When considering short and long term food supplies it is very easy to overlook the needs of your dogs. Most of us consider our dogs as members of the family, and would not let harm to come them, even when food is scarce. They can add a vital moral source during tough times, especially for children. Unfortunately, depending on the size of your pets, they may eat as much as us, greatly depleting your family’s food supplies. With proper planning you can ensure enough to go around the dinner table for your family, and for Fido.
Unfortunately, long term dog food storage is not as simple as stock piling bags of their favorite dry dog food. All dry dog foods contain significant ammounts of fats and oils, which will turn rancid overtime. The pourous nature of the food increases the oxidation of the ingredients, further progressing its spoilage. In the short term, by storing the unopened bags in a dry cool environment you can realisticly expect them to last atleast 4-6 months (opened dog food will last only a few months). Creating a bag rotation will ensure the unopened bags of food remains fresh.
For storage solutions longer than 6 months, there are much fewer options. If you have large dogs, like myself, storing enough canned dog food is expensive and bulky. Vacuum sealing dry dog food will still spoil from the oxygen already impregnated inside the porous food pellets.
The most practical solution is to look toward your own food storage plan for their meals. Dogs are conviently omnivours, and can eat just about anything. That being said, if we want to keep them healthy we still must be mindful of their diet. A few simple staples, likely already in your pantry, can easily satisfy your dog indefinitely.
- Rice – This cheap simple grain will provide plenty of carbohydrates for your dog, with upsetting their digestive track. Dry rice is very easy to store long term, and is simply reconstituted with boiling water. If your dog is a picky eater, a bouillon cube in the pot will add a convincing flavor.
- Meat – Canned chicken and tuna are great sources of protein. A little bit of meat can easily be stretched for days when mixed with rice. The oil in tuna is especially great for the dogs coat. Red meat isn’t easily digested by most dogs, and should be considered as a third option after chicken and tuna. Be wary of any raw meats you did not butcher yourself, as they can contain bacteria and parasites harmful to pets. Even animals can get sick from the modern meat industry.
- Vegetables – Dogs can greatly benefit from the vitamins and fiber found in vegetables. Green beans are a great cheap option. They are full of nutrients, are easily digestible, and will help keep your dog feeling full. The fiber in the green beans will also keep your dogs bowels moving regularly (an important consideration because many dogs do not tolerate dietary changes well).
- Eggs – Most people do not realize how fantastic eggs are for dogs. Practically a complete meal in itself, eggs contain an abundance of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. They can be raw or cooked, and the shell actually adds nutritional value. If you are fortunate to have access to fresh eggs, then added a few a week will help to ensure your pets are nutritionally sound.
These cheap additions will not only keep your dogs thriving through uncertain times, but will help them continue to offer much need love, affection, and home protection.
Matt, an Independent American