It is definitely a good idea to always keep the dog food pantry well stocked, but things can go wrong when you least expect it. That three-inch forecast for snow becomes an unexpected blizzard. Your husband took the car for a three-day trip and the dog food you just bought is in the trunk. You have no transportation to the store. A starving stray dog shows up on your doorstep at night after the stores are closed. What should you do?
Do not panic! There are a few easy alternative foods that you can make to get you and the dog through the emergency until you can get to the store for dog food.
If you find yourself with a young orphaned puppy that is still nursing, make a mixture using an eight-ounce container of vanilla yogurt, a can of evaporated milk, six ounces of water that has been boiled and cooled and two egg yolks (do not use egg whites for very young puppies; they can become very ill). Refrigerate the mixture. Feed frequently. Be sure to warm the mixture before feeding.
A second alternative for nursing puppies is a mixture of 10 ounces of evaporated milk or goat’s milk, three ounces of sterilized water (you can eliminate the water if you use goat’s milk), one egg yolk, two tablespoons mayonnaise (optional) and one cup yogurt (yogurts made with all skim milk do not have the necessary nutrients). Mix well using a wire whisk or blender. This mixture can be safely stored for a week in the refrigerator, but you will have to heat it before feeding.
When making food for adult dogs in an emergency situation, remember that canines need a balanced diet that includes proteins, grains and vegetables. Let’s use a 25-pound dog as an example. In order to supply protein, feed three large hardboiled eggs, one cup of two-percent cottage cheese, one-third pound of cooked lean meat, two-thirds of a cup of tofu or one cup of cooked soybeans.
The same dog will need three-quarters of a cup of raw or steamed carrots. You could use broccoli and green beans too, but be sure to cook them.
Add two tablespoons of canola oil to any of the above. As soon as possible, include four bone meal tablets and a multivitamin made for dogs.
Another good option for emergencies is boiled rice with chicken or hamburger. Veterinarians frequently prescribe this combination for dogs that are experiencing stomach problems, but it can get you by for a few days. Add a few fresh or canned vegetables (use low sodium veggies whenever possible) to the mixture.
Another option is to make a stew. Brown one pound of meat such as hamburger or lamb in a skillet using two tablespoons of olive oil. Add two pints of chicken or beef broth and allow the meat to steam in the liquid for half an hour. Add two cups of rice (brown or white will work) and simmer until the rice is soft. This will take about 45 minutes.
Be aware that an abrupt change in a dog’s diet can cause stomach distress.