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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.


  • Rod@GoPetFriendly

    Hey there! I am writing this post on a bench seat in our RV that is holding 6 boxes of dehydrated raw food from The Honest Kitchen. Each box weighs 10 lbs and hydrates to 43 lbs of food :O What can I say … it works for us, and Ty and Buster love it. Glad you found something that works for you, too. Happy waggin’ trails!

  • Jim (

    “…dogs who think kibble’s just a little pile of rocks”. What a great line, I may have to use it in the future. =D

    For dogs to be uninterested in eating the same kibble day in and day out for their entire lives, it’s completely understandable that they might become “picky”. Let’s say they catch a break and their guardian’s switch it up and get them a different “little pile of rocks”, how awesome, they still get to eat cooked, dry, nutritionally deficient commercial dog “food”.

    I’m probably going to take some flack for this comment, but I really believe that there is no such thing as a picky dog, if they’re eating a healthy and varied diet, which means, not kibble. In my opinion, people create picky dogs.

    I’ve said this on my blog, but when I first got Zeus, Sweety was already eating “raw” (since 2004), so Zeus was going to do the same, only it took him 3 days to figure it out. I think he’d probably never had “raw” before and didn’t know what to do with it. On the fourth day it was game on! If you could only see how excited my dogs get when they think it’s time to eat, and their excitement isn’t every now and then, it’s every day!

    To get back on the topic of your post, for most people feeding your pet raw while travelling just isn’t possible. Fortunately as you mentioned above, there are now dehydrated dog food options that in my opinion, are the next best thing to a fresh raw meaty bones diet.

    Thanks for the mention Mary-Alice. =D

  • Karen Friesecke

    Jersey, too, is a very picky eater. I used to have to bring a cooler packed with her homemade food when I traveled AND find a hotel that had a fridge in the room. It really was a pain in the butt and crossing the US border was a hassle, since beef is not allowed. Now, like Rod, I bring the Honest Kitchen RAW food and she seems to “tolerate” it 🙂

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