How happy is your pet? The Problem of subjectivity in the assessment of companion animal welfare

The ability to evaluate the welfare of non-human animals accurately and objectively is influenced by a variety of factors including the nature of our relationships with them. Subjective biases in the perception of an animal’s quality of life can have either positive or negative consequences for its welfare and are likely to be particularly exaggerated […]

Attitudes of veterinarians and veterinary students to recommendations on how to improve dog and cat welfare in veterinary practice

The veterinary profession is an ambassador for the welfare of animals, but the visit to a veterinary practice is in itself stressful for many animals. A multitude of recommendations how to reduce stress during a visit to the veterinarian is available, but they are often not implemented in practice. Therefore, the aim of this study […]

The Spillover Effect of a Flood on Pets and Their People: Implications for Rental Housing

When disasters strike, companion animals (pets) matter. Emergency planning for them is a key aspect of disaster preparedness, especially considering that people may delay evacuation out of concern for their pets. Temporary boarding options for pets are important; however, caregivers (owners) must ultimately return to permanent housing. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to housing […]

The Welfare and Suitability of Primates Kept as Pets

Amid growing concern about keeping exotic species as companion animals, nonhuman primates have been highlighted as inappropriate for private ownership. However, there has been no comprehensive review of the suitability of primates as pets, using a framework such as Schuppli and Fraser’s (2000). Schuppli and Fraser incorporate welfare of the individual, of others, and of […]

The welfare and suitability of parrots as companion animals: a review

In recent years there has been an increased interest in studies related to the welfare of avian species commonly kept as companion animals, specifically those in the order Psittaciformes, commonly referred to as ‘parrots’. During this time the biology and behaviour of wild parrots has also become better understood, aiding the assessment of welfare in […]

Environmentally Enriched Housing for Cats When Housed Singly

It is generally accepted that to carry out certain trials or procedures, particularly metabolism or digestibility studies, it is necessary to house animals singly, often in sterile metal cages which differ greatly from the animal’s normal living accommodation. The lack of choice, mental and physical stimulation and general ‘creature comforts’ increases the stress of isolation. […]

Cognitive and communicative capacities of Grey parrots – implications for the enrichment of many species

Much of my research has been devoted to determining the cognitive and communicative abilities of Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), but other companion animals and those in captivity in zoos also have considerable capacities that are often under-utilised in such settings. Many such animals are left to their own devices for large parts of the day, […]

Manual of Parrot Behavior

Psittacines are maintained in captivity as pets, in the home, as breeding birds in avicultures, in zoos and in conservation projects. Because of their intelligence, playfulness and ability in mimicry, psittacines are the most widely kept companion birds. In the wild, these birds are normally social, living with others. In captivity most are kept in […]

Sterilization of Companion Animals: Exploring the Attitudes and Behaviors of Latino Students in South Texas

A sample of 131 Latino students attending a university in south Texas near the United States–Mexico border completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding their companion animals (pets). Compared with dog caregivers (owners) (n = 106), cat caregivers (n = 25) were significantly more likely to favor early spay/neuter of pets and to report that the primary […]

Current Attitudes Toward, and Incidence of, Sterilization of Cats and Dogs by Caregivers (Owners) in Auckland, New Zealand

This study distributed a questionnaire to cat or dog caregivers (owners) throughout Auckland, New Zealand, to investigate the attitudes of human companions toward the sterilization of their cats and dogs and the degree to which this occurs relative to demographic information gathered. A total of 276 recipients returned questionnaires with data pertinent to 477 cats […]