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Dog Health & Well-being

Lead Dogs Thomas Wærner
The real heroes

Top athletes with the power to run for miles

Have you ever watched a long-distance dog sled race and wondered how these outstanding dogs can run for miles and still have the will to go even after crossing the finish line? Well, this might be one of the many astonishing things at your first dog mushing experience. Just like every top athlete in the world, these exceptional dogs deserve special care and should be hailed as true heroes for their remarkable performance.

Most of a dog mushers life evolves around their dogs. They will be able to tell you a lot about the different characteristics of every single dog. It is impressive how well they know each of them. We can for sure say that the bond between our mushers and their dogs is so unique, our dogs have top priority and we value each of them for their outstanding achievements. 

Get to know them
The relationship between a lead dog and a musher is quite unique. Being a lead dog is a harder job and often more stressful. Therefore, I have many lead dogs in the team. It is my job to pick the right one for the given condition. It is about learning how to play with each dogs' strength and how to setup each dog for success. 
- Dallas Seavey -
QRILL Pet Mushing Team Dog Eating
Top nutrition for top performers

A powerful ingredient 

Special athletes need a special diet. Thus, our dogs are on a very carefully selected diet to meet their nutritional needs. Besides protein rich foods, they also require the right minerals, vitamins and not to forget omega-3s. To meet those needs, their pet food formulation from Appetitt is specially designed and provides them only with the best ingredients, including the powerful ingredient QRILL Pet. 

A big part of forming a professional mushing team, is to investigate the positive effects of QRILL Pet on these athletic dogs. In an earlier study of 5 weeks with 8% krill meal inclusion in diets for Alaskan Huskies prior to the 2016 Iditarod dogsled race – a thousand mile endurance exercise known to induce muscle damage and inflammation – showed that the 40% increase of the Omega-3 Index in the krill group decreased muscle damage and inflammation when compared to the control group.

Yet in another 6-weeks study with Thomas Wærner's dogs, where a fish and a krill meal group were compared. The group of dogs that received a diet with 8% krill inclusion had an Omega-3 Index increase of 63%. Moreover, blood choline levels increased significantly in the krill meal group only. These results have very positive effects on the overall health of dogs. 

Your dog can also take advantage of this unique functional ingredient. Look for dog food brands with the "Powered by QRILL Pet” logo on the packaging or product website. 

How to get it for my pet

Meet some of Dallas' dogs

Mr. Prodigy, also known as Gamble

Rapid - the happy go lucky guy

QRILL Pet Mushing team Finnmarksløpet
Care before competition

Dog care comes first

During a long-distance race, dog teams will face close follow-ups by veterinarians, before they are allowed to participate in the race. Every four-legged goes through a strict examination to ensure they are in top shape and health fit to race. 

Well out on the trail, every team travels through several check-points. Here the racing teams will have voluntary and compulsory rest times, anything lasting from 6-24 hours. Along with filling up on nutrition and rest, every dog will go through further check-ups by trained veterinarians at all check-points. This is to determine whether they are are fit to continue the race. If there are any signs of weight loss, injuries or other indicators that the dog might not be in good shape, the athlete may not be able to stay in the race. This evaluation process will usually involve several veterinarians, to ensure the best decision is being made for the dog. If for some reason the dog is not allowed to continue, they will be taken care of by a handler and sent back to the kennel for pampering and caring.

From earlier races, we can see that our mushers have always put the health and well-being of their dogs first, even if that meant the end of the competition. They know their dogs extremely well and can sense if there is something which isn't right with one of them. Long-distance dog sledding is often much more than crossing the finish-line first. It is about travelling the distance with your best friends and collection amazing memories along the way. Furthermore, our team is so impressed by the care provided during the long-distance races by voluntary veterinarians, who do the job just for the love of these impressive dogs. Kudos to this amazing mushing community. 

Learn more about the races
More videos

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Biff - the loyal guy

Tilla - Always excels as a leader