More thoughts on feeding your beast

A few more thoughts on training/nutrition, relating to these previous “competitive nutrition” based posts.

Please keep in mind what it is that I’m doing and or expecting of my dogs. I cannot stress enough my concerns about need based on output when it comes to caloric requirements.If you are a stage driver, or perhaps sprint or limited distance (Midnight Run&Short Marathon), then most of my thoughts on this subject are going to be pure entertainment…if I were running those types of races, I would modify my feeding program.

Right now, as the weather cools down and everybody’s dog’s are feeling zesty, most people are seeing that their dogs are quite ravenous…it’s easy to feed them right now because they will eat anything you put in front of them, in almost any quantity. The trick is to still have them eating with this vigor come race season.

This is one of the reasons I favor a ½ quart dipper. It helps me keep from over feeding; I never feed up more than 1 dipper of solid food (heaping for bigger males) at any one meal. It is much better to break up your total daily allotment into smaller more manageable portions, as many as four per day. This helps you manage appetite while also giving them portions that they can easily break down and digest.

In most people’s training programs can be found a series of peaks and valleys, if one were to look at it laid out on a graph, and mine is no different.

I reach a fever pitch of caloric burn from November 5th-12th, when I’m doing the most difficult 4-wheeler runs that I’m willing to put the dogs through; 7-9 hours, seven in a row. The dogs really burn up a lot of  calories during this period, and I firmly move into the four meals per day mode and hit them with increased fat.

After the 12th, the dogs get a vacation for 15-20 days where the feeding amounts drop off severely.

My next peak comes in the end of December, right after Christmas, and lasts for as many as ten days. Hard to say about the mileage, it depends too much on the weather, but they are 8-12 hours tending to the longer end of the spectrum. During this period, the dogs are encouraged to consume as much as they would on the Iditarod.

After this period they get a rest, and of course a drop in feed.

Ok, that’s all I have for today. If you have questions, please don’t be shy. Next week, I’ll delve into racing/feeding, so be sure and stay tuned…

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