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#149121 - 04/11/11 04:09 PM Dog Food
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
Hi,
For those of you who bring your dogs on the trail: do you feed them the same thing as they eat at home, or do they get special backpacking foods too? And how much more do you find they need than usual?

thanks!

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#149124 - 04/11/11 05:35 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I feed the same amount and same food as at home. That's because my dog has allergies and a very sensitive stomach and because I make sure he gets lots of exercise at home. I feed a premium high-performance food which is high-calorie, low bulk. It actually doesn't cost any more per calorie than what you get at the supermarket--because it's low-bulk, you don't need to feed as much. You don't need to do as much scooping afterwards, either! Feed your dog only as much as he needs not to get fat (you should easily be able to feel his ribs but not see them, and from the top you should be able to see a definite "waistline"). This amount usually has very little to do with the amount suggested on the package!

Because my dog is prone to vomiting, and I once had to abort a trip because of it, I give him slightly more food per feeding before and after a trip but not during the trip. I also feed him three times a day instead of twice (means an hour's rest at noon) during a trip so he has less in his stomach each time. Your dog, obviously, may vary!

If you're going to change your dog's diet, do it at least a month before your trip, and do it gradually--mix the two foods starting with a tiny amount of the new food and working up to all new food after 8-10 days. Not all dogs have sensitive stomachs like mine, but better safe than sorry!


Edited by OregonMouse (04/11/11 05:40 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149130 - 04/11/11 07:43 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
OttoStover Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Norway
It depends how hard working the dog is. My dog either pulls a pulk or carries backpack, and then he needs much more calories on tour than usual. The food-brand I use for him has some highcalorie version, and on tours I bring this. Like OM my dog has a bit sensitive stomac, but when sticking to the same brand the change for my dog is so minor that he does not get problems.

I also raise the amount of food. He gets normally 300 grams (10oz) dayly, but on tour it is 500g. In addition he acts as my waste-bucket and gets all leftovers of the food I eat. I have calculated the calories for tours to the double.

Remember that some dogs have no problems at all to change food. My first two dogs were Siberian Huskies, and I could feed them literally almost anything edible. On one tour the SH I had did not eat "my" food at all, as she ate all the lemmings she could find on the track. eek

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#149148 - 04/12/11 01:43 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I think in general dogs can be sensitive to diet changes particularly if you change the brand. Usually (in the US) when changing to a new diet, it is recommended that it is done gradually over a period of a week or so. One of the few fool proof ways to "see" how your dog is doing is to check the poop. By changing the diet you are making this harder to read.

Like the other two posters I feed my dog the same base food as at home. But I do add to it foods that we catch on the way. The amount is 1/3 more than at home because she is working longer hours back to back days.

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#149160 - 04/12/11 04:16 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: skcreidc]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I feed my dog the same food, just more. She carries it, so it doesn't matter to me. wink
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#149169 - 04/12/11 09:21 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: OttoStover]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
Thanks, all! Fortunately my dog will happily eat pretty much anything without much trouble. Her stomach's a bottomless pit, so I can't gauge how much extra based on her appetite.

The "whole prey model" folks would be thrilled with the lemmings! Doubt either of us could catch one though.

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#149186 - 04/13/11 03:36 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
bigwaterbill Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 6
Moab, my 15 year old pal, has been on several trips with me and absolutely will not eat dog food on the trail. Moab eats dog food at home exclusively. One time she went three days without eating any dog food on a trip. As a result, maybe she is smarter than I think, she eats the same meals I do on the trips. Not only is "human food" lighter than dog food, but I imagine it tastes better. I am not a vet, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but Moab eats Lasagna, Chili Mac, etc. and loves it! Go figure!

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#149193 - 04/13/11 05:32 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: bigwaterbill]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
Sounds like that works too, I'd just be very careful about onions.

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#149196 - 04/13/11 05:55 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
No onions, no garlic for doggy--can be toxic.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149239 - 04/14/11 07:24 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: bigwaterbill]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Bigwater
If your dog refuses to eat the food that you bring for him while doing an energetic activity like camping, then your dog is eating something else. Do you camp in areas frequented by others and does your dog run off leash? If so she may be eating the droppngs of former campers. I believe my dog caught hepatitis eating human droppings around Mt Hood last year. Have you had any blood work done on your dog. Mine was getting too skinny and we discovered that her liver is badly damaged. If its hep or something it should respond to the 5 pills a day that she gets, if its liver cancer then I'll just love her as much as I can each day she's around. I could kick myself for not muzzling her when running loose in high use camping areas.

