Raw Dog Food And Touring In Motorhomes
Inspired by a question on the forum, Jim Brown looks at some of the issues you face if you feed frozen raw food but only have a tiny motorhome freezer.
Many people believe that raw food is best for their dogs. In the last couple of years, feeding raw has become popular and there are lots of companies offering complete frozen meals, delivered to your door for your freezer, just thaw and feed. It is very convenient. We are a proponent of raw feeding and have been feeding it to Jazz since she was just 8 weeks old.
It’s rare that dogs don’t like this food and common sense tells us that raw food must be more natural than the cereal based, high temperature baked dog food sold in supermarkets. However, this article is not to get you to feed raw food, but how to cope on a motorhome tour if you do.
The thing is, those baked dry foods are so easy to carry, all you need is a sealable tub or bag and you can easily carry a week or two’s food in a locker. It’s a little harder if you feed raw food, as this is invariably frozen in ½kg or 1kg tubs.
Jazz, for instance, eats around 900grams of raw food a day. If we are away for a week, I need enough freezer space for over 6kg of meat. Most motorhome freezers will struggle to hold more than a couple of days dog food.
Someone asked on the forum the other day if there is a cool box that would keep the food frozen so they could get a week’s dog food in it. There are, but they are expensive.
The cool-boxes you can buy from Halfords are OK for keeping beers cool, but they only cool to about 5 degrees below ambient, so your raw food would thaw quickly.
Dometic however make super fridges that not only keep your raw dog food cold, but can freeze food. This cool box allows you to take more food, drink and dog food wherever you go. Thanks to a mobile app which puts you in control of your fridge, it’s the perfect solution for staying away for longer. Take a look at DMS, they have the full range and will offer a Funster discount.
Here is what we do to ensure we have enough food for Jazz when we are on the road
Remember that once thawed you can keep food in the fridge for at least 4 days and it will remain in excellent condition for feeding. Of course, you need to be extremely careful not to contaminate the food you are going to be eating. For us that would mean double bagged food and then have it placed in an airtight container.
So four sealed frozen meals in the fridge slowly defrosting and just three in the freezer and you are good for a week. That is of course if your partner will let you keep the meat in the fridge. Mine won’t!
So I do something else
I fill the freezer with as much as I can and I supplement this with a dry food. This is either freeze-dried raw food or cold pressed food.
Freeze Dried Raw Food is a superb substitute for raw frozen food. It is hideously expensive, but it saves the moans about me taking over the fridge and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge.
Second best after the freeze-dried is cold pressed dog food, these are normally grain free high-quality foods that have not been baked at the high temperatures thought to cause cancer in dogs. Again you can carry as much of this as you like in a locker, freeing up the fridge.
Whatever I am using, I make sure we introduce Jazz to it at least a week before we are away. In my opinion, you are doing right by your dog when feeding raw, and with a bit of planning and a little compromise with freeze-dried or cold pressed food there is no reason why your dog shouldn’t continue to eat healthy while you are on tour. And don’t forget you can always pick up meals at the supermarket wherever you are, home or abroad. Jazz loves raw chicken wings, and some of the high fat beef minces in the value supermarkets can be cheaper than the commercial raw dog food!