Calling All Dog Parents: Science Needs Your Help

By Tracy Krulik CTC, CSAT, June 2020
dogs at home study

Does your officemate now have four paws, a sniffy nose and a waggy tail? Instead of chatting by the coffee machine at work, are you playing tug, giving belly rubs, and going on walkies between Zoom calls? If so, the Humane Rescue Alliance could use your help.

The pandemic has caused major changes to people’s lives across the globe. We do not know for sure how this stressful time might be impacting the welfare of pet dogs or what carryover effects it might have when dogs suddenly find themselves home alone down the road, but the Humane Rescue Alliance has embarked (pardon the pun) on a study to find out. While we obviously hope we will not experience anything similar again, this does give us a unique opportunity to examine the effects of major changes to routine on our canine companions.

The survey, created by my colleagues and me, from the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with veterinary behaviorist Daniel Mills and his team of researchers at the University of Lincoln in the UK, takes about 10 minutes to complete. Once a month from then on, participants will receive an email with a short, follow-up survey until they return to their offices full-time or six months, whichever comes first.

We’re looking for participation from dog parents across the globe. If you do have a bit of time to share your experiences with researchers—between walkies, belly rubs, and work, of course — you could potentially help a lot of dogs down the road.

Photo by mana5280

Tracy Krulik, CTC, CSAT, is a Northern Virginia-based certified canine separation anxiety trainer and honors graduate of Jean Donaldson’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers. Krulik is also the founder and managing editor of iSpeakDog — a website and public awareness campaign to teach dog body language and behavior.