News and Information

Writing to Mushers: Steps for Success

We are happy to provide you with contact information of mushers agreeing to receive letters from students.  If you are writing to mushers, please follow the instructions below. Send an email to Jane Holmes, Director of Education at jane.holmes@iditarod.com to receive by email the postal contact information for mushers who agree to receive letters from …

What kind of vaccinations are needed for dogs to race? Are these vaccinations widely recommended for non-working dogs?

By Greg Closter DVM, Alaska SPCA Specific vaccination requirements have been established for all dogs racing in the Iditarod.  As stated in Rule 40: All dogs entered in the race must be current on their vaccinations for distemper/hepatitis/lepto/parvo/parainfluenza (DHLPP), rabies, and injectable, nasal, or oral bordetella. Bordetella is often referred to as “kennel cough”.  While …

Spay and Neuter Decisions for Sled Dogs

By Lori E. Gordon, DVM Veterinary Surgical Care, Inc. MA Task Force 1 US&R Veterinary Officer, NVRT Veterinary Officer   Let’s start with the basics. Neutering is the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ(s), all or most of them. Neutering refers to both males and females, though typically used for males while spaying refers to …

Eye on the Trail: Dogs – Ernie & Cletus

Iditarod is more than a race.  It’s people, places and dogs.  Each aspect adds immeasurable character to the Iditarod.  Iditarod is all about the dogs yet we often know them only by how fast they ran and where they finished as a team.  Certainly every musher could tell stories about every dog they’ve ever run.  …

Eye on the Trail:  Place – Skwentna

If asked what Iditarod is, you’d say it’s a 1,000-mile sled dog race that goes from Anchorage to Nome.  Nice clean definition but there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s PEOPLE, PLACES and DOGS! Here’s a story about an Iditarod PLACE.  Skwentna at mile 67 of the Gold Trail Loop will be the …

Eye on the Trail: People – Joe and Norma of Skwentna

If asked what Iditarod is, you’d say it’s a 1,000-mile sled dog race that goes from Anchorage to Nome.  Nice clean definition but there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s PEOPLE, PLACES and DOGS!  Here’s a story about PEOPLE of the Iditarod.  Iditarod has many legendary figures.  Many have stood on sled runners …

Eye on the Trail – Iditarod Mushers Run Mid-Distance Races

Mushers have just completed food drops in both Fairbanks and Anchorage.  Earlier in February straw was bagged and placed on pallets to be ready for shipping, likewise with HEET and lath.  Preparations for Iditarod XLIX are moving along.  As race fans, how are you preparing for the race? Since the first of the year there …

Do sled dogs wear protective clothes when they run?

By Kimberly Henneman, DVM, DACVSMR (EQ, K9) Animal Health VIPS (Veterinary Integrative & Performance Specialists)   Marathon or distance sled dogs run and pull sleds in a variety of conditions that include spending nights out on the trail.  Sometimes those conditions can change quickly, going from sunny and above freezing to snowing and well below …

Let’s talk about grain-free

Over the last decade, as human diet trends have become more popular, so too have specialty pet foods. Just as people seek out the latest paleo, keto, or high-octane juice cleanse recipe, pet owners are also drawn to “premium,” or “holistic,” or “carnivore-based” diets.  One of the most popular trends in the dog food market …

Can sled dogs live indoors?

  Most sled dogs are part of a kennel, with anywhere from 10 to over 100 huskies living in a dog yard. This is the environment that many people picture when they envision the living quarters of a typical sled dog. However, many people don’t know that sled dogs can be great indoor pets. You …