So anyway this is a warning. If you take your dog to an area where people camp, especially car camping especially with live stock, either keep her on a leash or muzzle her so she can't eat poisons or crap. My dog passed a blue kitchen sponge after a visit to the creek one day. Now we're fighting to save her life and I'm gonna be into it to a tune of over a thousand dollars, so think about that before leting your dog run loose.
Jim
NO NEED TO REPLY HERE, I MOVED THIS TO A NEW THREAD IN GENERAL DISCUSSION


Edited by Jimshaw (04/14/11 11:51 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#161150 - 01/26/12 12:54 AM Re: Dog Food [Re: Jimshaw]
immortal.ben Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
Mine eats the same feed, but usually wants to eat more than he does at home. Funny.... I am the same way out in the field.
_________________________
Life is a verb.

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#163095 - 03/01/12 07:14 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
I have had books say feed the usual just more and I have read just make extra of what you are eating. When we camped our little dog (did not have the lab mix) ate a mix of her usual dog food and human food (The human food usually came from what out son did not eat. Breakfast we might have done an extra egg and gave it to her.) If Bear and I go our for an over night he will get a mix of dog and human food just cause.

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#163099 - 03/01/12 07:58 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: mccallum]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Make sure any human food your dog eats doesn't contain the following, which are toxic to dogs: onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, grapes/raisins, mushrooms (even some edible for humans), sugar-free stuff containing Xylitol. Small amounts may be OK, but if repeated it can have effects on the dog's internal organs, especially liver and kidneys.

My dog has so many allergies that I absolutely will not feed him any people food. Too bad, because I still haven't quite gotten my dinners down to the amount I can actually eat, so I still have leftovers.

Watch out for fish (spawned out salmon or piles of fish guts) along streams, or fish that hasn't been thoroughly cooked. It can contain a parasite which contains bacteria that is especially deadly to dogs.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#163154 - 03/02/12 04:35 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: OregonMouse]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
The human food our dogs get are eggs, rice, hotdogs. Mushrooms are not part of our household our son does not like them. Also Onions & Garlic are toxic to humans, as is all of the nightshade family, the only difference is that it take a bigger amount to be toxic to humans than to dogs.

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#163180 - 03/02/12 10:38 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: OregonMouse]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Make sure any human food your dog eats doesn't contain the following, which are toxic to dogs: onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, grapes/raisins, mushrooms (even some edible for humans), sugar-free stuff containing Xylitol. Small amounts may be OK, but if repeated it can have effects on the dog's internal organs, especially liver and kidneys.

My dog has so many allergies that I absolutely will not feed him any people food. Too bad, because I still haven't quite gotten my dinners down to the amount I can actually eat, so I still have leftovers.

Watch out for fish (spawned out salmon or piles of fish guts) along streams, or fish that hasn't been thoroughly cooked. It can contain a parasite which contains bacteria that is especially deadly to dogs.


OM, very good info. Your daughter is a vet, right? I am also a vet! smile Some of those toxins actually can be fatal even in small amounts, such as xylitol and grapes (the grapes thing is not well characterized, as some dogs are not affected, and some dogs get kidney damage with just a few grapes).

I will second the point that some dogs will not adapt well to an abrupt change in diet. If your dog develops diarrhea, it can easily get dehydrated, as it is not reabsorbing that water from the large intestine. I feed my dog her regular food, maybe a little extra. Keep in mind that high-quality food is more calorie-dense, so you will not have to feed as much, therefore less bulk to pack...a good reason to switch from grocery store brands to higher quality food, so long as you do it gradually, not on the trail. wink If the hiking is really strenuous or it's super cold, your dog may need extra energy, in the form of fat, which can be achieved by feeding vegetable oils, which your dog may also take some time to adjust to.

..I wonder if you could dehydrate canned dog food... if that would save any weight over kibble for longer treks.

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#163187 - 03/02/12 11:16 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: palameto]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I note that avocados are on the list. Years ago when my doggie was young, she would nibble on avocados in the yard. (we had a tree in the backyard. Apparently, she gave it up fairly soon. Learning through experience? I wish the other critters had learned the same lesson.

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#163277 - 03/04/12 04:17 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: palameto]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Thanks for the info palameto, nice to have a vet around willing to share good info. grin

I feed my dog a high density food - Taste of the Wild brand High Desert formula of venison and buffalo. Shes part pit and I've had pits so I feed this grain free diet to them due to their allergies, sometimes with half a tsp of flax seed. She weighs 60 pounds and eats 2 cups per day and a milkbone - large of course - for lunch.

