Home » Emergency Dog Food & Prepping For Dog Survival: Beginners Guide

Emergency Dog Food & Prepping For Dog Survival: Beginners Guide

A YouTube follower recently requested an article on prepping your dog for SHTF. I’ve done a poor job of preparing my dogs for emergencies. I think it’s time to write a comprehensive article on doggy preparedness.

I’m not a professional, but I did do a lot of research for this article. I hope this information helps you prepare your dogs for a natural disaster, long term SHTF, or a short-term emergency.

3 Things to Consider Before Prepping

Before you start prepping for your pup, think about your dog’s capabilities, the location where you live, and the most likely disaster you will face.

Dog’s Capability

All dogs are not created equal, so Prep for what your dog can handle. An unneutered Weimaraner trained as a hunting dog is in better condition to handle bugging-out on foot. In the right location, he may supplement his diet by scavenging for food and water, and he has the strength to carry his supplies.

A 14-year-old lab with a bum leg and bad eyes will be dependent on you for survival and may not be able to bug out or will put your group in so much danger you’ll have to make some tough decisions.


Urban areas are more subject to Without Rule of Law situations where stealth is necessary, depending on the breed a dog may give you away and put your group in danger. My dogs are barkers and way too friendly. Not the best when you are trying to stay undetected.

In an urban area, your dog will be more dependent on you for food and water than in the woods.

Most Likely Disaster

Consider the most likely disaster as you plan for survival. How you will get out of dodge with your dog(s.)

Bugging-out with a vehicle, walking out on foot or Bugging-in your home are going to present different challenges you will have to plan for.

Walking out on foot is going to be the most challenging scenario for most breeds. Only a highly trained dog, which most of us don’t have, will be an asset and not a hindrance when evading detection on foot.

Let’s take a look at survival supplies for your dog and daily calorie requirements

Dog with blue eyes

How Many Calories Does My Dog Need Per Day?

Before you decide how much food to stockpile you need to know how many calories your doggie will need per day.

The calorie count requirements in the following chart are based on an imaginary “average dog” by weight. You can use this chart to ballpark the amount of dry dog food to stockpile.

The calorie count(s) in the following chart are based on an average imaginary dog.

  • The Dog Lives indoors
  • He gets moderate exercise
  • Doggie is spayed or neutered.
  • Fido Is eating Purina Dog Chow, Complete Adult Formula with Chicken, at 416 calories per cup. I picked a typical dog food as an example: it gets good reviews, is relatively inexpensive, and readily available.
Dog in water with stick

Table #1 Daily Calorie Count Requirement By Dog Weight

Dog Weight (lbs)Daily Calories Required Cups of Food Per Day 3-Day Supply
30-Day Supply
30 Day Supply (lbs)
102061/2 (.49)1.514 3/4 3 3/4
152743/4 (.65)2 1/419 1/25
203421 (.82)324 3/46 1/2
254101 (.98)329 1/27 1/2
304791 1/4 (1.15)3 3/434 1/29
355471 1/2 (1.31)4 1/239 1/210
406151 1/2 (1.47)4 1/244 1/211 1/2
456831 3/4 (1.64)5 1/449 1/212 1/2
507512 (1.80)5 1/25413 1/2
558202 (1.97)659 1/215
608882 1/4 (2.13)6 3/46416
65956.2 1.2 (2.29)7 1/26917 1/2
7010242 1/2 (2.46)7 1/26917 1/2
7510922/3/4 (2.62)87920
8011602 3/4 (2.78)883 1/220.87
8512293 (2.95)988 1/222 1/2
9012973 1/4 (3.11)9 3/49423 1/2
9513653 1/2 (3.28)109925
10014333 1/2 (3.44)1010426
Information Provided by Veterinary Centers of America And Purina

The Formula

  1. 30 x dog weight in pounds
  2. Divided by 2.2
  3. + 70
  4. Equals: The average dog’s daily caloric requirement.
  5. I then divided the daily calorie requirement by calories provided per cup of dry dog food.
  6. This will tell you the minimum number of cups to feed your dog per day. Use the calories or kcalories per cup listed on the dog food bag. The kcals provided by kibble are a little different for every brand.

Dry dog food that meets the American Association of Feed Control Officials guidelines has calories provided per cup on the packaging.

AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods.

A working dog, a puppy, a sick dog, or a pregnant dog may require a special diet. Check with your Veterinarian if you need clarification.

