What can I feed my dog while hiking? What to Know

What is the Difference between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Food?

Diet is undoubtedly one of the most hotly debated topics in the dog world. Dog owners tend to be extremely passionate about the particular diet they feed their dogs and nothing can change their minds.

I personally believe that a variety is best for my dogs. This way, they develop stronger stomachs, never get bored of their food, and experience different textures. I can also see what kind of foods work best over a period of time.

For raw and fresh food feeders, freeze-dried and dehydrated dog foods offer dog owners time-saving ways to feed their dogs without dealing with raw meat. These are also great for vegetarians and vegans who have a hard time handling meat in general.

What are the differences between the two?

Uses warm air to slowly remove moisture from the raw ingredients in order to preserve them. This is the same process as any dehydrated foods you might eat, like mangos and apricots.

  • This process keeps food free of artificial preservatives
  • Maintains most of the nutrients and enzymes
  • Offer the benefits of raw dog food without having to handle raw meat or worry about contamination
  • Does not require refrigeration
  • Lightweight and great for traveling or camping
  • Removes moisture from perishable food through a pressurized vacuum chamber that removes the moisture from raw, frozen foods. This also destroys any harmful pathogens and bacteria in the process. Since no heat is involved, freeze-dried foods contain maximum nutritional content.

  • Retains more of the nutritional content than dehydrating
  • Proteins, vitamins, and minerals remain thanks to the freezing
  • Lightweight and great for camping and traveling
  • Does not require refrigeration
  • You’ll notice that some of the foods on this list are also “air-dried.” Air drying is the process of placing food into drying chambers where continuously circulating air slowly evaporates the moisture in the foods.

    Air-dried dog food does not require rehydration like dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. Just serve straight from the bag. This is a great option if there is not going to be water where you’re camping.

    What to Look for in Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Foods

    It seems like pet food is constantly under scrutiny with regular recalls and the recent DCM scare, so it’s natural for pet parents to be concerned about their food choices for their fur babies.

    With that said, there are a few key indicators to look for when choosing a quality dog food. I love shopping from Only Natural Pet because they only work with brands that meet specific requirements, such as:

    Human-grade ingredients. Pet food is well-known to include the 4D foods. I choose never to give my dog anything that I wouldn’t consume myself. Look out for buzzwords like “all natural” and “healthy” which can be used to trick consumers into believing the brand is using quality ingredients.

    Non-GMO foods. As with your own food, you’ll want to avoid GMO foods, which are linked to kidney failure, immune system damage, skin and food allergies, cancer and more. Certified organic foods will not contain GMOs. You can also check the Non-GMO Project for a list of acceptable pet foods.

    Made and/or Sourced in the USA – Some pet food brands will cut costs by sourcing ingredients from China and saying that they’re made in the USA. Read labels carefully. Many brands source lamb from New Zealand, actually, just avoid anything that comes from China.

    Animal protein as the top ingredient. The first ingredient on any dog food should be the animal protein, i.e. beef, chicken, or turkey. Check the protein content on each label. According to the National Research Council, dogs should get a minimum of 18% of their daily calories from protein sources.

    Whole vegetables, fruits, and grains. Fresh and unprocessed produce and grains provide nutritional benefits such as vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants for dogs.

    What can I feed my dog while hiking?

    If you’re anxious about what to pack, always consult with your vet about your dog’s calorie intake and exercise levels. Otherwise, use the list of treats and food below as a guide that you’ll hone over a lifetime of happy trails with your dog!

    Perfect dog treats for hiking involve three things: 1) They pack easily in a small container you can fit in your/your dog’s bag. 2) They won’t make a mess in your bag. 3) They’ll support your dog’s exertion level over your hike!

    Picture this: it’s a gorgeous Saturday. You have nothing scheduled, and you want to spend time outdoors, with your beloved Fido. You decide to go on a hike (excellent choice!), and you’re gathering the essentials for your three-mile jaunt in the wilderness. Water, First Aid Kit, etc…this isn’t your first rodeo. As you’re collecting items for your pack, you go over to their treat drawer and stare.

    Jerky treats for dogs are dehydrated meat treats, perfect for hiking trips. Pick your dog’s favorite protein (mine loves beef) and look for a jerky treat free from artificial preservatives or additives. Jerky treats are usually high in protein and chewy, so make sure your dog is finished chewing before you resume walking. Otherwise, they could have trouble digesting.

    We believe these six dog treats will help your dog keep their energy up and have a fantastic time hiking. As with any activity involving your dog, make sure to consult your vet if you have any questions. Lastly, make sure to bring some poop bags along, so you don’t “litter!”

    Backpacking Food for Dogs | Hiking with Dogs | Part 2 of 3

    Being active with your dog is a great way to bond while getting in some exercise. If you’re planning some longer hikes or runs you might throw some trail mix, beef jerky, or gummies in your pack to munch on when hunger strikes. But what about your dog’s nutritional needs while your out? We looked at some of the best snacks for your pup to give them a much-needed boost.