Self-Reliance for Man's Best Friend

When it hit me, I felt  so foolish for not having thought about it more specifically before, let alone plan for it. I mean really, you’d think that someone who eats, drinks, sleeps, thinks, writes, and talks about self-reliance would actually have the presence of mind to address being prepared for the long-term care of her babies in any scenario.  How in the world can I be a proudly obsessed preparedness-minded person if I don’t have a long-term game plan to feed my pups quality nutrition regardless of the scenario in which I might find myself? Oh well; I guess I can still hold the title of Preparedness Fanatic now that I’ve at least learned my lesson and solved the problem.Binky, Roxie, Sinta

Dog Food is Expensive!

“$150 dollars!? Good Gravy, what are we feeding them, Beluga caviar and organic duck eggs!?” This was my response when my husband returned from his regular trip to the pet store to stock up for a couple months on dog food. Mind you, we have three dogs, yes, but they are midgets—two Yorkies and one Toy Poodle—although I have to admit when watching them eat,  they look like they are in a contest against each other to see who can finish first without actually tasting their food. (Binky, the youngest and smallest, would like the world to know that she wins every time, even when we give the other two a head start.)

Not every dog owner feels like their pets are family members; and perhaps some of our readers are simply planning on their dogs fending for themselves in the aftermath of a crisis of some sort. But from a security and sanitation stand point, and the health of the dog, this isn’t ideal. I don’t need to dredge up all of the possible scenarios in which you’d agree that there are great risks if our canine friends are coming and going freely in the midst of a crisis scenario. For example, an epidemic  is just one scenario which would require keeping your pets nearby and monitored so as not to aid in the spread of germs or get sick themselves. I’d have a hard time just letting them roam freely in a time of great civil unrest as they might not come back, or be sorely injured by other roaming animals—either two-legged or four.

This takes me to yet another reason why I’d want to keep them by my side continually—I don’t want them to be part of a societal problem for others, nor do I want them to end up as someone else’s meal. I realize that these aren’t happy, fluffy thoughts, but  they certainly are realistic given the litany of events with which we may be confronted. So, if keeping Fido nearby is important, then I presume feeding him would be as well.

Using Leftovers for Dog Food

Another miscalculation that some pet owners may run into is the concept that they will just feed their dogs scraps or leftovers from mealtimes. In a time when food is scarce or extremely expensive, there simply won’t be much in the form of scraps. I’ve been doing a lot of research of the everyday lives of the survivors of the Great Depression. In the city, there simply were no pets—they were a luxury that very, very few could afford. Whereas in the more rural areas, they were deemed an asset for protection (something to mull over that we’ll explore in another article). Bottom line, if you’re committed to having your crisis scenario being any different from those during the Depression, or even from the tens of thousands of families who have been abandoning their pets over the last three years due to the economic crisis (primarily in the form of foreclosures—forcing people to leave their homes and rent in non-pet-friendly environments), then you’re going to have to plan for their well-being just as much your own.

By way of some foundation, veterinary experts state that the ideal food for your canines is actually one-third raw protein and two-thirds produce with some quality grains.  The secondary preference is real, honest to goodness,  freshly cooked food. Next is quality canned foods, and the last on the list is the dry stuff. Frankly, trying to store the dry dog food for long periods of time is not an easy task, and it attracts rodents like crazy. On the other hand, I do get a lot of dry dog food free or dirt cheap thanks to couponing, and so when I do, I work it into the food that I do feed them. But remember, your pet's food has got to be stored in a cool, dry place, also with an added layer of protection, such as Mylar bags or thick food-quality buckets. Unfortunately, there are no published “shelf-life facts” for dog food because that industry simply does not think in terms of a long-term tomorrow other than their sales projections. Additionally I have several cases of canned dog food in storage as well, but I frankly don’t rotate it well; it’s literally in storage and isn’t our preferred wet food to feed them, as I’ll explain why in a moment. But when I can get it free or cheap like the dry dog food, I’m going to do so. If it makes it into my home or into the humane shelter it still carries with it the need to be good quality, void of animal parts that simply aren’t fit for consumption.

