You never know what a natural disaster—flood, fire, or tornado, for example—will force you and your family to evacuate your home for a few days. Naturally, your dog will evacuate with you. As part of your whole family’s emergency preparedness plan, you should have 72-hour bags—also called bug-out bags—for each family member, including your four-legged ones. Your dog’s bug-out bag should include everything he needs to last 72 hours away from home. Not sure what to include? Here are the Top 15 Things To Pack In Your Dog’s Bug-Out Bag.
15. Photo Of Your Dog
Keep a good-quality, clear, current photograph of your dog in a pocket of his 72-hour kit. If your dog becomes lost or gets separated from you, then you will have a photograph to circulate around.
14. Microchip Information
If your dog is microchipped, then you will want to keep his microchip identification number with you when you bug out. It may be important to have this information with you if you and your dog become separated.
13. Brush And Grooming Supplies
In an emergency situation, you are probably not concerned about grooming your dog to keeping him looking great, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack a brush, nail clippers, and dog shampoo in your 72-hour bag. Depending on the type of emergency that forced your evacuation, your dog may become muddy and dirty. He may have debris tangled in his fur. And he may split one of his toe nails. With the supplies in his bug-out bag, you will be able to get his coat fairly clean and free of matted fur. During your time away from home, you may have to sleep with your dog, so you will be thankful that you packed the doggie shampoo.
12. Medical Records, Vaccine Records, And Emergency Veterinarian Contact Numbers
Tuck your dog’s vaccine records and medical records into the zip-lock plastic bag to prevent it from getting wet and keep it in the 72-hour kit. If you are lucky enough to find an emergency shelter that will allow you to bring your dog in, then they may ask for proof that your pet is current on his shots. With your dog’s medical records, also include contact numbers for your veterinarian and a nearby emergency animal hospital. Don’t count on being able to retrieve this information from your cell phone. The battery may run out on your phone.
11. Doggie Clothes
Not a necessary item for all dogs, doggie clothes, such as a sweater or rain coat, may come in handy if you must brave the elements during your evacuation. Your dog can stay warm and dry, which will help him be more comfortable. It is also beneficial for you. You won’t have to deal with a wet, smelly dog.
10. Paper Towels And Wipes
Add some paper towels and moistened wipes to your dog’s 72-hour kit. With these, you will be able to do a quick cleanup on your pup if he gets dirty. You will also be equipped to clean up any messes that your dog makes if you have some paper towels handy.
9. Dog Anxiety Vest
If you are evacuated due to an emergency situation, then your dog will probably be as anxious and nervous as you. Pack a dog anxiety vest, or thunder jacket, in his bug-out bag so you have a tool to help reduce your dog’s anxiety level.
8. Pooper Scooper And Dog Waste Bags
Even in an emergency situation you need to be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your dog. Include a small pooper scooper and a full roll of dog waste bags in your dog’s bug-out bag. You may want to include a larger plastic bag to store the pooper scooper in after you use it. You can’t be guaranteed to have a place to wash it off.
You may find that you and your dog are trapped in your car for long hours or stuck in an emergency shelter. A toy or two will help your dog pass the time and keep his attention focused on something other than his unfamiliar surroundings. Be considerate of the other people in the shelter and avoid getting a squeaky toy.
Pack a lightweight, washable blanket in your dog’s 72-hour kit. The weather may be so cold that you will need to wrap your dog in the blanket. Or, you may need to put the blanket down on a hard floor to give your dog a comfy bed. A blanket can also be rigged to serve as a tent or to provide shade from the hot sun. You can buy survival blankets that pack into small pouches so they don’t take up too much room in your dog’s bag.
5. Dog First Aid Supplies
It is possible that your dog may become injured during your evacuation, so you should include a small pet first aid kit or a zip-locked bag of dog first aid supplies. Include gauze bandages and first aid tape, tweezers, scissors, blood-clotting powder, disinfectant solution, antibiotic ointment, and saline eye wash. With these items, you should be able to clean and bandage a wound until you can get your dog to a veterinarian.
Be sure to pack at least three day’s worth of your dog’s medication, if he takes any. These should be packed in a waterproof container and properly labeled. Consider including some over-the-counter medication that your dog can safely take, such as aspirin, Benadryl, and Pepcid AD.
3. Food And Water Bowls
Pick up a few portable, collapsible dog food and water bowls online or at your local pet store. There are several different styles on the market and any of them will work as long as they are lightweight and easy to clean. You should have at least two—one for food and one for water—in your dog’s bug-out bag.
2. Collar, Harness, Leash, And Tie-Out
If you are forced to evacuate your home, then you should make sure that your dog keeps his collar on and that his identification tags are on his collar. In his 72-hour kit, you should pack an extra collar, a leash, a harness, and a tie-out. You may find yourself spending a few days in an emergency shelter in an unfamiliar area. You will need to keep your dog on his leash every time you go outside. There may be a place that permits you to use a tie-out, a dog chain that screws into the ground. Don’t count on the shelter providing this. You should come prepared with a tie-out, as well as a leash and harness, in your dog’s bag.
1. Food And Water
Food and water are vital to survival. In an emergency situation, you may not have access to either of these, so it is important to be prepared. In your dog’s bug-out bag, pack enough food for three to five days in lightweight, waterproof containers. If you are packing canned dog food, then be sure to remember a can opener. Also bring along clean water to last several days. While gallon jugs of water may not fit into your dog’s 72-hour bag, you should still have these ready so you can easily grab them along with your dog’s bag.
There is a good chance that you will never need to quickly evacuate your home, but if you do, then you’ll be glad that you have prepared ahead of time for an emergency. Everything your dog needs to survive a few days away from home can be packed into a tote bag or backpack so you’re ready if a tornado, wildfire, or flood hits your area.