Tips for Feeding Pets on a Road Trip

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Although we deal mainly with human food here at The Kitchn, many of us travel with our pets when we go adventuring. Here are a few tricks and tips to keep your pup happy and healthy. 

This post will mainly deal with dogs, because cats will eat canned tuna at the drop of a hat. Dogs, however, can be finicky eaters when road tripping, resulting in an upset tummy and odd behavior. Keeping your dog's tummy happy is as important as your own, so here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Feed them minimal amounts of human food: Although Fido might finish off the last bite of your cheeseburger, he doesn't need one of his own, even if he gives you the sad face. 

  • Always have fresh water: Water at road stops can be hard to find or cost you $2/bottle. Carry your own and always have it available whenever you pit stop. Making sure they drink is the key to successful potty breaks and happy tummies.

  • Exercise creates hunger: It's hard to exercise your dog while you're driving cross country — dog parks aren't exactly available everywhere. But busting out a quick run or two with your dog around the gas station or rest stop will help their metabolism the same way it does yours. Plus, it means they'll be ready to snooze through the next leg of the trip. (They aren't as easily pacified with the iPad as human children are, so it's worth your time to break a sweat with them.)

  • Bring their food with you: Keep a container of their usual food with you to keep them on a normal routine. Make sure it's available when you stop and that you have enough for your round trip or that you've located places that sell it along the way. Road trips aren't the time to pick up something cheap just until you get home unless you want to deal with the digestive aftermath.

  • Bring tummy settlers: Although we said no human food above, there are some things, like canned pumpkin and yogurt, that can help settle upset tummies. They'll pacify a sick pup for a bit and also tone down dog gas (ew gross) which is very important business when you're in a confined area. You laugh, but don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about.
Do you have any tips for traveling with pets? Does your pet frequently go to grandma's house and enjoy the ride? What keeps them happy? Share your experiences below! 

(Image: Flickr member Ewan and Donabel licensed for use by Creative Commons)