If you have a dog, which I bet most of you do, there is no way you are leaving him behind. You probably see him as part of the family, because that’s what a dog is. They are our best friends, always by our side and willing to help. This means that in the case of a disaster, he is surely coming with you.
However, there are some people who say that a dog brings up an unnecessary risk.
To go through all of it, let’s see the Pros and Cons of taking a dog with you:
- Threat deterrent
- Truly helpful when tracking animal tracks
- Can protect you from dangerous animals
- Can detect approaching storms
- Noise/Security risk
- Additional food and water that you need to carry with you
- They can slow you down if the terrain is difficult
Now, let’s see the Pros and Cons of not taking the dog with you:
- You can move faster in certain environments
- No unnecessary noises
- No need for additional supplies
- No threat protection
- No warning for unseen risks
- No warning for changes in weather
How Dogs Sense Incoming Storms
As you probably already know, dogs have some sort of a sixth sense when in terms of predicting the weather. Somehow, they simply know that the bad weather is on its way. If your dog starts pacing or acting anxious, it could be an indicator of an approaching storm. Make sure that you keep an eye on your companion’s behavior, as it could possibly save your life.
But the question remains: How exactly to dogs detect an incoming storm?
Well, they are more sensitive to drops in barometric pressure than we are. When the pressure drops, it usually means that a storm is developing. In time, dogs start to associate it with the arrival of a storm.
Moreover, it is possible that they can detect the changes in the static electric field that comes from lightning. I assume you already know that dogs can hear much better than we can. In addition to this, they can also detect a wider range of frequencies. This means that your dog may be able to hear a low rumble in the distance that you would miss.
Lastly, rumor has it that dogs can see or smell an approaching storm. They can detect chemical changes and sense the static charge that builds up before a storm.
Behavior Changes to Look Out For
As I stated above, you should keep an eye your dog’s behavior. Here’s what to look out for:
- Whining, howling, sudden barks
- Destructive behavior
- Self-harm (scratching)
- Staying right by your side
- Hiding out
There are plenty of dogs who are afraid of storms. One of the ways you can help your dog cope is with a Thunderjacket or Stormdefender Cape. These are snug and simulate a comforting hug that makes your dog feel safe. Fear of storms or loud noises is very common among dogs.
Dogs Are by Your Side When You Need Them
There is one thing I am absolutely sure about: living off grid by yourself is one of the hardest parts. Having a dog with you as a companion can be tremendously beneficial. They are always happy to see you, they constantly entertain you and can help you warm up on the coldest nights.
Should I say more about their enthusiasm for the great outdoors, too? I guess I have already proven my point.
Maybe you find yourself one day in a mental struggle when living off grid, and that is normal. A big part of surviving is finding your groove and a routine that works for you. Bringing a dog will only make this whole process easier.
Dogs: An Extra Level of Protection
Regarding sense movement, dogs are going to detect it faster than you. Next time you decide to take your dog for a walk in the woods, watch his behavior and you will know what I mean. If you see him wagging his tail, it could mean that another hiker is passing by. However, if he tries to shield you or stand tall, you might have something much more dangerous to deal with.
Whether your dog simply lets you know of a visitor, or takes an aggressive action when he senses danger, this extra level of protection can be invaluable.
What to Pack in Your Dog’s Bug Out Bag
The good part is that dogs can carry their own bag, as they can be really strong. You can make him a bug out bag, stocked with water, food, a dog jacket or a blanket, and even a toy for those moments in which you are sheltered and feel like doing something.
Moreover, make sure that you add a first aid kit for your dog, too. They can also get hurt and it is recommended that you have such a kit with you.
Dogs need one 8oz cup of water every 5lbs of weight. If it is hot outside, you can consider a little more. Moreover, they can drink dirty water. However, make sure that they drink just a little and that you do not let that be their primary source of hydration.
Before venturing out, make sure that your dog is up to date on any vaccinations. Moreover, carry tweezers and appropriate medication to remedy common parasites.
Training and Fitness
If you want your dog to have the required resistance, he should be physically fit and well trained. Even though they are ready to go pretty much any time, you still need to be aware of their limitations. You do not want to stress their joints any more than you have to.
Furthermore, it is highly important that your dog listens and respects your authority. The last thing you want to do is make an emergency vet visit because your dog was injured chasing a porcupine.
Dogs can be a valuable asset in an off grid situation. Whether they are alerting you of visitors, predicting the weather, warding off dangerous animals or simply offering warmth and companionship, the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. I strongly suggest that you train your dog for a survival situation, too.
Moreover, if you do not have a dog, maybe you should consider getting one. A strong, well-trained dog is only going to help you, no matter the situation. He will be loyal to you and protect you and your family regardless of what happens to him. It’s no wonder they are called humans’ best friends.
Have you ever considered training your dog for a survival situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.