You don’t hear it talked about often, but prepping for a pet is something anyone with a furry housemate should be concerned about. Taking on a pet is taking on the responsibility for another life, not something to be taken lightly.
For many of us, our four-legged friends are like children. Just as you would protect your children and prepare for their safety in an emergency, so should you prepare to protect your pet.
In a disaster you may need to leave in a hurry. Just as you would put together a “bug-out bag” for yourself, so too should you put together a bug-out bag for your dog. Most pets need very little to keep them alive and comfortable. Building a doggy bag is simple.
Prepare a Dog Go Bag. You will need:
- A leash
- Three days’ food supply
- Flea and tick spray
Whether we are talking about a trip to the park or a dash for your life, a pet first-aid kit can come in handy. Luckily, the kit can also do double duty for you. The majority of medications that work on them also work on you, and vice-versa.
Prepare a pet first-aid kit. You will need:
- Ipecac (they do eat some dumb stuff sometimes)
- A clotting agent, such as QuikClot
- Bandages (make sure not to wrap too tightly; you can cut off circulation)
- Red Cross Pet First-Aid Manual
The Red Cross has pet first-aid classes all over the country. Sign up for one, and sign up for a first-aid class for people while you are at it. You never know—the life you save may be your own.
The flea and tick spray isn’t just for your best friend. Fleas and ticks often bite people, too. By keeping your dog free of bugs, you help keep yourself and your family from being harassed by these disease-carrying pests.
Most outdoors stores carry saddle bags for dogs of all sizes. These bags are prefect for dog bug-out bags when you may already be loaded down with your own bag.
In an emergency, you will more likely be hunkering down than bugging out. You may be stuck sheltering in place for days or weeks, or in some extreme scenarios for a couple of months. Make sure to store supplies for your pet just as you would for yourself.
To store for your pet, you will need:
- Three months’ food
- Three months’ supply of any medications your pet may be taking
Water is the only one of these items that involves a little thought. Store one gallon of water per day for every seventy lbs of dog—enough to get your canine companion through seven days. That should give 99% of the crises you will come in contact with time to pass. If not, it will give you time to procure water for them. Their systems can handle considerably nastier water than ours can.
If you think storing up is only for “doomsday,” think again. By setting aside stores of products you are going to use anyway you stay one step ahead of inflation. It also allows you to buy supplies when it is convenient and when they are on sale instead of when you have to have them.
Want to know more?
- American Red Cross Pet First Aid Class
- Dog First Aid Book with DVD – American Red Cross
- Pet First Aid: Dogs & Cats
- Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook
- Episode 4 Of In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast
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