Prepping with Pets
Whenever I talk to people about prepping with their pets involved I usually jokingly say my pets are part of my survival food supply. This usually gets me a few laughs, then I continue into one of the most overlooked topics in prepping.
Have you prepared for your pets to survive along with you?
Why Include Pets
To many people their pet is the same as a child. For these folks to lose a pet is akin to losing a child. For others their pet is their friend and constant companion and confidant. In the event that a bug out is called for, leaving a pet behind would be unthinkable for them.
In an emergency situation pets will be a very important part of some people being able to survive. Pets can bring a calming effect to an otherwise stressful situation, and in some cases with the right training they might possibly help out with providing needed supplies (We had a cat who would catch live rabbits and bring them to us).
If you have a pampered pet who requires a special canned food you will want to consider putting in a large supply and rotating it like you would your own canned food.
If you have a pet who eats basic dry food you will want to do the same but you may possibly be able to vacuum seal some for longer term storage. The problem with regular bagged food is that unless you go through it very quickly will begin to drop off in taste. Putting your animals on a fresh food diet, as long as it is sustainable could also be a possible option.
Other pet necessities
Just like prepping for your family make sure you have a supply of any special meds on hand to last your pet through any disruption of services. If you store water in your preps don’t forget to figure in your pet requirements. Basically every category of preps you do for yourself you should think about doing something similar for your pet.
If you are required to bug out, what are you going to do with your pet? Will you have to carry it? Is it large enough to carry some of its own supplies? Can you control it around other people and pets if necessary?
If you will need to carry your pet a a nice soft side carrier that can strap on your pack is an option. I have seem pictures of backpackers who let their pets ride on top of or in the top compartment of their packs. If you have a medium sized dog or larger you can outfit it with its own pack to carry some or most of its own supplies.
Things to include would be a harness, leash, collapsible water/food dish, extra rations of food and water, plastic bags (if you need to go into a shelter and clean up after your pet) and any special medications your pet may require. For more ideas, reading about backpacking with pets should be pretty useful to you.
Getting in Shape is Important for Your Pet
Last week we talked about the importance of getting in shape for your own survival. Likewise, if your favorite companion is overweight and a couch potato will they really be able to bug out with you? Some pets are so out of shape a bug out would be close to impossible- so it’s in the interest of both of you to make sure your pet stays fit too!
A regular regime of exercise is as important for your pet as it is for you as a prepper. While you are out with your pet exercising you can also work on any hunting or livestock gathering training you might wish for your pet to learn.
Work up to your pet carrying a full pack just like you do and then work on increasing your distance so if a bug out becomes necessary your pet won’t hold you back.
One thing many preppers don’t take into consideration is the event that an emergency occurs while you are away from home. What will happen to your pet if you are unable to get back to your home in a timely manner?
Many people will have a backup plan with a friendly neighbor to check in or even take possession of their pets if the situation warrants it.
Prepping with your pet takes a lot more thought than just buying an extra bag or two of food. If you want your pet to survive with you take the time to do some planning so you both can enjoy a long life.
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