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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (May 20, 2015) – At this year’s American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Annual Forum, held in Indianapolis, Mark Oyama, DVM, ACVIM (Cardiology) will take the stage on June 3 to present the purpose and framework of a new quality of life dog ownership survey named DOGhOUSE, in conjunction with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Vet.

The team that developed DOGhOUSE, which stands for DOG Owner qUality of life SurvEy, recruited 300 dog owners to participate in the ten-minute questionnaire, the results of which will be used in other studies to better understand the effect of dog ownership, intervention and animal-assisted therapy on an animal owner’s quality of life.

Oyama, an ACVIM Diplomate since 1998, has noticed the positive and negative impacts of dog ownership as related to the owner’s quality of life, and hopes to use the outcome of DOGhOUSE to further the positives of ownership.

“There are 70 million dogs in the US, and 37% of all US households own a companion dog,” said Oyama. “Previous studies have shown physical health benefits associated with owning a dog, including increased physical activity, decreased blood pressure, and increased survival following cardiac surgery. Studies have also associated dog ownership with psychological benefits including decreased anxiety and social isolation and improved self-esteem and social support. Yet, few studies have examined the effect of dog ownership on overall quality of life or have tried to balance the potentially positive aspects of ownership with more negative aspects.”

The DOGhOUSE Survey includes questions about positive and negative aspects of dog ownership, and the effect of dog ownership on physical activities and ability, social activities and relationships, emotional health and happiness, and overall quality of life.

Oyama is available for interviews.

Media Attendance: Accredited members of the media are invited to attend the 2015 ACVIM Forum at no charge, and must register with the ACVIM prior to attending. For media registration, please contact Laurie Nelson at Laurie@ACVIM.org or 303-231-9933 ext. 101.

About the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people through education, training and certification of specialists in veterinary internal medicine, discovery and dissemination of new medical knowledge, and increasing public awareness of advances in veterinary medical care. The ACVIM is the certifying organization for veterinary specialists in cardiology, large animal internal medicine, neurology, oncology and small animal internal medicine.

About the ACVIM Forum
The Forum is an annual continuing education meeting where cutting-edge information, technology and research abstracts are showcased for the veterinary community. More than 3,200 veterinary specialists, veterinarians, technicians and students attend. To find out more about ACVIM specialists and the 2015 ACVIM Forum, please visit www.ACVIM.org.

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Media Contact:
Laurie Nelson
Marketing and Member Services Manager
Office: 303-231-9933 ext. 101
Cell: 303-324-2630
Laurie@ACVIM.org

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