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Comparison of remote versus in-person behavioral consultation for treatment of canine separation anxiety

By N. Cottam, N. H. Dodman, A. A. Moon-Fanelli, G. J. Patronek

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To investigate the validity of remote consultation for treatment of canine separation anxiety, this study compared the efficacy of 2 types of behavioral services offered by Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (TCSVM): (a) "PetFax," a remote consultation service in which dog caregivers (owners) and a certified applied animal behaviorist correspond via fax or email and (b) in-person clinic consultation, which requires that owners bring their dogs to the Animal Behavior Clinic at TCSVM to consult with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, a veterinary behavior resident, or a certified applied animal behaviorist. The study tested 4 variables for significant differences between PetFax users and clinic visitors: (a) pre- and posttreatment anxiety scores; (b) owner-reported improvement; (c) percentage of rehomed dogs, dogs relinquished or euthanized because of separation anxiety; and (d) clarity of communication with owners. The study found no significant differences between the groups. Difference scores and owner reports demonstrated substantial reduction in separation anxiety in both groups. Results indicate remote consultation is a valid way for behavioral professionals to share behavior modification advice with owners regarding canine separation anxiety.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 28-41
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700701729148
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Science, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, Boston, MA 01536,
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Anxiety
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. Canidae
  10. Canine
  11. Carnivores
  12. Deviant behavior
  13. Dogs
  14. Mammals
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Pet ownership
  17. Pets and companion animals
  18. vertebrates
  19. Veterinary services
  1. peer-reviewed