Abandoned dogs are being read books in kennels to help them sleep at night

Abandoned dogs are being read books in kennels to help them sleep at night

Dogs are being read books in kennels to help soothe their pain after being given up – and they have already made their favourite genres known. The abandoned dogs have turned their noses up at The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, instead preferring spy novels.

Staff are now looking to try the canines on anything from Harry Potter to Agatha Christie to see what works best. Volunteers have been going into the RSPCA-run Stubbington Ark Animal Centre in Fareham, Hants, to read the dogs the storybooks.

But as part of the reading club, workers are now appealing for members of the public to donate their old audiobooks to be pumped out over the speakers.

Charlotte Jones, behaviour and welfare specialist at the centre, said: “We’re looking for audiobook CDs to play over our sound system in our kennels.

“We recently started a reading club where volunteers come to read to the dogs in our kennels.

“And it’s been really beneficial and helps them relax in what can be quite a difficult environment.”

She added: “We had the idea to play audiobooks over our sound system as we think this will help the dogs relax.

“We’ve been playing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but it’s quite animated and can be a bit shouty so it’s not ideal for the dogs.

“We’re really after calm and soothing stories that will help them relax.

“We’re happy to try anything from Agatha Christie novels to children’s’ stories to Harry Potter.

“Although one of our volunteers has found spy novels to be particularly popular with our pups.

“So if you have any audiobooks buried in a drawer somewhere, please drop it into the centre so we can give it a try and see if our four-legged residents are fans.”

RSPCA dog welfare expert and behaviourist Esme Wheeler said historically playing classic music has helped by books could be the way forward.

She said: “Several studies have shown that auditory stimulation can have an effect on the physiology and behaviour of dogs in rehoming and rescue environments.

“And, at least in the short term, it is suggested that classical music may be beneficial in helping reduce stress for dogs in kennels.

“Although more research needs to be undertaken to fully understand why this type of music appears to be beneficial, playing classical music at low levels is one of the many methods which we use to help dogs cope whilst they are in our care.

“We all chat to our dogs and it’s often found that speaking to them with calm and soothing voices can relax them so playing relaxing audio books to dogs sounds like a wonderful idea to help the residents at The Ark.”