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Is Dog Sledding Cruel? The Truth About Dog Mushing Tours

Is Dog Sledding Cruel

We break down the myths and dive into research to ask the question, is dog sledding cruel?

Is Dog Sledding Cruel
Is dog sledding cruel? We believe not.

Is dog sledding inhumane? This is something we have always wondered, and the main reason that up until recently, we had never tried the activity.

Over the years we’ve heard horror stories about dog mushing, of dogs being overworked, or worse, and when we had the opportunity to try it for ourselves in Canada we were unsure of what to do.

We have always been big advocates for responsible tourism, especially when it comes to wildlife encounters and the fair treatment of animals.

We’re heavily opposed to activities such as elephant riding, close-up experiences with large cats and other similar tourist wildlife attractions, and the idea of using dogs to pull us across the snow just didn’t sit right with us.

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It’s against our nature to jump to conclusions without doing proper research though, and so we began looking into as many stories as possible.

Our first round of research came up with some sad results. The Iditarod race in Alaska, perhaps the most famous dog sledding race in the world, had a tragic history of dog deaths, with 107 gorgeous pups perishing in the 1997 event alone.

Then there was the horrific story of the dog sledding outfitter in Whistler, who were caught putting down 56 of their dogs after the Winter Olympics, as bookings had fallen and they could no longer afford to feed them all.

Instantly the activity of dog sledding seemed like something we couldn’t partake in. But then again, these were the two most famous negative cases which we had already heard about. What if those two events didn’t truly represent the entire industry?

Dog Sledding In YukonDog Sledding In Yukon
Dog sledding across the Yukon.

Luckily we continued reading, and what we found was much more uplifting. Countless vets and dog sledding companies swore that the huskies actually love mushing, and that each pup was treated extremely well with regular veterinary check-ups, lots of rest breaks and healthy food provided.

We also chatted to a few friends with similar morals and ethics who had been dog sledding abroad, and they all felt fine with their choice to go ahead with the activity.

The fact of the matter was the more we dived into whether or not dog sledding is cruel, the most information we got saying that it was nothing of the sort.

After all, if riding a horse was considered totally fine, why would dog sledding be any different if the dogs were capable and properly…

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