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When I leave for a few hours, I put my dogs in a room, turn on the television, and close the door. I always tune to either a classic rock music or a classical music channel at a moderately low volume (since dogs can apparently hear quite well). The music channels have mildly moving pictures to prevent TV burn-in, but nothing that would entertain the dogs visually. I have recently heard about Dog TV and read that dogs cannot properly visualize regular TV signals anyway, so what I'm doing seems fine.

I also give the dogs a small treat before I leave; one of them gets it directly and the other via a wood puzzle to distract her.

Is this a generally effective method to provide some amount of comfort when I'm away from the home, or should I be doing something else?

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Classical music would be preferable to rock music. According to the study "Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs" from the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour (PDF), classical music "may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for [...] kenneled dogs." Although your dogs are not kenneled, the result would be comparable to alleviating distress caused by your absence.

I like to leave the TV on a talking channel, usually sitcoms. This mimics general human chit-chat and has a light mood; I understand animals can pick up mood from human conversation.

In your case, your dogs have each other for company, so it is unlikely they will become too lonely, though they can fret for their humans.

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    Our animals are definitely sensitive to moods. Leaving soap operas on would probably be a bad idea ;) – Andrew Barber Oct 12 '13 at 19:11

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