Sled Dog Requirements
Sled dogs are the ultimate snow dogs, bred for the arctic environment where they are chosen both for speed and endurance. Sled dogs have some specific adaptions; efficient gait, tough webbed feet, and even their coat is adapted to their use, freight dogs have dense warm coats whilst sprint dogs have short coats which work to let the heat out.
Sled dogs tend to be a mix of different northern breeds, Alaskan huskies, Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes but their nutritional requirements are similar especially during periods of performance. These dogs need extremely high levels of dietary energy, protein and fat. In addition, they have a greater requirement for some vitamins and minerals in particular antioxidants and potassium, so a specialist diet is required to keep these dogs at top performance.
Zinc is also important for all northern breeds, as these dogs can have problems with absorbing enough zinc to meet their needs. These dogs can have skin-related problems from this, hair-loss, foot-pad problems for example, but also growth and reproduction problems can also occur, so ensuring their food has an adequate supply and preferably with some in a chelated form which improves absorption is important to keep them in good health.
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