Canine Exercise and Environmental Enrichment

BACKGROUND

This policy expands on the WSU "Environmental Enrichment and Behavioral and Social Management of Research Animals" as it relates to canines. The requirement for the exercise of dogs is set forth under section 13(a)(2)(B) of the AWA (7 U.S.C., 2143). The standards for the exercise of dogs are set forth in 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare, Part 3, Section 3.8.

IACUC POLICY

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee requires that all canines participate in this program. If, in the opinion of a veterinarian, any portion of this Canine Exercise and Environmental Enrichment policy is deemed inappropriate for certain dogs due to their health, condition, or well-being, such dogs will be exempted from applicable portions of the plan. Such exemptions will comply with section 3.8 (d) (1) and (3) of the USDA Exercise for Dogs regulations. Certain dogs may be exempted from portions of this policy by a veterinarian on behalf of the Principal Investigator providing such exemptions comply with section 3.8 (d) (2) and (3) of the USDA Exercise for Dogs regulations.

 

IACUC Guidelines

Exercise Plan

  • Additional opportunities for exercise will be provided for dogs over 12 weeks of age held for over 7 days and housed individually in enclosures that provide less than two times the required floor space per dog.
  • Additional opportunities for exercise is optional for dogs housed individually in enclosures providing two times the required floor space per dog; or for group-housed dogs in enclosures providing 100% of the required space for each dog.

 

Exercise Recommendations

Methods to accomplish the above will include the following for ALL dogs:

  • Group-housed dogs will be housed in runs providing at least the minimum of required floor space per dog.
  • Whenever possible, individual dogs will be housed in runs providing two times or greater than the required floor space.
  • Whenever possible, extra exercise time will be provided in an exercise room when space permits or in the form of leash walks.
  • All exercise opportunities will be conducted in a fashion that best safeguards the health and safety of all dogs.

 

Environmental Enrichment Plan

  • All dogs will participate in the enrichment plan.
  • All dogs will be provided with two species-appropriate toys/manipulanda items at all times.
  • All dogs will be provided with visual and auditory sensory contact with other dogs when in regular housing conditions.
  • All dogs are provided with daily human interaction.
  • Individually-housed dogs will be provided with an additional toy/manipulanda item at all times and daily human interaction.
  • Whenever possible, Individually-housed dogs will be provided with direct visualization of conspecifics and offered social experiences if temperament allows.
  • Radios may be placed in the room and programmed to easy listening. Volume will be set at low/medium and an automatic timer will be utilized and set to coincide with light cycle.

Reference

A plan for canine exercise is required by the USDA Animal and Health Inspection Service; Animal Welfare Act-Subchapter A; 9 CFR Ch.ll (1•1•01 Edition); section 3.8 Exercise for dogs.

Approved: August 2008

Revisions Approved: 12/2012, 10/2017, 12/2019