July 2, 2010

Scientists Recruiting UK Dogs For Health Study

Scientists in the UK have started to recruit 20,000 Labrador retrievers in order to participate in one of the first ever studies of its kind.

The team hopes to find out how diet and exercise can influence a dog's susceptibility to illness.

The pets' owners will be encouraged to keep the researchers updated through a web page with details of exercise routines and eating habits of their pets.

Dylan Clements, from the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, told BBC News that the data gathered would form a picture of how dogs are cared for throughout the U.K.

He said: "We hope that assessing the lifestyles and health of a large number of dogs will make it possible for us to identify factors contributing to common illnesses."

"Ultimately, this may enable us to provide owners with advice on managing their dogs and prevent them developing diseases in future."

The team hopes to recruit dogs less than a year old.

Owners will be able to compare how their pets fair against other dogs taking part in the study as well.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust is funding the study.

Caroline Kisko of the organization told BBC: "Dogs are not able to talk to us and in veterinary consultations when owners describe their dog's lifestyle it's not always possible to give the full picture."

"This study will look at how a dog's lifestyle and environmental factors affect the dog's health over time and through this we can ensure better treatment through education for owners on the best care for their pets."


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