10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Iditarod

March 12th, 2014

The chilly run known as the “Iditarod” stretches more than 1000 miles between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska. Known as “mushers,” Iditarod competitors are seasoned athletes that from all over the world.

Here are 10 things you probably don’t know about the Iditarod:

1. The Iditarod is just over 40 years old. The race started in 1973 to save dog sled culture.

2. The name comes from the Native American Athabaskan tribe. It means “a distant place.”

3. Mushers guide their sled dogs with spoken commands rather than with the reins.

4. The dogs are required to wear dog boots to protect their paws from the ice and snow.

5. Each team has 12-16 dogs. There’s a “lead dog” who the other dogs follow.

6. The race takes approximately two weeks to complete.

7. Sled dogs need and love to run. Without several hours of running daily, these dogs become restless and self-destructive.

8. Mushers are required to take at least two eight-hour breaks and one 24-hour break during the race. During these breaks, the sled dogs are examined by veterinarians.

9. Each musher has GPS, you can track them on the web at http://iditarod.com/gps/

10. Mushers have their own lingo, for example, “Dog in a basket” means one of the dogs is resting on the sled rather than running.

The traditional race kickoff is March 1. While the familiar blue-eyed husky is one of the primary breeds who run, malamutes and several other Alaskan breeds make up the dog sledding teams too.

Hundreds of volunteers staff the Iditarod trail at the various checkpoints. They help with first aid, restocking the sleds and caring for the tired humans and dogs.

Eagle Pack is proud to provide food for many sled dog teams including Aliy Zirkle’s team, Alan Moore’s team and Martin Buser’s team.

To learn more about Aliy Zirkle and Alan Moore (husband and wife), check out their blog: http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/p/aliy-zirkle.html.

You can learn more about Martin Buser on his blog: http://buserdog.com/

Winter Tips

December 12th, 2013
Now that the coats and gloves are out of their summer hibernation you may need to give some extra thought to your pets in cold weather. Animals with diabetes and other health issues can be particularly susceptible to the change in weather.
1—Coats– While a St. Bernard will be thrilled with the drop in temperature, your
Pointer may be shivering. Shorthaired dogs simply don’t have the same advantage. You can keep your pet warm with a coat, blanket or vest. A waterproof one will keep them warm and dry on those wet, dreary days. Shorthaired dogs will also be happiest with shorter walks when it’s really cold outside.
2—Give ‘em shelter – While many dogs will be prefer to be inside during the winter, the cold weather breeds (and some cats) will want to enjoy the snow more than you. If your pets will be outside for extended periods, provide them with a dog house or a crate on the porch. Add a blanket or towel for comfort and warmth. Of course, check on them often and don’t leave them outside in freezing weather when you’ll be away for hours. Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia if they get too cold.
3—Protect them from ice/snow melters – The chemicals used to melt snow and ice in driveways and on sidewalks are good for preventing slips, but they can be harmful to your pets. Be sure to rinse or wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. Otherwise, they’ll lick the chemicals off, causing  inflammation and upset tummies.
One way to clean them when you come in from a walk is to use a rimmed cookie sheet by the door. Fill it with warm water and have them step in it, or place their paws in one at a time. This will loosen any ice crystals that may have gotten lodged in their paws and warm their feet up. Wipe them with a towel afterwards.
4—Lock up Antifreeze – Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats but it can be deadly. Keep antifreeze locked up and far out of the reach of curious pets.
5—Play inside – When the “wintry mix” is into its 3rd day, or your pet isn’t one who enjoys the cold, warm up inside. A rollicking game of “hide and seek” will warm you both up. Just make sure you take a few minutes to move delicate furniture or breakables out of the way.

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Now that the coats and gloves are out of their summer hibernation you may need to give some extra thought to your pets in cold weather. Animals with diabetes and other health issues can be particularly susceptible to the change in weather.

1) Coats– While a St. Bernard will be thrilled with the drop in temperature, your

Pointer may be shivering. Shorthaired dogs simply don’t have the same advantage. You can keep your pet warm with a coat, blanket or vest. A waterproof one will keep them warm and dry on those wet, dreary days. Shorthaired dogs will also be happiest with shorter walks when it’s really cold outside.

