Bugging In


Bugging In With Pets


   Finally at long last, my Bugging In post is here! I am pleased to be back blogging with you guys after my hiatus. I have been finishing up school and starting my career in Web Development / Digital Signage. My website for that if you guys were curious is Rainey Day Hosting . If anyone needs any Internet Assistance please let me know. We also do Social Media Marketing. But without further Ado we will commence with the Pet Emergency Preparedness discussion at hand!


This first thing you have probably already considered about bugging-in is, “Do I have enough space?”. For some people this is an easy question to answer. If you don’t live to deep into any major city then the answer is usually “Yes”, However if you are like me and live in a 1,500 Square Feet Town home, the answer might not be as cut and dry. While I would love to have a cabin retreat to hangout at, and to keep all my preps at, money and work make this very hard to do. If you can accomplish this that’s awesome! I will revisit this topic of making a Prepper Retreat a.k.a. Bug Out Location in a later post.


The first and biggest concern for me when considering Bugging-In other than space is security. Sometimes what I mean by this is how stable your dwelling is and how impervious it is to unwanted guests should you happen to be gone gathering supplies or fighting zombies. Determining this is pretty easy, just walk around with a clip board and make notes of places that need fixing, windows that need to be sealed, 12 Foot concrete Fences that need to be constructed, etc..  :@) . This will give you a good place to start and it will help you on your electric bill in the summer and gas bill in the winter.

I also get a comforting feeling from knowing that my house is sealed up, bug free, and efficient when it comes to energy use. Then you can go down the list of improvements one by one until it is complete, I recommend doing this first because what good is having a bunch of preps if they are not safe from weather or intruders. Your spouse will just think you are taking care of the house which is usually a positive thing, and it is not directly related to preparedness so you keep those pesky unwanted questions from everyone down to a minimum.


Next you want to consider how long you will be Bugging-In for. Most of us including me at first will say “Forever, that is why I am bugging in!”. However in post apocalyptic situations things change and arise almost by the minute, and your plan will change quick. Personally I aim for about 3 months of Bugging In time, this gives the world enough time to deal and accept with whatever changes have happened around you, and depending on your location, enough time for most people to leave the area, or arrive at your retreat area. Staying Put at the beginning of a crisis is a good idea sometimes, and then other times it is completely impossible. Knowing when it is time to stay, and time to go is very crucial to the survival of you and your family. Don’t make hasty decisions if you do not have to, letting things develop around you before you take action can present opportunity’s and otherwise disguised traps and dangers. 


So we know that God willing, we will remain home Bugging-In for 3 months. You can follow the guidelines and use the math formulas to determine how much food and water you need, everyone is different depending on the size of your family and how many pets, and their types, you need to provide for. For my family it is Me, my Wife, 2 dogs (Dobby & Benny) and 1 Cat (Biskets) . The Cat is the easiest, 1 – 30 LB bag of food and she is good to go for the 3 months. Throw in a couple bags of treats for good measure and we are off to the races. The dogs are harder to gauge because their store bought food goes stale if i buy to much before they eat it. The average shelf life of Natural Balance is about a month before my dogs start to not like it. I find it I have 2 flavors I can trick them and make it last longer, but this is a unique case. Check out my other post about Stella & Chewies Taste Test & Long Term Food storage for Dogs to get some deeper info on this topic. 


Depending on what type of disaster you are preparing for, you need to keep 3 months of those types of supplies. A lot of the different situations will overlap so if you plan for Hurricanes and you get an earthquake instead you will probably be OK. But if you plan for biological disaster and you have an economic fallout some of those items might not transfer as easily. However this creates a perfect situation to convert some items you do not need into barter items. I don’t like to trade bullets or anything that someone can use to come back and take the rest of my preps with!


Once you have your basic 3 months of supplies for food and water down it is time to switch over to First Aid. You should have enough supplies for each pet as well as each human in your house. My general rule is 100 band aides per person and 1 tube / roll / 100 count of medication per person. you can adjust this and apply it to your pet first aid kit. I wrote an article about this, Preps 4 Pets – Pet First Aid Kit which includes a list and directions on how to make one of these for your family. 


With the 3 most important, in my opinion, supply requirements met and a hardened stable environment to keep it in, this is a good foundation for bugging in. I live outside of Atlanta Georgia and to me the first couple months of evacuation and people trying to make a stand, can go on outside my door while me and my family can hunker down and wait for the “Storm” to Pass.


One other thing you need is a way to protect yourself. To me there is no better substitute than a good rifle, but each family has their own view on this topic so i will let you guys hash it out. Air rifles are great for hunting small game, and are virtually silent. While they don’t carry a lot of stopping power they will get you a couple rabbits. Get a scope mounted here and buy pellets instead of B.B.S. to get maximum impact. Also people don’t tend to notice people buying buying an air rifle or stocking up on 10 thousand pellets.


With all of these steps met you can be rest assured that you can survive if you stay put until your supplies run out. The best prep is a good plan so think about what you are going to do after all the supplies are gone. Do you stay and replenish? or do you make a run for the country? Maybe stay and try to rebuild the community, determining this will help you try and think about the next step after the initial collapse.

