Traveling with your dog? Here’s how to feed them fresh food, according to one trainer

Golden retriever smelling bowl of raw food
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Traveling with dogs can be a minefield, with so much to think about from what to take, to making sure your dog can go to the bathroom, to feeding them.

The latter is something that can be really stressful. You want to stick to your dog’s usual diet and give them the best dog food, but how easy is it to do so? 

Well, certified dog trainer Melissa Goodman of Mission Pawsitive feeds her dog, Aspen, a fresh food diet, and in a recent Instagram post, she’s explained how she’s able to stick to it when she’s traveling with her pup. 

“It is possible to feed your dog fresh food while traveling,” Goodman explains, “And I kept Aspen on her raw diet during my 18-day road trip.” Meanwhile, she says that her advice can apply to cooked food diets, too. 

If you want to know how to travel with a dog and their food, Goodman says that for the first eight days of the trip, she stored the food, and plenty of long-lasting ice packs — you can use dry ice as an alternative — as well as food-based enrichment toys, in her client’s freezer, while she also bought freeze-dried food as backup, just in case. On her trip, this proved to be a good idea when the packaging for Aspen’s last two meals did get punctured somehow. As she says, “I try to be prepared for everything when I travel!”

Goodman explains that some hotels will store dog food in their freezer for you, too, if you ask, although she prioritizes booking hotels with freezer compartments in the room, or a dial that can change the temperature of the room’s fridge into a freezer.

“To maintain safe food handling practices,” she adds, “I bring dish soap to clean Aspen’s bowl after each meal and disinfectant wipes to clean the surface I prepare the food on. I add a little water for extra hydration, and serve!”

If you do decide to go down the route of serving your pup fresh food, Goodman’s advice will help you keep it safe to eat when you go away. Or, even if you don’t, it’s still worth taking her tips on board when it comes to freezing enrichment toys, for example. 

Want more canine travel advice? Here are 32 tips for traveling with pets, and here are the best travel destinations for dogs. Going cross-country, or further afield? Here’s how to travel with a dog by plane!

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.