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What Do Pets See When They Watch Television?

In 2012, a dog food commercial was produced using high-frequency sounds designed to grab the attention of dogs. In theory, the dog would be so captivated by the advertisement that owners would take note and perhaps purchase the dog food. Unfortunately, most dogs failed to react at all, proving that when it comes to television ads, humans may be more impressionable than canines. While pets may not be so easily manipulated, they still find the television screen interesting, but what is a dog really seeing when they tune in? Typically, dogs will react to the same things that would draw their attention in a room — barking, squeaking toys, or commands. Dogs have a limited television attention span, preferring to glance at the screen for a brief time. Cats, on the other hand, focus mostly on prey, reacting most to birds and rodents. That’s why it’s important for cat owners to avoid letting them watch TV unattended — unless, of course, the TV is secured to the wall. For the most part, dogs and cats are far more interested in what’s going on in the real world than to what's on TV. We could probably take a lesson from their limited screen time.