If TSHTF: Eating Dog

When our girls were very young, and before we had any animals, I made a house rule to cut short a request for a cat:

“We can have any animal we want, as long as we realize that one day we will eat it”

I said this partly in jest, but partly to prevent my wife and I from having to deal with requests for hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, and fish. Dogs never crossed my mind, until I started thinking about getting one to help with the predation problem I was having with bobcats eating my chickens. Yes, bobcats in town.


I was speaking with my wife about the possibility of getting a dog, and the older daughter said, “Dad, if we get a dog, we have to eat it. You made the rule!”

Kids are information sponges, and that is great until they throw it back in your face.

I was thinking about this today. One day, man’s best friend may save your life…by preventing you from starving. Dogs as food is not a new concept, in both fact and fiction.

Fact: A good friend of mine, SB, tells a story of a local Chinese restaurant being shut down when a health inspector found dog carcasses hanging in the meat freezer. The story goes that they were serving dog as “riblets”, and apparently they were a popular item. SB says he was unhappy when he found out about it…he LOVED those riblets!

Fiction: In the book “One Second After“, the main character ends up killing the family dog in order to prolong the life of his ailing daughter, due to the lack of food after and an EMP. It was a small part of the story, but outlined the reality of a catastrophic situation.

These are the first two of many examples I came up with, and while the subject of eating dog may seem distasteful, no pun intended, the possibility is all around us.

Typical of extreme circumstances, eating dog has a history of being a last resort…right before cannibalism. I know that if I were given the choice,  I’d eat dog before eating “long pig“.

However, in some societies, eating dog is NOT a taboo thing to do. Switzerland has a product called “Hundeschinken“. The description sounds like it is simply biltong or jerky made from dog. Sounds tasty!  In China, in order to avoid offending foreigners there for the Olympics, it was banned where it was listed on the menus of of 112 restaurants!

The good news is that dog is lower in cholesterol than pork, tuna, and even chicken! It is high in protein, and dog fat is easier to digest than beef tallow.

Looking for a list of recipes? Check this site out.

If you think I’m kidding about how prevalent eating dog (and cat for that matter) is around the world, do a search on youtube for “dog meat”. I was actually surprised how many hits came up.

I’m not saying I think it is a good idea when times are good. But having been so poor at one point in my life that I was lucky to get a meal a day, I understand how hunger can push a person. And if millions of people are paying to eat dog today, it must not be THAT bad, right?

I’d eat dog, if the situation allowed or even required it. But then, I’ve missed a few meals and know what REAL hunger is. Plus, I grew up in West Virginia…we ate everything :)

So keep it in mind that some day you may have to do the unthinkable. Makes you want to stock up a little more food now, doesn’t it?

Call this one more reason to prep :)

Our DogIn the end, we did end up getting a dog, and I modified the family rule to be:

“We can have any animal we want, as long as it provides or protects food for our family.”

I’m sure the kids will twist that eventually, not that it matters, we now have hamsters…but they aren’t big enough to eat….






  1. Awesome post dude….and yes I would eat Buddy my Jack Russell if it were life and death. Although he might be better suited for catching rabbits.


    1. I wasn’t speaking of when things are “normal”. In a crisis, with a food shortage and extreme rationing, “Fido” may become “Food-o”. It is a hypothetical situation.

      Get HUNGRY, and be that way for more than a few days, and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll eat. Ask me how I know this.

  2. Can’t eat dog anymore, they are my family.
    Used to eat dog with the philipino clan, very tasty.

    And my dogs are well trained German Shepherds…..for when the SHTF, they will be very useful. Dog kills someone is way different than me killing someone….laws will still be around, somewhat.

    But those dogs are family, they would go before “long pig”. I live in Hawaii for a few more months, ask what happened to Captain Cook, and Google Long Pig…..

    I am getting off this rock, because when the SHTF, there will be no place worse to be….a supposed US state, fully corrupt now, and 75% of the government is brown skinned people who hate white skinned people whether they admit it day to day or not…..when the SHTF, I dont need to be here.

    1. Dogs do make a good security buffer…but there may come a time when food is more important than security.

      And racial hatred is not something I condone, but I is part of the class warfare I believe those in power do little to prevent, and possible encourage in very subtle ways- if we are fighting amongst ourselves, we don’t have time to see how corrupt those in power are, or allow us to direct our energies towards improving the cause – removing the corruption. Most people would rather direct their energies towards the flashpoints – political, economic, and racial hatred. If all races, colors and creeds banded together, we would have plenty of time to solve the issues of corrupt leadership.

