Need a dog sitter? Try a voice assistant!

Need a high tech dog sitter?

Do you use your TV as a dog sitter?


Looking for a better solution using your Amazon Echo?

We have a cute little cocker spaniel in our house who is really spoiled.  When we leave the house my wife insists on leaving the TV on in the family room for him.

I don’t know whether it is to keep him entertained, provide some comfort to avoid separation anxiety, or simply to drown him out if he should start barking at the gardener. It has become an automatic part of our “leaving the house” checklist.

Is Dog TV real?

It may not be as silly as it seems. Several years ago DirecTV, our satellite service, started offering the DOG TV channel as a dog sitter.

They claim it is “friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone”.  Yeah, right!  After the free trial we didn’t buy it and never thought twice about it – until today.

Flying by my screen I saw something that said “Audible for Dogs”.  From the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse and knew I had to learn more.  A quick trip to Google and I was on a new webpage from Audible that was promoting audio books for dogs [“Cesar Millan’s Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs”]

The “Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs” is free

It’s a free FREE audio book from Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer”.  In a nutshell, he has conducted research that shows that reading aloud to a dog, while you are away, can help with separation anxiety and keep your dog calm.

Are you asking “what the heck does this have to do with home automation”?

Let me explain: Audible is an online store/service that sells audio books. Books that have been converted to audio format either by the author or professional narrators.  

In addition to listening to audio books on your iPod or smartphone, you can also use your Amazon Echo.  Audible and Amazon allow you to access your entire collection of Audible audio books and have them read to you.

This works for humans too!

Amazon added the capability for Amazon Echo to convert written books to spoken form.

You can have any book, not just audio books, read aloud to you.

Not only is it more convenient to use Amazon Echo to keep the dog entertained, it is more flexible.

You can put Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot devices in several rooms. You can use them where you don’t have a TV.

You can listen to audio books on several Amazon Alexa devices. I recommend the Amazon Echo.

The built-in speaker sounds great and is large enough to be heard everywhere in the room.

For a tight space or even smaller budget, the Amazon Flex is inexpensive and plugs right into a wall outlet.

Lower your electric bill by turning off the TV

It is also eco-friendly – playing an audio book on the Amazon Echo will use a lot less electricity than leaving the cable/satellite box, audio video stereo receiver, and big screen TV on for multiple hours when no one, except your dog, is at home.

Babysitting is nice, but what about actual dog training?

The folks at breedadvisor.co,uk  have recently put together an incredibly detailed guide on dog training for new owners – It’s a great resource that is worth a good look: https://breedadvisor.co.uk/dog-training-guide/

Don’t forget the kids!

You can keep your kids or spouse entertained too! Check out our complete Guide for Cord Cutters for equipment, programs, and suggestions.

What do you think about using Amazon Echo as a dog sitter? Let me know what you think.

Robert

Automation technologist and problem solver

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