Fueling sled dogs as they race through 1,000 miles of frigid tundra taught Tim Hunt, DVM, key lessons in pet food formulation that he uses when making his eponymous brand, Dr. Tim’s Premium All-Natural Pet Food.

“My nutrition background stems from working with racing sled dogs which began in 1995,” Hunt told Petfood Industry. “Learning how these amazing athletes need to be fed in order to complete their events in prime shape has driven our company forward. We have learned how to assimilate the same logic of feeding those dogs down different activity levels. All the way from uber-athletes to couch potatoes.”

Iditarod sled dog champs ate experimental formula

The winner of this year’s Iditarod Trail dog sled race, Mitch Seavey, finished the track in record time at 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds. Seavey fed his working canines Dr. Tim’s Fusion Ultra Athletic Formula, which was under testing at the time, supplemented with raw meat and fish. Other sled dog teams ate Dr. Tim’s Momentum dog food formulation.

“We are constantly looking at how to improve upon our diets and this year showed we could,” said Hunt. “The Iditarod has been won by teams feeding our food four of the last six years now.”

While humanization of pet food may be a trend in the Lower 48, on the sled dog trail, the dogs actually eat better than the humans, Hunt said. During the race, dog sled drivers, or mushers, must attend to the nutrition…

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