What’s ‘Normal’ For A Dog? Vetrax® Says It’s Now Possible To Have An Evidence-Based Answer

Just how long should a dog spend asleep in a 24 hour period? Is it normal for dogs to scratch and when is scratching so excessive that owners should seek veterinary care? These are basic questions, yet until now, they have not had a clear answer. That’s about to change, as technology company AGL has published results from 28,000 dog days of data generated by its wearable sensor Vetrax®.

The results contradict commonly quoted ‘facts’ about day to day pet behaviors and show that dogs are sleeping less than thought but also living sedentary lives, walking for just over an hour a day and resting for nine hours on average. It means that veterinary professionals can now refer to statistics with an evidence base and take ‘average’ behavior into account when making recommendations.

It’s not unusual for pet behavior norms to be ill defined or overly reliant on owner observations but having a normal baseline from which to quantify whether an animal’s behavior has changed, or is occurring with unusual frequency, is key to veterinary medicine.

The Vetrax data has been gathered from dogs wearing the company’s pet sensor. This sophisticated monitor evaluates not just general activity but also more clinically relevant behaviors such as scratching or shaking.

One of the most surprising findings is the amount and level of exercise taken by dogs in the US. Vetrax has found that dogs on average walk for just 68 minutes per day and run for 5 minutes.* They spend a substantial nine hours merely ‘resting’. This can have implications when considering calorie intake in the management of obesity and when thinking about how much stimulation dogs have throughout a normal day.

Dogs sleep for a mean of 10.4 hours in every 24 – less than the 12 to 14 hours commonly quoted. The company also has measures for sleep quality which identify when a pet is experiencing interrupted sleep, which is often the case when there is pain or discomfort. The mean time spent scratching each day adds up to 100 seconds and shaking accounts for just 39 seconds.

Vetrax founder, President and CEO, Marcel Sarzen says that there will always be individual variation within a population but the company hopes publication of this data will be useful to the profession, “We recognise the importance of establishing an evidence base for what is normal and we’re delighted to be able to share the data that’s been gathered so far.”

He continued, “We do want to emphasize that what is really important is to establish what is normal for an individual pet. By monitoring the results from a Vetrax sensor, pet owners and veterinary professionals can identify when a behavior is occurring at a level that’s not usual for that pet. It might be that that isn’t being observed – perhaps because it happens at night or when the owner is out, or even is just a little elevated above normal levels. If we can spot these changes at an early stage, it gives pet parents and veterinarians a great opportunity to take prompt action and achieve better clinical outcomes.”

Using the Vetrax cloud based hub, veterinary professionals can set individual targets for their patients and send clients alerts to help them improve their dog’s health and wellbeing. Currently, pet owners enrolling for ongoing automatic purchase of any Hill’s Pet Nutrition food for their dog can receive the Vetrax sensor and monitoring for free from participating vet clinics while the food continues to be fed – an offer worth in excess of $120.

Professionals can find out how their practice can take part and offer their clients Vetrax monitoring at Www.Vetrax.Com.

For data on normal behaviors go to Www.Vetrax.Com/Behaviornorms

* Canine Behaviors – Daily Norms, All Weights – All Breeds – All Gender – All Health Status

September 2017 – 28,000 Dog Days. Values quoted are means.

Press contact: Susan McKay, Companion Consultancy Tel +44 1284 388702 or Email susan@companionconsultancy.com

About Vetrax

The Vetrax® wearable sensor, app and online portal combine to provide accurate and detailed monitoring of a dog’s specific behaviors to help pet parents and veterinarians to monitor, evaluate and manage treatment plans. It is the first wearable technology for dogs to go beyond basic activity tracking to monitor the specific behaviors, including shaking and scratching, that can impact medical treatment.

Vetrax was developed for veterinarians and is available through their recommendation and oversight. The technology enables them to work collaboratively with pet parents to enhance the overall health of their patients by ensuring that the most effective medical care is being provided. Full details are available from your veterinarian or at Http://Www.Vetrax.Com/Pet-Owners

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Source Companion Consultancy

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