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RV Podcast Episode 77: The right food for you and your dog

| Updated Mar 2, 2016

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, we talk about food: The food we prepare and eat ourselves in our RV, and the food we serve our pets.

Plus, we have a whole bunch of listener comments and questions, tips on finding the best deal for an RV, RV News, the RV Calendar and an Off-The-Beaten-Path Report.

Mary Jane Curry, the new RV recipes writer for the blog, is our special guest. And Jennifer has a special report on the need to very carefully select the food we serve our pets.


Complete Shownotes for Episode 77 of the Roadtreking RV Podcast follows. To jump directly to that part of the podcast, just click the time hyperlink:


This tip is a long one and it has to do with proper feeding of our pets and it comes from Bill and Peggy Bechtell, who recently wrote us to congratulate us on the addition of Bo, our now three-month-old Norwegian Elkhound puppy. Since well over half of all RVers travel with pets, we figure this will interest many. [spp-timestamp time=”6:21″]

Anyway, here’s the note from the Bechtells:

“We love to listen to your podcasts and met you both in Montana last year, the day before Jennifer went to the hospital. I wanted to warning-signrecommend, ‘Taste of the Wild’, dog food for your new dog. We had a beautiful Labrador who was given three months to live. We took her to a holistic vet recommended by the oncologist. She changed her food to the above, and gave her supplements, which allowed her to live two and a half more years. The changes in her coat and energy due to the food were amazing. Any dog food that has, “meat by products”, as an ingredient is made from some pretty disgusting things, sometimes even including euthanized dogs and cats in the country from the SPCA, and veterinarians, road kill, and animals too ill for us to eat. So, our pets are eating cancer and flea and tick medications. I verified this with a friend that works at the SPCA, a veterinarian, and a nationally known dog trainer.”

That is quite the revelation isn’t it? We spent a couple days researching this and found that while the pet food industry as a whole denies the part about euthanized dogs and cats being used, some pet foods indeed do contain them. In the shownotes, Here's a link to just one of many such reports we found that quotes a top industry expert saying as long as it says the food is from meat by-products or meat meal, there’s no way to know and, he claims, even dead dogs and cats are considered a source of protein. Disgusting!

The fact is almost all the major pet food manufacturers do sell food made with meat by-products, which is a rather vague term that indeed has some pretty disgusting things. So our decision is never choose a food that has such a vague term.

Mike and I have learned that human food with GMOs and additives and chemicals is not good for us and is linked to lots of our chronic diseases. So it figures that pet food, made under even more questionable regulatory standards, also contains bad stuff.

In fact last year on an RV trip, our previous dog, Tai, became very ill with pancreatitis. A wonderful vet we found in Georgia had us show him the food we were feeding him, a well-known national brand. The vet showed us how high it was in fat content. The ingredient label showed the minimum fat content of about 16%, as I recall. It hardly ever shows the maximum, the vet explained, which often exceeds 50-60% and, in Tai’s case was a direct cause of this life-threatening disease. We got him on a lower fat dog food and he immediately improved.

tsteofwildThe pet food industry is very strong and while I don’t want to pick a fight with them, let me say we have sought out a quality grain free dog food made with quality meats, low fat and lots of protein. We ended up choosing the brand the Bechtell’s recommended, Taste of the Wild. We got ours from Amazon but have since found a local pet store that carries the brand.

Anyway, my tip to you is check the ingredients in the food you feed your pet. Like the food we eat, we want only the best for our pets.

Sources of info about what’s really in pet food:


Debbie asks about Roadtrek’s new owners [spp-timestamp time=”10:33″]

Another listener named Debbie gives a great recommendation to go to Alaska [spp-timestamp time=”12:46″]

Reader Chris shares his summer travel plans [spp-timestamp time=”18:23″]

Jim asks for some tips on shopping around to get the best deal in an RV [spp-timestamp time=”19:46″]

And listener Mark asks for Mike’s recommendations on photo editing software and a laptop [spp-timestamp time=”24:50″]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.


RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: I75 closed by rockslide

Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi says motorists should be prepared to use alternate routes for weeks to come. A TDOT site indicated Tuesday that the road would reopen by March 21. [spp-timestamp time=”32:53″]

Nagi said the long closure is needed to give workers time to clean-up the slide and stabilize the area, making sure it is safe.

rocksldeMotorists traveling I-75 South can take Exit 160 (Jellico). Follow US 25W / SR 297 West to SR 63 South, and then re-enter I-75 South.

Motorists traveling I-75 North can take Exit 134 (Caryville/Lafollette). Follow US 25W north to Lafollette, continuing to Jellico, and then re-enter I-75 North.

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde… the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat – providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Mileage Tracking Apps

Keeping track of how much you drive is important, whether for personal information or for business and to claim as a tax deduction at the end of the year. [spp-timestamp time=”37:28″]

This week I have three for you to consider.

MileIQ allows you to distinguish if trips are personal or business with one swipe. It uses your smartphone’s GPS to track miles accurately. Probably the coolest feature of MileIQ is the ability to instantly see how much you have racked up in tax deductibles. The app is free to use for your first 40 drives of a month and $5.99 a month if you go over that. It’s available for iOS and Android.

MileBug uses your phone’s GPS to track and map your drives. It, too, makes it easy to classify drives as business or another purpose. MileBug also uses less battery power and makes it easy to email reports to you or your boss for easy recordkeeping of mileage. The app is $2.99 for iOS, Android, and Windows.

TrackMyDrive has a simple user interface but offers all of the features you would expect from a robust mileage app. It runs in the background and automatically detects all of the drives that you make. Or you can enter them manually. You can then save info from your trip or drive and mark it as business, personal, or make a custom category. The iOS app is free for the first 10 trips of a month or you can pay $8.99 for a year’s worth of unlimited trips.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

galaxy7Looking for a phone that can keep up with your mobile lifestyle? The Samsung Galaxy 7 or Galaxy 7 Edge may be just what you’re looking for.

Now available for pre-order on Verizon, the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7 was made for adventure and is revolutionizing the way consumers use their smartphones.

  • It’s water resistant. TheGalaxy S7 has an IP68 rating and repels splashes, spills and even dunks.
  • It takes brighter, better, faster photos.The Galaxy S7 also has a dual–pixel camera with faster, more precise autofocus and a new low–light sensor for better photos.
  • You can stay powered longer. Fast, wireless charging lets you power the Galaxy S7 from 0–100% in virtually no time. And with Samsung Galaxy’s biggest battery, the Galaxy S7 gives you power to keep going even on those extra long days.
  • And, you never have to worry about running out of memory space again.The phone’s 32GB memory can be expanded up to six times with a 200 GB microSD card. That’s the equivalent of 50,000 songs, 130 movies and 200,000 photos!

There’s never been a better time to switch to Verizon. For a limited time, you can receive up to $300 when you trade in an old smartphone and activate a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on a device payment plan.

If you purchase a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge on device payment at, you’ll also be eligible to receive a free Gear VR or Gear S2.

For in-store transactions, you’ll be eligible to receive a free Gear VR and get $100 off Gear S2 with a new 2-year activation.

Isn’t it time you joined the nation’s most reliable network?


We’re just a coupe of weeks away from the big Family Motorcoach Association’s 2016 Family Reunion, a huge gathering of motorhome owners in Perry, GA, March 17-20. [spp-timestamp time=”43:37″]

perry_agricenter1Jennifer and I will be there and presenting two seminars: The first is called “Serendipity Travel with the Wendlands,” which details the way we travel in our RV with no reservations and stopping and sightseeing at random along the roads we travel. It will be on Friday, March 18, at 11:30 in Seminar Room 4 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.

The second seminar will be “Living in a Type B Motorhome” and talk about how two people and a dog have happily lived and traveled over 100,000 miles over the past four years in a Class B motorhome. There’s a lot of interest in Class A and Class C owners in downsizing and we’ll talk about what it’s like. That seminar will be held Saturday at 11:30 in Seminar Room 2.

