If you have spent some time putting a great deal of food, water and other emergency supplies on your shelves, you are officially a prepper. You have probably thought of everything. Every little thing you could possibly need to survive and thrive after a major disaster or some kind of catastrophic event disrupts the world as we know it has been covered. You are set. Or are you?
What about your dog? What do you plan on feeding your dog? Do you have enough food to spare with your dog? This is something you must consider now, before things go south. Your dog needs to eat in order to stay healthy. Dogs are such a natural part of our lives today, it is hard to imagine life without our furry friends.
To Keep or Not to Keep Your Dog
Before you start questioning whether or not you will even have a dog or several dogs after the fall, you need to weigh your options. A lot of people automatically assume they are going to abandon their pets after a disaster simply because they don’t want to worry about taking care of someone or something else.
Try explaining that to your kids. Then think about the guilt you would endure. If you are okay with those things, there are still some other considerations. There are plenty of reasons you will want to keep your dog.
Dogs provide comfort at a time when things are uncertain and a little comforting can go a long way to soothing your soul. Many people assume they will just suck it up and deal with the chaos, but in reality, overwhelming stress can break you down. It can put you into a funk or a depression that keeps you from getting things done that are necessary for survival.
Dogs can be your own personal alarm system. They can hear things you can’t. They can smell things you can’t. A bark or a dog going on alert can give you several minutes to get prepared to encounter a potential intruder.
You can take some time today to teach your dog how to hunt. This will go a long way to procuring food for you and for him.
Teaching your dog to be your protector is one of the main reasons people choose to keep their dogs with them. A dog that will obey commands to attack someone intent on doing you harm will be a very valuable asset.
Believe it or not, if you are alone, like completely alone, your dog will be someone to talk to. The dog may not talk back, but they are intelligent creatures and simply being able to have someone to chat with will go a long way to making you feel a little more normal and not so alone.
Commercial Dog Food
You can certainly start stockpiling your dog’s favorite commercial dog food. This is one way to keep your life simple and your dog on the same diet they are used to. As you know, switching a dog’s diet up can lead to some intestinal side effects that are not pleasant for anybody. If you have the means, this is an excellent option.
However, how much dog food can you store? Dog food typically does come with an expiration date. The main issue with dry dog food is that it can get stale after it has been opened. You will need to use it within a month or two. Another issue is vermin. Mice love dog food. In a world without regular sanitation, mice are going to be a serious issue. You will want large totes to store your dog food in. Garbage cans with lids can work.
If you do choose to store commercial dog food, make sure it is a brand you trust. You can’t rely on dog food recalls to alert you to an issue after a collapse.
Homemade Dog Food
Once you realize how easy it is to make your own dog food and how much healthier it is for your dog, you will never buy commercial dog food again. Commercial kibble is typically made with corn gluten. Any vet will tell you this is not great for dogs. Their digestive systems were just not meant to handle that stuff.
What most people don’t realize is dogs really can and should eat “people” food. Well, healthy people food and not a bunch of processed stuff or greasy food.
Basically, a dog’s meal should be one third protein, one third vegetables and one third starch, like rice or potatoes for dogs with grain allergies. Sweet potatoes are an even better, healthier choice. The amount you feed your dog will vary on activity level and of course, size.
When you are in survival mode, you will be doing some hunting or butchering livestock, which will be a meat source for you and your dogs. Your dogs will love the bits of meat you may not be overly fond of.
In fact, many dog owners today feed their dogs raw meaty bones. Bones that have not been cooked are generally safe for a dog to eat. The bone marrow is actually good for the dog. Never feed a dog cooked bones.
Your survival garden will provide the other third your dog needs in his daily diet. Green beans, carrots, pumpkins and squash are all perfect additions to your dog’s meal. Lastly, rice or even beans if the dog doesn’t tolerate grains well, will give your dog a nice, balanced meal.
You can make a hearty stew for your dog that will keep him extremely happy and you will notice a difference in behavior as well as the coat.
Before commercial dog food became a thing about 60 years ago, dogs were fed scraps and people food. They survived and thrived back then, so it just makes sense they would return to the way things used to be.