Dog Sled Racers and Essential Oils For Health Benefits

Maintaining good health in dog sled race breeds is every caring owner’s first priority. As people look to holistic methods of staying healthy, dog owners have begun to realize the potential that could have for their race dogs. One such method that is being explored is the use of essential oils to heal and promote good health.

Medicinal Uses

Essential oils have a wide range of medicinal uses that could be useful for a sled dog. These pups are exposed to the cold, making them susceptible to many infections and diseases. If you see your pup looking down, and scratching at his ear, he could be suffering from an ear infection. Dog sled owners have starting use essential lavender oil mixed with melaleuca and geranium to treat ear infections in their dogs. This has proven to be a great natural cure without the traumatic trip to the vet.

Lavender is also a good antiseptic for wound care for pets. Applied with a cotton ball, you will destroy bacteria and promote healing. Helichrysum can be used if the bleeding is heavy, and frankincense if the infection gets worse. Ginger and rosemary essential oils also work at keeping swelling down.

To support overall health in the dog you can create your own capsules consisting of lavender, lemon and peppermint. This will help to build their immune system and keep them healthy.

Precautions

For use on pets, essential oils should always be diluted with another benign oil such as coconut. You can also use them in scientifically proven methods such as high quality diffusers that spray only small amounts into the air. Make sure you stay far away from the nose, mouth, eyes and genitals. While most essential oils are perfectly safe, some can be irritating on contact for dogs.

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Applications

If you have a sled dog that is unusually active and rowdy, you can put oils such as lavender where he sleeps. Most can also be applied topically as well, especially after a bath. Just be cautious about the facial area.

Mushers main concern is the health of their teams. Looking for natural ways to accomplish this is not only better for the dogs, it is cost effective. Imagine the savings between a vet visit for a common ear infection and applying essential oil drops to the ears three times a day.

Other natural methods for keeping a dog healthy include incorporating organic foods into the diet. Eliminating the chemicals and steroids found in typical food is going to make a huge difference.

The next time you participate in a dog sled race, consider the hard work these loving animals are doing for you. Show your appreciation for that by finding natural essential oils and healthy foods that keep them feeling great.

 

A Look into the Life of a Typical Sled Dog

Dog sled racing, or mushing, has steadily gained popularity as people look for new ways of staying active and healthy during winter. But what about the dogs? The way in which sled dogs are treated both during races and during down time will surprise you.

The Sled Dog

The typical sled dog is an Alaskan Husky with a full coat of fur. Bred to haul gear during the gold rush, these dogs are now a docile breed with a strong desire to please their owner. Don’t let their loving demeanor fool you though, they are also some of the strongest dogs on the planet, capable of pulling hundreds of pounds of gear through the snow.

Expect the dog to weigh approximately 40 pounds but have the speed of a racehorse. These are energetic dogs and need to be in order to pull those sleds.

Racing

There are some sled races that take days to complete. While some may see this as being abusive to the animal, they are taken care of every step of the way. Each day of the race they will run an approximate 125 miles, but get checked along the way by trained veterinarians. Any sign of illness or injury, and the dog is taken out of the race.

Routine Care

The majority of sled dog owners are caring individuals who treat the animals like pets. The dogs are kept in safe and comfortable quarters with plenty of space to expend their energy. Routine visits are made to their veterinarian, who makes sure that they are healthy and up to date on vaccinations.

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The diet of the sled dog differs in that it is packed with more protein than what you find in typical dog food products. It is not unusual to find owners who prepare them meals separately. Using quick cooking methods like a deep fryer or grill, these owners prepare chicken and meat for the dogs to consume. If serving food from an oil or oil less deep fat fryer, they will pay careful attention to the oil and the amount of bad fat it contains. Fat is encouraged to help build a coat of fat on the dogs that will protect them from the cold.

Recreation

During these off times, the sled dogs are encouraged to free play but are also being trained. The training will include lessons on staying together as a team and weight exercises to build strength. It is important to work on these skills often to keep the dogs race ready.

There is no abuse of these animals that are being used to race. This activity has been inbred into them and they are accustomed to the long hours and grueling conditions. The next time you happen upon one of these sled dogs or a team of them, make sure to give them all a well deserved pat on the head.

Are You and Your Dog Ready for Iditarod?

In the Native Indian dialect of Ingalik and Holikachu, Iditarod is the word for distant or distant place. The indigenous Athabaskan tribes of Northwest Alaska also use the term for a city, river, and well known trail. We of course know the word to mean one of the biggest dog sled races on the planet.

The big race is only a few months away, taking place next year on March 7th. Meanwhile the dogs and mushers are busy with their grueling training to prepare for this major dog sled event. if you can’t make this one, there are plenty more around Canada to join or even just watch.

