Raw food and hiking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Raw food and hiking

Hello everyone! I have currently been doing a lot of research on raw and have been considering switching my two dogs (9 month old male german shepherd and 4 year old female border collie) over to a full raw diet. I just had a few questions, for one what do you normally spend picking up and making your own raw instead of the prepackaged raw? also my main question before I make a switch is that I like to go hiking and camping and when I camp its usually tenting out no freezer so I wouldn't be able to bring raw food with me. So I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this and figured out a system for their dogs for when they go backpacking or camping? hope to hear back all the advise I can get is helpful I have never fed raw but from all my research I feel it is just so much better for the dogs if I am able to do it. Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 09:45 AM
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For trips, just buy shelf-stable, air-dried raw. There are so many good options for it now. Ziwi Peak is probably the best, but Only Natural Pet's Max Meat is a little less expensive. Both are jerky-type consistency.

Nulo's freeze-dried raw nuggets are also a possibility (though very expensive). They would be great for backpacking because they weigh so little.

All of these options are "complete" meals. However, they also all require making sure the dog has access to plenty of water, as the moisture has been removed from the meat.


ONP Max Meat:

Nulo Freeze Dried:

Wysong's freeze-dried Architype and Architype Burgers is also worth looking at -- they sell their dehydrated raw burgers in large pails (important for big, active dogs that eat a lot):

Many of the raw food brands also sell smaller packages of shelf-stable freeze-dried nuggets or patties -- I've seen them from OC Raw, Primal, Stella & Chewy and others. The small bags are fine for treats but not practical for meals for big dogs.

A less spendy option would be to buy a box of The Honest Kitchen that contains meat and veg (with or without grain). A 10 pound box of the dehydrated mix reconstitutes to about 40# of wet food. It tends to feed out really well. Here's an example of one of the more economical options:

Supplementing with a some high-calorie kibble would probably also be a good idea -- look into something like Diamond Natural's Extreme Athlete if you're going backpacking with lots of elevation gain.

Last edited by Magwart; 03-28-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 09:45 AM
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There are some good ideas on this thread, to get you started.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 11:26 AM
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To be honest, my dog is primarily fed raw, but I rotate in a kibble for just such occasions. I think I do a reasonably good job with the raw, but kibble helps me hedge my bets; it's a little variety (if my dog likes a kibble, she will go after it with a slightly crazed expression like I just told a four year old that they can have Count Chocula for dinner); and it's very convenient.

I do haul a cooler full of raw with me on my annual trip to the cabin, because I have access to a freezer, but if I'm staying in a hotel or the couple of times I've taken her camping, I just bring kibble. It's easy, compact, and fairly lightweight.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:03 PM
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I guess it depends on how long you'll be out camping. When I go for a few days I just bring the raw food frozen in a small cooler and take the containers out to thaw as I go. If you keep it all together it stays frozen for quite awhile.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 09:00 PM
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When i lived in southern california, i belonged to a co-op for raw feeders. i shared the membership with my neighbor, we also went half on a dedicated freezer, purchased in bulk... my dogs were 65 and 85# respectively - i fed them for just over $200 bucks a month. including any supplements. i’ve heard of folks achieving this on much more and much less. types of meat matter too. chicken is cheap... not all dogs do well on chicken.

i’ve considered going back (switched back to kibble for convenience but still feed raw a few times a month).... every time i see turkeys on sale after thanksgiving, i’m tempted.

i also hike and camp a lot. again, lots of factors that will determine what’s feasible for you. for me it depends on the “style” of camping i’m doing, how many days, weight and water sources. i’ve taken kibble, i’ve taken HK packets (dehydrated), i’ve also frozen some raw when “winter” camping (quotes because i don’t camp below 20°) and it’s its pretty slow to thaw in the cold temps.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:15 PM
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Mine is on raw frozen. When I am traveling I buy the NW Naturals freeze dried. Crush it up and add some water. Let it re-hydrate for a little bit. Good to go!

It is spendy, but for just a few days for camping, it works perfect.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 11:46 PM
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My dog is fed raw at home, THK or Ziwi Peak on road trips and freeze dried for overnighters in the wilderness.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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thank you

Thank you guys so much for all the replies I have been looking into finding a raw coop near me and trying to price out at least adding some raw to their diets. I was thinking about going the freeze dried route for the few camping trips we take because sometimes they are a week long and I dont think the frozen raw would stay fresh enough the entire trip but maybe I can bring enough for at least the first day was just worried it would make them sick switching from raw to freeze dried for the trip?
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