Dog care


It is of great importance for the organizer of Polardistans that everyone takes good care of their dogs and follow the rules and requirements 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 routines listed below:  

 Before starting: 

  • 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/handler meeting where dog care is emphasized. 
  • Control of emergency supplies and socks for the dogs.  
  • Control of the mandatory equipment.
  • At the start and finish areas access is provided to a warm place for doping control and care of dogs. 


During the race:

  • Control of all dogs at the checkpoint.
  • Veterinary available around the clock during the entire race.
  • Snowmobile with rescue sled/team 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 quitting 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 areas 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. Rule violation means disqualification. The competition follows the Swedish anti-doping regulations. 


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


Jordbruksverket (Regulations for training and competing with dogs)



A dog that during the race is taken into a car/camper/caravan/cottage or similar is not allowed to 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 transported in the sledge and must 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 the 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 another 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 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 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-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 at last 24-120 hours prior to passing the 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, therefore we recommend that you bring the needed deworming tablets with you from home.  

Swedish Board of Agriculture