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Research: Are Sleepovers and Field Trips Good for Dogs? - AAWA 

02-02-2022 11:08 AM

Research: Are Sleepovers and Field Trips Good for Dogs?

This week’s Innovation Bank digs into research done by Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA. As the Maddie’s Fund Research Fellow at Arizona State University, Dr. Gunter studied the impact of doggie sleepovers and short day trips at shelters all around the country. Listen to the 24-minute webinar, Investigating the Effects of Sleepover & Field Trip Program on the Welfare of Shelter Dogs for a complete breakdown of her findings, and read on for high-level insights.

Are Shelters Stressful for Dogs?

If your answer to the above question is a resounding yes, you’re right. And there’s science to back it up. There are many studies, for example, on the impact of excessive noise in shelters. While loud noise above 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to human ears, consider that dogs in shelters are exposed to 125 dBs on a regular basis. A 2012 study, in fact, found significant damage to shelter dogs’ hearing. 

Dr. Gunter also pointed to a study that compared dogs in homes and in kennels, and found that when they were in a kennel setting, these same dogs had cortisol levels that were three times higher than when they were in homes. “Researchers study cortisol levels as that is the most widely used physiological stress marker,” says Dr. Gunter. 

That’s important, because cortisol is the marker used in the sleepover and field trip studies.

Listen to the recorded webinar

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