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How To Read Scientific Dog Studies

Sally Gutteridge
We are fortunate today in that there is more and more published scientific research on dog health and behaviour. How does a dog owner find the information they are looking for, determine if the information is true, and better understand the information.

There are three generally accepted levels of scientific sources and this applies to both humans and dogs. The first level is called a “primary source” because it is the results provided by the actual researchers that performed the study. These scientific results are articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

What is peer-reviewed research and why is this important? Research studies and articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals are considered to be the most accurate because they have undergone extensive review by experts in their respective field. The research follows sound scientific principles. It is excellent that the same principles that apply to human research are now being applied to animal research.