Pet Survival: Tips For Assembling Pet Food Survival Kits

December 21, 2011


prepping for animals

The following article has been contributed by James Sorick  of It has been published with permission of the author.

Assembling food survival kits is one of the most important things you can do for your pets. If something happens and you have to go dashing out of your house, you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need. If you have been prepping a while and you probably have all of your own and your family’s necessities ready to go in a bug out bag…just in case. Now it’s time to take care of your four-legged friends.

Assembling food survival kits isn’t as simple as it sounds. You probably don’t even realize everything you need for your pet right now and you’ll want to make sure that the kit you assemble will include everything you need.

Obviously, the most important thing to include in your pet’s food survival kit is, well… food. But, just like our food, pet food doesn’t last forever. Because of the high fat content in most pet foods it actually spoils just as easily as human food.

If your pet prefers dry food or kibble look at the expiration date before you buy it and try to buy something that will last for as long as possible. To extend the shelf life even longer you can pack the dry food into airtight food-grade storage buckets which will help prevent mold, mildew, spoilage and protect it from rodents. Throw in some oxygen absorbers to help slow spoilage.

If your pet prefers a moist, canned food, again – check the expiration dates before you buy. And don’t forget to include a can opener in your pet’s food survival kit!

All animals – dogs, cats, hamster, birds – any type of animal, needs lots of water. In fact, it’s just as important (if not more) as food. Make sure you set aside several gallons of battled water for your pets – no matter their size. This water should be only for your pets. Don’t plan on sharing your own supply. If you do, you won’t have enough.

It’s easy to set aside water for your pets. Just rinse out some milk jugs (the non bio-degradable type) and fill them with regular tap water and store it in a cool location. Water doesn’t really have an expiration date but it’s best to change it out every 6 weeks or so, just to keep it fresh. After all, you don’t like to drink water that’s been sitting around for ages, either.

Speaking of drinking and eating…the pet needs something to do those activities out of. Collapsible bowls fill the ticket perfectly. They don’t take up much room and are lightweight. You will kick yourself if you forget the bowls.

stressed out dogAlso, make sure you include treats or cookies, and chew sticks or toys. Some animals suffer extreme anxiety in emergency situations and their favorite treats or cookies will help them stay calm. Chew sticks and toys will help distract their attention and, in the case of smaller animals like hamsters and gerbils, chew sticks are important for maintaining their teeth.

Finally, don’t forget to include vitamins and minerals, small plastic bags to clean up their mess, and any medications your pet needs. If you assemble your pet’s food survival kits now, should an emergency arise, you’ll be ready to go and you’ll have everything you need to take care of your furry little friend.

This is a guest post by James Sorick. James is a survival expert specializing in survival gear. Read more on his blog at

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10 Comments on “Pet Survival: Tips For Assembling Pet Food Survival Kits”

  1. millenniumfly Says:

    You might also consider storing a bit of food at a family, friend, or neighbor’s house just in case something happens to your home. You should consider doing the same thing with personal clothing and such items as well.


    • Zoey Says:

      Thanks for that idea!
      For my cats I’m putting aside litter but think they might use dirt if we run out.
      I’m planning on buying enclosures that I can stack one on top of the other in case they can not run free and space is precious. As long as I can I’ll keep them safe and fed. Oh, and flea control might be a good idea meds I’ll ask my vet for suggestions.


  2. scrambo Says:

    unfortunately, in our society pets have been elevated to human status. under teotwawkit most pets are going to be abandoned and or eaten. if a pet does not contribute to your survival it will be eliminated. my pack would probably be trimmed down to my jack russell she is mouthy, barks at everything, no one would get near my family without her warning us. that would contribute to our survival. we are about to ad goats and i am thinkin of adding a border collie to our pack. hopefully a collie would help in keeping the herd together and moving them from patch to patch. peta and all the animal whacko folks have no idea what we are headed for, and it is going to be detrimental to the many unwanted pets, in the 60’s we had packs of wild dogs that attacked our cattle and we regularly eliminated them at every opportunity. Many of them were rabid. my dad was bitten by a rabid dog as a child. we will have that to deal with also. just another difficulty to prepare for. I love my pets, but in reality I want be able to keep them all. 4 dogs, 4 cats, and a Guinea pig. tough times = tough decisions.


  3. Preppie Says:

    Thank you for this. I think our pets will be just as important after TEOTAWKI as they are now. Not only will they protect us in various ways, they will provide comfort, warmth (ever slept on a bed with a cat?), familiarity and love.

    They go where we do. Cats keep homes and storage vermin free, dogs can defend you and yours and alert you to bad people.

    There is some food you can buy that has a 5 year shelf life.


    • Zoey Says:

      Which food brands have 5 year shelf life? Also I’ve heard that putting kibble in freezer for awhile, not sure how long but need to check on that, kills bug eggs. I once bought old food and had pantry moths flying all over the place when I opened the bag.


  4. Ariel Says:

    This is great! I’ve already got seven bags of dog food in stock for my pup & over 20 bags in treats!


  5. KrisB Says:

    No milk jugs!! It is not safe to simply wash a milk jug like you would a dish in order to store water in. Think about whats been in a container before you use it for something else (Plastic has pores, pores that will hold onto whatever gets in them. You can easily risk making yourself, and others that drink it, sick by storing water in a jug that had milk.). Soda bottles and water jugs are better for water storage. Would you drink milk that has been sitting out for months? Then why take the chance of ingesting those same particals in your water?
    But if you must use milk jugs, wash them with a bleach water cleaning mixture and dish soap, then rince them very well (3-5 times at least.)



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