Trail-Ready Nutrition: Fueling Your Dog for Long Hikes and Outdoor Excursions

Trail-Ready Nutrition: Fueling Your Dog for Long Hikes and Outdoor Excursions

When embarking on long hikes or outdoor excursions with your furry friend, it's essential to ensure they are properly fueled and hydrated for the journey ahead. Just like humans, dogs require specific nutrition to sustain their energy levels and support their overall health during physical activities.

What are the key components of trail-ready nutrition for dogs?

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are all essential components of a well-balanced diet for active dogs. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth, while carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy. Healthy fats support skin and coat health, as well as overall energy levels. 

On the trail

During breaks on the trail, offer your dog small amounts of water to prevent dehydration. If they aren't interested in the water they may not be thirsty or they might be too distracted by the environment. Try sitting down with them to help calm them, and then offer the water.

Avoid feeding your dog large meals right before or during the hike, as this can lead to digestive issues. Instead, opt for small, frequent snacks to keep their energy levels up without overloading their stomach. Consider packing portable snacks such as energy bars or treats specifically designed for active dogs. These snacks should be high in protein and easily digestible to provide a quick energy boost when needed. We love these ones by Ryoken Instinct.

Post Hike

Depending on the length and difficulty of the hike, it may be beneficial to offer your dog a slightly larger portion at their next meal. I like adding goats milk to Sophie's post-hike meals for the added hydration, calories, and inflammation reducing properties. A raw topper (frozen or freeze-dried) is an easy way to boost protein in your dog's meal.


By paying attention to your dog's nutritional needs and providing them with the proper fuel, you can ensure they have a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog's diet, especially if they have specific dietary requirements or health concerns.

Happy Hiking!

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