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!!

 

Pet Prep Sales on Sites! Happy Pet-PrepTember


Hopefully everyone is having a great Preptember! Getting lots of plans made and supplies accumulated. A lot of websites are having sales for this month to help everyone add to their preps. Some of the websites are:

http://www.beprepared.com – I use this site all the time to by my supplies. They carry a Wide variety of things and have many many submenus to go exploring in. I highly recommend them and usually they will have a free shipping option for orders over a certain amount.

http://www.preparednessproducts.net – This another good site that has not only good products but good information. They offer free shipping on all orders no matter the amount purchased.

http://www.survival-goods.com – I Love this site because you can order individual items and make your own kits easily and get what you want, and only what you want. A great site for developing both Dog Bobs & Human ones. They have weekly sales on different items and you can shop whats on sale each week and get a great supply cache without spending a lot in one purchase. Also if some of your gear, or parts of your gear, break this is the site to get those parts!

http://www.grainger.com – A great site for bulk orders! if you need a palette of something then this is where you want to go. They use FEMA as a guide line but they also expand from that. If you were making kits for your family members or friends this is a great place to save money and fulfill everything on your list, or the list your friend got from the FEMA website.

http://www.sosready.com – This site has a lot of cool gadgets that are hard to find as well as the swedish knifes like the Fireknife.

http://www.stellaandchewys.com – This site features freeze-dried food for both dogs and cats. I have purchased some of their products and briefly tried them with my dogs and they love them! Look for a Review Coming Soon in the Prep Tests section of posts.

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com – This is the home page for The Honest Kitchen. They specialize in Dehydrated Dog/Cat food. I did a review on this food and my dogs couldnt get enough. I have tried a total of 3 flavors and each one was devoured in under 2 minutes! great shelf life and favorability, at least in my house.

Check these sites out for great deals during this month! Preptember is a great time to bulk up your preps for a great price. Keep in mind though, you don`t need to go into debt just to get these deals. A lot of the sites offer free shipping outside of this month.

Remeber – TEST YOUR PREPS & STORE WHAT YOUR PETS EAT, AND THEYLL EAT WHAT YOU STORE!!IMG_0011.JPG

Prep Test #3 – Stella & Chewy’s Taste Test!

     Freeze-Dried Vs Dehydrated

I Break These into 4 pieces.

I Break These into 4 pieces.

 

 This food is a freeze-dried from Raw food, and is extremely high in protein. You can break this down into almost a powder form and sprinkle it on top of your dogs normal food or you can feed them only Stella & Chewys. Unlike with the Dehydrated food you don’t have to add water or change the composition in any way before serving it to your pets.

Different Flavors.

Different Flavors.

        Keep in mind that this type of food is extremely high in protein, and to make sure and not overfeed your animals. a normal kibble food is about 25% Protein, and Stella & Chewys is closer to 55%!! That’s almost more than double the protein! This is great for really active dogs, and for use when your hiking or camping when your pet would need a good boost. If your pet mostly stays inside or is not very active then i don’t recommend using this food by itself. Your pet could gain weight really fast, which could be good or bad depending on your situation. When rescuing an animal this food is great because it can get them lots of nutrients quickly, and the taste is great!

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

       One of the most beneficial aspects of this food is the shelf life. while most kibble is about 6-8 months before it goes bad, and wet food is much less time than that, Freeze-Dried is over a year!! Dehydrated lasts a long time as-well but not quite as long as Freeze-Dried. This is awesome for your Pet Long Term Storage, think about it like human freeze-dried food. it takes up a lot less space, very high in nutrients and is pretty tasty. You can mix and match, a little Freeze-dried mixed with kibble or even dehydrated food and you’ve got a balanced tasty meal! 

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

       I took a Biscuit and split it into 4 pieces and let my dogs try it as a treat. they gobbled it up and wanted more! Again this food is really high in protein so keep that in mind if you switch to this as your primary food, or as a primary treat. For me personally i use this for about 30% of my Long Term Pet Food Storage, and as an occasional treat. This is a great company and they are expanding to more flavors/products and im very excited (My Pets are Also!!) about trying all the different products.

