After completing my undergraduate degree in Animal Management, I knew I wanted to learn more about the human–nonhuman animal relationship and the depths that the subject could go into. I was not disappointed. I learned so much more than I could have imagined whilst studying at the University of Exeter. Most significantly, I feel the MA and my respective tutors enabled my confidence to grow through student-led research and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, ultimately developing my deep respect and passion for nonhuman animals.
My research focussed on canine obesity, whether it can be linked to owners’ attitudes towards exercise and feeding routines and how hydrotherapy could be utilised as a form of weight management exercise for dogs. Taking the theoretical framework of ‘One Health’ when considering human and nonhuman animal health, my research aimed to explore the importance of combining, rather than segregating, all health in order to benefit both humans and nonhumans in the future of medicine. Whether we see a pet dog as a member of the family or something that serves a companionship purpose, altering owners’ perspectives in order to benefit canine health in the future was a crucial focus to my research.
Thanks to the MA in Anthrozoology channelling my focus, I now have a job as a canine hydrotherapist at one of the largest hydrotherapy centres in the UK, as well as having my passion for nonhuman animals well and truly fuelled – I cannot wait to share what I have learned through the programme with others and put emphasis on the importance of the welfare of nonhuman animals.