Prepping and Pets
I’m likely going to catch a lot of flak for this blog post, but here goes nothing!
Most or all of you probably have pets – animals, that is, from fish to hamsters to cats to dogs. If SHTF, how are you going to handle this situation? Just like any other aspect of modern life, pet care is something to consider when prepping.
Back in the day, animals were seldom considered “pets.” Some had a dog, for alarm and protection purposes, cats roamed inside and out to help control the rodent population. Rodents, as hamsters mentioned above, were never kept in cages inside, and fish, well, fish were to be eaten, not watched.
I’m going to look at this in two different ways: a little SHTF, a temporary one perhaps; or a big, permanent SHTF:
For the short-term situation, you’ll want to have a pet bug-out bag – food, extra collar, leash, tie-out, pet meds, extra water supply, dishes, blanket, whatever you think you might need to stock up on for the duration. And for a blackout or a natural disaster, this should be fine. Just think about the days’ worth of supplies for the family, and plan accordingly for your pets.
What about something bigger?
It may come down to choice – if you run out of supplies, do you feed the dog or feed your children? Do you use up possibly scarce medical supplies on your dog or your spouse? It puts me in mind of those who oppose animal testing of cosmetics and drugs: if you don’t test on animals, which is horrible, do you test on humans? Isn’t that worse? Or better, because humans can consent?
At any rate, please remember that animals ARE animals, not people. And before you slam me in the comments, also remember that, before animals were pets, they were foragers and hunters. And they were fine. A cat can catch his own supper, possibly easier than you can, and a dog can hunt for his meals too – and maybe even yours, depending on the breed.
Another way to look at it is that your pets CAN eat some of your own food – people food, if you will. When space and time and money/barter can’t supply actual dog or cat food, there are always leftovers from your plate. Many of you will go this route, but remember, too, that if you aren’t healthy, you can’t care for your pet.
I know, I know, so many of you will say that your pets are “family.” For myself, I can’t imagine telling Kura that there’s nothing for her to eat, or sending her out on her own to find supper. No way. Thomas, my Sheltie/Collie mix, would fare better even though he’s getting up there in years, and Wilson, our Maine Coon, would be in his own version of heaven if he got to run around and catch things.
Most of you, too, will swear that it will never come to this choice, the one between people and pets. And I sure hope that’s the case. My point is that it could, it really could – and so prepping for this is even more important than you might realize.