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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, the last thing you want to do is stress out about finding food for Fido or treating Mr. Whisker’s fractured leg. 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 that’s not always true. Animals have different nutritional needs, and foods that are okay for humans could make your pets sick. And there other considerations besides food, anyway. Here are a few things you should gather for them.
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1. Pet Food
Start with at least a two-week supply of food, 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. 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 food 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. Pets need clean water, too.
5. Pet Treats and Supplements
Make sure you have enough to last several weeks. Believe it or not, a disaster scenario will stress your pets out as well, and having treats will make them feel like everything is normal. At least for a moment.
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 pet medications 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 tartar and kills gingivitis.
9. Flea and Tick Treatment
Collars, sprays, and flea & tick shampoo.
10. Grooming Supplies
Brush, nail trimmers and other supplies for keeping pet fur under control.
11. Pet Clothes
Sweaters and boots for extremely cold climates. This is important if you have to bug out on foot.
12. Carriers and Leashes
You probably 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.
Keep recent pictures of your pets in your pet survival kit in case they are lost and you need help finding them.
Make sure you attach a tag with name, address, and phone number. Also, check out this paracord collar for dogs.
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. Pet Shoes
Your dog may need shoes if they’re going to be walking over long distances or rough terrain. Remember that in a survival situation, you’re not going to have access to a vet or professional medical help, and even the smallest of injuries (such as a cut or scrape) can result in an infection. This applies just as much to your pet as it does to you.
Invest in quality pet shoes that can help to absorb the blows of walking repeatedly throughout the day, and remember to put them on when you expect to put in a full day’s walk or over rocky ground.
Remember, not only will injured feet increase the risk of infection, they’re also painful and can slow your pet down to the point that you may have to carry him or her. For these reasons, high-quality pet shoes are among the most important items to include in your pet’s survival kit.
18. Cotton Balls
Cotton balls serve multiple purposes. You can use them to help remove gunk from your pet’s ear or to help clean wounds. Also remember that cotton balls make for excellent fire-starting devices, and especially when combined with something highly flammable such as Vaseline or hand sanitizer.
A muzzle may be necessary for certain emergencies. It won’t take up too much space or weight adding to your pet’s survival kit either, so definitely include it.
20. Baby Wipes
Baby wipes, or wet wipes, can come in handy for wiping your pet down or removing dirt or mud. In other words, they’re a quick alternative to giving them a full bath.
21. Pet First Aid Kit
Have a dedicated first aid kit for your pet rather than just relying on your own. As with your own kit, you should customize your pet’s first aid kit by accumulating and including each of the items separately so you are fully familiar with the contents.
At the minimum, your pet’s first aid kit should consist each of the following:
- Hypoallergenic tape
- Eye Wash
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antihistamine spray
- Aspirin tablets
- Cotton Swabs
- Needle and Thread
22. Dog Vest
If your dog is a large enough breed, they should be able to carry some items on their own. This will help to remove some of the burden from your own pack.
You can buy a dog vest that includes pockets and compartments for storing items. The vest should be easily adjustable as well
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.
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