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Dog-Sense: For All Dog Owners


Emergency Survival For Animal Owners


One of our readers suggested most animal owners would be unprepared for a breakdown in society such as is occurring in Venezuela, Hong Kong, and England.


August 2, 2019

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, SAAB


Intake staff started to dismiss it but I said “Wait, he’s right, most people are not prepared for disasters.” Danny said “That’s why there are preppers…” I laughed, remembering the Prepper Craze but then I thought about dog owners, most of whom only have a couple of pets and no reason to buy big bags of dog food.


What do animal owners do in an extended power outage such as occurred in Detroit, MI, Tallahassee, FL, and St. Mary Parish, LA? What about the devastating Midwestern floods in July 2019? We won’t speculate on climate change (as icebergs melt and the polar bears go hungry in the Arctic) but everyone agrees that we’ve had wicked weather this year.


Between record-setting weather events and global riots, we should all become “preppers” for an unlikely but possibly troublesome future.


Which would come first on your list of survival supplies, food or wound treatment? If you or your dog were badly injured, you wouldn’t be thinking about food. Then there’s the other way ‘round… you need to eat to survive and whereas your dog can eat garbage you would gag over, you could survive on freezer food and not risk prowling around for food.


… Unless power is down for more than a few days in which case, your frozen food is toast! The better solution is keeping a supply of traditional “trail foods” such as beef jerky and pemmican that are compact, easily stored or carried if you have to get out.


During the 2019 Mississippi mid-west floods people had to hang out on the roof waiting to be rescued. Many suffered life-threatening heat exposure and sunburns. Do you have one of those heat-reflecting/heat-holding space-blankets? Amazon or any camping supply store has them and they take up very little room in your survival pack.


Canned goods? Do you have a non-electric can opener? Pinto beans are powerful but all varieties of beans are protein-laden tummy fillers. Beans and rice are a traditional southern staple, with good reason. You’ve had about enough negative news but there’s one more thing - forget the advice on storing dried beans, rice, or anything you have to cook.


If you have to bug out and cook over a camp fire, hungry prowlers will smell, see, and find you…


Best emergency plan is to stay put and be armed! Canned meats, fish, and beans (and an old fashioned can opener) will see you through until the crisis is over. No beans for your dog, he’ll do just fine with whatever is in your neighbor’s garbage can…


But none of that matters if you are injured. So do you have survival kits that contain basic medical supplies including pain relievers? Good, but what happens if aspirin gets wet… Here are some medicinals you probably have on hand and they are often as effective as OTC pain relievers. Fresh garlic, ginger, or turmeric are ancient, tasty medicinals. Garlic and turmeric are said to have an analgesic effect and also reduce inflammation. Ginger is tummy candy – that’s what they give you on cruise ships for nausea and if you are stressed, your stomach will relish ginger. For topical antiseptic with the healing power of oxygen, flush with diluted Clorox bleach.


Do you have real, unprocessed honey on hand? Honey is an incredible wound dressing, especially for burns. It is also a natural source of energy. Are you a tea drinker? Chamomile is a natural relaxant and if it is combined with valerian and lavender it is even better. Sweeten it with honey…


As long as you have dry kibble on hand, your pets will be fine but limit them until the crisis is over. Large animal owners will have grain in weather-proof bins and if you get hungry enough, “sweet feed” will be a treasure when boiled a bit. And perhaps the most important survival plan of all, protection from predators – the human kind.

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