Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Bags for carrying dog food


Anyone know how much food to pack for a dog? Is there an oz per pound per day recommendation? What about water? 

Also, how do you carry your dog food? Anything that would fit in a bear vault with other food? 

I am currently looking at dry bags 1-2L in size, anyone try this? 


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
2 Replies

Hey there, @HoughtonLikeTheLake!

These are some great questions!

There are a lot of factors that come in to play when packing food and water for your dog. While specific needs are going to vary highly between dogs, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning a trip:

  • How active is your dog? If you've got a highly active and energetic dog, you can probably pack a similar amount of food per day that you would feed them at home. If you're dog is going to be using a lot more energy on your trip than they normally would at home, you'll want to think about adding more food per day. Personally, I add just a little bit more and the supplement with some extra treats as a reward for a good day on the trail.
  • If you're in an area with ready water available I find that my dogs are good to drink as they go and do a good job hydrating. Generally speaking, per day a dog needs about an ounce of water per pound of weight. Obviously, as activity levels (or temps) rise, that number goes up. If I'm unsure of how much water will be available on a day hike I try to pack a 32 ounce nalgene bottle with water for each of my dogs. I also use a collapsible bowl so I can pour any unused water back in the bottle. It prevents wasting water (they both can drink from a pouring bottle, but a lot gets spilled) and it also allows me to see how much they are drinking.
  • When doing an overnight or longer trip, I typically put it in a ziploc bag and then inside and odor proof bag. I also pack and empty ziplock and odor proof bag to pack out their waste as well. This helps keeps things organized, clean, and separate from all the other food and gear I have.

I haven't used a dry bag, however, I could see how that could make a lot of sense. You'd want to make sure you designate that as the dog food bag as I don't think you'd want to use it for any other purpose after filling it with dog food though!

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@HoughtonLikeTheLake we typically pack the same amount of dry food we would normally give our dog (and English lab) for each day we are camping, although she typically eats less of it in the mornings and more at night. She is pretty excited to be camping and doesn't have time to eat in the morning - too many new things to sniff. Whenever I stop to snack I also give my dog some snacks as well (smoked salmon skin and cheese mostly). I usually pack her food in smaller cat food bags that we save. They are typically more puncture resistant than ziplocks and it gives them another purpose instead of going to the landfill. A bonus is that on the last day of camping we have a robust trash bag that we can put everyones trash in. We typically hang all our food, so I don't have to worry about it all fitting in a bear vault.