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Monday, January 29, 2018

Affording the Vet Bills: Being Prepared

Dog, Puppy, Canine, Vet, Veterinarian, Medical Care

The life of a dog owner is one filled with wake-up kisses, muddy paw prints all over the house and a kind of joy and love that can only come from our furry, friendly family members. Most, if not all, dog owners would put the health of their dog well above that of their own, and as much as they may hate the vet, it is a necessary evil (evil to them, anyway) for ensuring they stay fit and full of fun.

But veterinary bills can be expensive. If you are thinking about getting a dog, or already have one, then it is essential that you can give it the best life possible, and you will need the money to care for them properly to achieve this.


Dogs feeling under the weather can break your heart, and there are many different issues that can arise that can cost you a lot of money - even if it is worth it. Having pet insurance will ease a lot of the worry that comes with medical care for your animals when it comes to payment.

Furthermore, taking out fast loans can also aid in the process and can help you out when in a pinch. This can be helpful during a time where even the insurance may not cover the medical expenses.


Researching doggy medication online may help you find better deals than what you would pay at the vets. This is perfect for when the money might be tight, or there is a continual health issue with your dog.

However, as with any product bought online, it is essential that you do thorough research to ensure what you are buying is legitimate. The last thing you want is thinking you have found the deal of a lifetime only to discover that you have been taken for a ride by scammers looking to capitalise and take advantage of your love for your dog. Be vigilant.


One way to be able to afford veterinary bills is to ensure that you keep them as healthy as possible. One of the ways to do this - along with regular exercise - is to provide them with the proper food to keep them healthy. 

Keeping your dog’s diet to an adequate standard will save them from missing out on the essential food groups. Furthermore, ensuring that they keep their teeth healthy - if not exactly clean, have you ever seen a dog clean its teeth? - will help with them chewing to guarantee they do not want to food.


You want to give your dog the best life you possibly can and so being prepared to deal with the added costs that come with owning a dog will be essential towards making this a reality. Understanding what you need to do to prepare for the inevitable vet bills - even when it is just a check-up - will allow you to cope with any issues whenever they arise.

Furthermore, this preparation will give you better peace of mind when it comes to finding and securing treatment as you won’t feel the weight of any substantial payments. Knowing what you can afford and going forward with this will allow you and your dog to continue living in harmony and happiness.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Advanced Dog Tricks For A Disaster And Daily Life

If you are keen to ensure your dog is useful in the event of a disaster, you do need to teach it some tricks. You can start off with some simple things that all dogs should learn. This includes sit, stay, heel and come. These are the four basic commands that you need as a dog owner. It’s important to realize that these will be important, regardless of whether or not you are using your pet as a disaster dog.

As well as these, there are many more that could prove useful, both in the event of a disaster and in everyday life as a pet owner. On this guide, we’re going to look at some of the tricks that you can teach your dog, and as well as this, we will look at how they could help you as a pet owner and in the event of a disaster.

Leave It Alone

Leave it alone is an incredibly important command to teach your dog in everyday life and in a disaster as well. Let’s start by thinking about daily life as a pet owner. You will be taking your dogs on walks, outside, perhaps even letting them off their leash. If this is the case, then you need to be careful what the dog eats while it is outside. Dogs can be drawn to droppings due to their smell, but by eating it, they can get worms or any other number of infections. They might also decide to roll in it which will lead to a nasty clean up job for you later.

Many people think dogs do this to show their owner where they’ve been, like a little souvenir stench. So, by teaching your dog to leave something alone, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and protect the health of your dog.

Getting a dog to leave something alone can be accomplished through positive reinforcement. The easiest and safest way to do this is to use a treat in a closed hand. When the treat is in the closed hand, you can hold it at a height in front of the dog where they can smell it. They will nuzzle at your hand, perhaps even using a paw to try and get it out. Use the command and wait until they obey. Eventually, they will grow tired of the game and sit down leaving the treat you are offering. At this point, you can then give them the treat that they have been opening for, repeating the process until they respond immediately to the command. It can take a little time.

Be aware that variations of this command can be useful in a variety of situations including when strangers try to give your dogs treats. It’s very difficult to get your dog to turn down a treat from a stranger because some might drop it right in front of them or hold it out. But, with training and using a family member as the stranger, you can stop them from eating the treat. That’s important because you can’t always trust strangers. Helper dogs are actually trained not to accept treats from other people because it could leave the person they are helping exposed and unprotected to criminal behavior.

Bear in mind that a person doesn’t need to be nefarious to endanger your dog with a treat. They could just give them something that they are allergic to, or that is dangerous to them. These tips are to make sure that your dog is always safe. As such, it’s always best to avoid your dog getting these types of treats.

In the event of a disaster, there could be various issues and distractions around that could injure or endangered either you or your dog if they choose to explore. For instance, there could be loose, live electrical wiring or even something on the floor that is explosive.

Close The Door/Pushing Objects

In basic life situations, closing the door can stop your dog becoming a nuisance. You might just have settled down to watch TV in the lounge, shutting the door, when your dog pushes his nose against it and wanders in to be with you, leaving it wide open. Most dogs will learn to open doors naturally by themselves without any command but closing the door is another matter. You’ll have to teach that one with a sticky piece of food and a few tries at a command. You put the stick piece of food on the door and ask him to wait. Then, tell him to take the treat. When he does, and his nose touches the door, reinforce it with another treat. Repeat it until the dog looks to you after touching the door and remove the first treat keeping the second.

