Paws up! Having an emergency kit for any situation is a very smart idea, but it is also important to keep one for any pets you may have. This blog post is a simple list of 25 things you may need for an emergency to help keep not only yourself but your dogs safe and prepared. This is a basic list but based on how many pets you have, you may need to make sure you have ample amounts of supplies to take care of multiple pets.
1. A sturdy backpack or a duffle bag
For obvious reasons, it would be smart to put everything you may need into a bag dedicated to your dogs emergency kit.
2. A pet first aid book
You can find dog-specific first aid books at any bookstore or at any local pet store that can help outline what to do in dire situations. This can be especially helpful if your dog is injured and you don’t know how to treat or handle wounds.
3. A first aid kit
A basic first aid kit is essential to being able to help treat your dogs if they are injured, and many basic kits are sold at outdoor sporting stores and even in some pet stores.
4. An extra collar
If you find yourself having to leave your house immediately or your dog loses its collar, it’s smart to have an extra collar on hand, just so that you can keep track of your dog.
5. An extra leash
Having an extra leash correlates with number 4 (and 6), in that having an extra leash in case you can’t grab one from your house or the one you have broke. In emergency situations, you will need to be able to keep track of your pet and be able to control where they are and where they go.
6. A Rope
A rope is always a great idea because it can be used for many things, not just for your dog. But staying specific to dogs, you can use ropes to tether animals to trees so they don’t run away, and/or can be used as a leash if you can’t find one.
7. Dog food to last a few days
Dog food is essential to have prepared so that your dog can survive if you can’t make it to a store, or can’t obtain dog food for a period of time. A dry kibble is a great option since it can be vacuum sealed or put into large gallon bags. Another measure of safety is to actually measure out how much dog food you can take with you so you know how many days it will be until you absolutely need to find dog food again.
8. Water bottles (filled with water)
Either reusable bottles filled with water, emergency water pouches, or plastic water bottles are a must!! Dog’s can survive without food (like humans) for a few days but absolutely need water. this is the most important resource you can bring, so bring as much as you can.
9. A collapsible bowl
A collapsible bowl is smart to help divvy out food to your dog, as well as create a safe and clean area for your dog to drink water from.
10. Booties for all four feet
Dogs paws are very sensitive and need to be taken care of. Make sure the booties fit your dog before putting them into the emergency kit.
11. A dog-specific lotion or a salve
If your dog does not have booties or has dry feet, a dog lotion or salve is important to keeping your dogs' paws healthy and feeling good (especially when they need to make long treks).
12. Wet wipes
Wet wipes can be helpful in keeping your dog clean, just make sure whatever wipes you bring, they are not overly scented (hypoallergenic wipes are best).
13. An anti-itch spray
If your dog gets bitten by a bug/insect or they rub up onto something poisonous, it’s always a great idea to have a dog-specific anti-itch spray to help soothe any pain or discomfort they might be experiencing.
14. Contact solution (saline solution)
A very weird suggestion (we know), is having contact solution in your dogs kit. Most contact solutions are simply a saline solution that can act as a good irrigator in the case that your dog gets wounded. Plus most contact solution bottles are a convenient size and the solution comes out with precision and ease.
15. Poop bags
Always be considerate when your dog poops! Especially in areas where there may be large amounts of people. Poop bags are very easy to bring along since they usually can be bought in compact rolls that are easily discardable.
16. A whistle
If your dog reacts to a whistle, this is always handy. Even if he/she doesn't do a come command on a whistle blast, you can still call your dogs name, blow the whistle and lay on the ground. Your dog will want to come investigate. If your dog does not react to a whistle, it’s still a great idea so that you may be able to get the attention other people or communicate through distances with others.
17. An extra carabiner (or metal leash clip)
Carabiners are great to have to help tie ropes to, make make-shift collars and to hook things together. There is always a use for a carabiner!
18. A couple of old shirts, or dog shirts
You can buy t-shirts made for dogs or you can use old shirts in your dog kit. The shirts can come in handy by keeping dogs warm or even be used as a bandage.
19. A washcloth and towel
Whether you need to dry your dog (or yourself) off, clean a wound, or use them as a dog bed, washcloths and towels can be very useful!
20. Black trash bags
Black trash bags are usually bigger than regular trash bags and can be used as tarps, ponchos, or simply as trash bags.
21. Basic grooming tools (comb (or brush), nail cutter, soft brush, toothbrush, dog-safe toothpaste)
If your dog’s hair gets tangled/matted, it’s smart to bring a comb. Nail cutters are very useful and help keep your dogs' nails short, which in turn can help their paws so that they don’t scrape or get pulled. A dog toothbrush and toothpaste is great to have to help keep up with their oral health care so that they don’t contract any oral diseases.
This suggestions is not dog-specific, but smart in the case that you need to heat up an enclosed area, or to use as a light source (you could also pack a compact flashlight if you have space in your dog kit).
23. Plastic baggies
There are so many uses for plastic baggies! You can store food, water, and resources in them. The list is endless on what you can do with plastic baggies, so bring what you can!
24. Wax-dipped matches (waterproof matches)
Wax-dipped matches are great to have just in case they get wet, or you're in a wet area. They will still light even when wet, and are easy to make.
25. Sticky notes and a pen
Sticky notes and a pen are a great idea just in case you need to leave someone a note, or a way to contact you. Especially if you don’t have access to a phone and need to change areas.
Please be sure to check out our video on YouTube for more tips regarding an essential emergency dog kit (link and video below)! Your dogs will thank you for it, and you’ll feel better for having it. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog and YouTube videos that are released every Monday morning MST!