Unsplash | Dominik Qn

Scientists and veterinary teams at Waltham Petcare Science Institute and Banfield Pet Hospital have developed and validated a quality of life (QoL) assessment that evaluates dogs’ quality of life. 

Data from 2813 dogs were used to develop the QoL assessment, which makes it the biggest study of its kind to date and ensures that the assessment is suitable for use in the general population of dogs.

Based on a 32-item questionnaire, the assessment offers a comprehensive picture of a dog’s health and wellbeing, looking at factors such as:  

  1. Energy levels 
  2. Happiness 
  3. Mobility 
  4. Sociability
  5. Appetite  


A new way to track dogs’ quality of life 

When processed, survey results provide a multi-faceted view of a dog's health and wellbeing, covering domains such as energy levels, happiness, mobility, sociability, and appetite. A new study published in Scientific Reports supports the validity of this QoL assessment for measuring and quantifying canine health and wellbeing.

 In the study, researchers found:  

  • Mobility and energy scores were lower in dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis 
  • Sociability and happiness levels decreased as dogs got older and developed chronic illness 
  • Appetite scores were lower in dogs with dental disease 

This study suggests this assessment can identify general malaise that could go undetected when a dog is suffering from underlying pain that may be difficult to spot. 

“From a veterinarian's perspective, the quality-of-life assessment will deliver valuable information on how veterinary care can help improve pet outcomes,” said Jennifer Welser, DVM, DACVO, Chief Medical Officer, Mars Veterinary Health. “Based on these insights, we have the potential to understand which treatments and interventions positively impact pet health and wellbeing and improve communication with pet owners about the health of their pet, ultimately advancing our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.” 



NATURE: “Development and initial validation of a dog quality of life instrument.”