Ultra light dog food
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Jun 7, 2005 at 10:11 pm #1216245
What about freeze dried dog food? Or other light weight alternatives? Does anyone know of products available?Jun 8, 2005 at 8:39 am #1337964STEVEN DURGOMember
leave your beloved pets at home. You may love them, but most of us don’t…Jun 8, 2005 at 9:09 am #1337965EndoftheTrailBPL Member
Maybe Steven meant what he wrote, or maybe he was in a bad mood??? In any case, he should have written “do me a favor…” instead of speaking for all humanity.Jun 8, 2005 at 10:44 am #1337966
I know this is a controversial subject. My trips are as far from other people as possible. The last (2) times I backpacked I saw no one else for the entire time. Not even at the trailhead. One trip was (6) days the other only (2). This is always my goal. Anyway, I respect others opinions. I didn’t really want to discuss this issue here, but rather would like any info on light dog food anyone cares to share.
CarolJun 8, 2005 at 12:30 pm #1337973Mark RegaliaBPL Member
@markrLocale: Santa Cruz
I use the same food I give them at home. I think it is best, since they don’t have to adjust. Here is what I have found. So called super premium dog foods, such as Eagle Pack, NutroMax, Avoderm etc are much lighter than the so called Premium foods, such as Purina etc. The reason is that they have much denser food value. A cup of Eagle Pack is equivalent to much more Purina. I would look at the recommended amounts to feed a dog of your weight and pick one that has the lowest volume. By the way, this is one of the reasons Purina and others look cheaper than the super premiums. By the pound they are, but you have to feed the dog so much more of it. Happy hiking. And I think dogs belong in the wilderness. Compared to a pack 25 Sierra Clubbers they are very low impact.Jun 16, 2005 at 7:33 am #1338188
To answer my own post. Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions.
I’m now using Nature’s Variety Freeze Dried. It’s 3.5 oz/day for a 40 lb. dog. That’s about half the weight of my dry kibble. Looks like excellent nutrition too. My dog loves it. See more at http://www.sitstay.com/store/edibles/food2.shtml
CarolJun 16, 2005 at 8:39 am #1338191Mike StoresundMember
I too like to bring my dog along on treks. I also agree that using the same food prevents any change in the dog’s digestive tract, therefore insuring consistant stools. As far as the weight of the dogs stuff, why not let fido carry their own weight? A harness with pouches similar to saddle bags on each side will allow the dog to carry their own food, bowl, biodegradable poop bags, extra lead line, etc. Just make sure you pack the food in waterproof bags and bring along a couple OP saks for packing out the dog excrement.
These extra step in preparing your pet for coming along should appease even the most disdainful of pets in the wild.Jun 16, 2005 at 11:34 am #1338195Richard SullivanBPL Member
@richard-sLocale: Supernatural BC
If you have an ultralight dog this also helps, since they eat less than dogs that are merely light or standard weight. Try to stick to dogs in the 6-12 lb range. Or if you’re really wanting to experiment (as I know you are, Carol) then go SUL and try a sub-5 lb dog. :>))Jun 16, 2005 at 4:41 pm #1338209Mark RegaliaBPL Member
@markrLocale: Santa Cruz
I hear you can get dogs with possum fir from New Zealand instead of dog hair. How about hiking with a goose instead. All that nice light goose down. Seriously though. The only advantage to going ultralight with dogs is that they are less weight to carry, as small dogs aren’t going to last long on the trail. I think one old blue haired lady I came across in the wilderness had the solution. She was riding a horse, and poking out of the saddle bag on each side were a pair of dachounds. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen in the wilderness.Jun 17, 2005 at 9:00 am #1338233
You guys are hilarious. Yes, the smaller the dog the lighter the food. And my dog does carry about 5 lbs of gear. I give her things I can most afford to lose since her pack is a Ruff Wear velcro on kind and can get caught in the bushes sometimes. I really like the Freeze Dried food though. It’s a big weight savings especially over a 5-6 day trip.
I think, when choosing a dog as a backpacking companion, endurance is the most important thing. I like working dogs like australian cattle dogs. They’re smart and strong. Also I prefer mutts to prue breed.
Thanks for all the input. Especially the ultra light pet recommendations.Jun 23, 2005 at 5:05 pm #1338413Julia O’DayMember
The Nature’s Variety is an excellent choice, and just what I was going to suggest. Besides the low weight of the freeze dried, it is a “BARF” Food(Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). It is only made from ingredients similar to what dogs would eat in the wild (raw meat from prey, including the stomach contents of greens, fruits, etc.), not wheat, corn, soy etc. that are unhealthy for dogs. It’s no surprise your dog loves it! I use the freeze dried for treats for my Huskies…Mar 16, 2009 at 9:10 am #1485942adam brennerBPL Member
@adammbrennerhotmail-comLocale: Olympics and Cascades
I use freeze dried dog food as well as supplement with dried meats that I make in our dehydrator. Just pure dried beef- I eat it as well as the dogs.Mar 16, 2009 at 9:59 am #1485963Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
Don't ask me if it is good or not ;-) I sadly have no woof-woof to take with me.
