When people get busy storing supplies, reading survival books, and practicing their skills, it’s easy for them to forget about their pets. But if a major disaster occurs, you’ll want to make sure your pets are healthy and taken care of so you can concentrate on other things.
Most people assume they can just feed their pets human food if they have to, but animals have different nutritional needs. And there other considerations besides food. Here are a few things you should gather for them.
1. Pet Food. Start with at least a two-week supply, then build from there. How long it lasts depends on what you get. Your pet food will last a lot longer if you buy the good stuff from a pet store and avoid the imported stuff found at places like Walmart. Most dog and cat food is high in fat which means it will turn rancid after the “best by” date, so for long-term storage consider getting airtight containers and oxygen absorbers. Also, remember that canned food lasts longer than dry food.
2. Hand Can Opener. You should have one of these for yourself, anyway. Just a reminder.
3. Food and Water Bowls. It’s good to have some extra bowls, especially the collapsible kind that don’t take up much space.
4. Several Gallons of Water. Again, you should have this for yourself, but it wouldn’t hurt to set several gallons aside in addition to your regular drinking water.
5. Pet Treats and Supplements. Make sure you have enough to last as long as the regular food.
6. Waste Disposal System. This is particularly important for cats. Make sure you have plenty of litter, newspapers, a scoop, bleach, garbage bags and baking soda (for the smell).
7. Pet medications. Make sure you have enough stocked up to last far beyond your pet’s next vet appointment.
8. Dental Tools. For pets, the only thing you need is Petzlife spray. This stuff removes tarter and kills gingivitis.
9. Flea and Tick Treatment. Collars, sprays, and flea & tick shampoo.
10. Grooming Supplies. Brush, nail trimmers and other supplies.
11. Pet Clothes. Sweaters and boots for extremely cold climates.
12. Carriers and Leashes. You might already have these, but an extra one of each can’t hurt.
13. Records and Documents. Gather all your vet health records and vaccination documents into one folder.
14. Pictures. Keep recent pictures of your pets in your pet survival kit in case they are lost and you need help finding them.
15. Collar. Make sure you attach a tag with name, address, and phone number. Also, check out this paracord collar for dogs.
16. Instructions. In case you need to give your pets away or have someone else take care of them, make a list of detailed instructions on how to care for each pet.
17. Toys. Keep your pets entertained. Chew toys for dogs and fake mice for cats can keep them busy for hours. Better yet, get a laser pointer for your cats.
What to read next: Pet Prepping 101