Just an aside; if you do feed a dense protein food to dogs, they will grow. My dog was 34 pounds last July when I got her at a garage sale. 8 months later shes a pretty solid 60 pounder. I had to cut out the raw egg and Wal MArt Cheese wow spread... laugh

So palmeto, what about those cheese spreads? My dog will jump into the bathtub for it. Maybe let me trim a nail or two...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#163281 - 03/04/12 05:36 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: Jimshaw]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
So palmeto, what about those cheese spreads? My dog will jump into the bathtub for it. Maybe let me trim a nail or two...
Jim


Haha. As a treat, I say go for it, as long as your dog's GI system doesn't react unfavorably. Obviously you don't want that to be a major part of the diet. My dog will do almost anything for peanut butter, but draws the line at voluntary nail trimming. She is a pit, as you can probably tell from the avatar. She does have some allergy issues, but they seem to be environmental rather than food-related, as they are seasonal.

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#163283 - 03/04/12 06:06 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: palameto]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
palameto
your avatar looks like you're wearing a pack with a water bladder and your pit is wearing a gentle leader. Do you always have him on the gentle leader hiking? My old pit boy had one but was always pawing at it to get it off. I haven't tried one on Lady Jane Dog. She can suddenly go from friendly lab to pit in a flash and I've been scared to take her anywhere. Shes lived out here "on the farm" since we had her and she only sees visitors and people on the street. Everybody on the street, and all dogs and horses, get the "Keep away I'm a big pit bull barks", and most visitors too. Sometimes we have to put her in the back, the difference being, she probably wouldn't actually bite anyone. Shes very gentle and sweet with her family and friends, but very protective. She has her own dog door and an 8 foot wire fence with a beware of dog sign. Maybe I should be walking her on a gentle leader.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#163302 - 03/04/12 09:48 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: Jimshaw]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
I use the gentle leader (actually we switched to the Halti brand) when we are likely to encounter other dogs. It gives me more control over her, as I can direct her face toward me instead of the dog. She tends to freak out over dogs. We have done some behavior modification training and stuff too, but the gentle leader is very helpful. In town, she is also more prone to pulling, so it helps with that too. She is not a huge fan of it either, so when we are hiking I usually just have her on her flat collar with the Halti easily accessible if I need to put it on. She will walk with it fine, but if we come to some soft-looking grass she will immediately put her face down into it, rubbing the top and sides of her nose. Supposedly, dogs who are properly introduced to it will not mind it, but I think it is just not that comfortable for her.

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#169152 - 09/09/12 01:27 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
Pippan Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/09/12
Posts: 3
It's a great food... I feed Canidae, and it is only at feed stores. I've seen Chicken Soup brand at many of the feed stores I shop at... have you checked here?

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#169312 - 09/12/12 12:30 AM Re: Dog Food [Re: Pippan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I now (since Hysson's last checkup) have run into kidney issues with my dog's food. Unfortunately, all the kidney prescription diets contain grains to which Hysson is allergic. I therefore am diluting his regular kibble with cooked brown rice and veggies to reduce the total protein level of his diet to approximately 20% crude protein and also to lower the phosphorus levels. This works fine at home, but I'm still working out how to do this for backpacking. I'll cook and then dehydrate the rice along with the veggies (canned pumpkin works great, and is also high in potassium which is good), and will probably rehydrate both his dinner and the following day's breakfast each night (I'll have to carry more stove fuel!). Fortunately, Hyssons BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine levels went back to normal after a month on his new diet, so he's not, after all, in imminent danger of kidney failure. But it was a warning!

It is a good idea to reduce the protein and phosphorus levels for older dogs. While the low protein diet that used to be recommended is now not considered a good idea, most authorities recommend a 20% protein limit. I had thought to try Canidae Silver, but it contains oats, another item to which Hysson is allergic. I guess I'm stuck with dehydrating and rehydrating! What we do for our dogs!


Edited by OregonMouse (09/12/12 12:34 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#169381 - 09/13/12 05:30 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: OregonMouse]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
My parents' dog showed early signs of liver failure last year. They've since switched from feeding the cheapass kibble to a home-prepared diet. He's doing as well as can be hoped for a 15 year-old. This is the book where they get their recipes:
http://www.amazon.com/Home-Prepared-Dog-...293&sr=8-10

This site http://www.dogfoodproject.com/ has some helpful articles on selecting foods by examining the ingredient list.

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#169382 - 09/13/12 07:03 PM Re: Dog Food [Re: squark]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That's one of the sites I consulted!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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