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Old 05-17-2012, 09:44 AM
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Default Long Term Dog Food Storage

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I've repeatedly read that there is no way to store dog food (dry or canned) for long periods of time. This makes no sense to me. We can store people food for 25-30 years, or even indefinitely, but we can't store dog food? Something is wrong with this picture. How are you guys handling it?
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:50 AM
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Canned dog food last as long as canned people food. It's dry dog food that is the problem. It's just barely dry enough to avoid mold growth. Any drier and it would be too hard and the dog wouldn't want to eat it. Also, it's loaded with fat which goes rancid easily. It also has pores which hold air that can keep O2 away from the absorber.

Mylar and O2 absorbers extend the life somewhat. But the O2 absorbers give off moisture as they work. And dogfood being a borderline product, mold rings can develop around the absorbers. We've already had several people here report that. Of course, you can scoop that part away and toss it in the compost pile or something. Even at that, it's not going to last truly long term. 2-3 years maybe.

So essentially that leaves you with few choices for truly long term storage. First would be cans, but they're expensive and bulky. Secondly would be storing the ingredients to make your own dog food. There are a bunch of well developed recipes for this online. Another option for folks raising chickens is to feed the dogs whole ground chickens. That's a very healthy diet for dogs.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:56 AM
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I came across this problem also. I store and rotate about 3 bags of dog food regularly so it does not get old, it'll last me a couple months if anything bad happens SHTF wise, and then the dogs will have to eat some food I hunt/gather. It's not a full proof plan but it's a plan that'll get me buy for a while until I raid a dog food store or figure something else out on the fly. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:02 AM
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I agree with Mike, the dry will go rancid because of the fats and oils.

We have two dogs and here's is what my plan is. I keep a (5) Month supply at all times and rotate those 22lb bags. So I know for the first 5-6 Months I'll be fine. I also have in my area large populations of doves and plan on killing them and feeding the breast meat to the dogs. I have two high powered pellet rifles that are very accurate (50 plus yards) and "hopefully" I can feed them at least for a while or stretch my supply as far as I can. They seem to love dove breast but it takes 5-6 of them to make a decent meal. I also plan on using rabbits and squirrels or any other varmits I can shoot.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:52 PM
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Thanks so much! I'll hunt down some recipes and put it in with the people food recipes I'm putting together.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:58 PM
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What about gamma dog food containers i saw some at costco the other day not sure how much they were or how long they would keep dog food.
Old 05-17-2012, 02:13 PM
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Our six year old German Shepard started having some gastro issues with dry and canned dog food. I found this recipe on SB and have been feeding it for the past year with NO issues to date: Hope this helps!

Homemade Dog Food
I call it the “Third Recipe”, because all the portions are in roughly thirds; Rice, Vegetables and Meat. Once you get into the routine, it is very easy and you’ll know what amounts you are regularly using.
Important point to remember is dogs are omnivores, not carnivores, which mean they eat all sorts of stuff, not just meat. A meat protein diet will make a dog hyper and overly aggressive plus damage their kidneys. Feeding dogs is being sold as an “exact” science now. The basics of good nutrition are covered in this formula and inexpensive to feed.

The “Third Recipe” for Dogs
• White rice boiled with an optional chicken bouillon cube – carbohydrates for energy, easy digestion and bouillon cube for favor. You can substitute potatoes occasionally. No pasta, it will ruin a dog’s teeth.
• Vegetables - frozen or canned or fresh - green beans or peas/carrots or mixed vegetables – I prefer frozen over canned – and green beans are best. Easily digested and have fiber.
• Meat – chicken, turkey, tuna or beef or wild game or eggs
• Two half meals – morning and evening- and the cup portions depend on the size of your dog(s). All ingredients are roughly in thirds, but if you have an active dog, use more rice.

