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 #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!

Dog Bones #2 – Pet Tips for Hurricane & Tornado Season

With hurricane season rolling in there are some things to keep in mind when it refers to our Pets.

StormWarning

1. The Storm Itself – Let’s face it, all animals are scared of the loud thunder and lightning associated with Hurricanes. Make sure to get those animals Indoors & in a safe place when you know a storm is coming, most dogs get spooked by the thunder and will run off!

2. Microchip & Rabies tags – Every year make sure you are up to date when it comes to the Rabies shots. If your pet gets loose and then picked up by animal control, a rabies tag will tell them that they are safe to be around and they can track it back to you and let you know they have your pet. The same goes for microchip ping. If animal control picks him/her up they do a scan with a hand held device and they immediately know your info to get you guys reconnected.

3. Comforting Your Pet – during the storm remember your pet is going to be very antsy to say the least. Make sure to give them reassuring attention to calm them down and a couple of treats couldn’t hurt. Depending on the size of your animal you can hold them or sit with them to keep them calm. Finally of your dog is especially effected by storms gets them a calming type jacket. These are designed to calm them down by making them feel like they are in a big hug!EVAC

4. Have A Plan – if during the storm you encounter flooding or power loss have a plan to deal with it. Even just a list of items that you can use for each potential situation is a good start. For Flooding you will need a crate to transport the animal in the car I’m case you have to evacuate. If you have a really big animal then you know to get them to a vehicle fast because they will probably be to big to carry, or you might have a baby, or wife/husband that already takes up that spot!
If you get in the middle if a storm and have none of this at-least thought out you can be in serious trouble fast! From trying to track down a loose animal and all the stress that comes with that, to frantically running around trying to get things ready fast and forgetting something, it can get real crazy real fast!!

5. Bug Out Bags – Wr covered making one of these earlier and now would be the time to put it to use. If you have to leave hone just strap it on your pet or throw it Into the car and you know you have atleast the essentials for 72 hours. You should also have one for every member of your family including human items meeting the same needs. Most important for a hurricane are Food, Water, a Poncho & Entertainment.

Debris

6.Debris Everywhere – when leaving home during a storm or while cleaning up the aftermath keep in mind that limbs, boards, nails, glass, etc could be everywhere. Before you let your pet out and everything goes back to normal make sure you go around their outdoor area and rid it of these things. Most likely the power will be out or a veterinarian’s office won’t be open and a little picking up can save you a lot of stress (and money), and allow you to focus on bigger things.

Small First Aid Kit

Small First Aid Kit

7.Pet First Aid Kit – this is very important. While a few things from a human first aid kit can be used on pets most things are not transferable. From special bandages to medicine to clamping spray, etc you should create a pets only first aid kit. You can take this as far as you want from just the basic animal bandages and wound cream, all the way to Dog antibiotics and nail clippers and blood clotting agents it can, (much like a human first aid kit), can get pretty specialized if you want it to. I will do a post on creating a basic first Aid Kit for Pets in my next activity post.

WaterBottles

8. Water – Just like for us people, the animals are going to need fresh water. I know what your thinking “who needs to stock water in a hurricane or flood?!” Well the problem is the once the water hits the ground it gets combined with dirt, debris, bacteria, etc and it’s not for for consumption by anyone or animal! Again this should be in your B.O.B. But in a pinch or if you are caught unaware it’s a good idea to keep a few bottled waters. On the trunk of your car or just a gallon jug will do. I would consider 1 – 16oz bottled water per day would be enough per animal that’s less than 20lbs. This can be altered to fit your pet, and it’s easy to figure out, just keep track of how much water you give them a day then add another cup or 2. If you feed your animals wet food keep in mind that they do get some hydration from that but kit enough to sully rely on it by itself.

9. Shelter – part of your plan should include a place to “Bug Out” to in case you have to leave home. Once you have a sheltering place locked down, (a relatives house, bunker, cabin in the woods, etc), take your pet there and let them become familiar with it. This will make a world of difference to them in a state of emergency. Along with them being more comfortable they will be less likely to run off by accident due to curious smells or sights, while your unloading the car or getting every living being inside the shelter. Coupled with that if they do get loose or lost, and they are familiar with the area, they can make it back to you themselves! Cats have been known to walk many miles back to an old dwelling after you have moved because they don’t understand.

Sometimes Your home isn't quite Strong Enough

Sometimes Your home isn’t quite Strong Enough

10. Equaint yourself with the Shelters & Staff – one day make it a point to goto the shelter in your area where your animal would end up if lost. You would be very surprised at how far just introducing yourself to the staff of the animal shelter or the animal control person you see in your neighborhood. If they know you and your pets they can get you guys back together faster and they know that you live your animal and are probably out there searching for them. This step could take as little as 20 minutes and could save you hours of looking and your pet from getting lost in an event that a bunch of animals come in at once during the storm.

 

I hope these tips give you a good starting point for your Preps in dealing with hurricanes/tornados, when it comes to your animals. A simple plan can prevent everything from having the supplies you need for a couple days to preventing your pet from falling through the cracks at the shelter! Also see the posts about Bug Out Bags for Pets & First Aid kits for Pets for more info on getting ahead of the game!