(SurvivalDaily.com) – Dogs have been loyal companions of humans for thousands of years. They’ve also aided in multiple tasks, from hunting, to rescuing, and transporting goods. Canines have been by our sides through thick and thin, earning them the name “man’s best friend”.
The good news is, you don’t have to worry about leaving your beloved canine behind in a survival situation. If anything, they can be a part of the process. Dogs, as the past has proven, can be used as an instrument of survival. Of course, depending on your plan for when SHTF, your dog’s training may go beyond “sit” and “stay.”
Bugging-out With Beethoven
While bugging-out with your canine presents you with more difficult challenges, it also has benefits. One of the biggest things is carrying the dog’s supplies. Adding them to your bug-out bag takes away from your supplies, as well as adding more weight to you. The good thing is there are bug-out bags designed for dogs. This means your pooch can carry its own supplies, and others as well.
Typically the dog is going to need food and water for at least 3 days. You’ll also want to bring their medications, if they need any. One good thing about dogs is your first aid kit can be used if they get hurt. Make sure to have a first-aid kit in your dog’s bag and your bag. This way you each have a back-up if you need one.
While not super important, having your pup’s papers can prove valuable. This is especially true if you’re trying to team up with a group. The group may be wary of the dog carrying diseases, but your papers will prove otherwise.
Hunkering Down With Your Dog
Bugging-in with your loyal companion may prove to be a better plan than bugging-out. Again you’ll need to stock up on food and water, just like you would need to do for another human. You can buy dry food in bulk, and store it in moisture-proof containers to help it last longer. Wet canned food can also be stored for a pretty long time as well. Just be sure to use the older cans first, buying new ones when needed.
When storing water for your dog, follow the same concept you would for yourself. Label the containers with your name and the dog’s name. Again, use the old ones first to ensure the water stays fresh.
This is probably the second most important thing aside from food and water. Your dog is going to need to be trained. Don’t assume they’ll protect you just because they’re your companion. Not all dogs are created equal either; certain breeds excel in certain areas that others do not. Bloodhounds, for instance, are great hunting dogs, but may lack the ability to pull a sled. You’ll need the right dog for the job, but there are some basics every canine companion should know.
- Guard Dog- Every dog should have the ability to at least alert you to an intruder. Some dogs can even guard your livestock, though smaller breeds are not as intimidating as bigger ones.
- Sit and Stay- These commands can keep your pup from getting injured or lost. Though most dogs will only stay for about 20 minutes before curiosity gets the best of them, some dogs have shown the ability to stay in one spot for hours.
- Speak and Quiet- These commands are a lot more useful than one might think. Teaching your dog to bark on command can offer a strong deterrent, especially if you have a large dog. The ‘quiet’ command is typically taught after ‘speak’. This command proves helpful when you’re trying to be stealthy or hide.
When you go into survival mode, it’s extremely difficult to do it alone, just because you have to sleep at some point. Who will guard your back, alert you to an intruder, and sometimes, help keep you warm? A good dog provides companionship with no argument or worries about extra provisions, like toilet paper. That may sound like an unimportant role, but isolation can lead to depression and even madness.
Whether you plan to bug-out or hunker down, it’s likely if you have a dog, you’re not going to abandon it. Dogs offer much more than most think. Sure they’re a great security device. They also provide us with much-needed companionship, help relieve stress, provide comfort for you, and possibly your family. So be sure to, if you haven’t already, plan to keep your dog with you through disaster. It may be another mouth to feed and life to look after, but it’ll be well worth it.
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