The most inexpensive way is to buy 25 to 50 pounds of rice is from Costco or similar retail outlet. Those little bags in the grocery store are quite pricey. I store rice in “Vittle Vaults” porthole screw top lid hard plastic dog food containers. Buy on these storage units on Amazon.com--the least expensive and free shipping and you use these for all sorts of bulk food storage.
You’ll need to make more rice every third day as it gets watery and becomes a great bacteria medium. You can use a rice cooker, which I don’t like to clean. Or make it from scratch in a stock pot. White rice recipe is usually 2 cups of water for every cup of rice.
If you are not used making rice, it takes a little effort at first. So for two big German shepherds, I make four cups of rice at a time - eight plus cups of water, bring to a boil with a bouillon cube and then add 4 cups of rice. I have on designated big stock pot Brown rice is harder to digest, tastes like cardboard and the point of the white rice is carbs for energy and easy digestion.

Green beans are the best all around vegetable. Green beans are fibrous, full of nutrients and pulls particles through the digestive tract. Mixed vegetables, peas and carrots are fine also. Vegetables, like corn and lima beans, aren’t broken down in the digestive tract and a waste of money. Shop around for the lowest frozen vegetables or seal-a-meal or can your own. Broccoli is fine if you are willing to perish from dog gas attacks.

You can use a variety of meats in this food. It depends what your dog will tolerate. Be careful not to rotate types of meat until you have a feel for what your dog can tolerate. I always cook the meat. There is too much contamination to take a chance on causing a hemorrhagic intestinal bug from raw meat. When adding to food, cut or pull the meat into smaller portions for better digestion.

Eggs are a very cheap and inexpensive protein. I hard boil the eggs and add one or two to the meal. You can fry or scramble if you want to spoil your pooches. Eggs and rice are the ingredients of expensive ID (intestinal diet) dog food from the veterinarian.

Chicken - is great, it is easy to digest and inexpensive. I crock pot or broil a $5 pallet of 10 chicken thighs from Wal-Mart. Chicken thighs have lots of meat and only one bone to remove. I add one chicken thigh per meal serving for my German Shepherds. When traveling I bring cheaper canned chicken breast to open and add. Chicken with bones removed is the perfect meat.

Turkey is inexpensive. Cook a turkey up when they are on sale, then package the meat into portions, freeze and take out as needed.

Tuna – I give this for only one meal a week. It is inexpensive if you buy the store brand and the oil/water is good for their coats. Too much processed ocean fish has mercury. So limit the amount. Fish oil capsules from what fish? Goldfish? Natural fish is best.

Beef – Beef is hard for dogs to digest. Crock pot up beef stew meat until tender and broken down. So if you insist on feeding beef, crock pot for tenderizing and easier digestion. Hamburger is fine in limited amounts, but can be it is a little greasy and pricey to feed regularly.

Wild Game– Feeding your dog, venison or other game is okay. Just make sure it is thoroughly cooked. You don’t want your pet to get sick from some weird intestinal bacteria or parasite. Some wild game is very rich and less is more with pets. Just make sure your pet can tolerate this meat to avoid diarrhea and other intestinal episodes.

You can supplement your dog’s nutrition with a daily over the pet counter vitamin. A money saving tip is to buy the senior dog vitamins. They contain twice as much vitamin per pill. So, buy the senior dog vitamins, break them in half and you get two vitamins for the price of one.

As in all things in life, balance is the key. Dogs don’t mind eating the same thing daily. Do not give your dog gravy or lots of fatty food, as this can cause pancreatitis and could kill your pet.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:13 PM
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We can our own dog good using the recipe here http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/search?q=dog+food (with some modifications). It works great and our dogs love it. They'll also eat about anything we could throw at them.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:52 PM
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Using a brick of .22 shells should feed a dog for a year.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:52 PM
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My dogs will be eating what I eat, meat, veg and starch. I figure on food for 6. 4 people and 2 dogs.

I buy two 20 pound bags of dog food and mix them in equal parts. I noticed that when the one kind of dog food was getting low my Pug would eat the other one in his bowl. I think that it tastes different, and that is just after three weeks, not long term storage at all. I now buy a big bag of the one variety and a small bag of the other, and now he eats his whole bowl.

