When disaster strikes, being stocked and ready to face an emergency is the best way to keep your family safe. Your pets can’t fend for themselves and are especially vulnerable if you’re forced to batten down the hatches because of bad weather. Here, ten items to include in a pet emergency kit so that your entire family can weather a natural disaster safely.
When bad weather strikes, obtaining fresh water becomes a top priority. When you go to the store to stock up on emergency supplies and reach for the bottled water, don’t forget to think of your pet. The more you can store for you and your family the better, but a week’s worth of water for each family member, including your pet, is a safe bet.
Because your pet is less likely to understand food and water rations, it is best to stock up on canned, wet food. Food in cans keeps better, and your pet will be less thirsty if they get moisture from their meal, thus enabling you to stretch out the precious water supply. Don’t forget to pack a can opener! (A small supply of freeze-dried food is also a great option!)
Like people, some pets suffer from chronic conditions that require the constant administration of medicine to keep them healthy. Speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines you may not have access to if your community is hit with severe weather.
#7 Proof of Ownership
You’ll want to place photographs and/or any ownership papers of your pets in a sealed, airtight container as an essential component of your pet emergency kit. If your family has to evacuate to a shelter, you may have to board your pet. Keeping proof of ownership on hand will identify you as a pet owner.
#6 Proof of Recent Vaccinations
Again, if your family has to evacuate and relocate to a shelter, note that due to capacity and safety issues, you may have to board your pet. Some animal clinics and boarding facilities will offer shelter to pets, but require your animal have up-to-date vaccinations. If you need to take your pet to an emergency animal shelter, taking a copy of their vaccination record with you will help ensure they get a spot.
#5 An Emergency Help List
Because everyone in the affected community will be in survival mode, you will want to have a list of helpful neighbors and/or emergency boarding facilities handy. Knowing where you’ll need to go to ensure your pet is safely cared for ahead of time will ensure your pet is safe for the duration of the emergency.
#4 Leashes and / or Pet Carriers
In the event of severe weather, your pet may panic and try to break loose to find a place to hide. Many pets become fatally trapped or injured because of this. In addition, the aftermath of a natural disaster usually results in downed power lines, fallen debris and contaminated groundwater. Therefore, it is best to utilize leashes and/or carriers to restrain your pet from running out into unsafe conditions.
# 3 ID Tags
Whether faced with an emergency situation or not, if you do become separated from your pets the best way to be reunited with them is to have additional ID tags you can fit them with in a hurry. Consider installing a microchip in your pet to help locate them as well. Just don’t forget to keep your contact information up to date!
#2 First Aid Kit
Together with the telephone number of the nearest emergency animal clinic, you can put together an emergency medical kit for your pets should they become injured. Include items such as gauze to bandage an injury, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, and milk of magnesia to absorb poison should accidental ingestion occur.
#1 Creature Comforts
Your pet may be confined to a small space for an undetermined amount of time. Try to include a pet bed, extra litter, clean blankets and towels in your pet emergency kit. Like you, your pets will be nervous and frightened. Soothing them any way you can, will make your pets more likely to stay calm and relaxed until conditions improve.
Honorable Mention: “Pets Inside” Sticker
Placing these stickers on all entrance doors to your home will ensure that emergency responders and passerby will be vigilant just in case you were unable to evacuate your pet during an emergency.
The following is from the Dog Food Advisor website:
Choosing the best large breed puppy foods — and feeding them in the right amount — can significantly lower your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia during growth.1
That’s because the nutritional needs of large and giant breedpuppies are different from those of small and medium breeds.
- Elbow dysplasia2
- Osteochondrosis (OCD)
- Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
- Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD)
However, before a dog owner can take steps to help prevent these conditions, it’s important to first understand the cause.
Why Large Breeds Are
at Greater Risk
Large breed puppies are those whose adult weight will ultimatelyexceed 50 pounds.3
When compared to smaller breeds, two important factors aboutthe way they grow make large breed puppies more prone to skeletal problems:
- They grow faster
- They remain puppies longer
A Labrador retriever can grow from just under a pound at birth to over 70 pounds in a year. That’s a whopping 70-fold increase in size in just 12 months.