2) Give ‘em shelter – While many dogs will be prefer to be inside during the winter, the cold weather breeds (and some cats) will want to enjoy the snow more than you. If your pets will be outside for extended periods, provide them with a dog house or a crate on the porch. Add a blanket or towel for comfort and warmth. Of course, check on them often and don’t leave them outside in freezing weather when you’ll be away for hours. Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia if they get too cold.

3) Protect them from ice/snow melters – The chemicals used to melt snow and ice in driveways and on sidewalks are good for preventing slips, but they can be harmful to your pets. Be sure to rinse or wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. Otherwise, they’ll lick the chemicals off, causing  inflammation and upset tummies.

One way to clean them when you come in from a walk is to use a rimmed cookie sheet by the door. Fill it with warm water and have them step in it, or place their paws in one at a time. This will loosen any ice crystals that may have gotten lodged in their paws and warm their feet up. Wipe them with a towel afterwards.

4) Lock up Antifreeze – Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats but it can be deadly. Keep antifreeze locked up and far out of the reach of curious pets.

5) Play inside – When the “wintry mix” is into its 3rd day, or your pet isn’t one who enjoys the cold, warm up inside. A rollicking game of “hide and seek” will warm you both up. Just make sure you take a few minutes to move delicate furniture or breakables out of the way.

5 Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

May 7th, 2013

With the arrival of June, summertime fun is in the air. Whether you’re headed to the beach or a backyard BBQ, be sure to take extra precaution with your pets to keep them safe. Pack a water bowl, some snacks, a towel and have fun!

Safety Tips for Dogs:

  • Stay hydrated — If you’re going to be outside with your pet this summer, make sure Fido has plenty of clean, cool water. Dogs can get overheated if they’re playing or running hard and they need to drink plenty of water.
  • Keep food and drink out of reach – Nothing puts an end to a picnic faster than realizing Max ate all the hamburgers and hot dogs. Plus, the ensuing stomach upset will not be pretty.
  • Lock down – holiday celebrations bring fireworks and dogs don’t like them. The booms and explosions hurt their ears and frighten them. Make sure you have a crate for your pet, or keep them on a short leash or better yet, get them home before the fireworks begin.
  • Dog bug repellant – if your dog attracts mosquitos, ease the itch with a bug repellant such as pennyroyal or citronella rubbed into a bandanna and tied around your pet’s neck. Pests don’t like these scents and are likely to seek dinner elsewhere.
  • No alcohol – Alcohol can be fatal to dogs so don’t let them get into the beer or other alcohol.

With a little planning, you can have a fantastic summer with your pet and keep everyone safe.   Share your plans on our Facebook Page.

April 25th, 2013
This is a video of soon to be 14 year old Odie doing his morning laps around his pen waiting for Eagle Pack breakfast. With him are 11 year old Ch. NorthWapiti’s Dasher and Odie’s littermate brother, Ch. NorthWapiti’s Loki. All have finished multiple Iditarods – and all have been fed Eagle Pack almost since birth!

Grooming Your Pet

August 3rd, 2012

EP Cat GroomingGrooming is a necessity regardless of your pet’s coat length. If you start grooming your dog or cat at an early age, it can be a pleasant experience for everyone involved, but it is never too late for good grooming habits.

Many dog grooming salons offer a basic puppy package designed to get your puppy accustomed to the experience, as well as a variety of grooming options for adult dogs. If you choose to groom your dog at home, only use shampoos and conditioners formulated specifically for dogs. During weekly grooming, check the ears for wax and yeast, trim the toe nails and brush the teeth. Running your hands over your dog’s body can be a bonding experience while you check for sores, ticks and other skin issues.

Most cats are clean creatures by nature, and will take care of most of their own grooming needs. However, excessive licking can cause hairballs, which may be regurgitated and cause discomfort to your kitty and messes in your home. Brushing your cat weekly can help to reduce the amount of hair ingested, while also giving you quality time together. Try cleaning his or her ears at the same time!

