Summer is just around the corner and I don’t want to miss a beat. Every year I feel like summer comes and goes in a flash and I didn’t get to enjoy as many adventures as I intended to. In attempts to get ahead of the ball I began mapping out things that I want to do and obviously my dogs play a major factor in this. Having five large breed dogs doesn’t make for the easiest of travels. Most rentals reject our application when they hear the number of dogs traveling with us and sometimes combining our five dogs with the rest of the
extended family dogs can make for a more hectic than relaxing weekend. Luckily my husband and I own a boarding facility, so we always have that as an option, but we also want to plan things that we can enjoy with our dogs. Aside from finding a place to stay, we also have the factor of feeding raw.
The first thing to consider is the amount of space raw food takes up. I will never forget a couple years back when my sister got married in Italy. At the time our boarding facility wasn’t open and I didn’t trust just anyone to watch my dogs. I ended up driving my four dogs at the time and her dog up to a trainer I know in Vermont with a boarding facility. We would be in Italy for 10 days, so needed enough raw food for that time. The coolers and coolers that I needed to pack to last this duration was crazy. We had three large coolers filled with raw dog food. Not to mention that the boarding facility probably hated us and struggled to find room for all the food, it was a pain to travel with. At our facility, we provide food for raw fed dogs. We have multiple brands and options
available to our clients and will provide complete and balanced meals for our raw fed guests, so at least I know when I leave my dogs there they will be getting the best food and continuing their diet.
The next thing to consider is the physical weight of raw while travelling. Once we picked the dogs up from boarding in Vermont, we planned a couple day hiking trip. Obviously, not thinking it through. There was no way that we could carry four days worth of raw frozen food and ice packs and coolers while hiking in the Catskills. As a first timer here, we ended up renting a house and just hiking during the day. But how would we go about actually backpacking or camping with our dogs while maintaining their raw diet as these questions pose legitimate problems in planning trip?
The easiest answer is simply to catch our meals! That may be easier said than done, but if you are planning on visiting a camp site, many of them have fishing sites available. Feeding your pup a whole fish is a great way to maintain their diet. I also am lucky in that two of my
dogs will actually hunt for their own food and eat the whole prey. That includes fur and feathers. Fur and feathers act as a great source of fiber and help to clean the digestive tract as they move through. But what if you don’t have access to fish and don’t have dogs that will hunt for themselves? How can you best maintain your dogs diet and health while traveling without resorting to kibble?
Unfortunately you will not be able to feed a raw diet, but there are some great freeze-dried and dehydrated options available. These options are light weight and depending on the style you choose can be easily packed. When feeding freeze-dried or dehydrated items though, make sure that your pup is getting extra water. It will be critical to set up camp near a running water source. Next weekend I am planning a one night 40-mile backpacking trip and plan to bring two of my dogs. I have some good options to choose from when it comes to
food. Something I’ve used in the past and enjoyed very much are Carnibars from Tucker’s. These bars are dehydrated complete meals. Each pack comes with two bars and that is enough to feed a 50lb dog. They are already packaged and make for super easy traveling. Another option for those PMR feeders are Vital Essential freeze-dried patties. Now not as easily packaged, these will provide a complete diet of meat, bone and organ for you pup as a lightweight solution while traveling. If you have a smaller dog, there are also several great freeze-dried options by Small Batch, Primal and OC Raw.