The Barking Lot
Sit, stay, learn! Our blog about all things dog.
Life On The Run: All About Sled Dogs and How They Maintain Smooth Paw Pads
Did you know sled dogs help keep warm by sleeping with their tail covering their nose? Sled dogs are unique, gorgeous creatures that plow through the snow with such excitement and grace. While it’s quite a thrill to be pulled by a team of strong snow dogs, it is nearly as wondrous to simply see the dogs at work. Not only are sled dogs incredibly strong, but also they are very durable. After all, sled dogs have a lot of environmental factors working against them. For one it’s incredibly cold outside, simultaneously chilling dog bodies and paw pads, which are constantly traveling across the cold snow.
In fact sled dogs have a lot working against their paws, and must be checked on regularly to ensure they are healthy enough to move forward. It’s not just during the race that paw pads are exposed to the harsh winter elements. When practicing for a race, dogs may travel some 2,000-3,000 miles just obtaining the endurance to compete.
How Do Sled Dogs Maintain Smooth Paw Pads?
If your dog simply spends a lot of time playing out in the snow, you may notice that their paws get rough and dry. Now imagine if your dog was running thousands of miles through the snow for many months of the year. Clearly, sled dogs take a lot of wear and tear to their paw pads, but if their paws are not up to the challenge it won’t be long before they are no longer able to keep up with the team. As a result many racers use dog boots, and/or our latest all natural PawTector, to help keep dog paws free of abrasions and excess wear.
The History Of Sled Dogs
Sled dogs have been used for many years, the earliest records date back long before 1000 B.C. Throughout this time sled dogs have been used for many different purposes, from work to sport. In the late 1800s they were used to patrol gold mines, as well as travel on Arctic and Antarctic journeys. Sled dogs were known as a reliable and common source of transportation until around the 1920s, at which time more efficient modes of transportation were being invented.
It wasn’t until 1908 that dog sled racing became an official sport.
Mushers, or dog drivers, love the sport just as much as the dogs. For some people it is a way of a life, and a competition to train for and look forward to all year. There are countless dog sled races that take place around the coldest regions of the world. And while dogs must be well trained and ready for the task, it has a lot to do with breeding and genetics that allows certain dogs to do well pulling a sled, despite the very harsh conditions they face. First and foremost, they are working in incredibly cold weather, the type of cold that bites at your skin even beneath your warmest jacket.
Best Breeds For Sled Dogs
The most commonly used breeds for pulling sleds include: the Siberan husky, Samoyed, and malamute. Sled dogs can be a mixed breed as well, often known as Alaska husky or Eskimo dogs. The best dogs for pulling sleds have thick coats, and feet that are wide and flat. The Alaskan malamute is a common sled dog, and is a perfect example of an awesome canine for the job. The Alaskan malamute was breed some 2-3,000 years ago as a sled dog used for transportation. As a result, breeders sought to create an incredibly sturdy dog capable of pulling heavy weight, running long distances, and enduring the harsh weather of Alaska.
Can You Train Your Dog To Mush?
Mushing, or dog sled racing, is a sport that anyone interested can get involved in. Not just any dog is cut out for the task, we wouldn’t recommend trying to teach your Chihuahua, for example, how to pull a sled—unless it’s a Barbie sled! It takes an extra special dog to compete in dog sled racing. Looking into programs that will teach you more about dog sled racing are beneficial before getting a sled dog of your own.
Keep Your Dog’s Paws Smooth All Year Long
No matter if you and your dog love mushing, or if your dog’s only time in the snow is out in the backyard, PawTector provides endless benefits to keep dog paws naturally protected against the elements–from salty snow, sandy beaches, and hot concrete!
Plus, since it is made of 100% natural, carefully sourced ingredients, your dog can lick at his or her paws all day and never have adverse side effects. PawTector is just as good for your dog’s insides as their paw pads.
At Natural Dog our mission remains the same, Soothe, Heal, Wag!