Essential Supplies for Your Dog’s Emergency Kit

Mountain dog wearing hiking boots sitting next to backpack

For dog owners, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. An emergency dog backpack is a portable kit that contains supplies for your dog in case of an emergency.

It includes necessities like food, water, and first aid supplies, as well as dog-specific items like bowls, leashes, and toys for comfort. Be prepared to protect and care for your furry friend when it matters most.

1. Bottled Water

A white bull terrier puppy with an eye patch playing with a pool full of water bottles

Water is a fundamental necessity for all living beings, including dogs. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues for dogs such as kidney problems and heatstroke. During emergencies, access to clean drinking water might be compromised. Hence, packing bottled water in your dog’s emergency backpack is crucial. The bottled water should be stored in a cool and dark place to maintain its quality.

The amount of water to pack depends on your dog’s size, breed, and health condition. A general guideline is that dogs need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

Therefore, for a 72-hour emergency period, a 30-pound dog would need roughly one gallon of water. It’s always better to overestimate the amount of water you might need.

2. Food Supply

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Food is another essential item in your emergency dog backpack. During stressful situations, your dog may burn more calories than usual. Thus, having enough food to meet their nutritional requirements is vital.

The food should be something familiar to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach during an already stressful time.

Consider packing dry kibble as it’s lightweight and easy to store. You can also include canned food, but remember to pack a manual can opener too.

As for the quantity, pack enough food for at least three days based on your dog’s regular diet. Remember to rotate the food in the backpack every few months to keep it fresh.

3. Collapsible Food and Water Bowls

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Collapsible bowls are lightweight, portable, and easy to clean – making them a perfect addition to an emergency kit.They provide a familiar way for your dog to eat and drink, which can help reduce their stress levels during an emergency.

When choosing collapsible bowls, opt for ones made from durable, non-toxic materials. They should be easy to clean and dry quickly to prevent the growth of bacteria. The size of the bowl should also be appropriate for your dog’s size.

4. Blankets

cute small jack russell dog sitting on bed, covered with a grey blanket. Resting at home. Pets indoors

Blankets can provide warmth and comfort to your furry friend during stressful situations. They can also serve as a makeshift bed in unfamiliar environments, helping your pet get restful sleep.

Choose a lightweight yet warm blanket that is easy to fold and pack. It should be machine washable for easy cleaning. If possible, the blanket should have your scent on it, as this can help calm your dog.

5. Medicine

man offering tablet to dog. Pet health care, veterinary drugs and treatments concept. Selective focus.

If your dog takes medication regularly, it’s essential to include an extra supply in your dog’s emergency backpack.

Unexpected circumstances may prevent you from accessing your regular supply, so having a backup can be life-saving.

Include any prescription medications your dog takes regularly. Also, consider including basic over-the-counter remedies like anti-diarrheal medication or antihistamines for allergic reactions.

Always consult with your vet about what medicines would be beneficial in your dog’s emergency kit.

6. First Aid Kit

First-Aid kit is an important part of safety in emergancy situations

A first aid kit is a must-have in any emergency dog backpack. Accidents can happen, and immediate access to first aid supplies can prevent injuries from worsening.

A good first aid kit can help you address minor injuries and stabilize your dog until you can reach veterinary care.

A canine first aid kit should include bandages, tweezers, a digital thermometer, antiseptic wipes, a pet-safe antibiotic ointment, and a first aid manual.

You may also want to pack a muzzle – even the gentlest dogs may bite when they’re scared or in pain.

7. Collar With ID Tag

Jack Russell Terrier dog smiling looking in camera

In chaotic situations, there’s a risk that you and your pet may get separated.

An ID tag on your dog’s collar provides vital information that can help reunite you with your dog.

It’s a small item that can make a huge difference.

Include your dog’s name, your phone number, and any urgent medical needs. If space allows, consider adding an alternate phone number or your address.

8. Harness Or Leash

Various angles of a Saint Bernard Puppy

A sturdy leash or harness is crucial for keeping your dog safe and close by during an emergency.

It can help guide them through unfamiliar environments and prevent them from running off in fear or confusion.

When selecting a leash or harness, durability and comfort are key.

The material should be strong enough to withstand a good deal of force if your dog pulls, and it should also be comfortable enough for long-term wear.

Reflective features can be an advantage in low-light situations.

9. Portable Dog Food Storage

Portable food storage allows you to carry your dog’s food securely without worry of spills or spoilage.

It keeps the food fresh, dry, and easy to dispense, minimizing waste and ensuring your dog has steady access to their meals.

Choose a container that is airtight to keep the food fresh and prevent pests from getting in.

It should be sturdy, lightweight, and easy to open and close.

If possible, select a container that measures out portions – this can help ensure you’re not over or underfeeding your dog.

10. Water Purification For Dogs

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If you run out of bottled water, having a means to purify water is crucial. Just like humans, dogs can get sick from drinking contaminated water, leading to gastrointestinal upset or more serious conditions.

Water purification tablets or filters can eliminate most pathogens, making the water safe for your dog to drink.

There are several methods to purify water. Water purification tablets are a lightweight and compact solution.

Alternatively, a portable water filter designed for camping or hiking trips can filter out bacteria and protozoa. Boiling water is the most reliable method, but may not always be feasible in an emergency situation.

How Do You Carry A Dog In An Emergency?

In an emergency, if your dog is small, you can carry them in your arms or in a pet carrier. For larger dogs, a sturdy leash and harness are crucial. Always ensure that your dog is secure and close to you.

What Pack Is Good For Carrying An Injured Dog?

If your dog is injured and unable to walk, a specially designed pet emergency evacuation carrier can be used.

These carriers act like a stretcher for your dog and are designed to be comfortable and supportive.

How Do You Carry An Injured Dog Hiking?

If you’re out hiking and your dog gets injured, a sling carrier can be a good option. These carriers allow your dog to rest and recover while you continue your hike.

They’re designed to distribute your dog’s weight evenly across your back, minimizing strain.

How Do You Make An Emergency Dog Sling?

You can create a makeshift sling using a large towel or blanket. Place the material under your dog’s belly and hold the ends to lift and support them.

This method should only be used as a temporary solution until you can reach veterinary care.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.