Find the Caloric Content Statement On a Bag of Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Label: calories per kg and per cup

As Per the Association of American Feed Control Officials AAFCO: Caloric Content Statement: must be located on the dog food bag under a heading titled “Calorie Content.”

  • The Caloric Content Statement is the section on a dog food bag where kilocalories or kcals are listed by unit (e.g., per can, per cup, or biscuit) and calories per kilogram of kibble.
  • Calories or kcals per cup will help you determine how many cups of dog food your dog need per day.
  • Kcals per kilogram will be used to determine the total calories in a bag of dog food.

What Is a kCalorie?

  • For our purposes, a Calorie and a kilocalorie are the same things. Following is the definition of kcal from Nutrition.gov.
  • “The “calorie” we refer to in food is kilocalorie. One kilocalorie is the same as one Calorie. A kilocalorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.

Dry Kibble Pounds to Kilograms Chart

Dog on a beach

Convert total pounds of dog food to kilograms of dog food, and use “kcals per kilogram” provided in the “Caloric Content Statement” to determine the number of calories or kcals in X pounds of dog food.

Table #2 Dog Food Pounds to Kilogram Conversion

Pounds of Dog FoodPounds to Kilogram Conversion
5 lb Bag2.267 kg
10 lb Bag 4.53 kg
15 lb Bag6.8 kg
20 lb Bag 9.07 kg
25 lb Bag11.33
30 lb Bag13.6
35 lb Bag15.87
40 lb Bag18.1
42 lb19.05
45 lb Bag20.41
50 lb Bag22.67
“lbs to kg conversion.” Google Search Engine

Converting LBS of Dog Food to Kilograms: Directions

  1. Look at your dog food bag and find out how many pounds of food is in the bag. Convert pounds to kilograms.
  2. On the Google search engine, type “convert pounds to kilograms,” A conversion calculator will be at the top of the page. Or, look at the chart above.
  3. Knowing the total Kgs in a bag of food is needed to
    • Calculate the calories in an entire bag of dog food
    • Calculate How many days the bag will feed your dog.

How Long Will A Bag of Kibble Feed My Dog?

5 Steps: The Number of Days a Bag of Kibble Will Feed Your Dog

  1. Convert the lbs of dry dog food, in the bag, to kilograms (see chart above for most common dog-food bag size, lb to kg conversions)
    1. A 42 lb bag of dog food has 19.05 kilograms.
  2. Take the number of kilograms you converted from lbs on the dog food bag and multiply by the kcal count per kilogram on the bag of dog food (see the picture above)
    1. The 19.05 kg of dog food is multiplied by 3598 (kcal per kg found on the calorie statement) equals 68,541 kcals in this 42 lb bag of dog food.
  3. Divide the total calories in the bag (68,541) by the daily requirement for your dog.*
    1. As an example, the average 40 lbs dog needs 615 kcals per day. (see chart above)
    2. Divide total calories in the bag 68,541 by the daily calorie requirement for a 40lb dog of 615 calories.
    3. 68, 541 divided by 615 equals 111. 5 days (rounded up)
  4. This calculation gives you the number of days a specific bag of food will feed the average dog based on daily calorie requirements.
  5. The 40 lbs dog in the example will get its daily calorie requirement from this 42 lbs bag of dog food for 111.5 Days

*see chart above for the average daily calorie requirement by dog weight.

How Many Cups of Dry Dog Food Are In The Bag?

One Pound of Dry Dog food contains 4 cups of kibble.

The number of cups in a pound of dry dog kibble will vary slightly by brand. This chart provides a good baseline for calculating SHTF food to store for your pup.

Table #3 Dry Dog Food Conversion: Pounds to Cups

Dog Food In PoundsCup Conversion
One Pound of Dry Dog food contains 4 cups of kibble. This is the average and will vary slightly by the brand of kibble.

Calories In 1 Cup of Dry Dog Food/ Kibble

Following is a list of calories, per cup, for some common dog foods. I went to Wally Mart and big box stores and took the information directly from the bag of each manufacturer. To find the kcal/calories in your specific brand of dog food, find the “calorie content” section on your bag of dog food. (see picture above.)

