DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Before sled dogs can compete in this year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, they have to be cleared by vets to ensure they can handle the race.

University of Minnesota students who are studying to become veterinarians gave the dogs check-ups on Saturday morning. They checked the dogs' heart rates, lungs, and any issues they might have on their feet.

Beargrease head vet Gregg Phillips says the check-ups are a great experience for the students, who will take care of the dogs throughout the race.

The Beargrease starts Sunday.