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Dog travel logistics: Feeding Chloe on the road

Photo by Jordan Batch

Back in December 2009, I wrote a post about how I’d jumped through a number of hoops to ship frozen raw dog food ahead of us on a trip we were taking. Chloe’s a picky eater, I explained, and I’d be flirting with disaster to rely on the other food she’s sometimes eaten (Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance rolls). My father-in-law assures me that no dog offered some form of food ever starved to death, but Chloe the Puppy seemed as determined as any cat not to touch food that offended her. When she first approved the raw food she now eats regularly, I just about wept with relief.

A couple of months ago, inspired by my blogging friends Jim McBean (Doggy Bytes) and Rod & Amy Burkert (Go Pet Friendly), I tried again with samples of Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated raw food. Jim and the Burkerts rave about the stuff, but Chloe rejected both Force (chicken-based) and Verve (beef-based). Picky, I tell you.

Imagine my surprise when, on a couple of recent trips, she polished off bowls of (1) reconstituted Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb freeze-dried raw food and (2) Taste of the Wild High Prairie kibble! Take it from me, I was surprised. I was also thrilled to death, because shipping frozen raw food isn’t easy and it’s wildly expensive.

The take-home lesson, no doubt, is that a dog’s preferences change over time, and that you should keep running alternatives past your picky eater. I’m just relieved that traveling with Chloe has become that much easier.

But what about dogs that make Chloe look like a lean and hungry scavenger? Blogger Helen Fazio wrote a post about traveling with very picky eaters — “the eaters of home cooked food, the dogs who need it hot out of a pot, the dogs who think kibble’s just a little pile of rocks” — and her tips for finding healthy food your dog will like on restaurant menus and in grocery stores are well worth a look.