News and Information

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?

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 zero within a few hours.  Because of the need to protect in all kinds of weather, …

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 …

Eye on the Trail: Iditarod and Flat @ Mile 432

Have you ever wondered where the word or name Iditarod came from?  I’ve heard 3 explanations.  First, Iditarod was a word used by Athabascans that meant FAR DISTANT PLACE.  Second, Iditarod was a word from another indigenous language that meant CLEAR WATER. Finally, a ROD is a measure of distance and so one miner might …

Eye on the Trail: Remembering Yentna Station’s Dan Gabryszak

Master of the Yentna Station Roadhouse, Dan Gabryszak, succumbed to cancer on January 12, 2021 just eight days after being diagnosed.  Dan and his wife Jean have called the lodge on the big bend of the Yentna River home for forty years.  Early on, the Jr. Iditarod asked the Gabryszaks to host a checkpoint and …

Do sled dogs’ feet get cold from running in the snow?

A penguin, a sled dog, and a manatee walk into a diner… Well, maybe not. But even if they don’t frequent the same restaurants, they do share similar adaptations that help them overcome the challenges of life in cold environments. As veterinarians, we’re often asked how dogs can tolerate walking barefoot on snow and ice. …

2021 Rookie Musher Meeting

  On Saturday, December 18, the 2021 Iditarod Rookie Musher Meeting took place via ZOOM.  An Iditarod “rookie” is someone who hasn’t completed the Iditarod.  As of the writing of this article, there are 15 rookie mushers signed up for Iditarod 2021.They hail from Alaska, Wisconsin, and even Canada and France. Four of them are …

Can a sled dog be an inside dog?

By Lori E. Gordon, DVM Veterinary Surgical Care, Inc. MA Task Force 1 US&R Veterinary Officer, NVRT Veterinary Officer   The answer is maybe. It depends on the dog, both their physical as well as individual emotional state of mind.  It is the combination of their natural personality and their environmental upbringing that can answer …

How do sled dogs stay fit in the summer when it is too hot to run?

After racing season is over and the snow melts in Alaska, the canine athletes of the Iditarod begin a quick transition into the summer months. Although the terms “training” and “conditioning” are often used interchangeably, their distinctions should be noted for this discussion. In the purest sense, training is the mental process of learning how …