Mammoth Dog Teams

Feeding Time at Mammoth Dog Teams

By Jim Ouimet


Watching 38 Hungry Sled Dogs at Feeding Time is an Amazing Experience. There is so Much Excitement Leading up to the Meal, and Then Complete Silence. You Have To See it for Yourself.

Breakfast at Mammoth Dog TeamsSled dogs require proper nutrition and hydration to perform at there best on the trail. Our dogs run over 2000 miles in a normal winter, and need the proper diet to replenish the amount of calories they burn pulling the sled. Mammoth Dogs Teams has two feeding schedules for the dogs; winter and summer. Throughout winter the dogs are eating up to 7000 calories a day, where as in the summer their diet is cut back to about half of that.

During the winter, while the dogs are working, our day at the kennel starts at 5:00am. It's brisk, the sun is still set, and it's time to get the soup on the fire. Our sled dogs eat twice per day in the winter. Soup in the morning for hydration, calorie, and fat intake. And for dinner a heapful of dry food from Pro Pac, some rice to help with digestion, and assorted raw meat bones for dessert.

So what do sled dogs eat throughout the day?

Breakfast is served at 6:45am. This is a breakfast of champions. A 3000 calorie warm soup broth. Talk about a power packed first meal of the day. We prepare and cook our soup daily. It is a classic meat stalk base, made from various meats; such as chicken, pork, and beef. The soup packs the dogs with necessary fats and calories to sustain their energy. However its also a trick! The dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, and their not too interested in regular ol' water first thing in the morning. So we use the soup to get them drinking and make sure they are well hydrated. Each dog consumes roughly 1 - 1.5 gallons of this nutrient rich soup everyday before they run.

Dinner at Mammoth Dog TeamsAfter a fun day on the trail the dogs are ready for dinner. They've exuasted their resources pulling hard all day long, and are snapping at their tether to get the next round of food, before putting their heads down to rest. Dinner is served at 4pm. The dogs get 4 cups of Pro Pac High Performance dry food, and cooked rice to aid in digestion and prevent the runs. Supplements are also given to our dogs to enhance their nutrional intake. After dinner the dogs are given a healthy serving of raw meat bones, as their reward, for working so hard for us.

Feeding 38 hungry, working sled dogs, means a whole lot of food and water. Here is the breakdown for a typical day.

  • 40 gallons of soup
  • 40 pounds of dry Pro Pac High Performance
  • 20 - 25 pounds of raw meat bones
  • 5 pounds of rice
  • 50 - 60 gallons of water

In the summer the dogs diets are cut down to one meal a day at 9am. We feed our dogs early in the day when it is cool. It also slows them down a bit, dogs get food coma too! This slows them down a bit so they are less active during the heat of the day. Their diet consists of 4 cups of Pro Pac High Performance and a serving of raw meat bones. Keeping the dogs hydrated is especially important in the summer. These dogs are built for the winter, their heavy coats are not best suited for hot summer months. We usually go though 60 - 80 gallons of water per day.

Related articles:

A Big Thanks to the Wonderful Kids of Camp Del Corazon!

Rooted In The Eastern Sierra: Let Our Sled Dogs Keep Their Home

With Little Snow and Little Work, a Musher Worries


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