Short holidays in your own country normally present no problem at all. The meat can be transported in a cool box which will preserve it for three to four days. Even if the meat is a little ‘off’, it can be fed to the dog without reservation.
The vegetables can be bought and processed fresh locally (remember not to forget the hand blender or the grater!) or they can be frozen and stored in the cool box. You could also feed baby food from little jars. This solution is a little more pricey, however. You will need to take the oils and supplements with you from home.
When on holiday, the meat should be transported in as large chunks as possible. Once meat is cut up into small pieces it goes off a lot quicker.
Trips abroad make carrying fresh meat a little more complicated. Due to certain unforeseeable events, the rules and regulations for importing foodstuffs can change very rapidly (for example because of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, bird flu or something similar).
Therefore you have to find out about any import restrictions that may apply to the individual countries before starting on your journey. This kind of information is available from embassies, consulates or tourist boards. If there is an import ban, it is best to buy fresh produce locally.
I’m admittedly a little lazy when I’m on holiday. I bring back sufficient amounts of potatoes and carrots, then boil and mash the potatoes as well as the carrots, and put the large bowl with the mash in the fridge. Then I take the daily ration for the dog, add fresh beef mince and a dash of oil and it’s ready.
Some days I get some bones for the dog which I buy locally. Because our holidays usually last a maximum of three weeks, malnutrition will not be a problem, if I make sure that I feed the dog a very varied diet once we’re back home, or even put him on a special spring diet for a week.
A healthy dog can also be fed on tinned and dried food during the holiday period. This is no problem at all. However, you should check beforehand whether your dog actually likes this food. Having said that, no dog has ever been known to have starved in front of a well-filled food bowl, therefore one would expect this problem to sort itself out after a few days. You should of course choose a good quality food for the ‘holiday food’.
If you use dried food, make sure that the proportion of grain is not too high. Interested dog owners will be able to get good advice from their specialist retailer.
There are tinned foods that contain 100 percent cooked meat. Read the information on the tin very carefully. If it says that the contents of the tin are not suitable to be fed as a sole food, you have to add vegetables and oils. In my view this is a good alternative for the most enjoyable time of the year. If the tinned food has been declared to be a sole food, the meat contains added ingredients. It is definitely not pure meat.
You can find out from the manufacturer whether it might be possible to get the ready-made food locally. This saves having to carry tins or sacks of dog food all the way to your holiday destination.