Enrolling Your Dog in a Veterinary Study

It’s important to carefully consider the risks and benefits.

Clinical studies provide helpful information to veterinarians. The study results can play pivotal role in creating new medications, operations, and other therapies for canines.

How can enrolling your dog in a clinical trial help?

Most of these veterinary research studies are non-invasive, and participants are usually animals who already have the condition being examined. While helping with projects that can help other animals, participants might have access to state-of-the-art veterinary care for little or no cost.

Animals participating in clinical trials get access to promising veterinary care interventions and therapies that are either inexpensive for pet owners or not yet available in the general population.

For instance, a medication or surgical procedure could not be accessible outside of a research study or might be too expensive. More thorough diagnostic testing may be offered for free as part of some clinical trials.

Steps to enrol

You can start by searching for veterinary studies that are currently recruiting participants. You can look for studies at veterinary schools, research institutions, and clinical trial websites.

An online survey is typically the first step in a clinical research. This can include questions about existing conditions, additional health concerns, and medications the animal is currently taking. Based on the answers, the applications are evaluated and suitable research participants ate shortlisted.

The selected dogs undergo a physical examination that can include blood testing and radiography. Pet owners whose dogs successfully complete these initial steps are invited to participate in the study, and they are provided information about the study plan and a consent form to sign.

In some cases if you believe your pet is eligible for a specific study, a veterinarian referral is also required to apply. However, a referral may not always be required.

The where, what, and how

The majority of clinical trials are conducted at veterinary teaching hospitals where veterinarians and researchers look into promising treatments or attempt to improve upon existing ones.

Clinical trials are conducted in a wide range of veterinary specialties, including dermatology, nutrition, and cardiology and neurology.

To ensure that the findings are accurate and unbiased, researchers conduct randomized, blinded trials. Control (comparison) groups in clinical trials might get a placebo. The investigator is typically blinded, or uninformed of which animal is receiving the experimental medication and which is receiving a placebo.

Clinical trials can save the lives of our furry companions when there is no possible remedy available. The animal’s suitability and the owner’s openness can be the determining factors in getting the animal included in a clinical trial. Owners must consider the pros and cons and also the potential side effects before making the decision.


Dr. Omer Rashid earned his veterinary degree in 2002 from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, and quickly followed that with a Master’s degree in Parasitology. He worked for several years in veterinary practice with small animals, as well as horses and livestock. He studied advanced pharmacology at Charles Darwin University in Australia, and discovered his love for writing while working as a science writer for a research company with clients such as Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge universities. Along the way, Dr. Rashid developed an interest in integrative veterinary health, and he joined Redstone Media Group as Associate Editor of IVC Journal and veterinary content developer in 2022.