According to a study released by BarkBox, a New York-based startup dedicated to delivering boxes of doggie goodies, American adults are nothing short of obsessed with their pets - posting about them on social media up to six times per week on average.
The BarkBox Dog Parent Survey was conducted by Kelton Global between 28 October and 4 November 4th 2016, among 1,006 nationally representative American dog owners aged 18 and over. It found that, on average, 20 per cent of the pictures on their phone are of their dog - easily topping trips or vacations (15 per cent), selfies (11 per cent) or food (6 per cent). About 42 per cent of the dog owners who took part in the poll said that they have a photo of their dog as their phone background or computer desktop.
As the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind. Yet it seems that dogs are never entirely out of their owners' mind, and modern technology now ensures that they're hardly ever out of sight, too: 17 per cent have admitted to watching remotely on their dog through a webcam, and 14 per cent to interacting with them through Skype or FaceTime.
“This is especially true of Millennials, who are more likely than non-Millennials (24% vs. 13%) to watch their dog on a webcam," the study says. "In fact, Millennials are nearly three times as likely as their older counterparts (23% vs. 8%) to Skype or FaceTime their dog."
The difference is likely partly due to the divide in technological proficiency between generations: who would pass up a chance to chat with their dog while away?
The study focused entirely on Americans, but there is little doubt that UK dog lovers are not too far off. Don't you think so? Just count the dogs on your Facebook feed...