We recently went backpacking for a few days with our pups for the first time!
They've been on so many hiking adventures with us, it was a great way to prep them for a multi day trip. Our main focus was to find foods that were also lightweight.
No one wants to haul bags of kibble across the Sierras.
Correction, I don't want to haul bags of kibble across the Sierras.
Freeze dried was our way to go. Though Takoda & Fox are fed a homemade diet, they get Open Farms kibble as a "snack" now and then. So we decided to go with Open Farms line of freeze dried foods and didn't have to risk issues with introducing a totally new brand of food.
I would highly recommend incorporating their trail food a few months before your trip to be sure that your dog doesn't have any allergic reactions.
Based on our research, it's recommended to take 3x their normal food intake on any type of outdoor adventure. Obviously this will fluctuate based on your dogs activity level and their baseline hunger at home.
That being said Takoda & Fox are highly active to begin with, but are even more so on camping trips. I've learned through trial and error how much more food they need during our camping trips. This gave me a good idea of how much they would need on our backpacking trips, knowing they were going to be more active than when we just car camp.
Another weight saver were the dehydrated snacks. One of their favorite treats are sweet potato "chips" that Casey makes for them at home. These are relatively lightweight and also gives them something familiar from home when we're out on the road. You can also find freeze dried Salmon and Liver treats on Chewy.
Packets of Salmon are also another great option to save weight and a great protein source. Be sure it doesn't contain oil or added salt! I like to mix this in with their freeze dried food since it also contains a lot of sodium. Talk to your vet about sodium intake for dogs.
Another option is to dehydrate your own food for them like turkey or beef jerky, liver treats, and veggies.
We also brought their daily multivitamin powder using zip lock baggies to store that in. Another powder source of calcium could be dehydrated goats milk or bone meal. You can easily make bone meal at home too. Both would be a great way to incorporate calcium.
What are your ultra light weight food choices for your dogs? We'd love to hear your experiences on the trail with your dogs or cats!
Follow @TakodaandFox on Instagram for more of their outdoor adventures 🐶🦊