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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Stay cool out there tips for keeping animals and homes cool in heat wave

 Stay cool out there! 

Here’s some tips for keeping animals and homes cool in the heat wave.

I’ve lived with many animals in high heat zones, I’ve learned the hard way by losing animals and watching people experience heat stroke.

Here’s how I keep everyone cool

Indoors without AC

1. At night open windows to allow cooler air in and hot air out.

2. In the morning close all windows and drapes or cover windows until the outdoor heat begins to cool. Usually around 4pm. Even if it’s only a few degrees difference. Be sure to close and cover windows if you leave for the day.

3. Do not leave animals without extra water and a shaded area indoors and outside.

4. Be careful allowing dogs to swim in creeks, lakes and oceans in areas known to have bacteria or algae blooms that may be toxic to your pets and you. Here in Oregon there are beaches and recreational waterway areas that sometimes close to the public due to toxic conditions that made pets or humans sick when the temperatures is just right. 

Homemade Portable AC

1. Fill small and large empty bottles and jugs with water and freeze.

2. Leave a couple inches space in bottles to allow ice to expand.

3. Freeze extra bottles so you can rotate them.

4. Thawed bottles go back in freezer when you get frozen bottles out to use.

5. Place frozen water bottles near animals to help cool their area.

6. Do not place the frozen bottles directly next to the animal, especially newborn and young ones.

7. Allow space for the animals to move themselves closer or further away from the bottles.

This works great for outdoor caged animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, foul, parrots, (I’ve owned them all) and the frozen bottles help cool in vehicles and indoor crated pets too.

Caged and crated animals must have a bigger water bowl which they often spill so be sure to use bowls that attach to the crate or wire to tie the bowl in place. Don’t use a tie they will chew.

If your dog will chew the frozen bottles do not put the bottle inside the crate or cage, hang or place bottles on outside of cage.

Outdoor/Indoor Kennels and Buildings

On hot days, AM, Noon, PM

Use a water hose and lightly spray a mist or light rain over the whole kennel or stall area. Inside and outside the building. Wet the play yards and walkways.

Dogs love the light rain on hot afternoons.

Do not flood the animals. Do not make mud. You’ll be surprised how little rain and mist will quickly drop the temperature.

I have worked in very large boarding kennels that have use sprinkler systems like the kind used for lawns and gardens hung above the kennel and dog runs. Most turn on automatically with a timer. This works for livestock, small farm animals barns too.

A homemade system is easy to make with a sprinkler hose hung above the animals so they can not chew it.

Or buy your dog a pool ! 

haha this is one of my Daisy's pups at her home pool.. her mom, Daisy, who was with me 13 years was an escape artist no matter where she was put inside or out, left alone she would bump open windows, jump 2 stories to the ground, open doors, unlock handles and I'm really surprised she never learned to drive the truck ! She would disappear and come home soaking wet after a swim in a cattle pond and when we moved to the city from the farm, she had a fenced yard instead of pasture so she would get on top of a woven wire fence, 2 legs on each side and she would bounce her 120 lb bloodhound body on the fence until the fence folded to where she could touch the ground and step over! 

Very intelligent dog who I would then find laying soaking wet on a neighbor's floating deck in a creek behind his back yard and house. I later found out she was doing this daily when I was working in my grooming shop at the front of my property. She was sneaking out the back, smashing the fence because she was to heavy to jump that high and only her front legs would make it over so she bounced the fence flat then went to visit a neighbor who sat with his door open watching TV and then she would lay on the other neighbor's floating deck, after a swim of course. She would come home at dinner time if I didn't go get her. 

The neighbors liked her visiting but I feared she would be hit by a car or stolen so I had to keep her crated for her own safety, if I went to work. She never tried to get out of a crate, she was happy and slept in one with the door open or closed. While loose in the house, she was opening doors and windows to escape. 

Animals will find a way to stay cool if they have the freedom to do so.

Dog training and working dogs in heat

For K9SAR/scent dog training and working dogs. Outdoor training and events.

This is the time of year to train and practice night search with headlamps and lights on dogs because many people go missing at night and the sooner a dog team responds the better chance of finding the person alive.

Yes I mean train between midnight and 5 AM lol

Darkness does not necessarily stop a search team from working but safety does. So make sure to night train in safe areas. I like the challenge of night training with dogs and most of all how the scent particles come alive, like one of those early mornings when you step outside and feel ahhhh fresh air!! 

Scent Science tells us the scent particles, dust, environment absorbs moisture and regenerate to become more alive and fresher stronger smelling at night and like dry grass becomes covered in dew overnight. As the day warms, scent particles lose water through evaporation and dry out making the scent particles drier and harder for dogs to smell.

A dry nose will not help in a search either. Always be sure the scenting dog is well hydrated and has a moist nose especially in warm weather. Dogs love to search at these times. Horses put their heads up, wrinkle the lips to get a bigger sniff. Quite funny too.

I say if we can smell so many more odors at that time of day just imagine how much more a dog is going smell.

How much fresher, easier a missing persons trail will be for the dog to work and how much time is saved reaching the person.

On real searches I always try to rest the dogs and myself in the heat of the day 12-4pm. Afternoon is time to eat, sleep and regroup, plan search strategy for the remaining 24 hours.

Last but least of suggestions 

Here's what I have been using when we're experiencing hot weather. These two items are available at stores everywhere.

