01915-A: The Reciprocal Impact of a Healthy and Active Lifestyle on the Physical and Mental Well-Being of Dogs and Their Owners: Physical Activity and Walking (PAW)

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $12,927.6
Dr. Elizabeth Ann Richards, PhD, Purdue University
June 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014
Sponsor(s): Border Terrier CECS/Genetics Research Fund
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: General Canine Health and Obesity

Abstract

While it is well established that an active lifestyle and healthy diet can control obesity, there is a paucity of research that has considered the full spectrum of human-dog interactions that contribute to the physical and mental health of a dog and its owner. It is likely that a dog's health, behavior and overall well-being are affected by their owner's lifestyle, including their social interactions and activity level. Dr. Richards believes that in the absence of an active and interactive lifestyle, physical stress, psychological stress and behavior problems likely occur in dogs. Dr. Richards believes that this, in turn, contributes to the documented 47% of owners who report surrender of their dog to an animal shelter because of behavior problems. Dr. Richards will conduct a novel three-month dog walking intervention, with a follow-up at three months and six months post intervention. She believes that increased dog walking will improve the health, behavior, and psychological well-being of dogs and their owners. The results of this study would provide general recommendations for new dog owners, as well as contribute to the standard of care for dogs maintained in laboratories and shelters.

Publication(s)

None at this time.

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