Keeping Pets When Off-Grid: 6 Things to Consider

An off-grid lifestyle can turn out to be something you never anticipated. Loneliness and insecurity are some of the problems that most off-gridders report, especially those with small families. That is where keeping pets when off-grid helps.

Deciding on the type of pet you need to keep depends on many factors. If you are a first-timer in pet keeping, then you need to know some facts about pets. In this article, we will highlight six things to prepare for successful off-grid pet keeping.

You, undoubtedly, need pets for an off-grid living. But, which specific animals make good off-grid pets? How do you care for them? Keep reading for answers and more!

How Important Are Pets In Our Lives?: Human-Animal Bond

How Important Are Pets In Our Lives
How Important Are Pets In Our Lives

Pet lovers will tell you pets have become part of their families. These domesticated animals are crucial, especially with a strong bond formed.

It is incredible just how an animal can emotionally support you. If, in a way, you are vulnerable or have special needs, then keeping a pet is the best idea to implement. Some breeds of dogs and cats are known for offering emotional and physical support.

The following are some of the reasons you should consider keeping pets when off-grid:

  • Emotional Support
  • Reduce Stress Levels
  • Temporary Companions
  • Add to Child Self-Esteem/Positive Emotional Development
  • Reduce Sense of Loneliness
  • Help Increase Our Social Activities
  • Increase Opportunities for Exercise/Outdoor Activities
  • Enhance Home Security
  • May Detect Cancer Early
  • Control Blood Pressure
  • Boost Allergy Immunity
  • Pets Deserve Fair Treatment

There are state laws governing pet keeping. It never matters whether you live on-grid or off the grid. Once you decide to keep pets, you have to abide by the law and ensure that it does not cause inconvenience and injury to your neighbors.

As a pet owner, you are responsible for the animal in any way possible. You need to care for it, love it, and provide for all its needs. Abandoning or mistreating a pet is a violation of animal rights that can cause trouble with the authorities.

Before deciding on keeping pets when off-grid, learn about pet laws you need to follow.

6 Things To Prepare Before Keeping Pets When Off-Grid

6 Things To Prepare Before Keeping Pets When Off-Grid
6 Things To Prepare Before Keeping Pets When Off-Grid

Keeping pets when living off the grid can be a challenging task. However, proper planning can make you handle it effortlessly. You need to prepare everything possible to keep the animal safe and care for it.

Pets are part of our lives. Their comfort is, therefore, a primary goal that every pet owner has to achieve. The following are the top 6 things to do before keeping pets in an off-grid environment.

Build An Outdoor House Or Barn For Your Pets (Optional)

Build An Outdoor House Or Barn For Your Pets
Build An Outdoor House Or Barn For Your Pets

Building an outdoor house for your pets is necessary but optional in some cases. We are saying so because it depends on the type of animal you will choose. A cat can live with you in the same off-grid shelter, however, a dog will need a dedicated house.

Building a pet house also depends on the location and weather conditions. But why do you need shelter for them? These are some of the reasons you should erect a structure for your off-grid pet:

  • Provides shelter for the pet during rain, snow, heat, and any other extreme weather condition.
  • Provides a place for pets to rest or sleep at night. Like human beings, animals also need a comfortable place to lay their heads.
  • Provides security for your pets. Predators and other wild animals can harm your pet, and you are responsible for the pet’s safety.

Learn How to Make Pet Food

Your pets are also animals with specific foods. If it is your first time keeping pets, you might find it challenging to feed them. That is a problem even to experienced or enthusiastic pet lovers because canned foods are limited for an off-grid lifestyle.

The food you will provide for your pet depends on the type of animal you keep. It is crucial to first consult a veterinary officer about the appropriate food to formulate a feeding plan. Remember, proper feeding equates to good health.

Having proper pet food will make it grow healthy, happy, and attractive.

Power System To Keep Your House Warm During The Winter

Temperature can get really low during winter. Pets cannot depend only on their fur, feathers, or scales to shield them from these cold conditions. Supplementing it with a source of heat to keep them warm will go a long way in making your pet happy.

