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      Developing guidelines for pet rat housing through expert consultation

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          Abstract

          Background

          Pet care guidelines play an important role in ensuring that owners are well informed about good husbandry practices, allowing them to provide the best care for their animals. However, the development of such guidelines is difficult when there is little appropriate empirical evidence on which to base guidelines, as in the case of pet rats. The consultation of multiple experts can help to surmount this challenge.

          Methods

          We developed a set of guidelines for pet rat housing by consulting with a group of experts, including veterinarians, veterinary nurses, animal welfare scientists and experienced pet rat owners. The consultation involved two rounds of online surveys ( n = 13) and one online discussion ( n = 8).

          Results

          The resulting guidelines cover a broad range of features within pet rat housing, including injury prevention, details of suitable refuges and substrates, and suitable cage sizing. The guidelines may evolve as more information about pet rats comes to light but may nonetheless provide a useful starting point for any future guidelines.

          Conclusions

          At present, these guidelines may not only be useful for pet rat owners and those advising pet rat owners, such as veterinarians, but may also be useful in the design of housing, including for laboratory rodents.

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          Most cited references52

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          The Use of Cronbach’s Alpha When Developing and Reporting Research Instruments in Science Education

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            The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications

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              An Experimental Application of the DELPHI Method to the Use of Experts

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                vikki.neville@bristol.ac.uk
                Journal
                Vet Rec
                Vet Rec
                10.1002/(ISSN)2042-7670
                VETR
                The Veterinary Record
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                0042-4900
                2042-7670
                16 July 2022
                04 February 2023
                : 192
                : 3 ( doiID: 10.1002/vetr.v192.3 )
                : e1839
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Bristol Veterinary School University of Bristol Bristol UK
                [ 2 ] City Vets Exeter UK
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Vikki Neville, Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK.

                Email: vikki.neville@ 123456bristol.ac.uk

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2961-1353
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2399-4194
                Article
                VETR1839
                10.1002/vetr.1839
                10084028
                35841618
                3e8ccedc-d3e4-48f0-9117-7f51e2d6cfd4
                © 2022 The Authors. Veterinary Record published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Veterinary Association.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 17 May 2022
                : 29 March 2022
                : 22 May 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 7, References: 44, Pages: 13, Words: 8254
                Funding
                Funded by: BBSRC , doi 10.13039/501100000268;
                Award ID: BB/T002654/1
                Categories
                Original Research
                Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                4/11 February 2023
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:6.2.7 mode:remove_FC converted:10.04.2023

                Veterinary medicine
                Veterinary medicine

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