In preparing our families for an emergency, we can’t forget the four legged family members. Pets need to be included in your emergency plans. Having their own emergency kit of essential items ready to go is an easy way to have your pets ready to evacuate if you ever need to. Today we’re going to get your dog ready to evacuate in an emergency. You can buy a pre-made dog survival kit, but it’s pretty easy (and less expensive) to put together your own. That way you know you have your dog’s favorite products and you’re not paying for things they won’t use or don’t need.
So what does a dog need in his emergency kit?
1. Water. You can include bottled water, emergency water pouches, or water purification tablets. Remember with the purification tablets that dogs regularly drink from streams and other “unclean” water sources and don’t get sick, so unless you’re experiencing some unusual level of contamination during your evacuation, you won’t need to purify water for your pets. Water bottles would work well so you could use just the amount you need and if a bottle is emptied it could be refilled with lake or stream water for your dog to drink.
2. Food. Just like people, dogs can go quite a long time without eating and still live. They just wouldn’t be happy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need my dog staring at me with those eyes (you dog owners know what I’m talking about) while I’m trying to deal with everybody else’s needs.
If you want to get fancy, you can purchase packs of emergency dog food or freeze dried dog food. For a less expensive option, you can pack up some of the dog food you already have at the house in a baggie or plastic leftovers type food dish. Rotate this supply out with each new bag of dog food you buy to keep it fresh. You can also prolong the shelf life by vacuum sealing the food portions. Pack enough food for 2-3 days or enough to get you to your bug out location.
3. Bowls. In a pinch, the food can go on the ground, but the dog’s water will need some type of container. They aren’t very good at using a straw or even sipping from a bottle! You can use a couple of leftover containers for this. Stack them together and use the food dish container to hold some of the dog food to save some space. You can also purchase collapsible dog bowls. These are super handy because they pack down small and don’t weigh much, yet you have food and water dishes when you need them.
4. Restraint. You’ll want a leash, some way to tie your dog off (rope, cord, or cable tie out), and possibly a crate or kennel. This depends on your dog’s behavior and where you will be traveling to and through.
5. Medical needs. Most dog first aid can be treated with your human first aid kit. However, if your dog is on some type of prescription meds you’ll want to include those in his kit. You may also want to add in some extra wide gauze rolls and vet wrap so you’re not using all your bandages on your dog’s injury. Vet wrap comes in different widths and can be picked up at your local farm/ranch store.
6. Doggie doo bags. These are optional, depending on where you’re going. If you’re bugging out to the woods, just let your dog use the good old fashioned nature for doing his duty. If you’re going to a civilized area, you’ll want to clean up after him. You can get a lot of mileage from a roll of poop pick-up bags. Plus they’re not too expensive and won’t take up much room in the kit.
7. Entertainment. Pack a couple of your dog’s favorite type of toys. Tennis balls, squeaky toys, plush animals, etc. Whatever it is your dog loves, put one in his kit. Again, this is optional, but it will sure help him expend some energy and create a bit of normalcy for him with all the strange new places and people he’ll be encountering.
8. Vet records. Have your pet’s vaccination records and any other vet information handy. If you end up at a shelter, many won’t take pets without a vaccination record.
9. Container for it all. The purpose of gathering all this together is to make it easy to grab and go, so you’ll want it all in one container. Ideally you can have the dog carry his own gear in a pack like this one. You could also just put all the stuff in a duffel bag, backpack, or bucket.
Keep your dog emergency kit near your family kits and your furry family members will be ready to head out whenever you are.
Keep preparing! Angela
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Wow, I just had a conversation with my husband about this and he adamantly insisted that in an emergency at this point in our lives, all we take is the children. Now, keep in mind this is a wonderful man. He is not at all heartless, just highly pragmatic and economical. His main point is that everything that comes beyond the kids has to earn his keep or be perfectly self-sufficient, because we’ll be so engrossed with surviving and caring for three little kids (and me, who is often gimpy). I suggested that our dog would be emotional support for the kids, but that didn’t seem to be enough to earn his keep and I understand where he’s coming from. Admittedly, our dog is still a puppy and high-maintenance. I suspect things will change as our kids grow older and our dog grows older.
What are your thoughts on this, Angela? I know you guys have a lot of animals, so I’d love to hear your plan in the event of an emergency. Since we couldn’t agree on bringing the dog, we tried to think of alternatives like leaving a large supply of food and water in the house for him.
At least you have some kind of plan! We have the same thought that family comes first. And my husband would gladly leave the cat (who I’m pretty sure could fend for herself fairly well for quite some time). It really depends on the situation, where you are going, and how long you think you’ll be gone. Ideally, we’re sheltering in place and won’t have to worry about it! In an evacuation though, most of our animals would stay and be on their own. But the dogs load up fast and could provide protection along the way as well as comfort, entertainment, and normalcy for the kids. They are the first “extra” that would be loaded assuming there is room and time to get everything we need before we head out. Of course, this assumes we are NOT headed to an evacuation shelter where animals likely aren’t welcome.
Lol! My husband isn’t fond of cats either, what gives?
Thanks for detailing more of your plan! That sounds very similar to what I’d like to do. I tried to convince my husband that Buster (who is impossibly tiny) could at least alert us of some dangers, even if he couldn’t really protect us. But then I realized he’d be more likely to give us away if we were trying to hide. :)
We’ll keep discussing it, though. Thanks for the great post and response!
We have a cat and we also have a bug out bag for him. It has the same type of items in it. While the evacuation shelters will not take pets, there is often a pet shelter set up nearby by some area animal group(s). But they won’t take your pet without documentation that their shots are current, so we have included a current copy. We have also heard of owners having a hard time getting their pet back from the animal shelter without proof of ownership so we have included a picture of both of us with our cat.
In a SHTF situation, If everyone did as your husband wants to do… essentially turning your dog loose… these dogs will eventually form into marauding packs, searching for food. At that point, they will no longer be family pets, but predators, and you will no longer be their master, but prey.
Mr. Prepper says
MY DOG GOES WITH US. HE ALERTS US WHEN SOMEONE IS AROUND SO HE IS GOOD FOR SECURITY. LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF DOGS SO JUST HIS PRESENCE IS GOOD FOR US. NOT TO MENTION HE CAN HELP KEEP THE CHILDREN FROM GETTING STRESSED. OUR DOG IS PART OF OUR FAMILY AND WILL GO WITH US!
Remember. . .Some “human” over the counter medications ARE NOT SAFE for your pets. Tylenol, for example, is lethal in cats and might make your dog quite ill. Chat with your Vet about putting together a pet-safe first aid kit.
If you have a pet they must have some type of survival kit. Stray animals become a threat to people because they will need food to survive and will do what ever they can to meed their physical needs. Treat your pet like a member of the family and make sure you have some type of survival kit for him or her.
How easy it would be to overlook preparing a kit for your pooch! Thanks for the reminder.
Dogs have a shorter intestinal track and much more acidic then humans which is why they don’t often become plagued with parasites from streams and raw meats. But, even with that said, in an emergency situation water can be contaminated with chemicals and live food can be poisoned. A dog who by nature would hunt for food would only eat once every other day at best. So simple provisions is all that is need to care for them.
However, I love my dog and he will have as much as me for sure even in an emergency!
I always make sure that my two dogs food and water bowls are full before I leave the house, that way if something were to happen and I couldn’t get back for a day or two they would be okay. I can’t imagine actually bugging out without them so if I go, they go! But that’s just me, my dogs are my babies. :-)