A Systematic Scoping Review: What is the Risk from Child-Dog Interactions to Dog Quality of Life?

Hall, Sophie and Finka, Lauren and Mills, Daniel (2019) A Systematic Scoping Review: What is the Risk from Child-Dog Interactions to Dog Quality of Life? Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 33 . pp. 16-26. ISSN 1558-7878

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2019.05.001

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A Systematic Scoping Review: What is the Risk from Child-Dog Interactions to Dog Quality of Life?
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Abstract

There is growing interest in the value of assistance dogs, therapy dogs, and untrained pet dogs, for supporting children with specific needs. Research in this area focuses almost exclusively on the effect of dogs on child well-being and quality of life. The lack of research reporting the role of dog quality of life in this dynamic limits the development of best practice guidelines. Little attention has been paid to the risk from structured and unstructured exposures to children for dog quality of life to best protect the well-being of both parties and maximize the quality of interactions to enhance therapeutic effects.

This systematic scoping review searched five databases to address the question ‘what is the risk from child-dog interactions to the quality of life of assistance, therapy and pet dogs?’ The review identified that there is limited specific scientific investment in understanding the relationship between child-dog interactions and dog quality of life. Of the five relevant articles that were identified specifically addressing this issue, two looked at aspects relating to quality of life of dogs living in family homes, (1=pet dogs, 1=trained assistance dogs). The remaining three papers reported factors relevant to quality of life of trained dogs working in structured therapy sessions. Specific child-dog interactions may be important risk factors to consider in relation to dog quality of life, specifically interactions involving unprovoked child attention (e.g., rough contact), interactions and environmental predictability (e.g., meltdowns and recreation time) and child initiated games (e.g., ‘dress up’). Identifying and monitoring the intensity and frequency of these interactions may be important for protecting dog quality of life in the therapeutic and home environment.

Keywords:Dogs, Pet dogs, Therapy dogs, Quality of life, Child-dog interactions, Well-being
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:35993
Deposited On:20 May 2019 08:26

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