Planning ahead to pack your dog’s essentials is key to ensuring a safe trip for them. Pets can play an important part in reducing family stress and anxiety during an evacuation. If you are able to focus on getting to your next destination instead of looking for dog food, wondering how to give your dog water or trying to stop them from incessantly barking you BOTH will be happier.
The easiest place to store your dog’s bug-out-bag is within their carrier. Your dog’s carrier may be anything from a dog side carry bag to a metal, open-air cage. Any of these will suffice to pack your dog’s gear in. If you are uncomfortable with filling up the cage with items because you plan on placing your dog inside immediately, you can pack the following items into a backpack and place within the vicinity of the carrier for easy access. In your dog’s bug-out bag you should have the following items:
- MINIMUM 5 days of medication that your dog takes. More is better as you may not be able to access a vet for a few weeks if you are relocating.
- Medical Records (vet records, microchip papers, list of medicines, allergies)
- First aid kit (if you don’t already have one)
- Book on First Aid for Dogs (there are many options available, including a For Dummies version on Kindle)
- 6lbs of dry dog food (Toy breeds); 10-15 lbs of dry dog food (Small breeds)
- 12 cans of wet dog food (one time use, like 5.5oz cans, so you don’t have to store them for later)
- 4 liters of water (dogs need approximately 1 oz of water per pound of weight, per day; if your dog weights 15 lbs, he/she needs about half a liter per day, more on hot days)
- 2 small bowls (smaller bowls means you have more control how much they eat and drink, and how much you can afford to have accidentally spilled)
- Dog brush (for longer haired breeds)
- Calming spray for dogs; brands include NaturVet “Quiet Moments”, Doctors Foster and Smith “Comfort Zone”, NutriVet “Pet-Ease”, and Earth Heart “Canine Calm”.
- Blanket (best to have replica of your dog’s favorite, if possible)
- Dog waste bags or bag of scented garbage bin liners, absorbent paper towels (in case of an accident); newspapers to put down (if necessary)
- Quart size zip lock bag (to store waste bags and paper towels until they can be disposed)
- Bag of dog treats/dog bones
- Toys (best to have replicas of your dog’s favorite toys)
- Muzzle (to prevent barking, biting)
- Extra collar with tags, Dog Harness
Other items to consider:
- Superglue – to seal up small cuts in a pinch
- Extra flea and tick medicines
- Extra heart worm/tape worm medication
- Items for your female dog, if she goes into heat during bugout
- Prescription sedatives from your veterinarian (such as Acepromazine – reduces anxiety)
If you have a dog, you should seriously consider having a pre-determined bug-out/evacuation location (friend, family, another property etc.), as well as knowing where a local veterinarian is to that location.
If you would prefer to buy a preassembled 72-hr bag for your dog, there are several options: Ready America 77150 Small Dog Evacuation Kit w/ water bowl and pet carrier (about $60) and the Mayday 38 Piece “DogGoneIt” Kit for Dogs (about $50). Both can be found on Amazon. In the end, YOU will be the one who needs to decide what is best for your dog to ensure their happiness.
Finally, when you are assembling your dog’s bag, if you should think of something your dog might like, want or need, PUT IT IN. It is always better to have it where you can gain access to it quickly rather than having to search for it when you are trying to leave your home.
Remember, a healthy, well-fed and stress-free pet is a happy one! Also, rotate out your items as they age; food, medications, etc…
NEXT WEEK: Bug Out bag For Your Dog, Medium Breeds