Development and validation of a quality of life assessment tool for use in kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris)

Kiddie, Jenna L. and Collins, Lisa M. (2014) Development and validation of a quality of life assessment tool for use in kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 158 . pp. 57-68. ISSN 0168-1591

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Abstract

There is currently no objective and validated quality of life assessment tool available to assess the quality of life of domestic dogs in kennels. This study aimed to develop a validated scoring system to assess the quality of life of dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Objective animal-based measures of welfare and quality of life, identified from the scientific literature, were included in the scoring system to indicate negative and positive quality of life. Each item was scored using a binary system to minimise subjectivity in scoring. Dogs were recruited from 13 rehoming centres into four different treatment groups: group NS consisted of dogs that had newly arrived at the shelter and received a standard husbandry routine; group NE consisted of dogs that had newly arrived at the shelter and received an enrichment programme; group LS consisted of dogs that had been in the centre for more than 30 days and received a standard husbandry routine; and group LE consisted of dogs that had been in the shelter for more than 30 days and received an enrichment programme. Inter-observer reliability of each item was established and internal consistency of the entire score was assessed: seven unreliable items were removed and the scoring system was refined. 26.7 (ICC1. = 0.267) of the variation in quality of life scores was explained by rehoming centre group membership, and rehoming centre groups could reliably be differentiated in terms of quality of life scores (ICC2. = 0.832). Therefore, quality of life scores varied between rehoming centres but other factors must exist to explain the remaining 73.3 of the variation in quality of life scores. The addition of an enrichment programme and later recruitment onto the study increased quality of life scores by 0.035. ±. 0.027 (SE) and 0.086. ±. 0.027 (SE), respectively. These increases represent an 8.27 and a 20.33 improvement on the overall (across all treatment groups) mean QoL score (0.423). Evidence of good content, construct and criterion validity was established, however, internal consistency was found to be poor, indicating that the reliability of the score could be improved. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords:oaopen, Domestic dog, Quality of life, Welfare, Kennel, Shelter, Assessment, Validation, JCNotOpen
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:14765
Deposited On:28 Aug 2014 15:43

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