In an April Fool’s Day prank this year Amazon introduced Petlexa, an animal-friendly version of its Alexa voice assistant. Nonetheless, now the spoof is becoming a reality with the launch of audiobooks for pets who may be home alone.
Today, Audible announced a new brand of books with Cesar Millan. He is a longtime dog behaviourist and the Emmy-nominated host of the TV series ‘Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan’. The series, Audible for Dogs, aims to help make dogs “calmer and happier”. Titles include “A Dog’s Purpose,” “Soldier Dogs” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”
According to Audible, the series was inspired by a 2015 academic study. It found dogs that listen to audiobooks were more likely to have lower stress when left alone than those that listened to music. As a result, Audible teamed up with Milan’s Dog Psychology Center to study 100 dogs over four weeks. They played Audible content through Echo devices for the dogs. Consequently, 76 percent of dog owners reported their pets were calmer and more relaxed after listening to the audiobooks. (Furthermore, dogs reportedly responded better to books read by narrators that were the same gender as their primary owner.)
“Dogs are social animals, so they need to engage with someone, and the purpose of Audible for Dogs is to make dogs feel there is someone with them,” Millan said in a statement. “The person performing the audiobook is actually keeping your dog calm and taking the dog to a resting state, acting as an extension of you.”
“If you’re going to leave some kind of sound behind, when your dog is alone, make sure it’s something that keeps them calm,” says Millan in a behind-the-scenes video. “The sound of the audiobook is going to take the dog into a very resting state.”