Dog Bag DIY Travel Bag Emergency Bag

Dog Bag DIY travel bag and emergency kit.

A Dog Bag DIY to make up as a travel bag or emergency kit is vital for you dog. (Printable list at end of article.)

If you are traveling with them or have booked them in at a fancy dog-spa for a day or two they need to have their stuff.

Put together this doggy travel bag and always have it ready so it will be one less thing to worry about if you are called out of town unexpectedly.

This bag can also double as your dog's emergency kit. It is suggested that all family members including pets have emergency kits that will take them through 72 hours in case of disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, etc.

Even if your house is not affected directly by such disasters if it happens in your area you could be without power and water for a few days. 

You might already have an extra travel bag at home that you can designate for pooch. If you don't, check out the local thrift shops as people often get free travel bags from travel agents that they never use or they upgrade to more specific bags for their needs.

This travel bag was bought from the  thrift store for $1.50. 

The best travel bags to use would have wipeable fabric and be large enough for pooches needs and treats without too many pockets that you would have to search through. If your Fifi is a real princess look for something in hot pink or one of her other favourite colours. 

If you are using a boarding facility check to see what they suggest to bring. Dog boarders  generally have a specific list of items they ask you to bring and leave behind, make sure that you follow their list or discuss with them if there is something you want to make sure that your dog has.

Dog Bag DIY - Putting it together

Your Dog Bag DIY starts by adding a luggage tag to your pet's travel bag. This will identify the bag as theirs, which will be helpful to the staff at a kennel and easy for a bell-boy to spot at a hotel.

This cute tag was easily made by down-loading a image of a terrier silhouette from the internet and cutting it out of white card stock, adding colored paper with the same markings as pooch, and a little red paper collar. 

Her name was written on the back of the tag and it was laminated at a local office supply store (This was done with a heavy laminate and cost $3.50). 

The tag was sewn onto the bag.

Your luggage tag could be in the shape of a bone, a fire hydrant, a dog house or even a photo of your pet. What ever you chose make sure that you get it laminated.

You could also easily attach the luggage tag to a zipper pull.

Paper work is important for your dog bag diy. Include your name and contact numbers (but not your address)  along with the name, address, phone number and office hours of her vet.  Have a copy of her recent vaccinations (updated yearly for your emergency kit). 

Most kennels have a vet service they use in case of after hour emergencies but if you are leaving them with friends or family find out the nearest emergency animal care facility near their home and leave them that information as well.

If your pet is taking medication have two copies of the type, times, and amounts, that they need to be given. Hand one to the care giver with the medication and leave the second in the dog bag.

For your dog bag diy -emergency kit find out from your veterinarian how long you can leave the medication in the kit before is loses it's effectiveness and will have to be replaced. Have at least three days worth of medication.

 If your dog is micro chipped  then  make a copy of the name and contact number of the service you use.  Make sure that this service has your most recent phone numbers, including a cell phone number.

If the dog is lost during an emergency you can call the service to leave an emergency contact number for someone who is not in the emergency area. In the dog bag diy include a recent photograph of your dog, in case your dog gets lost.  It can be used to make up flyers for their safe return. Have all the papers in a plastic bag or folder and mark it with your animals name.  

Your dog should have separate food and water dishes in the dog bag diy. It is best that these be made out of stainless steel, (these can be bought from a Dollar Store)  so they don't get chipped or broken and can be sanitized with boiling water.

Mark your dog's name on the bottom of their dishes. Depending on how long they will be staying and how big your dog is their food might fit into their travel bag. 

If they eat dry dog food and it is a small dog or short visit, you can use an air tight plastic container (bought from the Dollar Store for $1) and mark on it your dogs name and how much food they get morning and night. Have a scoop  (we used a extra laundry scoop that had been cleaned)  to easily measure out the amount.

This should be in your dog bag diy -emergency kit with three days worth of food. This food should be cycled out every month or two so it does not get stale. Try to get in the habit of using it up when ever you buy a new bag of dog food. If they eat canned food have enough cans and a can opener in the kit.

For your emergency kit you should also have at least a 1.5 litre bottle of water strictly designated for the dog, this water can be changed out once a year (or by the best before date).

Your dog might get lonely for you when you are gone, so for a week or so, before you leave for your trip, have a blanket or towel in the TV room or where ever most of the family gather and have all the family member handle it so it picks up their scent. Pack this with your kit as they can sleep on it and it will be a great comfort for your dog.  

You might not want to send the dog bed, especially if they are boarding with a lot of other dogs due to the transfer of fleas. If you do send your dog bed wash it well before you use it again at home. Their blanket or towel should also be washed well when it returns home. For your emergency kit a blanket is useful to use as a dog bed or to keep your dog warm and a towel should be added in case they need to be dried or cleaned up due to injury.


A toy from home would be fun but some kennels provide their own toys and discourage home toys in case other dogs get a hold of them and destroy them. If friends or family are looking after them by all means send a toy but no more than one or two as they might just get lost if you send more. Warn anyone if your dog is jealous of their toys and if they try to nip if they are taken away. For your emergency kit put in something that can be chewed on, this would help if your dog becomes anxious. 

For an extended stay you would want to include a grooming kit of a brush, comb, nail clippers  and shampoo, in the dog bag diy but for a short visit or for your emergency kit these really are not needed unless you have a type of dog that must be groomed daily. If that is the case then make sure that all grooming instruments are clearly marked with their name and place it in a clear plastic bag with a zipper seal with a list of what is in the bag.

Some dogs do have special needs such as sweaters during the colder weather or boots for sensitive paws. For an emergency kit you will have to decide if you want to buy a second set of these items. 

Last but not least treats. Treats are a lovely little bonus to send with your pet. Any one who looks after dogs on a regular basis probably has treats on hand but this is a time the you can spoil them just a little and send them that extra special treat that they love so much. Treats should definitely be put in an emergency kit, you might have to use them to coax your pet if they become frightened or just to have on hand as a reward for good behavior.

The total cost of the dog bag diy that we made up here was under $20 as I used some items that I already owned. Look for good quality items on sale and for the towel and/or blanket for them look for seconds at warehouse sales.


You can print out the Dog Emergency or Travel Kit List PDF

Here is the full list.

  • travel bag with luggage tag
  • paper work (see above)
  • photo and microchip service contact number
  • 2 copies of medicine time table
  • stainless steel food and water bowls
  • airtight container for dry food, with scoop
  • canned food
  • can opener
  • water (this would be for the emergency kit)
  • family blanket
  • towel
  • dog bed (not needed to emergency kit it too large)
  • >dog toy
  • grooming kit (if extended stay)
  • special sweaters if needed
  • treats



No matter what situation your dog is in, be it an emergency evacuation or a restful few days with a trusted caregiver, this dog bag diy should provide everything that is needed.

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