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What Can You Feed To Your Dog If You’ve Run Out Of Dog Food?

Accessibility to buying dog food of all different types is easier today than it ever has been when you consider all of the available options. Dog food can be ordered online, bought from pet shops, supermarkets and veterinary clinics and many other places, and so the chances of being caught out with an empty bag and a hungry dog are fairly low in this day and age!

It is of course wise to make sure that you always have enough food in reserve and replenish your stocks well before you are running out, but even with the best will in the world, most dog owners will occasionally find themselves caught out away from home without the right food, or even at home after the shops have closed faced with a dog feeding dilemma.

So, if you have run out of dog food and there is nowhere open to get some more, what can you give to your dog in an emergency in order to tide them over until the next day?

In this article we will consider this question and look at some of the considerations to bear in mind when answering it, and provide some suggestions on what to do. Read on to learn more.

A few caveats to note

Whilst the chances are that you can make up one suitable meal for your dog out of the things that you can find in your fridge or cupboard, it is important to note that suggestions that will follow below are appropriate for a one-off meal in an emergency only, and are not designed to replace a proper diet as they will not contain all of the appropriate nutrients.

The goal is to fill your dog’s stomach in a pinch so that they do not have to go hungry, and without giving them anything that will upset their tummies, but you must of course replace their normal food at the earliest opportunity.

Additionally, the suggestions made will be fairly bland and suitable for most dogs, but may not be appropriate for dogs with allergies or that require special diets.


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What to make

Brown rice is a good ingredient to have on standby, as this can provide the main bulk and fibre for a meal, and you can add other things to it in order to make it more palatable and less dull for your dog.

Adding a meat or fish product is fairly easy, and then the whole thing can be mashed up together (in order to keep your dog from selectively picking out the best bits!) and left to cool, before dishing it up.

Plain skinless, boneless chicken breasts boiled in water and then mashed into the rice is one suggestion, and another is using sausage meat or sausages, ensuring of course that they do not contain any potential toxins, such as onion. You can do the same with plain lean mince or hamburger meat, and also plain (not smoked) white fish such as cod or basa fish.

You can also add some veg such as carrots, broccoli or peas to the whole mix, and mash it together as well.

White meats and fish such as chicken are better than red meat such as beef or pork, as red meat tends to be fattier and more likely to lead to the runs!

It is also important to remember when preparing such food that you don’t add seasonings such as salt, even though many of us will often add salt to the cooking water as a matter of course. Additionally, boiling the meat where possible is better than frying or grilling.

Once you have mashed up the rice and meat or fish, you may want to stir some cool gravy into it, which should again be checked carefully to ensure it does not contain garlic, onion or other additives, and that should ideally be low-sodium.

Potential toxins

There are a huge range of different human foods that are not suitable for dogs, either because they do not agree with the dog’s digestive system or because they are high in salt, sugar or fat, or just too rich.

Before you start making anything for your dog, make sure you arm yourself with a list of food ingredients that can be toxic to dogs, and check the ingredients that you are considering carefully to make sure that you don’t inadvertently harm your dog.

Special diets

Providing an emergency meal for your dog can become much more complicated and highly-loaded if your dog is fed a special diet for any reason, such as because they suffer from allergies or have a health condition such as diabetes.

In this type of situation, feeding your dog a suitable food and feeding it at the right time might be more than just a matter of routine, but may be integral to your dog’s health and wellness, and so a home-made meal may not be appropriate.

If this is the case, call the veterinary clinic that your dog is registered with (even if it is out of hours) and ask their advice on how to proceed-and as most clinics sell veterinary diets in house, they may tell you to go along to the clinic out-of-hours to buy a bag of the appropriate food.


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