If you have recently taken the leap to feeding raw food to your dog, you may find yourself wondering how you can travel with your dog’s new type of food, or how you might feed your dog whilst away on holiday.
You will be pleased to know there are lots of ways you can do this, each more or less suitable depending on the type of holiday you are heading on.
One thing to note when feeding raw is that you are simply feeding real, fresh food. If you do need to feed fresh, cooked meats to your dog this is safe, and almost the same way of feeding them.
The second thing to note is that all truly fresh food is sold from a fridge, not kept in one after opening but sold from one. When we buy our own meats fresh we also buy them from a fridge. Meats in tins, cans or white trays are not fresh. Simple marketing loopholes can allow these brands to mention the word fresh or allude to them being created from fresh meats. Avoid these types, it is very likely your dog will show loose stools, or sickness from a change to processed foods.
UK Cottages or Self-Catering Accommodation
If you are heading to a cottage or another accommodation with a freezer you have several options.
- Take the raw dog food with you and store in the freezer.
- Have the food delivered direct to your holiday accommodation, almost every raw food company will do this for you.
- Purchase the raw dog food at a pet store nearby to the accommodation. Raw dog food can now be purchased at almost every pet store in the UK in some way. It may not be your chosen brand, but better than needing to switch to processed food.
Raw dog food can last a couple of days even up to three days in a really good freezer box. That time scale is weather/temperature dependant but if you are just going for the weekend, it is often achievable to store in an ice box.
Store Bought Meats or Minces
It is usually recommended that meats you buy from a fridge in a supermarket are frozen first before feeding to your dog. This is to kill off any chance of bacteria or parasites, which you would imagine would be tested for in the food production chain, but because it is assumed they will be cooked prior to eating can be less than vigilant.
A seasoned raw fed dog, or a dog that has never had digestive issues, is very likely to have the stomach acidity capable of wiping out these possibilities, and so many do feed their dogs human intended supermarket meats on holidays, or even at home sometimes.
If you have a dog who can cope then human intended supermarket meats, such as the local campsite Spar for instance, could be an option.
They would definitely be an option if you wanted to lightly cook up those meats in a camping pan, as they do not have bone content in them and so can be cooked, cooled and fed.
Items That Are OK to Feed From Your Local Spar or Store:
- Tinned fish (once or twice in the week to avoid too many heavy metals)
- Eggs, can be fed raw or scrambled (no dairy included)
- Cooked and cooled human intended mince meats (with no bone content)
- Berries, herbs such as parsley or even hand-picked dandelions (ones dogs have not pee’d on of course)
- Raw meaty bones such as chicken drumsticks if you can either freeze them before use, or your dog is very healthy and used to eating raw. (absolutely no cooked bones!)
Making Up Meals Yourself
Stick to the weight of meat/meals your dog has at home. Think of the meat as 100% of that meal, any supplements or plant-based additions are essentially that, additions. Choose meats your dog likes, as varied options as possible.
The Simple Recipe is:
Meat + nutrient additions: bone meal, herbs, berries, supplements
Shop Bought Additions
Very simply useful additions could be berries, blueberries keep well and are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins for your dogs.
Parsley can usually be purchased fresh or even hand-pick dandelions finely chopped them and mix them into your dog’s food. Both of the green leaves are full of vitamins and even a certain level of minerals too. They are also good prebiotics so help to balance gut bacteria.
When on holiday it may be easier to have with you a supplement such as ProDog Raw’s Boost. That way all you need to do is feed the meat portion and mix in the supplement to ensure your dog receives nutrition throughout the holiday break.
What About Bone, Minerals and Calcium?
To include a bone content, if you are feeding the cooked, cooled store bought meats, you would need to either be feeding raw meaty bones at a different meal in the day or add a bone meal such as Now Bonemeal (bovine sourced).
Unfortunately, eggshell doesn’t provide absorbable, bio-available calcium. You cannot simply add a calcium supplement for two weeks as bone provides other nutrition such as magnesium, manganese, boron, vitamin E, K and even iron too. Bone is not simply made up of calcium.
What About Offal?
For 99% of dogs, the nutrient that would be missed with no offal would be vitamin D, luckily this is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your dog’s liver exactly for periods of time the vitamin doesn’t get eaten as frequently. If your dog has a known vitamin D deficiency, the best thing to do when camping is taking a supplement for them.