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A UK-based study found that dogs may be become anxious or depressed when their owners use their smartphones excessively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that dogs react similarly when their owners ignore them, according to ABC 11.

“We’re a nation obsessed by our mobile phones,” veterinary surgeon and founder of VetUK, Iain Booth, tells MetroUK. “But this gadget dependence is jeopardising the important relationships we have with our pets, particularly dogs and to a lesser extent, house cats.”

According to Fox 13, the study also found that cats don’t care nearly as much about their owner’s smartphone usage when compared to dogs.

Booth says that smartphone usage affects dogs more than cats because dogs naturally depend on their owners to be their “pack leader.” He explains that a dog is hard-wired to look for your feedback and interaction--and if you are always on your phone, that bond breaks down.

“A dog is a social creature, a pack animal. And to the dog you are the bona fide leader of the pack,” Booth tells MetroUK.

Booth tells Metro that the symptoms of depression in dogs include a lack of interest in food, an increase in sleep, and excessive licking or chewing paws.

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