Cruising with a Dog Provisioning

Throwback Thursday: Provisioning For Your Pup

Thursday, June 05, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Throwing it back to April 5th of last year, here's a blog entry on what it takes to provision for Sally, our 17 year-old dog.  Her needs have changed dramatically over the last six months because she can no longer digest dog food and has dementia, so now we carry a freezer full of chicken and beef instead of commercially produced food and have added Senilife and Canna-Pet to her daily regimen.

Our beautiful girl lounging on the deck in her younger days.

Now that most of our provisioning is done, it’s time to get Sally (the dog) sorted.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, when we’re on the hook we don’t like to stop what we’re doing to buy groceries.  And I really don’t like to carry heavy items (like a 30 pound bag of dog food) from the store to the boat, so we plan ahead. 

Several years ago I started a list of things we need on the boat – including pet supplies – and estimated how much we’d use over the course of our cruise.  Sally’s list is short but equally as important to ours for a successful season, especially nowthat she’s getting older (she’ll be 17 in August). 

Many dogs have sensitive stomachs and don’t like to have their food changed.  We’re lucky in that Sally has a cast-iron belly, but that doesn’t mean I want to settle on a cheap brand of dog food packed with fillers because I can’t find her usual brand on the shelf.  It’s not easy storing that much kibble.  But it’s not impossible, either.  We’re fortunate in that we have an area that we aptly call “the shed” (a.k.a. the pilot berth) that does the trick nicely.  But if I had to resort to the bilges, I would simply break down the larger bags of food into gallon-sized Ziplock bags (doubled!) like I do everything else.    

As an older dog, Sally has some special needs:  Chondrotin and Glucosamine tablets have been part of her daily routine for five years now to help rebuild cartilage.  Fish oil helps keep her coat shiny and reduce inflammation in her joints.  Canned dog food helps make the dry stuff more appealing to her aging sense of smell.  And now that arthritis has set in, we have her on prescription Rimadyl (actually, the bio-equivalent Novox).  This poses us the greatest problem.  Sally’s now required to have her blood checked every six months to make sure her kidneys and liver are functioning properly with the medication.  Because we move around a lot, we decided to make her vet in Wichita, where we spend the holidays, her main veterinarian and have additional test results faxed back to him.  Even though we only drop by once a year, Dr.Bogue’s familiar with our situation and allows us some leeway when it comes to refilling her prescription in quantity and before it’s due.

Doing a good job provisioning for your pet can help provide them with a sense of stability in an environment that changes from day to day.  Every animal is different, but our Sally likes routine and keeping her well-stocked with her favorite supplies is an important part of making sure she’s happy.  And as anyone with a dog aboard will tell you: “if puppy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” . . . or something to that effect.     


Sally’s List*:

  • Dry dog food (60 pounds)
  • Canned dog food (24 cans)
  • Treats, treats and more treats (as many as I can squeeze in)
  • Chondrotin/Glucosamine (one 300 count bottle)
  • Novox (one 180 caplet bottle)
  • Pill Pockets (seven 30 count bags)
  • Fish Oil (one large bottle)
  • Frontline Plus for fleas and ticks (one box of six)
  • Doggie bags
  • Birthday hats (I couldn’t find a single one in Canada last year and when you have a dog her age, every day deserves a celebration!) 

*This list only represents the items we keep aboard for Sally that are consumable and does NOT include safety equipment or creature comforts.

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