      So get a little bag and try it as a treat first, remember to Store What your Pet Eats and they’ll eat what you Store for Them!! They also make a frozen kind, I haven’t tried that yet, but for Long Terms storage I don’t think it would be as good as the Freeze-Dried for Longevity.

Prep Test #2 – Dehydrated Dog Food Trial

Store what your Pet eats, and It’ll Eat what you Store!

Nutrition info & Recipie

Nutrition info & Recipie

This is The Box Front

This is The Box Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        I stumbled upon this type of food in a family owned dog store called Dog City Bakery. What attracted me to this food was the long storage life. The “best by” date was over a year, meaning it could probably last sealed for 2.

This Green Made me think my Dogs wouldn't Like it.

This Green Made me think my Dogs wouldn’t                                     Like it.

 

         You mix 1 cup (trial size packet) with 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water. It turns a green color when you mix it up which at first I thought my dogs wouldn’t like. Let it sit and “Hydrate” for 5 minutes before serving to you dog! I recommend mixing the whole thing in their food bowl.Powder first, add water then mix. After that it’s all ready to enjoy!

I've Never Seen them Eat this FAST!!

I’ve Never Seen them Eat this FAST!!

 

          As you can see my dogs devoured it in under a minute! I was blown away by their acceptance of it along with the fact they seemed to Love It! Usually Dobby (Beagle) Is very apprehensive when it comes to food or treats for that matter. Now Benson (Pomeranian) Will eat anything and everything you give her. Something to keep in mind when thinking about long term dog food.

Licked Clean!!

Licked Clean!!

 

         Further tests will be done to see if they stay this excited a second, third and forth try but for now I’m completely impressed, and will add this to my Dog Food Storage Plan. While I will be adding this I am not going to completely switch over to a months supply of it. Just like us humans like variety, so do our animals. I have a feeling that my animals would eat this food no matter what, but AGAIN time will tell.

        Now I understand switching foods abruptly can be hard on a pets stomach. The method I use to prevent this problem is have one main food, and always use that. I mix into it maybe 1/4 new kind and 3/4 regular food. This allows variety along with easy of digestion. Adding variety to the pet food should really be thought about mostly for food stores over 1 month! You won’t have to, and shouldn’t mix and match their food all the time. Remember most animals are creatures of habit and like routine. Every once and awhile a little variety they do enjoy.

Kibble fun

       If you split up your Dog Food Storage into 2 or more types/brands of food you can mix them when you switch totally from one kind to another. Do a half and half mix when you get down to about a weeks worth remaining of your first brand. This accomplishes the same ease to the pets stomach as mentioned before. On top of that it gets them used to, and liking it on a daily basis while still having something they are used too. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of your pet not liking their new food at first (or at all) when they have no choice, adding stress to you and your furry friend!

Moving that Bowl around!

Moving that Bowl around!

 

    As always too, Test Your Preps!! this is very important concerning the issue of food. For both kids or pets, or spouses for that matter. Make it a couple of times and let them try it before you buy a 6 month supply.

    Like you do with your regular Food Storage: Store what your Pet eats, and it’ll eat what you store for it!! Depending on the type of animals you have this can vary on general length their food stays good. Where bagged dog food can last up to a year give or take, the dehydrated/freeze dried (haven’t let my pets try yet), 2 or so, that’s about as far out you can go without doing an extreme method to preserve the kibble.

Have more than one kind

Have more than one kind

 

     I keep about 3 months worth of food for my dogs and cat at a time and rotate. I use a holistic kibble food that I keep in sealed containers when opened. The unopened bags are sealed Mylar that the brands comes with. I tend to rotate through it in plenty of time, months before it expires.

    The dehydrated food would be a great addition to Bug Out Bags because such a small amount can make a lot, and it’s easy to ration out if you need to. You could carry 5 pounds(that’s the weight after you re-hydrate it with!) of it in a human pack and almost not notice it 1-2 bottles of water and you now have 5 days at 1 pound (Enough for both my Dogs 30lbs combined) per day!! That’s pretty incredible!

The Honest Kitchen has more than a couple Flavors to choose from.

The Honest Kitchen has more than a couple Flavors to choose from.

 

    Thinking about that makes me consider how much space I could save using this for a long term supplement. I would recommend not using it for more than half your total storage unless you regularly feed it to them already. Again – Store what your Pet eats, It’ll eat what you store!