Photo Credits:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48166336@N00/409159632″>Pismo Beach, California, USA</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126917537@N03/15936518111″>First Aid Kit</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/61466848@N03/5726683859″>Qualities of Service</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49672978@N00/405423386″>Pellet1 Stacked.jpg</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71401718@N00/3140267992″>Fire, Volcanic Ash Fallout, Earthquake, Bomb Threat, Adventurous Resident, Evacuation; Anchorage Pioneer Home Disaser Plan, Alaska, USA</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Prep Test # 5 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Food Trial (Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Flavor)

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

This is the Flavor my Dogs Loved!

   When I first approached trying this food out I assumed it would be similar to the Rehydrated Food I tested before. I was Wrong! For one thing both of my dogs liked it not reconstituted. Pretty surprising because it’s very dry and doesn’t seem like it would be appetizing. However my dogs were literally jumping up to try and get it out of my hand!

    After i let them try it as is, i put the equivalent to half a days worth of “Patties” of food in their bowl and added the necessary amount of water. it took a long time to absorb the water and become ready for my dogs to eat making them run around anxious and whining for about 10-15 minutes! I thought they would reconstitute almost immediately but prepare yourself and your dogs to wait(You may need to hide and mix it up!).

Different Flavors

Different Flavors

   Our Pomeranian, Benny, did not like the food after it was mixed up. she preferred it dry but because she has a tiny mouth i had to feed it to her a little at a time. This would be a hard process if I had to do it everyday just to feed her. Dobby, Our Beagle, eat the entire bowl, a whole days worth of food for her, without even a second sniff, so I know that this wouldn’t be a problem for her if I had to feed this to her daily.

   Now I might try different flavors to see if Benny would it reconstituted. However I know that with the dehydrated food they both eat after I mix it up in about 5 seconds. When dealing with a survival scenario I would want something quick. The theme through everyone is that we don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done. If it takes me 20 minutes to feed my dogs… that kinda seems like wasting time to me. One thought about the rehydrated food though is I’m not sure if they are eating equal amounts, but being that the dogs are different sizes it might not matter. For your family situation definitely take this into account. for a long term event I would get another bowl and feed them separately.

This Patties are about 3 inches across

This Patties are about 3 inches across

For treats in long term Dog food storage though, these would be great! They contain a whooping 48% crude protein which is super high for dog food. I would recommend breaking the “Patties” into 4 pieces and then hand them over to your pets. If you do decide to use this as your primary food, Stella & Chewy’s recommends that you mix it with your current food for 7-10 to help make sure it doesn’t upset your dog or cats stomach. On regular food I would say 3 days is enough for them to get used to it, but with this brand being super high in protein I would follow this direction carefully.

I Break These into 4 pieces.

I Break These into 4 pieces

The Shelf Life for this food is about 18 months!! This is remarkably good for Dog food, which is usually 6 months for regular kibble and after a month or 2 gets stale really fast. My dogs will eat the food stale but it makes me feel bad to give them food that I know doesn’t taste good. The rehydrated food is about the same length making it easy to keep track of both. If you buy it at the same time. it should last for the same amount of time.

The Dehydrated Food I used before

The Dehydrated Food I used before

  Overall I like this food. This is the first Freeze Dried Dog Food that I have seen on the market, and the test went over pretty well. Both dogs eat it, 1 wet & 1 Dry. If it was the only food I had, I would mix up a bowl, Give it to Dobby, and while she ate that I would feed the dry pieces to Benny. That would get the job done the fastest while making sure they both had enough to eat. Again everyone’s pet situation is different so you want to do some trials with this type of food so you know weather or not you can solely depend on it if you had too. For me I would keep maybe 1/3 third Freeze Dried to 2/3 Rehydrated. With about 1 20lb bag of regular food to mix into the first few days of either type I decide to start with.

The Website for this food company is http://www.stellaandchewys.com/index.php

On there you will find all the feeding directions and flavors to choose from. You can also email them questions you have that are out of the box. They are also now releasing a cat food which I will test on my cat soon. I can go ahead and tell you though, my cat prefers wet food and with this much protein I’m pretty sure it will be a success. Making it my primary food for Cat Long Term Food Storage.

Follow the Motto and this is what You'll get!

Follow the Motto and this is what You’ll get!

Licked Clean!!

Licked Clean!!

Remember: Store what your Pets Eat, and they’ll Eat what you Store!!