      “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” (CLICK THIS TO WATCH !!!)


  3. Thanks for reminding people to stock up on food. Please don’t forget to stock up on feed for your critters too.
    Dogs might just save your life. They will protect your livestock and poultry so you rather than coyotes can eat, and warn you of intruders before you can detect them.
    They are also good for hunting and keeping rabbits out of your garden. Eat your dog, and you seal your fate.

    1. My point is that your dog may be the last step before your fate is sealed… If roving bands of feral dogs work through your area (not a far fetched idea, its happening already) in a worst-case scenario, and have already driven off or eaten all of your livestock, eating a dog may be your only option.

  4. Dog meat…kinda the third rail of prepper food talk…I was asked in a radio interview once about food sources for those who weren’t prepared or some such and when I brought up the idea of eating the dogs people released (to pack up and become dangerous) because they couldn’t feed their pets…it got awfully quiet for a minute.

    Good for you for going there with candor and with compassion!

    1. Thanks for the kind comments.

      I’ve seen what feral dogs can do, not pretty. Canines are smart, and a feral dog has little fear of humans…and could look at them as food if the pickings got slim. I say turn the tides on them, meat is meat, when it comes down to survival of the fittest.

      Not a nice thought, but then we should prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. Eating dog is not the ideal situation in our society. I’m simply trying to point out options to think about now.

  5. I had to laugh at your article. I lived in Bulgaria for a while and there was a problem with feral dogs in the area I lived in. When the situation would get too bad all of the feral dogs would suddenly disappear. After almost a year of watching the cycle repeats itself I learned that the Vietnamese and the gypsies in the area would let them for a while and then would gather most of them up and make them into dinner. I have never eaten dog before but my Filipino friends tell me it is quite tasty. I don’t think I could eat my own personal pets, but I would have no problem killing feral dogs to feed my family if the situation arose.

    1. The best way to store meat is keep it alive and running around :)

      I’ve not eaten dog knowingly, but I wouldn’t hesitate much to do so. My friend has an old pitbull that has lived a long and excellent life. We were talking about celebrating his life by eating him when he goes….When my friend laughed and said it was probably a bad idea, he would be tough.

      I said treat him like barbecue, cook him “low and slow” to make the meat more tender.


  6. We discussed it as a family. The wife and kids are opposed to eating our beloved Bindy as a way to make him a part of us forever. They were warming up to the idea of making a Bindy skin rug when he goes.
    I would venture to say that a large percentage of North Americans have unknowingly eaten dog. I only found out due to the health inspector telling me those tasty riblets were of the K9 persuasion.

    1. If you’d like, I know a guy that can skin and tan your dog’s hide…just don’t ask what happened to the rest of your deceased pet.

  7. When Lewis and Clark made their undaunted journey across the American west they ate a LOT of dogs. They preferred it over all the animals available to them including elk, deer, bison, and moose. They always traded barter goods to the natives for their dogs so they could eat them.
    My dog is a German shepherd and far more valuable as a defensive weapon, but I am expecting feral dogs on the loose and plan on testing my taste buds when the opportunity arises.

    1. I’ve read that about Lewis & Clark while doing research on the air rifle they carried. Thanks for reminding me…

      My dog is a lean, muscular pitbull, not much fat on her, so very little marbling….but if it came down to it, she’d make a decent dogburger….I’d just have to wrap her in some Yoders bacon, if I had any left :(

      Wow, I want to try a bacon dogburger now!

  8. I tried dog in Korea whan I was stationed there many moons ago. Just another red meat, although I tell folks the textures was….”Ruff!” LOL, the looks I get with that.
    I’m not big on eating my Zoey but it is part of my back up plan to trap feral dogs (and cats) if things sink to that low a SHTF level. Lots of folks will turn their pets loose rather than kill them or give them to a neighbor to eat……
    I bet they’d be nice and tender after slow roasting in a dutch oven.
    The Koreans hung them by the neck, it was explained to us that slow strangulation was felt to make the meat more tender. It was a bitter sight to see one hanging one time. Seemed cruel. They did sell them in the market, too, mostly live ones they would butcher on site.

  9. Not going to happen you just don’t eat your babys, how ever there will be million and millions of Other things to eat ……………….

