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Guide to Dog-Friendly Foods at the Airport

Guide to Dog-Friendly Foods at the Airport

Being able to fly with your dog is one of the great benefits of modern air travel. But if you’re not fully prepared — or if your flight itinerary doesn’t go according to plan — you could end up with a hungry pup in a place with limited options for dog-friendly food. 

More than two million pets, including emotional support animals and service dogs, fly on commercial airlines in the U.S. every year. That’s a lot of animals, and a lot of opportunities for humans and their dogs to end up stranded due to canceled flights, missed connections, and other common air travel mishaps. 

So what is a conscientious dog owner to do? We’ve compiled a quick guide to dog-friendly foods at the airport, including what should be avoided and what some of your best options are when you’re in a bind. 

Here’s What Dogs Can Eat at the Airport

With so many restaurants and shops to choose from at airports, you do have some options for feeding your dog. Certain spots have pet-friendly menu items, such as Johnny Rockets’ “Dog Burger,” a plain burger patty cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Here are a few safe picks from some of the most popular airport food spots, plus tips for making each meal as dog-friendly as possible. 


Most airports have at least one McDonald’s on-site, and if you open the airport’s app or website, you can likely locate the nearest one. You’ll find a couple of protein-rich options here; just skip the side of fries to protect your dog’s delicate stomach. 

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich – Order without buns or toppings, so it’s just the chicken. 
  • Hamburger – A plain McDonald’s hamburger patty is a decent choice for hungry dogs. Just be sure to leave off the bun and all toppings, especially the onions, which are toxic to dogs in both their raw and cooked form. 

Chili’s Grill & Bar

Choose one of these dog-friendly options while you sit back and relax with an Awesome Blossom or Mississippi Mudslide for yourself.

  • Turkey Patty – The all-natural, 100% white meat turkey patty off Chili’s “Build Your Own Burger” menu can be enjoyed by your dog. For extra protein, ask if you can add a dry scrambled (no egg or oil) egg on top. 


“Eat Fresh” is always a good motto when it comes to your dog. While processed deli meat is not recommended for dogs due to high sodium levels and potentially harmful additives, you do have some other options. 

  • Egg & Cheese – You can order this staple off the Subway breakfast menu for your dog; just nix the toasted bread or eat it yourself. 
  • Veggie Delite – Customize a Veggie Delite sandwich into a dog-friendly meal by opting for just tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers, plus some cheddar or provolone for protein. Avoid vegetables that aren’t safe for dogs, such as onions and garlic, remove the bread, and you’re good to go.


This famous coffee chain is well-known for its “puppuccino,” but your dog-friendly options go beyond a cup of whipped cream. 

  • Rolled & Steel Cut Oatmeal – Plain oatmeal packs a healthy punch for dogs. To make it more exciting, add a dash of cinnamon and/or a tablespoon of whole milk.
  • Berry Trio Parfait – For this tasty trio, set aside the sweetened granola for yourself, remove about half of the berry compote, and then let your dog go to town on the remaining compote and nonfat yogurt. 

Panda Express

Dogs and sticky, sweet American Chinese food aren’t a good mix since the sauces tend to include sugar, which can harm your dog’s stomach, and spicy chilis, another no-go. That said, this chain does have one great option for our canine friends. 

  • White or Brown Rice – Cooked, plain rice is easy on a dog’s stomach, making it an excellent choice for airport eats. To make it a complete meal, pair it with protein such as a McDonald’s plain chicken or burger patty or a Chili’s fried egg. 

Gift Shops and Food Kiosks

You can find many dog-friendly food options at airport gift shops and kiosks if you know what you’re looking for. Some items to keep an eye out for include:

  • Single-serve unsweetened peanut butter packets (xylitol free)
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Plain yogurt
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Carrots and celery sticks
  • Plain popcorn

Focus less on feeding your dog a full meal at the airport and more on finding something to tide them over until you can get to their regular food. A full stomach isn’t ideal for flying anyway, and we’re sure your dog won’t mind skipping a meal if it means getting to try some novel airport treats.

Finding dog-friendly foods at the airport shops
Some airport shops may also offer dog-friendly foods to satisfy a small hunger before a flight.

Airport Foods You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog 

It’s always a good idea to carry some extra food for your dog when traveling, just in case. If you haven’t though, don’t fret. You can get creative and find something for your dog to eat, but it’s important to know what to avoid as you narrow your options. 

Airport foods that you should not feed your dog due to the risk of digestive upset, severe illness or death include:

  • Avocado
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Citrus
  • Onions, garlic, and chives
  • Mushrooms
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Baked goods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pistachios, walnuts, and pecans
  • Raw or undercooked proteins
  • Flavored waters
  • Caffeinated products

Beyond this list of no-gos, some airport foods may seem dog-friendly but contain ingredients that can be harmful to your pup if ingested. Always check ingredient lists, and do not feed any items containing xylitol (found in many sugar-free foods and certain nut butter), which can cause hypoglycemia or acute liver failure in dogs. You should also avoid items that are heavy in sugar, salt, or grease due to the risk of stomach upset. 

About the Author: The writing team at Service Dog Certifications is made up of folks who really know their stuff when it comes to disability laws and assistance animals. Many of our writers and editors have service dogs themselves and share insights from their own experiences. All of us have a passion for disability rights and animals.

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