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Dog behaviour and parasite risk


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Hello, I’m Ben McAnoy and I am currently a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast, conducting research to understand how the behaviours of dogs and their walkers can influence the risk of parasite transmission. As part of this study, I am inviting UK residents who are over the age of 18 and who currently own a dog to participate in a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire will cover various aspects of your dog walking habits, interactions with other dogs, and any experiences you may have had with parasites. It should take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on how many dogs you have (up to 5 can be added).

Your participation is completely voluntary, and all responses will be kept confidential and used solely for academic research purposes. Thank you so much for your time and support. Your contribution will make a significant difference in our understanding of dog walking behaviours and parasite transmission risks. I look forward to your responses!

Kind regards,

Ben McAnoy.
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Hello Ben, welcome on board. You won't be able to post a link to your survey as new members are restricted in what they can post, but we try to help out when it's for something like this. Check your mail box, I will message you and you should be able to reply with a link. I can post that for you here.
A few thoughts on the questions:

Q14: I assume that where you walk most often should be numbered 1, but it might be better to make this explicit. I also would have liked 'heathland' as an option - maybe add 'other' and let people fill in details.

Q18: I'd have liked 'none of the above'. My dog (now deceased) mostly explored in his later years but being a sighthound, not with his nose close to the ground.

Q40: As my dog is now deceased, I'm completing it as if he was still alive (though it grates a bit to read 'Does your dog...'). This question refers to what wildlife you have seen in the last month, which is obviously irrelevant if the dog died some time ago. Maybe it would have been better to have wording at the start of the survey to explain how you should respond if your dog is no longer with you.

Q43: Is your dog in good health? Given the above, this made me laugh!

Q44: Is your dog currently on any medication? Obviously not, but he was on an awful lot before he died!

Q54: How often do you treat your dogs for parasites? I used a Seresto collar on my dog for the months ticks were likely to be a problem, so I responded 'Once a year' - but that feels a little misleading.

I appreciate it might not be possible to change the survey once you have had responses, but hope this is helpful :)
Hi Judy, thank you for your feedback on the questions. I will address them as follows:

Q14: Yes, this is a rank order question from a scale of 1 to 4. The survey designer (SurveyMonkey) does not let you edit a rank order scale i.e. change 1 to "walk here most often", etc. I will edit the question to have this explicitly written in the description. In terms of an "other" option, this question does not allow for this type of addition. Furthermore, I have purposefully restricted the question to 4 options in order to force a choice between the most common areas walked.

Q18: I will add a "none of the above" and "other" option in case this may be relevant.

Q40, 43, 44: My apologies that it is difficult to answer when your dog is deceased. This is definitely a wording error on my part and I will ammend the post to explain that it is probably best answered by those whose dogs are still with them.

Q54: This is a valid point; I will edit the question to detail how it should be answered in this case.

Thanks again for your feedback and I will edit the survey accordingly.

All the best,


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