[ASC-list] Making Dogs Happy? There's an App for that! [Media Release: Doglogbook] #citsci

Mia Cobb mia.cobb at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 23:58:34 UTC 2016

*Doglogbook is a free, world first app that logs your dog's health,
activity and behaviour in a way that benefits you, your dog and
science. The app will feature as part of the ABC’s Catalyst program this
evening (ABC1 at 8pm) as part of their “Making Dogs Happy” feature,
showcasing the new science of dogmanship.*

Doglogbook is a free app created by top animal welfare and behaviour
scientists at Australia’s University of Sydney, designed to help owners
assess and optimise their dogs’ quality of life. Scientists and
veterinarians think it can be your dog’s new best friend! Companion dog
owners can now log activities that their dog undertakes in a usual day
(e.g. eating, walking, playing with other dogs, etc.) and rate the
enjoyment their dog gets from each activity, allowing owners to gather and
review real data about their dog’s happiness in life or the first time.

“After more than five years in development, the launch of doglogbook app
marks a very exciting milestone”, announced Professor Paul McGreevy of the
University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. “I initiated
doglogbook because, to understand dog health and welfare, vets must assess
how dogs spend their lives and how they behave beyond any time in the
clinic and owners aren’t always good at monitoring these activities and
estimating quality of life, or how happy dogs are. The dogmanship team at
the Faculty of Veterinary Science sees doglogbook as gift to the world’s
dogs and their owners. We are confident that it presents a huge potential
advance for the welfare of dogs.”

Doglogbook also allows carers to log health-related issues (an example
might be recording frequent urination) or problematic behaviours (such as
barking or destroying things when owners are at work). Owners and carers
can share access to their dogs' record to give veterinarians, animal
behaviour therapists and trainers better insight into the dog's everyday
health and behaviour between consultations. Doglogbook lets owners schedule
and log routine health-related events, such as parasite control (a reminder
will pop-up on their smart phone when it's time for intestinal worming, for
example) or a time-sensitive course of medication (to help remind owners
precisely when doses are due).

In addition to logging daily activity, behaviour, and health information,
Doglogbook features a puppy socialisation section to guide appropriate
socialisation activities for young dogs. The app is gamified to increase
engagement and reward owners for seeking out novel experiences during the
critical socialisation period. This feature can work well in conjunction
with puppy preschool, or as a simple means of logging when a puppy has
travelled, visited different types of environments and met a range of
people and other animals. Doglogbook contains a seizure log so that owners
of epileptic dogs can record seizures in real time (vets can access these
outside of consultations to review frequency and type of seizures). The app
also includes a cognitive decline checklist that may be filled-in monthly
or fortnightly to help track older dogs over time, so it provides a way to
measure and optimise the quality of life for the full life cycle of the
dogs we share our lives with.

“The data generated by users of Doglogbook, as valuable citizen scientists,
will be available to researchers and also used to inform and educate the
next generation of veterinarians” explained Professor McGreevy.

“We hope these combined features will help owners become more mindful of
their dogs overall happiness and wellbeing”, said Mia Cobb, a canine
scientist who was part of the expert Doglogbook development team. Cobb
explains further, “If, for example, an activity the dog has enjoyed
previously ceases to be enjoyable, it may prompt a visit to the vet clinic
for a check-up. If an owner realises their dog only gets to do it’s
favourite thing for ten minutes a week, they might make some changes to
enable more of that activity”. Importantly, she says, “It may also help to
take some of the pressure off owners in identifying and acknowledging
decline as dogs near the end of life”.

There is also a working dog aspect to the app that logs training investment
and tracks the assessment outcomes as well as health management for dogs
working in roles as diverse as scent detection, guide/seeing eye, livestock
herding, guard/protection dogs, and racing greyhounds.

Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, the
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock
Australia, Doglogbook has the support of the Working Kelpie Council of
Australia, and was developed in collaboration with the Australian Working
Dog Alliance and SmartSports.

*Doglogbook is available free from iTunes and Google App stores.*

*www.doglogbook.com* <http://www.doglogbook.com/>

*Media enquiries: *Vivienne Reiner, 02 9351 2390, 0438 021 390,
vivienne.reiner at sydney.edu.au

Multimedia available upon request:

Video – 2min excerpt from ABC’s Catalyst program tonight, Making Dogs
Happy. Credit: Courtesy of ABC Catalyst

Images available:

1. Sandy point rainbow dog. Credit: Mel Fox, What About Charlie? photography

2. Rudy. Credit: Mel Fox, What About Charlie? photography

3. Horizontal Doglogbook Dashboard. Provided by app developers SmartSports

4. Doglogbook Smartphone-Likes and Dislikes.Provided by app developers

5. Doglogbook Smartphone -treatment- reminders. Provided by app developers

6. Doglogbook Smartphone – Disorders log. Provided by app developers
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