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The Yukon Quest is powered by sled dogs. These incredible canine athletes are the heart and soul of this great race.  Their ancestors made it possible for nineteenth century society to establish itself in the far North well over 100 years ago and eventually create the modern northern world we enjoy today.

Excellence in sled dog care is one of the founding principles of the Yukon Quest. The Quest is dedicated to educating, encouraging and demanding a high level of care for all sled dogs participating in the Yukon Quest.

Yukon Quest mushers are coaches, cooks, cheerleaders, and companions to their dogs. Yukon Quest sled dogs are elite, marathon athletes. Bred from stock that survived and thrived during the Gold Rush Era, no animal on earth can match them for endurance, dedication and their ability to perform in the extreme conditions of the North.

Yukon Quest Veterinarians examine each dog at least six times from the pre-race Vet Check to the Finish Line. Five vet stations, in addition to the Race Checkpoints provide opportunities for professional veterinarians to monitor each dog's wellbeing throughout the race, and for mushers to remove a dog from the competition if necessary.