Dogs and cell phones!

This may be so!

We have people with us so forgive me for being brief. I saw this article the other day and wondered if that was the case.

ooOOoo

Too Much Time On Your Phone Might Be Making Your Dog Depressed 

He might be sad about all your screen time.

By Ellen Schmidt

Published on the 18th May, 2022.

It’s fair to say that our relationships in life require mental presence and a willingness to connect in order to thrive. Well, the same goes for your relationship with your dog.

In a busy world of daily distractions (social media being a prime example), what happens when we spend too much time on our phones — do our pets notice? Is your phone making your dog depressed?

Dr. Iain Booth, a veterinary surgeon in the United Kingdom, made this assertion more than four years ago. We’ve decided to revisit the topic because during the pandemic, many people became pet parents while simultaneously spending more time on their phones.

We spoke with Colleen Safford, a dog trainer, behavior expert and owner of Far Fetched Acres, for more insight on our relationship with our pets and what dogs might be thinking when we’re on our phones.

Is your phone making your dog depressed?

While no two relationships are the same, each benefits from communication and attention. When it comes to the friendship between humans and dogs, we should try and understand their wants and needs so every pet can live their best life. While we rely on our dogs for love and companionship, they rely on us for, well, everything.

“While I hesitate to ever say that humans can fully understand exactly what is going on in the brain of man’s best friend, dogs by their very nature are deeply dependent on humans,” Safford told The Dodo. “We control every resource in their life, including food, exercise, affection, guidance and support. By their very nature, dogs are codependents in the world of domestic living! Simply put, we are their everything.”

While the larger issue of our dependence on phones is worth countless studies, a few things are clear: Too much screen time can lead to depression and anxiety in humans, among other issues. And it can isolate us from anyone in our presence — including our dogs.

“In relationship to dog depression, if an owner has thumbs too busy to provide petting, eyes too distracted to see that their dog is trying to play fetch, and a brain too busy to provide all those verbal ‘good boys,’ it is easy to understand why phone use can impact a dog’s overall health,” Safford said. “By not supplying our dogs with exercise, verbal attention or physical contact, we are ignoring their needs and increasing the chances of behavior issues and anxiety.”

As Booth said in his interview (in reference to ignoring your dog in favor of your phone), “You do that consistently for weeks, months and years on end, and you’re going to get some real behavioral issues.” So some dogs may even start misbehaving to get your attention.

While wholly dependent on the individual dog, this is something that every dog parent should be aware of, especially considering current events — as mentioned above, during the pandemic, dog adoptions went up as did smartphone usage.

Putting the phone down is step one

“Humans and dogs both release oxytocin from petting and affection, and release endorphins during exercises,” Safford said. “No petting or affection — no love hormone. No movement — no feel-good hormones. It’s as simple as that.”

Physical activity is necessary to maintain a bond with your dog. “Grab a ball and leash, and nurture and deepen that bond. Give your dog all those words of affirmation,” Safford said.

He definitely deserves it.

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I guess the question is how much is too much. But I have my doubts that the majority of dog owners are that disconnected from their precious animals

13 thoughts on “Dogs and cell phones!

  1. Far too many people walk their dogs reading their phones. They have no clue that the dog what the dog is doing and there’s an palpable lack of bonding. Guess I shouldn’t expect otherwise, they do the same thing when there’s a baby in the stroller. That kind of ‘multi-tasking’ is turning people into self-absorbed robots who have no clue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know this! I think it is partially an age thing but that doesn’t get to the heart of the problem, Monika. And, frankly, I have more important things to do. We have a cell phone here, primarily for when I go cycling as it is a way of keeping in touch, for various reasons. Sometimes when we leave our rural haven I scratch my head at the strangeness of the world. But I admit that it is my odd view of the place. Dogs are perfect in so many ways!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even older people walking their grandchildren in my neighborhood seem overly consumed with their phones. Too often my head is screaming “Put the phone down and interact with your dog/child!” It’s a sad state of life these days. I think how much everyone is missing in terms of people to people or people to dog connections.

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      2. You are right. Indeed, we have a Californian staying with us for a couple of days and he is a tad older than me. But he only has a cell phone and he carries it on him all the time. And in our chats he frequently checks things on his cell phone.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. True enough. I guess more particularly, I meant that it is creating a type of social isolation generation. I can’t believe the people in restaurants who don’t even look at one another, but everyone is on their phones. 😰 yesterday I was actually in a local Inn. Friends had taken me out to lunch, and there was a family of four sitting next to us. The parents were on their phones almost the entire time, and the two teenaged girls, looking shy and withdrawn, were sitting without interaction. But they were Not on phones! I almost made a comment, but I shut my mouth. I almost said, wow! Do you know how rare it is to be able to sit with your kids without them being on their phones full-time? But in this case, it was the parents!! Gosh. 🥹

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      2. Bela, apologies for the slight delay in answering you but I have just come back from my first bike ride in six weeks (following my hernia op). Turning to your further remark, those poor girls. I can understand why you didn’t make a comment but, frankly, there is a sense where I say you should have done it. Of course, it’s easy for me to write that not being anywhere close to the scene. But I think I would have said something. But then I can blame it on my roots, saying something that in my old country that wouldn’t have been allowed. Of course it’s BS but one gets the idea; I can say all sorts of things and blame it on me not knowing the American customs!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey, even I don’t know American customs, per se, anymore!! We live in a different universe than when you and I were growing up, for sure. Enjoy getting to move again! I have yet to get out of my bike. First we had fires with lots of smoke, and now it’s been raining, thank God. Soon! 🤗

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