Table #4 Kirkland Signature Costco Brand Kibble (calories per cup)

Adult Formula Chicken, Rice, Vegetable (Costco Brand is what I feed my dogs)393/kcals/cup
Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal and Sweet Potato336/kcal/cup
Nature’s Domaine Beef Meal & Sweet Potato327/kcal/cup
Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea Formula340/kcal/cup
Nature’s Domain Turkey Meal & Sweet Potato336/kcal/cup
Adult Formula Lamb, Rice, and Vegetable373/kcal/cup
Puppy Chicken, Rice Vege Formula390/kcal/cup

Table #5 Whole Earth Farms Kibble (calories per cup)

Turkey and Duck/Grain Free381/kcal/cup
Pork, Beef and Lamb/Poultry Free374/kcal/cup
Salmon and Whitefish373/kcal/cup

Table #6 Blue Buffalo Kibble (calories per cup)

Adult Chicken & Brown Rice377/kcal/cup

Table #7 Simply Nourish Kibble (calories per cup)

Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe370/kcal/cup

Table #8 Nutro Kibble (calories per cup)

Beef & Brown Rice339/kcal/cup
Lamb & Rice303/kcal/cup

Table #9 Hill’s Science Diet Kibble (calories per cup)

Large Breed353/kcal/cup
Adult 1-6 363/kcal/cup

Table #10 Authority Kibble (calories per cup)

Adult/Large Breed Chicken and Rice371/kcal/cup

Table #11 Purina Kibble (calories per cup)

Pro Plan, Adult Chicken, and Rice382/kcal/cup
Pro Plan Shredded Blend Beef & Rice371/kcal/cup
Beneful/Grain Free353/kcal/cup
Beneful With Farm-Raised Beef346/kcal/cup
Dog Chow Complete Adult Formula with Chicken416/kcal/cup
Dog Chow With Real Beef421/kcal/cup

Table #12 Pedigree Kibble (calories per cup)

Adult Formula309/kcal/cup

Table #13 IAMS Kibble (calories per cup)

Mini-chunks for Large Breed351/kcal/cup
Lamb & Rice359/kcal/cup

Wet Dog Food: Calories Per Can

Old Roy Canned Dog Food

Chicken & Rice 418/kcal/13.2oz can
Beef329/kcal/13.2oz can

Pedigree Canned Dog Food

High Protein Beef & Lamb370/kcal/13.2oz can
Chicken & Turkey363/kcal/13.2oz can

Purina Canned Dog Food

Beyond Chicken & Sweet Potato304/kcal/12.5oz can
Beyond Beef Potato & Green Bean442/kcal/12.5oz can

Blue Bison Dog Food

Wilderness, Lamb522/kcal/12.5oz can
Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill523/kcal/12.5oz can

How Long Can I Store Dry Dog Food in My Survival Pantry?

Dry dog food or kibble will store for 12 to 18-months unopened in-store packaging. Kibble contains moisture in the form of lipids or fats, which increase the speed of oxidation. Oxygen-free storage will not eliminate the enzymes that cause kibble to spoil. Opened kibble will last six months.

You can probably get another 12 months out of dog food by storing it in Mylar bags with Oxygen absorbers, but it’s not worth the time and expense. There are better options for long-term situations.

  • Use kibble for emergencies out to the “best buy date and rotate with FIFO (First In First Out). There are better options for long-term storage.
  • Dry Dog Food is one of those prepper foods better off left in-store packaging.
  • If you store your dry dog food in an airtight dog-food bin lipids and fat will build up in the container.
  • If you use a bin don’t take the food out of the bag.
  • O2 absorbers produce moisture in the food package. They can develop mold rings when used in kibble. Consider that Kibble is already borderline when it comes to moisture content. O2 absorbers add more moisture.
  • Kibble has pores that make it difficult for oxygen absorbers to create an oxygen-free environment.

Warning: If kibble is above 10% moisture content, oxygen absorbers should not be used in your storage container as anaerobic bacteria such as botulism may form.

14 Ways to Tell Your Dog Kibble is Bad

sick dog

You can usually tell if the dry dog food is bad. It will look discolored, or it will smell sour or rancid. A dog can handle eating foods and drinking water that would make a human sick. The problem is you don’t know when it will be a problem.

  1. Food smells off, rancid or sour
  2. Food is discolored
  3. Kibble is overly moist
  4. Food has mold growing on it
  5. Signs of bugs
  6. Your pup won’t Eat the Food
  7. Your pup eats but reluctantly, and in small doses
  8. Your dog eats and doesn’t act right. You’ll know.
  9. After eating, your dog gets sick
  10. Diarrhea
  11. Vomiting
  12. Abdominal cramps or pain
  13. Lack of appetite
  14. Skin rash

6 Long-term Effects of Dogs Eating Spoiled Kibble

Your dog may be less demanding; they may be hungry enough to eat lousy food. Here are six long-term effects your dog may experience if they eat bad kibble.

