How To Fly With Raw Dog Food
Everything you need to know about flying with raw dog food in the United States.
WHAT TO EXPECT
~ Things To Consider & Plan When Traveling (By Airplane) With Raw Dog Food
~ Where You Choose To Lodge | Hotels For Raw Feeders
~ How To Pack Raw Dog Food For A Flight (Carry-On & Checked Bag)
~ How To Feed Your Dog Raw Dog Food During Your Trip When Traveling By Airplane
~ Products To Help When Traveling With Raw Dog Food
Flying with raw dog food may not be as complicated as you think. However, it can depend on...
Where you are going
How long are you traveling for
How you choose to make the food (homemade, pre-made raw, combination, etc...)
How much you feed your dog
FREEZE DRIED/DEHYDRATED. You can always choose to travel with a freeze dried or dehydrated raw dog food for traveling. Some great brands (not in preferential order, and we're not associated/affiliated with these brands) are...
WHERE YOU STAY MATTERS
HOTELS WITH A KITCHEN OR MINI FRIDGE.
We try to stay at hotels that have a kitchenette. It's a game changer! Some of our favorite hotels are (not affiliated)...
Staybridge Suites (*Travelier Favorite)
They are SO pet friendly, budget friendly, and have phenomenal rooms with kitchens. Once you experience it, you'll never go back! There are a variety of reasons having access to your own kitchen in a hotel/airbnb is SUPER convenient.
Most kitchens are equipped with basic cooking utensils, bowls, stove tops, etc...
Freezer is attached to the refrigerator- Having freezer access if you're away for longer travel periods is nice to store extra raw food in. Also, keeping the ice packs frozen.
Dishwasher available to clean any preparatory items used to make the raw dog food.
Almost all hotels have mini fridge access, you can store the food in the mini fridge (some places like Las Vegas, may charge for mini fridge use though).
Airbnb's/VRBO's are another great way to have a kitchen! Be sure to include your dog in the search filters, since not all AIRBNB/VRBO's are pet-friendly.
This one is easier if you're staying with family and/or friends. Always ask prior if it's okay to store your dog's raw food in their refrigerator.
*If you can't find a place to stay that has some type of refrigeration, I suggest looking into a dehydrated/freeze dried dog food for traveling.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE
CHECK THE STORE LOCATOR.
If your dog's food is shipped directly to your home, or you buy it at a dog supplies store, be sure to check the company's website store locator.
They may supply the food where you are traveling. ALWAYS call the store to ask if they have it in-stock. It may be out of stock, it's important to call.
CHECK WHAT GROCERY STORES ARE NEARBY & (IF APPLICABLE) MAYBE CONSIDER MAKING THE FOOD PRIOR TO TRAVELING.
Whether you make your dog's food from scratch, include homemade toppers, and/or a combination you can always pre-prepare it prior to traveling and/or you can make it once you arrive to your destination (more information on these options below).
TRAVELIER TIP If you shop at more "Organic" based stores like Whole Foods & Sprouts, search "Organic grocery stores [destination]" to help narrow your search!
TRAVELIER NOTE. We have done a variety of these options. We serve Olive a combination of pre-made raw, with homemade toppers. We've made the toppers at our destination, and also traveled with homemade toppers.
HOW TO FEED YOUR DOG RAW FOOD DURING A TRIP WHEN TRAVELING BY AIRPLANE
If you warm your dog's raw food with water, here are some options for warming the water...
Hot water from a sink.
Hotel coffee water dispenser (be careful they can be dirty).
Buy a travel kettle (*what we prefer).
If you're in a hotel with kitchen, use a stove top.
Ask a local Coffee Shop for a cup of hot water.
TRAVELIER TIP Never heat your dog's raw food in the microwave.
PREPARING FRESH FOODS.
If you're making your food from scratch and/or you like to include a homemade topper to your dog's raw food, there are plenty of great solutions!
Purchase the produce at a local grocery store
Make your own dehydrated topper
Pre make the food and/or topper, put it in a STASHER baggie, and pack it an insulated lunch bag.
Purchase a pre-made dehydrated toppers, Green JuJu is great company (not affiliated).
* If you choose to make the topper at the travel destination, these travel friendly gadgets make preparing the topper a million times easier.
PACKING RAW DOG FOOD FOR A FLIGHT
(OPTION 1) CHECKED BAG
This option is great for those who...
Are traveling to a destination that doesn't supply their raw dog food.
Prefer to bring and/or make their raw dog food/topper prior to traveling.
STEP 1 & 2
Get an insulated lunch bag (This lunch bag has kept our food safe & temperature controlled for at least 12 hours, it could have gone longer though).
Put two ice packs on the bottom of the lunch bag.
STEP 4 & 5
Place the raw food on top of the ice packs.
If you make homemade food, be sure the item you store the raw food in won't leak or spill.
The insulated lunch bag can fit 4 packs of Olive's frozen food & 4 ice packs (2 on top & 2 on bottom). Each pack of food contains 16 oz.
TRAVELIER TIP If you use a baggie to store the dog food, insert a piece of paper towel. This will help absorb any potential leaks in your baggie, making it an easier clean up. We love Stasher reusable bags, they're dishwasher safe & non-toxic.
Put two more ice packs on top of the food (see example below)
Pack it. Once it's all packed, put it in your suitcase!
WEIGHT. The total weight with the food and ice packs will vary, but we average between 6.5 lbs to 7 lbs.
(OPTION 2) CARRY- ON
This will be same as packing it in a checked bag, but the difference is you need to make sure it is readily available to be pulled out (the lunch bag, not the dog food itself) of your bag to go on the conveyer belt for the TSA X-RAY scanner.
AIRPORT SECURITY (interview from a TSA officer)
Dry, Solid, "Moist" Dog Food (dehydrated, freeze dried, raw-frozen or thawed)- No limit on how much you can bring.
Canned/Liquid/Wet Dog Food- Wet food must follow the TSA liquids rule for carry-on bags. There is no exemption for prescription dog food, including service animals.
For more information on TSA Security Screening Items, click here.
MISC. ITEMS WHEN TRAVELING W/ RAW DOG FOOD
ALCOHOL WIPES. To prevent the spread of salmonella and bacteria, bringing some alcohol wipes are a great way for an easy clean up. We love the Honest Alcohol Wipes!
DOG BOWL. This one is pretty obvious. We use bowls from Basis Pet!
INSULATED WATER BOTTLE. Having an insulated water bottle is great to have on hand to keep water hot (warming food), when you're around town and don't want to go back to where you're lodging to heat the food.
TRAVELIER NOTE. I tested for 24 hours the temperature of boiling water kept inside an insulated water bottle, see below for results.
MINI FORK. For stirring & mixing up the food together. It doesn't have to be mini, it is nice for traveling though.
DISH SOAP/HAND SOAP. Cleaning the bowl, utensils, and items in the hotel room (you can purchase this at your destination or bring it from home, your choice).
TRAVELIER NOTE. We bring our own because Olive has certain sensitivities to soap & cleaners.
SNOOD. If your dog has long/floppy ears, use a snood to help keep their ears back to prevent getting dirty.
VITAMINS/SUPPLEMENTS. Certain vitamins and supplements need to be kept at a cool/colder temperature, such as certain fish oils and pre & probiotics.
FISH OIL. We use Nordic Naturals fish oil, they have a liquid (refrigeration required) and a capsule (no refrigeration required). We opt to use the capsule fish oil when we travel.
PRE & PROBIOTICS. Pack just like the raw food.
Stay tuned, there will be a "Flying With Raw Dog Food Checklist" coming soon!
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain commissionable links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your trust and loyalty!