’t respond to the videos, you have other options for soothing them in your absence. Some tips include:

1. Giving Your Dog a Treat

dog treats
Image credit:

For mild cases of separation anxiety, give your dog a treat when you are away. You can do this with a time-release treat dispenser or a puzzle toy, such as a Kong stuffed with peanut butter. The dog gets the treat when you are away, and the treat is taken away when you are home.

This gives your dog something to look forward to when you leave. It also positively reinforces their calm and happy behavior while you are away, associating relaxation with your departure.

2. Establishing a Routine

anxious dog black brown
Image credit:

Another way to discourage mild separation anxiety is to build a routine. If you do the same things in the same order every day, your dog won’t be surprised by you leaving. They’ll come to expect it.

Also, put little emphasis on your arrival and departure each time. For example, instead of showering your pup with tons of love before you leave, make the exit quiet and calm with a simple farewell.

When you return, ignore your dog for a few minutes to make your return less of a dramatic deal. Then, you can calmly greet your dog.

3. Giving Calming Supplements

Image credit:

If your dog struggles with anxiety, you can also give your dog over-the-counter calming supplements. Many calming supplements have natural ingredients that can soothe your dog. Just make sure that they don’t contain ingredients harmful to dogs, such as garlic. Also, ensure the supplement doesn’t trigger your dog’s allergies. If your dog’s feet turn red or their eyes tear excessively, stop giving them the supplement.

Be sure to ask your veterinarian questions before giving your dog a new supplement. They can explain whether a particular treatment is safe.

Dog TV and Other Tips Can Soothe Dogs

dog on laptop
Image credit:

Dog TV can be one way to ease a dog’s separation anxiety. It is scientifically developed with images and colors that calm dogs, and the music is meant to comfort and soothe anxious pups. However, there are other ways to soothe an anxious dog, such as leaving them a treat as you leave, establishing a routine, and giving them calming supplements.

If these tips do not work (or you feel your dog’s anxiety is extreme), take your dog to the vet. You may also consult a professional behaviorist who can evaluate and address the cause of your dog’s anxiety.

Sara Payne
By Sara Payne

Sara is a mother of two and a high school English teacher who rediscovered her love of writing during the pandemic. She has 5 rescue cats: Neville and Luna, who are white cats with black and grey spots, and Ginny, Blue, and Fairy, who are calicos. Besides taking care of humans and fur babies, Sara enjoys gardening, crafting, and spending time in nature.