Survival Pet Bathroom?

I’d like to end my recent focus on pet survivalism by mentioning another problem you may face if civilization were to end… waste. How are you going to take care of the natural urge to expel liquid or solid waste? This is easy in today’s world. All we have to do is let the dog poo and pee in the back yard, or take it out for a walk.

Depending on the civilization-ending disaster, your pet’s bathroom habits may not change. Even if cat litter runs out, your cat can easily use something else like sawdust, fine wood shavings, or dried sand. Cats can be retrained to poo and pee outside, but they won’t do it on-demand like dogs.

What if there’s a chemical or nuclear attack?

If such an attack were to happen, your pet can’t go outside because they’ll track in deadly chemicals or fallout. That means you’ll need to retrain your pet to poop and pee inside the house or bunker. This is easy for cats because they can use a litter box, but will be very hard on dogs who’ve been trained to never potty in the house.

You’ll have to train the animal to use the bathroom only at one approved location and guide it there repeatedly. You also need to keep an eye on your pet until you’re certain it’s comfortable with the new habit. If it can’t follow its training and the urge gets too great, the pet’s natural instinct is to find someplace discreet to hide the mess and avoid getting in trouble.

Please keep in mind this retraining will involve a lot of trial and error. Your pet is unlearning old habits while trying to learn new ones, and will benefit from positive or negative reinforcement. I’m sure your pet will do its best to learn new habits, so don’t be too harsh with the negative reinforcements during this transition period. Afterall, humans created the mess they’re in.

What about my dog?

I live and work in the heart of a major city and regular dog-walks aren’t always possible. My dog has used puppy pads his entire life and won’t need to be retrained. However, I fear the day we run out of those convenient puppy pads. I guess he can use leftover newspapers, but the paper won’t be delivered after the SHTF, so what happens when that runs out?

Maybe we’ll dedicate 2-3 towels for him to use and rewash them daily?


Think of how your pet will do its “business” if civilization were to end. Depending on the situation, it may not be “business as usual”, and you’ll need to help them adapt to the new situation.

2 thoughts on “Survival Pet Bathroom?

  1. Debby

    Hello, I am getting food, paper products generator. I haven’t thought about leaving my home. I haven’t thought about being attacked. I have thought that in November that the Republicans will take the house and hopefully biden and kamala can get taken out of the leadership. I think if Republicans can take over and hopefully SHTF isn’t needed and we can take all of our food paper products to the Food Pantries. Have you written something to purchase. Do you know of a book that is helpful?


    1. Hi Debby:
      I apologize for the time it took to respond. I am working on a comprehensive guide-book, but I’m a Paralegal by day and I don’t think my next book will be ready for at least a year.

      I’m an Independent and purposefully don’t speculate which party will be responsible if/when the SHTF because there are problems with any political party. I’ve noticed that many survivalist books I’ve read intentionally omit which party is in power when the situation happens. I would recommend reading a couple book series to help you with ideas for prepping, and to outline how things may change after the fact.

      “One Second After” series, by William R Forstchen
      “Nuclear Winter” series, by Bobby Akart
      “Home” series, by A. American
      “299 Days” series, by Glen Tate

      These survivalist book series are, technically, classified as science fiction. However, I think they do a great job at describing what could happen after society collapses. They also identify the challenges a family may need to deal with, like: civil unrest, living without power, acquiring & preserving food, and much more. Such books briefly mention difficult topics some people may not be comfortable with, such as domestic extremism based on religion or a regression to barbaric racist practices.

      I hope I answered your immediate questions and apologize for the amount of time it took to respond.

      Good prepping!


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