PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS

If you have a dog - and there were a lot of puppy adoptions during the COVID lockdowns - someday that puppy is going to be a much larger dog with a bigger appetite. You need a lot of dog food since dogs eat a lot! A 55-gal. drum filled with dog food sealed in plastic bags of 10 lbs. or so to keep it fresh should be sufficient - and you can rotate out the food and refill as needed. On occasion your dog will need shots, wormed, toenails clipped, a new flea collar, etc. Luckily, there are mail order veterinary supply houses like Petco or Chewy where you can get most of the things you'd need for your dog, including hypodermic needles and canine vaccines; you may need a prescription from your vet. Your dog also needs toys to prevent her from chewing shoes, pillows, and stray nails. Benadryl works on dogs to reduce swelling from insect bites and bee stings, so you need to have some of that on-hand for your dog as well.

If you have a cat, don't forget some cat litter. There may be times when even your "outdoor" cat can't get to the outdoors! Cat litter is also a good substitute for ZipZorb oil absorber, and can be used to increase traction if you get stuck in the snow or ice. When I lived in NY I always carried a small Rubbermaid tub full of cat litter for just that reason. Since getting to the cabin entailed driving a seasonal use road (no plowing or maintenance from December 1st to April 1st each year, and little maintenance any time of the year), I had to be very conscious about carrying the proper winter survival kit in my Jeep. You'll also need to keep cat food on hand, though I'm not sure you'd need a 55-gal. drum of it. Figure out how much you use every week, then plan on having enough for at least a month. If you live in an area where field mice abound, you'll need a supply of cat wormer. You can also buy vaccines for your cat from Petco or Chewy; you may need a prescription from your vet.. There are other supply houses and your veteranarian to get needed items.

Don't forget a brush for your pet to keep shedding problems to a minimum - and a set of battery-operated clippers if you have a dog that needs regular trimming. People who have some of the more exotic pets know that failure to clip hair can result in some serious health problems from clogged glands, etc.

Birds, tropical fish, iguanas and other kinds of pets also need to be considered in your survival plans. Tropical fish can be especially troublesome because they need a constantly oxygenated water supply. Having a battery operated air pump should be considered.

A friend and I discussed what to do if you have a pack of hunting dogs. These animals can be an asset in assisting you with your hunting and self-defense plans; in a drawn-out disaster scenario even loyal and well-trained dogs can become dangerous when their food supply disappears. Making your own dog food may be an option if you have of the ingredients on hand; freeze-dried or dehydrated will work. Keeping your hunting dogs alive and healthy will assist in your own survival. I can't tell you what to do in case you run out of dog food, but I can tell you that it's something you need to think about...

If you have farm animals, make provisions for them also. Put up some extra feed, hay and straw. Make sure to store feed in a container that will resist moisture and insect intrusion. Oxygen absorbers are a must to keep feed animal-ready and safe. If worse comes to worse, you can always have a pig roast. If you have laying hens, postpone the chicken and biscuits until the last possible moment; eggs are a great source of protein and good laying hens will produce a constant supply.

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