An often overlooked aspect of prepping is pets. You are responsible for their well being, so you better be prepared to look after them in a crisis, right? But how? Lay in food stocks to feed them? Sure, you can do that and should, but the most important thing you need to do is make a mental shift in how you view them. They are no longer your pets, your friends or your babies (if you insist). They are your partners, and they bring more value to the team than you give them credit for in the good times.
Dogs are natures perimeter sensors, with the handy addition of sharp teeth, varying degrees of intelligence and a fierce loyalty to both family and territory. Even the cowardliest dog will warn you of intruders, whether of the two legged or 4 legged variety and you should take note when they are uneasy. It is usually for a reason. Dogs are incredibly good at picking up when their owners are stressed and it puts them very much into protective mode. Larger dogs are perfectly capable of carrying or pulling loads as well.
One of the down sides of dogs is they tend to eat rather lot for their size, meaning a large part of your food storage space is taken up with dog food. Yet it doesn't need to be that way. They are both willing and able to eat almost anything you can eat, as long as they get a certain amount of protein per day.
Yep. The lazy fur ball that sleeps 20 hours a day is actually a team player. They are the most efficient vermin control you can get. Mice, rats, cockroaches, moths - anything that is likely to eat your stored food is, to them, a mobile buffet which they are perfectly happy to snack on, saving your supplies and your garden.
Cats have a self correcting problem. They are obligate carnivores, so need a protein heavy diet and they really can not deal with salt too well. Fortunately, they can hunt for themselves most of the time. Make sure to lay in an extra few bottles of cod liver oil and they should be fine, though good luck getting that down them!
You think I am joking. Why would goldfish be at all useful? They don't need much maintenance and are peaceful to watch. You are going to be thrown back on your own resources a lot, and they are very tranquil. Should you wish to doubt - think of the last doctor's surgery waiting room you were in. There is a huge chance there was a fish tank in there. Being able to calm down and relax in a time of stress is hugely important. For the cost of a few dollars in food flakes, you get that for free.
Geese and Chickens
Yes, people keep these as pets. Chickens are obviously useful - you get eggs and, worst comes to worst, you get a roast dinner. But they pale in comparison to geese. You still get the eggs, but you also get a hyper aggressive alarm and attack system. It was no accident that the Romans used geese as intruder alarms in the temples. As someone who grew up on a farm with geese, I am here to tell you they will wreck your sh*t if they don't know you or if you startle them. They also feed themselves and produce a very rich manure - so rich that you need age it or you will burn the roots of your plants.
Rats and Hamsters
Is it possible to find a use for a pet rat? Yes it is. It's pee. Put down the pee soaked wood shavings and it is like a territory marker for wild rats. They don't like it and won't cross the line.
Lizards and Snakes
They taste pretty good, especially with a dash of soy sauce. Come on - not every pet is useful.