Cook for your Dog!

So, what’s my strategy now that I got conked on the head with an expensive reality? Cooking for them; and frankly doing so has saved us boatloads of money on their nutrition and it’s just as easy to serve at mealtime as opening a can. In fact, my next step will be to actually can some of their food ready-made.  I’ve found some great recipes online for meals, as well as training treats and even nutritious chew “toys.” Or you can go to Amazon.com and look up “cooking for pets” and you’ll find a litany of possibilities there too. I was surprised to see how easy it was to make their wheat treats. In fact, they love the wheat meat creations that I make which my husband and I love.  The interesting thing is that as they eat more of the “real food” that I make for them, they become a bit more picky on the snacks that they will eat that Scott serves them. My oldest, Sinta, won’t eat a cracker or any other dry snack if she can smell the canola oil. (As an interesting side note, the USDA forbids corn oil and canola oil being any part of the feed going to cows—but Hey, the humans can eat it just fine. *sigh*)

What I feed them is barely a deviation of what I cook for my husband, although I am careful to make sure they don’t eat black olives or onions, those two are no=no foods for dogs; avocados (and any part thereof); alcohol (has the same effect on their liver and brain as on you but does the damage 10-fold and very quickly); onions and garlic (even in a powdered form) is sure to make them anemic; coffee, tea, and caffeinated drinks (can send them into a seizure); grapes and raisins will make them vomit; milk or dairy products give them diarrhea; and macadamia nuts are straight poisoning to a dog and can cause strokes or tremors; and you definitely don’t want to add chocolate to any of these concoctions as it causes heart failure. If the fat is isolated off of leftover meat, then feeding your faithful friend will create pancreatitis and of course the bones are an absolute  no-no as any veterinarian will tell you emphatically, no matter how big or how small, you’re just begging for death to occur as they puncture organs, and causes death. Fruit with small seeds intact should also be avoided, even if the seed is large, as in peaches and apricots. Their seeds actually contain cyanide in them which is used for a healthy lifestyles in humans, but not deemed helpful to smaller canines. Also, go easy on anything salty. If we ever get French fries its one of their favorite treats, but they don’t get them until I can lick some of the salt off first. Too much salt in their diet will indeed cause seizures. Yeast breads are also not great to feed the pups either because it ferments in their small stomachs, produces an alcohol which can then result in alcohol poisoning. Baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg are toxic for your dog. Whew! That’s a lot of “No’s” but it’s not anywhere near what a person struggling with food allergies has to consider. So, what’s left to feed them?  Well that’s easy. Beans, rice, barley, brown rice, meats and gravies, fresh or steamed veggies, some fruit for a special treat, oh, and Teddy Grahams—but just for an occasional treat for yourself.

Here’s one of my favorites puppy casseroles (and then I add a little more meat and a few more seasonings for the portion that me and my family will eat.)

Pampered Pooch Casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups converted long-grain white rice, barley pearls, wheat berries or brown rice.
  • 2 teaspoons olive or flaxseed oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder-NO MORE than this amount
  • ½ cup of shredded carrots
  • ½ cup of crisp green beans or peas
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon—preferably MSG free
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb

Directions

  1. Combine rice and oil in a saucepan over medium heat; stir and cook 2 minutes. Add the water, thyme, garlic powder, and bouillon. Cover, and cook 15 minutes more over medium heat, or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the ground lamb in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain, then stir into the rice along with the Monterey Jack cheese until the cheese melts. Cool just a bit before serving. Dogs love to eat warm comfort food like you do, but they don’t have the same ability to cool food off in their mouths like we do and for some reason they will never spit it out if it’s too hot.

You can go to the butcher and actually get their scraps. I like to throw them all in my pressure cooker and beat the heck out of them, and then use the broth and the meat bits to make up all kinds of healthy meals. I can even can them in my pressure canner for long-term storage too. Regardless of your ability to get scraps, you could get very cheap cuts of meat and break them down well in a pressure cooker as well for a fantastic gourmet nutritious meal every time.

