Feeding Your Dog On The Trail: Raw versus Kibble

Gusto, my American Eskimo, and I love to hike but we never had to choose between taking along raw food or kibble because we are only out for a few hours at a time. Treats work fine to stave off the hunger pangs and as rewards.

We have been attending Conformation Run-Throughs in preparation for upcoming dog shows. During some rest time, we listened in on a conversation between two long-time exhibitors. One shows Sporting Dogs and the other shows Terriers.

Both of them planned on going to Purina Farms for their National Specialties. Purina is a major pet food manufacturer and sometimes they offer tours so that exhibitors can see how their foods are processed.

The Terrier owner had no interest in touring the processing plant. The Sporting Dog owner asked the Terrier owner if she still fed raw food to her dogs…


Why Feed Raw Food to Your Dog?


The exhibitor that is feeding raw has done so for 17 years as a breeder of some of the top terriers in the nation.  She believes raw food has many more health benefits for her dogs.

There are certainly plenty of opinions about the benefits and cons of raw dog food, depending on who you listen to or what you read.

There is an article in Modern Dog Magazine written by experts that lists the pros and cons. You can read that here.


Why Feed Kibble Food to Your Dog?

The Sporting Dog Owner once tried to feed raw to her dogs…even said that a breeder told her to continue to feed kibble even though she wanted to feed raw. That particular dog being fed kibble only lived to be six years old. The owner is still second-guessing herself for not continuing with the raw diet since that is said to prolong the lives of our dogs.

Then she went on to explain to the raw feeder why she did not ultimately switch to all raw and why kibble is her show dog’s primary source of food.


Feeding Your Dog On the Trail

The Sporting Dog owner likes to hike with her dog.  She doesn’t just go on day-long hikes though.  She and her dog go Raw versus kibbleout into the wilderness for two weeks at a time.

She carries all of her supplies for both of them on her back. She has a companion travel with her so they have two backpacks that weigh a maximum of 44 pounds each.  Kibble is the only convenient way to carry sufficient food for her dog.

There is no way she can keep raw food fresh for that length of time.  She thought about packing dehydrated raw food but then she would have to pack enough water to rehydrate the food as well as enough drinking water for both dogs and humans along the way.

The Terrier owner graciously accepted the reasoning of the Sporting Dog owner to continue with kibble. It was refreshing to hear two dog owners have a civil discussion about various dog foods. You may find this exhaustive article interesting about how long it takes raw or kibble to be digested.

Kibble is The Most Convenient Way to Feed Your Dog

The bottom line is that kibble is convenient and that is why many dog owners continue to feed kibble.  Some do try to feed premium kibble over department store discount kibble to compensate for not cooking for their dogs or feeding them raw food.

As a certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist, I listen to the reasons why people feed raw, cook for their dogs, feed kibble or do a little bit of everything.


Come back for more Miracle Living With Gusto!



P.S. Join in the discussion and let us know how you feel about the dog food choices available today. Do you feed your dogs while hiking?



3 Replies to “Feeding Your Dog On The Trail: Raw versus Kibble”

  1. Well there’s freeze dried food or air dried food but it would be expensive for a big dog out on the trail. If it was us, we’d probably pack freeze dried food. Mr. N hasn’t been on a backpacking trip that long though.

  2. Oh my mouses… TWO WEEKS? Wow. That’s a really long time. It’s no wonder that peep needs to give her fur-baby kibble, EVEN IF she would rather do somethin’ else. I bet she packs protein bars and those dried fruit bar things, for herself. If you’re carryin’ everythin’ for that long on your back, you’ve JUST GOTTA find the way that works best, right? Right. PURRS.

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