Is Watching TV Bad for Dogs?


We all know that screen time can be bad for humans. Among children, excessive screen time’s been linked to delays in speech.

A lack of social connection is also one result of too much time on the television or gaming devices. Eye problems, as well as sleeping disorders, may also result from an indulgence in the screen.

So if screen time can be bad for humans, can it equally be bad for dogs? And how much screen time is okay? If you’re asking these yourself, then this article is for you. Here we talk about how screen time can affect dogs.

Screen Time Can Lead to Loneliness in Dogs

It may be okay to cuddle up on the couch with your pup and watch Netflix together. You may also have the habit of putting your puppy on the lap while you work on the computer or use your phone and tablet.

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These may be harmless habits, but you should limit them to a minimum. If you’re used to doing these activities every day and all day, then that could be a problem. Dogs can feel neglected when you ignore them. This may lead to loneliness, depression, and boredom for your dog.

There are negative effects to having too much screen time. Some are:

  • Excessive barking
  • Peeing around the home
  • Toying with the trash
  • Refusing to obey commands

We know that screen time is one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving activities people can do after a long day at work or school. Just make sure that you don’t get too busy self-relaxing that you forget to properly bond with your dog.

If screen time is part of your daily routine, then make sure to also include playtime with your dog on a daily basis.

Screen Time Can Lead to Obesity and Inactivity Among Dogs

Some dogs love watching television. They can be pretty much content to lay on the carpet or couch with you and just watch the TV for hours.

However, you need to monitor both you and your dog’s screen time. Remember that dogs need exercise, especially when they’re young. They need to expend that bulk of energy they have inside. Else, they can be a nuisance around the house.

They may also become overweight if they are not able to burn what they eat. So just make sure to provide time for play and exercise for your dog.

Why Are Some Dogs Attracted to TV Screens?

Some say that dogs can’t really see what’s on TV. But we do know that they can identify animals projected on the screen. There are also studies that report how they can perceive colors, especially the blue and yellow spectrums.

RichardBH / Flickr

Sound is also a big feature that glues them to TV sets. Remember that they have a keen sense of hearing. Chances are, you’ve seen your dog interacting with the TV. They probably bark back when they hear and see dogs barking on TV. Hunter breeds like Terriers may even jump up and try to catch small prey they see on TV.

But dog owners shouldn’t be tempted to let the television babysit for them. If you need to do something else, why not give your pet dog some toys to play with while you’re busy? If you can’t take it out for a walk, why not let a dog walker take him around the block or to the nearest park instead?

Let screen time be the last resort. Reserve it for times when you can’t get out. Choose to stay in and watch TV when you’re sick or because it’s raining.

Final Thoughts

When done in moderation, screen time for you and your dog is not harmful. Just remember to give your dog the attention it needs even while you’re both facing the television. Give it some TLC while you work on your laptop or use your smartphone.

Remember that screen time is not the main activity; it’s just what you do with your dog alternatively and for short periods of time. So prioritize walking and playing with your dog. And make sure that physical activities take more of your dog’s time, not watching TV. This way, your dog can remain healthy and happy.


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