I’ve been traveling full-time for nearly four years now (my four year anniversary is only a couple weeks away) and the whole time I’ve been on the road, my pint-sized, trusty pooch has been by my side. She’s gone running down Mexican beaches and slept under my chair in French cafes. She’s slept through probably over a hundred train, plane, or bus rides. She’s biked across France and walked to the top of several Swiss Alps. And in all she’s been to something like 16 countries in the process.
One of the most common questions I get when I mention that I travel with my dog is this:
How do you find dog food on the road?
The simple answer? I make it.
When I first started traveling, I bought and carried dog food, but Luna has a lot of allergies, some of which are food related, and after trying everything I could think of to eliminate them, I decided the only way forward was to start making her food from scratch.
So I spoke to my vet in Switzerland and we came up with a plan. We started with a few simple ingredients and slowly began adding more things and trying other ingredients to see what she had allergic reactions to and what she didn’t.
Very quickly I discovered that she’s allergic to chicken (and eggs) and grains and that she does really well with things like fish and lean ground beef.
And so the basic recipe I follow on the road, honed over many attempts to find things she likes and is not allergic to, is this:
Luna’s Road Trip Dog Food
Ground beef or tuna (depending what is easily available and affordable in whatever country we’re in)
Veggies (carrots, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and other veggies that are okay for dogs, depending on what is available where we are)
Pumpkin (when available)
It’s important to note that if I’m switching Luna from tuna to beef (or vice versa), I do so slowly, adding a little beef to the normal tuna meal and increasing beef and decreasing tuna over the course of a week or so. It’s also important to note that the reason I include pumpkin when I can is that it helps keep dogs digestively regular.
Finally, if you decide to make your dog’s food at any point, check in with your vet about portions and nutritional requirements. Luna’s diet is one I’ve worked on with my own vet, but I’m sure there are different recommendations for different dogs.
P.S. You can follow Luna’s adventures over at my travel blog if you’re so inclined.