It's that time of year when the Iditarod Race of 2014 has taken place. Every year I wonder about the welfare and care that has to be considered for the racing dogs, and I get a bit concerned. This year I looked into it. If you're like me, here are some things that will help put your mind at ease:
*The guidelines of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association (I.S.D.V.M.A.) are closely followed and the ISDVMA is regularly checking that they have the latest health information for racing dogs..
* These dogs have spent the better part of two years racing before even being considered for the Iditarod. They are well trained.
* There are strict guidelines that cover reasons a dog must be dropped from the race. All dropped dogs are monitored carefully by veterinarians and not released until recovered.
* In the month leading up to the race, each dog's heart and blood are thoroughly tested to ensure their readiness. They are also all micro-chipped for safety.
* There is random drug testing performed.
* Two weeks before the race all the dogs get a full physical exam.