Does leaving the television or music on really help a pet to be comfortable alone?
Many dogs and cats can be friendly, cuddly, and want companionship. When you spend time with your pets and are home often, they may get used to that and develop an anxious reaction when they are left home alone.
If a pet has separation anxiety and doesn’t like to be alone, there are many ways they might react when you leave them home alone. An anxious dog might howl, bark and claw on things they’re not supposed to, or even go to the bathroom indoors (even if they’re housetrained). A cat might tear up your belongings and do their business in places other than their litter box.
At Presidential Pet Care®, we want your pet to be comfortable and happy at all times, just like you do. So we’re digging into common advice for pet owners:
Should I leave the TV or radio on when I leave my pet at home?
The idea that noise from the TV or music can calm a dog or cat when they’re alone has been around for a long time. There’s even a television channel devoted to dogs – it’s called DogTV, and it provides dog-focused programming 24 hours a day.
But, the questions still lingers – is that sort of noise really helpful?
Cats seem to like “cat music”
A study published in 2015 by Applied Animal Behavior Science and conducted by a team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed that cats really aren’t interested in classical music, but they react more favorably (and obviously) to music created for cats, by University of Maryland composer David Teie. The basic evidence? Cats showed little to no interest in the human classical music, but approached the speakers and rubbed against them when Teie’s music played.
As for dogs, if you want to leave the television on, there are a few things to think about:
- Your dog may calm down and sleep while you’re away.
- Older dogs may be more acclimated to being alone, if you’ve started training early on.
- There are things you can do to lessen the separation anxiety, whether you leave the TV or radio on or not.
- If you have multiple pets, (two dogs, for example), they can keep each other company if they generally have a positive relationship when you’re there with them.
- The TV or radio can mask unpleasant sounds, or even drown out your pet if you leave them on loud enough.
Audiobooks might be an option for dogs
A study has shown that dogs do react favorably when you turn on an audiobook before you leave them home alone.
In 2017, researchers at Hartpury College in the United Kingdom looked at how dogs reacted to a variety of sounds, including audiobooks played for dogs at in rescue shelters.
The three main takeaways of the study were this:
- Kenneled dogs rested more when audiobooks were played for them.
- Dogs sat and stood less when audiobooks were played.
- Audiobooks could be an enrichment option for kenneled dogs.
We can’t provide the right answer to whether you should leave the television on for your dog or cat – that’s really your call, but if your routine includes those actions when you leave, you can be sure that we’ll leave the television or radio on for your pet.
Working with a pet sitter/dog walker and keeping to your “leaving pets” routine
If you have a routine that you follow when you leave your dog at home and you hire a pet sitter or dog walker, that’s important information to pass along to that person.
At Presidential Pet Care®, our trained pet sitters and walkers know to stay vigilant about potential issues inside and outside. We make sure that your pets stay out of household cleaners, plants and items that could prove dangerous. Our team members will adhere to your schedule and your routine, whether we’re staying with your pets or taking them out for socialization and potty breaks. Our team of trained and certified pet sitters and dog walkers wants your pet to be happy, and if the TV makes your dog happy and calm, that’s what we’ll turn on.
Not only do we provide force-free pet care, but we ensure your pets have a little fun while we’re with them. To get started with Presidential Pet Care®, fill out our new client registration form.