Dog care and vaccination


Here you will find a version for printing

It is of great importance for the organizer of Polardistans that everyone takes good care of their dogs and follow the rules and from the authorities. Although it is a demanding race, dog care may never be compromised in any way.

 The organizer of Polardistans put the dogs and mushers safety first and this is a job that everyone is taking part in. To address this we follow the regulations that exist and follow the rutines listed below:

Before start:

  • All dogs must be ID marked with a microchip.
  • All dogs must be vaccinated.
  • For dogs older than 10 years of age a veterinary certificate issued by the dog’s own veterinarian has to be shown in connection with the registration in the secretariat. The certificate can not be older than 10 days. The dog shall even be checked and approved by the race veterinarian to be allowed to start in the race.
  • Veterinary check of all dogs.
  • Presence at the mandatory musher and handler meeting where dog care is emphasized.
  • Control of emergency supplies and booties for the dogs must have been carried out by the organizer.
  • Mandatory equipment must have been checked by the organizer.
  • At the start and finish area access is provided to a warm place for doping control and care of dogs.

During the race:

  • Control of all dogs at the checkpoint.
  • Veterinarian available around the clock during the entire race.
  • Snowmobile team with rescue sledge is standby around the clock at checkpoint in case rescue is required of injured dogs and/or mushers.
  • At the checkpoint there is a heated place for taking care of dogs.
  • In case a dog is taken out of a team, the organization ensures that each dog is checked by a veterinarian before leaving the race area.
  • The musher/handler will be advised by a veterinarian how to care for each of the dogs taken out of the team or lout of the race.
  • It is the handlers responsibility to transport dropped dogs from the checkpoint.
  • Judges who monitor the dog care during the entire race.
  • PD300 has two mandatory veterinary checks at the checkpoint
  • PD160 has one mandatory veterinary check at the checkpoint

At the finish line:

  • Veterinary check of all the dogs.
  • Award for best dog care in both races.
  • At the start and finish area access is provided to a warm place for doping control and care of dogs.


Each participant is responsible to follow the rules regarding doping and medication of dogs and mushers. Rule violation means disqualification. The competition follows the Swedish anti-doping regulations. 


The Swedish antidoping regulations are tougher than the IFSS doping rules.

More information about doping for both dogs and mushers can be found at these websites:

SKK (Swedish national doping regulations for dogs):

SKK (Doping in connection with dog working test & competition):

WADA Doping regulations for mushers


  • 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 two (2) microchips, the number and implant dates of both microchips must be documented in the EU passport or in the “Vaccination booklet” issued by a veterinarian.
  • Dogs passing the border into Sweden and competing at Polardistans must have a valid EU passport for pets and must be reported to customs border control.
  • Dogs born and always living in Sweden can have a valid “Vaccination booklet” (issued by a Veterinarian) instead of EU passport.
  • Dogs traveling from an EU-country which do not issue passports must travel with form E9.207.
  • A tapeworm treatment is not required to enter Sweden from any country, but dogs entering into or returning to Norway after Polardistans must be treated by a veterinarian within at last 24-120 hours prior to passing the Norwegian border and the treatment has to be documented in the dog’s EU 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. Please be aware that there is no pharmacy is Särna, only a pharmaceutical agent with a very limited assortment. We recommend that you bring the needed deworming tablets with you from home.


The chief veterinarian and the organizers of Polardistans have decided that the race complies with EU rules concerning transportation of dogs, with Swedish Board of Agriculture regulations and with the Swedish Kennel Club rules.

All vaccinations have to be done not later than 21 days before the opening of the event (which is the opening of the stake-out, not the day of arrival of the musher in Sarna).

Dogs without valid vaccinations are not allowed to take part in the race.

The vaccination must be approved in the dogs home country and the validity period can be different between countries. 

The date of validity of the vaccine must be specified by the treating Veterinarian in the EU passport or in the Vaccination Booklet and is based on the manufacturer’s indication about the validity period which, depending on the kind of vaccine, can last from 1 year (Kennel Cough, some Rabies and Leptospirosis vaccines) to 3 years (Distemper, Parvovirosis, Hepatitis and some Rabies vaccines).

Considering the actual epidemiological conditions for transmittable dog diseases in Sweden and after discussing with local veterinarians about the risk for such diseases during winter time in the area where Polardistans is held, the following mandatory and recommended vaccinations applies for participating in Polardistans:

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 (exception from Norway) are allowed to enter into 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 to enter into Sweden, (as long as the booster was given when the previous dose was not yet expired) but the waiting time of 21 days before the opening of the event (which is the opening of the stake-out, not the day of arrival of the musher in Sarna) has however to be respected.


Vaccination against Distemper, Canine hepatitis and Parvovirus infection (DHP) is mandatory for all dogs.

After the first vaccination, a booster has to be injected in a 2 to 4 weeks period.

Each following booster is then valid in most case for 3 years and (as long as the booster was given when the previous dose was not yet expired) until the expiration date stated in the EU passport or on the “Vaccination booklet” issued by a veterinarian.

In case a dose is done after the expired validity of the previous one, a second dose has to be injected in a 2 to 4 weeks period to be considered valid.

Vaccination against Leptospiros is not mandatory, but STRONGLY RECOMMENDED, considering the possibility that some of the dogs in the race might come from infected areas.

Vaccinations against Kennel Cough is MANDATORY. New for Polardistans 2024!

This highly contagious respiratory disease is due to a virus (Parainfluenza virus – Pi) AND a bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica – Bb).

To obtain maximum protection against Kennel Cough there are different options and the treating Veterinarian can suggest which is best for the dog:

Kennel Cough vaccinations:
1. Nasal – with a single dose (valid for 1 year against Pi and Bb).
2. Subcutaneous – first dose and a booster 3 weeks after, (valid for 1 year against Pi and Bb).

Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccination:
Oral – This vaccination (valid for 1 year against Bb) is considered valid against Kennel Cough ONLY if a vaccination against Parainfluenza (as DHP+Pi) has been done NO MORE than 1 year before the opening of the event (which is the opening of the stake-out area, not the day of arrival of the musher in Särna).

In case a dog shows the slightest suspect symptoms of “Kennel cough”, the Veterinarians will put the dog and the rest of the team out of the race and will sent them away from stake-out and checkpoint area.

To avoid problems at the Swedish border and to obtain a smooth registration in the secretariat at Polardistans, competitors are kindly asked to get information’s about the vaccines validity from their veterinarian in good time before leaving their home country!

For more information about entry to Sweden:  Reseguide för hundar och katter till Sverige –