The well-being of dogs is closely linked to their owners’ knowledge of the law


A recent study shows that a lack of awareness of animals’ needs and legal regulations can have negative consequences on their health and behavior.


The well-being and behavior of dogs is closely related to the care they receive from their owners as well as their knowledge of current legislation. A recent study shows that a lack of awareness of animals’ needs and legal regulations can have negative consequences on dogs’ health and behavior.

The study, conducted through an online survey of owners in Chile, examined responsible ownership practices and levels of knowledge of animal welfare and pet ownership legislation among dog owners. 20% of the dogs surveyed were found to be overweight or obese, and those that did not receive food scraps were less likely to be obese. Additionally, spayed female dogs were less likely to be obese than neutered male dogs.

Regarding aggressive behavior, it was observed that 24.6% of owners reported that their dogs have shown aggression towards people, while 51.1% have shown aggression towards other animals. Factors such as taking dogs to basic training classes, not walking them, and living on a farm increased the risk of aggressive behavior.

Additionally, a lack of information about current legislation increased the likelihood that dogs were not microchipped, registered, not kept up to date on their vaccinations, or sterilized.

These findings underscore the need for an effective educational strategy that uses a multidisciplinary approach to improve pet ownership practices. Only with greater awareness and understanding of the needs of dogs and the legal responsibilities of owners can the well-being of pets be ensured.


Tamara Tadich, Raul Alegría-Moran, Sebastian Escobar-Aguirre. Behavior and health problems in dogs (Canis familiaris) are associated with responsible ownership practices and awareness of legal regulations. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 71, 2024, Pages 1–8, ISSN 1558-7878, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2023.11.005.

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