Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs

Two Rivers, Alaska

 

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Stardancer Husbandry and Health Care Practices

 

    The Star Dancer Historical Freight Dogs are fed a very high quality poultry based kibble formulated specifically for athletic dogs.  I supplement the kibble with raw meat during cold weather conditions and any day they go for a run, plus the day following.  They are also supplemented with probiotic and salmon oil. 

    During winter, the dogs are given a small portion of feed in a large volume of water each morning.  Their water is "baited" to encourage them to drink quickly, before the water can cool and freeze.  During warmer months they are provided with fresh clear water at all times.  The dogs receive the bulk of their feed, again with a healthy ration of water, each evening.  While on the trail I also provide frequent high protein and high fat snacks of raw meat or fish. 

    When a new dog is introduced to the Stardancer team he or she is taken to visit our veterinarian as soon as is mutually convenient.  During this initial visit the dog is given a baseline physical examination, any vaccinations that may be needed, and not been previously receives a microchip for identification purposes.  Stardancer dogs are treated for potential parasites (wormed) quarterly.  Each Stardancer Historical Freight Dog receives an annual physical examination, just like their musher.

    The kennel is poop-scooped at least twice each day, once following the morning watering, and again after evening feeding.  Often the kennel is scooped a third time at some point during the day just to keep things neat, tidy and healthy.  Each dog receives individual one-on-one attention every time I do something in the yard.  This may range from a brief hug to a quick obedience training session, a message, clipping overgrown toenails or whatever other sort of activity the dog seems to be interested in initiating. 

    Each day the dogs go on a run they receive a hands-on physical exam to identify any injuries or issues, which can then be treated.  The dogs receive a similar examination the next morning, looking for symptoms that may be delayed in onset or may have developed overnight.  Frequent handling allows me to be certain of a dog's health and physical condition, and makes it easier for the dog to tolerate handling by a veterinarian when necessary.