Leaving TV on for dogs


Can dogs watch television (TV)? What would be the best programs for these animals? To answer this question, let’s talk a little about the benefits and harms of television for dog health.

Leaving TV on for dogs

Leaving the television on when the pet is going to be alone at home has become a common practice for many tutors. Due to work routines, many dogs spend the entire day alone in small spaces, such as apartments, which leads to behavioral problems.

There are several ways to treat dog behavior problems, and leaving the TV on for the dog has worked in some homes reducing dogs anxiety and stress. But in other homes it has a different effect stressing the dog even more.

Each dog is unique and can respond in different ways to TV stimuli. Some will relax and on the other hand, others will be more stressed. Not all dogs tolerate noise in the same way. Knowing this, can dogs watch TV?

Can dogs watch TV?

Yes, Dogs can watch TV. Nowadays many tutors have dogs with anxiety and full of energy to spend. Thus using TV as a form of interaction especially when the animals are alone at home. But for some dogs this may not work, requiring training, and association with other activities.

What would be the benefits of leaving the TV on for the dogs?

Below we will discuss some benefits of leaving the TV on for dogs

  • The TV can relax the dogs;
  • TV can make animals not sit alone;
  • It can work as a distraction when tutors are not present.

One of the great benefits is that the noise and colors produced by the TV can make the dog more relaxed. Some waves produced by the sounds of the TV can make the dog so relaxed that it can fall asleep. But for that the TV must be turned on channels that play these types of sounds.

When animals are alone at home, the noise and TV image can make them sit with you. Many dogs can reduce bad behavior such as destructive behavior just by hearing a voice or something moving inside the TV.

When a dog is left alone, the absence of activities can make him anxious, which causes him to develop behavioral deviations. Ideal for these dogs is the use of mental stimuli as environmental enrichment. 

TV is not the best method, but it can serve as an environmental enrichment for some dogs, which in some programs may try to interact with the image shown on TV, thus reducing anxiety about being alone. Working as a distraction when their tutors are not at home.

It is important to note that the dogs interacting with the image produced by the TV, may lead to some accidents and injuries to the dogs and breakage of the TV. To avoid this, the TV must be in a safe place, preferably on good wall brackets.

In addition, the hearing of dogs is more sensitive than that of humans. So, it’s good to avoid programs with fireworks, gunshots, pops and even programs where people talk all the time, as this can irritate the dog.

What channels can I leave on TV for my dog?

When turning on the TV, choose a specific channel for dogs or music channels of the classical or relaxing type, in this way the TV generates calm and tranquility for the animal.

Not all dogs like television. If you notice that your dog is bothered by the sound emitted, avoid leaving it with the TV on and look for other tactics so that the animal is distracted while you are not at home.


With this post we were able to discuss a little about the tactic of using TV as a distraction for dogs that are left alone at home. We could see that for some dogs, television can be more irritating than reassuring. For dogs that like to watch TV, the TV should always be to the lowest volume on dog specific channels or with relaxing music.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Leaving TV on for dog


Is it bad for dogs to watch TV?

For some dogs, the stimulation of TV images and noises can irritate the animal, making it more restless and anxious. But for other animals, TV has the opposite effect, being reassuring to dogs.

Can dogs recognize images on TV?

Yes, the dog is able to recognize the images that appear on television, combined with the sound. Which makes him react differently to different TV shows.

Why does my dog bark at the TV?

If your dog barks at other animals or at loud noises, for example, it is likely that he will bark too when these stimuli are shown on TV.


Hirskyj-Douglas, I., Read, J. C., & Cassidy, B. (2017). A dog centred approach to the analysis of dogs’ interactions with media on TV screens. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 98, 208-220.

Picture from flirck.com