How environmental conditions affect sleep? An investigation in domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)

Schork, I, Manzo, I, Beiral De Oliveira, M, Costa, F, Palme, R, Young, R and de Azevedo, C 2022, 'How environmental conditions affect sleep? An investigation in domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)' , Behavioural Processes, 199 , p. 104662.

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Studies with humans and some other animal species have shown that sleep is compromised when the presence of external factors such as light, sound, and temperature surpass normal levels. This study investigated the effects of these environmental conditions on 13 kennelled laboratory dogs, assessing whether each variable interfered with their sleep behaviour and/or increased stress responses, which could further compromise sleep quality. The behaviour of dogs was video recorded for eight months. Diurnal and nocturnal behaviour were recorded, along with naturally occurring levels of temperature, light and sound in the dogs' kennel environment. Faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM), from samples collected every morning, were used to monitor the dogs' adrenocortical activity. GLMM models and non-parametric tests were conducted to evaluate the relationship between sleeping patterns, environmental variables, and stress on the studied dogs. Nocturnal sleep decreased in response to increases in temperature and in day light duration. No effects of sound and FCM levels on dogs' sleep were observed. However, diurnal sleep was affected by sound and FCM levels, decreasing when both factors increased. Additionally, noisier days increased stress responses, especially in male dogs. Increased FCM levels were associated with changes in the diurnal behaviour of dogs; for example, decreased activity. The decrease in daily activities and increased physiological stress responses could be associated with maladaptation to the environment, which could indicate poor welfare. Our study suggests that mitigating the impact of environmental conditions in the kennels could improve sleep quality and the overall quality of life of the dogs. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Behavioural Processes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0376-6357
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 11:11
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 11:11

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