Welfare considerations: Salivary cortisol concentrations on frequency of therapy dog visits in an outpatient hospital setting: A pilot study

The animal-assisted therapy field is exponentially growing under the lack of science-based evidence of potential risks to the animals involved. Even though to become a therapy dog, the dog must pass an evaluation, most evaluations do not take into account disposition. Thus, a dog could become certified as a therapy dog but still become uncomfortable […]

Future directions in human-animal bond research

Human-animal contact can influence psychological and physiological parameters important to health and welfare; nevertheless, there has been relatively little research on the variables that influence or mediate those health consequences. In addition, little attention has been paid on how to create or alter the animal interactions for the betterment of people and their animals. The […]

Stress levels in dogs, and its recognition by their handlers, during animal-assisted therapy in a prison

The stress on dogs and their handlers during animal-assisted therapy in a prison programme was evaluated using questionnaires and measurement of the dogs’ saliva cortisol concentrations before and after the sessions. Their handlers were volunteers who underwent training classes with their pet dogs. Overall, the dogs did not show serious signs of stress in the […]

Stress level evaluation in a dog during animal-assisted therapy in pediatric surgery

Animal-assisted interventions are associated with positive effects on human psychological and physiological health. Although quality standards in animal-assisted interventions appear to be high, only few investigations have focused on potential welfare implications in therapy dogs. In the present study, we monitored behavioral measures and heart rate in a therapy dog that participated in animal-assisted therapy […]