Dogs are able to understand human language when we create associations with things or activities, and express themselves with the ways they know how; barking, whining, growling, sighing, and more. By creating associations with activities and a communication tool, we can create a way to communicate with our dogs in daily life.
Alexa can be extremely helpful for managing our devices around the house, telling us about the weather, and making shopping lists. But what can Alexa do for our furbabies? With the help of technology, we can enrich the lives of our pets and keep them safe while we’re away. Anxiety is extremely common in dogs, whether it be triggered by loud noises or their owner’s absence. Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your Alexa devices, and ease anxiety in your pets.
Use the Alexa Skill, “Comfort My Dog” or “Calm My Cat”
This Alexa skill can play soothing music to calm your dog or cat’s nerves during a stressful situation. Studies have shown that playing music reduces stress in dogs at animal shelters, leading to less barking, lower respiratory rates and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Ask Alexa, “Can dogs eat ___?”
Dogs love to eat human food, from snacks to table scraps. However, it’s important to make sure that human food is safe for our furry friends to eat. While most dog owners are aware that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, there are some foods that are less commonly known. For example, grapes, onions, garlic, avocado, and macadamia nuts. The next time you’re considering sharing a snack with your furbaby say, “Alexa, can dogs eat blueberries?”
Play White Noise
Dogs can be easily triggered by noises outside, whether it’s other dogs barking or simply your neighbor leaving their driveway. Playing white noise can minimize other distractions so your dog pays less attention to stressful triggers.
Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy at Home with Furbo Dog Camera & Amazon Alexa
Furbo Dog Camera can be a great tool to integrate with your Amazon Alexa device, to keep your dog safe and happy. Once you have your Furbo, enable the Furbo Alexa Skill to get started.
Before You Leave: Keep Your Pup Safe & Calm With Music
While heading out the door say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” to prompt Furbo to turn on, and for Alexa to play calming music. You can even add an additional step for Alexa to toss a treat. By creating a soothing departure, your pup will create positive associations with your leaving rather than stressing out.
Here are 5 pet music playlists that we love:
- Classical for Pets
- Calming Pets Music
- Peaceful Puppy
- 50 Relaxing Tracks for Dog Anxiety
- Pet Therapy
While You’re Away: Keep Your Pup Happy and Entertained
Professional dog trainers recommend scheduling treat-tossing sessions throughout the day when you‘re away. Your pup will learn to look forward to the exciting treat tossing events during the day.
You can easily set up treat scheduling with these quotes:
“Alexa, tell Furbo to toss a treat every (30 minutes) for (4 hours)”
“Alexa, tell Furbo to cancel my treat schedule.”
“Alexa, tell Furbo to start a treat schedule.”
“Alexa, ask Furbo what's my treat schedule.”
Play Calming Music When Your Dog Barks
To distract your pup from stressful triggers, you can create an Alexa routine to play music or turn on the TV when Furbo hears barking. When Furbo detects your dog barking or howling, it will send you a Smart Alert and tell Alexa to start playing calming music or turn on the TV.
Toss A Treat When Your Pup Is Active
To reward your pup for positive behavior, you can create an Alexa routine to toss a treat when Furbo detects your dog getting active. When Furbo detects your dog being active, it will send you a Dog Activity Alert and it can toss a treat to your dog automatically.
Use the Alexa Skill, “Al the Dog Trainer”
With this skill you can say, “Ask Al,” with your question such as “Why is my dog barking?” to hear some helpful information about training and more. Anytime a question comes to mind, you can easily use Alexa to get an immediate response, or if the question is new to Al’s skill, the professional dog trainer will work on a response. Here are just some questions that Al’s skill currently has responses to:
- “Ask Al, how do I stop my dog from running out the front door?”
- “Ask Al, how do I keep my dog from marking?”
- “Ask Al, how do I keep my dog from being afraid of thunder?”
- “Ask Al, how do you stop a dog from jumping?”
- “Ask Al, what is the best way to socialize a dog?”
Have Alexa Read a Book
Audible can be used to comfort your dog by playing an audiobook while you’re away. A recent study conducted by the famous dog trainer, Cesar Milan, found that 3 out of 4 dog owners reported positive behavior after Alexa read them a book. The sound of a soothing voice can help minimize your furbaby’s stress and distract them from your absence. You will need to create an Audible account connected to your Alexa device.
Some books that Cesar recommends include:
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Cosmos by Carl Sagan
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Here is a series of videos describing how to get started.