Your cat’s nail & dental health can be naturally maintained at playtime. A scratching post will help satisfy your cat’s natural instinct to scratch while keeping the claws trimmed at the same time. Chew toys filled with catnip are not only playthings, but also natural toothbrushes that gently scrape tarter from your cat’s teeth and gums.

Your favorite Eagle Pack dry dog and dry cat food also offers skin & coat support from omega fatty acids like flaxseed and Menhaden fish oil.

Share your pet grooming tips with us at www.facebook.com/eaglepackpetfood.

Summertime Safety for Pets

June 28th, 2012
Staying Cool

Staying Cool

The dog days of summer are upon us, and that means longer days and lots of gatherings and  outdoor fun. This also may mean changes in your dog or cat’s regular routine. To help your pets enjoy the rest of summer’s festivities right alongside of you, see below for some common summertime activities that could pose a potential risk to your pet, and tips for how to manage them.

Top 10 Watch-outs & Safety Tips for Pets

1. Grilling. While adults may congregate around the grill master, the heat of the grill, raw meats, and sharp utensils can pose a risk to children and pets, and charcoal briquettes can be appealing toys or snacks. Keep that area free of smaller party guests at all times.

2. Fire. An open flame from a fire pit (or grill) can spark or create embers, which can cause your pet’s fur to catch fire, or cause a painful paw burn if your pet steps on it. Keep your beloved pet(s) away from any open flames.

3. Table Food. Corn-on-the-cob can pose a choking risk, fatty meats can cause stomach upset, some meats have bones that easily splinter, and chocolate is always a no-no for pets. Be sure your pet cannot access the food table, and warn guests to not feed table scraps either. Keep some Holistix natural dog biscuits nearby for a healthy snack!

4. Open Doors. With people going in and out, cats and dogs might escape to an unsafe environment, or even get injured if caught in a closing door. Post signs at the doors to warn guests to watch for pets upon entering or exiting.

5. Swimming. While cats typically steer clear of the water, many of our canine friends love a refreshing swim. Put a life jacket on your dog if in a boat or any water above shoulder height, and avoid letting your pup swim with large groups to prevent an accidental underwater dunking.

6. Plants. Did you know that many common household plants, including tulips, azaleas, ivy, oleander, lilies and the yew plant are all poisonous to pets? Some symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, kidney or heart problems, or worse. Keep these plants quarantined, and contact your vet if you think your pet ingested any plants.

7. Fleas & Ticks. These summer pests can make your pet – and your household – very itchy. Even worse, they feed off your pet’s blood, and may cause Anemia, Lyme disease or Erhlichia, which can cause arthritis or kidney failure. Apply topical flea & tick medicine in your pet’s recommended dose, and continue to apply through late fall.

8. Exercise. Take your dog outside early in the day when it is cooler so he or she can release some energy and avoid over-stimulation from a patio full of guests. Is your dog or cat a less social pet? Keep him or her in a cool, quiet area, with some background noise like (e.g., an A/C or TV) to distract.

9. Open Car Windows. Like us, our pets love fresh air. While summertime may conjure images of dogs hanging their heads out the window, with tongues wagging, this can actually pose multiple dangers. Smaller pets may jump or fall out the window, or road debris may catch an unsuspecting dog in the eye. This can cause irreparable damage at any speeds, so keep your pets safely inside the car.

10. Heat. In the dog days of summer, a fur coat can cause your pet’s body temperature to increase to unsafe levels, and a hot pavement can burn sensitive paws. If outside, be sure your pet has access to ample shade and plenty of cool water. Sprinklers and hoses are a fun way to cool off the whole family.

Have any additional watch outs of your own? Share your summertime pet safety tips or stories with other pet parents at www.facebook.com/eaglepackpetfood.

Featured Story – Meet Hank

January 5th, 2012

hankHank’s entry into the world was rough (he was one of only two pups to survive the birth), and his first couple weeks were touch and go. Despite a rocky start, he seemed to be doing very well, so we thought it was best not to alter his diet at all. His breeder told us he was eating Eagle Pack Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food – that it was the only food he used or recommended. Hank has gone from 15 to 50 lbs in three short months, and he is strong and healthy. Thanks Eagle Pack!

