Bugging In

Bug-In-Preparedness-pets

Bugging In With Pets

Bug-In-Preparedness-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!

economic-prepareness-emergency-pets

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.

preparedness-emergency-pets-security-survival

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.

preps-4-pets-bugged-in

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. 

Checklist-preparedness-emergency

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. 

Fully-Supplied-preps-4-pets-prepareness-emergency

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!

Protection-preparedness-emergency-trespassing

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. 

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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.

Air-Rifle-Preparedness-pets-Emergency

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.

Disaster-Plan-Pet-Preparedness-Emergency

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!!

 

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!!

Dog Bones #5 – Love OR Treats? What Motivates your Pet?

What Motivates Your Pet?

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

 

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

 

 Sometimes your pet is going to Freeze or be scared to come to you because of obstacles. It is important you know how to motivate them quickly so you can get to safety in a crisis.  Knowing what “Makes them move” can snap them out of it and get them to you faster. In some of your home emergency drills overturn some chairs and setup a kind of course that is safe but definitely out of the norm for them. This will get them used to having to think as they go, and supplement their critical thinking. Also it gets them used to change!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

 

       Change to a dog sometimes is just as catastrophic as our house burning down because they are creatures of habit. This might be the reason they freeze but I would be willing to bet that fear is mixed in their as well.  Think about how horses are trained to jump over, or zigzag through barrels or hurdles. I bet they can maneuver quick in the woods or in an earthquake!  

Amazing Critical Thinking!

Amazing Critical Thinking!

 

      As shown above and you might know by now, I have 2 Dogs (Dobby & Benny).  Benny will do anything including shoving me down the stairs head first if I was in the way of her beloved Treats. She will eat as many as she can, then get sick, and eat another 20 (Hypothetically of course!). Upon going to Bed she dreams of mountains of treats, never ending morsels for her to devour! Dobby on the other hand wants most to be touched or to be laying touching you. she likes treats, but it is not something I would say motivates her. 

Benny's Dream Come True!!

Benny’s Dream Come True!!

 

     When Dobby was a puppy she snuck out of the house while i was bringing in groceries. I took about 10-20 minutes before I realized she was gone because I was putting up the food. My wife an I ran outside with toys and calling her name, we found her pretty fast. she was hiding under a bush right next to the front door! we took her inside and she cried a lot, howled even! we tried giving her treats but all she wanted was to lay on me and snuggle my neck and cry. To this very day she does the same thing all the time, when she wants to take a nap or just lounging. It bugs her to death if I am writing my blog lets say and she can’t lean up against my feet.

The Treat gets Him every time!!

The Treat gets Him every time!!

 

     So in a fire, for Dobby all I would have to do is make sure there was a path she could get through and she would come to me no problem. Benny might or might not, but if I was to pull a treat out of my pocket, she would run through the fire singeing her hair and tail with no second thought.  Dobby is our pack leader also though, and a lot of times Benny follows Dobby becuase she knows that is her place so in the pecking order of things we would all get out if we could.

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

 

    Knowing this ahead of time makes all the difference in the world. since I know how it goes my main focus would be on getting Dobby to come to me because Benny would follow. Together we would all escape and be happy. All I would need to be sure of is Dobby.  But what if me and Dobby go out first and I have to go back for Benny?? Then I would grab some treats on my way back or something that would make her think I have some! (Rocks in a plastic jar, when shaken does the trick)

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

 

    Between me and my wife, Benny is her responsibility and Dobby is mine. Obviously if only 1 person is home then we do both, and the cat comes back on me also. but working this kind of stuff out now keeps us from panicking when we really need to act. By having a task it cuts the fear and shock, and helps push us into React mode. Once again I am being shown that by taking care of our animals I am taking care of both my Wife and I at the same time. Who really is in charge anyway??  

      

Dog Activity #1 – Dog Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.)

Dobby trys on her new pack

Dobby with her new Bug Out Bag!!

Just like for us humans, Dogs need a BoB (Bug Out Bag) so that in a quick evacuation scenario that can have essentials supplies they need to survive a couple days, not to mention papers concerning shots or rabies if you have to go through any type of checkpoint or www.FEMA.com registration. Below is a list for what i think is just the essentials for any animal BoB.


  1. 2 Collapsible Dog Bowls
  2. 3 Days of Kibble Food
  3. 2 – 16oz Water Bottles
  4. 1 backup Leash
  5. about 8oz Dog Treats
  6. Small Pet first Aid Kit
  7. Pet Papers and Information about Shots, and Rabbies Tag
  8. 10-15 Waste Bags (OpSec)
  9. Nail Clippers

These Items are just the basics and definitely can be changed or expanded upon. Some of the items like water will depend on the size of your dog, and what you might have to immediately go through outside your door.

Example Medium Dog Pack

Example Medium Dog Pack

Examples of Supplies

Examples of Supplies

 


One of the most important item is the BoB itself. I looked in many pet stores small to large, also outdoor stores like http://www.REI.com, and a few places i found packs for dogs small than a Labrador Retriever. But one thing they all had in common was they cost about $100!!  At first i was discouraged but then i turned to my pall http://www.Amazon.com , and there i found a few different style packs for around $30.

Outward Hound is the brand pack i use. Dobby carries the pack which is about 5-10 pounds and she is about 20-25lbs. Taking her around the complex is how I test out the weight and comfort for her with the pack. One of the best features is that the packs are Velcro, so you can remove them fast if necessary. I highly recommend these, from my own use they are rugged and worth the price! also the interior has a couple pockets of each side. for Benny i will need to acquire an extra small (which probably could only hold 2-5 items) bag because she is so small. even with it being so small she can still carry treats and a little food which both will be invaluable in any crisis.