Doggy Biscuits You Can Love

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, cornmeal and salt. Mix in the oil, egg and water to make a soft dough that is not too sticky. You may add more flour if needed. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until nicely browned and firm. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Mealtime for your furried friends no longer has to be expensive, questionable, or compromising. And better yet, it’s all easily done with long-term, shelf-stable foods. Bon appetite, Roxie, Sinta, and Binky!

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Comments

Well, I walked myself through the dog-after-doomsday scenario after reading "One Second After" in which he watches his dogs starving to death, wishes he had some dog food on hand so that he could eat it himself, and then ends up eating the dogs. (Sorry for the spoilers if you haven't already read the book.) After that I filled a couple rubbermaid garbage cans (with locking lids) with dry dog food, and then filled several rubbermaid tubs with canned dog food, because I am not going to feel like cooking for my dog after a catastrophe. I also added a whole gob of rawhide chews, which I can buy in packages of 20 for a buck at the local Dollar Store. In "One Second After" he is desperate enough to eat dog food, and rawhide chews (the unflavored kind) would make for excellent people food if the nation is in starvation mode. Not that you're going to gnaw on a rawhide strip. Rather, boil it- for days. The water will become gelatinous (this is where gelatin comes from, folks) and then can be used as a nutritious base for vegetable soups and venison stews and fish chowders. (There have been many accounts of stranded explorers boiling their shoe leather. Same thing.) If you're NOT in starvation mode, the dogs will appreciate the rawhide treat-- or you can feed the dogs the gelatinous broth. Dogs LOVE shoe leather broth, trust me on that.

I would not eat, let alone let my dog eat the chew from the dollar store if they are made in China. I have read many articles where they made the dogs VERY sick and killed many. Just saying

Our pets are family also, one rescued puppy, and two rescued cats. They have me well trained. The puppy eats turkey sausage with a fried or scrambled egg for breakfast and they all have fresh cooked or canned chicken at least once each day.

I do wonder how I'll feed our son's huge 100# dog if a SHTF scenario causes them to be here for an extended time. I purchased a huge bag of dry food from Costco but I know the shelf life is limited.

We added a "pet pen" to our home for them. It's an 8'X16' area that has a roof, chicken wire walls, natural ground for floor and they access it via a pet door. The cats have several perches and have the "feel" of being outdoors but no predators can get to them (buried rebar so nothing can dig in). Our dog has the full 20 acres during the day, but at night can access this area if she needs to go out.

I'll be making up your recipes soon. Thanks, Kellene.

Great article and an area of prepardness that I can also work on. We have one hunting dog and he is an important part of our family. We buy dry dog food in large bags, an interesting thing is that it is not completely dry, and does have some moisture and some fat, I've heard if you get the lower fat and the lower moisture content it has a longer shelf life. I also store canned food and routinely cook for the pup. I live in a salmon rich area and many of the local mushers dry huge quantities of salmon in the summer and these go into a storage room and are used as winter dog feed. This has been going on for centuries and if the dog is used to eating this diet, it is high calorie and they can do well with it.

Thanks Kellene! I am passing this on to my daughter who has puppies..and I am off in search of cat world information! I had no idea of all the no-nos for them to eat. My baby princess kitty has been batting around and chasing a dried peach pit for days..nixed that one! I thought the idea of dried salmon was awesome! I LOVE the sharing of ideas here, thank you for fostering the growth!

Well, I for one think you've got the cutest babies ever. They were a pleasure to meet.

We don't have any pets at our house, but this info in amazing!! The recipes look yummy enough for us two legged beings to eat. My youngest daughter will LOVE this post. And most certainly will keep in on file. She is a HUGE dog lover and can't wait for the day when she has one of her own. She constantly shares with me her thoughts on what a responsible pet owner should and shouldn't do. This post will be right up her alley. I bet I will impress her with my knowledge of the long list of "no no's".......thanks to you. ; D

Thanks Kellene!

