From Jeremiah Johnson at ReadyNutrition.
Readers, you’re well aware of the importance of family continuity after some kind of a disaster and event. That’s what survival is all about in a nutshell. Along the way, don’t forget about the pets in the family. Some are going to pose a problem, such as the more exotic types that need special care. Examples of these would be tropical fish, birds, and reptiles, as most of these need special types of water, temperature, and/or food to sustain them. The specialty requirements for these types of pets are outside of the scope of this article’s abilities.
The Prepared Dogs and Cats
Most of us have dogs and cats. Let us cover their merits. Dogs have been serving mankind for thousands of years, and for many different purposes. I absolutely hated the movie, “The Day After,” where the farm family left the dog outside of the cellar to die. I submit to you that this was a poor choice and absolutely unnecessary. In the end, the farmer was shot by a “squatter” on his property, and if the dog had been around…well, bare minimum he could have alerted the man to the intruder.
Dogs will be useful for the family to help protect them, either as an early warning sentry or to directly intercede with an antagonist. Here are some of the best dog breeds to have for a shtf disaster. Dogs are proven (as with most pets) to be very therapeutic and stress-relieving. Cats, too, have a use besides just hunting down rodents. In addition to relieving the stress, I tell you from experience: watch your cat and its reactions for an early-warning device. They will hear, see, and smell something that approaches before you do. Although they don’t bark, if you train yourself to watch them, you’ll be able to utilize their senses to your benefit.
Stock Up on Pet Food Today
Stock up on some good dog food for the dog, especially the dry food. You should have many bins full of it. Remember: barring a helminthic infestation (worms), his dung can be used for compost. If we have any kind of nuclear war, it won’t seem quite as laughable when you’re trying to grow stuff in your basement. Remember: cat stool cannot be used as compost, as they have toxoplasmosis; it needs a temperature of 165 F to kill it, and the compost pile doesn’t get that hot. The disease is a bad one, and cats are the only animal known that excretes the eggs in their feces: it’s endemic to them. Burn the stool to get rid of it.
They will need food too, and as much dried food as you can stock up the better. You can supplement with occasional cans of fish. You will be providing for them (dogs and cats) by foraging in the form of hunting and also scrounging for supplies post-collapse. Along those lines, you can also make homemade dog and cat food using vittles, grains and vegetables.
Additional Supplies to Consider
Also, set some first aid supplies aside to care for pets. If they are protecting you, injuries could occur and they may require special wound care. As well, some vitamins (either liquid or pill form) to supplement will help them immensely, if you can stock up on it. If they have any kind of health condition, stock up on any type of medicines you may need for them.
At Your Service
Post collapse they will eventually be back in demand, as dogs and cats are service-type animals, and man is known not for his altruism but for his deadly pragmatic utilitarianism. It will be practical for you to continue to raise or breed animals. You will eventually find others who were smart (akin to yourselves) who saved their animals rather than turning them into a few days’ food supply. When that occurs, you will be able to breed them again. Sound far-fetched? No, that’s what “continuity” means, as the days of “Korg 70,000 B.C.” need to be left behind us.
Pick up things you know they’ll need eventually, such as flea collars and scrubs with Lindane (Kwell) for lice and other ectoparasites. Pick up extras of everything: extra food-bowls, leashes, and small transporting kennels/carriers. It will all pay off later. It’s one thing to stay alive, and quite another to have a quality of life. Supplement all of these measures with the literature you will need to treat and care for your four-legged friends. They’re a part of your family, and if you think otherwise, you may want to reassess your position. Take care of one another, and stay in that good fight. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition. (Sign up for their FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!) Reproduced with permission. Original article can be viewed here.