Episode 145 S4-21

Natural Disaster Preparedness for Your Dog


Battle for the South Ch 21

Special Guest:

Sara F. Hathaway

Bennet moves his team out of Dallas. Trucker, Dexter's dog is a member of this team. Many of us consider our pets part of our family and any plans for surviving a Natural Disaster need to include them. Today I will present some considerations for sheltering in place, evacuation and herbal remedies for your dog.

Your dogs are part of the family so it's important to have plans in place for them in case of a natural disaster. There are two potential circumstances that may happen in case of a Natural Disaster. You are going to have to shelter in place or you are going to have to evacuate with your dog. 


When the situation calls for you to shelter in place, you should already be well supplied to handle that circumstance. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans so you will have to plan accordingly. Start with two week supply and build from there. You also have two basic options for food, dry food or wet (canned) food. Dry food requires a lot of space to store it. You will have to worry about rodents getting into the bag, or maybe water compromising the bag integrity. Dry food is also high in fat content. This will cause it to go rancid. Wet or canned food will last longer than dry food. However, you may have to store a lot of it.

There are other considerations besides food you need to care for your dog. Your dog will require water. That means you better plan on storing a gallon or so per animal per day. If your dog is on daily medication you will need a two week supply of extras. I read a lot of places it's a good idea to have treats on hand to uplift their mood. It's kinda last on my list. In a disaster scenario that last thing I'll be worried about is my dog's mood. You should also have flea and tick preventive stocked, leashes, and an extra collar. Make sure you have an ID tag with a name and phone number to reach you. You should have pictures of your animal and instructions for its care in case you need to rely on someone else caring for it. If you have a dog that requires constant grooming, have those supplies on hand. Make certain you have a carrier, if your dog requires one. Other items you might consider are dental care items, clothes (if your in a cold climate), and toys.

I'm always interested in how we can heal or help our bodies and our animals' bodies naturally and I found some good herbal remedies worth stocking up on. Neem extract or Azadirachta Indica comes from the neem tree (pictured on the right) which is found in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The extract comes from fruit and seeds. It is a natural insecticide that heals burns and soothes dry/irritated skin. When used topically neem is absorbed into the blood stream and make your dog flea and mosquito resistant. Use TheraNeem Pet Shampoo with a couple drops of Neem oil and you can give Neem plus orally. (http://www.dogster.com)


There are lots of quality herbal remedies for your dog. Another great herb to stock is Arnica (Arnica Montana)sometimes called Wolf’s Bane. It is native to Europe and it is a healing promoter, specifically with bruising. Give 3 Arnica Pellets 3 per day. The pills work on contact. Put the dog's lower gum. It’s okay if Fido spits it out.


Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis L.) is native to Europe and Asia and is a sleep inducer and natural sedative. You can give to dogs who stress over loud noises. Valerian is a serious plant so consult your vet for dosage information.


Boswellia is native to Africa and Asia. It reduces arthritis inflammation.

Eyebright or (Euphrasia Officinalis)is an Australian native that treats eye infections. Give 3 pellets, 3 times per day. It also works on contact so it's okay if your dog spits it out.




Burdock (shown on the right) is another healing herb that is safe for dogs. It grows in Europe and Asia and works as a blood purifier and cancer preventive. It is used in cooking and you can give your dog the root to chew on.


If you are forced to evacuate with you pet, you need to have it ready. If you are evacuating in a vehicle a carrier can be a consideration but on foot, good luck. Some breeds of dogs are going to be better suited to leaving on foot with you. Dogs 30+ Lbs can carry their own pack or "go-bag." It is called a "saddle" and they can carry some or all of their own supplies in it. Some breeds are going to be better suited to evacuations. Stansport makes a great pack for a 30 - 90 lb dog. You will need to train them with it before you have to use it. In these training sessions slowly increase the weight in the pack.


We all know that weight in a pack can add up fast so when choosing a food option take all of the variables between weight and longevity into consideration. When my dogs are sick my vet suggests feeding them cottage cheese and rice so rice may be a viable food supplement. Don't discourage bug eating or hunting behavior. My dog has taken out small game and I praise her for it, knowing in a long term survival situation that may come in handy. Be aware though, wild animals and some bugs have tapeworm. For water I would recommend purchasing a collapsible dog bowl. Remember, dogs can drink from more water sources but are still vulnerable to poisons and industrial contaminants.

Your dog will need other supplies besides food and water. It should have its own first aid kit. Some items to include are:dog safe pain relievers, daily medications (if required),and wound care ointment. If you are hiking long distances with your dog its foot pads will wear out. Have two sets of dog boots per dog. Get them used to wearing them ahead of time.


There are also training considerations you will want to take into account well ahead of time. Training your dog to be a faithful companion is essential. You want that animal to move with you and listen to your commands. Train with and without a leash. Train in crowds. If you are in a hostile situation, your dog could be a liability. Remove or eliminate any jingle sounds from your dog's collar. Train your dog to hide quietly with you as someone passes by. They should not bark or move. Train them to stay close to you without a leash on.


While on the move, there are herbs that are beneficial to your animal that you can forage along the way. Yarrow or Achillea millefolium grows in Northern Hemisphere. It is also used as feed in New Zealand and Australia where it also grows. The plants have several stems with leaves jutting out like a feather. The flowers blossom and make almost a disc shape. Yarrow works as a wound healer. Flush the wound with iodide then treat with Yarrow.


There are a couple of more herbs worth noting. Milk Thistle extract called silibinin has lots of antioxidants. The extract boosts and protects the liver, extending the life of the animal. It also helps prevent cloudy eyes.

Hawthorn or Crataegus, also grows in the Northern Hemisphere. This plant is a shrub or a small tree with small round berries. The boughs have thorns. The bark is smooth and grey then develops fissures with narrow ridges. Hawthorne will strengthen heart function and improve circulation. It is particularly helpful after heartworm disease. Older animals will benefit much more from this herb than younger ones.  

Works cited:  


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Battle for the South Ch 21

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The Changing Earth Series

Origin Stories

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Character Origins


Sara F. Hathaway

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster, Without Land, The Walls of Freedom and Battle for the South. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com

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