Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm...

Reading books to shelter animals combining auditory enrichment with human presence is increasingly used although its effects on animal welfare have not yet been investigated. This study compared the behaviour of single-housed shelter dogs and...

Dogs experience both acute and chronic stress when living in animal shelters. Current best practices recommend a variety of techniques for reducing stress such as enhanced human interactions including play or training, novel feeding strategies...

Dogs and cats have been extensively studied of late in relation to their paw preferences, with both species showing preferential motor bias at the level of the individual. Over the years, a wide range of...

Arabella Gray discusses the latest evidence of the negative impact of aversive‐based training methods on companion dog welfare.

There is a long history of laboratory studies of the physiological and behavioral effects of stress, its reduction, and the later psychological and behavioral consequences of unmitigated stress responses. Many of the stressors employed in...

The overpopulation of shelters and the increase of homeless dogs have become serious problems in many countries. One contributor to the number of both sheltered and homeless dogs is the abandonment and relinquishment of pet...

This article gives the recipe for making dog treats. These treats are not only refreshing for dogs, but also easy to make. Mix and match dog friendly fruits and veggies to make many treat varieties.

Worldwide, millions of dogs are held in kennels for extended periods of time and may experience compromised welfare. Enrichment, often using toys, is considered important to minimize the negative impacts of kennelling. However, the value...

Animal shelters can be stressful environments and time in care may affect individual dogs in negative ways, so it is important to try to reduce stress and arousal levels to improve welfare and chance of...

It is increasingly required that non-human animals in laboratories are provided with adequate enrichment to promote the welfare of the animals. In a previous publication we showed that laboratory dogs intensively used the horn of...

Shelter environments are stressful for dogs, as they must cope with many stimuli over which they have little control. This can lead to behavioural changes, negatively affect their welfare and downgrade the human‐animal bond, affecting...

Metabolism cages are designed to conduct absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, enabling an ‘excretion balance’ scientific objective to be met. Historically, the design of dog metabolism cages has involved single housing. This type...

Domestic dogs experience a sensitive period for learning during early life and conditions during this time can have important consequences in the adult. We investigated the effects of kennel environment during early life, comparing the...

Dog training methods range broadly from those using mostly positive punishment and negative reinforcement (aversive-based) to those using primarily positive reinforcement (reward-based). Although aversive-based training has been strongly criticized for negatively affecting dog welfare, there...

Elizabethan collars are used in companion animals primarily to prevent self-trauma and associated negative welfare states in animals. However, they have been anecdotally associated with negative impacts on animal health and welfare including distress, abraded/ulcerated...

Environmental enrichment used in captive animals with goals of increasing the activity, behavioral diversity, utilization of the environment and reducing abnormal behaviors. The present study was designed to determine the springing feeding bottles toy ameliorative...

Music therapy yields many positive health outcomes in humans, but the effects of music on the health and welfare of nonhuman animals vary greatly with the type of music played, the ethology of the species...

Family dogs (Canis familiaris) seek human contact from an early age, can discriminate and prefer their caregivers over other humans. To investigate if being kept as a family animal is sufficient to induce similar early...

We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads...

Nociceptive threshold (NT) testing is widely used for the study of pain and its alleviation. The end point is a normal behavioural response, which may be affected by restraint or unfamiliar surroundings, leading to erroneous...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

As pets are considered members of the family, their health has received widespread attention. Since pets cannot talk and complain when they feel uncomfortable, monitoring vital signs becomes very helpful in disease detection, as well...

Unwanted dogs are an international problem, and rehoming organisations are tasked with finding many of them appropriate homes. Whilst the processes involved in assessing dogs' suitability for rehoming have received considerable academic attention, the policies...

Share This!