You could call it soft or weak but whatever you call it pets are a multi-billion dollars a year industry.
Just as it would be foolish for us to ignore the financial impacts of pets so too would it be to ignore their needs in preparedness.
Pets are part of many people’s families.
This means when disaster strikes you better have a plan.
Steven Rinella often refers to a hierarchy of animals in society.
There are animals in this world we are completely ok with killing. Cows and chickens immediately come to mind.
People can get crazy about things like killing bears.
That is an example of the hierarchy of animals.
In your home, you may have your own hierarchy in disaster:
- Take the dog, leave the gerbil?
- Take the cat, set the dogs loose?
- Take the guinea pig and let the birds go free?
These are hard decisions you must make today when things are comfortable.
Also, a quick word of advice would be to never take the fish!
Once you have decided who is coming, who is staying and who is going free it’s time to take to preparing.
Your top considerations should be food, water, waste and mobility.
No matter the type of pet you prepare for you must have food for them.
You do not want them eating off your planned food supply. I would recommend having at least two weeks of pet food stored and in the rotation.
This could mean a few small bags of hamster food or a giant 50lb bag of dog food depending on how many dogs you have and their size.
Also consider what all of this means if you have to hit the road or bugout.
Is it even possible to bring that kind of food with you?
Of course, this is the most challenging aspect of prepping for pets. There will already be a tremendous strain to get the water you and your family will need.
Add to that the needs of your pets and you may spend much of your time hauling and purifying water.
Of course, the benefits are that pets can drink creek water, puddles and other sources that would make us humans sick.
If you are trapped in your home due to something like floods you better have a bodily waste plan.
Pets make this much more complicated. You may have to deal with things like running out of litter or bedding.
What about when the dogs have to go?
Consider how you will dispose of the waste.
Will you block off certain areas where the pets and their mess can be contained?
If you are going to truly prepare for a collapse in the civil order of your area you should consider the bugout.
Pets change everything when it comes to the bugout. There is no way around the fact that pets make things harder.
The bugout will be no less difficult if you take big dogs or tiny hermit crabs.
Pets are a true distraction as well. Will you use a carrier for the cat?
That takes up a free hand and extra calories.
It’s a scary and sad thing to contemplate the importance of pets.
In a fallen world, it will be hard enough to sustain human life.
Things will get desperate – be careful you don’t keep your pet around just long enough that it becomes a meal!
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