Emergency Preparedness: Pet Food & More
For those of us in Connecticut, in 2020 we were walloped with a tropical storm. This left many of us without power for several days. This brings up the topic of Emergency preparedness for pet food, supplies and more. So how can you make sure you’re covered if we were to have another power outage? We’ll walk you through some options, what to have ready and what our best advice is.
Regardless of what type of food you feed, it’s worth having at least a few days of emergency supplies – including food and water. Sometimes kibble isn’t always the best answer because the shelf life is short. Packaging can also easily fail when exposed to heat and moisture. Not to mention kibble takes up a lot of room, and is heavy. If you are a raw or fresh food feeder, losing power is even more stressful, because we can’t always just switch to kibble easily. So, what are we supposed to do? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered – here are some best practices from our team:
- Keep emergency water on hand. No matter whether you are on city or well water you must have clean, safe water on hand for you and your pets to consume if the need arises. This is something we don’t often think about, however dehydration and heat related concerns are a problem, especially in the summertime. Clean water for drinking, cleaning wounds or even hand washing should not be an added stressor in the event of a power outage or extreme weather. If you keep an emergency supply it’s best to rotate it out with fresh every 6-12 months, just as you would other food products.
- First aid kit – First aid kits including emergency bandages, medicine and antibiotic ointment is critical. It’s also a good idea to keep a few extra items for your pet including nail clippers (they can come in handy), extra gauze, veterinary wrap tape and styptic powder. If you chose include antibiotic ointment be sure it does not have pain reliever in it as some may be toxic to pets. Be sure to also check these supplies at least every 6 months for expirations.
- Medications & Calming Aids – Some people may choose to include a CBD calming aid on top of any prescription medications you or your pet may need. Check out options from Super Snouts!
- Leash, Collar & ID Tag – you never know when you may need an extra leash or collar.
- Poop Bags – easy and sanitary clean up and disposal
- Pest Control – such as Wondercide to help keep pests for both you and your pets at bay.
- Blankets and towels – these items are a must for any emergency preparedness kit for both you and your pets.
- Emergency food – while it is a good idea to keep a small bag of your pet’s kibble in an emergency kit, it sometimes isn’t always feasible. And if you’re a raw or fresh food feeder you can’t necessarily just switch to kibble without digestive upset. Here are some feasible options:
- Canned & Wet foods –
- Pros – shelf stable, hearty packaging, can be inexpensive
- Cons – heavy, bulky, can be expensive, may need a lot to meet calorie requirement, may cause digestive upset
- Freeze Dried Foods
- The best part of this category is that the ‘switch’ is seamless. Most pets not only love the food due to simple ingredients – but the chance of digestive upset is pretty low no matter if you feed kibble, raw, or anything in between
- Pros – lightweight, does not take up much space, nutrient-dense, hearty packaging, shelf-stable, easy to switch, great for picky eaters, great for sensitivities
- Cons – may be more costly in some cases
- Brands to consider: Northwest Naturals, Primal, K9 Natural (or Feline Natural for the kitties!)
- Canned & Wet foods –
In the context of pet food emergency preparedness for raw feeders, we suggest utilizing freeze-dried food. It is a realistic, cost-effective and nutrient-dense option that can easily be used as treats, emergency meals, or even in a pinch when you forget to thaw food or pick it up from the store! We love these because they rarely cause digestive upset, even when switched suddenly from kibble or raw.
When these are supplemented as part of your pet’s regular food, or as treats, freeze-dried can be an extremely affordable option even for the largest dogs. For small dogs, freeze-dried is often incredibly affordable, and picky dogs tend to really enjoy the texture and flavor. We’ve been incorporating more of these into our weekly rotations and used them throughout the most recent power outage with great success!
Looking for more? Check out our boredom buster ideas here: Keeping Your Pets Entertained
About the Author:
Nicole is the founder & owner of multiple-award-winning NorthPoint Pets & Company, in Connecticut, USA. She has completed undergraduate work in biological sciences, business and holds an M.S. in Nutrition. Currently, Nicole is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (Canine Nutrition/Metabolomics) at the prestigious University of Georgia in the USA.
Her background includes experience in the pharmaceutical industry on multiple R&D projects and has had the privilege to learn from leading figures in the human and pet health industries. Nicole has been heavily involved in police canine nutrition within the USA, helping to improve the modern care and feeding of working dogs. Her interests include working dog nutrition, raw feeding, pathogens, metabolomics, and nutrition’s relationship to disease in humans and canines. Her current research involves the exploration of the canine urinary metabolome and the relationship to diet.
Publications: Cammack, N.R., Yamka, R.M., and Adams, V.J. (2021). Low Number of Owner-Reported Suspected Transmission of Foodborne Pathogens From Raw Meat-Based Diets Fed to Dogs and/or Cats. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.741575.