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10 Essential Dog Bug Out Bag Items

Dog Bug Out Bag

Most people would have a very difficult time leaving man’s best friend behind in an emergency situation. An in-shape and properly trained dog should be able to keep up with you and your party as you seek a safe location or shelter. And since there are many advantages to having a well-trained dog with you, leaving them behind should not be an option in most survival situations. Just make sure you have a dog bug out bag with all the essentials.

A dog can provide a certain degree of protection, especially a larger dog, help keep you warm on cold nights, and offer companionship. However, if you’re planning on taking Spot with you, you’ll need to provide a bug out bag for your dog. So exactly what should you pack for your dog?

1. Saddle Bag

What you don’t want to be doing is carrying all of the emergency supplies that you need, along with all of the survival supplies your dog needs. Let’s be honest. Your dog needs to carry whatever he needs, and possibly some of the things that you need as well. The purpose of a dog saddle bag is to help distribute the bag’s weight evenly on each side of the animal. It should be waterproof, but if it’s not, be sure to bring enough plastic bags to protect the saddle bag’s individual compartments if it begins to rain.

2. Blanket for a Dog Go Bag

Dogs can handle some very inclement weather, but a blanket can provide warmth for your dog if it gets too cold. It can also be used as a doggy bed. Choose a blanket that is not only lightweight, but easy to fold up and fit into your dog’s backpack. And if the weather is not too bad, you can use it for yourself knowing the dog can get along perfectly fine without it.

3. Backpacker’s Bowls – Essential Bug Out Bag Item for a Dog

Backpacker’s bowls are not heavy and many are collapsible. They are easily stored in a dog’s saddle bag. Be sure to pack two bowls, one for food and one for water. And it’s also a good idea to pack some soap for washing them between uses. You don’t want to be putting filthy, dirty bowls into the saddle bag.

4. Freeze Dried Dog Food

Your bug out bag should contain enough freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food to last for at least 72 hours. And ditto for the dog backpack. Traditional canned dog food or dry food weighs more and takes up more space than freeze dried dog food. Your dog may be used to eating canned food or dry food, and suddenly switching to freeze-dried could upset a sensitive stomach.

Search for brands that are made for sensitive stomachs, assuming it’s a brand that your dog isn’t used to. Another option would be to feed the dog some survival food now and then to get a feel for whether or not it will cause an upset stomach in an emergency situation.

5. Water Purification Tablets

Water is the most important item in any survival pack, so bringing water purification tablets is just as important for your dog as it is for you. The tablets will help purify your dog’s water, making it perfectly safe to drink.

Water is heavy, so it’s not a good idea to put too many water bottles into a dog backpack. And if you’ve already got a good water filter in your bug out bag, one that will filter a lot of water, you wouldn’t need to bring an extra one for the dog. But no matter what you decide, just remember, clean drinking water is a must-have item in a survival situation.

6. Extra Leash

If you had but one dog leash, and it was lost or damaged, it could become very difficult to keep you dog controlled or from running off. Having an extra leash is always a good idea, and it won’t take up much room in the dog’s bug out bag. Be sure to bring a leash that’s durable and not one of the thin collapsible leads.

7. Dog Medicine

Bring along some type of flea and tick medication, a monthly dosage of heartworm medicine, as well as any medication your dog takes regularly. If your dog has been prescribed specific medications, be sure to pack what it will need for a 72-hour time period. Pack even more if there is enough room for it.

8. Dog Tags and Collar

If at all possible, bring along an extra set of dog tags and an extra collar. The dog tags need to include your name and phone, along with any relevant vaccination information. If your dog’s original tag or collar are damaged or lost, be sure to replace them with the backups as soon as possible.

9. Familiar Toy or Article of Clothing

Treats are a great way to bring some comfort to a dog, but dog toys are another great idea. If they have a favorite toy that they enjoy playing with, bring it along. Even in an emergency situation it’s important to keep your dog happy and calm.

10. Doggy Treats Belong in a Dog’s Bug Out Bag

Everybody loves treats, even dogs. It’s always a good idea to bring along some of the comforts of home for your dog. They won’t understand that they’re in a survival situation, so providing some dog treats can make them feel more relaxed. They will also help to keep them calm and obedient.

A Well-Stocked Bug Out Bag Can Keep Your Dog Safe

Whether you’re in a rural or urban survival situation your dog can actually be an asset. But it will only be an asset if you pack their saddle bag properly. A well-stocked doggy saddle bag can keep your dog safe, calm, and happy in an emergency. One other thing to keep in mind is the total weight of the dog pack. As a general rule, most dogs can easily carry a dog backpack that weighs 10% to 12% of their body weight. Of course, this is just a guideline, and the actual amount will depend on other factors such as the breed of your dog, how fit it is, and how much energy it has.

My Recommendation for a Dog Backpack

My personal favorite is the OneTigris Dog Backpack (Dog Pack/Vest). It is made of high density cotton canvas with strong stitching, providing both comfort and durability. Adjustable straps make for a good fit and multiple zippered compartments make it easy to store and organize survival gear. As a final note, be sure to measure your dog accurately so that you’ll get one that fits perfectly.

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Dog Saddle Bag

Matt Walker

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