Still working on getting the pet food thing ironed out; dogs, fish, chickens. Seeing what I can grow to keep the feed bill down and in the event of no-more-feed-store, what are the alternatives. wwww.pet-grub.com has a good bit of info. I can make your biscuits because I store a lot of flour and have eggs because of the chickens. Tilapia can live on greens so that's relatively easy. Chickens can free range and bones from the tilapia can help with calcium. The dog can eat varmints(rabbits, squirrels, etc.) that are killed and cooked down along with tilapia and eggs. I think the casserole idea works for now but I'm not sure I want to spoil her that much! ;) Thanks for the list of no-no's, despite the fact they seem to eat and drink nearly anything, it's important to realize the pets don't always differentiate between good and bad until it's too late. And I know it sounds gross but FRESH road kill is also an option. Old timer neighbor says that he's grabbed several fresh deer kills and fed the cooked and uncooked to his dogs. Years ago I read that deer-car accidents called into the PA State Police meant the deer went to a local prison for use in meals...Thanks for the great post!

Your ID name makes this post that much more painful to read. :-)

Uh, probably should have used my other Nom de Plume, chrispcarrot...sorry...
;)

Have to take issue with you on two counts. Garlic and bones. We have a holistic vet locally and these tips come from him. Garlic powder sprinkled on the dog food will help prevent ticks. No kidding. It's worked for years with every dog we've had (close to a dozen by now). And we live in Northern California tick country. As for bones - ONLY RAW. Cooking is what makes them brittle and dangerous. We've fed all our dogs raw chicken legs. Think of it this way. Wild dogs, wolves, coyotes, etc. all eat raw meat, bones and all. There are nutrients in raw bones that dogs actually need. And it makes their coat really shine. For obedience training I've never seen a dog respond to anything quicker than a raw chicken leg reward. But, realistically, when prepping for survival situations, we have to assume that fresh, raw meat is not readily available, so in that regard your article was excellent. Just wanted to clear up a popular misconception about dogs and meat bones.

I'm a preparedness-minded person, thus I don't take chances. Garlic is risky in dogs because of the action it requires in the pfuffer cells of the liver to process. This means that if their liver struggles then you don't have an immediate death, rather you have a painful liver failure death. Mind you, a little dash of garlic powder won't harm them so long as it's mixed with other ingredients, but it's definitely something to be aware of. However, you can still handle the ticks situation by adding a smidgen of diatomaceous earth not only eliminates the ticks, but it also repels fleas, spiders, and other insects AND it provides all of the vitamins and nutrients that dogs need, as well as strengthens their lungs and bone structure (due to the silica content).

As for bones, there are simply too many instances in which organs are perforated or breathing is blocked by small bones or by the small pieces of bones that smaller dogs chew away from larger ones. Thus dogs such as Chihuahuas, teacup/toy breeds, dashounds, toy poodles, Shitzus (sp?), Pomeranians, and Yorkies are the most susceptible to this complication while gnawing on bones. A better option, in order to get the delicious marrow and other nutrients from bones is to throw them all in a pot and let them simmer. (Or you can do like I do and use a pressure cooker). Then pour the juices on the food you feed them. I'm sure if they could talk, they'd tell us how delicious it is. :-) The nutrients in bones don't make their coats shine, it's actually the silica and the fatty oils. You're still getting that from simmering the bones. You can also extract the nutrients from rawhides, leather, the same way without risking the health of your dog, and after all, in troubled times, the solution of going to a veternarian is most likely not an option. So I tend to lean on strategic prevention overall rather than risk general possibilities.

