PET PLAYLIST: Based on an animal’s personality.

THE world’s largest audio streaming company, Spotify, has launched five-hour aural experiences to alleviate stress for dogs while their owners are at work.

‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ includes messages of comfort and reassurance (recorded by actors) such as: ‘I’d stay here and stroke you all day long if I could.’ And: ‘It makes me so happy to start the day off seeing your happy face.’ Plus: ‘You just take it easy today. This is your chance for some well-earned me time.’

Spotify is also launching a Pet Playlists feature based on a user’s musical tastes and their animal’s personality.

In other words, users who say their cat is shy and withdrawn will be recommended different songs from those who say their pet is active.

Personally, someone saying: ‘You just take it easy today. This is your chance for some well-earned me time’ is not what I like to hear on podcasts, but I suppose a dog’s tastes are quite different!

I’d imagine enthusiastic assurances about how ‘tasty’ their supper will be would be more effective (as long as it doesn’t sound too much like a script for a Donald Trump pep rally. Talking of whom, considering that my frying pan needs replacing, does anyone know where his Teflon coating comes from?).

And another thought. Wouldn’t natural sounds make lonely dogs feel happier, rather than unfamiliar actors’ voices? A neighbour tried similar stress-alleviation videos for cats on YouTube on their moggies. After a few minutes they lost interest and sloped off in such a low energy way they could win a climate change award. I wonder what effect playing YouTube has on dogs?

As for my parents’ dogs, leaving Radio 3 switched on worked a treat. They (the dogs, that is) preferred that to the endless adverts on Classic FM. But as for the rest of it – aromatherapy, mental health therapy and general canine counselling – well, they’d tell you that’s: ‘barking mad. What a load of Shih Tzu.’

And as for me, a few minutes of the Shipping Forecast and I’m out like a light…

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘Betrayal,’ ‘The Girl in the Woods,’ ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as ebook (€0.99;£0.99), ibook, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.