Sled Dog Care Guidelines
Caring for Dogs During a Crisis
Voluntary Kennel Inspection Program
Newsletters and Press Releases
Basic Standards of Sled Dog
The following are basic care standards that
we believe are commonly accepted practices among responsible sled
dog owners. This list is intended only as a ready reference, not as
a replacement for the more complete discussion presented in the full
Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines.
- Daily Food and Water. Under normal
circumstances, all dogs should be adequately fed and watered at
least once a day, although certain training and medical
conditions may warrant the temporary withholding of food.
- Adequate Shelter. All dogs should have
adequate shelter from inclement weather. Usually this means a
waterproof and windproof house or other shelter as well as
shade, sunlight, and a well-drained, easily cleaned kennel
- Safe Confinement. Dogs should be
securely confined and restricted in a safe manner. Chains and
cables used to restrict dogs must be tangle-free and should
include a swivel to prevent choking.
- Responsible Breeding. Any kennel that
includes an intact female dog should have a heat pen capable of
confining the female and preventing breeding with loose males.
- Exercise. Confinement pens, chains, or
cables should be of an adequate size or length to allow each dog
- Fenced Yards. In places that young
children might visit, dog yards should be surrounded by a fence
of an adequate height and strength to contain loose dogs and
keep children out of the yard.
- Daily Scooping. Fecal matter should be
cleaned up daily.
- Veterinary Attention. Dogs should be
dewormed and vaccinated on a regular basis and should receive a
regular veterinary checkup.
- Socialization. Dogs should be socialized
at least to the point of accepting handling from strangers.
Special training, secure confinement, and neutering should be
considered with overly aggressive dogs.
- Quality of Life. The above care
standards provide a basic quality of life that all sled dogs
deserve. If this care cannot be provided, then another home for
the dog should be found. If a dog’s quality of life cannot be
maintained due to age, serious infirmity or injury, or other
circumstances and another home is not appropriate or an option,
the dog deserves to be humanely euthanized by a qualified