It was very difficult for me to make the transition in thinking from NEVER feeding bones to dogs to feeding them several times a week! The difference, which I had never thought of (until taught) was between raw and cooked bones. One person who was feeding whole fish to his dogs, I asked, "have you ever had a fish bone caught in your throat?" His response was, "have you ever eaten a raw fish?" So, there ya' go. I, who would take extra precaution in my disposal of chicken bones, to avoid my pups stealing them from the trash, NOW buy chicken necks for my small dogs and feed them raw. The tutorial had said "turkey" necks, but my dogs are too small for turkey necks, so chicken it is and we've never had a problem. One of my dogs has that chihuahua throat that is apparently narrow, which means she sometimes drinks water and hacks up some of it that doesn't make it past her throat, but she has no problem wtih raw chicken bones. I also, would never feed ANY cooked bones, no matter how large the bone OR the dog. Those are the ones that splinter, not the raw ones. I have recently tried to start switching my pups to high quality dry food instead of the frozen they have been eating for over a year....just in preparation of SHTF situation of no electricity. I guess we'll all see what we'll ultimately be faced with, but as far as wild squirrel and rabbit, unless you trap, ti's my understanding that we will be in a sans guns situation, so no real sure how this will work, but my feral cats have caught birds before and may get more handy at it than they are now. With the destruction of wild area in most towns (with no consideration for the wildlife that has been displaced), we are seeing more small animals right here in city, which also bring the displaced birds of prey into the same area, vying for the relocated small mammals as well ....they'll also settle for the feral cats too......nothing we, as humans, haven't brought on ourselves though!

I second you, Gary. I've worked at an animal hospital for 9 years, and we were always asked (especially around the holidays) about bones and dogs and cats. Raw bones are excellent for these little creatures - cooked bones are brittle and splinter too easily. I have also heard both opinions on garlic - I'm sure there is a toxicity level for garlic depending on the weight of your dog - this article has made me curious; now I'll have to go look it up in one of my schoolbooks! For anyone out there that might have a title in the veterinary field, going to the regional veterinary conferences (Las Vegas is excellent) will supply you with plenty of samples for first aid, and heaps of treats and toys for your pets! I get stocked up each year, and I've never had to buy my pets treats! My favorites are the all-natural vendors... :)

One thing to consider with dry food, whether for dogs, cats, goats, chickens, etc...is to get a used chest type freezer. Many of the cities get them and remove all of the "dangerous" components and they will let you have them for next to nothing. Tulsa does this! I keep all of my feed in freezers. Kellene...this solves the rodent problem AND protects from heat and moisture. Check with appliance vendors such as Lowes, etc. They may be willing to let you have the worn out freezers that they pick up when they are replaced. A good sized chest freezer can hold a lot of dog food!!

And a Humless Sentinel generator would easily keep one of those running sufficiently with solar energy. Good info to have.

K,

While I applaud your preparedness for your animal babies but you are way off on what canines require for food. I would recommend RawK9 at yahoo. Did you know before the advent of commercial dog food most K9s had an average life span of 22-24 years +. You need to do some research and understand that dogs are only a few percentage points (genetically) removed from wolves, even your adorable babies. Raw is best for your babies, not cooked, and bones, raw meaty bones. How do you think they keep their teeth clean? No load bearing bones from large animals, though. Avian bones are hollow and soft, no problems with those. Also, consider that vet schools are subsidized by, wait for it... veterinarian pharmaceutical and commercial dog food companies. Cooking removes all the nutrients from the meat. Just think about what a wolf in the wild eats, yeah, not casseroles, not vegetables, and absolutely no grains! Let me put it this way, you know the dog bones from TV, they are suppose to take care of tartar. If that was true, why do you still have to have your babies teeth scaled? Dogs do not possess the neccessary acids to break down grains in their saliva, or in their stomachs. Do you dogs have gas and bad breath? Grain ferments in their stomachs. Canned dog food is made up from the 3 "D"'s dead, diseased, and dying animals, including members of their own species!
My dogs are raw fed, have gleeming white teeth, never have gas and have no odor to their breath. They maintain a healthy body weight, have gleeming coats and tons of energy. Scottish Terriers are notorious for skin problems, not mine. Their hair is suppose to grow very slowly, not mine.
I say if you want to be prepared, feed them raw, it is easy and economical. If you are providing food for your family (considering how small your dogs are) portioning out food for them should be easy.
(edited for spam)
Best of Luck,
Michelle
Alabama

Um, I believe I prioritized raw food as number one in the part of the article that reads "the ideal food for your canines is actually 1/3rd raw protein and produce (2/3rds) with some quality grains. The secondary preference is real, honest to goodness freshly cooked food. Next is quality canned foods and the last on the list is the dry stuff. " would concur with your raw food assertion. Thus being "way off" wouldn't apply here. So tell me, exactly how does one "be prepared" with a years supply of raw food for their dogs?? Raw foods are also ideal for man, but not realistic in most types of significant crisis. Even with all of our modern-day technologies, raw food eaters struggle to consume raw all of the time. Geesh. I'm all for additional expertise to enhance and article, but I think you're "way off" on the topic in which I hold expertise--preparedness.

