Audiobooks for dogs is now a thing, but will you buy one?

Books for dogs. It’s not clear if there was a glaring gap in the market for such an offering, but Audible has nevertheless teamed up with dog behaviorist Cesar Millan to launch a carefully selected collection of audiobooks to keep your canine calm whenever you leave the house.

Audible for Dogs” should also give pet owners peace of mind, the company said in a release, “knowing the dog will have the comfort of a human voice.”

To be clear, Audible isn’t claiming that dogs will understand any of the storylines or become engaged enough to start requesting novels from particular authors. It’s merely suggesting that your animal will feel calmer whenever they’re deprived of human companionship at home.

“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.

“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.”

To ensure that it wasn’t barking up the wrong tree with its fascinating idea, Millan’s Dog Psychology Center conducted research with 100 dog owners, with 76 percent who played audiobooks for their pooch “reporting an increase in calm, relaxed behavior [in their dog] over a four-week period.”

The current selection of curated audiobook titles, each one with a personalized introduction from Millan about their canine appeal, includes Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, described as “a heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope.” Starring a dog.

Other picks include the bear-focused Winnie the Pooh and, for mutts interested in early science fiction novels, Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.

One of several videos promoting Audible for Dogs shows Millan chatting with a woman called Leslie who has a dog named Buddy.

“When I leave him I can’t help feeling he has feelings of desertion … I think he doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Leslie tells Millan. And it’s true, Buddy does look confused when Leslie walks out of the door, though it might be because there’s a camera crew in his house. It’s really hard to say.

While some may see Audible for Dogs as a cynical attempt to exploit dog owners’ feelings of guilt about leaving their animals alone, others will totally get Audible’s idea and may even give it a whirl.

Of course, if you don’t fancy forking out for an audiobook, you can always leave the radio or TV on when you head out, something lots of dog owners already do.

Product Review

The Nuimo Click’s self-powering control convenience is cool but costly

Smart home devices might be clever, but needing your phone to use them is not. Senic’s Nuimo Click is the set of physical buttons that your smart devices are missing. But these smart, self-powered buttons aren’t cheap.
Smart Home

Porch pirate problems? Keep them away with these tips and tricks

The holiday season is fast approaching and the packages are arriving on our doorsteps. Are you worried about porch pirates stealing your gifts this holiday season? Here are some tips to help protect your purchases.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Product Review

Spacious and intuitive, Samsung's Family Hub makes the case for the smart fridge

Samsung's 28-cubic-feet Family Hub fridge aims to not only keep your food cool, but also be the brains of your home via a large computer screen on the outside panel door. Just how smart is it?
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.