Natural disasters are no laughing matter, and when faced with one, you are often left with only two choices: evacuate the area, or buckle down and prepare for the storm ahead. That preparation hopefully includes setting up “Bug Out Bags” for each member of your family–including of course, your dog. Unfortunately, very few people know to do this– so we have compiled a list of thirteen essential items you should include in your dog’s Bug Out Bag, and the reasons why your canine companion might need them.
What is a BOB?
A BOB, or Bug Out Bag, is any easily accessible container, ranging from a personal backpack to a suitcase, and can even be a saddle-style bag your dog can carry by itself, that holds all the basic items your dog would need in the case of an emergency. They are yet another way you can prepare for weather emergencies, such as fires and other natural disasters, and can make a huge difference in your family’s safety and comfort when circumstances are beyond your control.
What Should You Include in Your Dog’s Bug Out Bag?
To be best prepared for the aftermath of a disaster, it is recommended that you include the following list items in your canine companion’s Bug Out Bag:
An airtight, waterproof container that includes:
- A laminated sheet including your family’s name and contact information
- A color picture of you and your dog
- A list of your dog’s medications and the reasons why it’s taking them
Reason: It’s important to pack these documents in your dog’s BOB, so that if you’re ever separated from them, anyone who finds your dog will know 1. That that dog is yours 2. how to contact you, and 3. how to take care of your pet in the meantime.
Ration of the dog’s meds
Reason: Keeping a small amount of your canine’s meds in an separate, airtight pill bottle or container is a safe way to make sure that he or she has something prepared for emergencies.
Animal first aid kit
Reason: Include this so your dog will already have the items that someone would need to patch them up, in the case of an injury.
A roll of vet wrap
Reason: Vet wrap is a lightweight, sticky bandaging tape, typically used to cover wounds on animals. Vet wrap works great on large open cuts or abrasions on your animal’s skin that need protection. While it should be included in your animal first aid kit, include it separately if necessary.
Enough food for three days and at least one gallon of water (rotated every 6 months)
Reason: We recommend packing three day’s worth of food because it offers the most food and water at the most manageable weight. It’s recommended that both dogs and humans alike get at least a gallon of water every day, so keep that in mind when deciding what to make room for. Make sure to rotate the food and water rations regularly, to keep it as fresh as possible for when you do need it.
Note: You don’t want to be caught without a can opener. If you’re packing canned dog food, remember to only buy cans with pull tabs.
Collapsible dog bowl
Reason: Space is everything when it comes to packing, so be sure to buy a collapsible dog bowl.
Flea collar and tick treatment
Reason: Even if your dog doesn’t have fleas or ticks now, they might pick some up during an emergency. Keeping these two things in your pup’s grab bag could mean the difference between your dog being comfortable and not.
Reason: Brushing your pooch’s fur at the end of each day can have a major impact on your dog’s health in limited conditions. Not only are you helping your dog keep a clean and healthy coat, but you’re also getting the chance to find ticks, fleas, cuts, and other complications early on.
Reason: A mylar blanket is probably the best way to keep your pup warm in an emergency. It is especially useful in floods or hurricanes, where keeping warm and staying dry are two of the biggest priorities.
In a disaster, traveling over flooded roadways, broken glass, and rugged terrain is a real possibility. Pack a set of these to protect your dog’s feet from both debris and the elements.
Plastic bags, paper towels, dog mess clean up
Reason: Cleaning up after your dog is just as important in the aftermath of an emergency as ever, so don’t forget these essentials when you pack. If you have to stay with friends, family, or at a shelter, it will be appreciated.
Familiar toys and treats
Reason: Emergencies are a trying time for both you and man’s best friend, so try packing a toy or two that you know will comfort your four-legged friend in their time of need.
Reason: Your scared pup might act erratic during an emergency, so it’s always a good idea to keep them on a leash. Consider muzzling your dog if you’re around others to keep it from causing any more harm to itself or others.
A Dog GO Bag Can Help Keep Your Four-Legged Friend Happy & Healthy in The Worst Emergencies
You can never know for sure when the next natural disaster will strike, but you can rest assured knowing that you’ve done all that you can to prepare for one. Setting up grab bags and disaster plans for each member of your family (man’s best friend included, of course!) beforehand can sometimes make the difference between surviving a natural disaster and not.
If you think you may have to stay at a hotel with your dog for an extended period of time, you can also check out this guide to finding and staying in hotels with your dog.
For more information on building a GO bag for the human members of your family, check out this guide on one survivor’s ultimate 25 pound bug out bag, which is full of different items to consider bringing and the reasons why they might be useful.