Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Having Pets When SHTF

      As survivalist and preppers we are constantly looking at different ways we can be prepared. Different survival plans, bug out bags, bug out locations, gear, and survival food and pantries. We plan for ourselves, we plan for our family, and we plan for our friends, even if they don't really get why we are prepping in the first place.  However, there may be one aspect of our lives that we haven't been paying attention to and prepping for. Our pets.

      Our pets are a significant part of our lives, and if SHTF, we have to not only be prepared for ourselves, but for our pets as well. There are some survivalists and preppers who beleive the best course of action in a disaster is to leave any pets behind. This is perhaps the easiest option because you don't have the burden of an animal during an already unstable time. However, pets are members of most people's families, and this will be hard to do for most people.

      Since many of us will find it hard to leave pets behind and abandon them in a crisis, this means that you have to make sure you have prepared for them as well as yourselves. Just like yourself and members of your family, you will have to determine what the basic needs of your pet are. This includes everything from food and water to sanitation and temperature requirements.

      It will be fairly easy at first to keep your pets with you if you are bugging in. This is because you will already have all the neccessary supplies to take care of your animals at home. If you are bugging out, you will want to have supplies for your pets at your but out location as well. Bugging out does make taking care of your pets more tricky though. Transporting pets is not neccessarily the easiest of tasks. With two cats at home, I know how hard it is to catch them when they have to go to the vet. The time it takes to get a pet that is being difficult into any bug out vehicle should be included in your bug out plans.

      If you are going to be traveling with your pets you will want to consider creating a small bug out bag for them as well. Remember for most animals you will be carrying those extra supplies so weight is an issue for their bug out bag just as it is for you. For smaller and short term disasters it will be easier to keep your pets with you and provide for their needs. However you also must be prepared for a long term disaster. In this event it will become harder to supply for them, and you will have to have an idea at least of how you will be able to provide for them.  However you should also consider how your pets could help provide for you, specifically when it comes to food.

      No, I am not taking the stance that you can eat your pet in the event of a survival situation. Instead there are many dogs that were bred originally to be hunting dogs. Likewise cats will also hunt out rats, rabbits and other small game and rodents. So rather than being a burden on your food supplies they may actually be able to help with them.

      There is one more thing to consider, and this is not just for people who have pets, but for those without as well. There will be pets who are left alone, and have to survive in the wild, and while some of these pets will die, others will become feral. This means that while you may be preparing for disasters and other people, other people's pets may be something else that you want to consider in your plans for when shtf.

      I can't tell you what specific things you should put together for your pet because each pet is different.  However if you approach them the same way you do when preparing for yourself and others it will give you a good start on helping your pets be prepared for when SHTF.  So if you have some extra time this weekend it may be time to start preparing for the furry members of our family. Have you put together supplies for your pet already? Share them in the comments!


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