When prepping, don't forget your pets
My regular readers are probably already aware that there is an ever-growing segment of our population that has been busy prepping. "Prepping" meaning that an increasing number of people are creating a food and supply pantry in their homes just in case there is a second-wave of the Covid-19 virus and they have to quarantine again, for a possible greater disruption in our food supply chain, increasing civil unrest, or another crisis like something weather-related or a terrorist attack.
There are a number of issues that could warrant the need for us to become more self-reliant and more prepared for emergencies. If you were once a Girl or Boy Scout, or someone who served in the military, you already know the value of being prepared.
Have you seen some of the YouTube videos about people stocking away 2 - 6 months or more of emergency supplies for their families? There has been some concern about a food shortage as we enter the colder weather months. We've already lived through one food and supply rush in April when everyone was buying up all the toilet paper, anti-bacterial gel, and wipes. Canning has become an interest for some people so now I understand that there is a shortage of canning supplies, especially lids. What do you think about all of this? Are you someone who is prepared?
There has been talk of a bigger disruption in the food supply system and some of the YouTube preppers are calling for action now. Some are even going so far as to say that we must complete our Christmas shopping in September "just in case" Santa can't make it when Christmas eve comes around.
As a "forever Girl Scout" I see the need for being prepared in general, and I believe individuals and families should have a supply of food for a minimum of two weeks. However, it seems that the times in which we are living are getting more strange every day, so perhaps it is time to make that prep time longer than two weeks. Maybe we should take all of this prepper stuff a little more seriously instead of saying "Yeah, I plan on being prepared someday. I just haven't gotten around to it yet."
Maybe someday is here.
One thing I haven't seen on YouTube videos, except for a quick mention, is a reminder to make sure to prep for your pets' needs too.
In years past we could always trust that there would be plenty of pet food readily available for purchase at the store if we needed it and so it wasn't much of a worry. Now, however, pet owners should seriously consider having a good supply of pet food at home.
I encourage you, my dedicated readers, to take stock not only of your own food supply, but also make sure you stock away enough to feed your pets for at a minimum two weeks, but I too would like to encourage you to become "Pet Preppers" and try to create space in your home for at least 2 months of pet food and supplies. If nothing happens, you'll simply have a good stock of food that you will use. If it does get worse, then you'll have what you need.
I ask you also to spread the word to your co-workers, friends, and families so they and their pets are not left without should something big be coming down the road.
A word of caution though - make sure you store your pet food in an area where the temperature is suitable for sustaining pet food. The last thing you need is to spend all that money and have it go to waste, or accidentally feed spoiled food to your pets, thereby making them ill.
These are my recommendations of items that all pet owners should have on hand for their precious pets:
* Food (frozen fresh, bagged, or canned)
* Travel crate and a foldable crate
* Pet First Aid Kit
* Extra leash/harness/pet beds
* Portable water bottle / foldable bowls for travel/evacuation
* Products that might help reduce a pet's anxiety
* Updated pet tags and chips
* List of emergency numbers for their primary main vet, a backup vet, an emergency
pet clinic in your area and in an area in which you might have to evacuate
* A few special toys to keep pets busy/entertained
* Communicate all emergency information to your pet sitter and close family
members via hard copies as well as electronically.
* A book about pet emergency care for their particular type of pet (ex: cat book for
cats, bird book for birds, iguana book for iguanas). Don't rely on the internet for info because in an emergency the internet could be down. Books are a great backup.
* Keep an updated list of pet-friendly hotels just in case you have to evacuate.
Normally I would suggest a list of relative homes too, but with Covid, being with
family is not a current recommendation.
* Note: harp music has been known to reduce pain/anxiety in pets, and humpback
whale music is known to be especially helpful for cats.
If I think I missed anything, I will pop back into this post and update it, but I think I have all the really important stuff listed.
I encourage all pet owners to use this time wisely. We don't know what the future holds, but it seems to me that it is quite uncertain. There is no harm in being prepared. If you can't afford to buy everything you need right away, buy a few extra things every week until your pantry is stocked.
Being prepared helps our hearts rest easier so we can sleep better at night, reduces anxiety, and makes us more able to help our neighbors if the need arises.