In comparison, a human being can take 18 years to achieve results that are less than half that much.
What’s more, unlike smaller breeds that can be fed as adults at about 9-12 months, many larger breeds continue to grow and can still be considered puppies until 12 to 24 months.4
Rapid growth means the bones must change quickly — a factor that can put them at risk of forming improperly.
And it is this remarkable rate of growth that makes large and giant breeds so sensitive to nutritional imbalances.
The Protein Myth
Unfortunately, the Internet is awash with misinformation about how to feed large breed puppies.
For example, many insist that high levels of dietary protein can lead to hip dysplasia.
Yet contrary to that popular myth…
No evidence exists to link high protein intake to skeletal disease in large breed dogs.5
So, if high protein isn’t the problem — what is?
The Real Causes
of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
If you exclude all the less common factors, orthopedic disease in large breeds appears to be the result of at least one of 3 proven causes:
So, since after birth there’s nothing you can do to change your puppy’s genetics…
It’s important to avoid overnutrition — feeding too many calories or too much calcium — to help lower your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia.
Free choice is a popular feeding method in which the food remains in the bowl and continuously available — so a puppy can eat whenever it wants.
And many owners of large breed puppies mistakenly believe that this form of uncontrolled eating is the correct way to feed their pets.
However, free choice feeding has been shown to cause a puppy togrow too fast — and lead to serious problems.
For example, a 1995 German study of Great Danes demonstrated a significant increase in the risk of developing skeletal disease when the puppies were fed free choice.9
In another study, one group of Labrador Retriever puppies was fed throughout life a restricted calorie diet while a second was fed free choice.10
The restricted calorie group experienced a much lower incidenceand later onset of hip joint arthritis.
And Too Much Calcium
Like overfeeding, excessive dietary calcium has also been shown toincrease the risk of skeletal disease in large breed puppies.11
That’s because puppies can have trouble regulating how much calcium is absorbed from their intestinal tracts.12
And that’s not all.
Feeding too little calcium can also lead to problems.
That’s why it’s so important to feed a dog food that contains an amount of calcium believed to be safe for large breed puppies.
Calcium Safety Guidelines
Unfortunately, although AAFCO13 has published nutrient profiles forpuppies in general…
There are currently no AAFCO nutrient profiles designed to address the special needs of large breed puppies.
Yet fortunately, there’s general agreement among the experts that any food intended for large breed puppies should not only meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, it should also contain:
- 3500 to 4000 calories (kcal) per kilogram of food14
- 3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories of food. That value should not exceed the safe upper limit of 4.5 grams15
- A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 and 1.5:116
Although most AAFCO compliant puppy foods are suitable for small and medium breeds, only a few meet these special guidelines and can be considered safe for large breed puppies.
How to Check for
Safe Calcium Content
for the rest of this article and handy calculator tool please go to:
Announcing the addition of Acana Regionals!
From Champion Pet Foods…..the makers of Orijen. Made from Canada’s best and freshest ingredients, ACANA Regionals reflect our local heritage and express the diversity of fresh authentic foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.
Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavorful ACANA recipes feature 60-70% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.
- WILD PRAIRIE chicken, turkey, walleye
- PACIFICA Canadian salmon, herring, flounder
- GRASSLANDS lamb, duck, eggs and fish
- RANCHLANDS Black Angus beef, Alberta Bison, Alberta Lamb
- For Adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and we have them in both small and large bag sizes!
More exciting news coming soon with new options for single source protein foods for your allergic pets!
To follow-up on dog food labeling here is a label from a leading seller that many think is a great pet food.
- 25.0% Crude Protein (min)
- 10.0% Crude Fat (min)
- 4.0% Crude Fiber (max)
- 14.0% Moisture (max)
- 1.5% Linoleic Acid (min)
- 1.0% Calcium (Ca) (min)
- 0.2 mg/kg Selenium (Se) (min)
- 10,000 IU/kg Vitamin A (min
And here is a label from another less known dog food:
- Crude Protein 24% MIN
- Crude Fat 15% MIN
- Crude Fiber 3.5% MAX
- Moisture 10% MAX
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids 0.5% MIN
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.6% MIN
Based on this guaranteed analysis they don’t look all that different do they?
