Objective—To evaluate the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs.
Animals—104 companion dogs.
Procedures—While wearing an activity monitor, each dog was led through a series of standard activities: lying down, walking laps, trotting laps, and trotting up and down stairs. Linear regression analysis was used to determine which signalment and body conformation factors were associated with activity counts.
Results—There was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts when dogs were lying down, walking laps, and trotting laps. However, when dogs were trotting up and down stairs, there was a significant effect of age and body weight such that, for every 1-kg increase in body weight, there was a 1.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.1% to 2.4%) decrease in activity counts and for every 1-year increase in age, there was a 4.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.9%) decrease in activity counts.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When activity was well controlled, there was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts recorded by the activity monitor. However, when activity was less controlled, older dogs and larger dogs had lower activity counts than younger and smaller dogs. The wide range in body conformation (eg, limb or body length) among dogs did not appear to significantly impact the activity counts recorded by the monitor, but age and body weight did and must be considered in analysis of data collected from the monitors.
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.