FunNature & AnimalDogs that are less adapted to shelters sleep poorly

Dogs that are less adapted to shelters sleep poorly

Dogs (especially those that live in animal shelters) that rest more during the day show signs of increased well-being. This is the conclusion reached by a study developed by Lincoln University and the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom). In addition, the results of the research have been published in the popular journal PLOS ONE .

Every year more than 130,000 dogs enter UK animal shelters. Therefore, understanding indicators of their state of well-being, including sleeping patterns, could help you recognize dogs that need more attention or are having a worse time inside the shelter. One hypothesis suggests that shelter dogs that are less adapted sleep poorly and rest less during the day.

Monitoring the dogs

Therefore, the team of scientists wanted to test this hypothesis by monitoring 15 shelter dogs for five days. In addition, they recorded their sleep patterns, their activity levels, and any behavior that might indicate low or slightly compromised well-being.

The researchers also studied whether the dogs responded positively to a food reward test.

Study conclusions

The researchers were able to conclude that dogs that spent more time resting during the day showed more signs of well-being. In addition, they also performed better on the positivity test using food.

Although the study used a very small sample of dogs, scientists believe that dogs sleep longer during the day to better adapt to their environment. Thus, future research could further analyze the usefulness of sleep as a form of well-being in dogs that live in shelters.

“The data suggest that greater resting behavior during the day is a clear indicator of well-being in dogs living in shelters,” explained Owczarczak-Garstecka, lead author of the research.

Owczarczak-Garstecka SC, Burman OHP (2016) Can sleep and rest behaviors be used as indicators of well-being in shelter dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)? PLoS ONE . doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0163620

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