Teri Wilson
November 21, 2015 1:07 pm

I just got back from an amazing trip to Canada, but of course I missed my dogs like crazy while I was gone. I tried to FaceTime them, but TBH they didn’t seem all that interested. No biggie. It didn’t hurt my feelings or anything. (I’m obviously lying. IT TOTALLY HURT MY FEELINGS.)

It seems they had a legit excuse for not being into a digital play sesh, though. Studies are now saying that dogs have a hard time processing what they see on small screens. For one thing, the video resolution on your phone or IPad isn’t as great as it is on, say, a flat screen hi res television. New research shows that dogs can see hi def TVs just about as well as they see things in real life, but that’s not the case for our tablets and smart phones.

According to Ron Levi, chief content officer for DogTV (an awesome cable channel aimed at doggy viewers), smaller screens make things “harder to recreate the world for the dogs because they’re smaller and the quality is more compressed.” Also, it really throws them for a loop when they can only see our heads. They wonder what in the world happened to the rest of our bodies. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist at Tufts University and chief scientific officer for DogTV, told National Geographic, “It’s a very bizarre place for your face to pop up and the rest of you is not there. Sometimes dogs seeing images on television of their owner will go to the back of the TV and see if there’s anyone on the other side of the screen.” Awww! See? They really do care!

The fact that our images constantly move around when we’re video chatting can be even more confusing for our doggy friends. According to Scientific American, dogs process the visual world 25 percent faster than humans do. So when they’re seeing a moving image onscreen, it’s kind of like watching something in fast forward. Which, as we all know, doesn’t exactly make things easy to follow.

This explains a lot, doesn’t it? Add the fact a dog’s sense of smell is crucial to their understanding of the world (and you can’t exactly smell things through a tiny screen), and we totally get why they’re not into FaceTiming you while you’re on vacay. I’m feeling a lot better about being dissed by my furry pals now. The fact that they’re both sitting in my lap while I wrote this doesn’t hurt either.

Related reading:

The future is here, you can now have a (really cute) dog robot for a pet

Dog lovers rejoice! You can now have your domain name end in “dot-dog”

[Image via Shutterstock.]

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