It’s Summer and many of you may be planning to travel with your raw fed dog! Whether it is a short two day camping trip or a week long road trip, we gathered some travel tips that could be useful for you and your furry friend.
PLAN PLAN PLAN
If you have been feeding raw, you probably already know exactly how much your dog eats per day. Whether they are large butcher blocks of meat or small portioned and formed patties, find out exactly how much you will need for your trip. It is a good idea to pack for an extra day’s meal just in case something happens. When you have the amount of food you need laid out, this will help you determine the size of the cooler you will need to store all the food.
PICK A COOLER AND PACK
We recommend that you use a separate cooler for your foods and your pet’s food. This can help prevent cross contamination and also keep the cooler at a lower temperature for longer since every time you open your cooler to grab a cold drink, the cooler with your pet food won’t lose its cool. Another way having two coolers can be useful is by storing pet food frozen in one cooler so that it can last longer and moving the portion that you need to have thawed for that day in to another cooler to thaw slowly.
Once you pick out a cooler that can fit all of your pet’s food for the duration of the trip, it is time to pack! If your pet eats different meals depending on the day or time, try to pack it so that the first day’s worth is packed near the top of the cooler and the last day’s worth at the very bottom. This can help since you won’t have to dig around to find the food that your pet needs for the upcoming meal.
If you are going on a shorter trip of two to three days, reusable ice packs are better but if you are preparing for a longer trip, buying ice from gas stations along the way to replenish your cooler may be a better idea.
DURING YOUR TRIP
Make sure to keep the cooler cool by having it hidden from direct sunlight and at every meal time, check to see if the cooler is doing its job well of keeping your pet’s food frozen or cold. Thawed meat will last up to 2 to 3 days in a well kept cooler.
Always provide enough hydration for your dog. Dogs and cats can get overheated and dehydrated easily while traveling in a car. You may need to monitor your pet’s water consumption to match their normal drinking levels when at home or have them drink more.
If you are traveling with young children, it may be a good idea to bring pet friendly cleaning wipes to wipe your dog’s mouth after a meal time. As opposed to at home, your dog may have a much easier time giving your children kisses right after eating raw meat. Although of course raw fed dogs and cats have little risk with bacteria in raw food, us humans are not so resilient and you may need to watch out to prevent unfortunate mishaps during the trip. Cleaning wipes can be used to clean your dog or cat’s bowl after eating as well but remember to rinse it well after wiping.
OTHER USEFUL TIPS
- If your cooler can’t fit all the food that you need for your trip, you may need to replenish it as you go on. Research in advance to see whether there are any pet food stores that carry raw food on your route. If there aren’t any, you can find food in grocery stores too! Almost all grocery stores will carry raw meat and organs such as liver and you can obtain any vegetables you may need as well.
- To save on room, taking the raw food that you feed your pet out of its original packaging and storing it in square tupperware containers may be a good idea to fit more in the cooler.
- If you do not have a way to store your pet’s raw food cool, you can use freeze dried products for your trip. There are several brands that offer freeze dried raw food for pets and they only need to be hydrated before feeding and do not need to be refrigerated. They can be costly though, if you are feeding a larger dog and you may need to look at dehydrated raw foods as an option as they are slightly better on price.
- Bring your pet’s favourite toy to help him or her from being bored.
- Bones! Raw bones are a great treat for dogs and cats! Meaty bones can be used as a meal in a pinch! Lamb necks, Elk necks, or meaty Beef femurs are great options as a meal replacement. If the bones are icky with raw meat on them, let your pet chew off all the meat before he or she brings it in to the car.
- Plan extra time for pit stops for your pets and if you have a very energetic dog, you may need to plan for a run-off where your dog can burn off some energy before resuming the car ride.
- Use a car harness or a crate to keep your pet and yourself safe.
- If your pet has anxieties with traveling, there are natural herbal remedies available for pets such as Rescue Remedy, Stress Relief, or Relax that can help them stay calmer.
We hope you have a great trip! If you want to talk to us about any questions or concerns you may have, always feel free to give us a call or visit us in store! Bon Voyage!
-The True Carnivores Pack