K,

My apologies if "way off" offended you. As you are passonate about preparedness I am the same about canine nutrition. I was taking acception to your breakdown of "ideal" food..." "1/3 raw protein and produce (2/3rds) with some quality grains. Produce and grains have no nutrititional value therefore not "ideal" for a canine, and in no way concurs with a proven "raw food assertion." My statements are based on published scientific studies conducted over 25+ years. I would imagaine that you would agree that taking up storage space with foods that will do more harm than good does not make much sense. Being prepared for a year involves freezing sufficient animal protien including wild game (which is often free). Given the size of your babies, (daily requirements are based on body weight) it would be fairly easy. It would involve preparing the protein in smallish chunks or ground (with bone), sorted flat with no air, not so bad. I certainly agree that your expertise is preparedness, my comments were not meant as a challenge of that expertise.

Call me pessimistic, but I think that even with sufficient freezer space, storing raw food sufficient for a year is unrealistic--with or without the luxury of a generator. One would absolutely have to rely on hunting skills and available game, which would not be available in the event of a pandemic crisis, flood, earthquake, or nuclear attack. Ironically, my girls love the sprouts I grow, and those are something that I can store sufficient numbers of for a year, and though they would be deemed as "produce" some of them have a higher protein content than meat itself, with no estrogens, anti-biotics, or other seriously harmful agents that make their way into our food supply.

I would have to agree---I didn't like the ratio either.
Meat has got to be the main thing. Grains no. Veggies, Why?
Stick with meat.

From all I have read (for the last 2 years), wild canines such as wolves, coyotes, etc.), when eating wild, will consume the stomach of herbivores such as rabbits to get the vegetation that they have consumed. That would indicate a need for, at least, some vegetable matter. If my dogs eat too much meat without the right balance of vegetables, they will eat grass and some ground cover in my yard, not to vomit it up, as when their stomachs are upset, but to balance their diets. Do I think they need, rice and pea flour that is in, even some of the BEST commercial dog foods? Probably not, though I think it is fine. What I DON'T agree with is the unnaturally processed meats that contain the preservatives needed to hold quality to the shelf life of the dry food. Some companies ( like for human food) use good anti-oxidents and some use more unhealthy ones. Anyway, that is the reason for vegetables in their diet.

@Michelle...I'd read up a lot on raw food diets for dogs and my earlier post alluded to cooking either squirrels and rabbits(she catches some anyway), which are basically pests here, because I read that they are typically magnets for parasites/worms which I wouldn't want to pass through. Good or bad in your opinion? My dog does get DE in her diet because I use it for everything from keeping the nesting boxes bug free, to pest control around the house/sheds, etc. and it's touted as a worm control product in animals(from horses to cats, etc.) And to your point, a neighbor gave me some all-vegetable protein food awhile back and my dog not only wouldn't eat it unless she had nothing else, oy, was she a gas bag. I now try to get uncooked bones for her and she gets uncooked meat left overs like chicken parts; livers, skin, etc. And to clarify my earlier post, I would use only 'roadkill' that was a deer I'd witnessed being hit or hit myself(we have about 2 dozen a year on just a single two lane road here) because it would seem wasteful to deem it as unsanitary or spoiled when it was hit with a blunt object going 60mph instead of a smaller blunt object going 2000fps. And if you've ever dressed a deer you know that a bad gut shot can spread a lot more bacteria within a carcass than blunt trauma with a Buick. To illustrate, not long ago the dog killed one of my hens by breaking it's neck, not a drop of blood. I tossed the chicken out, thinking it was 'tainted' when in fact I've eaten pheasant peppered with lead pellets and thought nothing of it. That is silly. In a real SHTF situation any waste is bad. @Debbie, those freezers can also make great 'root cellars'...Google it.

