How to Build a Bug Out Bag For Your Dog
As a dog owner, I find myself worrying about my pup and her well-being a lot. My husband and I make Nymeria our first priority. We ensure she has the best diet we can provide her, keep her active, and take her on every adventure we possibly can. Our dog has given us some of the best memories and has been more than just our companion and protector. She is our family. To her, we are her whole world, so we try to do everything in our power to give that back to her and keep her safe and healthy at all costs.
With the pandemic heavy on our minds, it really got my little family thinking. If a bug out situation did arise, how ready would we be? For most emergencies, you generally don't have the time to get everything you need for yourself, let alone your whole family. So we decided to get a bag together specifically for Nym, and be ready with just about everything she might need.
The 45L Smuggler Adventure Duffel Bag is one of our favorite bags from 3V Gear. The smallest size duffel actually worked perfectly for our dog's bug out bag and we were impressed by how much we could fit in it. The padded grab handle is great for when we need to grab and go, and this duffel even comes with shoulder straps to carry like a backpack for longer excursions if need be. The material is incredibly sturdy, providing water and dust protection when we have to head out into the elements and is a breeze to clean! We love the wide opening of this bag because we can clearly see the majority of the contents without having to rifle through different pockets to find what we need in the moment. This is the process I went through to create a bag for our dog.
There are many items you can use from your own med kit, but having a first aid kit specific for your dog's needs is important. We found the Me & My Dog Medical Kit which is suited for our pup and even works for us if need be. This kit is loaded with essential medical items like bandages, gauze, alcohol swabs, and even a Pet First Aid Manual. Having this in her BOB definitely provides peace of mind knowing if anything happened, we would have what we needed to take care of her quickly. We've added a few more personal medications prescribed to her by her vet as well.
WATER / WATER FILTER
Water is a necessity no matter what. Nym drinks a lot of water every day, especially when she gets over heated which doesn't take much as she is a large black dog with a thick coat. We chose to pack a light-weight water filter system so as long as we could find some water along the way, we'd have clean drinking water for her without weighing the bug out bag down with gallons of water. The Versa Flow Water Filter filters out 99.9999% of bacteria and paired with a collapsible canteen, it makes for a convenient, compact water filter system. It's as easy as filling up the canteen from the nearest water source, screwing on the Versa Flow filter, and squeezing the canteen to push out clean, safe water into her dog bowl.
Kind of a no-brainer to pack food for your pooch and storing it in a good lightweight container to ensure it stays fresh. We opted for a tight-sealed Tupperware but using zip lock bags is a great idea for space savings. Cans of Solid Gold Wet Dog Food are amazing because they stay fresh for about 2 years and have a built-in pop top can opener. We also included a bottle of her daily vitamins which are important for her health and they have a long shelf life as well.
HARNESS WITH POUCHES
What's great about the ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness we have for Nym is she has the ability to pack some of her own supplies herself. We attached a 3V Gear Sidekick MOLLE Utility Pouch to each side of her harness and store items like her med supplies, dog food, treats, and more. The harness is adjustable and comfortable for her to wear for long periods of time. It also features several Velcro strips like the one at the chest for a name tag or the long strip at her back where her collapsible bowls can Velcro right to it. We pack a leash to connect to the sturdy metal v-ring on the vest as well.
COLLAPSIBLE FOOD & WATER DISHES
These collapsible dog bowls have been a game changer. They are made from BPA free silicone so they're easy to wash and extremely durable. Two bowls come in one convenient carrying case that zips up to save space in the bug out bag. Our favorite feature is that the bottom of each bowl has a Velcro strip which can be removed from the case and attached onto her Velcro harness so she can carry her bowls herself.
WATERPROOF DOG BOOTIES
We've had to find out the hard way that our pup has sensitive feet. We once took her on a four mile hike with nothing to guard her paws and it left her pads raw and peeling. Now we make sure to put on her Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots and have had a set in her bug out bag ever since. They're non-slip, easy to put on and take off, waterproof, and even reflective for better visibility at night. These booties can handle all types of terrain and harsh weather. In case something happens to her booties where she is unable to wear them, or may not need them, there is PawTection. This great little healing balm comes in a deodorant type container where you can twist the bottom and easily apply to keep your dog's paws protected outdoors.
FLEA & TICK PREVENTION
The Primova adjustable collar protects our dog against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, larvae and lice. We live in Utah and if we were in a bug out situation, we would want to head to the mountains where ticks are heavily concentrated. Nymeria has unfortunately had a few of these terrible blood suckers on her before and Lyme disease was a big worry for us. Know what else? This collar is waterproof, made from all natural ingredients, fits in a small compact tin and even comes with a flea comb.
Including a waterproof rain jacket for your pet may be a little over the top but trying to towel dry off a 105 pound Rottweiler after pouring rain, might not fit into our timeline during a pandemic. Not to mention if we have to bug out on foot, having a jacket for her would be a benefit in colder conditions.
We're the type of dog parents that have nice, comfortable dog beds for Nymeria. But for a bug out bag, trying to stuff a dog bed in is neither ideal, nor practical. I chose to include a lightweight blanket for her to have something soft to rest on and also keep her warm.
Having these items might not seem like essentials but as a pet owner, they are still important wherever we settle when the panic dies down. We included nail clippers, a glove brush (takes up less room than a normal brush), pet wipes, toothbrush and dog approved toothpaste.
TOYS & TREATS
Believe it or not, a disaster scenario will put a lot of stress on your pets too, and having things like treats and toys will help to put them at ease. Nymeria's favorite toy is a rubber KONG Classic Toy. You can stuff this thing full of treats to keep your pup entertained for hours. It's great for long car rides, mental stimulation, anxiety, teething and more. KONG also offers durable plush toys that can stand up to tough chewers and tug-of-war. In stressful situations, your dog should have a few comfort items to calm them and make them feel better during and after the emergency is over.
Doggie poop bags are not on the top of the list but still not a bad idea to include. These little bags can stow away easily in the front zipper pocket of our 3V Gear duffel bag for quick access and even comes with bag dispenser.
Including items like an extra collar with dogs tags that have information like your dog's name, address, your phone number is important as well. Records like vaccines or a list of medications she is on and a recent photo in case she goes missing.
We created this entire pack with Nymeria in mind and how to keep her safe and healthy during a crisis. Your dog or cat bug out bag may be different and more specific to their needs, which is how it should be! Let us know if there's anything you think we might have missed or what you would choose for your pet's emergency bag.
You can even follow Nymeria's adventures on Instagram @nomadnymi.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tess is the Marketing Coordinator at 3V Gear and is always looking for the next adventure to take her lovable Rottweiler on. Her dream vacation is to visit Norway where her ancestors come from and hopefully live in Hawaii someday. She loves reading, writing, cross stitch, and playing video games. She is currently building a tiny home with her husband and plans to move in this summer. Nym, her 100 pound Rottweiler, will of course be moving in too.