Something to think about while prepping is your pets. Ok, so you have remembered that dear Fido or Fluffy needs food too, BUT….
You have decided you’re going to shelter in place and you have stored up food for your fuzzy family members and think you have considered them in your plans. But, what if your location becomes compromised and you find yourself bugging out. Have you considered a bug out plan for them?
In a previous blog I talked about choosing your land for bugging out and now you find yourself needing to head there in a hurry! Now there comes into the picture Fido, and you think….. Heck, he is part of the family or… some may think I will just let him fend for himself. I will get to the coming with you part in a minute but, letting Fido fend for himself is a very bad idea for both Fido and others.
Dogs are pack animals and when starving they will band together and form packs with other fuzzy pals from the neighborhood and now we have a roving band of furry gang members. Most animals in the wild, even those who could be a threat to people will shy away from humans. But Fido sees humans as where food comes from and will with his fellow gang members begin to prey on them. Without the natural fear of humans other animals have, Fido just became someone else’s problem. Don’t do this to either the neighbors or Fido.
So now what then do we do with dear old Fido? Most will think the option of putting Fido down is harsh and would not be my first choice either but it is something you should think about in case there is no way to take Fido with you.
Having considered all these things you have decided the dear fuzz ball is family and will be hitting the road with you. Ok, this is good…Fido could be useful, right? Yes, he certainly could be but you need to make sure he can handle it and by that I mean, keep up and not be a threat to your safety…I used to have a teacup chiweenie, he had to run the whole time to keep up with me at a slow walk and I often had to carry him. Not only that but he would bark at a breeze…not exactly a good thing if you need to hunker down and let Billy bad ass and his band of not so merry men pass by. He will be like a fog horn screaming out humans here, humans here! You will need to train your little fluff ball to remain silent when you require it! This is paramount! He could also be an early warning for you in this as well. You could teach him to warn you of danger with a silent motion. He now becomes like a trusted tool that you now feel is an essential part of your bug out plan. Also the good thing is he can hunt for you and will eat whatever you have left over for him. Fido can surely be an asset to any group providing, hunting skills, protection and his sniffer works much better than ours so he could certainly be an early warning system for danger.
Moving on to dear fluffy, while house cats are less likely to become a furry gang of marauders and more likely to become prey for the prior mentioned gang of feral dogs, they are generally loners with the exception of when the girls start to howl. Which now in order to feed the mini fluffys of the world, they become feral exterminators of all small game for miles around as they have a wide radius they will travel for these little wide eyed mini terminators they now have to feed. So just letting them loose in the area to figure it out for themselves is probably not the best idea for them either.
At this point you’ve taken all this in and you’re thinking, “so now what do I do about them?” Take them with you? Ok that’s an option, lets for a minute say we do this. Just a short rant about the adorable little felines. I had to take an extended trip out of town and took the little cuties with me…. Along the trip in the crates they howled to get out, and when they were not immediately released from their imprisonment, one promptly smelled up the entire vehicle….Yep….EWWWWWW…. The dear man of mine said to me “what do you do, just walk the cat?” This got me thinking and well, I guess that is an option. But this will take time now to train this writhing ball of fur to agree to this…anyone ever put a cat on a leash? They really really hate it and will shred anything within striking range to free themselves from the binds they find themselves in.
These little terminators will hunt as well and bring back what they capture to show it off like a trophy. But, cats are not so much like dogs who will follow you off into the wilderness without getting…..”oooh butterfly” on you. And now Fluffy is off practicing his “pouncing” and has completely lost sight of you and you of him.
Cats are the more difficult of the two to figure out how to handle in a SHTF situation, so please be responsible and spay or neuter your critters unless you have a clear plan for the animals to work on your homestead and you will need to have them create a few helpers for their respective jobs.
These thoughts also made me think, what if long ago to save your precious new sofa you had this fluffy lap warmer declawed? This adorable mini heater is now useful for that purpose only. They are defenseless without their retractable razors and cannot even hunt to feed you or themselves for that matter and you must consider their value verses burden to you in this situation as well.
As for all the other pets in our lives, please remember that letting Polly out will likely just make her lunch for Fluffy, who will in turn be dinner for Fido at some point. I recommend we all try to formulate a good plan for our non-human family members and be responsible in our plans for them, not only in putting some food for them into our storage plans but also to have a good plan for them and either begin training them now for a bug out situation or consider alternatives.