But let’s take a look at the ingredient panel now…..
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, soy flour, rice flour, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, mono and dicalcium phosphate, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, Yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.
Manufactured by: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA
And the second one:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes,Brown Rice, White Rice, Dried Whole Egg, Menhaden Fish Meal, Millet,Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace,Safflower Oil, Herring Meal, Cheese,Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli,Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans,Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries,Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate,Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts,Calcium Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid,Taurine, Parsley, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.
Fromm Family Foods LLC
Which one would you think is better for your dog?
The next time you go to pick up that bag of Beneful or other “grocery store/big box” brand please take a look at the label and think about it!
Here is a description of various ingredients that you might see in many pet foods. This is from AAFCO….. You may be surprised!
Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; It shall be suitable for animal food.
Meat Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto., ie. Chicken meal, duck meal, lamb meal, etc.
And what you find in many other brands of pet foods carried by competitors:
Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices
Corn distillers’ grains – the residual grains or byproduct that contain the nutrients remaining after the starch from corn has been fermented to alcohol.
Animal Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
Brewer’s Rice – the dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.
Corn Gluten Meal – the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.
Dried Animal Digest – dried material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
Poultry Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed poultry tissue.
Our last discussion related to crude protein and the difference in quality of proteins that can both produce the same result on the crude protein level. So the quality of those protein producing ingredients in the key. We have to have appropriate levels of various amino acids (building blocks of proteins) in order to meet the needs of your dog or cat. An essential amino acid MUST be supplied by the diet. A non-essential amino acid can be synthesized by the animal assuming sufficient “build material” is available in the diet. There are 10 essential amino acids for dogs and 11 for cats (they also need taurine). Since levels of amino acids are not typically listed (not required) on the label we focus on the quality of the ingredients used to make sure they are provided. So let’s move on the ingredient panel and look at those ingredients companies use to provide protein/amino acids:
Quality ingredients: whole meats….. duck, turkey, chicken, salmon, lamb, whitefish, bison, beef, pork….basically any decent quality meat. The one somewhat deceiving thing is that a meat may be listed first on the label but that is based on the water it contains also….once it’s incorporated in the diet it may not contribute nearly as much as it appears.
Typically we then move on to quality meat meals…. Chicken meal, lamb meal, duck meal, salmon meal, turkey meal, bison meal, pork meal, anchovy & sardine meal, whitefish meal, etc. Note, that the terms used here do not include by-product in the name. These are pure meat meals. Excellent quality protein products.
The quality foods we carry end it here.
Many competitor labels however move on to various other by-products mostly as an attempt to cheapen the diet because they cost considerably less than high quality meat meals. Various possible ingredients on the label might include:
Poultry by-product meal (and other species by-product meals, meat meal, meat and bone meal, chicken liver flavor, animal digest, beef and bone meal, pork and bone meal, chicken by-product meal, hydrolyzed meals (code word for acid treated feathers, etc.) etc.
Beyond that then we move into grains/grain by-products that are terrible sources of amino acids for your pets. They include such things as:
Ground whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal* , ground whole grain wheat, brewers rice, distillers grains, whole wheat flour, soy flour, wheat middlings just to name a few.
*Soybean meal is technically from an oilseed and not a grain. It is commonly lumped into the same category, however, as there have been reported cases of gastrointestinal distress in some dogs fed soybean meal based foods.
This does not consider white or brown rice or pearled barley used as a carbohydrate to form a kibble. Our foods do not use these as a major protein source.
Please, remember you are feeding for amino acids which require a high quality protein source on the ingredient panel. Grab your bag of Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Kibbles n Bits, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Ol’Roy, Nutro, 4-Health, Beneful, Bil-Jac, Hills Prescription Diet, Newmans, PMI Nutrition, Royal Canin, Sportmix, etc and bring it in to compare to one of our brand labels. You may be shocked. Or view ours on-line. And then you have the Blue Buffalo story where the people manufacturing their food under a contract for them was using the lesser ingredients and just not putting them on the label……