Monday, October 12, 2009

Meat: it's what's for dinner....for the dogs!

Yum! The dogs are consuming over a pound of meat, mixed with warm water and kibble, per feeding now. Here, Jack (right) and Big Brown (left) eagerly await dinner time!

This time of year gets gross if you're a musher and happen to be a vegetarian.

I write about this every year because as the caloric needs of the dogs increase, I am amazed, every year, by how ravenous the dogs get!

We have been training intensively now with the temperatures getting cooler, and the dogs are super-charged and ready to roll!

My little team lined out on the trail. Gwennie (left) and Jack (right) up front, Yeti (left) and Ruffian (right) in point and Big Brown in wheel

We've still only been doing five mile training runs because I'm working with a young team and trying to keep it light and fun for the first month. But now that they're getting it, we're going to step up the miles starting this week.

Ruffian, one of my yearlings (left) and Yeti, who will be two years old this month, resting in lead after a five mile run

To compensate for all the calories burned by these high octane doggies, they also receive a high-end kibble (I currently feed Eukanuba Performance, which is 28% protein and 18% fat. The average dog food is somewhere between 18-24% protein and 10-12% fat), and a smidgen of corn oil mixed in for extra fat.

As disgusting as it may look to us, the dogs gobble it up ravenously. As the miles increase, the amount of meat they consume increases too. The calories burned daily by the sled dogs running in Alaska's annual Iditarod race average 10,000 calories! We're certainly not anywhere near that amount, but these superior athletes need a lot of calories.

Lined out and ready to roll!

To see why, click on the video below. My dogs were cooking in this video at between 13 and 17 miles an hour!

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