Just as you hopefully have at least a minimal emergency kit for yourself (such as a 72-hour kit in your vehicle, a bug-out-bag or get-home-bag for ‘just in case’), do you have one for your pet dog? A dog bug out bag kit? An emergency survival kit for your dog?
There are several situations to consider. Among them is sudden evacuation from your home. Another is a longer-term ‘shelter in place’ at home whereby you have to rely on the supplies that you have on hand. In any event, you should consider keeping some emergency essential supplies for your pet dog.
Here are some items to consider keeping at the ready for an emergency kit for your dog:
Enough Dog Food – For Bug Out Bag Kit, Or, For Stay At Home
First, a note… When I refer to a “bug out bag”, I don’t necessarily mean a single ‘bag’. It’s just a term commonly used among the preparedness community. In my view, it broadly references having a set of supplies readily accessible to take with you if you have to go.
What kind of food do you feed your dog? Canned food? Dry food? Both? Anyway, our mini-Dachshund eats both. He’s on a special diet, special food. In fact it requires a veterinarian prescription ($Cha-$Ching…goes the cash register). He eats a combination of canned and dry.
I always keep plenty on hand. Especially given today’s sporadic supply chain problems and shortages, one never knows how long it might take to get this food! Plus, it’s just embedded in my lifestyle to have more than ‘just enough’ on hand…
If I had to bug in, or bug out, I know that I have enough. The quantity to keep on hand would depend on the hypothetical circumstances, and your own threshold tolerance whereby you feel comfortable with the quantity.
It’s not rocket science. The simple point here is not to forget your dog when it comes to acquiring extra food for ‘just in case’.
Don’t forget to include a food bowl for your dog bug out bag kit of ‘stuff’.
We purchased the following collapsible style bowls for our dog’s food and/or water. It’s not his primary food / water bowl for at home, but we have several. For the truck, for his bike pet trailer, going on a long walk (though he’s older now and doesn’t walk all that far these days).
They make small and large sizes:
Silicon Collapsible Dog Bowls
(view on amzn)
Oh, I mentioned the bike pet trailer… It’s awesome! Sampson loves it. Although we don’t plan on bugging out on a bicycle, we simply use it for taking him along on bike rides. This is the one we have…
Water For Your Dog
While I recommend that you always have some water in your vehicle (water bottles, a jug,) – you could simply share some with your pet. Therefore, be sure that you have enough for all of you. Like I just mentioned, we keep a collapsible water bowl for our dog to drink water (space saving).
The same with your own personal readiness and preparedness, an important essential is a drinking water filter. A good one for home (e.g. Berkey Counter-top), and a good portable drinking water filter for your vehicle, bug out bag kit, emergency kit, etc..
Speaking of water, here’s Sampson lounging on my lap at a beach in Maine several years ago during a summer vacation:
Collar or Harness With ID Tag, Leash
Your dog may already be wearing a collar, but does it also have an ID Tag on it? Maybe one with your cell phone number on it (and the dog’s name)?
You probably have a leash at home, but do you also keep one in your vehicle and/or in your dog bug out bag emergency supplies? If your pet gets lost or separated, a collar tag may bring you back together… What about a rabies vaccination tag?
Our mini-Dachshund received one of those ID implants a long time ago. That would work too…although can only be read by a vet with a special wand (which most all of them have).
A Picture Of You And Your Pet Together
A picture of you with your pet will help document / verify ownership, and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Point being, and you probably already have this, just keep some pictures of your dog on your phone.
Records & Medicines
Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet may be taking on a regular basis (heart-worm pills, flea & tick prevention, etc..) in a waterproof containment (e.g. Ziploc).
Keep the phone number of your vet – just in case. Add it to your phone contacts.
Make a copy of vaccination records (Rabies) which are usually required if you stay at a pet-friendly motel (on your way during a bug out evacuation, for example). I keep a copy in the truck.
Crate, Pet Carrier, Pet Bed
If applicable for your dog who may be crate trained, don’t forget to take it with you for your pet’s ‘safe place’ while in a different environment. If your dog has his own pet bed, take it too. We keep a separate ‘dog bed’ in the truck. It sits on the console between us where Sampson peers over the dashboard ;)
Our dog has a number of his own blankets. Actually, quite a few numbers of blankets :) Most of them fleece. Again, we keep one in the truck too. On a trip this will provide comfort and warmth if they need it.
Outerwear? (Yes, really…at least for mine)
Okay, I know, not every dog wears a sweater or jacket… Ours does during the cold months because he doesn’t have much of a natural coat to keep him warm! Our little mini-Dachshund has very short hair and is often affected by the c-c-cold. Therefore we have a variety of coats and sweaters for his comfort. He’s always seemingly under a blanket or pillow or something…
(when we moved to NH, he didn’t quite know what to make of these ‘white walls’ during the winter!)
Dog Duty Bags. Again, you may have these at home – depending on how you deal with ‘the situation’. But keep extra in the bug out bag or vehicle. We always have plenty on hand and in storage. This is what we use:
Toys, Familiar Items
Toys. Chew bones. Ropes. You know the things your pet likes to play with. These personal toys will help reduce stress for your pet if they’re away from their home environment.
(Sampson likes this sock…or what’s left of it…)
The idea here is this… If you have to leave suddenly (or even on a planned trip – vacation?), your pet will be more stressed than at home. Just plan ahead for what you might need for them. Some pets travel better than others. Only you will know what your own pet really needs. Just spend a little time and think about it. Become better prepared (for them).
I can’t believe he’s almost 13 years already.
Here are two pictures when he was a puppy at 3 months:
Sorry, I can’t resist adding a few more pictures of our beloved dog…
On a Southwest Florida beach:
He’s not really one for swimming or the water, but he didn’t seem to mind those particular warm waters…
In a parking lot napping in the truck while waiting for Mrs.J…
Well, as you can see, I love my dog, as I’m sure you do yours. They are an extra special part of our daily lives. Unfortunately they have just a short time with us on this earth. Fingers crossed with Sampson that he has more time with us. In any event, if you love your dog, don’t forget about their needs when it comes to your preparedness.