Bandanna/scarf that are made to be frozen and used around the neck of animals and people. Do not use on animals that can chew their own scarf or another pets.

My dog and I really love the tiny portable AC units available these days. 

These AC units work amazing !  I was surprised how well. They charge up like cell phones and the charge lasts for hours.

I keep one in the SUV and travel trailer to turn on for my dog when I go in shops.

Put ice in it and chill out!!

I hope this post helps everyone stay cool.

Feel free to comment with tips you use to stay cool and share so everyone knows.

Amber Higgins

author founder

Family Disaster Dogs

Saturday, August 14, 2021

New Book Release Sept 11, 2021 Start Mantrailing Train a Dog to Find People


New Book Release Sept 11, 2021 

Release Date set to honor of the dog teams who worked 9/11 attack in NYC 

Ebooks are available now by visiting my new store here   for books shipped directly from me.

A Buy Now button coming soon from Amazon or get the paperback at the new store link above.

Start Mantrailing 

Train a Dog to Find People 

Step by Step for Fun, Sport and Work

by Amber Higgins

Cover dog: K9 Amber owned and handled by 
RRI North Scotland Operational handler Jackie Davidson

Feel free to email me via the contact page for a paperback copy hot off the printing press!

Ebook copies are available upon request before the print date release

Learn all about Mantrailing in simple terms

Train any breed of dog with step by step instructions

Follow your dog on an exciting journey to find missing persons and hidden people

Stay Strong and Carry On!

In Dog's we Trust

Click here to get a 10 day free Listen to the Family Disaster Dogs book on Audible 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Wildfire Information and Safety Guide

Wildfire Information and Safety Guide

Hey everyone 

With fires burning in several states and other parts of the world I want to share with you this useful wildfire guide McKenna from Direct Energy sent to us. Please be careful out there! After the year and half of covid19 let's all try to be responsible and careful as we venture out into the world again.

This is from Direct Energy

The 2021 summer wildfire season is currently in it’s most dangerous summer stages. In order to protect and defend forests, farms, and homes, Direct Energy has proactively created their Wildfire Information & Safety Guide to distribute to the public. In recent years we have all learned wildfires can uncontrollably and unexpectedly affect any area’s population, from the rural Pacific Northwest to our major coastal cities. With Direct Energy’s guide, individuals nationwide can be well-planned and prepared in the event of a wildfire spreading in their area.

Go to the wildfire guide here

Click here to read my evacuation book on Kindle for Free 

If you do not use Kindle, then email me at the contact page in the above page menu

 for a copy sent to your email or to order a print copy from me.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Mantrailing for Fun, Sport and Working Dogs from Family Disaster Dogs

Coming Soon...a new book that shows everyone how Mantrailing is a great activity to do with all breeds of dogs!

What is Mantrailing? 

Mantrailing is using a dog's natural hunting ability to find one person in a crowd.

Mantrailing is a bloodhound specialty that all breeds of dogs can do too!

Mantrailing dogs smell what we cannot see!

In my Family Disaster Dogs book I tell people how any breed of dog can find its family and friends who go missing. As a Mantrailing dog trainer for many years I use this type of training in my book and in person for family disaster dogs of all breeds. 

More recently, dog trainers, dog clubs and pet owners everywhere are starting to find out that this is a great activity not only for Search and Rescue dogs but for all dogs to learn as a fun play day outside or as a sporting event.

As I noticed Mantrailing becoming popular outside of K9SAR and after talking with a few trainers and SAR dog handlers/trainers, we realized there is a need for a book and step by step lessons to help show everyone how to do Mantrailing with all breeds. 

So I have been busy the last couple of months putting the knowledge I gained from 15 years of training and working with Mantrailing dogs and teaching others into a book with pictures and step by step instructions to help start dogs and owners/handlers on this amazing journey into the world of  finding hidden and missing persons with a dog. 

I'm writing the book in more or less three section, the first part covers a little history and what makes a mantrailing dog team. The second section gets everyone started in a very short time finding people with your dogs and pet dog owners who want to use this type of dog training as a fun game and outdoor activity will learn all they need in this second section. From there, you can go on to the next section to dig deeper and advance training for sport and competing in events or become a working search and rescue dog team. 

I will be posting more information soon. 

Be sure to follow Family Disaster Dogs on social media or sign up for the newsletters at the pop-up by refreshing this page. 

On Twitter you can find us under URDogCanRescueU 

Facebook there is a group and a page connected to each other and here is one link 

My author page on Facebook is

The Nose Knows! That's my bloodhound Daisy (RIP)

Below is me working my current dog partner Washee on a trail to find a hidden person. 
We are mantrailing 

Here's some of the dogs featured in the new book

Mark and Bella training to Mantrail

Here's Super Kludde 
who has so many titles from sport and working dog events to list 
He actually paints on canvas with a paint brush held in his mouth 
He's learning Mantrailing, as one of the first dogs to compete in 
Mantrailing as a sport in the USA

Here's a team from RRI-Scotland learning Mantrailing

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Dog Bug-Out Go-Bag List Evacuate with your Dog and Pets Willie ready to bug-out Hi everyone,  2019 update click to The Bu...

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Let's enable each family to respond

and do something while waiting for help

during neighborhood emergency and disaster incidents,

extreme weather and terrorist attacks.

Good Luck and Be Safe !

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