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 #2 – Dehydrated Dog Food Trial

Store what your Pet eats, and It’ll Eat what you Store!

Nutrition info & Recipie

Nutrition info & Recipie

This is The Box Front

This is The Box Front











        I stumbled upon this type of food in a family owned dog store called Dog City Bakery. What attracted me to this food was the long storage life. The “best by” date was over a year, meaning it could probably last sealed for 2.

This Green Made me think my Dogs wouldn't Like it.

This Green Made me think my Dogs wouldn’t                                     Like it.


         You mix 1 cup (trial size packet) with 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water. It turns a green color when you mix it up which at first I thought my dogs wouldn’t like. Let it sit and “Hydrate” for 5 minutes before serving to you dog! I recommend mixing the whole thing in their food bowl.Powder first, add water then mix. After that it’s all ready to enjoy!

I've Never Seen them Eat this FAST!!

I’ve Never Seen them Eat this FAST!!


          As you can see my dogs devoured it in under a minute! I was blown away by their acceptance of it along with the fact they seemed to Love It! Usually Dobby (Beagle) Is very apprehensive when it comes to food or treats for that matter. Now Benson (Pomeranian) Will eat anything and everything you give her. Something to keep in mind when thinking about long term dog food.

Licked Clean!!

Licked Clean!!


         Further tests will be done to see if they stay this excited a second, third and forth try but for now I’m completely impressed, and will add this to my Dog Food Storage Plan. While I will be adding this I am not going to completely switch over to a months supply of it. Just like us humans like variety, so do our animals. I have a feeling that my animals would eat this food no matter what, but AGAIN time will tell.

        Now I understand switching foods abruptly can be hard on a pets stomach. The method I use to prevent this problem is have one main food, and always use that. I mix into it maybe 1/4 new kind and 3/4 regular food. This allows variety along with easy of digestion. Adding variety to the pet food should really be thought about mostly for food stores over 1 month! You won’t have to, and shouldn’t mix and match their food all the time. Remember most animals are creatures of habit and like routine. Every once and awhile a little variety they do enjoy.

Kibble fun

       If you split up your Dog Food Storage into 2 or more types/brands of food you can mix them when you switch totally from one kind to another. Do a half and half mix when you get down to about a weeks worth remaining of your first brand. This accomplishes the same ease to the pets stomach as mentioned before. On top of that it gets them used to, and liking it on a daily basis while still having something they are used too. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of your pet not liking their new food at first (or at all) when they have no choice, adding stress to you and your furry friend!

Moving that Bowl around!

Moving that Bowl around!


    As always too, Test Your Preps!! this is very important concerning the issue of food. For both kids or pets, or spouses for that matter. Make it a couple of times and let them try it before you buy a 6 month supply.

    Like you do with your regular Food Storage: Store what your Pet eats, and it’ll eat what you store for it!! Depending on the type of animals you have this can vary on general length their food stays good. Where bagged dog food can last up to a year give or take, the dehydrated/freeze dried (haven’t let my pets try yet), 2 or so, that’s about as far out you can go without doing an extreme method to preserve the kibble.

Have more than one kind

Have more than one kind


     I keep about 3 months worth of food for my dogs and cat at a time and rotate. I use a holistic kibble food that I keep in sealed containers when opened. The unopened bags are sealed Mylar that the brands comes with. I tend to rotate through it in plenty of time, months before it expires.

    The dehydrated food would be a great addition to Bug Out Bags because such a small amount can make a lot, and it’s easy to ration out if you need to. You could carry 5 pounds(that’s the weight after you re-hydrate it with!) of it in a human pack and almost not notice it 1-2 bottles of water and you now have 5 days at 1 pound (Enough for both my Dogs 30lbs combined) per day!! That’s pretty incredible!

The Honest Kitchen has more than a couple Flavors to choose from.

The Honest Kitchen has more than a couple Flavors to choose from.