In between times, we’ll be hanging around the FMCA booth The FMCA Membership booth, in the Miller-Murphy-Howard building at the gathering or camped out with a bunch of Roadtrek owners in a special area of the campground. Come look us up and say Hi.

There’s one other big event occurring those same days, March 17-20. And it’s in Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium. It will feature all small motorhomes from all the major manufactured, new and used Class B motorhomes. The event is sponsored by LeMesa RV in Phoenix. Call them for details.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT –   The National Naval Musecum in Pensacola, FL

Listener named Mark was so excited by his visit that he phoned in this report from the road after visisint the National Naval Aviation Museum[spp-timestamp time=”49:19″]

navalhistorymuseumIt is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. Share the excitement of Naval Aviation’s rich history and see more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on its 37-acre grounds.

There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay all day! Admission is free! Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s. For more information, call 1-800-327-5002.

INTERVIEW – RV Cooking and food preparation

Mary Jane Curry
Mary Jane Curry

Our guest is Mary Jane Curry, the new RV Recipies writer for our RV Lifestyle Blog. [spp-timestamp time=”53:04″]

Mary Jane and husband Jeff love RVing and travel in a 2013 Roadtrek RS Adventurous motorhome. She is a Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant and Registered Nurse in Emergency and Occupational Medicine, and is nearing retirement and has great enthusiasm for the travels and adventures awaiting.

Her love of food science and food presentation led her to pursue a secondary career about 10 years ago when she became a certified Personal Chef and owner of Custom Cuisine in Southern California.

She received her training and certification through the United States Personal Chef Association, an organization with Personal Chef membership in both the US and Canada. She plans to share many recipes here for RVers!

Mary offers lots of practical meal planning, preparation and cooking tips in this intervew.


Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-03-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “RV Podcast Episode 77: The right food for you and your dog”

August 29, 2017at11:26 pm, Kelly Staples said:

While I’m glad you’re interested in feeding your dog well you should really stick to subjects you’re expert in, and not be recommending dog food just because some non-expert reader suggested it! Very disappointing. TOTW sold out to Diamond Foods a few years ago and is far from the best dog food. Not only is Diamond a huge corporation with questionable practices and ingredients, but they’ve had recalls for such. Furthermore, the synthetic vitamins they add in order to give some semblance of nutrition can be toxic and are sourced internationally, frequently from China. Please don’t mislead your readers who trust your opinions. Dog food is a deep subject that even dog food bloggers don’t get right and it changes all the time. If you want to recommend anyone you might want to direct readers to or even written by holistic DVM vets, even though they’re fanatical about raw diet, which I don’t subscribe to, they have the best informative articles on anything you can think of.

March 07, 2016at8:21 am, Dan said:

What a lot of people don’t realize is that the majority of dog food produced in North America comes from only three large manufacturing plants. His, middle, and low-end brands are all produced in the same plant. Cross-contamination can and has caused problems. I always recommend people do a search for their food of choice along with the word “recall.” I have no experience with Taste of the Wild, but I see it is manufactured by Diamond and has been recalled in the past for various issues. We used to feed our dogs a high end food produced by Diamond, but after it was named in a Diamond recall we started to do some research. We found a small, family-owned company in Mequon, Wisconsin called Fromm Family Foods. Fromm is one of the few pet food companies that has never had a recall. They have been in business since 1904. They grow and raise the majority of the products used in their pet foods right on their own farm. They also have their own manufacturing plant which I believe you can tour. Only Fromm food in produced in the plant. Since switching to Fromm, our dogs (and cats -sorry Mike!) have had no food-related illnesses. We used to have ear issues with our dogs when on the Diamond produced food – that cleared right up after switching to Fromm. I have no connection with Fromm other than being a very happy customer. Just wanted to pass on this information to you and your fellow Roadtrekers.

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