  1. Poor coat and hair condition
  2. Hair Loss
  3. Lethargy and lack of energy
  4. Sleeps more than normal
  5. Constipation
  6. Weakened Immune System
Bags of Dog Food at Grocery STorey

Is Canned Dog Food Good For Long-term Storage?

Canned Dog Food has a “best buy date” of two years, but you can get a good ten years out of it. Wet or canned dog foods are one of the best options for long-term storage; they take up less space than dry dog food, they provide extra moisture, and less food rotation is required.  

  • Expensive per kcal.
  • It’s heavy

How Long Is Canned Dog Food Edible?

Canned food, in general, including dog food, is safe to eat and retains its nutritional value way beyond the two year “best buy date.” There may be some decline in color and texture, but if appropriately stored, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf-life if stored below 75° F.

10 Signs A can of Dog Food is Bad

  1. Bulging lid (botulism)
  2. Dented or otherwise damaged
  3. Broken Seal
  4. Bubbling when opened
  5. Food is moldy
  6. Food Spurts out of the can when opened
  7. Hissing sound when opened
  8. Food looks spoiled
  9. Food smells foul
  10. Can is leaking
Dog on the couch

Is Freeze Dried Dog-food Good for Longterm Storage

  • Most of the freeze-dried dog-foods I found are more like homemade types of food or cooked natural ingredients freeze-dried, not actual kibble.
  • Freeze-dry your dog food if you want to go that route. Again, it’s expensive. The home freeze-dry units can bust the bank.
  • I’m not affiliated with HarvestRight, but they set the standard for home-based freeze-drying units.

List of Companies That Sell Freeze-dried Dog Food

  • Dr. Marty Nature’s Blend
  • Open Farm
  • Whole Life
  • Instinct
  • The Honest Kitchen
  • The Ready Store
Girl carrying a dog

Make Dog Food From Your Long-term Food Pantry

Make homemade emergency dog food from ingredients stored for your consumption—another tool in your pet survival arsenal. Using pantry staples like white rice and rolled oats bypasses the high expense of freeze-dried and canned foods and the short-shelf life of dry kibble.

Plan to feed your dog (s) long-term survival foods that you store for human consumption like staples with a 20 to 30-year shelf-life.

Human Survival Foods You Can Use to Make Dog Food

Food TypeShelf-life
White Rice30 Years
Whole Wheat (ground to flour)30 Years
Non-fat powdered Milk20 Years
Dried Whole Eggs10 Years
Rolled Oats30 Years
Corn Meal30 YearsShelf Dates are based on foods packaged for long-term storage. Information is Compliments of Augason Farms
dog on a picnic table

Dog Food Recipe From Long-Term Storage Ingredients

This dry dog food recipe doesn’t store long-term, but the ingredients do. If you have a long-term pantry, you are probably already storing most of these items for you and your family.

  • Make small batches of homemade dog food as you need it.
  • Add found ingredients to supplement and vary nutrition.

Ingredient List:

  • Flour (ground from long-term wheat storage)
  • Oats/Rolled Oats/ or Cooked White Rice
  • Powdered Milk
  • Powdered Eggs
  • Olive Oil (The weak link. Fats go rancid quickly, so experiment with a substitute that will store long-term like canned lard or Crisco)
  • Water

Mix The Dry Ingredients First

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 cups of oats/rolled oats or cooked white rice
  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 8 Tablespoons of Powdered Eggs

Add The Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Water


  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: 3 Cups of flour, 3 cups of oats, 1 cup of powdered milk, and eight tablespoons of powdered eggs.
  2. Mix In Wet Ingredients: Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of water into dry ingredients.
  3. Mix into a dough
  4. Spread mixture onto a greased 9″ x 13″ baking sheet with sides
  5. Preheat Oven to Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 1:50 minutes.
  6. Let cool
  7. Break up into a kibble
  8. Storage: Experiment with this. I live in Florida, and it’s humid. This food had mold on it by the 5th day because I kept it in a sealed freezer bag.

