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Ultra light dog food
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Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Ultra light dog food on 06/07/2005 23:11:08 MDT Print View

What about freeze dried dog food? Or other light weight alternatives? Does anyone know of products available?

(sdurgo1) - F
do all of us a favor..... on 06/08/2005 09:39:56 MDT Print View

leave your beloved pets at home. You may love them, but most of us don't...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Do ALL of us a favor??? on 06/08/2005 10:09:52 MDT Print View

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.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Dogs in th wild on 06/08/2005 11:44:16 MDT Print View

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.


Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Light dog food on 06/08/2005 13:30:18 MDT Print View

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.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Nature's Variety on 06/16/2005 08:33:07 MDT Print View

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


Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Dog's in the wild on 06/16/2005 09:39:37 MDT Print View

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 *BEEP* 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.

Edited by mikes on 06/16/2005 09:49:46 MDT.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: Ultra light dog on 06/16/2005 12:34:58 MDT Print View

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. :>))

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Re: Ultra light dog on 06/16/2005 17:41:10 MDT Print View

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.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Light dog carries own weight on 06/17/2005 10:00:47 MDT Print View

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.

Julia O'Day
(arweninnj) - F
Re: Nature's Variety on 06/23/2005 18:05:37 MDT Print View

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...

adam brenner
( - MLife

Locale: Olympics and Cascades
Dog Food on 03/16/2009 10:10:20 MDT Print View

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.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dog Food on 03/16/2009 10:59:46 MDT Print View

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.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Dog Food on 03/16/2009 13:03:54 MDT Print View

"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.

Edited by retropump on 03/16/2009 13:18:12 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
He is cute on 03/16/2009 14:28:01 MDT Print View

What a cutie :-)

Brian Frankle
(bdf37) - F
Dog Food on 03/16/2009 21:42:53 MDT Print View


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.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Ultra-light dog food on 03/16/2009 22:03:17 MDT Print View

This is the lightest I've been able to find:Rosie

my dog wishes she could say "HYOH".

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Ultra light dog food on 03/16/2009 22:44:55 MDT Print View

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!

Edited by hikinggranny on 03/16/2009 22:53:49 MDT.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Ultra light dog food" on 03/16/2009 22:47:15 MDT Print View

Dang. Both those dogs are real cuties. sigh. I wish I could have a dog, but landlord won't allow it...SIGH...


Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Ultra light dog food" on 03/16/2009 22:49:51 MDT Print View

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.


Edited by edude on 03/16/2009 22:50:43 MDT.