If you've ever felt guilty about leaving your dog home alone, Spotify may be able to soothe your conscience. The streaming platform has announced a podcast and range of playlists aimed at assuaging lonely pets.
The audio streaming site, which has 113 million subscribers, has launched a range of "algorithmically curated" pet playlists and a new podcast intended to calm dogs left on their own. The playlists are based on subscribers' own musical tastes and pet species, while the "My Dog's Favourite Podcast" has been created with animal experts to "help alleviate stress," Spotify said.
The podcast runs in two five-hour stretches and features reassuring human voices, relaxing music and ambient sounds, including rain, and will be voiced by British actors Ralph Ineson and Jessica Raine, from Game of Thrones and Call The Midwife respectively.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, UK's largest animal welfare charity, supports the podcast – though it warned that nothing could "ever replace the company and presence" of a dog's owner.It said many dogs were "routinely" left alone and that some types of calm music "can help dogs relax."
Neil Evans, an animal physiologist and professor at the University of Glasgow who worked with Spotify to develop the podcast, said providing dogs with "auditory enrichment" could help them to achieve a more "relaxed physiological state."
Alex Benjamin, an animal psychologist from the University of York, who also worked on the podcast, said playing Spotify to pets could help soothe them by masking the "startling sounds of the outside world such as traffic, car doors slamming or the bins being emptied."
Stream Spotify's My Dog's Favourite Podcast below.