Nikki D., Temperance MI

Large and Giant Breed Puppy Health

November 18th, 2011
Large Breed Puppies Need Special Nutrition for Controlled Growth

Large Breed Puppies Need Special Nutrition for Controlled Growth

Large or giant breed dogs are among the most popular breeds. Of the 160 or so breeds registered with the American Kennel Club, the majority listed in the top half are large or giant breeds. Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed by a significant margin, and have been for some time. Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Boxers and Standard Poodles are all among the top ten breeds.

It is essential that pet parents are aware of the special needs of large and giant breed puppies. Getting off to the right start is essential in order to assure a happy and healthy life for these special pets.

Many of the larger breeds have the potential to grow 100 times their birth weight. They have a faster growth rate; however, that rate must be controlled in order to allow the puppy to develop normally, without the risk of problems. For this reason, it is important to feed a diet that specifically addresses the needs of large and giant breed puppies. Like any diet, the basic formula should be extremely nutritious, containing highly digestible ingredients that address all the needs of that specific life stage.

Just what are the nutritional needs of these rapidly growing large and giant breed puppies?

Controlled growth, optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus, essential fatty acids as well as specific natural ingredients to enhance development are all essential elements in an optimum natural formula for a large or giant breed puppy.

If growth is not controlled and calcium levels are in excess, the puppy can have an increased risk of contracting one of several developmental bone diseases, all of which are very painful and can have permanent detrimental effects on the puppy’s quality of life. Traditional puppy diets are designed with lots of protein and fat so as to provide large amounts of calories. Large and giant breed puppies do not do well on these diets and for that reason, specific large and giant breed formulas were developed.

Like all of the Eagle Pack formulas, the large and giant breed puppy recipe provides high quality, natural nutrients and supplements have particular importance when considering a specific diet for puppies, especially those large and giant breed puppies.

1. Controlled Growth:

If too many calories are consumed, the rate of growth will be increased. This is to be avoided. Too many calories increases weight too rapidly on the developing bones and can increase the stress on developing bones and raise the risk of encouraging developmental bone problems. These puppies should be fed an amount of food that maintains a slightly lean body condition, at least until they are approximately 10-12 months of age.

For this reason, the Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy recipe contains fewer calories than the traditional puppy recipes in order to help the pet parent maintain an ideal, slightly lean body mass while developing.

2. Provide Optimum Calcium and Phosphorus Levels for Large and Giant Breed Puppies:

Most would assume that large and giant breed puppies would need more calcium and phosphorus than a smaller breed puppy, as their bone structure is so much bigger. On the contrary, they actually need slightly less calcium. Too much calcium can also increase the incidence of any one of those very painful developmental bone diseases. The challenge is to provide just enough calcium to reduce the risk of bone problems while supplying levels that allow for maximum growth potential. As long as you are feeding a balanced diet, never supplement a large and giant breed puppy with a mineral supplement.

3. Guarantee Certain Essential Fatty Acids:

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid that has been found to enhance brain development in puppies. It is important that these giant, and in some cases large breeds, are well trained so that control is maintained. By providing natural, functional food ingredients that support proper brain development, puppies have been found to be more easily trained in the basic obedience commands.

4. Probiotics or Direct Fed Microbials (DFMs) and Prebiotics:

Probiotics are the essential “good bacteria” that play a key role in establishing the normal flora of the gut so that proper digestion is achieved. They have the natural benefit of also enhancing the immune system early on in the puppy’s life. By feeding a daily diet that contains these natural organisms, the digestive system and immune system will be at optimum efficiency all the time.

Prebiotics are the essential foods necessary to keep the probiotics or DFMs healthy and happy. They are natural ingredients that have benefit specifically to the good bacteria, as well as additional advantages for the puppy.

