Behavioral Response of Dogs to Interior Environment: An Exploratory Study on Design Parameters for Designing Dog Boarding Centers in Indian Context

Pet population in India is increasing phenomenally owing to the changes in urban lifestyle with increasing number of single professionals, single parents, delayed parenthood etc. The animal companionship as a means of reducing stress levels, deriving emotional support, and unconditional love provided by dogs are a few reasons attributed for increasing pet ownership. The consequence is the booming of the pet care products and dog care centers catering to the different requirements of rearing the pets. Dog care centers quite popular in tier 1 metros of India cater to the requirement of the dog owners providing space for the dogs in absence of the owner. However, it is often reported that the absence of the owner leads to destructive and exploratory behavior issues; the main being the anxiety disorders. In the above context, it becomes imperative for a designer to design dog boarding centers that help in reducing the separation anxiety in dogs keeping in mind the different interior design parameters. An exploratory research with focus group discussion is employed involving a group of dog owners, behaviorists, proprietors of day care as well as boarding centers, and veterinarians to understand their perception on the significance of different interior parameters of color, texture, ventilation, aroma therapy and acoustics as a means of reducing the stress levels in dogs sent to the boarding centers. The data collected is organized as thematic networks thus enabling the listing of the interior design parameters that needs to be considered in designing dog boarding centers. 

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