this post does contain affiliate links but as always all thoughts & suggestions are from my experience
I remember feeling so overwhelmed when I first switched my dog’s diet from kibble to raw. Adding on the challenge of traveling with my raw fed pack seemed unattainable. Even the idea of trying to find a dog sitter or boarding facility that would follow their raw diet seemed like a challenge. Below is how I overcame all that.
Raw Fed Dogs and Flying
I thought this will be easy. I will just get some dry ice and check a cooler with the airline. Then I found out that flying with dry ice is strictly regulated due to it being a hazardous material. You can however check coolers with frozen gel packs to keep the meals frozen. Invest in a high-end cooler and make sure the food is completely frozen and it will be good for 12-14 hours. The fees for checking luggage vary and if you have a big dog that requires a large amount of food this could get costly. If you are staying with a friend or at a hotel you can always mail order the food from a company and have the meals shipped directly there.
Feeding Your Dog Raw on Road Trips
Once again, a quality cooler is key. Also, dry ice is an option sold at Safeway stores so I can easily obtain some for long car rides. Regular ice works too of course but I like the idea of not having to worry about replacing it as often. Now that you are in a car you can upgrade the size and quality or even use an electric cooler and ditch the ice all together. Like above if you have a large dog or pack carrying enough meals for the entire trip might be unattainable. I like to do a quick search on Google before I leave to find local pet stores in the towns, I will be traveling through. I then replenish my stock as I go.
Hiking with Your Raw Fed Dog
When it comes to hiking weight or lack of, is key. This, unfortunately, means that bringing whole food, water content intact, is not going to work. This one of the few times I feed a freeze-dried raw to my dogs. There are plenty of great options available on Amazon if you do not have a local pet store nearby.
Boarding Your Raw Fed Dog
Ask your sitter or facility if they are familiar with raw feeding. I either receive a resounding yes or a mediocre, slightly apprehensive, story about how they have heard or tried it unsuccessfully. The first group of resounding yeses simply need a feeding schedule, prepared, proportion meals, and a confirmation that they have enough extra freezer/fridge space for your dog’s stay. I use my feeding calculator to find out how much raw food I need to provide. The slightly apprehensive group is best left with a freeze-dried or dehydrated raw to ensure your dog’s stay is pleasant. I would rather have a happy dog sitter than a stressed one that substitutes meals unexpectantly.
Well, there it is. My travel-hacks for traveling with my raw fed doggos. Let me know your’s in the comments below.