I can’t possibly do justice to this article with a short summary of just the main information.
Here’s the main information: The U.S. Department of Agriculture began a five-year study of the use of “microclimates” with dogs in the 1920s. At that time, all American dogs were being examined, and the USDA wanted to see if dogs would be used for temperature monitoring in the country. If this proves to be correct, the USDA would be one step closer to an early, successful prototype of human temperature monitoring systems.
Dogs were in a lot of danger of heat exhaustion from living in hot weather. In the 1940s, the National Animal Training Commission had also determined that the dogs of the world were getting too hot, and the National Temperatures Commission had a program to find out more about this. One of the early experiments they conducted was one of placing dogs in hot weather in outdoor enclosures, where they had to walk in circles or race in the hot sun for hours. The dogs would gradually get tired, and so the dog handlers tried to get them home. The dogs would spend much of the day running in the heat and are thought of as somewhat of an extreme climate. By the time the dogs returned home at dark, they were much hotter than when they went in. In addition, a dog’s metabolism, when it runs or jumps in the heat, may be about 20 percent higher than it would be in cooler climates. Because of all of this, the dogs would probably feel sick as well (they can’t move while they’re in the heat), and the handlers hoped the exposure would produce a better mood. That’s not much to brag about, but it was one of the first studies of temperatures inside dog houses and it did raise the question of if the weather outdoors in hot weather might also be changing human physiology.
When the study ended in 1927, the dogs had to stay for five more years, at least until the study’s conclusion. The first dogs were returned in 1934, but the dog testing continued. That’s until 1947 when the dogs were released, and there was some skepticism, and they were removed from the study. There were still dogs at the end of 1947, and two more years of studies were continued. All along, the USDA and the National Temperatures Commission have maintained that the results show no significant effect on human health. They just wanted to see if dogs could be used as an experimental model.
Over the next 45 years
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