When it comes to disaster, we want to be prepared for our whole family-pets included! Dogs and cats especially can be wonderful survival companions; dogs can alert you of intruders, and, depending on their breed, even protect you from them, while cats can protect your survival food supplies from rodents. Both dogs and cats provide irreplaceable companionship as well, not to mention a little extra warmth on a cold night!
To keep our furry friends sustained in a disaster, it’s important that we prepare for them as much as we do ourselves. We have an article specifically about taking care of fido after a disaster, but we’d like to expand a bit on that here and discuss dog food in particular in a bit more detail.
Obviously step one is to stockpile dog or cat food. For dry food, you’ll want to make sure you can keep it in an airtight container for maximum longevity, and for canned food as well as dry food, keep track of the expiration date. Think ahead, you don’t want just a week’s worth of food, but several months or even years if you can.
A potentially cheaper alternative would be to stock up on food that both humans and animals could eat, such as rice and dehydrated meats, sweet potatoes and vegetables. This way, if something were to happen to one of the animals, their food stash would not go to waste. Just make sure you’ve got enough for humans and dogs. You can also pressure can homemade dog and cat food recipes, such as mixtures of meat, rice and vegetables; but only do this if you are experienced with pressure canning meat and know how to do it safely.
Finally, before disaster, if possible, let your dog or cat maintain their instincts. If you have a dog, teach them to hunt, get them used to the outdoors and to scouting and scavenging. If you have a cat, let them be outdoor cats if you’re able, don’t scold them for bringing home birds and mice, praise them. It might be gross now, but that skill for hunting is what will come in very handy in a post-disaster world.
Dogs and cats are the worlds most popular pet for a reason, they’re wonderful companions, and can be amazing survival companions. Make sure you’ve got what you need to sustain them and they’ll be sure to show their gratitude!
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