(CBS Local) – An expert believes that all the hours people are spending on their smartphones could be making their dogs depressed.

Veterinary expert and founder of VetUK, Iain Booth, told The Metro that he believes paying more attention to your phone than your dog is making them feel lonely and isolated.

“A dog is a social creature, a pack animal and to the dog you are the bona fide leader of the pack,” explained Booth. “You administer every facet of its life, you collect, you feed, you show it where it’s allowed to go and you, hopefully, nurture its development.”

Dogs require constant interaction and if your dog is seeking your attention but you’re too busy scrolling through your phone, it can become confused.

This can lead to behavioral problems in order to take your attention away from your phone.

While this can affect cats too, it is less likely because they are more independent animals.

Queen Village veterinarian Dr. Alexander Collada says he sees the effects of smartphone usage.

“We need to all get off our phones,” says Collada.

Especially since pups are very good at reading our subtle cues.

“Dogs do read body language. They read our eye contact. They read our facial expressions, so if we are on our phone and acting disinterested, and they’re looking for attention it basically is annoying your dog,” said Collada.

Canine depression is real and warning signs include lack of interest in food, the dog sleeping more, they may hide from you or avoid you, and they may start excessively licking or chewing their paws.