Dr. Ragen McGowan is a research scientist in pet behavior and welfare who has been with Purina for more than 10 years. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Zoology and Foreign Language and a PhD in Applied Ethology from Washington State University.
For more than 20 years, Dr. McGowan has been involved in animal behavior research, using a holistic approach that incorporates behavior, physiology and endocrinology.
Her post-doctoral research focused on emotionality in dogs and explored new methodology to objectively evaluate positive emotions, including studying the “Eureka Effect” (emotional reactions to learning).
Through her research, Dr. McGowan aims to create products that cater to pets’ behavioral and emotional needs, and to better understand the human-animal bond from the pet’s perspective.
Dr. McGowan has a passion for sharing her vast knowledge of pet behavior and the human-animal bond. In addition to speaking at a variety of events for Purina, she is a contributing scientific expert for the Collegiate Animal Welfare Competition, Companion Animal Nutrition Summit, Gut Microbiome Roundtable and Dognition podcast.
Dr. McGowan lives in St. Joseph, Missouri with her husband, two children and two giant rescue dogs, Luna and Perry.
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