Random considerations–pet things to think about when SHTF

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While there are some aspects of pet prepping that I could construct separate pages for (i.e. pet nutrition, shelter/transport, etc…), there are some aspects of pet prepping that go into the “other” category that really need to be brought to the attention of pet-owning preppers.

First, I wanted to cover an introduction to pet training.  Here are some initial questions, especially for my dog lovers; does your dog know how to:

-Be quiet, not bark?
-Protect/attack on command?
-Search or find somebody?

There are many who have untrained dogs, but the owner plans on bringing their untrained dog with them in a SHTF scenario.  If this is you, are you prepared to deal with some of the cons of having an untrained pet that may not listen to you?  If not, would you like to change this and train your dog?  Typically, there are pet training and obedience centers in many cities; you could always start your search by going to your local pet store.  Look into your local search and rescue team–many of them are incredibly good at training their dogs, and they may be able to further direct you in pet training.

Now for covering a tougher topic–cats.  I’m a cat lady, so I understand this difficulty.  Cats are incredibly independent and are difficult to train; it is not impossible to do, but you typically can’t train them the same way as you train a dog.  For starters, as previously covered in the “Pet Shelter and Transport” post of this blog, is your cat harness/collar/leash–trained?  If not you could start by training them to put the harness on while also giving them treats.  Do this a little bit every day until they are able to wear said collar or harness for extended periods of time without wanting to rip it off.  Next baby step would be to take them outside with a leash and let them wander for a bit.  Do this frequently to allow the cat to get used to it.  If your feline decides that none of this is acceptable, also be aware that there are other training options that may be better with a cat backpack (also outlined in the “Pet Shelter and Transport” post).  Aside from this, cats are excellent hunters, and are great for keeping vermin away.  Although this is a shallow overview of pet training, this scratches the surface of getting preppers to think about things they may/may not want to consider with their pets.

Next, I wanted to cover pet bug-out plans.  In a bug-out scenario, you need to grab essential materials and get out as quickly as possible.  In a SHTF situation, you really don’t want to take a lot of time.  For many preppers, this comes in the form of a bug-out bag and perhaps a few other materials that they can throw into their vehicle or that they can carry for long distances.  However, very few also think about these things for their pets.  As silly as it sounds, do you have a bug-out plan for the pet(s) as well?  Is there a small bag with which you can throw in essential materials and grab at the last minute?  Below is a fine example of this idea:



Yes…you can buy small pet bug-out bags that are already stocked with packs of water, food, rope, survival blanket, first aid, toys, etc.  Or, better yet, this can also give you ideas of how to make your own.  Stock a bag that has a few days-worth of food, water, and other objects that your pet may need.  Does your pet take medications of any sort? (“Pet Health and Diet” post soon to come!)  If so, make sure that all health-specific items are in a small pouch that you can throw into a bug-out bag at the last minute.  Dogs often times can carry vests that allow them to carry various objects; this is especially common with service animals.  However, animals can only carry so much weight, so having a separate bug-out bag may be something for you to consider.

In planning for your pet’s bug-out, could you gather everything you need for your pet in a short amount of time?  Making sure that you have bug-out plans and bags set up for your pet means that you will take less time in gathering supplies and will increase your chances of you and your pet’s survival.

One Response to “Random considerations–pet things to think about when SHTF

  • Excellent article. My dog will need a lot of training to successfully bug out, but the cat would do just fine. She likes wearing her collar and I’m going to start working with her on a leash. Thanks for the ideas.

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