Preps for Pets : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Please take your pets into consideration when prepping. The following are some helpful hints to keep in mind.

1. Obviously, stock up on pet food. Try to buy what your pet is used to eating, not something cheaper, if possible. Also, take them into consideration when planning for water consumption. If for some reason you find you must ration water, check you pets regularly for dehydration. Grab the skin over the shoulder blades and pull up and let go. The skin should "pop" back into place quickly. If it stays up "tent-like" or goes back into place very slowly, the animal is dehydrated.

2. Make sure you stock up on any prescription meds your animal has to have.

3. Stock up on heartworm medication. You should have both dogs and cats on it. This can be expensive. Having numerous animals, I use Ivomec (1-800-JEFFERS) for heartworm prevention for dogs and cats. It is given orally. Be advised this is off-label use. Your vet should be able to give you the correct dosage. If your vet does not recommend this, try calling around to other vets.

4. Also stock up on Frontline or Advantage if possible. They truly are miracle products.

5. Diane Stein's book, Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats is highly recommended. Has some good information for alternative treatments.

6. Many of the first aid products I would recommend are the same you can use for yourself. Betadyne is a much better disinfectant than alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Mix it with water until it is the color of a light, diluted tea. You can flush the wound with this using a syringe. Most small wounds should be left open and flushed regularly. Stitching them up can lead to infection.

Benadryl is a must. Make sure to get the dye-free gelcaps. I have heard that the regular capsules (the ones with the "beads") cannot be digested by dogs and cats. This is good for anything from skin allergies to bee stings. Can even help with snake bites.

NEVER give Tylenol or ibuprofen to dogs or cats. It is best not to give even aspirin to cats. However, I do use baby aspirin for my dogs in an emergency. Check with your vet about dosages but it's best not to give too much or keep them on it for more than a few days.

Vet Wrap is a bandaging product you can find in most pet stores in the equine section. It is a clingy bandage you use as an outer wrap, over your sterile bandage. Works great, sticks to itself, stays on well. If bandaging an animal's leg, make sure you leave the toes exposed and check them regularly. Any swelling of the toes indicates the bandage is too tight. Remove Immediately!

7. Make sure all animals have collars and get tags with your address on them (in case phones are out the animal can be returned).

8. Get nail trimmers and make sure you know how to use them correctly.

9. I plan to get some extra chains. Although my dogs are never chained up (they're fenced in), I want to have them just in case I need them.

10. Try to get a vet exam for everyone in the next couple of months to make sure they're in good health and up-to-date on shots. The rabies vaccine is approved for three years and I would give this even if it's a little early because it's so important. (BTW, please get rabies vaccines from a vet and not the "feed-store" variety. The vaccine is no good if it's not kept refrigerated and therefore feed-store quality is questionable.)

Just remember our pets are as dependent on us as children. It is myth that most pets can be "let loose" and survive on their own. Even in rural areas, many strays starve to death because they don't have the skills that wild animals do. Provide for them, too. They're definitely worth it!

-- dakota (, July 20, 1999


Good reminder, Dakota. Besides stocking up on the usual cat food (and litter), I'm stocking up on cheaper cat food for inevitable strays if Y2K is more than a bump in the road. Drs. Foster & Smith have an on-line catalogue somewhere and they have lots of useful products, including pet first-aid kits. I've been ordering from these folks for around 10-12 years, excellent prices and service. I know there are other vet catalogues out there but I've never had a problem with F&S and I order at least half a dozen times/year. Their F&S branad products are all good quality. Vaccines (except rabies) are also available.

You're absolutely right about pets not being able to care for themselves when let loose. The reason we have nine cats (down from ten) is because people threw them out "to fend for themselves." At least 7 of the 10 were very ill when we picked them up, requiring lots of vet care.

The pets will pay for themselves in pest patrol and non-electric alarm services, not to mention keeping you warm on cold nights and giving you an unconditional swipe with a tongue--or one of THOSE looks--when you most need it.

-- Old Git (, July 20, 1999.

Great lists, Dakota and Old Git. My indoor cats also need cat litter (and newspaper). And a few of their favorite toys. I'm also stocking up on dry dog and cat food for the inevitable increase in strays. I worry also about the animal shelters and what happens if they are not heated or run out of food. There may be a need to offer foster services if the infrastructure is down for a while.

-- Brooks (, July 20, 1999.