    Thinking about that makes me consider how much space I could save using this for a long term supplement. I would recommend not using it for more than half your total storage unless you regularly feed it to them already. Again – Store what your Pet eats, It’ll eat what you store!

Dog Bones #2 – Pet Tips for Hurricane & Tornado Season

With hurricane season rolling in there are some things to keep in mind when it refers to our Pets.


1. The Storm Itself – Let’s face it, all animals are scared of the loud thunder and lightning associated with Hurricanes. Make sure to get those animals Indoors & in a safe place when you know a storm is coming, most dogs get spooked by the thunder and will run off!

2. Microchip & Rabies tags – Every year make sure you are up to date when it comes to the Rabies shots. If your pet gets loose and then picked up by animal control, a rabies tag will tell them that they are safe to be around and they can track it back to you and let you know they have your pet. The same goes for microchip ping. If animal control picks him/her up they do a scan with a hand held device and they immediately know your info to get you guys reconnected.

3. Comforting Your Pet – during the storm remember your pet is going to be very antsy to say the least. Make sure to give them reassuring attention to calm them down and a couple of treats couldn’t hurt. Depending on the size of your animal you can hold them or sit with them to keep them calm. Finally of your dog is especially effected by storms gets them a calming type jacket. These are designed to calm them down by making them feel like they are in a big hug!EVAC

4. Have A Plan – if during the storm you encounter flooding or power loss have a plan to deal with it. Even just a list of items that you can use for each potential situation is a good start. For Flooding you will need a crate to transport the animal in the car I’m case you have to evacuate. If you have a really big animal then you know to get them to a vehicle fast because they will probably be to big to carry, or you might have a baby, or wife/husband that already takes up that spot!
If you get in the middle if a storm and have none of this at-least thought out you can be in serious trouble fast! From trying to track down a loose animal and all the stress that comes with that, to frantically running around trying to get things ready fast and forgetting something, it can get real crazy real fast!!

5. Bug Out Bags – Wr covered making one of these earlier and now would be the time to put it to use. If you have to leave hone just strap it on your pet or throw it Into the car and you know you have atleast the essentials for 72 hours. You should also have one for every member of your family including human items meeting the same needs. Most important for a hurricane are Food, Water, a Poncho & Entertainment.


6.Debris Everywhere – when leaving home during a storm or while cleaning up the aftermath keep in mind that limbs, boards, nails, glass, etc could be everywhere. Before you let your pet out and everything goes back to normal make sure you go around their outdoor area and rid it of these things. Most likely the power will be out or a veterinarian’s office won’t be open and a little picking up can save you a lot of stress (and money), and allow you to focus on bigger things.

Small First Aid Kit

Small First Aid Kit

7.Pet First Aid Kit – this is very important. While a few things from a human first aid kit can be used on pets most things are not transferable. From special bandages to medicine to clamping spray, etc you should create a pets only first aid kit. You can take this as far as you want from just the basic animal bandages and wound cream, all the way to Dog antibiotics and nail clippers and blood clotting agents it can, (much like a human first aid kit), can get pretty specialized if you want it to. I will do a post on creating a basic first Aid Kit for Pets in my next activity post.


8. Water – Just like for us people, the animals are going to need fresh water. I know what your thinking “who needs to stock water in a hurricane or flood?!” Well the problem is the once the water hits the ground it gets combined with dirt, debris, bacteria, etc and it’s not for for consumption by anyone or animal! Again this should be in your B.O.B. But in a pinch or if you are caught unaware it’s a good idea to keep a few bottled waters. On the trunk of your car or just a gallon jug will do. I would consider 1 – 16oz bottled water per day would be enough per animal that’s less than 20lbs. This can be altered to fit your pet, and it’s easy to figure out, just keep track of how much water you give them a day then add another cup or 2. If you feed your animals wet food keep in mind that they do get some hydration from that but kit enough to sully rely on it by itself.

