The Hidden Lives of Pets Review: Animals With Super Powers

The Hidden Lives of Pets is a science and nature documentary series released on Netflix on 22 June 2022. The series is produced and directed by Rob Neil along with producers Amber Beattie and Cressida Kinnear. The British documentary is narrated in the voice of Hugh Bonneville, who has voiced for film Paddington. There are 4 episodes in the docuseries with a runtime of about 30-33 minutes respectively.

Have you ever wondered what your furbabies or any pets are capable of? As a pet parent, you probably know how complex and wonderful your nonhuman friends are on an intuitive level. But if you’re looking for a more direct answer to your questions, then this series will provide you with answers backed by scientific research. It follows pets from all over the globe and shares the newest studies about our animal companions.

Still from The Hidden Lives of Pets

Netflix’s synopsis of the documentary series reads:

Bow wows and purr-fect pets! Meet amazing creatures from around the world and dig into the latest science on our animal friends’ senses and skills.

-The Hidden Lives of Pets Review Does Not Contain Any Spoilers-

Episode 1: Intelligence

Our pets may look like simple-minded beings who are just interested in getting treats and going outside. But there’s no denying that they can be trained to do many more exceptional things. And thus we are introduced to such animals whose intelligence outdo the others of their kind. From a base jumping Border Collie and a bopping cockatoo to racing rats, show that animal intelligence can get a big boost in the right enriched environment.

Kazuza is a border collie that base jumps with its owner from a 2000-foot cliff without any fear and much enthusiasm for it to be a never-ending flight. By looking at his case, researchers deduct that many times the emotional intelligence in the animals can overcome their natural instincts when they are in tune with their owners.

We also meet Snowball, a dancing Cockatoo who groves along with the music and is creative enough to create his own dance moves. Meanwhile, a bearded dragon called Gambit learnt how to slide the door by watching a how-to video. Such living examples are proof that in the right environment animals can become much more capable than they are believed to be.

Still from The Hidden Lives of Pets

Episode 2: Communication

How wonderful it would be if our pets could talk, is something that every pet owner has thought of once. But what if they already do and we just gotta pay attention to their language. But in the case of Bunny and her owner Alexis, it already is a reality. While spending most of our lives on the internet, I am sure many would have come across the viral Tik Toks of Bunny saying I love you to her owner through the speaking dog buttons.

The buttons have limited words or phrases recorded in them, which when pressed play the recording. That’s how they communicate with each other. At first, Alexis started with just one button that said outside, she would press it before going on a walk and soon Bunny also started pressing it whenever she wanted to go out. That led to communicating with more words and sentences over the years.

But even before dogs, Parrots have shown incredible ability to talk in our language and that could be due to their tongues, which are similar to ours. It helps them to create the same sounds. But it’s not just about the words and sounds, they communicate with us through their body language more often than we notice.

Episode 3: Super Senses

Going back to the world of Tik Tok, we all have seen the videos of many service dogs that help many individuals to live normal lives. Such one dog is Barna who can detect when his owner is going to have a blackout and alert them. This is due to an organ called Jacobson’s organ which helps them pick up chemical changes in our body.

But it’s not just dogs, various animals possess different super senses which make them special and help them to navigate through any difficulty. Like cats have magnetoreceptors, where they can sense the earth’s magnetic field and work as a living GPS like Kenny. He can navigate through the deserts of Utah and lead his owner in the right direction and they haven’t gotten lost even once.

Kenny the GPS cat in The Hidden Lives of Pets

Episode 4: Athletes

The best example of an athletic animal is Greyster. They are cross-bred dogs which get their endurance and enthusiasm from the German Shorthaired Pointer and their speed from the Greyhound, making them very well-suited for adventure sports. Even they can be envied by human athletes for their speed.

But regardless of its size and structure, a guinea pig is as much of a runner which can turn the merry-go-round swing 19 times in a day with its speed and strength. Or even a 100-year-old African spurred tortoise, Bongchan, who lives in Japan and is a popular celeb in his neighborhood. Created to walk at least 5 miles a day, Bongchan takes up the street of Tokyo to meet his daily walk needs.

Final Thoughts: Brains Not Brawn

The Hidden Lives of Pets on Netflix, simply tells us that our pets are much more than we think. When they are given the freedom, environment, love and required training then even they can become extraordinary. Nature has equipped them with all the innate powers that only need to be nurtured in the right direction.

Our super friends in the animal world possess so many hidden superpowers. If we can tap into their potential then they can save lives and make our world an even better place. And to tell you one more thing, even our animal friends prefer to choose their mate based on intelligence rather than any other skill or power.

The Hidden Lives of Pets is streaming on Netflix.

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