A Word On Types of Pet Food. Dogs, Cats, and Beyond!

Is the Cost worth the Shelf-Life for your Preps?



Go to the store and look St ingredients to the different dog foods. In brands you find in most grocery stores, the protein (chicken, fish, etc.)  is not in the top Five ingredients. This is because it is cheaper for them to use filler, which could be a number of things, than it is to use proteins. When I found this out my first thought was outrage, then as I thought about it it made sense coming from a corporation. 

However most brands of pet food you find in the grocery store fittings this category, there are some alternatives. Somewhere in the Isle these days is a cooler than has refrigerated pet food. This kind of food has great ingredients, can fit special needs for animals, and is easy to measure. The downside to this is the shelf life which is massacred in weeks to days instead of months to years. Great for now but not so great for prepping. As I have mentioned before there are freeze dried options that will last much longer and have great nutritional value, but a lot of times they are composed of 80% or higher just protein. In a short term emergency this is OK but anything beyond 2 weeks your going to need to supplement that protein!

If you don’t what will happen to your pets is what is referred to as rabbit starvation. That is when only protein is consumed resulting in an unbalanced diet, if not righted could result in a timely demise for your pet! Of course neither me, you, or any animal lover would want this to happen. Keep in mind the same can happen to humans so our food needs to be diversified as well.

So the price of a 10lb bag of grocery store brand dog food runs about $10. The same size bag of a specialty pet store type of food rubs about $15. That’s a 50% increase in price, is the nutrition really that much better? 

Remember our talk about ingredients. If the desired protein is not In the top 3 ingredients, i say “put it down!” I ask you, if you had to choose between a fast food burger, or a family owned burger stand for you to eat everyday, mon-fri for a year, even if the family owned burger was 200% more I guarantee you that you would choose it, if not at first, after 2 weeks no doubt in my mind. The reason? One is because of taste of course, the other is you know your getting something fresh, nonprocessed, and in your mind atleast, better for you. Think about this when choosing the pet food. Sure your pet might eat it anyway but for animals that’s the highlight of their day! You want them to enjoy their food as well as benefit from it.

Most of the more expensive brands tend to focus on taste as well as nutritional value. So I the end it’s worth the extra $5 a week for food, which boiles down to less than an extra dollar a day. When considering buying bulk pet food, check those ingredients!! And try to put yourself in your pets shoes when choosing their food. I constantly ask myself if the food looks appealing, if it smells at least not bad, and have I heard of others animals either liking or disliking it. 

Let me know in tge comments of any good bulk suggestions you know of. Most member places like Sams or Costco have only a couple types. Many places are focused on bulk human food, but not many on pets (as usual).

Prep Test # 5 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Food Trial (Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Flavor)

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

   When I first approached trying this food out I assumed it would be similar to the Rehydrated Food I tested before. I was Wrong! For one thing both of my dogs liked it not reconstituted. Pretty surprising because it’s very dry and doesn’t seem like it would be appetizing. However my dogs were literally jumping up to try and get it out of my hand!

    After i let them try it as is, i put the equivalent to half a days worth of “Patties” of food in their bowl and added the necessary amount of water. it took a long time to absorb the water and become ready for my dogs to eat making them run around anxious and whining for about 10-15 minutes! I thought they would reconstitute almost immediately but prepare yourself and your dogs to wait(You may need to hide and mix it up!).

Different Flavors

Different Flavors

   Our Pomeranian, Benny, did not like the food after it was mixed up. she preferred it dry but because she has a tiny mouth i had to feed it to her a little at a time. This would be a hard process if I had to do it everyday just to feed her. Dobby, Our Beagle, eat the entire bowl, a whole days worth of food for her, without even a second sniff, so I know that this wouldn’t be a problem for her if I had to feed this to her daily.

   Now I might try different flavors to see if Benny would it reconstituted. However I know that with the dehydrated food they both eat after I mix it up in about 5 seconds. When dealing with a survival scenario I would want something quick. The theme through everyone is that we don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done. If it takes me 20 minutes to feed my dogs… that kinda seems like wasting time to me. One thought about the rehydrated food though is I’m not sure if they are eating equal amounts, but being that the dogs are different sizes it might not matter. For your family situation definitely take this into account. for a long term event I would get another bowl and feed them separately.