This is indeed a race to be reckoned with, lasting any where from 9 to 15 days. But the winner and his band of sled pullers get to walk away with a $70,000 prize. There are a total of 30 teams expected to place, and with big cash prizes:

  • 2nd place: $58,600
  • 3rd place: $53,900
  • 4th place: $48,400
  • 5th place: $44,300
  • 30th place: $1,900

The cash prizes as you can see will get progressively lower down to 30th place. For those who finish beyond that, there is still a prize of $1,049. Musher who crosses dead last gets the Red Light Award.

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With that many number of sled teams, you have to wonder how the dogs are treated. They don’t get time off in the summer, their training is continuous all year round. The best mushers treat the dogs like pets, and take care of them the say way you do your dog at home. There is just more of them to manage for the dog sled team.

Most of the training for the dogs is conducted on large farms where simulation race exercises are conducted. The dogs are kept inside of the farm limits using a wireless dog fence system to keep them safe. The risk of being lost or hurt is too great to chance a dog getting off of the property. Choosing the best wireless pet control system gives them ultimate protection while still letting them roam free.

The Iditarod headquarters are just outside of Wasilla, where it is common to see visitors being moved about the snowy banks by small dog sledding teams. Those who get the ride are enchanted by the cool crisp atmosphere of Alaska, while the dogs get a bit of exercise and a lot of love and respect. One of the most popular areas to visit is the majestic Lake Lucille, where visitors are invited to skate around or just enjoy the view.

Even if you don’t like dog sledding, you have to appreciate its history and the hard work that the dogs and the mushers put into it. Take a trip to Alaska this March and see for yourself how incredible the entire experience is.

 

Transportation Turned Sport: Dog Sledding

Dogsledding has not always been a sport. In fact, dog sleds were primarily used as a form of transportation. That was the only way people could get around until modern technology gave us snow mobiles. Now, dogsledding has become more then just a form of transport. It is a full on recreational activity and sport. It is a sport all ages can enjoy.

There are a few basics you need to get started to really enjoy participating in this activity. The most important thing will be dogs of course. You can’t get a sled far without them. Owning and maintaining dogs for sledding can be a challenge alone. Feeding, handling and keeping your dogs well is a full time job. You also need quality winter gear. No matter where you are in the country or even the states conditions will be cold.

Many sledders spend days at a time in the wilderness far from luxuries such as hotels or even their home. Typically winter gear would include gloves, jackets, pants and a tent to help stay warm.  You also have to make sure the dogs can survive any condition as they are truly the driving force behind winning a race. Of course you also need a good sled. A quality sled will get you from point A to B while also helping you transport goods and all of the tools you need to survive.

There are also things to think about beyond just a sled. How do you harness the dogs? How do you store the equipment for the dogs? A harness is the most critical piece of equipment since that is what keeps the dog attached to the sled. You also want to keep a dogs feet protected from the elements so boots also come into play. That is right, just like a human a dog needs to stay protected from the rough terrains you will encounter along the way. There are several types of dog boots for many environments. And of course you will need to keep your dog identified and collared.

Equipment goes beyond the course though. You need to keep your dogs warm and housed all year round so you must factor in shelter suitable for the environment you live in. Even feeding your dogs can be critical in the sport of sledding. Just like a human a dog needs to have energy to keep up with the competition.

With the right equipment, motivation and dedication you to can enjoy the wonderful world of dog sledding.

Traditional Bootleg Sled Races

Traditionally, the bootleg sled dog races take place in a town just outside British Columbia called Kimberley. This beautiful town is the ultimate resort, family and vacation spot. It brings in a lot of families and tourists dollars so it is a prime location for large events.

Kimberley in the summer.

During the winter, typically around February the Bootleg dog sled race is held. This event is held for charity and helps fund families and children so they can take trips to major cities; so they can seek cancer treatment without being overwhelmed by travel expenses. This race is unique because there are many different competition levels.

A sled racer can participate in a six mile, four mile or even two mile race. The two mile race is perfect for a beginning young adult and if you want to really test your skills the six mile race is a great way to do just that; the six mile race is the most challenging by far because it is a looped event which means you race around the six mile track six times.

For many years this race has drawn a lot of people. The motivation to assist families that need help when coping with childhood cancer has been the greatest drive. This competition has always been a hit because of the prizes but, that is not the main drive behind this challenging and positive event. The location for this race is also excellent. Kimberly, British Columbus is a whole world unto itself. Full of resorts, beauty, family actives and diverse slopes. It is the ultimate vacation spot for such a world class competition with an even better cause. Keep an eye out for our future bootleg dog sled races and prizes. Sign up, be a part of the challenge, and while you are at promote a great sport backing an excellent cause.