Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith, Dr. Cindy Bishop

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Eric Long


Canine, Dog, Stress, Veterinary Clinic, Behavior, Veterinary


This study investigated whether stress responsiveness in dogs is more significant when the owner is present or absent during a veterinary examination. The study consisted of two experimental groups: "owner absent" and "owner present." Both groups consisted of 25 dogs each, totaling 50 dogs observed. A veterinarian and veterinary assistant recorded the dog's behavioral and physiological stress responses. Each group's behavioral and physiological stress-induced responses were compared using a Fischer Exact test and an Analysis of Covariance. The findings showed that dogs whose owners are present during the veterinary examination display fewer stress responses than dogs whose owners are absent because the owner-absent group showed significant differences in panting, heart rate, and respiratory rate. This study demonstrates that owner-dog interactions have positive impacts on stress experienced by dogs in veterinary clinics. The research aids in discussing stressors and stress-related behaviors in dogs because identifying these responses will allow veterinarians to mitigate stress, ultimately improving the accuracy of medical findings.


A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Honors Program.

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