9. Shelter – part of your plan should include a place to “Bug Out” to in case you have to leave home. Once you have a sheltering place locked down, (a relatives house, bunker, cabin in the woods, etc), take your pet there and let them become familiar with it. This will make a world of difference to them in a state of emergency. Along with them being more comfortable they will be less likely to run off by accident due to curious smells or sights, while your unloading the car or getting every living being inside the shelter. Coupled with that if they do get loose or lost, and they are familiar with the area, they can make it back to you themselves! Cats have been known to walk many miles back to an old dwelling after you have moved because they don’t understand.

Sometimes Your home isn't quite Strong Enough

Sometimes Your home isn’t quite Strong Enough

10. Equaint yourself with the Shelters & Staff – one day make it a point to goto the shelter in your area where your animal would end up if lost. You would be very surprised at how far just introducing yourself to the staff of the animal shelter or the animal control person you see in your neighborhood. If they know you and your pets they can get you guys back together faster and they know that you live your animal and are probably out there searching for them. This step could take as little as 20 minutes and could save you hours of looking and your pet from getting lost in an event that a bunch of animals come in at once during the storm.


I hope these tips give you a good starting point for your Preps in dealing with hurricanes/tornados, when it comes to your animals. A simple plan can prevent everything from having the supplies you need for a couple days to preventing your pet from falling through the cracks at the shelter! Also see the posts about Bug Out Bags for Pets & First Aid kits for Pets for more info on getting ahead of the game!

Dog Bones #1 Edible Wild Plants

Dog Bones

 A section for where you can mind some facts regarding survival or camping with your dogs

        When your out hiking with your dog, or camping, or surviving the Apocalypse it is good to know what wild things your dog can eat and what is bad for them. Be it you who is giving it to them or if they are foraging on their own, having the knowledge will help you to know if they have ingested a poisonous plant, or a tasty treat!  Also you can supplement your dogs survival food if you know what to get and add some variety day by day.

        Below are a few Common things you’ll run into along your way:


  1. Mushrooms – While there are many variety, species, shape and size, just for the overall I would avoid these completely. there are many that I am sure would be beneficial and stretch food a long way but sometimes even in the same species, you have 2 mushrooms growing right next to each other, exact same, except the one on the left is poisonous and the one on the right is fine.



  2. Dandelions – Completely safe for both Humans and animals. while probably not the tastiest the dandelion is arguably the most abundant wild edible with a large amount of nutrients. you can pick these as you go and store them a day or 2, and you’ll probably notice your dog eat a few themselves as you walk.Nice Spice
  3. Wild Onion – These are also completely fine for dogs and easy to find. my dogs are intrigued by the smell and immediately try to eat them after I pick some. These are very common and also something you can stock up on as you walk and stretch out the food supply for the Dogs as well as your food also.Poison
  4. Lilies – While this might surprise you, Lilies are very poisonous to dogs as well as cats. pretty much all kinds, be it in a garden or water Lilies stay away from them, and yank them out of your dogs mouth if you find them snacking on one. These mostly come up when referring to cats but dogs are at risk as-well.

    Great Herb 4 Dogs!

    Great Herb 4 Dogs!

  5. Lavender – This is a wonderful planet for dogs to eat and it has some healing quality a as well. Herbs are wild edibles too, and there are a great many good, but about just as many bad too.

    My Favorite

    My Favorite

  6. Strawberrys – a great source of vitamin C and definitely tasty for both dogs and humans! You can give these to Dogs, but i wouldn’t give them only this to eat or too many at once.

    Best fried!!

    Best fried!!

  7. Squash – many different types of squash are great for dogs. Now this might be something you grow in the garden more so then find in the wild, all the same a wonderful choice!



  8. Grapes – WARNING extremely poisonous for dogs in regular form as well as raisins. I had a friend who’s vet recommended feeding his dog raisins as a treat and a week later his dog died from them!


So, there are some good ones to start with. Here is a link to a great wild edible site for dogs:

 Toxic Wild Dog Food

Feel free below to add ones you think should go on this list! Poisonous or Yummy for Dogs and Humans, Tell us your favorite!

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.