When we think about emergency preparedness and building a DIY long term food storage plan, we always think about the needs of our family members. But what most preppers forget is that their furry friends have needs, too! So, if you want your family pet to survive an emergency, you need to create a long-term food storage plan that includes their food and anything else that they might need.
Dogs and cats play an important role in our society. If you have a pet, you know how much of a difference their companionship can make in your life. That won’t change during an emergency, and during tough times, you might want to hold them even tighter! So, it’s important to have enough food stockpiled for them, too.
An emergency food supply solely for your furry friend will ensure that they can thrive beside you throughout any circumstance, but do you know how to build a survival food storage kit for your pet?
In this blog, we will discuss the different nutrients your dog and cat need, along with a few tips to build a survival food storage kit for your pet.
Dog’s Nutritional Needs
If you didn’t know this already, dogs are opportunistic carnivores. This means that they prefer eating meat if it is available, but they can and will eat other types of food.
Dogs can safely enjoy vegetables, grains, eggs, and some types of fruit, however, they cannot eat all the food that we eat as humans. Chocolate, along with garlic and onions are examples of foods that they cannot safely eat.
Also, dog food must provide them with the essential nutrients they need to build and maintain their muscles, bones, immunity, and shiny fur coat.
So, when you are preparing survival food for your dog, you don’t necessarily need to depend solely on meat. You can have a good mix of meat, vegetables, and starches for your dog’s emergency food supply.
Cat’s Nutritional Needs
While dogs are scavengers and opportunistic carnivores, cats are obligate carnivores. The term obligate carnivore is another way of saying “true carnivore”.
A true carnivore must eat a strictly carnivorous diet out of biological necessity. They are unable to manufacture essential nutrients, so they need to get them from meat. It is not necessary for a cat to make these nutrients, as the animals they are eating already contain all the essential nutrients they need.
So, when you create your own emergency food storage plan for your cat, meat should be the main component.
Organ meat is critical to cat food, but your cat’s diet should not be organ meat exclusively. They need to eat a balanced diet, including a mix of 80% meat along with only 10% organ meat, and 10% edible bones.
4 Tips to Build the Best Survival Food Storage Plan for Your Pet
You can create an emergency food supply for your beloved furry friend in a few different ways. Let’s dive into our top 4 tips!
- Canned Pet Food
The best way to start building your emergency pet food supply is by purchasing canned pet foods online or from your nearest pet store.
Canned pet foods have a longer shelf life— if the cans are not opened, its contents will typically stay fresh for 2 years on average.
If you want to slowly build your supply in a way that might be more affordable for you, you can buy an extra ½ or double of what you would normally purchase each month. So, by the end of the year, you will have 6 months to 1 year’s worth of canned food for your pet. Now, that’s enough to last you through most unforeseen circumstances!
- Repackaging Dry Pet Food
You never want to rely on just one thing when it comes to prepping! In addition to canned pet foods, you should be storing plenty of dry pet food.
The original packaging of your pet’s kibble might not be airtight and puncture resistant, so you should not just store it in its original packaging.
Dry pet food becomes rancid when it is exposed to air, light, and moisture for an extended period of time. So, you need to utilize a long-term food storage method that can protect the dried food from spoiling. One of the best ways to repackage dry pet food is by using Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
A high-quality Mylar bag is made with a strong metallic material with an extra layer of aluminum foil on the inside. A Mylar bag can protect dry pet food from light and moisture, and to further extend the shelf life, you can add an oxygen absorber to the bag to remove the oxygen.
You can buy Mylar bags and 100CC or 500CC oxygen absorbers online at a relatively low price.
- Emergency Preparedness Kits
Now, there are a few companies that offer pre-made emergency preparedness kits. These survival kits usually include freeze-dried food that lasts up to 20-25 years.
We don’t advise that you rely solely on these kits, but they could effectively complement your personal stockpile of pet food.
- Home-Cooked Pet Food
You can also cook pet food at home using some basic ingredients that you might already have stored for your family.
There is a pretty basic formula you can follow if you want to make healthy dog food at home. Just use a mix of raw or cooked meat, carbs like rice or potatoes, and raw or cooked veggies in a ratio of 1:1:1. The main thing you need to be mindful of when you are making your own dog food is the portion sizes. The amount of food your dog needs to eat will vary based on the breed and size of your dog.
For all of you cat lovers, we haven’t forgotten about you! There is an easy vet-approved homemade cat food recipe that you can follow, too. Simply combine 2 cups of boneless cooked salmon, 2 tbsp steamed broccoli, 2 tbsp fish oil, and 2 boiled eggs in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is even. Divide your homemade cat food into individual portions, and then store those leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
Your pet’s food is the last thing you want to worry about in an already stressful, emergency situation! So, you should take the time to make a basic emergency food supply that meets your pet’s needs.
You want your pet to have everything they need, in the same way that you do for your children. So, you should not rely on just one type of food for your pet. Instead, we recommend that you use all the above-mentioned methods to effectively store food for your pet in case of an emergency.
Canned food, dry food stored in Wallaby Mylar bags, emergency preparedness kits, and some extra food you have stored for your family to make homemade pet food are the best 4 things that you can combine to create an emergency kit in case SHTF.Keep reading Wallaby’s blog for more tips and advice on long-term food storage, and head to our online shop to buy the best Mylar bags to store kibble for your pet.