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Best Dog Food for Backpacking

    Best Dog Food for Backpacking: A Comprehensive Guide


    Backpacking with your dog can be an exciting adventure, but it also requires careful planning, especially when it comes to your dog’s nutrition. The right food can make a significant difference in your dog’s energy levels and overall health during the trip. This article will guide you through the best dog food for backpacking, focusing on factors such as nutrition, weight, price, and ingredients.

    Best Dog Food for Backpacking: Top 7 Products

    1. ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

    ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food is a highly recommended brand in the dog hiking community. It’s a dehydrated dog food that is high in protein, making it an excellent choice for backpacking.

    2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe

    This grain-free recipe from Taste of the Wild is packed with roasted bison, offering a high-protein diet that’s perfect for active dogs.

    3. Orijen Dry Dog Food for All Ages

    Orijen Dry Dog Food is a grain-free, high-protein option that uses fresh and raw animal ingredients. It’s suitable for dogs of all ages, making it a versatile choice for backpacking.

    4. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

    Wellness CORE offers a natural, grain-free dry dog food that’s high in protein. It’s a great option for senior dogs, ensuring they get the nutrition they need while on the trail.

    5. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

    For younger dogs, Merrick’s Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food is a fantastic choice. It’s a balanced diet that supports the high energy levels and growth needs of puppies.

    6. Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Raw Coated Kibble

    Stella & Chewy’s offers a grain-free red meat recipe that’s coated in raw ingredients. It’s a high-protein option that’s perfect for active dogs.

    7. Only Natural Pet Wholesome Homemade Dehydrated Dog Food

    This dehydrated dog food from Only Natural Pet is grain-free and can be prepared ahead of time for easy meal prep during your backpacking trip.

    In-Depth Buying Guide

    When choosing the best dog food for backpacking, consider the following factors:


    The weight of the dog food is crucial when backpacking. Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for backpacking trips.


    Backpacking is a high-energy activity, and your dog will need a diet high in calories to maintain their energy levels. Look for dog foods that are high in protein and fat.


    The nutritional content of the dog food is essential. A balanced dog food should have a protein content of approximately 18-25%, fats in the 10-15% range, and carbohydrates around 30-50%. For backpacking, you may want to opt for foods with a higher percentage of protein and fat.


    The cost of the dog food can also be a deciding factor. While some high-quality dog foods can be expensive, there are also budget-friendly options available that don’t compromise on nutrition.


    Choosing the best dog food for backpacking involves considering several factors, including the weight, nutritional content, and cost of the food. By taking the time to select the right food, you can ensure your dog stays healthy and energetic throughout your adventure.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Should I switch to dehydrated food for a backpacking trip?

    Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for backpacking trips. Even if you don’t regularly feed your dog these types of foods at home, they can be a great option for your trip.

    2. How much food should I bring for my dog?

    The amount of food you should bring depends on your dog’s size, activity level, and the duration of your trip. As a general rule, dogs require more food when they are more active.

    3. Should I increase how much I feed my dog during the trip?

    Yes, due to the increased activity level during backpacking, your dog will likely need more food than usual to maintain their energy levels.

    4. Does my dog need snacks?

    Yes, snacks can be a great way to provide your dog with extra energy during the trip. Opt for high-protein snacks that are easy to carry.

    5. What should I do about water?

    Hydration is crucial during backpacking trips. Always ensure you have enough water for both you and your dog. Consider bringing a portable water bowl for your dog.

    6. Can I feed my dog their regular food during the trip?

    If you’re planning a short trip, you can keep your dog on their normal food. However, for longer trips, you might want to consider switching to a high-protein, high-fat diet.

    7. What ingredients should I avoid in dog food?

    Try to avoid foods with high amounts of plant-based proteins such as soy and lentils, and other fillers such as corn and beet pulp, which provide little nutritional value.

    8. Can I make my own dehydrated dog food?

    Yes, you can make your own dehydrated dog food. However, it’s important to ensure it provides a balanced diet for your dog.

    9. Can my dog carry their own food?

    Yes, if your dog is large enough and physically capable, they can carry their own food in a dog backpack. However, make sure the weight is evenly distributed and not too heavy.

    10. What if my dog has dietary restrictions?

    If your dog has dietary restrictions, work with your veterinarian to find suitable dog food options for your backpacking trip.