As you store away food and supplies for your family, don’t forget your canine “children.” Dogs can be tremendous assets, helping you with security as well as companionship. But, you have to plan ahead to provide for them.
Dogs are often able to drink questionable water with little detriment. How often have you seen them drink out of mud puddles and other outdoor sources without batting an eye? However, with that said please take their water needs into account as you store water.
As for food, again they can often get by on stuff we’d rather not consume ourselves. Dry dog food can be stored, but not for more than maybe a year as the fats will go rancid. Best bet on that score is to rotate the stored food regularly. I’d suggest you don’t plan on feeding your pups solely through table scraps as you might not be in a position where you’ll have that luxury. Depending on the dog, he or she might be able to hunt for at least some of its own food. Rats, squirrels, and the like. Also consider stocking up on biscuits and treats.
Bear in mind that many dogs will suffer some stomach issues when switching foods. If possible, it is best to gradually introduce a new food a little at a time, mixed with what they normally eat, over the course of a week or two. Slowly increase the ratio of new food to old until they get used to it.
Don’t forget about meds, especially heartworm. Stock up as best you can. Flea and tick prevention would be a great idea as well. Talk to your vet about vitamin supplements too.
Several retailers sell backpacks and such specifically made for dogs. If yours is a working breed, you might consider investing in one just in case you need to evacuate. Use the pack as a canine bug out bag — food, portable water dish, meds. If yours is primarily an indoor dog, you might also look into dog “booties” to protect his or her feet.
Above all, remember that you are the alpha of your pack and, as such, your canines look to you for leadership as well as to provide for their needs. Don’t let them down.