Pet Prep Sales on Sites! Happy Pet-PrepTember

Hopefully everyone is having a great Preptember! Getting lots of plans made and supplies accumulated. A lot of websites are having sales for this month to help everyone add to their preps. Some of the websites are:

http://www.beprepared.com – I use this site all the time to by my supplies. They carry a Wide variety of things and have many many submenus to go exploring in. I highly recommend them and usually they will have a free shipping option for orders over a certain amount.

http://www.preparednessproducts.net – This another good site that has not only good products but good information. They offer free shipping on all orders no matter the amount purchased.

http://www.survival-goods.com – I Love this site because you can order individual items and make your own kits easily and get what you want, and only what you want. A great site for developing both Dog Bobs & Human ones. They have weekly sales on different items and you can shop whats on sale each week and get a great supply cache without spending a lot in one purchase. Also if some of your gear, or parts of your gear, break this is the site to get those parts!

http://www.grainger.com – A great site for bulk orders! if you need a palette of something then this is where you want to go. They use FEMA as a guide line but they also expand from that. If you were making kits for your family members or friends this is a great place to save money and fulfill everything on your list, or the list your friend got from the FEMA website.

http://www.sosready.com – This site has a lot of cool gadgets that are hard to find as well as the swedish knifes like the Fireknife.

http://www.stellaandchewys.com – This site features freeze-dried food for both dogs and cats. I have purchased some of their products and briefly tried them with my dogs and they love them! Look for a Review Coming Soon in the Prep Tests section of posts.

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com – This is the home page for The Honest Kitchen. They specialize in Dehydrated Dog/Cat food. I did a review on this food and my dogs couldnt get enough. I have tried a total of 3 flavors and each one was devoured in under 2 minutes! great shelf life and favorability, at least in my house.

Check these sites out for great deals during this month! Preptember is a great time to bulk up your preps for a great price. Keep in mind though, you don`t need to go into debt just to get these deals. A lot of the sites offer free shipping outside of this month.


Prep Test #4 – Pet Stamina w/ BoBs

How Far Can They Go???

Good sized Pack!

Good sized Pack!

   Now that you have made your B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag see earlier Post on making One!) the next step is to test it out. With no Apocalypse going on outside this might seem like a hard thing to do. But what I am talking about is a test on how long your pet can wear the BoB with all the contents in it! Sure you can cram in as many things as you want and I am sure need, but if your pet can’t physically carry the Bag then it’s No Good.

Link to How To Make a Dog B.O.B. ->  https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/dog-activity-1-dog-bug-out-bag-b-o-b/

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Just like for us humans, dogs can only carry a certain amount. There are many different Types and Sizes of animals so you will have to do a little research with either your specific breed or size. I know, I know, Research… but that is the best way to come across information you would have otherwise never thought to look up in the first place! Anyway, another way to do it is trial an error. Since during the Apocalypse this is the method we use, this is the approach I will use also.

If you follow the instructions in the previous post, that is designed for a 20 lb Beagle, and when I put it on her, she would wear it. But he was scared of the Velcro when removing the pack so I have to be sure it’s packed before I put it on her or else she lays down and Game Over. After that hurtle, she will walk around fine for awhile but gets tired after about 1/2 a mile. Usually this dog could walk into infinity so I know this is too heavy. I replaced the 16 oz water bottles with 8 oz ones and that did the trick. Water is by far the most heavy item in a Dog BoB. Because my dogs are small an 8 oz water a piece would get them through the day. Also we carry water in our Human Bobs and in storage so in a Bug Out situation our 72 hours are more than covered.

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Another thing you can do is switch to Dry food instead of Canned dog food. The canned food will last longer in regular types of pet food, but this pack is meant to get your pets from point A to point B Safe, Comfortable, but no in the laps of Luxury! Keep in mind that you also need to store things for your pets in a long term storage plan! That can seem a little overwhelming at first but it’s not nearly as hard as a Human Storage Plan. Food/Water/Treats/Toys/First-Aid are the essentials and most important. You would want to make the time periods match your human stores so everyone is on the same page. If you store 1 year of food for the people but only 1 month for the pets… your going to have a bad situation at some point. The same can be said in reverse too, but it would be the pets that are in the bad situation that time!

Once you have the weight right try it again. Now it should work like a charm and be comfortable for your Dog/Cat. Now the next step is getting them used to wearing it and then increasing the max Time/Distance on Foot they will wear this before they get tired. Practice, Practice, Practice!! The more you do the longer and further your pet will be able to wear their pack!!

Small First Aid Kit

Small First Aid Kit

Link to How to make a Pet First Aid Kit -> https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/dog-activity-2-pet-first-aid-kit/

After they are completely comfortable with their pack, so much they require it before you go on walks is a good indication, then you can play around more with the contents. do you find its easier for you to carry all the water and load your pets down with food and supplies, then you can modify that way. It’s really up to you on the changes you make as long as you use the items listed in the Dog BoB Post as a good starting point. a lot of good Pet first aid items I find at http://www.amazon.com if you sign up for their Prime membership you can get free shipping and put some things on a schedule to buy every month which gets you a good supply fast! But that’s talk for another Post.

Leave me a Comment!!

Leave me a Comment!!

If some of you have been doing this for awhile let me know how long/far your pets will go with a comment down below!!

Free Animal Education Online!! Great Starter Course!

There is a free Animal Welfare Course online @ Animal Welfare Course
This is a great course to learn to to receive rescue animals or how to approach abused ones! I’m definitely in! Free education is hard to say NO too