Leaving your dog alone, for any amount of time, can be a heart wrenching experience to say the least, especially if your pooch is well equipped in the guilt-tripping puppy eyes department. To ease their agitation, as they desperately long for your return, you might choose to keep the television on as a way of relaxing your restless dog.
However, despite your best intentions, it’s difficult to truly know whether your TV show of choice is a successful soother. To uncover the truth about how man’s best friend responds behind closed doors, we enlisted the help of four doggy volunteers: Yogi, Bertie, Teddy, and Milo.
How did we conduct our research?
Attaching a comfortable heartrate monitor to each of our dogs, we left them alone with the television on for short periods of time while varying the entertainment offering. Measuring their heartbeat per minute, across a total of nine different shows, in relation to their resting rate, we can reveal, once and for all, the TV program you should be switching to as you leave the house.
Malcolm in the Middle the most disliked show for dogs
In finding out the shows that increase heartrates in dogs, we’ve brought you the television to avoid when leaving the house. While they may love the sound of playful chuckling in real life, our research highlights the contrasting emotions felt by dogs when faced with artificial laughter coming from the screen.
While it might be reliable television among humans, Malcolm in the Middle is by far the biggest pulse raiser for dogs, increasing our four’s heartrates by an average of 38 beats per minute. Bertie was by far the least impressed with the popular program, with his rate raised by nearly 100 beats per minute.
In fact, the show featuring Bryan Cranston was almost twice as taxing a watch for our dogs than The Big Bang Theory, which saw heartrates rise by 14.5 beats per minute. Longstanding favorites Cheers, Friends, and Frasier also clocked increased heartrates, with our dogs experiencing between 7-8.5 more beats per minute than when resting.
Finally, treasured cartoon and television icon The Pink Panther was our least detrimental stressor, raising our dogs’ heartrates by just 4.75 beats per minute.
Captivate your pets with The Mandalorian
Looking towards the greatest relaxers, our research shows that, just as dogs are agitated by comedy and laughing tracks, they’re sent into a deeper state of tranquility in the presence of quieter and more engaging television.
For example, Disney’s Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian reduced the average heartrate across our dogs by 3.75 beats per minute, with Bertie, again, especially impacted and enjoying particular intrigue. Similarly, we’ve doubled down on science-fiction-fantasy, with Stranger Things also proving to be among the most settling shows across our study, calming our dogs and reducing their average heartrate by 2 beats per minute.
Interestingly, Mr. Bean bucks the comedy trend and claims silver as the second most soothing show, according to our research, largely helped by its quiet format and reliance on physical comedy.
Leaving dogs alone, even briefly, can be difficult for both you and pet to endure. However, knowing what shows to treat them to in your absence can lighten the feeling of guilt as you close the front door behind you.