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!!

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??  

      

Dog Bones #4 – Pets & Heat!!

Pets Overheat Fast!!

 

 Recently at my home we had the AC unit go out for the house! Luckily we got it fixed within 48 hours but during that time the house got up almost to 90 Degrees!! We had all window/doors open and many fans ablowin’, but we couldn’t get it below 80. This made me think about our animals and how Hot is TOO Hot for them. Depending on the animal and size this is going to vary from house to house but here’s some info I’ve Found:

Great Chart to Follow!!

Great Chart to Follow!!

 

 Dogs: max Temperature their body can handle is 109. Now that sounds like they would be ok anytime but the reality is they have FUR! it its 80 Degrees add another 10-15 degrees and that’s what your Furry Friend is feeling. this being said the max temperature for them inside would be 90 degrees, any hotter than that get them to a cooler place!

Rise in Temp by Minutes

Rise in Temp by Minutes

 

       If your dog goes beyond that, they will have a heat stroke. signs to look for are panic, tacky gums, and passing out. To alleviate this or keep it from happening, get the dog to some shade then apply water to their Ears, Arm Pits, Mouth, and fur. Keep them in the shade and continue to apply water to them, but make sure its not ice cold, or they will vomit if they drink to much!!(same goes for humans). 

This Cat seems To Like it Cold!

This Cat seems To Like it Cold!

 

 Cats: Surprisingly with cats, even though they have a lot of fur, they can survive in heats of upto 95+ for extended periods of time and they are fine!! Being descendants of Desert animals cats can take heat much higher than dogs. Now that doesn’t mean they are completely immune but general rule i use is, if my dogs are O.K./The Cat is too!! This has always worked for me through the years.DogHeatStroke

 Bottom Line:  If your home wont go below 95 Degrees get your animals out immediately. Cat or Dog, Reptile or Fish, I advise relocating any of them in these temperatures. We oved our animals to a bedroom with a portable AC unit and everything was fine. Oddly the cat would leave the room a lot and hangout in the super hot part, To each their own. While this time was scary for me and my wife we got it fixed and didn’t experience Pet Heat Strokes first hand. If you do, afterward take them to the vet just in-case. I know it can be expensive but a heat stroke could cause internal damage that you wont be able to see.

This article was about heat inside a home. Never put your pets in a car in the summer, Windows up or not and leave them unattended. A car can go from AC cool to 100 Degrees in Minutes. If you thin your just going to run inside for a minute, think again. Either leave them at home or LEAVE THE CAR ON!!!!.

Dog/Cat Activity #3 – Making a Plan

Make A Plan! 

Plan

           Sometimes, and all us preppers do this, we do a lot of learning and reading but we forget to make a plan.  All of our hard work and long nights gets applied when we start making a list of the things we need, a plan to evacuate with our family & Pets from a house fire, and having everything ready to go. Now I know that being prepared is an on-going process, but you need to at least put down the basics of what actions you would take in case of an emergency & share them with the whole family. It doesn’t do any good to make a plan, organize your preps, and then when the emergency happens, everything gets left behind because you weren’t home, and no one else knew what to do!

           Here are a few simple steps to get you setup for success! Remember you can go far and wide with making a plan, getting as super detailed as you want, but getting started is the most important part.

List

  1. Bug Out List – I know what your thinking, “We did this for our Dogs BOB already” but this list is about which bags to grab, which color bag goes with who, and how to pack your Long Term Storage(Humans & Pets) to take along with you. Keep the list somewhere handy and the BOBs for everyone all together, so you or who ever is at the house can Easily & Efficiently get all the Preps, Pets, & People to safetyFire
  2. Safe Location(Fire or Immediate Threat) – Similar to the plan, you want to establish a safe place to evacuate too. in the case of a fire my family always said meet at the mailbox, which was about 500+ feet away from the house. this will differ for you because everyone’s living space is unique! Once you have decided share it with everyone that lives in your home. If you live in an Apartment or large housing development, you could post a sign on the bulletin board, with no name attached, saying “In case of Fire Meet HERE”. You would be so surprised how many Apartment complexes that don’t have any plan in place. Imagine if you didnt have a plan, but you saw this on the board and it saved your life! Also i say “No name Attached” because if you announce it was you, then people (Official or not) will come asking questions and destroy your OSPEC.Bunker
  3. Safe Location (Bugging Out)This is the more long-term solution for something like Economic collapse or a zombie invasion. All of these plans you will keep to yourself & those of you that are in your Preparedness Group/Family. you definitely don’t want to post your private getaway on the board, because then everyone will show up and you WILL have a problem. Figure out your location ahead of time, and if it is a friend/family members house make sure to store some supplies there. you don’t want to show up and use Preps that aren’t yours! So in advance you could (Space allowing) Keep your more long term food storage for you and the pets, comfort items, protection(Weapons for humans) etc. Some of us have a bunker to retreat to,others will probably stay with grandparents, again this varies on your situation.Practice
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice!!! I cant stress this enough! once you have some plans in place, randomly do drills to get everyone familiar with them. this includes, and even more important, your animals. It’s like training a dog to sit, once they know what to do they will remember and feel comfortable doing it. this will lower stress, confusion, and extra complexities that an emergency event will cause for your pets! The same is true for little kids, if you can make it like a game in a time of safety, then when it really matters they will comply. One side note concerning HUMANS – Don’t OVER practice! what i mean here is don’t have a fire drill at 1pm everyday. this falls into the category of the boy who cried wolf. You want to insure the sense of urgency around emergency events, and not “its just another drill”. so about Once a Month is enough practice! I know its hard to fight the urge to do it more often! Pets – Creatures of Habit. you could practice 10 times a day, everyday, and they will never have a diminished sense of emergency! Animals can sense danger and they will know there is trouble.FamChain
  5. Discuss With Family – Make sure that everyone in your household knows the plans, and how to execute them in case you are not there when the event takes place. if you have a large family you can make 1 person accountable for 1 animal, and this chain will create a safety net to make sure everyone gets out OK. In my house we have 3 animals. 2 dogs 1 cat. My wife is in charge of the dogs because one follows the other and they both follow her. The cat will only come to me, so therefore its my responsibility to get her out! I have seen this same system work with families of just people and it works great. Dad keeps track of Mom, Mom keeps track of the Oldest child, Oldest Keeps track of next Oldest etc. Now if i could get my pets to do this on their own that wouldbe amazing!!

 

This is a great starting point for getting everyone, Pet & Person, in your home on track with how to handle an emergency. Just like everything else, the more you put In the more you get Out! But also remember no to over do it and make emergencies seem like a hassle or unimportant.With BOBs, a Plan, and a SAFE location, you take away the panic of a fire, hurricane, even Zombie Apocalypse!