The aim of the study is to investigate the reduction of stress in dogs in municipal shelters through easy-to-implement activities, ie, 25-minute sessions of exercise and human contact, that do not require a significant investment in terms of funding, staff or time. The results demonstrate that the dogs taking part in these sessions have lower salivary cortisol levels (F=121.42; P<0.05) and achieve better scores on a behaviour test (t17=4.27; P=0.001). It can therefore be affirmed that the exercise and human contact protocol proposed in the present study diminishes stress and improves the welfare of dogs housed in shelters.
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed