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Prepping For Your Animals - Doggy Business

Yesterday's post concerned makeshift cat litter. Not wanting to be perceived as a speciesist, we'll take a look at what to do for Rover.

Rover is pretty good and finding a place to do his business on his own, as long as he has access to the outdoors. However, there may arise certain instances where access to the outdoors will not be available.

Those instances may include some kind of a nuclear event, a chemical or biological emergency. Perhaps there might be roving gangs of Korean Zombies craving Bosintang, or just the local thugs roaming about when order collapses.

So, if you have to shelter in place, what is Rover to do?

You'll probably need to build a dog litter box.

The box is actually several layers. The bottom is a plastic pan lined with cat litter, newspaper, or some other absorbent material. You do not actually need to use an absorbent material if you intend to immediately dispose of any liquid waste.

The middle layer is gravel suspended above the plastic pan by a galvanized steel screen. The gravel in turn supports a top layer which is a mat of "artificial dog grass".

Artificial dog grass is different from many similar synthetic grass products. Some synthetic grass products have a foam backing, and may use a nylon pile in with the "grass". This type of construction will not allow liquid wastes to pass through and can harbor odor causing agents. Artificial dog grass has a mesh backing which does allow liquids to pass through.

K9Grass makes a very nice product and has several sizes of ready to order mats. The grass has antimicrobials built in, unlike some others which are sprayed on after manufacturing.

To clean the box, all one needs are bags to pick up the solids (these folks have biodegradable ones) but you can recycle the plastic bags from the grocery store for this purpose. Use something like Nature's Miracle to follow up where the liquid and solid wastes were deposited. A very inexpensive substitute for a bioactive product like Nature's Miracle is plain white vinegar.

Simply mix up a 50/50 solution of vinegar with warm water and spray the area. You'll have to deal with the vinegar odor for a short period of time, but it does the job.

After a few minutes spent allowing all liquid to drain into the tray, remove the tray and pour the liquid contents into your toilet.

If you are forced to shelter in place for a protracted period of time, you may need to wash the mat using a mild detergent in your bathtub or shower every week or so.

erniesjourney said...
February 8, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Excellent - I have told so many people to prep for their animals - buy food now etc - so I am glad someone else thinks about our friends too!


Rick said...
February 8, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

Another thing you should consider is the food from your refrigerator and freezer should the electricity be a problem.

If it's too degraded for you to eat don't feed it to your pet... but if it's raw and freshly defrosted you might want to feed it to your pet and hold back the dry kibble for storage. Dogs and cats can eat things that would curdle our more delicate stomachs. Freezer burn doesn't harm my dogs though the cats think I'm stupid.

If you have 50lbs of beef melting in the freezer it's time to trim it up, make some jerky for you and feed scraps and the wilted produce to the pets. Leftover rice is a great addition to the dog bowl too, don't let it sit or toss it in the trash just because you don't have proper refrigeration.


Catman said...
February 9, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

Good thoughts on the subject, Rick!

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