Family-Disaster-Dog-Lessons

Making a Bug-out Go-Bag For Your Dog

K9 Bug-Out 

Dog 72 hour Emergency Go-Bag Backpacks--List Below

Dog Bug-out and Ready Packs are emergency supplies carried in a backpack by Family Disaster Dogs. These supplies are the same as those recommended and carried by rescue workers, firefighters, military and other search team members so that they can be ready for any situations if they themselves are injured, hungry, lost, or cut off from other team members and outside. In order to survive, every team member carries a backpack with these supplies as part of their uniform.  

The benefit of your dog learning to carry this backpack is explained in several of the lessons here at Family Disaster Dogs. Every dog can carry something that would be helpful in an emergency. Don't let the size of your dog stop you from taking advantage of what help the dog can be. Dog backpacks come in all sizes. 

Not only are these supplies used by rescue workers they are recommended for us as well. I highly recommend if you do no other dog training to your dog, do at least teach them to carry extra survival gear for you. That one thing could save your life or a loved one's.


F.E.M.A.'s Ready.gov website 
suggests that we assemble the kit well in advance of an emergency. They want us to be ready because we may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with us and that we will probably not have time to search for the supplies we need or to shop for them. We may need to survive on our own after an emergency. 

This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. F.E.M.A. 2013)
I've found most of the lists for emergency supply kits follow a general rule of thumb that usually contain the same recommended items. 

I think it’s a good idea to evaluate this list based on experience, location and disaster possibilities then add items to it that might be useful for you and your environment.  

The list below is not large because it is meant to be lightweight and take up less space so you can carry food, water and a change of clothes in your backpack on your dog as well as yourself. You may have to travel several miles on foot and the weight of a backpack can become a critical aspect when you have a long way to walk. 

I recommend you carry a bag with your personal supplies and your dog carry one with dog supplies. Then you will be able to travel further and faster with your dog’s help. Several lessons are included in Family Disaster Dog Training that show you how to teach your dog to evacuate with you.

The 72 hour Bag or Kit recommended by FEMA and emergency management directors worldwide is designed for you to carry so you can walk to a safe location and survive for 3 days until help arrives.

Unless you have a very small dog or pet, such as a bird, don’t worry about having a dog crate to evacuate with unless you want to drag it along with you as you walk. Instead, a leash is more important to have, along with basic obedience training for your dog in case a leash is not available. 

Crates can be used when evacuating by vehicles but it is a very bad idea to count on using a car to go very far after a disaster. It's best if a crate could be waiting for you at your evacuation destination.

A pillow case is handy to hold cats or other small mammals during extremely frightening times because the animal cannot see what is going on, they can breath and the material is comforting like a nest. Birds can be slipped into a sock with the head out of a hole or gently covered so they do not see and get upset. 

Most animals can become very scared when people get excited by emergencies or traumatic events. It is safer to crate untrained pets and small pets, contain them or put them in a quite area away from the excitement.

If left on their own, most animals will seek shelter and come out after the excitement calms down. They will stay close to home unless they are scared away, and then most will return to a familiar location in a day or two. 

The following list of emergency supplies is not the usual list of items needed in recommended kits or 72 hour packs. I've added extra items based on my SAR and Red Cross training plus personal experience.




Family Disaster Dog 72 hour Ready Bag

Also known as a K9 Go-Bag and Bug-Out Bag, or backpack 

List of Items Needed


These items go into your dog's backpack with copies of dog Id, health record and your contact information, next of kin or emergency contact. 

You keep copies of paperwork in your own backpack too.

Waterproof everything by placing each item in its own sealed baggie even if the dog backpack is waterproof.

Items to place in Dog or Cat Bug-Out Go-Bag are as follows:

A current color photograph of you and your pet together (in case you are separated)

Food, water – 3-day supply for each pet and person
you can hang water bottles from your dog's pack or harness

Bowls - non-spill able w/lid if possible 

Collar and leash -for dogs and cats

A pair of woman's pantie hoses or stockings 
( Stockings are compact with many uses, such as a piece as a muzzle for a hurt animal, a filter to strain dirt from water, a bandage plus they can keep you warm or be used as an ace elastic bandage) 

Instead of Poop Scoop Baggies just pack some regular sandwich bags so you can use them for other purposes too. 

Treats, toy, at least 3 days worth of light weight high quality dog food. 

1 small lightweight blanket, towel, or newspaper for warmth

ID tag should always be on pet's harness or collar

Extra name tag should be on the backpack, be sure to put a nameplate on your bag too, on attached so it will not come off. With your cell phone number.

In case you can drive away in order to evacuate or bug out. Pet carrier or crate for each pet labeled with pet and owner’s information (keep near your bag).


Allergy medicine or other special medicines with instructions

Pack the items below as a Pet First Aid Kit in its own small waterproof container or baggie that will fit in the dog's packpack.

Scissors-other pocket knife
Band-aids don't stick to dog fur but a few for your friends can come in handy.
Several Gauze pads and medical cotton squares
Alcohol Wipes
Instant cold pack (to big to carry-cold mud works in a pinch)
Medical and Adhesive tape
Tweezers
1 small bar Soap
1 small tube Antiseptic cream
1 small bottle Eye drops
10-20 Cotton balls
Powder Gatorade or electrolytes
Large Tea Bags (stops bleeding)
Vet Wrap (like an ace bandage for animals and sticks to itself,very handy)
Glow lite Sticks (hang one on your dog and self at night to be seen)

Wrap some pieces of duck tape around one of the bottles for later use

Make sure to waterproof every item.

If you are in snake country put a small container or baggie with the cooking spice Adolf's  Meat Tenderizer which contains a fruit extract which neutralizes snake and spider, Scorpion types of venom. I've used it several times with rattlesnake bit dogs. 

Also pack 2 or more tubes depending on the size of your dog of Nutri-Cal Concentrated Dog Food. This a source used for sick animals that cannot eat. 1 teaspoon per 10lbs body weight will keep your dog alive after you run out of dog food. This is a good standby to have. 1 tube will keep a small dog well fed without any other food source for 4- 5 days. 

If you have room in your dog's pack Family Disaster Dogs recommends adding these items to your dog’s Go-Bag or Bug Out pack.

A compass and a map of your area

A small flashlight with extra batteries or another light source

Water Purification Tablets

12 Hour Emergency Bright Sticks

16 Hour Hand Warmer

Mylar Emergency Blanket

Extra Collar & Leash Set

Reflective Dog Vest

Rain Coat and Boots will give your dog some protection 
in a nuclear fall out as will a full 

Body rain suit for your self. in your dog's backpack.

Tie-Out leash or chain 10-15 ft long















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