Need a snuggling partner on a chilly night? You’re better off with a Chihuahua than a Saint Bernard, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina studied the rectal temperatures of newborn puppies and their mothers from three breeds: Neapolitan mastiff, boxer, and basset hound. Their original intent was to understand the daily rhythm of body temperature in the dogs. They discovered that dogs tend to be colder in the morning and hotter in the evening, but shifted the focus of the study when they found that the basset hounds were consistently hotter than the larger breeds.
Researchers then recorded the temperature of 115 adult dogs from 19 different breeds. Again, they noticed that smaller breeds tended to have higher temperatures than larger breeds.
The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Thermal Biology.