Yes, going hiking and backpacking is very fun but you know what’s more fun? Going backpacking and hiking with your dog. I mean, what’s not fun about that? You get to see your favorite little creature run in the woods all happy and bringing you sticks from all around the place. Plus you get to have your own furry security guard with you in case any danger comes your way.
Backpacking freeze-dried dog food when going camping is very compact and easy to use when bringing your furry little friend on a hiking trip. Plus, this type of food provides high nutrition for your dog to turn into energy.
So, of course, they are going to need more food to turn into energy. In today’s article, we’re teaching you how to make a well-balanced meal for your pup using freeze-dried dog food.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, and backpacking with your dog sounds fun to you, then this is definitely the article you need to read so, make sure you keep up.
Backpacking Freeze-Dried Food When Going Hiking
There is a huge difference in how you should feed your pup when you’re at home and when you’re on backpacking or camping trips. Why? Well, as I said, your dog wastes so much more energy and needs a bigger nutritional content when you let them off their leash to roam around freely.
I imagine that even you, the pet parent feel hungry after walking for 3 hours and you need more food than normal. So, that’s where freeze-dried dog food comes in handy. This type of food is very easy to prepare, it literally takes minutes to prepare.
What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?
Freeze-dried food is likely one of the most talked-about pet foods on the market along with kibble and canned dog food. The reason why is because it’s a great way to get your dog on a raw diet without all the side effects that can potentially happen if you’re not careful with handling raw dog food.
Freeze-dried food is a quality dog food and it is made out of raw and fresh ingredients like raw meat(mostly organ meats like liver, heart, kidneys, etc), and other raw foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits.
Freeze-dried dog food is a part of the raw diet for dogs, which is one of the best and healthiest diets that you can put your dog on. Freeze-dried food is actually more preferred over dry food and raw feeding diet. Why this pet food is getting more and more popular?
Because the meat is actually frozen and all of the bacteria that are found in raw meat freeze and therefore it’s not harmful anymore. Freeze-dried raw dog food is a better option for you if you don’t want to contaminate your kitchen with the bacteria from raw meat.[Source]
How To Feed Your Dog When Taking Them On A Backpacking Adventure
In some of my last articles, I talked about the right way to feed your dog if you’re making the food yourself. You have to watch out for the nutritional content and protein source that your dog gets.
Otherwise, your dog can get malnourished and could even have some serious consequences from it. So, what is the right way to feed your dog, especially if they have a high activity level and waste a lot of energy like on a backpacking trip? Is freeze-dried food the right choice?
Every type of dog food must consist of the proper amount of proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are also on the list for a healthy and balanced diet, but the most important ingredients are proteins and fats.
A balanced diet for your dog should consist of animal protein, vegetables full of natural vitamins, grains, healthy fats, and micronutrients like omega 3 fatty acids for healthy skin and brain function.[Source]
Feeding Your Dog On A Backpacking Trip, What To Watch Out For?
If you’re spending a couple of days of hiking or backpacking with your dog, you will want food that has a higher protein content and fat. This will make sure that your dog has the energy to walk and run all day long.
Of course that feeding your dog must be based on their breed as well as their current body weight. If your dog has put on a little bit of extra weight, you could give them a little bit less of an entire meal but that doesn’t mean to starve them.
If your dog eats three cups of food per day usually, then you should give them half a cup more when they’re wasting more energy, like on backpacking or a hiking trip.
The best way to find out the daily intake of food that your dog should consume is to consult with your veterinarian.
They will find out the exact bodyweight by measuring your pup and see if there are any problems with their current diet and its calorie content.
5 Main Benefits Of Backpacking With Freeze-Dried Dog Food
When going backpacking, you will not have the convenience to source for food when your pup is hungry. That is the reason why bringing freeze-dried dog food can be so beneficial. Here are some reasons why I like to bring them for backpacking.
Doesn’t take too much space
Let’s start from here, when going backpacking with your dog, the last thing you need is to take too much space out of your backpack for their food.
Freeze-dried dog food comes in a baggie that doesn’t take way too much space.
It’s very easy to prepare
Every experienced backpacker knows that the easier the food preparation, the easier the travel. Many backpackers and hikers actually swear on food like dehydrated/freeze-dried food. It only takes few minutes to prepare ad only one ingredient, hot water.
Doesn’t weigh too much
By now, you should know that the freeze-drying process removes about 80 per cent of the moisture from the food.
So this means that the dog food will be light as a feather and you won’t even notice that you’ll be carrying any weight at all. It is so much better than bringing canned food!
Good for hydration
If you’re struggling to get your dog to drink water then this could definitely help your case.
Since freeze-dried food needs to be rehydrated with water, your pup will have no other choice but to drink the water, even if it’s disguised as food
Nutritious and balanced meal
Of course, for every adventure that requires wasting more energy than usual, your dog will have to fuel their energy from somewhere.
Freeze-dried dog food provides so many nutrients that your pup’s muscles will be ready for every next activity.
