Everyone always talks about how difficult it is to bug out when you have small children with you, but it’s rare that anyone stops to think about what happens to pets when we bug out or even when you hunker down and try to remain in place. Your pet is an important part of your family and you need to have a specific bug in plan to keep your animals safe and happy. Here are some of the most basic preparations you should consider if you have pets in your home.
Stock Up on Food
There’s a limited amount of space for preps, but it’s still important to have food on hand for your furry friends. If your pets live outdoors and are relatively self-sufficient, they will be able to hunt small game and fend for themselves. If your pet lacks the ability to hunt for themselves, you will have to feed them. This means you’ll need to stockpile food ahead of time and when it runs out, you will need supplies to snare small game that you can share with your pet.
If you are bugging out with a dog, you might consider setting up a small bug out bag attached to a harness that they can carry. You can fill this particular pet friendly bug out bag with some food that your pet carries.
Be Prepared to Clean Up After Your Pet
If you think that bugging out with your pet means you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after them, you should think again. While you might view your pet as a valued family member, you can’t expect others to feel the same, particularly if normal food supplies have been cut off and people have begun to starve. Cleaning up after your pet allows you to travel in anonymity and could save the life of your pet should you venture too close to someone else’s camp. If you aren’t bugging out, but taking cover in your home with your pet for a long period of time, you’ll need to have a way to safely dispose of their waste. A composting toilet is generally the simplest solution.
Be Prepared to Silence Your Pet
In some cases, a dog barking is a good thing since it alerts you to the fact that someone is approaching. However if you’re trying to hunt, you don’t want your barking dog to scare the game away. The best way to make sure you can silence your dog when needed is by keeping an open mouth muzzle in preps. This style of muzzle is designed so your dog can drink, but prevents them from barking. It might seem cruel, but if a barking dog could result in your family getting killed, you’ll be glad you planned ahead and bought a muzzle.
Be Prepared to Deal with Illness and Injuries
If you’ve been prepping for a while, you’ve hopefully spent some time studying first aid basics. Now you need to concentrate on first aid that is tailored specifically to your pet. Do some research and learn exactly what herbs grow in your area that can be used as natural medicine for pets. Not only should you learn how to identify the plants, but also how to prep them for first aid use.
Train Your Pet
Bugging in with your pet will be a great deal easier if you have taken the time to make sure that your pet is properly trained. Not only should they be obedient to the lead rope and collar, but they should also obey the stay command, and come whenever you call them. Even cats can be trained to follow simple directions. The time to train your pet is before you have to bug in.
What About Fish?
If your beloved pets are fish, this poses some extra problems. Caring for fish during an emergency situation can be very complicated. Unlike a cat or dog that has the ability to fend for themselves if need be, your fish are stuck in an aquarium where they can’t get any food, which is why you should always keep several weeks worth of food in your home at all times. Another issue that you should already be considering is how to keep your aquarium filtered and clean if there’s no power. A battery operated pump and airstone is the best solution. Nitrate reducers, zeolites, pH stabilizers, and water softeners can be used to keep the water properly balanced for your fish. An aquarium safe sludge reducer will help you keep the aquarium clean.
Have you taken time to consider what bugging in would mean for your pets? What steps have you already taken to prepare?