Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can I Bring Dog Food on a Plane? A Comprehensive Guide

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Bowl of dog food inside the plane

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably love taking your dog on trips. There’s nothing better than seeing the world through your furry friend’s eyes. But before you head to the airport, you need to make sure that you have everything packed correctly – including their food! In this comprehensive guide, we will break down everything you need to know about bringing dog food on a plane. From what airlines allow it, to what types of food are allowed, we have got you covered. Let’s get started!

Divider 1-Dog bone- New

 

How Does the TSA View Dog Food?

Dog food is considered a solid food to the TSA and is regulated as such. That means that there are certain guidelines that you need to follow in order to bring dog food on a plane. The first thing to note is that all solid foods must be placed in a quart-sized bag. This bag then needs to be placed in your carry-on or checked luggage. It is important to remember that the TSA has the right to open any and all of your bags, so make sure that the dog food is easily accessible. If you follow these guidelines, you run into fewer delays, complications and headaches. Now that we know the basics, let’s dig a little bit deeper.

What Type of Dog Food Is Allowed on A Plane?

The type of dog food you can bring on a plane will depend on what form it is in. If you are bringing dry food, kibble, or treats, then you will not have any problems. However, if you are trying to bring wet food, canned food, or raw food, then you may have some trouble. The TSA has a strict policy against bringing any liquids or gels on a plane, and that includes some types of wet and raw pet food and its gravy or juices. Raw food presents its own set of challenges, as it needs to be stored properly to avoid spoiling. For that reason, it is best to leave wet and raw food at home and opt for dry food instead.

Cute dog in the window seat of plane
Image Credit: RyanTaylor, Shutterstock

Divider-Dog bone- New

 

Individual Airline Policies for Traveling with Dog Food

Southwest

Southwest does not have a specific policy on traveling with dog food, but they do recommend packing it in an easily accessible place and following the TSA guidelines for solid food.

Delta Air Lines

Delta’s policy is similar to Southwest’s, they do not have a specific policy on traveling with dog food but recommend packing it in an easily accessible place.

United Airlines

United requires that all pet food be packed in a quart-sized bag and placed in a clear plastic bag. The bag must be able to fit comfortably under the seat in front of you.

American Airlines

American Airlines has a similar policy to United, requiring that all pet food be packed in a quart-sized bag and placed in a clear plastic bag. The bag must be able to fit comfortably under the seat in front of you.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines does not have a specific policy on traveling with dog food, but they recommend packing it in an easily accessible place to avoid bothering other passengers and following the TSA guidelines for solid food.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue’s policy is similar to Alaska’s, they do not have a specific policy on traveling with dog food but recommend packing it in an easily accessible place in your carry-on.

 

What Are Some Tips for Traveling with Dog Food?

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what you can and cannot bring on a plane, let’s talk about some tips for traveling with dog food. The first thing to remember is that you will need to pack enough food for your dog to last the entire trip. That means packing more than you think you will need, just in case there are any delays. It is also a good idea to pack extra bags or containers, in case any of the food spills. Finally, make sure to label all your bags clearly, so that the TSA knows that they contain dog food.

Divider-Dog bone- New

 

How Will Airline Staff Feed My Pet?

If you are flying with a pet, the airline staff will need to have access to their food. That means that you will need to pack the food in a way that is easily accessible. The best way to do this is to put the food in a container that can be opened quickly and without making a mess. You may also want to consider packing two containers, in case one spills.

Can I Keep My Dog with Me and Feed Them Myself?

If you’re flying with a small dog, you may be able to keep them with you in the cabin and feed them yourself. However, this will depend on the airline’s policy. Some airlines allow small dogs in the cabin, but they must stay in their carrier at all times. Other airlines have more lenient policies and allow dogs to sit on your lap or on the floor next to you. Policies change frequently, so it’s important to double, even triple-check with your airline before you travel.

If you are planning on keeping your dog with you in the cabin, make sure to pack their food in an easily accessible place in a clear, quart-sized bag. That way, you can quickly grab it and give them a snack during the flight and the TSA can easily identify the bag’s contents.

Dog In Airplane Carrier
Image Credit: Cameron Cross, Shutterstock

Does the TSA Quarantine Pets at Your Destination?

No, the TSA does not quarantine pets at your destination. However, they may require you to go through additional screening if they suspect that your pet is carrying a disease. Additionally, the country you’re visiting may have its own requirements regarding quarantining pets.

What If My Dog Gets Sick While We’re Traveling?

If your dog gets sick while you’re traveling, the first thing you should do is call your vet. They may be able to give you advice on how to treat your dog and whether you should continue your trip. If you’re unable to reach your vet, there are some over-the-counter medicines that can help settle an upset stomach, like Pepto Bismol. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult a professional before giving your dog any medication.

Divider 1-Dog bone- New

 

Conclusion

Flying with a dog can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation, you can make the process as smooth as possible for both you and your pup. Make sure to pack enough food for the trip and consult your airline’s policies on traveling with pet food before you fly. If something does go wrong, have a plan B in place and know where the nearest animal hospital or vet clinic is located. Most importantly, relax and enjoy your trip!


Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database