Pets are treated as part of the family. When you stay indoors or light a fire to warm yourself, you need to extend the same to them. Warmth or right temperature will promote their health and make them active.

If your off-grid home has enough electricity during winter, then you can buy heating bulbs. Otherwise, think of lighting a fire or any other viable option.

Medical Care

Like human beings, pets or animals are also attacked by diseases. If you value your pets, then their health should be a top priority. Novice keepers might not know the prevalent diseases and medication, but it is time for you to learn the basics.

Consult with a vet about vaccination programs for your specific pet. Ensure you follow that schedule and call a vet or take your pet for treatment when it requires medical attention. There are also local remedies that you can learn to keep your off-grid pet healthy.

A healthy pet is stress-free and very active. That is what you should admire and wish for the animal.

The following table shows common diseases in dogs and cats. If you have other animals as pets, then find out the disease prevalent for that species.  

1.   Skin Allergies1.    Bladder or Urinary Tract Disease
2.   Ear Infection2.    Periodontitis/Dental Disease
3.   Non-Cancerous Skin Mass3.    Chronic Kidney Disease
4.   Skin Infection4.    Vomiting/Upset Stomach
5.   Arthritis5.    Excessive Thyroid Hormone
6.   Vomiting/Upset Stomach6.    Diarrhea/Intestinal Upset
7.   Periodontitis/Dental Disease7.    Diabetes
8.   Diarrhea/ Intestinal Upset8.    Inflammatory Bowel Disease
9.    Bladder or Urinary Tract Infection9.    Upper Respiratory Infection
10.  Soft Tissue Trauma (Bruise or Contusion)10.   Lymphoma
Some common pets diseases

Learn a Little First Aid

Apart from diseases, some injuries might affect your pet. It can be attacked by predators, fall from an elevated surface, or be knocked by a falling object. Whichever the case, you should know how you can handle it before the vet arrives.

First aid helps keep the pet stable. Know how to handle your pet in case of the following emergencies:

  • Poisoning/Exposure to Toxins
  • Seizures
  • Fractures
  • Bleeding (External)
  • Bleeding (Internal)
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Heatstroke
  • Shock
  • Pet is Not Breathing
  • Pet has No Heartbeat

These conditions are common, and if left unattended for long, can be fatal. Learn how to respond to the situations above and save your pet. It might take time to seek professional help when living off the grid.

Plan Your Pets Caring Routine

Plan Your Pets Caring Routine
Plan Your Pets Caring Routine

Caring for a pet should be part of your daily routine. Unlike human beings, pets cannot think about what to do about grooming and other recurrent tasks. Plan when to take it for a walk, trim its nails, clip overgrown hair, and even wash it.

These routine activities help you bond with your pet and keep it happy all year round. You should not see it as a burden to care for your animal companion.

Top 7 Animals For Off-Grid Living

There are many animals you can choose as a pet for your off-grid lifestyle. It is just a matter of personal preference. Here is our list:


Dogs are perfect for off-grid pets
Dogs are perfect for off-grid pets

Dogs are the best choice for security, exercise, and company. There are different breeds of dogs you can choose as off-grid living pets. On the list, you can think of terriers, German shepherds, mutts, Australian shepherds, etc.

The appearance and price of your dog depend on the particular breed you have chosen. The cost of buying a puppy can range from $500 to $1,500. That depends on factors such as breed and age. There are other puppies priced over $5,000.

The total cost of acquiring a dog can escalate when you consider other things such as vaccines and shipment, but it is a worthy investment.


Cats are ideal pets for off-grid living because they require less maintenance. They are less prone to parasites and disease than dogs, but you still have to care for them. In addition, cats are more independent, feeding on possible pests around the home.

The appearance and size of your cat will also depend on the cat breed of choice. On the list, we have Devon Rex, Abyssinian Cats, Sphynx cats, Scottish Fold Cats, American Shorthair cats, Maine Coon cats, etc. You can also consider Persian cats for their pure white fur.

