It was bound to happen in the glut of niche cable networks that have popped up over the past 20 years...a television network aimed solely at dogs. Now, it has arrived. DogTV will officially launch August 1 on DirecTV. "It's a TV channel for dogs as viewers," says DogTV founder Ron Levy. "So when dogs are home alone every day, and they are home alone every day for hours and hours, they don't get bored." The 24-hour channel will feature 3-6 minute video segments designed to relax, stimulate, and even educate dogs. The channel will cost $4.99 per month, but will initially be offered for free as part of a two-week trial.
Levy tells KTRH the channel has been designed with the help of pet experts to appeal to dogs that don't have anyone to interact with. "This gives them a presence in the home, they don't ruin the house and eat the furniture and stuff like that....instead they get entertained and relaxed by this unique TV channel," he says. However, Houston dog trainer Kathleen High worries that DogTV is simply a solution for lazy pet owners. "If they think they're gonna pay five dollars a month and just turn this on and have a magic button for their dogs, that's kind of far-fetched," she says.
High also isn't sure a specialized pay channel is necessary to keep pets occupied. "You can either leave a TV on so (the dogs) can hear the voices, or leave on some low music, and it does help them--they think there's someone there--but you don't have to pay five dollars a month for that," she says. Levy notes the network was tested in San Diego for a year and got very positive feedback from pet owners, many of whom pay much more to pamper their animals with spas, grooming, and specialty foods. "I believe it's a good deal for everybody, but test it yourself on DirecTV and see for yourself," he says.