B.A.R.K.! (Buy a Round of Kibble)
By donating a round of kibble you will be feeding the kennel for 1 day! This includes puppies, retirees and of course the boxers! Sled dog food is not cheap and it is extremely high quality. It actually is the only food that doesn't cause Earl to fart up a storm so yep he gets it too!
Feeding high performance athletes such as sled dogs is a science. There has been a lot of research done on the metabolism of these dogs and how they can do what they do: LONG DISTANCE RUNNING!
Each of the athletes (like humans) consume a different amount of calories depending on their individual needs. Every day we adjust a little bit depending on how each dog ate the meal before and what their poop looks like; it tells us a lot!
Feeding in the kennel in the late fall/winter consists of 2 meals a day. Each meal is a measured kibble/meat/water ratio. Water freezes so in order to make sure each athlete is staying hydrated we mix the kibble/meat with warm water, so its more of a slurry than dry kibble. This helps the dogs eat quickly and easily (no choking).
The kibble we feed is a mix of 2 brands. One is 30% protein and 22% fat, the other is 32% protein and 32% fat. The reasoning behind this is because we can adjust the needs of the dogs by increasing or decreasing the fat intake by the amount of each kibble we use. Every musher is different in how and what they feed! Our dogs really like a thick soupy slurpy meal - which we gladly provide for them!
The other important thing that is added is natural protein/fat in the form of raw meat. Salmon is a very readily available protein source here in Alaska and these dogs love it! It's way cheaper than beef or chicken and is very high in omega 3 & 6. Beef is the best, but unfortunately Alaska is not known for its beef production! Chicken fat is fantastic and very palatable to the dogs - we typically use the skins (bought by the 50 pound frozen block!) as trail snacks. Yes we do stop and take bathroom breaks on the trail - dogs get trail snacks! They have to stay fueled up!
This is a very quick description of what we feed our athletes. It is a lot of observing each dog and noting how they maintain their weight to determine what they get to eat and when.
THANK YOU from all the athletes and boxers for taking them out for breakfast and dinner - it is VERY appreciated! After ever meal they give a thank you howl and you just earned two of those!
2017 BARK Sponsors
Mary Appleby (x2!)