Dog Days of Summer a Good Reminder of Pet Preparation

Have you experienced a hot summer so far? We have. Record heat seems to be in the news often these days in various parts of the country. Air conditioners and fans are getting a major workout, that’s for sure.

It reminds me of the phrase, “Dog days of summer.” There are many explanations for what that phrase means and where it originated. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the phrase “conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer coinciding with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation of Canis Major.”

Now, I don’t know about all that, but I do know that the combination of heat and dryness seems to result in sluggishness for a lot of people as they discover that their get up and go got up and went.

But when I think of “dog days,” my first thought is not about heat or lack of rain. Instead, I start thinking about man’s best friend and other pets. I’ve had at least one dog and cat for most of my life, and I can’t imagine life without one of them by my side.

Have you ever heard people describe themselves as a “dog person” or “cat person?” Even folks who love both animals seem to have a preference.

Those who prefer dogs don’t mind the fact that they require more maintenance than cats because dogs treat us as if we are the most important people in the world to them. Which we are. I don’t see family members racing to the door each time I come home and jumping all over me.

Those who prefer cats appreciate the fact that most are so independent and self-sufficient – two characteristics we admire greatly in the preparedness arena. Some cats like to snuggle with us when we’re sitting on a comfortable chair, while others are more aloof and will only approach us when we’re filling their food and water bowls.

Regardless how independent or codependent our pets are, we need to remember to keep them in mind in our preparation plans. Here are eight items I’d recommend including in a pet bug-out bag:

  • Current Color Photo. In the event you and your pet are split up, it’s important to have a way to describe it to people who might have seen it.
  • Food/Water. Pack a 72-hour supply for each pet. In a crisis, there’s no telling where the next meal may come from.
  • Sandwich Bags. Instead of poop-scoop baggies, normal sandwich bags work just as well.
  • Pet First-Aid Kit. This kit could include scissors, tweezers, medical/adhesive tape, gauze pads, vet wrap and alcohol wipes.
  • Special Medicines. Talk to your vet about your interest in preparedness and see if you can get three months ahead on your pet’s medications.
  • Collar/Leash with ID. Your pet needs clear identification in case you’re separated, with a way to get a hold of you.
  • Pet Carrier/Crate. If you must evacuate your home, a pet crate can come in handy. Place ID information on the crate.
  • Bowls with Lids. Containers your pet can eat out of will come in handy, especially if it’s something you can also seal and pack up quickly.


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