Friday, April 6

Being Prepared: The Pets

The second part of my four part series on preparedness: Our Pets

I have found myself diving things into two categories here - keeping them safe at home and keeping them safe if you have to move out, Although many items are needed for both cases, i find that there are some differences in the way of portability and usefulness.

Keeping Things Ready At Home:

If something should happen, we all have our food stores and our emergency supplies, our stocked pantry's and our solar radios. Do what about our pets? The basic necessities apply to them also.

I like to stay stocked on pet foods just as i do on human foods in case going to the store is not an option, or there is a shortage of some kind. A months supply is usually what I have on hand, however, if there is a sale or if you want to plan further ahead, pet foods usually have a  pretty good shelf life.

Recommended Daily Food Chart - Adult Cats
Cat's Weight (lbs.)
Recommended Daily Amount (Dry Food)
3 to 6
1/4 to 1/3 cup
7 to 12
1/3 to 1/2 cup
13 to 18
1/2 to ¾ cup

Recommended Daily Food Chart - Adult Dogs
Dogs Weight (lbs.)
Recommended Daily Amount (Dry Food)
 Up to 10 pounds  1/4 to 3/4 cup
 10-24 pounds  3/4 to 1 cup
 25-50 pounds  1 - 2 cups
 50-75 pounds  2 - 2 ½ cups
 Over 75 pounds  2 - 4 cups

Recommended Daily Water Intake Chart - Adult Dogs
Dogs Weight (lbs.)
Recommended Daily Amount
 Up to 11 pounds  approx. 1- 11 Ounces/day
 11-22 pounds  approx. 11- 22 Ounces/day
 22-55 pounds  approx. 22-55 Ounces/day
 55-77 pounds  approx. 55 - 77 Ounces/day
 77 pounds and Over  Usually at least 77ounces per day, calculate weight of dog and multiply by 1oz.

In searching for information on cat water intake, there is not really a cut and dry measurement. Basically, after reading through many things, I would just try to have water available to your cat 24/7. There are many variables that determine a cats water intake such as choice of food, weight and medical issues. Plus just plain cat behavior. The most general measurement that I found - and it is a ballpark figure - would be about 1/2 cup of water per cat, per day.

Given the number of pets you have, this supply may be larger in general given that you have more mouths to feed.

I like to have a full months supply of both dry and canned cat food on hand. Since we do not have a dog, I don't currently have any dog food stocked up, but when we had Snowy here I tried to keep at least one large full bag in reserve in addition to the one i would currently have open for her.

Another important item to have stocked for your pets is any necessary medications that they require. Flea medication may not be a life and death item, but if your pet requires veterinary prescribed medications for a serious problem, then it would be a good idea to get a few months ahead on these items.

In addition to food and medicine, I keep the following supplies on hand in my home in order to care for my pets during any type of emergency: (cats and dogs)

Blankets specifically for the pets
Towels specifically for the pets to clean up messes
Puppy training pads to spread on the floor (these can also be used to line the bottoms of the cat carrier)
Sturdy bowls for food and water
Pet brushes and combs
A collar and leash for each pet, even for the cats
Large rawhide bones for the dogs (these take a long time to chew up so it's good for long stays indoors)
Cat treats and toys
A few bags of cat litter and more that one litter box and scoop

Keeping Things Ready if You Have to Get Out:

Many of the same things apply from staying in your home, with some additions and variations. Food and water are always needed, but your source must be portable, and as light weight as possible. Instead of taking a months supply of food you may only be able to take enough for a few days or a week. I like to keep a box handy in the pet supply area of the pantry in order to toss a weeks supply in if i need to go.

In this case I keep a smaller bag of dry food for both cat and dog stocked in the pantry, regularly rotated. These smaller bags (3 to 5 lbs) are easier to grab and go. Since bottled water is also on the human list of necessary to-go items, I would just make sure I throw in a few extra bottles for the pets.

Collars and leashes are a must in this case, as well as carriers for the cats and small dogs. The puppy training floor pads work great for lining the bottom of the cat carriers, and you can also spread them in the back of your car for the dog, just in case.

The blankets and towels are also great to have to provide comfort as well as to keep things clean. I always have a roll of paper towels in the car as well as a supply of reusable plastic grocery bags for cleaning up and disposing of messes.

I keep a clear plastic toter with an extra, non-daily-used set of the following, just:
Bowls for food and water
Can opener
Plastic spoons and 1-cup measuring cup
Dish cloth and hand towels
Baby wipes (so many great uses)
Cat and dog treats
Small notepad, pencil and sharpie marker
Roll of paper towels and a supply of disposable plastic bags
Brush and comb

I also have a small (kitten), brand new and unused litter box and litter scoop in the closet along with a small bag of cat litter. I can grab this easily and the cats will have a place to do their business on the road.

IMPORTANT!! - In your grab and go pet tote keep a plastic zip lock bag with current photos of each of your pets. One the back of the photo write the pets name, age, weight and a short description of your pets temperament. List any medical conditions your pet has and what type of medication they are taking. Also, make copies of your pets most current vaccination records so you have proof of vaccination. In case your pets and you are separated for some reason, you will have photos of them handy to help locate them. Also, some shelter require proof of vaccination.

Part One: The Car

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