Effect of Stroking on Serotonin, Noradrenaline, and Cortisol Levels in the Blood of Right- and Left-Pawed Dogs
Department of Animal Ethology and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka st. 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka st. 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sylvia García-Belenguer and Mandy Paterson
Received: 22 November 2020
Revised: 21 January 2021
Accepted: 25 January 2021
Published: 28 January 2021
The endocrine balance, reflected in the level of neuromodulators, is necessary for maintenance of homeostasis and facilitates adaptation to stressful conditions. An important role in processing the information reaching the brain is played by the asymmetric specialization of cerebral hemispheres referred to as laterality. The domestic dog shows preference of the forelimb determined by the predominance of the activity of the right or left brain hemisphere. Investigations of various animal species indicate that the left-brain hemisphere is involved in the control of unchanging stimuli or repetitive actions, while the right hemisphere is specialized in the quality of emotional reactions such as aggression or fear. A skillful observation of combined behavioral and physiological symptoms of stress in dogs provides better insight in the dog’s perception of veterinary care, and any means of reduction of the stress level is highly recommended, as it improves animal’s welfare. The results of the present study indicate that dogs’ laterality and sex affect the stress response and stroking can relieve stress. The level of the analyzed neuroregulators indicating intensification of stress or adaptation to stress conditions was higher in the males and in the right-pawed dogs. Our results confirm our assumptions that right-pawed dogs are better adapted to stressful conditions.