Purina study uses thermal imaging to judge dogs' moods

Animal Health Supplier News

Purina has highlighted the results of a new research project that illustrates the effect of external stimuli on the moods of dogs more clearly than ever before.

A team from the company is utilising thermal imaging as a non-invasive means of enhancing understanding how mood changes manifest in canines. When a dog's emotional state changes, the blood flow to specific regions of its body alters, resulting in a shift in temperature.

“Purina has highlighted findings from a new study that has successfully used thermal imaging to gain a better understanding of the emotional states of canines.“

By monitoring these trends, the researchers were able to demonstrate that dogs experienced an increase in positive emotions as a direct result of human contact, even if there is no pre-existing bond between the person and the animal.

Thermal imaging has been widely used in animal welfare studies to assess inflammation and stress, but this is one of the first times it has been used to measure positive responses in pets.

Ragen McGowan, a behaviour scientist at Nestle Purina Petcare, said: "By identifying the internal indicators of what’s happening emotionally in dogs, we aim to enhance our knowledge of the most beneficial ways to interact with them."

The history of the Purina business dates back to 1829 and has existed in its current Nestle-owned form since 2001. It is one of the world's largest manufacturers of pet foods and products.

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