7th June 2012, 2:33pm
Help experts discover how working full-time affects your dog
Dog with laptop Animal behaviour experts from the University of Lincoln are looking for dog owners who work full-time to take part in a survey about what usually happens to their pets while they are out at work.

Many dog owners who work full-time have to decide what to do with their pet during the working day. Some leave their dogs at home, some take them to work, while others may make alternative arrangements such as utilising dog day care or dog walking services.

As dogs are sociable animals, owners need to consider the wellbeing and safety of their pet during the day.

Dr Hannah Wright, from the University’s School of Life Sciences, is leading the research, which is believed to be the first to look at how dogs are affected by their owner’s work commitments.

She said:  “The time dog owners spend at work makes up a significant proportion of a dog owner’s life, and their dog’s life too. The arrangements they need to make for their pet’s care should consider the needs of both parties. It is important for us to get a better understanding of how well the dog’s needs are met in a variety of care arrangements, to promote good welfare for our companion animals.

“Previous studies have found that owning a dog has benefits, including reduced blood pressure and stress levels. It has also been shown that allowing dogs in the work place may increase worker satisfaction, support and commitment. However, no study has yet considered the impact of working day management arrangements on the dog, or concerns from owners about these arrangements.”

The University of Lincoln has launched the worldwide online survey in collaboration with the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, funded by The WALTHAM Foundation®. The survey asks for information from dog owners who work full-time about their management arrangements for their pets during working hours.

To participate in the survey you must be aged 16 or over, be in full time employment (at least 30 hours per week) and be the primary carer of a dog who is at least six months old.

The research team is encouraging anyone who fits this profile to help them further understanding in this area by completing the online survey by following the link
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UniversityLincolnDogs

The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and is open until 31 July 2012. All information given is anonymous although participants can submit their contact details if they would like to receive findings from the study. Submissions are encouraged from dog owners around the world who meet the criteria.

For further information about this study, please contact Dr Hannah Wright at the University of Lincoln: hwright@lincoln.ac.uk
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