Surviving with Pets

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These days pets are considered a part of the family and not just something to have. Our pets are a part of our lives, but people often forget that they will have needs too. They’ll still need to eat and they may get sick. Storing back pet food and common medications is a necessary part of your prepping.

Generally, if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets. The heat, cold, rain, ice and snow will have the same affect on animals as it does on humans for the most part. Your pets need an emergency disaster kit just as you do, and they need to be safeguarded, as would any member of your family.

Pets can be useful in survival situations; they can warn you that storms are coming, they can defend your home, and they can perform a multitude of services to help you survive.

The first thing to consider is food. There are a couple of ways to approach this. You can buy and save commercial dog food for your dog. Or they can eat what you eat, in which case you want to make sure you buy for “another person”.

Dog food is processed and packaged to last 18-24 months. There is a date, somewhere on the bag that will indicate when the food expires. The little secret the dog food companies don’t tell you is that it will be good for at least a year afterward if the packaging is intact and you have not gotten bugs in it or mice. So buy the food with the furthest expiration date you can and rotate, rotate, rotate!

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You simply cannot leave your pets behind if you have to flee a crisis. Therefore, you need a plan and you must plan well ahead of time. There are items along with certain information that should be in every pet’s emergency kit.

Ensure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations/shots and that you have a supply of any maintenance medications, such as flea and tick treatments on hand in the event you cannot get to the vet’s office.

Certain pet foods are refrigerated or you may feed your pets foods that you eat, but during a crisis, you may not have access to refrigeration or have a means to prepare foods. Canned foods or dry foods would be an acceptable substitute. Diets and food restrictions must be accommodated and your veterinarian would know what foods could be substituted for others. Typically, dried foods in the original packaging would be easier to pack. Canned foods can be bulky and will add considerable weight to any pack or kit. Have at least a seven-day supply in your pet’s kit.

Eating and water bowls, along with blankets, chew toys, leashes, collars, harnesses, bath towels and even clothing for certain animals should be in your kit. You can pack all of this into travel cages if you have one, and you may very well need one for emergencies to keep your pet safe and as a way of transporting your pets.

When prepping for pets, there are several items that you’ll need to stockpile. Just as with your other prepping efforts, try to choose multi-purpose items that store well.

Kitty litter can be used for more than giving kitty a place to go. You can also use it to absorb odors in your own waste system. The active ingredient is bentonite, an absorbent clay with unique clumping properties. It’s also a sealant that can be used to seal koi or algae ponds. Since you can add water to it to make a slurry, it may also be useful to seal cracks to keep the heat in and the cold out sodium bentonite can also help heal wounds and boils by drawing toxins out. Make sure that you buy unscented kitty litter with only bentonite (or bentonite and diatomaceous earth). Avoid the kind that reduces dust, too.

Pet Food is just an opinion and I’m sure that we’ll have a lively discussion about it, but you may want to consider storing foods such as tuna or low-sodium beef stew that you may find on sale BOGO (or even free with coupons) in place of part of your pet food. That way, your pet food is also edible by people, and frankly, will cost less than buying the canned dog or cat food.

It’s easy to make your leashes and collars from paracord that way it can be disassembled and used in an emergency.

Pets are awesome companion animals but when you’re fighting for your survival, they can quickly become a burden. If you only have a small space to store your stockpile, even putting back pet food can take away space from what you need to store your own food. By storing food that both people and animals can eat when prepping for pets, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

It’s imperative that you train your animals so that they don’t put you in danger and can actually help you in a survival situation. Research what your pets can do, then either learn how to train them or work with a professional trainer.

Bringing you pet along for the ride isn’t just something you do as a treat or to take them to the vet, it’s a great way to prepare yourself and them for anything.