Survival Tips: Prepping with Pets
6. Supplies: Pet food
This 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 canned dog or cat food. It may not be ideal now but if SHTF, it’ll do!
7. Supplies: Water
Water, especially here in Texas, is a top priority as well. We store water in 2 liter bottles for humans to drink. You should store a week or so for ALL your pets to drink from just in case, separate from the human supply.
We have a filter for our use to obtain water on the go, but there is no reason you can’t use the same filter to replenish water for your pets. Just like us, pets have about 3 days without water to survive. It would also be a good idea to have a bowl for drinking and feeding with your supplies.
8. Pet-proof security measures
The first step you should take when incorporating pets in your survival plans is to make sure that your home’s defenses do not pose any risk to your pets and that your pets do not threaten to compromise the efficiency of your defenses. If traps are part of your defense plan (something I neither recommend or condone), it would be wise to make them unaccessible to any pets in your household. Barbed-wire or electrified fencing can be a serious hazard to pets in particular. However, many elements of traditional security systems do not pose any kind of physical threat to pets unless they’re hazardously mounted.
9. Train them to serve
Train your animals to be of use. Dogs can pull people or small carts, carry backpacks and act as protectors. Horses, mules or donkeys can be ridden or used as plow animals and can pull the sick or wounded. Pigs can be trained to defend the house or even carry items. Birds can even be trained to protect you or to act as an alarm. Train your pets to serve a purpose if at all possible; otherwise they’ll just be extra mouths to feed.
10. Prepare a pet emergency kit
Whether you stay home or evacuate, keep a pet emergency kit with your family’s emergency kit. Use plastic zipper bags to protect the items. Items should include:
Collar with ID tags and sturdy leash
Two-week supply (or more) of each pet’s medication
Photocopies of health records and a recent photo taken of you with your pets
Two-week supply of pet food and bottled water, and bowls for each.
First-aid supplies, including bandages, tape, tweezers and antibacterial ointment (Ask your vet for recommendations)
Secure, covered carrier/crate (large enough for your pet to completely turn around)
Flashlight and radio, with fresh batteries for each.
Favorite toy or bedding (to help reduce the stress of unfamiliar surroundings)
Cleaning supplies and disposable trash bags or newspaper for cleanup.
11. Leave your pet with a friend
What happens if disaster strikes and you cannot get back home right away? Have a trusted friend or neighbor you can call to look after your pet until you can back home. This is something that must be planned well ahead of time however. Any friends or neighbors must be introduced to the animal and get to know them over time, know its feeding and bathroom schedule and know where the animal’s food, leashes and harnesses are located. Of course, any caretaker would need to have a key or access to a hidden key.
12. Get pet insurance
Accidents and illness against your pets while you are gone are always a possibility, and the resulting veterinarian bills can put you in a financial bind, especially while you’re out of the country. Put your mind at ease by protecting your pet with pet insurance.