I do use a good dried dog and cat food. I store my critters food the same as mine as well as a little DE and they have done great on it. I even measured out how much water they would need daily and added it to my water storage. But I love the recipes and will try them out and add slowly to their diets.
Kellene have you thought about donating some of the pet food to the local shelter? I know here, the county shelter will give away donated dog and cat food to folks. I know not a perfect solution but it may free up some space for your storage and help folks feed pets.
All to many folks think of pets as disposable items, Or think they can take them with them to a shelter during an emergency. I know pets will not be welcomed at most shelters, and they must be prepped just like all members of a family and community. My thing next month is getting a chest harness for all pets so I can control them and keep them safe. Especially the cat, she's an explorer. I would also recommend recent pics and a keep at least a copy of shot records in your grab and go paperwork or files.

Jamie, to answer your question I noted in the article "If it makes it into my home or into the humane shelter it still carries with it the need to be a good quality, void of animal parts that simply aren’t fit for consumption." Nowadays humane shelters are greatly wanting. I think it's a mistake for anyone to think that they'd get help from the humane society just as much as expecting that they will get help from FEMA.

I should know that I've been educated on canola oil I won't give it away. I'd feel dirty and evil. But I'll use it for lubricating machine parts as per the original purpose. Oh darn it sucks having ethics/morals but you are correct. Oh bother again I'm reminded I ain't the smartest person in the room. It's okay I only bought 1 gallon of canola oil and then got real! Anyway wanted to let you know I did can my first batch of canned bacon and 12 # of butter is bottled thanks to you. I used 1/2 pint jars and I used my marbles. LOL Did a 6 month test of eggs and butter and no casualties except for meringues.
You are a very tough/good teacher. I've gotten good at picking commodities to shop for based on what you have taught me. I'm not playing the market but it's nice to know the forecasts and how it may effect prices at the local store.

Love this info! Just a note...I have a three-legged Lab who can run like the wind,(she doesn't know her front leg is missing because it was surgically removed while she was a pup). Because of her "handicap," I have to keep her weight in check. My vet suggested that instead of store-bought dog treats, that are loaded with calories, to see if she would munch on crunchy vegetables, like carrots, lettuce, etc. This crazy dog LOVES carrots, lettuce, canned green beans and my other 4 dogs don't want her to get all the good stuff, so they eat it too! My tiniest baby, a miniature Chihuahua absolutely loves fresh tomatoes, but I limit them because of the acid. Finding nutritional dog food at a good price isn't easy because usually the first ingredient is corn--not so great for my pups. My cats are another story, they are finicky little things, which is natural. I don't ever give my pups chicken bones because I'm afraid they'll splinter and cause internal perforations. If we're lucky enough to have t-bones for dinner, I'll freeze the bones until I have one for each dog and then they can each have a special treat. I'm trying to store more food for them as I have extra cash. Other than the Lord above, our furry friends are the only creatures who love us UNCONDITIONALLY and I'm doing my best to care for those babies! Go give yours a snuggle right now! :) Thanks for all you do, Kellene!

SOMF (Smile on my face). My pug loves veggies and the garden, especially peas and tomatoes. He picks them off the bushes himself.

I have the same problem with my dog - he picks the tomatoes off the bush especially the heirloom ones. He likes them just as they are turning red. He also dug up and ate, except for the root ball, two fruit trees this spring. Maybe he's telling me something.

Great article with a complete list of "no-no's". I knew of some but certainly not all.

I've been making my wet pet food for a while and have come up with a few options. I have a "mix" of cooked ground turkey, veggies, salt-free chicken broth and cooked oatmeal. (We're allergic to corn products in pet foods.) I scoop this into 2/3 cup "patties" and freeze individually on cookie sheets then bag and put back into freezer for storage. Power outage? That would definitely be a problem so I began to can the cooked ground turkey (no salt) as well as ground beef. I've canned lots of chicken for us and will definitely "share" when needed. Dry food (crunchies to our little companion. aka burgler alarm) is stored one bag "ahead" in my freezer so as to not spoil due to the oils in the food. Obviously a small dog has smaller needs but thinking ahead really is important.

