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Building a Better Canine Warrior

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2012,31 Mar 2017

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Oklahoma State University Stillwater United States

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Canine exercise performance in hot environments is limited by the ability of the dog to dissipate metabolic heat , which is in turn limited by the availability of body water for evaporation . Estimated daily energy expenditure of off-leash explosive detection dogs is approximately 6000 kcalday, requiring the evaporation of up to 5 liters of waterday . The purpose of this project was to evaluate dietary manipulations that would increase the availability of water for evaporation without adversely affecting performance and to develop technical methodology that would dissipate metabolic heat without the expense of body water .Neither an increase in dietary salt nor decrease in dietary protein altered exercise tolerance, although the decrease in dietary protein did decrease total body water as a of body weight . Proof-of- concept experiments in support of heat dissipation through foot pad cooling showed promise , but ultimately did not provide significant benefit during controlled exercise studies . Supplementary projects to assess the effects of environmental heat on olfactory performance and to assess the adaptation of suspended prior to completion due to regulatory issues procurement and husbandry .

Subject Categories:

  • Stress Physiology
  • Biology

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