drinkgin out of bowl

Today marks the first day of the DOD sponsored study evaluating the effects of three separate hydration strategies in detection dogs.

  • Water only
  • Subcutaneous electrolyte
  • Oral electrolyte (Hydrolyte™)

Ensuring that detection dogs are at peak performance is very important and often lives are on the line.

In order to determine which hydration strategy was associated with alterations in electrolytes, hydration and performance, a pilot study was conducted in 3 police dogs. In this study (presented at the International Sports Nutrition and Exercise Meeting 2012), we compared water, to subcutaneous electrolyte to oral electrolyte (Hydrolyte™) in a cross over study. We found no adverse effect of oral electrolyte. In fact, dogs in the Hydrolyte™ group consumed four times as much fluid, maintained body weight, acid-base status and had a statistically significant improvement in search performance.

Conclusions drawn from this pilot are that 1) the oral electrolyte solution is highly palatable, 2) no adverse electrolyte changes were identified, 3) urination were increased and 4) performance in the task evaluated improved.

As we kick off this first data collection period, detection dogs employed by Customs & Border Protection will be evaluated to determine the impact of these three strategies in a hot and humid climate. We hope to also evaluate the impact of these strategies in a hot and dry climate to identify and variances in results.

Visit our Facebook page for daily updates on the study and continue to check back as we share the results of the study.