We’ve always got the best and most practical kit for ourselves, but when it comes to our pets there are some needs that they have as well. This is why if you have a four-legged friend, you should be setting up a dog survival kit with the essentials that will help them, as well as help you when you need to get that survival hat on.
The ‘dog out bag’, as I like to call it, is a simple kit built for your canine so that when you are in a bugout, survival situation, or you are just going outdoors for a hike, your loyal friend can help you and have the capability to carry their own kit.
There are a number of reasons why having your dog with you is a great addition to your survival in the wild and at the top of that list of reasons is that an average dog with just a little bit of training would increase your survival exponentially. Dogs are also a paramount mode of security. Their presence alone is enough to deter potential intruders, attackers and wild animals and they are the best early warning device systems you could ever have. Their sense of sound, smell and sight would set off an alarm a lot earlier than any human would do.
The best bag to use for your dog survival kit
When you are first looking at the how and what of the dog out bag, your first thought should be about the size of your dog and what sort of size it can carry. Ideally, you don’t want to be weighing your dog down or giving it a bag that is uncomfortable. A great way to get your dog comfortable with using a doggy pack is to start off with it empty, and then slowly add weight as they get used to it.
For the pack itself, the one that I use, and quite a few other owners, is a Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack. This one gives a great fit and is well-adjustable to the dog so that when they are running around, jumping or laying, it is not going to be lopsided or falling off.
Because of the range of colours, I have found some owners wanting to use a more camouflage type of pack which isn’t available for the Mountainsmith brands. If you were after something like that, I would suggest looking at a OneTigris Dog Pack which has a range of alternative colours.
What your dog should carry in the pack
So what would you keep a your dog survival kit? When you are packing a dog out bag there’s more to it than just doggy biscuits.
For myself, I don’t have my dog carry any water as there is no point, it is just as easy for me to carry it in my camelback or any other water bladder I have in my own bug out bag. Instead, I would tend to focus more on the food, bowl, medical and any other gear.
Let’s do a breakdown of that so that we can get your best friend looking as cool as this guy:
Doggy survival food
The first thing to think about when it comes to food is whether your dog is treats or prey based. If it is prey-based, it is likely to be able to hunt for its own food. This depends largely upon the area that you live in of course, as some areas might have a little hunt for dogs than others. Whatever that case may be, you might want to look at having some spare food for your dog. If it is treats-based, there’s a good chance it is not going to hunt at all. For safekeeping, it’s best to take as much food as you can as it is pretty light.
For the food itself, I have been using a dry dog food that is able to be mixed with water. You can find this in a number of pet food stores or online.
You can also choose to use their normal dry food as it is still very light.
Collapsible dog bowl
You obviously don’t want to overpack your dog survival kit so you’re going to need to use compact items that they can carry. When I go hiking or camping, I always take two collapsible dog bowls with me, one for the water, and one for your pet’s food.
These are a big space saver for the dog bag as your primary focus is on space management so as not to give your dog an over bulky bag. Even though the collapsible bowl is a little small, I only have to fill it up again, so it saves for that reason.
Medical gear for your dog survival kit
First, if your dog is on any treatments or regular pills, you are going to want to include that in their little medical kit. For the regular additions, I added an Israeli bandage as dogs are generally pretty good at getting loose of anything you wrap them in. If there’s a wound, their reaction is to try and lick it, so something like this will keep it in place. You can also use things such as tight-wrap ACE bandages that work to a similar effect.
There are other things that might be a good idea to keep, such as:
- Betadine/antiseptic wipes
- Suflodene ointment
- Tick/flea treatment
Extras for your dog out bag
Some other things you might want to consider keeping in one of the parts of your bag is:
- Copies of records and documents such as registration and vaccination records
- A card with your name, number and the dog’s name on it (this should also be on the collar)
- A leash (if you are not already using it)
- A toy that the dog might be familiar with
Your dog survival kit is not just an end-of-the-world bag, it’s a simple solution to use for your best friend to carry what they need in their backpack when you go outdoors, hiking or camping. Personally, I like hiking and camping and taking my dog is always a big part of that.
Give the dog out bag a go. It is not a hindrance to their movement and is a very practical item.