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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.
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 tarter 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.
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.