Nutritional Content:

  • The mixture Contains 2810 kcals. See Chart Above for “Daily Emergency Calorie Requirements For Dogs”
  • Fat 90 g
  • Protein 102 g
  • Carbohydrates 396 g
  • The ratio of Fat to Protein to Carbohydrates: 15:17:67

Note: If you change the ingredients, you will change the nutritional content of the recipe.

We know that surviving on our long-term stores is going to create vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that’s why we store multi-vitamins or garden for produce.

The same goes for your pup. This Dry Dog Food recipe is for “survival mode.” With a steady, long-term diet of this food, your dog will have vitamin and mineral deficiencies without supplements.

Tip: Consider storing store-bought dry, wet, or freeze-dried foods for short-term emergencies and beef up long-term food stores so you can feed your dog (s) during long-term catastrophes or hard times.

Homemade Dog Food Characteristics

  • This food is not high on the calorie count, at 2810 kcals per batch.
  • It is useful as a base for found or foraged ingredients.
  • Feeding your dogs in an emergency or survival situation, you will face the same nutritional challenges as storing food for humans. Fat and animal protein are incredibly hard to come by if you aren’t hunting, fishing, or raising animals for food.

Fact: All three of my dogs like this food. My wife’s Bichon tries to herd us to the counter with the homemade dog treats.

Warning: I am not a professional. Before feeding your dog food(s) that are not to AAFCO standards, consult with your veterinarian.

Homemade Dog Food: Olive Oil Substitute

Most oil(s) have a shelf-life of 1 to 2 years at best, and you may be looking for longer-term storage options.

  • Consider Using Solid shortening as a substitute for olive oil.
  • Crisco and other solid shortenings, with preservatives, may last up to 8 years if properly stored.

Other Ingredients You Can Add To Homemade Dog Kibble:

  • B Vitamins: 2 Tablespoons of Brewers Yeast (water-soluble)
  • C Vitamin: Crush 1, 500 mg tablet daily (water-soluble)
  • Do Not Supplement Fat-soluble Vitamins like vitamin D without professional consultation. An excess of fat-soluble vitamins can be toxic. FDA.gov/animal veterinary
  • E Vitamin: One time per week, squeeze One 200 iu capsule on food (Vitamine E is Fat Soluble; consult veterinarian)
  • Calcium– 1000 mg per 1b of dog food. Possible sources:
    • Food-grade bone meal
    • Ground dried egg-shells
    • Dried ground animal bones
    • Calcium tablets, crushed. (Calcium is like a Fat-soluble vitamin; consult your veterinarian)

16 Foods You Can Supplement In Your Pets Diet During a Catastrophe

  1. Sweet Potatoes
  2. Dry Beans (cooked)
  3. Pumpkin
  4. Carrots
  5. Green Beans
  6. Peas
  7. Apples
  8. Dehydrated Peanut Butter
  9. Cheese
  10. Meat
  11. Left-overs from hunting and scavenging
  12. Supplement with Raised Rabbits
  13. Raised Chickens; meat and eggs
  14. Squirrels
  15. Deer
  16. Fish/ Raised or caught.
  17. Any meat you can hunt, or raise and eat

Recipe & Information Compliments of PracticalPrepper.com

Ready Squirrel Video: Survival Dog Food From Long Term Storage

12 Foods Not to Feed Your Dog

Some of These are obvious, but in an SHTF situation, you may be tempted to use what you have. Plan, so you don’t have to use any of these foods.

  1. Alchohol: Toxic causes a sudden drop in blood sugar
  2. Avacado: Avacados have a toxin called persin, some animals get sick. Dogs seem to have a higher tolerance, but there is controversy surrounding whether dogs can eat avocado.
  3. Chocolate, Coffee, or Caffeine: Toxic Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Dogs are more susceptible to caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate) than humans. Small doses can kill a little dog.
  4. Citrus: it isn’t toxic to dogs but may cause stomach upset
  5. Coconut/Coconut Oil: Not Toxic but causes stomach upset
  6. Grapes and Raisins: Toxic Professionals aren’t sure which chemical causes the illness, but ingestion could lead to kidney failure.
  7. Macadamia Nuts: Toxic causing weakness in the back legs, vomiting, and diarrhea
  8. Milk and Dairy: Eating in small amounts is ok but avoid large doses because dogs have a low amount of lactase, the enzyme used to process dairy.
  9. Nuts: Nuts are ok in moderation; don’t overdo it
  10. Onion, Garlic, Chives (Allium family) Toxic Cause onion toxicity, which leads to lethargy, weakness, vomiting, and elevated heart-rate
  11. Salty Foods: feed in moderation or not at all, could lead to sodium ion poisoning.
  12. Xylitol: Toxic, make sure your peanut butter doesn’t contain this man-made sweetener common in candy and things like toothpaste. It can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

Information compliments of ASPCA.org

Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements With a Homemade Survival Diet?

