Feeding a dog a raw diet during traveling is a little more complicated than packing a bag of dry food. But what’s the easiest way to feed your dog raw while traveling?
Options for feeding raw dog food during travel include:
1. Packing a cooler with ice and frozen raw food
2. Packing freeze-dried raw food (doesn’t need refrigeration)
3. Buying raw food once you reach your destination
4. Fasting your dog for 24 to 36 hours (for short trips)
Packing freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food makes the most sense for our longer road trips (12+ hours in the car), and we like to do a lot of camping.
However, one issue with changing your dog’s food to freeze-dried is they might get an upset stomach if they’re not used to it.
If your dog is sensitive and not used to change, you might want to slowly introduce the new food a few weeks before your trip.
How much does dehydrated raw dog food cost?
It depends on what brand you buy and where you buy.
One of the brands I like is Honest Kitchen.
A 10-pound box costs $67 on Amazon and makes about 40 pounds of food once you add water, according to the package.
Since my dog eats about 2.5 pounds of fresh food per day, each box should last him about two weeks. (Not bad!) That ends up being roughly $4.78 per day, which I think is reasonable.
How do YOU feed your dog raw food during travel?
Leave a comment below to let me know.
I asked a couple of my readers and other bloggers what they do. Their answers are below:
Kimberly G. and her four mixed-breed dogs:
“If we traveled to a house that had a freezer, we’d pack up frozen raw in a cooler and bring it along. If we traveled to a place without freezer space, we’d pack up freeze dried raw and bring it along. I like NRG, Stella & Chewy’s, and Bravo’s new HomeStyle meals. Our dogs do really well on all of those.
“I’d also pack along chews (bully sticks, etc) for teeth cleaning and to occupy their time. I would only bring supplements if it were going to be a long trip. I give our dogs supplements, but would want to pack light and would only bring 3 things: fish oil, joint/immunity, and a digestive enzyme.”
Kimberly writes about raw feeding on her blog Keep the Tail Wagging, and she also has a new book available on raw feeding.
Gina C. and her cairn terrier mix:
“When traveling with Oz, we feed prepared freeze-dried raw like Primal, Bravo or Stella & Chewy’s.
“It is much easier to pack (no cooler necessary), it contains all the nutrients, supplements, etc necessary for a complete meal and we can be confident that the freeze-dried food will not spoil, unlike defrosted raw meat. I always bring at least 2 different proteins to alternate between so Oz does not get bored.
“How do I feed raw when I board Oz? Oz usually stays with my mom or my neighbor, both of whom do not feed raw but are able to handle raw meat without flinching.
“In these cases, I have them feed Oz Primal Frozen Nuggets. They have a fruity aroma that surprises people, are very easy to portion out (so important especially when he is staying with my mom aka ‘the treat lady’) and contain all the nutrients, supplements, etc for a complete meal.
“Again, I always provide at least 2 different proteins.”
Gina writes about raw feeding and more at her blog Oz the Terrier.
Sylvie R. and her German shepherds:
“Our regular vacation spot is about a 7 to 8 hour drive, including several pit stops. We bring a cooler filled with a variety of frozen meats, and a bag of their fruit/vegetable mix.
“We already portion our meat into Ziploc bags, so each bag contains a meal for both dogs, so we simply bring one bag for each day that we’re away from home, plus one extra in case we’re delayed getting back.
“We also pack their supplements in small Ziploc bags, and bring fish oil pills instead of messing with the liquid oil they get at home. We also bring bones and frozen pumpkin in Ziploc bags for treats. When we arrive, everything is still frozen, and it is business as usual while we’re up there.
“If we ever take them on a longer trip, we will invest in a car powered cooler, which could be taken into a motel room and plugged into a wall outlet.
“When we board them, we package their meals in single-serve bags and label them with their names (one gets more protein than the other). That way the sitter just has to defrost and put the food in front of the right dog.”
Linda L. and her Entlebucher mountain dog:
“We feed Alfie a ready made raw diet from a local supplier called SF raw, it looks like ground beef but it contains bones and all the other ingredients. Before we go on holiday I will buy enough food to last him the entire trip, then I defrost it and re-package into portion sized containers. Then I re-freeze the food over night.
“On the day of our trip I put all the containers into a portable freezer we bought for the car (but it works with a regular freezer bag too). The food keeps cool for a long drive and when we reach our destination the first thing I do is place the food in the fridge or freezer, whichever is available.
“If we go to a hotel without a fridge (which happened at Blogpaws last year) I find that you can keep food nice and cold using ice from the ice machine. I usually bring a couple of big ziploc bags just in case and fill them with ice and place them inside the portable freezer.”
Linda writes about her dog Alfie at Alfie’s Blog.
For those of you who feed raw, what do you do when you travel with your dog?
Do you follow a plan similar to one of the above or do you do something else entirely? Let me know in the comments!
If you’re looking for more details on feeding a raw diet, my ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes” goes over all you need to know. The cost is $9, and it includes 10 easy recipes. Download the ebook using the button below.
Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training, dog exercise and feeding a healthy raw diet.