Today’s blog entry is about how to feed raw when overlanding with your dog.
It’s long overdue as several blog readers mentioned that they’re traveling and living out of their car or RV and are looking for solutions to sustain raw feeding:
Right now I’m traveling and basically living out of my car, so keeping my dog’s raw food frozen and having minimal space to store it is my biggest challenge atm.
Living out of a car with my dog while traveling and having the ability to sustain raw feeding.
We live in an rv and i dont want traveling and a small fridge get in the way of feeding my baby a healthy diet!
The challenge here is to keep the dog’s raw food frozen with minimal space to store it.
Keeping that in mind, I’m currently on a two week long overlanding/camping trip with my raw-fed pup Wally.
Since there have been several other trips with my raw-fed dogs before this one, I’m going to share the 4 different approaches I’ve taken over the years!
Bonus: Two practical alternatives to raw dog food while you’re on the road for a longer period of time.
How To Feed Raw When Overlanding With Your Dog
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(1) Have Your Raw Dog Food Shipped To Your Final Destination
If you’re only on the road for a few days, you can have your raw dog food shipped to your final destination.
Tip: Save 15% on all of your orders from Raw Paws Pet Food with my affiliate discount code K9Savings. Just enter it at checkout.
I’ve had raw dog food from both shipped to a friend’s place in the continental US before when I traveled with my dogs Missy & Buzz, and it worked like a charm.
All you have to do is change your shipping address and voilà.
If you make your own DIY homemade raw dog food, you can also have the individual components shipped to your final destination.
Obviously, this only makes sense if you’ll be able to do raw meal prep where you’re going.
For example, if you’re staying with family or friends, at an Air B&B with a full kitchen, but not really at a hotel.
(2) Bring Raw Dog Food Along In A Cooler
If you have enough room for a cooler in your car, fill it with your pup’s raw dog food, add some ice and there you go!
Obviously, you’ll need to change out the ice on a more or less regular basis, depending on the time of the year and the temperatures when you’re traveling.
But since ice is readily available at most gas stations, this option is quite doable.
(3) Car Fridge/Freezer Combination
Car fridges are your next best option when you’re trying to figure out how to feed raw when overlanding with your dog.
That’s because they don’t really take up more room than a decently sized cooler!
We recently bought the Dometic CFX3 35-Liter Portable Refrigerator for this overlanding trip and filled half with Wally’s raw dog food, and the other half with our human food.
It can either cool or freeze, and we’re using the cooling function.
I went ahead and loaded Wally’s section of the car fridge with frozen raw meals I prepared myself. That way, they got to slowly thaw in the fridge and lasted for a week.
There are also dual zone car fridges with a separate freezer zone.
Obviously, this is a more expensive option than going with a regular cooler.
How to Use A Car Fridge For Raw Dog Food
Depending on your car set up, you may be able to run it on a car cigarette lighter for a few hours.
But the best option is going to be a power bank/solar generator.
That’s what we’re using, specifically the Jackery 1000 Volt Pro.
You can load the Jackery battery with solar panels or hook it up to a power outlet. A car cigarette lighter works too.
We don’t have a Jackery solar panel YET, but our friends we’re traveling with do! It’s a total game changer and we’ll definitely get one for our next overlanding trip.
Update: Now we have our own solar panels – 3 specific kinds to be exact:
- Jackery SolarSaga 80 Watt Solar Panel
- Renogy 2PCS Solar Panels 100 Watt
- Eco-Worthy 120 Watt Solar Panel
You can watch our this vs that solar panels review video in our Amazon shop here.
(4) Shop For Raw Dog Food At A Local Pet Food Retailer Along The Way
Check to see if you have pet food retailers that carry raw dog food along the way!
That’s going to make it super easy to restock your raw dog food supply.
They typically carry raw dog food from brands like Stella & Chewy’s, Instinct, Steve’s Real Food, Primal or Answer’s.
(5) Alternatives To Raw Dog Food When Traveling
There are two alternatives to raw dog food that I’ve used and continue to use when traveling with my pups.
The first one is freeze-dried raw dog food, and the second one is limited-ingredient canned dog food.
Whichever you go for, make sure to (slowly) get your pup used to it before you leave for your trip, especially if they have a sensitive stomach. That way, you won’t have to deal with runny poop in an unfamiliar place.
Tip: Regardless of whether or not your pup has a sensitive stomach, bring a can of slippery elm along for your road trips. It’s a healing herb that coats, soothes and lubricates your pup’s stomach and digestive tract.
I never travel without it when Wally’s along for the ride!
Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
The kind I brought along on our current road trip is freeze-dried raw lamb from Boss Dog.
Here’s what’s in it:
Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Ground Lamb Bone, Broccoli, Carrots, Lamb Kidney, Romaine Lettuce, Apples, Ground Flaxseed, Fish Oil*, Apple Cider Vinegar, Blueberry, Cranberry, Inulin, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Ginger, Parsley, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as Preservative), Vitamin D Supplement, Organic Inulin, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product. *Fish Oil- combination of Alaska Wild Caught Salmon, Pollock and Herring Oils.
I discovered the brand at this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida. Since Boss Dog was kind enough to gift me a bag of their freeze-dried raw lamb, I figured I’d feed it on this trip.
Verdict: Wally did great on it, and that’s although he has tons of food allergies!
You can either feed it on its own or top your dog’s raw dog food or canned dog food off with it. On this trip, I’ve used all 3 approaches.
But obviously, any freeze-dried raw dog food will do, so I’ll mention the brands I’m aware of below:
Canned Dog Food
You can also mix freeze-dried raw with canned dog food, or add freeze-dried raw to your dog’s frozen raw dog food.
Or you could also just feed canned dog food if it’s for a short(er) period of time.
Wally got half a can for one meal, and I transferred the other half into one of his empty raw dog food dishes I had brought along in the car fridge.
A silicone dog can cover would have worked too, but a) I forgot to bring one and b) the dish used up less space in the car fridge than the can would have.
How To Feed Raw When Overlanding With Your Dog: Bottom Line
The specific approach you take to sustain raw feeding while traveling depends on how far you’re traveling, where you’re traveling as well as how long you’re on the road for.
If you’re only traveling for a few days, it’s easy to bring your pup’s raw dog food along in a cooler without having to invest in a car fridge.
If you don’t have a ton of space in your car, you can also have your regular raw dog food shipped to your final destination (if possible).
However, if you’re on a longer trip without a lot of cooling space in your vehicle, you can also feed your pup freeze-dried raw dog food and/or canned dog food.
If your pup has a sensitive tummy, remember to start introducing the freeze-dried or canned food well ahead of time. That way, you won’t have any upset stomachs on the road and/or while you’re at your accommodations.
- Why I’m boarding my dogs with Nature’s Variety Raw Dog Food
- Slippery elm for dogs – what it is, how to make it & more
- Croatia with dogs – our summer road trip with Wally
- 128 best alternatives to raw dog food in 2023