Prep for your Pet


Emergency Preparedness is not limited to that which we need as humans to survive, let us not forget about the survival of our pets.

Why? Here’s why…

You have a pet for a reason. Why would you risk losing it?

During times of disaster, our pets may become more valuable than ever, in the sense that they will provide stress relief and happiness during a time when we will undoubtedly be overwhelmed with uncomfortable stresses.

For the most part, the pets that we’ve had over the years have been dogs. They have provided countless moments of joy and happiness – like when you return home from an errand or work and they’re always so happy to see you. Unconditionally. After a hard or stressful day, the wagging tail and happy eyes might be the best therapy to unwind… They become part of the family – a special bond.

In a SHTF life, a pet dog will most likely make for a very good early warning system for approaching friendlies or unfriendlies. They will be a deterrent in some instances.

They will become very much worth their weight in food; so plan ahead and store extra so that you can feed them, and be better prepared to keep them alive…

Be aware that most typical ‘dry’ dog food will last about a year. Eventually the oils will begin to rancid. For my dog, I’m always rotating from an equivalent storage of just about 6-months to 1-year of his food. This way I always know that I have enough food for him and will not have to worry about supplementing for awhile.

Also, for your 72-hour kit (typically for your vehicle or quick bug-out), in addition to your own 3-day food supply, also keep enough for your pet! It’s easy to overlook…

We also keep a small water bowl in the truck too — a Tupperware-type plastic container with seal-able lid. This way we can pour some of our water bottle into the bowl while on the road if necessary. In fact, he has ‘trained us’ such that when he wants a drink while in the truck, he bumps his nose on one of the water bottles in the cup holders… smart dog ;)

So, that is my short message today… think about your pets versus your preps…


  1. Dear Ken,
    Yet another excelent article so thanks!
    My questions are:
    #1. i would like to get an opinion on how long
    you think frozen dog (dried) food would last.
    (i live way up in northern Canada).
    #2. how long would dry dog food last using
    what i call the “gamma bucket system”;
    (food safe buckets/mylar bags/oxygen
    absorbers/gamma lids?
    Also how long would human dried food last in a
    a gamma bucket system? i do realize it should be kept
    in a cool dry dark place at best.

  2. #3. i imagine there are many first aid preps that could be put aside for your pets
    and good books, do you have any you would recomend?
    #4. as i plan to be prospecting asap, and living my winters up here,,…
    i would really appreciate opinions
    on what type of dog to get. ( i hope this is not to much off topic
    but i know not much about dogs, and the temps can get very low). have been
    looking into sled dogs/husky’s.

    just wanted to say i saw my first wolverine last week!

    thank you humbly!

    1. If you go here:
      You can download the First Aid pdf file DHS put out for K9 Handlers. It is a large file, 2+MB, but it should be helpful in addressing some of your questions. It may be overkill, but you should get some good info out of it.

      We have not stored food for more than 4 months, then rotate, but I would think in a gamma type it would keep for up to a year. In your area you would probably be feeding a higher fat diet, and thus the food would spoil faster. Your alternative would be to add fat to the diet as you feed, instead of purchasing a feed with it already in it.

      Malamutes are also wonderful large sled type dogs. Just make sure whatever you get has a fuzzy tail :) That’s how they keep their nose warm.

    2. Brearbear
      re the dog to get…. I suspect the very best dog, is look around up there, for someone local, who you like the “look” of their dogs, how they care for the dogs, how the dogs behave.

      I think the very best dog would be one born there local, born used to the conditions, foods available, etc.. Be careful, some folks who raise/have dogs are better than others. we, long ago, bought a purebred dog, and visited/ spoke with many breeders. some were down right stupid and mean (the breeders), and I strongly feel this will transfer to the dog/how dogs are bred/raised.

      I don’t think you need a purebred. in fact, if you find good folks, the mutt type will most likely give you the best chance of good health/temperament, etc. providing the “parents” are similarly “good”, and the “home” is “good”.

      1. Those wanting a dog should look here….

        My last two dogs I had, I found at Both were from shelters, happy to have a second chance and both were extremely loyal and protective……

        There are some very sad stories on of pets losing their homes as their owners had their homes foreclosed and the dogs were put into shelters……

  3. I have a 5 1/2 yr old Black Lab, he weighs about 90lbs.

    I keep 6 30lbs bags (6 months supply on hand at all times)

    In my B-O-B I have about a 10-12 day supply (all dry kibble) of dog food for my dog, in zip lock bags. I also threw in some some dog biscuits for an extra treat. You want to prevent your dog from getting stressed out. I also keep 4 black plastic dishes from Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese dinners. These I use to water and to feed the dog, in a bug-out situation. I also have on hand a 6 months supply of the dog’s heartworm medicine. Some pet antibiotics would be good to have on hand, if you can buy some from your dog’s vet. Bufferin can be given to a dog but Tylenol will harm the dog’s liver.

    During hurricane Sandy there was no electricity and very little gasoline available for 12 days. So it pays to have extra dog food on hand as the stores may not be open, ATM’s/CC’s may not work as there is no power. Having a 6 months supply of dog food also protects one against inflationary spikes, SHTF/Black Swan events, etc.

  4. In addition to bags of dry dog food we keep a large amount of rice to cook with chicken and eggs to make dog food. If we did not have our dogs, our chickens would end up being dinner for a variety of predators. Since they do a good job protecting the poultry, we don’t mind sharing with them.
    Actually, I consider our dogs one of our most important preps, and I believe in a SHTF situation if we lose our dogs we will probably lose our lives too.

  5. When TSHTF I seriously don’t foresee most people having food for their dogs. I do see them “turning them lose” thinking they will find food for themselves and this will be a huge problem as the dogs will form packs and be roaming the streets. This in itself will turn the dogs back to their natural habits and create yet more problems as the packs get less food the more they will become aggressive in they way they get food of any kind. I realize we have talked about this before but this is a VERY serious issue as most of our population has pets. I realize also that a lot of people will not be able to defend against packs of dogs and thus fall victim to their aggression and seeking food. Once the dogs have regressed back to their wild habits they will become very dangerous to everyone they come in contact with. Scary thought of packs of “wild” dogs roaming the streets!

  6. Domestic-to-feral cats are also a huge issue. I would euthanize our furbabies before I’d turn them out. It’s far kinder than the likely painful death that would await them “out there”. Feral cats wreak havoc on birds of all types including chickens and other poultry/fowl. Rabbits are also a target.

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