Any suggestions for storing dry dog food? We currently use about 40- 50 lbs a month. I think it will keep better in the bag it comes in and did buy one of those 'huge' square garbage containers on wheels. It will fit two 45 lb bags while still in bags. Third bag probably won't fit intact. (Not sure, because we only had two bags to try at the time.) I know it would hold three bags opened up easily, but then there is a bigger concern about drawing pests (bugs/mice/rats). And to some extent, the freshness factor.

Will be picking up more food in the near future, but was disappointed that most bags on the shelves (food they eat) have current exp. dates of Oct. '99. And a few are out to Feb. '00. Would be happier if they were dated a little further out.

One other piece of advice you might want to consider-- a soft sided muzzle. If you have different sized pets (they have them for cats, too), make sure you have one for each size needed, if you can afford to add it into your preps. I believe they are around $10-$12 dollars. If something major happens to the animal and you have to care for it/ do some type of procedure for it, and it is in pain, a soft muzzle restraint may come in handy and keep you from getting bitten. Even the most mild-mannered loving dog has the potential to bite in extreme circumstances.

The prospect of diminished or no vet services if y2k is more than a bump, is quite distressing to me.

-- winter wondering (, July 20, 1999.

The Red Cross has put out an excellent First Aid Manual for pets.

-- flora (***@__._), July 20, 1999.

We never liked cats until we got one, by default. Always dogs, period. Now we realize the most effective way to control rodents, protect food storage, and minimize disease potential, is with a cat. Preferably one that has all it's claws. No, we don't like to think of their "bird hunting" potential, but as we also own a parrot we understand there are trade offs. Don't like mice or shrews, but fear water shortage induced disease. Understand the religious beliefs surrounding cats resulted in their decline, and subsequent increase in rat infestation, disease carrying fleas, and the great plague. Something to think about. Owning a cat might preclude major problems - just when you least need them!

-- A. Hambley (, July 20, 1999.

cats rule, dogs drool

-- Brooks the Cat (, July 20, 1999.

In reference to storing dry food (cat and dog), be aware that although the foods preserved with Vitamin C and E are healthier than the foods preserved with BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin, they have a shorter shelf life, especially if they're stored in plastic containers instead of original bagging.

-- dakota (, July 20, 1999.

In reference to storing dry food (cat and food), be aware that although the foods preserved with Vitamin C and E are healthier, they have a shorter shelf life than those preserved with BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin, especially when stored in plastic containers as opposed to original bagging.

-- dakota (, July 20, 1999.

Here in Florida, storing dry dog and cat food can be a problem. Some of the stuff comes from the store with bugs in it. I have found that the kibble that is solid shaped and not like donuts, is less apt to have bugs. The donut shaped have the larvae in the center. I am going to buy small bags and keep them sealed and put bag and all into buckets or garbage cans. Also, with the small bags I can freeze them for several days before storing. When I open a bag it is transfered into a bucket with a gama lid. I then add a few bay leaves. Any other suggestions would be welcome. Its really hard to keep the bugs out of stuff here.

Taz...who loves her critters.

-- Taz (, July 21, 1999.

I was just looking through the library copy (due back tomorrow) of the James Talmage Stevens book _Making the Best of Basics_ (subcat title: family preparedness handbook). In it he talks about using diatomaceous earth. I haven't had opportunity to do any double checking on this to verify the information, but he mentions it as an "organic method to elimitate the hungry little critters feeding on your stored grains." And mentions it works best with "whole grains, beans, dried items" and a few other things. "This organic treatment is not harmful to humans or animals" "relatively inexpensive" "available at most lawn & garden shops, building supply centers, and hardware stores."

Maybe someone wants to start a 'diatomaceous earth thread' to get feedback from people who've used it ... Or some web searching. I just haven't had time to check into it more at this point.

-- winter wondering (, July 21, 1999.

Zoobie and I are bugging out to the desert...Can we bring our cat with us, how can we keep him healthy, and how can we store his food?

-- zoobiette (, July 22, 1999.

Here's a tip regarding aspirin and dogs - only give them the coated type aspirin...typically coated with malox or something similar. Plain aspirin can give dogs bleeding ulcers. I have to give my big dog and one smaller one two aspirin per day for maybe 4-5 days per month for hip pain. I'm now trying a human supplement pill twice per day that is supposed to be for deteriorating it at Sam's and will try the whole 200 pill bottle before making a judgment on it.

-- jeanne (, July 24, 1999.

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