EARA member Covance Laboratories, along with Novo Nordisk, have collaborated to enhance the design of cages to house dogs used in drug testing.
Among the design changes to the housing, dogs are now put in pairs rather than single cages, with the collection of urine and faeces also improved.
In a study, published in the journal Laboratory Animals, data comparing pair-housed and singly housed dogs showed that conducting studies with a pair-housing design improves animal welfare without compromising the scientific results.
Current single housing cages have remained largely unchanged for 30 years.
For highly social animals such as dogs, separation from their companions can cause distress and lead to abnormal behaviour and separation anxiety.