Simple travel snacks for Fido
Traveling with your dog? Here are some strategies for keeping his tummy happy and your stress in check.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Northwest travel guides
Hitting the road with Rover in tow means additional challenges when it comes to both treats and helping your dog navigate certain situations successfully. Since it’s difficult to pack an entire canine grocery store, having a few snack tricks up your sleeve will help reduce the logistical stress.
Timing: Morning meals provided by hotels can come in handy when traveling with your pet. I’m particularly fond of the continental breakfast bars, since they have a number of grab-and-go items I routinely use to supplement canine treat needs while on the road with our Labrador. When she needs distracting, a napkin-wrapped bagel half or English muffin tucked into my purse can last for some time if I feed it to her in pieces. It’s all about giving her something else to focus on besides the child’s ice cream cone she sees walking by at mouth level.
Condiments: The most flexible pet item on the hotel breakfast bar by far is the stash of peanut butter tubs. I recently ran out of the peanut butter we brought with us on a road trip, and needed something to fill her Kong toy with so she’d settle down while we finished up with some online projects. With the nearest grocery store an inconvenient distance away, I snagged a couple of the nut butter servings when I went down for coffee. One was used right away, while the other was saved for later use.
These tubs can also come in handy if you need to make canine travel meds more appealing. Some dogs only need medication for their nerves on the road, and aren’t used to swallowing pills on a regular basis. If that’s the case with yours, anything that makes the pills taste better can speed up the process dramatically.
Shape: If you don’t want to constantly be digging for hand sanitizer in between treat sessions, choosing rod or stick-shaped treats can be a huge help. You can hold one end while your pooch grabs the other, reducing exposure to mouth fluids. My dog is partial to the Fritos spiral-shaped corn chips, but other snacks are equally effective. Pretzel sticks, rod-shaped dental chews and even crunchy Italian breadsticks from an outdoor cafe can get the job done.
Windows: Take-out windows, chain drive-through menus and even food trucks often offer the simplest solution to dining with your pet on the road. There’s no need to hunt down a place with something stronger than a bistro table if you have access to a concession truck and a park bench. As a bonus, you can share your fries with Rover and have an instant place to romp afterward when “business” needs to get done. Similarly, when you are grabbing coffee and a breakfast sandwich from the car, Fido will feel included if a doughnut hole treat happens to make its way into his mouth.