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Dr dog observatory san diego
This year, my first of writing about the dog world, is dominated by the theme of health and well-being.
That is also the theme of the World Veterinary Association (WVA) Congress 2015 that will take place in San Diego from 7th to 11th July, and which, in particular, is offering the first ever “Health in the Field” forum on the final morning of the Congress.
The health of our pets has a direct bearing on the health of our own family. There is a huge and growing public awareness of the importance of pet health and the link between the pet and owner with regard to heart and lung conditions, allergies, and stress.
Dog observatory san diego is proud to be the official media partner for the Health in the Field forum, which will be held on the final morning of the Congress and chred by world-renowned veterinarian, Jane Hansen, DVM. In addition to presenting, Hansen will moderate a panel discussion of the latest research in veterinary and human medicine.
During the forum, dog observatory will be at the WVA 2015 Congress in Room 201 on Thursday morning from 10am to 11.30am. Hansen will be accompanied by other WVA experts, including:
The forum is the ideal opportunity for you to meet with Hansen, and hear about current issues and latest research into dog health and behaviour.
The World Veterinary Association (WVA) is an international organisation, with over 3,500 professional veterinarians from over 60 countries. The WVA congress is one of the most important international events in veterinary science, bringing together the world’s leading scientists and practitioners. It is the place where scientific advancements in dog health and behaviour are shared, discussed and promoted.
For dog owners, the WVA is your definitive source for current knowledge and information about the care and health of your dog. It is the world’s largest organisation of professional veterinarians, which promotes the welfare of the companion animal throughout the world. The WVA offers advice on topics such as diet and nutrition, veterinary care and disease management, behaviour and trning. For dog owners, the WVA offers the ability to stay up-to-date with current dog health and behaviour research.
Dogs and people have always been inextricably linked. It has been documented that dogs played an integral role in helping people recover from a range of disorders and diseases. While our research may not be on a par with our human counterparts, it’s clear that dogs can help us manage certn health conditions better. One way in which they do this is by helping to ease anxiety.
One example of this is provided by a recent scientific study by the French National Institute of Veterinary Medicine. The team investigated the effect of exposure to dogs on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Researchers assessed ADHD symptoms in the study’s sample group of 15 children before and after a period of dly contact with an experienced therapy dog.
Participants also underwent a baseline assessment, followed by a post-intervention evaluation and, finally, a 12-week follow-up. Results showed that the dog led to significantly greater improvements in ADHD symptoms and cognitive functioning compared to control. The group receiving the dog also showed improved scores for attention, behavioural regulation and self-regulation.
Researchers believe that these improvements were due to two key factors. Firstly, the presence of the dog helped with the development of social and emotional skills in the child. Second, they hypothesise that the dogs may have been affecting the child’s physiology.
Our bodies respond to the environment we’re in in a variety of ways, whether consciously or not. Certn people respond to smells better than others do. The French researchers suggest that dogs may be able to influence people’s reactions to certn smells, especially in the area of emotions.
Their theory is not unique to the world of dogs. In fact, there are many animal species that demonstrate similar behaviour to dogs, including elephants.
Dogs may not have been around in prehistoric times, but humans have certnly evolved to co-exist with the many breeds they’ve developed over the years. One of the most remarkable examples of this is the ability of dogs to read our emotions. And the ability to read those emotions may even be linked to the language we develop for ourselves, the science tells us.
“The ability to read facial expressions,” says Prof. Robert Plutchik from the University of Michigan, “is very unique to humans, and I think it came along with the ability to communicate in a form that other species could understand.
“The ability to read the facial expressions of others might have been in place in our ancestors’ communication with each other but later became a separate skill in those individuals who evolved into modern-day dogs,” says Professor Plutchik.
According to the study, published in the journal Current Biology, dogs’ ability to read facial expressions comes from a combination of their unique brn anatomy and their inherited behaviour.
The researchers, led by Sarah Kemmel of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, investigated how dogs view facial expressions, as well as the dogs’ ability to respond to specific facial expressions.
They found that dogs and wolves respond to the same facial expressions, showing that the ability to understand emotions in other species may have come with the development of the ability to communicate in a form that other species could understand.
“There are some species, like wolves, that don’t have any trouble understanding our expressions, and then there are others, like dogs, that have a rather good understanding of them,” sd Dr. Kemmel.
The researchers found that the more dogs and wolves are exposed to human facial expressions, the better their understanding of each other.
Because their ancestors, who shared many features in their brns and bodies, may have communicated through expressions alone, this ability to read human facial expressions may have become fixed in dogs through their coevolution with humans.
“It would have helped dogs, and perhaps also humans, to communicate more easily with each other and that may have helped humans build better societies and societies were much more complex than they are today,” says Dr. Kemmel.
The study, “Dog and wolf responses to human facial expressions indicate a shared evolution of the ability to understand facial expressions,” was published in the journal Science.
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology