There are two episodes, each five hours long, aiming to provide dogs with a relaxing aural comfort blanket when their owners are out. The podcasts combine soothing speech, specially composed ambient music and a background soundscape (birdsong, a washing machine and ironing).
“A lot of dogs are not getting enough rest,” says Alex Benjamin, a psychologist at the University of York who advised the producers. “Dogs should be spending a lot of their day relaxing and sleeping.” I would estimate 99% of Oscar’s life is rest. Could he possibly relax more? Would that even be safe? When I press play, he is in his usual position: motionless, 98% concealed inside his bed. I poke my phone under a corner of it. The music is reminiscent of an upmarket spa. Raine’s narration is gently undulating, mesmeric, as she lists dog breeds and tells us how “the spirit of the wolf has stayed strong in your heart”. I find it very restful; Oscar’s toes, the only part of him that I can see, appear relaxed.
Neil Evans, a pet physiologist and professor at the University of Glasgow, said: "While there is a lot of scientific research that has shown that short periods of music can make dogs more relaxed, we have shown that providing dogs with varied auditory enrichment can be used to reduce stress and anxiety over longer periods of time.
“It’s the kind of voice you might use if you were encouraging a small child to go to sleep,” explains Benjamin (she is the of a study on how pooches prefer naturalistic “dog-speak”). “Nothing too squeaky and exciting.” Episode 2 is voiced by Ralph Ineson: his voice is rasping and deep, like being licked gently by a Bernese mountain dog. I skip forward. “I’m thinking about words like serendipity,” says Ineson. “Susurration. Mellifluous. Embrocation.” Being an actor is the weirdest job. Oscar hasn’t moved a muscle, but he didn’t move a muscle when I fell downstairs either. I peer into his bed. He stares at me blankly. After a few more minutes, I turn off: Oscar shifts slightly and his head briefly emerges. Does that mean the podcast works? Possibly. I am certainly thinking of using it for my insomnia. I am a good girl.
Watch Out For Your Dogs Feet in the Summer. Hot pavement can burn your dogs paws rather quickly. To see if it’s too hot for your dog place the back of your hand on the pavement – if you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dog. On really hot days consider walking your dog in the woods, on the grass, or waiting til the sun goes down.
8 tips to make your dog happy