Just like kids get annoyed when their parents pay more attention to their smartphones than them – your DOG feels the same way! The University of Michigan found that kids had more behavioral problems when their parents were distracted by their phones. And now a new study conducted by the British veterinary group VetUK has found that dogs are more likely to suffer from depression and behavior problems if their owners spend too much time on their phones.

Veterinarian Dr. Alexander Collada says, when we pay more attention to our phones than our dogs, we damage our emotional bond with them and make our dogs feel lonely and isolated. That’s because dogs are extremely human-focused, social animals. And Dr. Collada says, if your dog is sitting there looking up at you, and you’re scrolling through your phone – and you do that consistently for weeks and months, you’re going to get some real behavioral issues. It could lead to your dog developing nuisance behaviors to get your attention, or developing aggression or depression. And canine depression is a real thing.

Warning signs to look out for are sleeping more than usual, avoiding you and excessively licking or chewing their paws to soothe themselves. So, the next time you’re on your phone and your dog is giving you those eyes – snap a quick picture because he’s adorable – then put the phone down and spend time with your best friend.

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