If you feed your dog homemade dog food in a survival situation, you will need to plan for vitamin supplements or additional ingredients at some point. Dog’s are omnivores, they eat plants and meat, but a diet of just staples will leave gaps in nutrition without some form of supplementation.

Dog Diet: Two Minerals Commonly Supplemented In A Vegetarian Diet

  1. Calcium: Calcium is easily provided with food-grade bone meal
  2. Iron: Beans, lentils, Canned Sardines, or supplement at the direction of your veterinarian

Fact: Commercial dog food labeled “complete and balanced” or marked as complying with AAFCO standards are formulated to provide all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your dog needs.

golden lab

Vitamins Your Dog Needs In Homemade Dog Food

If you decide to make pet-food from your pantry, it’s going to be as tough to get well-rounded nutrition for your dog in a long-term SHTF situation as it is for you. A dog, just like a human could, probably survive quite a while on only white beans and rice, but it wouldn’t be healthy.

Table #14 Vitamins Your Dog Needs For Survival

AFat-Soluble is necessary for cell and immune function. Carrots, pumpkin, liver
B (biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12)Regulate metabolism, facilitate enzyme function, glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, mitochondrial protein synthesisWhole Grains, liver, beans, nuts, dairy
CAntioxidant; Dogs synthesize C in their liver Fruits, Vegetables, Organ Meat
DBalances Minerals like phosphorous and calcium for bone growthFish, Fish Oil, Egg Yolks, dairy, liver, cheese
ECell Function and metabolism (fat-soluble)Whole Grains, Wheat Germ, liver
KAllows blood to clot (fat-soluble)Liver, fish, cabbage, leafy greens
CholineBrain and Liver FunctionFish, eggs, nuts, some beans, whole grains, dairy products
Information compliments of the American Kennel Association

Table #15 Minerals Your Dog Needs For Survival

CalciumBlood clotting, teeth, and bone health, muscle contractionEgg shells, bone- meal, green beans, broccoli
IronCarry oxygen in the Hemoglobin of red blood cells, Enzyme functionMillet, eggs
PhosphorousBone and teethEggs, dairy, fish, most meat
MagnesiumHormone function, cell function, carries calcium to muscle tissueWhole grains, beans, green beans, spinach
PotassiumMuscles, nerves, and enzymes. Maintains fluid balanceDairy, Whole Grain, Vegetables
ZincImmune and thyroid function, enzymes, protein, and hormone functionWhole Grains, spinach, broccoli
IodineThyroid functionDairy, Iodized salt
SeleniumImmune and thyroid System functionWhole grains, vegetables
ManganeseMetabolic functionWhole Grains, nuts, spinach
CobaltHemoglobin productionOrgan meat, fruits, and vegetables
ChromiumCarbohydrate and lipid metabolismBrewers yeast
Information compliments of the American Kennel Association

Table #16 Nutrients Your Dog Needs For Survival

ProteinYour dog’s flesh is comprised of 23 amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. 10 of these amino acids come from the food he eats. The other 13 amino acids are produced by the dog’s body.Meat, eggs, dairy, and fish
FatsFat provides energy and is necessary for healthy skin and hair/furNuts, seeds, fish
CarbohydratesProvide cellular energy and maintain a healthy intestineWhole Grains, beans, Fresh vegetables, and fruit
Information compliments of pets.webmd.com

Dog being sprayed by a hose

How Much Water Does a Dog Need Everyday?

A healthy dog will drink, on average, 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup) per pound of bodyweight every day. Dogs may drink less water if their food has high water content, but they may drink more if they are very active or in a hot environment.