It's a weird day when a PUG doesn't eat his dinner.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:06 PM
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Wow, great info!!!!! Thanks so much!
Old 05-17-2012, 05:09 PM
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I looked at the best use by date on my brand of Gut Puppy Chow...the date on a bag I just bought is 18 months from now...I usually hit up costco and get 6 bags at a whack, That's about 5 months worth. To my human nose, all seems fine. The beasties don't turn their noses up at it (any more so than normal) after 5 months...They haven't died yet. So with this in mind, The bag says buy 18 months worth.

Buy a 5lb bag of kitty litter (unscented) chuck it in the oven and heat it up...get a screw top 55Gal barrel fill it up, and put the bag of kitty litter on top. This should keep any condensation from formimg on the sides of the barrel. This is only an added precaution, and is probably not necessary. You could even throw in some O2 absorbers (about 10). I see no reason that stored properly, and rotated, that one could not do a two year supply for the pooch. Let's face it the bag says 18Mo, I don't see an additional 6Mo's making much difference.
Old 05-17-2012, 05:17 PM
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One of our dogs has a corn allergy, and before we found a good local food for that, I made her food. Twice a day she had white rice with chicken and veggies. She ate it and loved it. The same food that would be good for you long-term will be good for your dog. A tip for meat and veggies (if you're looking purely at things that can be stored) would be using canned chicken and vegetables, and then as much rice as the liquid from the cans can make. It maximizes nutrition to use this liquid, and nothing goes to waste. Dogs are omnivores. It's easy enough to store dry food that will be good for them long-term.
Old 05-17-2012, 06:57 PM
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I have a good store of dried food, tins of sardines etc.

I don't give my dogs tinned food, so I don't want to buy much of that just for storage. In any case, that will run out after a while too...

As well as dried food my dogs get homemade food, similar to the grain/meat/vegie mix given above, but I use a mix of beans as well. The grains and beans store really well so I stock lots of those. If things get really bad, the dogs can become vegetarian without too much trouble.

I have just been reviewing a reference book regarding the vegetarian foods. It recommends adding extra iron, apparently millet is a good grain source, and eggs are good if they are available. A calcium supplement is also recommended (this also applies to dogs fed meat without the bones). Bone meal or a prepared supplement is best as it contains the right ratio to phosphorus - if you are using eggsgell or just calcium you have to make sure not to add too much.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:52 PM
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All stored foods may run out in a SHTF world. I am planning to get some rabbits to act as protein converters to feed the dog, the wife, and me. Two bucks and four females theoretically should be able to produce at least a couple of pounds of meat per day averaged over the year. One pound for the dog and a half-pound for each of us. Humans can live on a 5% protein diet, but dogs need at least twice that. Hard to do entirely with plants...
Old 04-29-2013, 04:41 PM
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My long term dog food storage is in the chicken coop. All of the dogs are fed raw and sometimes leftovers. Two of my Miniature Schnauzer girls have been known to chase down and kill rabbits that have wandered into the backyard.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:06 AM
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Rabbits are the way to go.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:49 AM
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My neighbours seem to be stockpiling cats, they should keep us going for a few months
Old 04-30-2013, 06:14 PM
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I put a vacc sealed three day supply for my two dogs in the Pets BOB I built. It is dry food put into a Food Saver bag, and it so far has been tested up to one year out. It seems to last that long without any change or such.

I use Nutrience Adult Medium Breed for the dry food.
Old 05-01-2013, 01:11 PM
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I, too, doubt that dry dog food can be stored long term. Even higher priced brands incl
ude a lot of low grade fats (some of it is used oils from restaurants) to make it palatable to a dog.
I expect to do as a poster above and make my dog's meals from my daily rations with rice as a base.
One thing I learned from another poster the other day was to add food grade bone meal to boost calcium. I plan to begin to seal and store bone meal in smaller mylar bags. I don't see why it won't store well.
I have discovered that she loves a boiled squirrel every now and then. I catch them easily here with big rat traps and peanuts glued together with peanut butter. I am going to try live traps so I can kill them quickly. The squirrels love dry dog food so that would be a good use for old dog food.


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