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In a very unique collaborative study, researchers claim that dogs prefer riding in electric cars.
Researchers from the University of London paired up with digital automobile website CarGurus to compare dog well-being between electric vehicles (EVs) and traditional gas-powered cars. Over two days, 20 dogs were taken on a 10-minute journey in both cars. Meanwhile, researchers measured various physical changes and observed the dogs’ behavior during their rides.
According to a CarGurus press release, “the study found that dogs were less settled in diesel-powered cars compared with EVs. Additionally, dogs that showed some signs of car sickness had notably reduced symptoms in an EV.”
Electric Cars Are Becoming Popular, but We Should Keep Dogs in Mind
Unfortunately, climate change is becoming an inescapable reality for both humans and dogs. Undoubtedly, our lives will change as a result. Electric cars are just one small example of this. As such, Dr. Daniel Mills, a professor of Behavioral Veterinary Medicine who led the study says,
“We know most dogs will travel in a car at some point in their life, if not on a daily basis. Yet as EVs become more prevalent with drivers, there have been no studies of their effect on dogs until now. Our results clearly show that dogs seem to be more relaxed in EVs, particularly when looking at behavioral traits such as restlessness.”
The Study’s Findings
Going into detail, the study found a lot of interesting details about how dogs behave on car rides. Although most dogs spent about a third of the total time laying down in the car, they were about 50 percent more likely to stand up in gas-powered cars. Ostensibly, researchers claim that a combustion engine’s increased noise and vibration could be the culprit. Additionally, researchers noted a marked decrease in heart rates for dogs in EVs versus gasoline cars. Overall, the study’s findings suggest that there is no detrimental effect from EVs on dogs, and possibly a few benefits.
Perhaps the best judges of character, though, are the dog parents. To this end, researchers gathered anecdotal evidence from dog parents on how their dogs reacted in each vehicle. Overall, dog parents said their dogs “settled better (39 percent), were calmer (43 percent), less anxious (42 percent), and whined less (45 percent) in an EV compared to a [gas-powered vehicle].” So, if you need another excuse to go green, think of your dog.