Build Your Own Dog Car Kit for Emergencies and Everyday Use

By Sarah Hinds Friedl on September 25th, 2020

No matter if you’re loading up the dogs for a quick trip to the dog park, or putting together an emergency evacuation plan, it’s a good idea to have a dog car kit. And while there are a few dog car kits on the market, making one yourself will allow you to personalize your dog car kit for your lifestyle and region.

If you’re not sure where to start with your DIY kit, these BreezeGuard tips can help you put together the perfect list of supplies for you and your pup. 

#1: Evacuation supplies
If you live in an area with a high risk for earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires, you might already have what’s called a “Go Bag” with some pet supplies at the ready. 

But, even in areas without the threat of natural disasters, evacuations can happen as the result of gas leaks, flooding, and other non-weather related emergencies. Because evacuations can happen to anyone, having a dog car kit is useful regardless of location. 

Here are a few essential supplies that the ASPCA recommends you have in the case of an evacuation:

  • 3 days to a week’s worth of canned or dried food. Make sure that the can is easy-open since you might not have a can opener.
  • A week’s worth of bottled water specifically for your pup (evacuation guides also suggest having enough bottled water for each person for one week)
  • Food and water bowls
  • An extra collar, harness, and leash
  • A sturdy pet carrier, plus carrier liners or disposable litter trays in case you don’t have the opportunity to stop for bathroom breaks
  • Flashlight and optional lights that can be attached to your dog’s collar or harness
  • Liquid dish soap and a towel
  • A two week supply of your dog’s medication in a sealed container
  • Medical and ownership records (you can also digitize them on a USB device)

A note about medication and food: when it comes to perishables, you might consider keeping these items in a container inside the home that you can easily grab on the way out. Keeping them in a dry cool location will keep them fresh, while protecting your car from any foraging animals in your area. Make sure to check the expiration dates on these items regularly and replace when necessary.

#2: Region-specific supplies
In addition to the general list of evacuation supplies, there may be a few items that will come in handy for your location. Here are some suggestions for region-specific supplies to have in your dog car kit:

  • In cold climates, you may want to pack a dog jacket or booties for the snow as well as extra blankets
  • When in an area with wildfires, the high temperatures and smoke can put your pup at higher risk for heat stroke and respiratory issues. Your vet may recommend a dog smoke mask, booties for walking on hot pavement, or other supplies that can help your pup stay safe.
  • For heavy rain, consider a water-proof jacket for your pup or a bright collar for better visibility. 
  • In dry climates, make sure to bring extra water.

When putting together a dog car kit for an upcoming trip, make sure to check the weather for your destination so that you can better tailor these region-specific supplies.

#3: First aid supplies and other emergency essentials 
It’s a great idea to have some basic first aid supplies in your dog car kit for everyday incidents at the dog park or while you’re out hiking. You can likely find a pretty good little first aid kit at your local pet shop, or have your vet recommend some general supplies for minor scrapes and pest bites.

Make sure that your first aid kit has a working thermometer if you are in an area where heat stroke is possible. Your dog may need to be treated for heat stroke if they have a temperature of over 103.5°F.  

For more serious incidents, such as a car accident, it’s also important to have a few items that will help first responders keep your pet safe. For one, a list of info about your dog, including their names, vet contact info, microchip details and a current picture of them, will help responders on the scene. 

If your pup has a tendency to become aggressive when scared—which is very common—it might also be a good idea to travel with a muzzle so that your dog can be handled by medical professionals or emergency personnel.  

Another way to ensure that your dog is safe in the car is to install BreezeGuard screens. If you need to keep your pup securely in the car while you’re dealing with engine trouble or a flat tire, you can keep the windows down without worrying about your doggo making a surprise escape.

#4: Practical dog accessories
So far, you’ve filled your dog car kit with the necessary supplies to keep your pet safe and healthy, but you can include some useful and even fun items too!

Here are some dog car kit essentials for a successful outing with your dog:

  • Extra doggie bags. You’ll be glad you have them, and so will your fellow dog owners who forgot theirs at home!
  • Treats. It’s always a good idea to have some treats on hand to reward your dog’s good behavior in the moment.
  • A towel, wet wipes, and a bottle of stain remover. If you read our recent article, Dog Owner? Here’s How to Keep Your Car Clean, you know just how handy cleaning supplies can be after a trip to the lake or other outdoor adventure.
  • A chew toy or puzzle game. This is especially helpful if you’ve got an anxious four-legged friend or are planning a longer car trip. Make sure that your dog car kit has a few different kinds of distractions to keep your dog engaged.

#5: The perfect storage container
Now that you’ve got a full list of supplies for your dog car kit, you can shop for the perfect storage container for them. This will ensure that all of your essentials are organized and easily accessible when you need them.

Keep an eye out for waterproof, sturdy material, and if possible, choose a storage container with compartments or pockets for better organization.

Make sure to personalize your dog car kit!
In this guide, we’ve covered some of the basics for a dog car kit, but we encourage you to put together a kit that is unique for your needs! With some careful planning and a personalized list of supplies, you can be sure that you and your pup are ready for everything!

Check back in with the BreezeGuard blog for more helpful dog care tips!

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