Once the SHTF many survivalists have already planned out their escape plans into the wilderness, spending countless hours preparing everything they could possibly need to survive the aftermath of a crisis. Here at APE Survival, we believe having a bug-out-bag packed so you're ready to go at a moment's notice is just good common sense, because you can be out the door confident you have everything you need; while the rest of your city is taking hours to stuff all of their belongings into the family minivan. Being prepared can save you hours of precious time in a crisis when it really matters, but what about your family dog?
If you're anything like me, pets make up a huge part of your family and there's no question that when we are all bugging out, the family pooch will be right there alongside us. Of course, this then throws an additional layer of complexity into your bug out plan, because you need to ensure you've got everything packed to keep your dog happy as you escape the crisis.
So why bring your dog along?
Your dog will act as a comfort to the rest of your family, especially if you have young children. Tactically they can also help to keep your camp safe, they're an extra set of eyes and ears during the night, and will warn you when anyone is approaching your camp so you're never taken by surprise. buy domains cheap . Once you arrive at your bug out location just be sure to take your dog for a walk around the perimeter of the property so they can mark their territory and they know what's theirs, and they'll let you know as soon as they hear an intruder.
Bug out bag options
The size of your dog will determine much about how much they can carry. A large dog will be able to carry all the supplies they need themselves, while a smaller dog may require you to take some of their gear in your pack. For their actual pack, these usually all revolve around the saddlebag concept, with pockets on either side supported by fabric that stretches over the shoulders of your dog. Look for a version that comes with a leash attachment, with the front straps crossing under their chest and connecting underneath their belly so the pack remains secured. A pack that fits your dog properly should be comfortable, but don't forget that it will take time for your dog to get used to wearing it. To combat this, take them for a walk every weekend while wearing the pack, so they get used to how it feels on their back, as well as the weight of the supplies inside.
Packing your dog's kit
To survive, your dog is going to need food, water and basic shelter, just like we do. Starting with food, you need to consider how you plan to approach this. Will you pack dog food specifically, or simply have a greater supply of human food that you give your dog instead? If you decide to go with commercial dog food, the dry pellets are lighter than tinned meat, and be sure to take note of the expiration date, most will typically expire during the next 12-18 months. If you decide to feed your dog the same meals as your family, start experimenting now to determine what your pooch is comfortable to eat. Avoid fatty meats and ensure you have a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, and do your research to ensure you're not giving your dog anything that could be poisonous, like onions, tomatoes or chocolate.
As you pack your dogs saddlebag, try to keep it evenly weighted. If one side is heavier than the other this will shift as they walk and quickly become uncomfortable. Depending on the size of your dog their daily water requirements will vary, small dogs may only need a cup or two of water, while bigger dogs can drink over half a gallon a day.
For everything else, pack a collapsible food bowl in their kit so you've got an easy way to feed them, and put together a basic first aid kit. This should include flea, tick and worm medication, as well as basic items should they cut themselves. Print out a copy of your dogs vaccination records and registration, as this will be required at any shelters you plan to stay in, and if your dog requires any prescription medications be sure to have at least a week's worth because you never know what the situation will be like where you're heading. A long leash is another good item to include, so they can walk a little more freely and it can double as a way to tie them up at night. Don't forget a couple of extra comfort items, like chew toys or treats, and if the weather is extreme where you are going ensure they have boots and a coat to keep them warm.
Finally, make sure you have a way to keep your dog quiet if stealth is needed. In a survival situation often remaining unseen is the key to making it through, and if it's important for you to keep your dog quiet invest in a muzzle. I personally don't like using these more than I have to, but in a pinch it will keep your dog quiet.
Adequately preparing your pet so they can bug out with your family is fundamental to good planning for every dog owner, and you never know; you may be very thankful that you've got an extra set of eyes and ears around your camp when the crisis hits.