This Patties are about 3 inches across

This Patties are about 3 inches across

For treats in long term Dog food storage though, these would be great! They contain a whooping 48% crude protein which is super high for dog food. I would recommend breaking the “Patties” into 4 pieces and then hand them over to your pets. If you do decide to use this as your primary food, Stella & Chewy’s recommends that you mix it with your current food for 7-10 to help make sure it doesn’t upset your dog or cats stomach. On regular food I would say 3 days is enough for them to get used to it, but with this brand being super high in protein I would follow this direction carefully.

I Break These into 4 pieces.

I Break These into 4 pieces

The Shelf Life for this food is about 18 months!! This is remarkably good for Dog food, which is usually 6 months for regular kibble and after a month or 2 gets stale really fast. My dogs will eat the food stale but it makes me feel bad to give them food that I know doesn’t taste good. The rehydrated food is about the same length making it easy to keep track of both. If you buy it at the same time. it should last for the same amount of time.

The Dehydrated Food I used before

The Dehydrated Food I used before

  Overall I like this food. This is the first Freeze Dried Dog Food that I have seen on the market, and the test went over pretty well. Both dogs eat it, 1 wet & 1 Dry. If it was the only food I had, I would mix up a bowl, Give it to Dobby, and while she ate that I would feed the dry pieces to Benny. That would get the job done the fastest while making sure they both had enough to eat. Again everyone’s pet situation is different so you want to do some trials with this type of food so you know weather or not you can solely depend on it if you had too. For me I would keep maybe 1/3 third Freeze Dried to 2/3 Rehydrated. With about 1 20lb bag of regular food to mix into the first few days of either type I decide to start with.

The Website for this food company is http://www.stellaandchewys.com/index.php

On there you will find all the feeding directions and flavors to choose from. You can also email them questions you have that are out of the box. They are also now releasing a cat food which I will test on my cat soon. I can go ahead and tell you though, my cat prefers wet food and with this much protein I’m pretty sure it will be a success. Making it my primary food for Cat Long Term Food Storage.

Follow the Motto and this is what You'll get!

Follow the Motto and this is what You’ll get!

Licked Clean!!

Licked Clean!!

Remember: Store what your Pets Eat, and they’ll Eat what you Store!!

 

Prep Test #4 – Pet Stamina w/ BoBs

How Far Can They Go???

Good sized Pack!

Good sized Pack!

   Now that you have made your B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag see earlier Post on making One!) the next step is to test it out. With no Apocalypse going on outside this might seem like a hard thing to do. But what I am talking about is a test on how long your pet can wear the BoB with all the contents in it! Sure you can cram in as many things as you want and I am sure need, but if your pet can’t physically carry the Bag then it’s No Good.

Link to How To Make a Dog B.O.B. ->  https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/dog-activity-1-dog-bug-out-bag-b-o-b/

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Just like for us humans, dogs can only carry a certain amount. There are many different Types and Sizes of animals so you will have to do a little research with either your specific breed or size. I know, I know, Research… but that is the best way to come across information you would have otherwise never thought to look up in the first place! Anyway, another way to do it is trial an error. Since during the Apocalypse this is the method we use, this is the approach I will use also.

If you follow the instructions in the previous post, that is designed for a 20 lb Beagle, and when I put it on her, she would wear it. But he was scared of the Velcro when removing the pack so I have to be sure it’s packed before I put it on her or else she lays down and Game Over. After that hurtle, she will walk around fine for awhile but gets tired after about 1/2 a mile. Usually this dog could walk into infinity so I know this is too heavy. I replaced the 16 oz water bottles with 8 oz ones and that did the trick. Water is by far the most heavy item in a Dog BoB. Because my dogs are small an 8 oz water a piece would get them through the day. Also we carry water in our Human Bobs and in storage so in a Bug Out situation our 72 hours are more than covered.

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Another thing you can do is switch to Dry food instead of Canned dog food. The canned food will last longer in regular types of pet food, but this pack is meant to get your pets from point A to point B Safe, Comfortable, but no in the laps of Luxury! Keep in mind that you also need to store things for your pets in a long term storage plan! That can seem a little overwhelming at first but it’s not nearly as hard as a Human Storage Plan. Food/Water/Treats/Toys/First-Aid are the essentials and most important. You would want to make the time periods match your human stores so everyone is on the same page. If you store 1 year of food for the people but only 1 month for the pets… your going to have a bad situation at some point. The same can be said in reverse too, but it would be the pets that are in the bad situation that time!

