Knowledge - RISC

How design can keep your pet well​

Created By RISC | 3 weeks ago

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You might sometimes worry about getting ill. But did you realize your pet can also be at risk? ​

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Organisation for Animal Health gathered data on viral infections from 675 cases across 23 species (30 April 2022), including pet dogs and cats. ​

The study found that germs can pass between people and their pets, as well as that environments and homes can cause illness. These findings can guide us to introduce quarantine for pet diseases, like human infections. People with pets must also look after their own health. ​

Infections in dogs and cats have been documented in Thailand. Two dogs in Bangkok, a cat in Samut Prakan, and a cat in Nonthaburi were infected (refer to reports through 30 April 2022), all of which were successfully treated. ​

Protecting pets involves 1) frequent checkups, 2) vaccinations, 3) enough exercise, 4) reducing or avoiding specific illness risks, 5) appropriate upkeep and cleaning without releasing hazardous substances, 6) a sanitary environment. Pet owners should protect themselves from disease too and provide animal welfare that provides necessities, physical happiness, and peace of mind to their pets. ​

External influences can generate risks that are hard to regulate. By applying design with the following principles, however, we may regulate our living environment: 1) Pet Comfort, 2) Functions Management, 3) Materials Selection. In this article, we'll learn about design for pet comfort. ​

The design for pet comfort has classified the comfort types into 4 areas: ​

1. Thermal Comfort: To make it easier to remember, if we’re comfortable, our pets are too. For dogs and cats, the ideal temperature and relative humidity range is 20-29 °C and 30-70% RH. For people, the ideal temperature and relative humidity range is 22-27 °C and 20-75% RH. Furthermore, the unique qualities of each species must not be overlooked, such as origin, proper location, or heat tolerance. Never put your pet in a stuffy place with no ventilation for an extended time, especially when you’re not at home. Also, don’t leave your pet in direct sunlight for a long period to avoid heat stroke, which can be fatal. ​

2. Visual Comfort: Dogs and cats have different behaviors. Dogs prefer to go out and play, cats to stay at home. Adequate natural light is essential. Dogs shouldn’t be kept in enclosed spaces with no access to the outdoors. Putting your pet's seating area or favorite nook near a window that lets in natural light is a wonderful idea. Give your pets enough light and visual comfort with a sense of openness, a view of scenery, people, or other creatures outside, which is good for physical health and reduces stress. Avoid moisture, mold, germs, direct sunlight, and glare. ​

3. Good Air Quality: We, as well as our pets, require clean air to survive. By opening the doors and windows to enable the outdoor air to flow into the house or allowing the pet to go outside to experience the outdoor air under close control and supervision, you can help eliminate odors, wetness, and mold in the pet's living area. If your pet is left alone while you’re away, provide facilities for them to live independently, such as a special door to get outside without having to wait for you to open the door. You could install a fresh air system, without leaving windows or doors open, to ventilate air, reduce odor, and moisture, all of which are sources of pathogens that can harm human and pet health. ​

4. Noise Reduction or Acoustic Quality: Barking or howling might irritate neighbors and cause fights. Stimuli from outside noises are to blame. To decrease exposure to external noise, including noise from our own dogs, noise protection should be constructed by choosing a soundproof wall, covering any gaps or regions where sound may enter between rooms, or installing sound-absorbing insulation. ​

As we can see, it’s possible to create a comfortable, safe, and healthy environment for pets. Stay tuned for the next post, which will cover design standards, maintaining a high-quality living area, and selecting the best materials.

Story by Saritorn Amornjaruchit, Assistant Vice President, RISC

References: ​
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National Research Council (US).  Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.  8th edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. ​
Mary Jordan, Amy E. Bauer, Judith L. Stella, Candace Croney.  Perdue Extension: Temperature Requirement for Dog.  Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, 2016. ​
Australian Capital Territory, Animal Welfare (Animal Boarding Establishments) Code of Practice 2008

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