This is one of the rare weekends that we take our dogs with us to the farm. They get all excited, especially the little one, about going “bye-bye truck.” Yes, I’m the one who NEVER used baby talk with my kids, but sure do with the little dog. Keep calling her a puppy too, even though she’s two years old—about 24 in people years!
Obviously, it takes a bit more planning to travel with pets; we only have a three-hour trip, max, so the travel part isn’t so bad. We bring their food dishes and food, we have extra water bowls here, and a blanket for the older dog to sleep on—not that he ever uses anything at home. We also have a large crate/nightstand, just in case.
The older one sleeps most of the trip, unless the little one happens to bark at a pedestrian or a driver stopped next to us. The biggest hazard is that, if we don’t pack the floor correctly, he tends to slip down off the seat. Or at least one end of him or the other. Doesn’t seem to bother him much, kind of like a tiny baby in a carseat—you always wonder how they can be comfortable!
The little one, well, she wants to be in on all the action, so she has to be restrained. We tried a small crate, but no dice: she whined all.the.time. ALL.THE.TIME. Then I had a brainstorm. I found the harness we’d gotten for the cat, the one he Houdini’d out of a few times, and hooked a leash to it; I tied the other end to a tab at the top of the backseat, and voila! She can stand, sit, lie down, and balance a lot better. And she can’t get into the front to distract me.
We also learned we have to skip her breakfast in the morning…
As I’ve said before, in any prepping situation, you take of your animals and plants first, then yourself. So when we arrive, the dogs are walked, watered, and fed, and then we can move on to other chores.
Now, when prep sites tell you to have a gallon of water per person, you have to remember to add an additional gallon per pet—I’m going to assume, for the moment, that your livestock are already taken care of as far as food, water, and shelter.
Pet food is easily storable, although it can take up a lot of space and it isn’t light. We use big Tupperware tubs. They’re rodent proof, which is a must-have. You don’t want to feed the mouse population, just your pets.
Any meds that your pets need must also be stocked. Keep in mind the age and condition of those pets. Our older dog is 13 and his breed lifespan is around 15-16. Not to sound harsh, but there’s no point in stocking enough heartworm meds or anything else beyond 2-3 years’ worth. When SHTF, there will be a lot of other, more important things, to worry about.
Oh, I know—many of you shudder at the thought of your pet missing his teeth cleaning or his mani-pedi or being shaved for the summer. But what if those services weren’t available? Could or would you perform them yourself? Maybe. But it wasn’t so long ago that dog’s teeth were cleaned by gnawing on bones and their nails were clipped by owners or by running around outside.
As people have become more used to conveniences, so too have their pets. Sure, we love them; sure, they’re cute. I even saw a cat yesterday that was wearing a Cards cap and sunglasses. Cute! And my family always had pets, so to speak: dogs to warn off intruders and cats to keep down the rodent population, as well as being companions. A lot of folks might have to rethink their own pet situation when SHTF…