Holistic Survival
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Don’t forget Fido! Pet Survival Kits

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When preparing for an emergency, people often spend time putting together 72-hour “bug out” bags. They’ll make sure they have water, food, first aid supplies, and everything they’ll need in case of an emergency. But they won’t remember to do the same for their pets. In a crisis situation, you will certainly continue to care for your pets as you do now. So prepare for their needs just as you would your own.

Water

A pet’s survival kit should include everything needed to keep your pet safe and healthy. The biggest part of the kit is water. Do not plan on sharing your water with your pet. There will not be enough. Animals need to consume a good deal of water. Dogs require about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Cats, on the other hand, require a varying amount related in part to the type of food they consume. A cat drinks around two to four ounces of water daily, but will require more if he eats only dry food and less if he consumes wet food. Water intake for pets varies with the size of the pet, their activity level, and the season. Take all of these factors into account to determine the amount of water to include in your pet survival kit.

Food

The second most important part of a pet emergency pack is food. If your kit is a 72-hour kit, then plan the same for your pet. Measure and store enough food for a three-day supply in case of an emergency. Use a resealable, waterproof container for the food if it is dry food. If it is canned food, you can simply leave it in the can, but don’t forget a manual can opener. Check the expiration date on the food and make sure that you change the food out as needed. Commercial pet foods have a tendency to spoil just like our food.

Other necessities

Other items you will need to include in your dog survival kit:

  • Medicines: Any medicines, flea treatment, or vitamins that your pet takes on a regular basis should be packed.
  • Bowls: Be sure to include something out of which your pet can drink and eat. Collapsible bowls found in camping supply stores work great. They flatten for the kit and hold water well.
  • Treats, toys, etc.: Pack extra pet treats or chew toys. Some pets become anxious during any change, especially during an emergency where they may sense your concern. Their favorite blanket, a new toy, or special treat will help ease your pet’s nervousness.
  • Carrier: For a dog, you could just plan on bringing a leash. For a cat, rabbit, ferret, or similar creature, you’ll need a pet carrier. For smaller animals, such as mice, gerbils, hamsters, or lizards, you may need to have a small back-up cage for emergencies, if space is at a premium. In some instances, bringing the pet’s regular cage may be the quickest and easiest choice.

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