TV channel for dogs coming August 1

By CAROLINE LEE,  |  July 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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It's a ruff life for dogs stuck watching another rerun of the Kardashians.

On August 1, DirecTV will reward good boys everywhere with their own programming. Israeli-based Jasmine TV will launch DOGTV nationwide on the cable provider, with full-time pooch programming.

Dog owners can pay $4.99 per month for the channel, which will entertain pets while they are away. DOGTV CEO Gilad Neumann says the concept can act as a cure for distress and separation anxiety that many pets experience.

“Dogs spend many hours alone at home every day,” Neumann said. “As we work harder and both household members usually go out to work, dogs spend a lot more time at home. They’re very lonely, they’re bored, they suffer from separation anxiety often and people look for solutions.”

In the past, veterinarians have recommended pet parents leave on a radio or TV to keep their dogs company while they are away. DOGTV's programming, unlike the lunchtime soap opera, is designed to capture canine attention.

The content is produced with sound and movement to get the pet's attention, and is processed to use colors that fit the dog's eyesight.

"Dogs are color blind,” Neumann explained. “They can only see blue and yellow, they can’t see red and green like humans do.”

Years ago, dogs were unable to watch TV because of their quick eyesight. While humans connect frames spread milliseconds apart seamlessly, dogs' eyesight separated image frames into a strobe series of still images.

Dogs that could watch TV on older sets could usually do so because of aging eyes. With advancements in HDTV, the speed has caught up with dogs' eyes.

DOGTV’s content is separated into categories: relaxation, stimulation and exposure. Exposure serves the purpose of providing dogs with a type of stress inoculation, Neumann said.

“We expose dogs to challenging situations like doorbells, vacuum cleaners, riding in cars, children -- things that they tend to be more stressful around. With the right volume of content we help them, basically, deal with it better.”

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