Sled Dog Day

Tomorrow, February 2nd, is National Sled Dog Day. We know, most of our canine patients probably won’t be running any sled races. However, sled dogs have helped mankind out tremendously over the course of history. These hardworking pups definitely deserve some recognition! A London, ON vet discusses sled dogs below.

History Of Sled Dogs

Sled dogs play a much larger role in human history than many people realize. In fact, Fido may have been pulling us around for as long as 35,000 years! As you could probably guess, sled dogs originated in the north. They’re thought to have gotten their start helping Siberian natives with hunting and fishing in snowy terrain. Sledding naturally caught on in places like Lapland, Alaska, Canada and even Greenland. It became quite well-known during the Alaskan Gold Rush. Today, mushing is mostly recreational, though there are still some working dogs out there.


We can’t really discuss Sled Dog Day without mentioning the most famous sled dog of all: Balto! In fact, this cute pooch even got his own statue in Central Park. Why did this pooch deserve such recognition? Balto helped bring a diphtheria vaccine to children in Alaska. The vaccine was carried partway by train, but it was Man’s Best Friend who completed the delivery. That run, from Nome to Nenana, was about 700 miles through fierce tundra conditions. The 20 sled dog teams that made the journey saved hundreds of lives! Balto, an Alaskan Malumute, was the lead dog on the last leg, which is why he became the most well-known. (Needless to say, we’re pretty sure all of the pups got lots of treats, praise, and ear scritches.)

Celebrating Sled Dog Day

So just how does one celebrate Sled Dog Day? Well, unless you’re already involved in mushing, strapping Fido to a sled probably isn’t the best option. Sled Dog Day is actually very important in terms of spreading awareness about dog rescues and charities. Consider making a donation to a shelter or rescue. Of course, you can also settle in with your canine buddy and watch movies or documentaries about sled dogs. (The Call of The Wild is close enough, and is always a good watch.) You can also give your pooch some cooked, boneless salmon!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pup’s health or care? Contact us, your London, ON veterinary clinic, today!

Comments are closed.