Once you have the weight right try it again. Now it should work like a charm and be comfortable for your Dog/Cat. Now the next step is getting them used to wearing it and then increasing the max Time/Distance on Foot they will wear this before they get tired. Practice, Practice, Practice!! The more you do the longer and further your pet will be able to wear their pack!!

Small First Aid Kit

Small First Aid Kit

Link to How to make a Pet First Aid Kit -> https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/dog-activity-2-pet-first-aid-kit/

After they are completely comfortable with their pack, so much they require it before you go on walks is a good indication, then you can play around more with the contents. do you find its easier for you to carry all the water and load your pets down with food and supplies, then you can modify that way. It’s really up to you on the changes you make as long as you use the items listed in the Dog BoB Post as a good starting point. a lot of good Pet first aid items I find at http://www.amazon.com if you sign up for their Prime membership you can get free shipping and put some things on a schedule to buy every month which gets you a good supply fast! But that’s talk for another Post.

Leave me a Comment!!

Leave me a Comment!!

If some of you have been doing this for awhile let me know how long/far your pets will go with a comment down below!!

Free Animal Education Online!! Great Starter Course!

There is a free Animal Welfare Course online @ Animal Welfare Course
This is a great course to learn to to receive rescue animals or how to approach abused ones! I’m definitely in! Free education is hard to say NO too

Dog Bones #5 – Love OR Treats? What Motivates your Pet?

What Motivates Your Pet?

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

 

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

 

 Sometimes your pet is going to Freeze or be scared to come to you because of obstacles. It is important you know how to motivate them quickly so you can get to safety in a crisis.  Knowing what “Makes them move” can snap them out of it and get them to you faster. In some of your home emergency drills overturn some chairs and setup a kind of course that is safe but definitely out of the norm for them. This will get them used to having to think as they go, and supplement their critical thinking. Also it gets them used to change!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

 

       Change to a dog sometimes is just as catastrophic as our house burning down because they are creatures of habit. This might be the reason they freeze but I would be willing to bet that fear is mixed in their as well.  Think about how horses are trained to jump over, or zigzag through barrels or hurdles. I bet they can maneuver quick in the woods or in an earthquake!  

Amazing Critical Thinking!

Amazing Critical Thinking!

 

      As shown above and you might know by now, I have 2 Dogs (Dobby & Benny).  Benny will do anything including shoving me down the stairs head first if I was in the way of her beloved Treats. She will eat as many as she can, then get sick, and eat another 20 (Hypothetically of course!). Upon going to Bed she dreams of mountains of treats, never ending morsels for her to devour! Dobby on the other hand wants most to be touched or to be laying touching you. she likes treats, but it is not something I would say motivates her. 

Benny's Dream Come True!!

Benny’s Dream Come True!!

 

     When Dobby was a puppy she snuck out of the house while i was bringing in groceries. I took about 10-20 minutes before I realized she was gone because I was putting up the food. My wife an I ran outside with toys and calling her name, we found her pretty fast. she was hiding under a bush right next to the front door! we took her inside and she cried a lot, howled even! we tried giving her treats but all she wanted was to lay on me and snuggle my neck and cry. To this very day she does the same thing all the time, when she wants to take a nap or just lounging. It bugs her to death if I am writing my blog lets say and she can’t lean up against my feet.

The Treat gets Him every time!!

The Treat gets Him every time!!

 

     So in a fire, for Dobby all I would have to do is make sure there was a path she could get through and she would come to me no problem. Benny might or might not, but if I was to pull a treat out of my pocket, she would run through the fire singeing her hair and tail with no second thought.  Dobby is our pack leader also though, and a lot of times Benny follows Dobby becuase she knows that is her place so in the pecking order of things we would all get out if we could.

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

 

    Knowing this ahead of time makes all the difference in the world. since I know how it goes my main focus would be on getting Dobby to come to me because Benny would follow. Together we would all escape and be happy. All I would need to be sure of is Dobby.  But what if me and Dobby go out first and I have to go back for Benny?? Then I would grab some treats on my way back or something that would make her think I have some! (Rocks in a plastic jar, when shaken does the trick)

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

 

    Between me and my wife, Benny is her responsibility and Dobby is mine. Obviously if only 1 person is home then we do both, and the cat comes back on me also. but working this kind of stuff out now keeps us from panicking when we really need to act. By having a task it cuts the fear and shock, and helps push us into React mode. Once again I am being shown that by taking care of our animals I am taking care of both my Wife and I at the same time. Who really is in charge anyway??