I did not know about yeast breads turning into alcohol in the tummy.
Honestly, what would we do without all of this useful info?

What about cats? Do you have any suggestions about cat litter? I wouldn't want to just let my cats out, but I can't see storing a huge amount of litter.

I'm storing cat litter. Costco frequently puts their 42# refill bags on sale for around $9 with their coupon. It doesn't take up that much space and it's something you use all the time.

I have to second the raw food thing. My two cats have incredibly glossy coats and white teeth, and one of them is 14 yrs old. Still playing like a kitten with the younger one. I mix raw meat (chicken and beef usually, but venison is their favorite) with a vitamin mix from TC Feline (http://rawmeatcatfood.com/) and have several large pouches of that put by for the future. I have been thinking about TSHTF scenarios for the animals and recently decided to start raising mice (very cheap and easy to feed)in hopes of easing my cats onto eating them instead, on a daily basis. Since cats tend to be picky it might be a daunting experiment, but hey if they get hungry enough, I think they would eat them just fine. :)

For the dog we plan on getting next year, I will also raw feed, but since they are larger, they present more of a problem in a general emergency. My plan is to begin raising rabbits, both to supplement our own diets, but also to serve as a source of raw meat and bones for the dog. It will not be easy, but I believe in fully committing to feeding animals their natural diet. Even the chickens - they are also NOT vegetarian - I feed them meat scraps as well, and am raising worms, meal worms, and later will add black solder fly grubs as well. The idea is to not have to buy very much - to disconnect as far as possible from the Buy Everything economy.

As for cat litter, I found an excellent solution to the horrendous cat litter issue. At first I simply dug up dirt for them to use (free!) and that worked fine, but it was, well, dirty. They tended to track it everywhere and it was difficult to clean the box and it tended to turn to mud when they peed. Then I found a REUSABLE, washable cat litter that works very, very well. It is made from recycled tires, and has a double decker box that allows you to wash the litter instead of changing it. Check it out! http://www.envirokats.com/

Raw food is ideal for human and canine species first and foremost. My only issue with it is that it's simply not realistic when it comes to long-term preparedness needs. A freezer may be stocked, but after freezer burn hits, you've destroyed the same amount of nutrients as you would do if you cook the meat. And freezers need electricity to work--not realistic in enduring a long-term crisis for most persons, particularly if you have to be somewhat mobile.
I think the raising of rabbits and chickens is a great idea regardless of the crisis level.

Raw foods? Veggies? Guess I'm oldschool. I rotate 250# of Purina Dog Chow and 100# of Iams intestinal low-residue food. Also have 3 cases of Alpo. If it looked like that much wouldn't last until I could get more, I'd supplement in the feed corn/rice that we store for bait. Fish/game scraps and bones when available.

After that, suppose I'd put them down and give away the meat. Couldn't see eating them myself under many EOTW scenarios.

If meat was the only thing that cats loved, then why would they be so attracted to cat grass?? One of my favorite people ever is a local vet who cares for pets as holistically as she can. Her wisdom is reflected in this article as well as several others who've provided books, and accessible research.

Read your labels when purchasing dog treats and food. Beware if it's made in China. Many many dogs have been killed from the poisons that are included in their products. Even food made here can be made from ingredients purchased from them!

My local grocery puts chicken legs/thighs on sale frequently - sometimes as low as 29¢/ lb, but usually 39 or 49¢. Hubby and I pressure can the meat, with the skin removed, and add it with their dry food, rice, and leftover veggies. (We cook it for 105 minutes at 10# pressure. The bones are then soft enough to crush, and the dogs get them too.) Usually not many veggies, because veggie scraps to to our chickens too. In a survival mode, we will give them eggs from our chickens too. We have 5 large dogs, and it's expensive to feed them. 4 were rescue dogs (dump-offs/throwaways) that will not be replaced when they die, (well, probably one) so the expense will go down one day.

Yummy treats for our furry friends.
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.
* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.

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