But if like most of Packit's items, it should be good stuff.Mar 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm #1485999
"as small dogs aren't going to last long on the trail"
Not true. I think this misconception comes from the fact that a lot of small dog owners think their pets 'need' less exercise than bigger dogs, so they don't get as fit. We have a 9lb dog who gets tons of exercise every day, and it shows on the trail. He can go a lot longer than I can, and runs on the smell of an oily rag. BTW he's always muzzled when on the trail, so poses no threat to any person or wildlife, and I feel responsible dog owners should do the same. It also protects the dog from eating something he shouldn't (like poisoned bait or poiseded dead animals).
We feed him dry cat food on the trail. It has a much higher energy density than most dog foods, and is highly palatable to his sometimes picky taste buds.Mar 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm #1486012Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
What a cutie :-)Mar 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm #1486172Brian FrankleMember
This past summer I took a 2 month hike with my 35-40 lb Heeler. I went with Eukanuba Active Performance for the entire trip. He ate 3 C a day, fed at intervals (5) throughout the day.
I also feed him a 1/2 oz of olive oil each evening (on his food) from a single serving packet.
Lastly, like any LD Hiker, he was allowed to gorge in town with what canned food was available and was happy for the excuse for a caloric binge.
He maintained his weight, was injury free, and other than when it was in the 90's, he maintained a high energy level.
I have tried dehydrated, high calorie foods for my Heeler, but only as snacks.
PS…I like your book.Mar 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm #1486181Nate MeinzerMember
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
This is the lightest I've been able to find:
my dog wishes she could say "HYOH".Mar 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm #1486198Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
My dog eats a super premium dog food anyway, and he has lots of allergies so I don't want to change his diet. I don't really want him vomiting up his dinner all over my sleeping bag! He is allergic to wheat, corn and oats. One of the few foods we've had success with is Breeder's Choice Active Care Chicken and Brown Rice. Unfortunately I have to special order it because the local stores no longer carry it, so the shipping charges are a PITA. The maker is the same outfit that makes Avoderm and uses 100% made-in-USA ingredients. Unfortunately even the chicken and rice version of the more widely available Avoderm contains some of the allergens.
I would rather use the highest quality food anyway. Yes, it is more expensive, but because it contains less indigestible bulk you have to feed the dog less of it. When my dog was a pup in beginning obedience, the school gave us a handout comparing the cost of the various qualities of dog food. The super premium actually cost a little less per serving than either the normal brands found at the supermarket and generic dog food. Plus there's a lot less to pick up in the back yard! The minimum serving for an 80-lb. dog, 3 cups (11 oz.) per day, works just fine–he neither gained nor lost weight on our last one-week trip. At home, I have to cut back a bit on amounts to keep him from gaining weight unless we're doing a lot of dayhiking.
Sorry, I won't hike without my dog. He's an integral part of my sleep system as well as my best buddy! He's on leash or behind me on the trail most of the time, and I make sure he doesn't chase wildlife or terrorize strangers with the dreaded crotch sniff. I also treat his solid waste as I do my own. I do find that he slows me down a lot when there are people around because nearly everyone wants to pet him!Mar 16, 2009 at 9:47 pm #1486199Unknown abcMember
Dang. Both those dogs are real cuties. sigh. I wish I could have a dog, but landlord won't allow it…SIGH…
cheersMar 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm #1486201Unknown abcMember
I don't see why people are objected to having dogs along with them. From what I understand, some dogs can be real bear magnets, but most are friendly and fun to have along. Most dog owners who are actually confident enough to take their dogs camping have had them trained so as not to harrass other animals and or humans.
cheersMar 17, 2009 at 11:48 am #1486340
Yeah, we had our dog specially trained to not chase or even go near birds (avian aversion therapy as they call it). There are just too many endangered flightless birds in NZ to risk it. It was kinda a mean as it involved shock collar and some dead birds, but it worked really well. He even avoids raw chicken now!
Would be nice to know what Andrew Skurka fed his lovely big dog on his epic journeys…anyone know?Mar 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm #1486379James DubendorfSpectator
@dubendorfLocale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
You may mean Justin Lichter, aka Trauma. He hikes with his dog Yoni.
And while we're sharing, another vote for Aussie Shepherd mutts!
JamesMar 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm #1486384
You are correct James, I meant trauma and Yoni.Jul 14, 2011 at 7:46 am #1759213James StielyMember
Ok, I just checked with my vet and he recommended feeding them the same dehydrated meals we eat. There're some dehydrated dog food products out there, but from what I have found they are more expensive then the backpacker products (this maybe because of a higher meat content). I have not been able to read the labels on those products yet they do not list ingredients on line. The vet recommended testing what ever you use on the dog prior to your trip in case of diarrhea or other reactions.Jul 14, 2011 at 7:47 am #1759215James StielyMember
Has anyone hiked the last for sections of the Colorado Trail? I have a trip planned for the end of August.
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