Unlike dogs, cats are cheaper to adopt and maintain. A kitten goes for an amount between $0-$300. Of course, you pay nothing if you can get a cat from a friend or relative.

Ornamental Birds

Apart from the chicken you can keep for meat and egg, there are ornamental birds you can have as off-grid pets. In a way, these birds can give you company and boost your mood when playing with them. Seeing them is also satisfying.

As is with other animals mentioned on this list, ornamental birds have different feather colors, body sizes, and adoption costs. White Peacocks, Parakeets, cockatiel, Finch, Lovebird, Dove, Hyacinth Macaw, African gray parrot, Cockatoo, and Parrotlet are some of the pet birds to keep.

The cost of adopting these ornamental birds varies widely depending on the specific bird. For example, a rainbow Finch trades at about $400 and a White Peacock at $1,000. Hyacinth macaw is priced at around $40,000.


Chicken is a meat or egg bird, but there are some breeds you can keep as an off-grid pet. These come in all colors, sizes, and appearance. Some of the most common pet chicken include silkies, speckled Sussex, Wyandotte, Easter eggers, etc.

The cost of chicken pets varies from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. For example, Ayam Cenemi is considered the most expensive chicken, priced at about $2,500. It is commonly found in the DRC but can be shipped worldwide.

If you cannot afford the chicken pets, then keep your usual birds in the backyard as pets.


Rabbits are just as cuddly, playful, and attractive as dogs and cats. You can keep rabbits as pets, but we have also seen some off-gridders keeping them solely for food. Like dogs, rabbits also require high maintenance and daily care to grow healthier and disease-free.

Different breeds of rabbits have varying characteristics. Some will easily cuddle with you, while others will simply move away when you approach them. On our list of best rabbit breeds for a pet, we have Mini Rex, Holland Lop, Dutch Lop, Dwarf Hotot, Mini Lop, just to mention a few.

The cost of rabbits varies from breed to breed and store to store. You can expect to pay $20-$40 at a pet store and $5-$20 if you source the same from a rescue center. Some pet stores can charge as high as $100 for a rabbit.

Saltwater or Freshwater Fish

Making your own aquarium can be self-fulfilling. You can keep different fish breeds or specialize in a particular fish. You also have the option of choosing between freshwater and saltwater fish.

You can choose Koi, Common goldfish, comet, oranda, fantail, shubunkin, telescope, black moor, among others. It is not difficult to maintain fish apart from feeding and supply of oxygen.  

Acquiring a fish can cost you somewhere between $1-$20 per fish, depending on the species. The additional cost will be for setting up an environment. A 20-gallon tank complete with everything is likely to cost $200.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Depending on your preference, you choose any reptile or amphibian to be your off-grid pet. You only need to remember that some of these reptiles can be very poisonous. Caution should be taken for such animals.

Buying a lizard will cost you about $15-$150. Most pet reptiles and amphibians cost under $100 to acquire. Additional costs will also be incurred in setting up their environment.

Notes About Keeping Animals As Pets When Off The Grid

Determine what kind of pet: If you have never had a pet before, the first thing you need to do is determine what type of pet you want to keep. Compare the benefits and disadvantages. Also, weigh the adoption and maintenance costs.

Connect to the place where you will live off-grid, consider which pet is suitable for that place. Consider factors such as geographic location, climate, and other animals around. You need to find a pet animal that will adapt to the new environment.

Personal Thinking

I have a pug. I want an extra pet. Then I will have two pets. You know, I think my dog would be happier if it had other friends to play with.

Should consider the pet-friendly characteristics. Not all pets are friendly with other pets.

They can search for “do [X] gets along with [Y],” where X is your current pet, Y is the one you want. You do not want to bring enemies to your off-grid home.


Having a pet on an off-grid life is not the same as keeping a pet in the city or suburbs, but he is still your best friend. You only have to feed it, provide medication, and carry out routine activities. With all that, you should have a healthy and happy pet.

As always, thank you for caring for Em Offgrid in your life! If you are reading this article of ours, thank you, and we hope you have found the information useful.