A Longitudinal Evaluation of Urinary Cortisol in Kenneled Dogs, Canis familiaris

Scientific Journal Articles

Urinary cortisol levels (based on cortisol : creatinine ratios) were evaluated in a randomly selected sample of shelter dogs kennelled over a 31-day period. Urine was collected on days 2, 5, 10, 17, 24 and 31 (with day 1 referring to the day of admittance to the shelter). Cortisol levels peaked on day 17 and steadily declined thereafter, although a high degree of individual variation was found, with cortisol levels peaking sooner in some dogs. Cortisol levels in kennelled dogs were significantly higher on all days except d 31 than the baseline measures taken from 20 dogs in their home environments. There were no differences between cortisol levels in male and female dogs on each day of sampling and there was no significant linear correlation between age and cortisol levels. The results are discussed in relation to stress management and the welfare of kennelled dogs.

Stephen, J. and Ledger, R. (2006). A longitudinal evaluation of urinary cortisol in kenneled dogs, canis familiaris. Physiology and Behavior, 87, 911-916.

Photo: iStock.com/VILevi

View Resource
Topic(s): Designs that Support Good Welfare, Environment, Kennel Design, Shelter and Rescue