Objective—To investigate whether an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used in pet dogs to differentiate among and delineate the amount of time spent in activities of differing intensity.
Procedures—For the first phase of the study, each dog (n = 104) wore an accelerometer-based activity monitor and was led through a series of standard activities (recumbency [sedentary], walking, and trotting). Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to determine the optimal activity counts for predicting whether a dog was sedentary, walking, or trotting. For the second phase of the study, dogs (n = 99) wore an activity monitor on their collars continuously for 14 days at home; intensity of activity for each dog was classified by use of cut points determined on the basis of results obtained during the first phase of the study.
Results—Analysis of receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that there was 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity in distinguishing sedentary activity from walking activity and 92% specificity and 92% sensitivity in distinguishing trotting activity from walking activity. Analysis of data collected during the 14-day period at home indicated that dogs were sedentary most of the time (median, 87%; range, 65% to 95%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Counts recorded by an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used to discriminate effectively among standardized activities in pet dogs. There is potential for use of the method to improve the ability of clinicians and researchers to accurately estimate a pet dog's daily energy requirement.
Objective—To determine by use of an accelerometer the sampling interval that has the least variable total activity counts from one week to the next in companion (ie, nonlaboratory) dogs.
Procedures—Dogs wore an accelerometer continuously for 2 weeks. Between-dog and within-dog day-to-day variability in total activity counts were evaluated. The changes in counts between week 1 and week 2 were compared for weekdays, weekends, and full weeks.
Results—Significant between-dog variability in total activity counts was detected. Within dogs, there was significant day-to-day variability, with highest counts recorded on weekends. In comparison of data from the first week with data from the second week, the greatest differences were in weekend counts (median difference, 21%; range, 0% to 154%) and the smallest differences were in full 7-day counts (median difference, 10%; range, 0% to 74%). Comparison of weekday counts revealed a median change of 12% (range, 0% to 104%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant between-dog variability in total daily activity counts was detected. Within dogs, a full 7-day comparison of total activity counts from one week to the next provided the least variable estimate of the dogs' activity. For dogs in their home environment, the activity monitor may be most useful in following changes in activity over time. For dogs that have no change in routine according to the owner's report, the least variable estimates of activity can be collected by comparing activity in 7-day intervals.