    1. You DO know what “TSHTF” stands for, right?

      If every house has 4 people in it, and the food deliveries stop, how long before you don’t see a deer, a squirrel, a rabbit, and only dogs are left? Do YOU have enough food to feed your family, or a plan to provide it in some way, should the truck stop rolling? I’ve seen trucks stop before, and it gets scary after only a week. Trust me, you’ll eat dog…you may hate it, but you’ll do it.

      You’ve obviously never gone several days without eating a thing. Hunger WILL make you do drastic things.

      And dogs are animals, not your baby, sorry. I love my dog, don’t get me wrong, but if it meant living another day for my kids, my wife, and me, my pitbull will be on the dinner table, not under it.

  10. I read this article, thought about it, and I would definitely eat our beloved, awesome pup. Waylon (as he likes to be called) is the sweetest, goofiest, most loveable dog I’ve ever known. Tim says the same and he’s owned many dogs. He’s about 80 lbs, is a lap dog, and gives lots of kisses with his gigantic tongue! Although he’s a sweet boy, he’s also a protector. He alerts me when he hears something and he would scare the hell out of anyone that tried to break in. He isn’t a barker unless he’s alerting us or we touch the water hose….he goes bezerko for the hose! His bark and growl scare me even! He adores our 10 month old daughter, Jaime. You can just see his love for us in his eyes.

    So, as you can see, we LOVE Waylon. But, Tim agreed with me last night, we would eat him. Let me explain. If we were so hungry that eating Waylon was an option, then we definitely wouldn’t be able to feed him. If there was any dog food left, we would’ve eaten it already! I bet it would taste like filet mignon, too! So, we wouldn’t want him to suffer from starvation. More importantly, though, we believe Waylon would WANT us to eat him. He loves us. We are his family. We are his source of love and nurture. We believe that he would want to sacrifice himself to help us endure.

    I put myself in Waylon’s shoes….errr…I mean paws. If Tim and Jaime were starving and there was nothing left to eat, I would sacrifice myself for them to eat me! Tim didn’t much like hearing me say this, but agreed. He told me not to go too deep with this, but it’s something to think about! I would not think twice about giving myself up for them. Would Waylon not feel the same? I think he would.

    Maybe I see things differently considering I’m a trapper’s wife and I am very open minded when it comes to trying new foods (I REALLY wish I had tried sushi years and years ago :) I see dispatched animals all the time and I know the respect that is given to them, as well. Not all of the animals are meals for us. Many are trapped for population/damage control. Humans need this kind of control! Look what we’re doing to this planet! How many people are starving to death and would love to have dog meat to eat?!

    Great post, as always! Jaime’s awake so motherly duty calls….Plus, I need to get a roast in the crock pot. It’s only beef, but some clean, home grown beef from Tim’s parents…with some turnips, potatoes, rosemary, and thyme from our garden :)

    1. A couple things….

      First, it IS that bad in some portions of the planet….and do a little research and you’ll find that eating dog is socially acceptable in several countries.

      Second, why would you care what someone else eats, as long as it doesn’t affect you?

      And finally, fairly certain that if it gets to the point where I’m eating dog, and you come around trying to “reap” me, my upbringing, training, and desperation would make you worm food long before me. Hunger is one of the more powerful motivators, far stronger that morality ever could be.

      But thanks for stopping by :)

  11. Just remember, DO NOT eat the liver from a dog, especially after they go without food for awhile. A team of explorers were crossing the Antartica or the Artic, I don’t remember which now, They starten eating their dog teams to survive. They died from eating the livers. The toxins had built up to dangerous levels.

    1. The exploreres were Mawson and Mertz in the Antarctic in 1911-1914, where Mertz died. It is possible that it was due to consuming the livers of their sled dogs, though a later re-evaluation suggest Mertz’s death was due to starvation stemming from his vegetarian diet being drastically changed in a survival situation (he had to eat dog, liver included).

      Here is the refuting study:

      Either way, the issue is called called “Hypervitaminosis A”. (Sounds like I made it up!) It is due to ingesting too much Vitamin A, something dog liver can contain a high amount of, along with the livers of polar bears, moose, bearded seals, and walruses. It is speculated that the only dog liver to be concerned with are huskies. Notice all the animals listed to have toxic levels of Vitamin A are cold climate creatures. Interesting…

      From Wikipedia:

      The crux of my reply is, yes, it probably doesn’t hurt to bypass the liver (my wife thinks eating liver is disgusting, I love it myself).

      I bet manatee liver is OK to eat….

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