DOGS left home alone face higher stress, according to studies carried out by a Celbridge vet.
Sandra Nicholson, from Castletown, Celbridge, who is planning to set up her practice in the new year, won a prize from her college, Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire, after revealing the secrets hidden in dog hair.
As well as her MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training, Sandra also won the C Gerhardt Award for best student at the college’s Autumn Higher Education Presentation ceremony held at Beverley Minster in November.
A Celbridge resident for six years, Sandra has a keen interest in animal welfare. “There are good advances in legislation, but policing it is the problem.”
Along with her husband, Crumlin native, Gavin, Sandra owns a terrier called Daisy, who she has trained to learn how to be on her own. They both work. “I left her for longer periods gradually.”.
Her study showed that ‘home alone’ dogs show high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and face health problems that can shorten their lives. Sandra had originally set out to find if chronic ill health causes chronic stress in dogs and the research came up with the surprising result that it does not.
She divides her part time works with the north Dublin SPCA and the Cara Vet group, based on north Circular road, Dublin. Of Celbridge, she said: “I really love it.”