It’s always best to feed regularly as opposed to leaving food out for your puppy at all times. This will help control rate of growth. Likewise, try and avoid feeding just before and just after exercise to reduce the chances of “bloat”, another potential problem for some breeds. Giving a puppy the right start in life is as important as giving a child the right start. Creating good habits that include regular exercise and feeding an optimum diet that will encourage maximum growth potential while reducing the risk of disease is the ultimate goal.

We encourage you to explore the entire Eagle Pack website and learn all you can with regard to our philosophy, the specific ingredients in our foods and much much more about the benefits of a holistic and natural pet food.

We have been making natural diets specifically for large and giant breed puppies for almost 25 years and have the experience and expertise to provide your pet with the ideal formula it deserves.

Eagle Pack® Named the Official Dog Food of the 2011 Iditarod® Trail Sled Dog Race

November 10th, 2010

001BA AA0239D001The Iditarod National Historic Trail runs along more than 1,049 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer.  “The Last Great Race on Earth”® pits man and animal against nature, and against wild Alaska at her best. It exemplifies the stamina and drive these canine athletes must have, and demonstrates the Nutrition in Action™ that Eagle Pack delivers. As the Official Dog Food Sponsor, Eagle Pack will also supply the teams with food along the trail, and dedicate funds to the health and care of the Iditarod dogs.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race runs from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska over approximately 10 days. More than 45 teams with 12 to 16 dogs each take to the icy snow each year to compete. The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state, when mushers and sled dog teams were the only means by which to carry mail and supplies, including medicine, to the inland communities.  This trail is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing.

Iditarod LogoEagle Pack has long sponsored five Iditarod mushers and their teams: Martin Buser, Hans Gatt, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Aliy Zurkle and Karen Ramsted. For these mushers, the Iditarod is not just a dog sled race, but rather a venue in which unique men and woman from all walks of life compete to meet personal goals. From fishermen and miners to lawyers, doctors and artists, men and women from all over the world travel to Alaska to take part in this journey.

“The commitment to the care and health of our dogs is proven by the support Eagle Pack gives to each of us,” said Dee Dee Jonrowe, Iditarod musher. “They have a long and rich heritage of conducting research and development to create their high quality formulas for superior natural nutrition.”

The health and well-being of all the animals is a top priority as they travel the snowy course for more two weeks.  Dr. Al Townshend, Eagle Pack’s staff veterinarian and former recipient of the Iditarod’s Golden Stethoscope Award for ultimate canine care-giving, joins the mushers on the trail to help keep all the dogs in top shape. “Eagle Pack’s high quality, performance-proven formula has been developed with canine athletes and quality breeders. This has helped us make better foods for all dogs, not just those that require exceptional nutrition, and resulted in our gaining an advanced understanding of a dog’s true needs,” he says.

To learn more about these canine athletes, and the care and preparation involved, sign up to become an Iditarod Insider™. With your membership, you can follow the leader 001AV EI0001 001board and see real time locations of mushers via GPS to read how fast teams are traveling and how much distance is between teams, and view checkpoints along with current temperatures on the trail. Insiders will also be able to access on demand video of the race so you’ll never miss a moment of the action!  Click on Iditarod Insider to sign up and receive a bonus $10 Eagle Pack coupon when you join.

Iditarod® , The Last Great Race on Earth®  and Iditarod Insider™ are registered trademarks of Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc.

Big Baby Thor

June 22nd, 2010
Big Baby Thor relaxing on the coach with his pet parent (Mary)

Big Baby Thor relaxing on the coach with his pet parent (Mary)

 Mary N.  sent in this photo of her beautiful Great Dane, Thor (his nick name is Big Baby Thor). Mary recently joined our community on Facebook and she was excited to let us know she feeds her Great Dane Eagle Pack! She shared his story as a testament to benefits Eagle Pack Dog Food for large breed dogs.

Mary knows that proper nutrition is so important for large & giant breed dogs such as Great Danes, who need a specialized diet. We’re so happy to hear that Mary found Eagle Pack early and as you can see – Big Baby Thor is thriving on Eagle Pack.

For more info about Large & Giant Breed Health, visit our Large & Giant Breed Resource Guide.