Being in a new place can distract your dog from his usual routine, including eating dinner. Even if your dog is a seasoned traveler, they might still have a finicky appetite when eating away from home.
Luckily we have 10 tips for you to help encourage your pup to eat a full meal:
- Take a variety of foods to try.
In addition to bringing food that your dog is familiar with, bring at least once choice of delicious looking food that they have never had before. It may strike their fancy and get them to eat.
- Canned food is a usually a great choice when traveling.
There is a certain pungent aroma to canned food that dogs usually find tempting. This can be a great start to stimulating their appetite. As a bonus, canned food is easier to transport without worrying about bags splitting open or spilling en route.
- Try to hand feed your dog.
Hand feeding can give your dog the allure of treats with added comfort. Because of this, some dogs will eat anything that is hand fed to them. Try feeding first with the food they usually eat, then try something new if that doesn’t work. Lots of praise during feeding will also help encourage your dog to keep eating.
- Within reason, share your dinner.
Table scraps are usually a no-no, but if your dog won’t eat a thing, feeding your pooch some delicious people-food is a great motivator. As long as your plate isn’t too rich or buttery, try sharing with your dog, especially a little bread or vegetables soaked in the sauce from a main meat dish. This may be all they need to spark their hunger. If you’re not sure which part of your dinner is dog-safe, this list from CityLeash is a great guideline.
- Bring a pack of dry gravy to pour over their food.
This can be a great way to get them interested in their regular food, even if just for a few bites. Run the ingredients by your veterinarian – some spices and flavorings are not safe for pets and can make them sick. If you have time to pick some up, definitely use a brand formulated for pets.
- Try treats that will at least sneak a few bites of healthy food.
Although treats can be high in fat and low in nutrition, they are better than nothing at all. Try a tasty jerky or whatever is your dog’s “weakness” to activate his palate.
- Take your dog’s familiar dishes, toys, and bed.
Familiarity goes a long way in helping comfort anyone away from home, dogs included. Bring their usual dishes, blankets, and toys to help them relax. The familiar smell will help decrease stress and hopefully increase appetite.
- Stick to a familiar routine from home.
Your dog knows your routine, so if you’re usually early to rise with a pot of coffee brewing while taking them to potty, try to stick to that routine. Daily regimens help to relieve anxieties while in a new place.
- Use a little bit of powdered milk.
If nothing is working, sprinkle a small amount of powdered milk on her food or mix it in. This will help stimulate salivation and desire for food.
- Lavish your pooch with extra TLC and attention.
There is never a bad time for extra love and affection for your pet, but when they are particularly pensive or uneasy, there is no better time. Letting them know you’re a constant in the world helps ease them into the new environment and hopefully comfort them enough to eat.
Traveling with your dog can be an amazing bonding experience, but they may find it a little more stressful than you do. This can cause their appetite to fall to the wayside, but hopefully these tips to get your dog eating while away from home will help keep them fat and happy the whole trip long!