August 02, 2021

Why so many pets are obsessed with the Olympics

Why so many pets are obsessed with the Olympics
Dr. Chris Brown


This cat ambitiously tried to catch an Olympic gymnast while dogs are obsessed with the athletics. Yes, there’s a fascinating reason why so many dogs and cats are getting a lot more out of the olympics than they did 5 years ago. Here’s what it is…

Obviously, there’s the pure entertainment and unpredictable excitement of watching you cheer and yell at the action which is genuinely something most dogs (and some cats) want to be a part of. Their attachment bond means they’re genuinely happy and excited when you are. And that’s sweet.

But there’s also something quite special happening with their eyes. This is quite possibly the first Olympics for many pets where they can actually see the action. And the way their eyes, their visual processing and their hunting mind works means they LOVE action and movement.

So what’s changed? Well, it’s not our dogs and cats. It’s actually our TVs.

You see, old TV’s worked by flashing up a new image around 25 times a second. And while our eyes couldn’t pick the images changing, our dog and cat’s ultra high speed eyes could. So instead of seeing a smooth, moving image, they just saw a frustrating and confusing flickering. Fast forward to 2021 and our new digital TV’s refresh at least 100 times per second. Their eyes now can’t detect the frames changing and suddenly, what used to be a mysterious flashing box in the corner of the room makes sense!

Add to that brightly coloured and fast moving team uniforms contrasted against an athletics track, bright blue swimming pool or a green football pitch with a ball bouncing across the screen and you have genuine attention grabbing television. Favourite sports are typically the easiest action to follow with the contrast of colours. So watch football, swimming, athletics or obviously gymnastics for the best pet viewing. And just appreciate the javelin will quite possibly be the most extreme stick throwing any dog has ever seen. Mind blowing!

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