Fact: A dog can survive if he loses all of his body fat and 50% of his protein but he can perish if he loses just 10% of his water weight. Petswebmd.com

Chart #17 Canine Emergency Water Requirements for SHTF: Chart

Dog Weight (lbs)Daily Requirement of Emergency Water
Daily Supply Of Emergency Water cups3-Day Supply
Of Emergency Canine Water
30-Day Supply of Emergency Canine Water
10101 1/41/4 2 1/2*
151521/2 3 3/4*
20202 1/2 1/2 4 3/4*
25253 1/4 3/4 6 1/4*
30303 3/43/4 7 1/4*
35354 1/2 1 8 1/2*
40405 1 9 1/2*
45455 3/4 1 1/4 11*
50506 1/4 1 1/4 12*
555571 1/2 13 1/4*
60607 1/2 1 1/2 14 1/4*
65658 1/4 1 3/4 15 1/2*
70708 3/4 1 3/4 16 1/2*
75759.502 18*
808010 2 18 3/4*
858510 3/4 2 1/4 20 1/4*
909011 1/4 2 1/4 21 1/4*
959512 2 1/2 22 1/2*
10010012 1/22 1/2 23 1/2*
Information Provided by Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, DAVCN at PetMD. *Measurements rounded up.

Bugging Out With A Dog: 3 Scenarios

72-Hour Emergency Kit: Bugging-in If you are staying put during an emergency, you probably already have the supplies you need for your dog. If not, it’s as simple as having gallon jugs of water and a large bag of dog food that you rotate. If your dog needs a special diet or meds, you can plan for that.

72-Hour Emergency Kit: Leaving in a vehicle: This is just one step beyond bugging in, a matter of having a dog-specific pack that is ready to grab if you are heading out.

72-Hour Emergency Kit: Bugging Out On Foot This is challenging, especially if you are trying to stay hidden.

German Shepard

4 Reasons Not to Bug out On Foot With a Dog: WROL

The U.S. will likely grow less stable as time passes. Start considering worst-case scenarios when you are planning your preps. You may have to make hard decisions and think about crazy scenarios.

  1. Your dog Isn’t Trained
    1. Will, Your dog, stop barking on command
    2. Will your dog heel or stay put on command
  2. Your dog can’t carry their supplies: In this scenario, you’ll be adding dog supplies to your pack weight, cutting down your emergency supplies
  3. Your dog doesn’t have the physical ability or energy.
  4. Security: If you are trying to go “grey man” or stealthy, this will be difficult even with a well-trained dog in top condition.
    1. If your dog is overweight or out of shape get them on an exercise regimen and feed them a healthier diet
    2. If your pup is old or physically ill there isn’t much you can do
Dog on a cliff

13 Things To Consider: Prepping Your Dog For An Emergency 

Thirteen things to consider as you prepare your dog for a survival situation.

  1. Dog-Friendly Bug Out Location: Some shelters and hotels won’t take pets, so it’s good to know in advance
  2. Dog Pack/Backpack: If the dog has the physical ability to carry its gear, get a dog pack.
  3. Leash
  4. Food for three days
    • (see calorie requirements on the chart above)
  5. Water For three days
    • (see water requirements on the chart above),
    • Consider filtering water for on foot scenario, if it’s an option.
    • Use the same backpacker’s filter you use for your water.
    • Water weighs 8.34 lbs per gallon, so it’s pretty easy to go over the 20% of body weight on your bug out bag.
  6. Food and Water Dish: Consider using ziplock freezer bags if weight is a consideration.
  7. Collar with a physical identification tag (consider wrapping in electric tape if a WROL (without the rule of law situation) keeps the noise down.
  8. Photo of you and your pet to prove ownership if separated
  9. Med Kit for minor wounds
    • Anti-biotic ointment
    • Saline wound flush
    • Gauze & Tape
    • Flea and tick medicine
    • Prescribed Meds
  10. Pet Medical Records
  11. Kennel or crate
  12. Cleaning Supplies
    1. Grooming Supplies
    2. Trash bags
    3. Paper towels
    4. Disinfectant Wet Wipes
    5. Household bleach
  13. Consider Freeze-dried dog food if bugging out on foot because it’s lightweight. You don’t need much for a short-term emergency and don’t forget about water to hydrate it.
  14. Increase your dog’s daily calorie intake by 100%, If bugging out on foot


Association of American Feed Control Officials: Establish nutrient standards (profiles) for dogs and cats and a section on livestock. Click here

VCA Nutrition-General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs; Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH Click here

How Much Should a Dog Drink? Jennifer Larsen, VM, Ph.D., DAVCN, PetMD Click here

Food Preservation – Long Term Food Storage For Your Pets: PackFreshUSA Click here

Leave a Comment