Dear Friends,

Most of the mushers and dog teams have taken the mandatory 24 hour rest now.  Even though you don’t always hear about it, the teams usually have their own run-rest schedule all along the trail.  Some teams move for three hours and then rest for three hours.  

We also get fed and snacked along the trail!  Mushers know that we dogs burn about 10-12,000 calories per day.  If a kid ate that much, it would be like eating 19 Big Mac burgers from McDonalds in a day!  What do we dogs eat?  Snacks are frozen chunks of meat that we like to chew on.  

Eating some frozen salmon

Just like you, we dogs need energy; eating well each day is something we need to do.  Our mushers watch us carefully to make sure we are eating enough.  Another snack might be turkey fat rolled in dog kibble.  That gives us lots of calories but doesn’t make us too full when we are on runs.

When we stop for real meals, our musher either gets water from a hole in the river, melts snow, or gets hot water from volunteers in checkpoints who keep the water hot.  Once the water is hot by heating it in the cooker, the musher will add frozen meat and high-performance dogwood to make a warm soup.  It is scooped into dog bowls for us to eat and fill our bellies.  Some of us are picky eaters, just like you.  We want only certain meats.  Mushers try to keep us happy!

A cooker for heating water must be carried all the way to Nome.

Jeff Deeter talked about his dogs not eating as much as he wants them to after some got a stomach virus. They are doing better now and eating well again. Aaron Burmeister also mentioned that he is getting good meals into his dogs.

Lunch is served!

As you eat your meals today, think about how much more you would need to eat to keep up with sled dogs running the Iditarod!

 Until next time,