You want to be prepared to guide your family to safety if you need to bug out, but sometimes pets are family too. If you have a dog that never leaves your side, you need to plan for how to bring it along if you need to get away fast.
Since dogs are the most likely pet you’ll take with you, this guide focuses on what you should do to prepare moving them out.
Bug Out Bag
If you have a large dog, there are dog bug out bags they can wear that enables them to carry some — or all — of the weight of their own supplies. This is preferable for large breed dogs, as they can support more weight. It’s recommended trying this pack out on your dog well in advance to ensure that your dog can handle the weight.
Take your dog to the mountains or the park with the bag at a weight you plan to have him or her to practice carrying it in the event of an emergency.
Preppers are recommended to have a of 72-hour supply of food. In preparing your pet for the bug out, have the same amount. If your dog will help by packing things around, add a little extra.
Throwing in some favorite snacks is a nice addition, too. It’s good for animals to have their spirits lifted as well in these situations.
While you need to pack some water for your dog, they won’t require the same amount you do. Preppers need around 3 gallons of water for drinking, hygiene, cooking, and cleaning.
Pack a liter of water for the dog (same as a human) and make sure you have a filter in your pack to filter or disinfect water along the way.
Dogs are generally healthy if they’re well taken care of. If you have an older dog, they may be on medications that need to be packed as well. Be sure to take a simple first aid kit for your dog. Also, if you’ll be traveling on rough terrain in a bug out, you need to make sure your dog’s paws are healthy because like humans, if the feet go out, they won’t be able to go any further.
If there any sharp edges along the way, there are dog shoes that protect their feet. Check pet supply stores for quality paw protection gear.
Leash and Collar
Yes, this is an obvious choice, but it’s recommended to have a nylon 6 or 10-foot leash instead of a retractable leash. This is a good type of leash to have while hiking through the woods or when the dog wants to do his/her business.
You’ll want something simpler, stronger, and less prone to breaking; that is a nylon leash. A 10-foot leash will allow the dog to walk in front of you a little further, which eases fatigue when going over terrain.
If you’re trying to keep quiet and don’t want the jingling of metal on metal from your dog’s tags on its collar, tape the noisy parts of the collar together so it doesn’t make noise. Another alternative is to remove the noisy parts of the collar and keep in the dog bug out bag.
No matter how you decide to prepare your dog for a long bug out trip, be sure to talk with a veterinarian experienced in hiking and camping with animals before you try it. Dogs require constant attention to remina in good health, so be sure you’re ready to provide what they need.