Dog care

The organizer of Polardistans puts great importance to everyone to take good care of their dogs and to follow the rules and requirements from the authorities. Although it is a demanding race, dog care may never be compromised with.

The organizer of Polardistans put the dogs and mushers safety first and this is a job that everyone helps with. To address this we follow the regulations that exist and also the following points.


  • All dogs must be marked with a chip.
  • All dogs must be vaccinated.
  • For dogs older than 10 years of age a veterinary certificate has to be presented in the secretariat in connection with the registration. The certificate cana not be older then 10 days.
  • Veterinary check up of all dogs.
  • Attendance at the mandatory musher/handler meeting where dog care is emphasized.
  • Control of emergency supplies and socks for the dogs.
  • Control of the mandatory equipment.
  • At start and finish there is a place for doping control and care of dogs.


  • Dog control at checkpoint.
  • Veterinary available around the clock during the race.
  • Snowmobile with rescue sled is in standby mode at checkpoint for the rescue of injured dogs and mushers.
  • At the checkpoint there is a place for taking care of dogs.
  • In case of dogs being taken out of the team, the organization ensures that there is a veterinary check of the dogs.
  • The musher/handler will be advised by a vet for all dogs taken out of the team.
  • It is the handlers responsibility that the dogs that are picked out from the race are transported from the checkpoint.
  • Judge who oversees the dog care.
  • PD300 has two mandatory veterinary checks at the checkpoint.
  • PD160 has one mandatory veterinary check at the checkpoint


  • Veterinary check of all the dogs.
  • Prize for best dog care awarded on both races.
  • At start and finish there is a place for doping control and care of dogs.


The Chief Veterinarian and the Organizers of Polardistans have decided that the race must complies with EU rules concerning movement of dogs, with Swedish Board of Agriculture regulations and with Swedish Kennel Club rules.

With regard to mandatory and/or suggested vaccinations, considering the actual epidemiological conditions for transmittable dog diseases in Sweden and after discussing with local Veterinarians about the low risk for such diseases during winter time, in the area where Polardistans is held, competitors must be aware that:

  • Vaccination against rabies is mandatory for all dogs coming from other countries than Sweden and Norway. Rabies vaccination must have been done after the microchip is implanted; dogs from abroad are allowed to entry in Sweden at least after 21 days of waiting period from the vaccination date.
    In case of booster vaccination for Rabies, there is no waiting period, as long as the previous vaccination had not expired when the booster was given.
    Dogs presented for registration at Polardistans after the official expiring date of Rabies vaccination (as reported on the EU passport and specified by the manufacturer of the vaccine) will not be allowed to take part to the race.
  • Note that the administered vaccine should be approved in the country of origin of the dog and it may therefore have different official validity periods and expiring dates in different countries, as reported on each dog’s passport
  • Vaccination against Distemper is mandatoryfor all dogs and is valid, after at least one booster has been done in a 2 to 3 weeks period, until the expiration date of the last booster (as specified by the manufacturer of the vaccine and reported on the EU passport or on the the “Vaccination booklet” issued by a Veterinarian). The last vaccination for Distemper has to be done at least fourteen (14) days before the race.
  • Vaccination against Leptospiros is not mandatory, although suggested.
  • Vaccinations against Parvovirus infection, Canine hepatitis, Parainfluenza and ”Kennel cough” (i.e. against Parainfluenza virus + Bordetella bronchiseptica) are not mandatory although highly recommended.
    To avoid problems when passing the Swedish border or at the registration table of Polardistans, competitors are asked to get information’s about vaccines validity from their Veterinarian, well in advance before leaving their country!


The competition follows the Swedish anti-doping regulations.  Note: The Swedish anti-doping regulations are tougher than the common set of rules for IFSS. If a participant is caught with medication/drugs in the pulka/sledge the team will be disqualified.


Jordbruksverket (New regulations for traning and compete with dogs since June 2018)




Dog that during the race is taken into a car, a house or similar cannot continue the race.


If a dog dies during the race, it must be transported to the checkpoint or the finish area. The dog should be carried in the sled and be covered upon arrival at checkpoint/finish area.. Upon arrival the musher shall contact a veterinarian, race marshal, race judge or checkpoint manager. If possible, the musher or his handler, shall inform a veterinarian or the race organizers that a dog has died before the team reaches the checkpoint/finish area. If possible, the dog can be picked up at an agreed place. The musher can continue in the competition if the first check clearly shows that the dog has died of causes other than neglect.


All dogs must be ID-marked with a microchip that has to be 15 digit long and ISO 11784/11785 compliant.

  • If your dog’s microchip is not ISO compliant, then you can either bring your own microchip scanner or ask your Veterinarian to give your dog a compliant microchip before the race.
  • If your dog has 2 microchips, the number and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU passport or on the “Vaccination booklet” issued by a Veterinarian.
  • Dogs that pass the border to enter in Sweden and compete at Polardistans must have a valid EU passport for pets and must be reported to customs.
  • Dogs that were born and always lived in Sweden can have a valid “Vaccination booklet” (issued by a Veterinarian) instead of EU passport.
  • Dogs traveling from an EU-related country which do not issue passports must travel with form E9.207.
  • A tapeworm treatment is not required when entering Sweden from any country, but dogs entering in or returning to Norway after Polardistans must be treated by a veterinarian within the last 24-120 hours prior to  passing the border and the treatment has to be documented in the EU pet’s passport.
  • The veterinarian team of Polardistans offers a free certification in the dogs passports for the participating dogs provided that the musher bring the deworming tablets. Särna only has a very small pharmacy with limited opening hours, we therefore recommend that you bring the needed deworming tablets with you to Särna.

Swedish Board of Agriculture