What Can I Feed My Dog While On A Backpacking Trip?
There are many types of dog food on the market and you can absolutely bring any type on a backpacking trip. The thing is that you don’t want to take too much space of your own gear as well as your pup’s.
You can definitely bring either canned food or kibble in your backpack if your dog isn’t responding well to freeze-dried food. There is really no concern about malnourishment with any of these types of food.
If your dog has some digestive issues and doesn’t really like freeze-dried food, which is mainly a raw diet, you can simply just bring some dehydrated dog food.
Dehydrated dog food is also very lightweight and very easy to pack in your backpack so as to not take away too much space. It is very similar to freeze-dried food except that dehydrated food is actually cooked because of the heat process that the food goes through.
As a tasty treat, as well as to enhance your dog’s energy, even more, you can try giving them some dog energy bars. There are tasty bars, made especially for dogs that tend to be active throughout the day.
The Best Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Foods for Camping
Once you know about the benefits of Backpacking freeze-dried dog food, here are some of our top picks for foods to bring on your next hiking or camping trips.
I have included the weight and dimensions of each product so you know which will be the lightest to pack into your bag. There are many choices in the market and these are some that we recommend.
|Product||Package Dimensions||Check Out The Latest Price|
|11.85 x 10.04 x 3.43 inches; 14 Ounces||Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Grain Free|
|3.74 x 9.06 x 13.78 inches; 14 Ounces||Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties|
|2 x 1 x 0.63 inches; 0.32 Ounces||Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Canine Chicken Formula 14 Oz|
|11.5 x 10 x 6 inches; 7 Pounds||The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Fruit & Veggie Base Mix|
Tips For Backpacking With Your Dog
- Consult with your veterinarian before backpacking- I advise that you check with your dog’s veterinarian to see if their health is okay for walking such a long way. You don’t want to over challenge your puppy.
- Get them used to longer walks- Before getting to your trip, try to get your dog used to walk a longer distance so it doesn’t come as a shock when you take them backpacking.
- Always have a leash close by – Even if your dog is used to roaming around without a leash, in the wilderness you must have their leash close by so you can catch them if you hear some wild animals approaching. Dogs are natural-born hunters and they will try to hunt if they hear something.
- Work on obedience- If you haven’t done it already, I think it’s time you do it now. You must keep your dog obedient and close to you when walking unknown territory. Try to keep your dog as disciplined as possible.
- Get them a LED collar– An LED collar is great if your dog tends to run away or roam around when backpacking. This way, you can see the flashing colors and always know their every move.
- Microchipping or GPS tracker is a MUST- I strongly advise you to microchip your pup or at least get them a GPS tracker. Not necessarily just for backpacking and hiking, your dog can get lost anywhere. This is the best shot you have at finding them very fast before anything serious happens to them.
How Long Can A Dog Hike In A Day?
Dogs can hike for up to 10-15 miles a day if they are used to it already. An average dog should be able to walk about 5-10 miles max if they are not used to walking long distances.
That’s why I advised trying to get your dog used to walking long distances before you take them backpacking. Like for example, if you walk your dog 3 miles a day, you should start walking them 5 or 6 miles just so it doesn’t come as a big shock to them when they go hiking.
Hiking with your dog depends on your dog’s energy source and stamina. Some dogs have smaller legs and can’t really go on long hiking trails because they tend to get tired so quickly.
Other breeds of dogs like hunting dogs, are very agile and can go even up to 30 miles without getting absolutely exhausted. I would as always, advise you to check your dog’s agility and ability to walk a long distance.
It also depends on your dog’s age. Younger pups have a high energy level and can walk and run for as long as you let them. Older dogs don’t have that ability. They would rather just stay at home, being cozy on the couch.
Related Questions And Other FAQ’s
What Can I Feed My Dog While Backpacking
Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals are the easiest way to provide your dog with balanced, quality food when going on a hiking or a backpacking trip.
You can also pack some peanut butter, sweet potatoes, or energy bars for dogs that can increase your pup’s energy levels.
Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food Safe For Humans
No, freeze-dried dog food is not safe for humans. Freeze-dried dog food consist of raw ingredients such as raw meat, and raw eggs which are not in any way safe for humans to consume.
How Long Can You Leave Freeze-Dried Dog Food Out
If the food is not open yet, you have no worries. The freeze-dried food is pantry-safe and it has a long shelf life.
If you’ve already rehydrated the food, you can level it for two hours on the open. After that, it should be immediately be tossed out and not served to your dog.
Can You Mix Freeze-Dried With Kibble
Yes, absolutely you can do that. If you’re scared that your dog can’t really digest all that raw food, you can start easily and mix some freeze-dried food in their kibble. It is a great way to get your dog to eat some extra protein.
Is Freeze-Dried Or Dehydrated Better
Freeze-dried food is definitely better for your dog since dehydrated food is highly processed and exposed to high temperatures.
Freeze-drying, on the other hand, is not processed per se and therefore does not lose its very important nutrients and vitamins in the cooking process.