When traveling with your dog, there are a few things you want to look for with food and treat options when traveling with a dog. You want food that’s easy to dispense into the travel food bowl. You want food that won’t create a mess after your dog is through with it. You’ll want a bag or container that makes it quick and easy to get to the food but tough enough to not rip open while traveling. You’ll also want something that won’t smell bad—or cause your dog to smell bad.

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Travel Rules for Dog Food & Treats

This may mean a switch from your regular dog food, especially if your dog normally eats “wet” dog food. Wet food is susceptible to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids—the same rules that apply to your travel-sized moisturizers and other liquid-based travel essentials. There are no exceptions for prescription food or for service animals. So, if you don’t want to pack any other liquids at all, you can pack one clear quart sized bag with small (3.4oz or less) containers of wet dog food. Bring some wet food along as a special treat if you must, but we recommend sticking to dry food and treats while traveling. It’s easier, simpler, and cleaner.

For people traveling with their dog in the cargo hold, the rules are the same for the type of food you’ll want to buy and pack. The difference comes in with storage containers and the need to write out instructions for feeding your dog. Assume the worst and there’s an extended delay in which you have to rely on airline personnel to feed and care for your dog. Be as clear and as specific as possible when describing your dog’s feeding habits.

Buying Dog Food & Treats for Your Trip

Unless your dog is a frequent flyer, then you probably don’t need a lot. By making sure your dog is well fed before leaving for the airport, it probably only needs small snacks and treats to make the journey safely and comfortably. But just because you don’t need a lot of travel food for your dog doesn’t mean you want to skimp on quality. Buy your dog treats from a trusted source.  

Even the most even-tempered dogs can get a little stressed when traveling. You don’t want your pet dog dealing with food that is hard to digest or has poor nutritional value. We recommend buying healthy and natural dog food and treats, especially when traveling with your dog.

Often, your dog’s regular diet can be resumed at the destination. If you don’t have room in your checked baggage for extra dog food, you can scope out local pet stores and plan to make a quick stop once you get to your travel destination.

We think about dog treats in two ways: There are bones and other chewable treats that can calm and occupy a dog for hours, and there are tasty, bite-sized treats that can be used to reinforce behavior and show your dog affection. Bones are known to be more popular with larger dogs, but they also come in sizes more suitable for a small dog. We usually pack both types of treats in separate bags, but in the same carrier compartment as the food snacks.

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