Now you can use the phrase shut the door or move the door, and he will respond to get the treat. You can keep doing this until the treat is no longer a necessity. Once you’ve taught a dog how to move the door, you might be able to use the same trick to get them to move items, and this could be useful in a disaster scenario.

Find An Object

Lastly, you might want to teach them to find objects. Remember, dogs can find objects by smell and may even remember where something was. As such, they could be incredibly useful during a power outage to find an item that you need.

In general daily life, it could also be a cool trick if you’ve lost your keys or just want them to bring you your slippers. You can do this by starting with your set of keys. Add something to your keys that makes them easy for the dog to pick up like a squishy key-ring and use them as a toy, getting your dog to tug on them or fetch them. Once you have done this, you can get him to exchange the keys for a treat. After you have taught them this trick, you can then get them to pick up your keys off the ground when you have dropped them. Again, exchange the keys for a treat. Keep doing this, and eventually, you can move on to leaving the keys somewhere and asking them to find them.

Any of these tricks could be very useful in both an emergency disaster situation and everyday life. The best part though is that they’re not actually that difficult to teach.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How to Prepare For The First 3 Days of Storms and Disasters

How To Prepare For The First 3 Days of Storms

With a So Many hurricanes heading for USA, volcanos and earthquakes, flooding and evacuations happening and incidences occurring worldwide  
not to mention Covid19 and Delta!!! raging along with wildfire! This list will help you be ready for lockdowns and evacuating. Let's all share this so we can all survive! I thought it might be a good idea to repost this article as a reminder and check list for everybody.

God Bless, Be Safe and Good Luck!!!

From Family Disaster Dogs

Here is a very good article 

I found online about the First 3 Days of an Emergency from Are You

The First 3 Days of an Emergency

When emergencies strike, there is often no warning. Therefore, it is crucial for every homeowner to have the necessary supplies in case an emergency arises. The first 72 hours that one's family is in crisis is the most important time for survival. Quite often, emergency vehicles and medical assistants have trouble getting through barriers, especially when natural disasters strike. Every family should have a least three days’ worth of survival supplies in an easily accessible area for when the time comes.

The following list is of items that are essential to sustaining life while help is on the way:

1. Water

Humans can survive on water for as long as two months. It is the most important element in being able to survive an emergency. A good rule of thumb is to have 3 to 5 gallons of water stored for drinking. Extra gallons may be purchased for cleansing, but the drinking water is most important.

2. Food

Always make sure to store your food in sealed packages to prevent bug and mice invasions. Ready to eat food pouches are a good way to go for making a survival kit. Foil sealed pouches do not require any opening mechanisms and they can stay fresh until the individual removes the seal to eat. The homeowner should purchase enough of these food pouches to last the entire family at least 72 hours. Larger packages are available to allow for extra time.

3. First Aid

First aid items are necessary for any injuries that may arise. It may take medics quite some time to be able to access the area, so it is best for the homeowner to put away as many first aid kits as possible. A basic first aid kit consists of bandages, antiseptic wash and towels, sponge dressings, alcohol pads, antibiotic ointment, and cotton balls and tips. Ace bandages and neck braces may provide additional protection just in case of more serious injuries.

4. Light

Electricity is lost in most emergencies. Candles, light sticks, and flashlights can provide an inexpensive source of temporary power for moving around. People with slightly better budgets can invest in an emergency power source such as an adventure kit. An adventure kit has the capability of charging cellular phones, appliances, and radios. Some adventure kits also have solar panels so they can receive power from the sun during the day.

5. Warmth

The homeowner should store plenty of blankets and sleeping bags so the family can stay warm and get as much rest as possible during this time of crisis. It would also be wise to store a very small kerosene heater for warmth when electricity is not available. Any hooded clothing should also go into the survival kit.

6. Communication

An amateur band radio or CB radio would be very beneficial during this time. This will help the individual to communicate. CB radios will operate on batteries, so the user should be sure to load the devices with batteries before storing them.With these few items, a family should be able to survive the first 72 hours of an emergency. The rest of the survival process involves having faith and sticking with loved ones until the worst is over.

7. How to Reduce Anxiety and Fear

For most individuals, the thought of being thrown into the middle of a natural disaster is terrifying. Unfortunately, the number of natural disasters that occur around the world is quite frightening. Depending on location, natural disasters can range from hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, blizzards, and even human triggered disasters such as chemical spills. Naturally, the thought of having to be in the midst of such events can leave one with anxiety, fear, and questions of "what if." Fortunately, feelings of fear and anxiety can be decreased by a few simple steps that can help leave families better prepared for a variety of natural disasters.

8. Make a Plan:

One of the most important parts of any survival kit is a plan. Although one may not be able to prepare for all types of disasters, having a firm plan on what to do if something goes wrong can help save lives. For example, if an area is prone to tornadoes, it can be imperative to have a "shelter" or safe place to go underground. No matter what type of natural disaster one's area is prone to, making a plan and practicing it can ease fear and anxiety.

There are a few key elements to devising an emergency plan for one's household:

Know the area's warning signals and shelters: It's important to know what an area uses as a warning signal; most places uses sirens, but signals can vary. Keep in mind that one's family may be at different places during a natural disaster. It can be extremely important to know the warning signal so that all family members are aware of the disaster and ready to take action. Knowing the location and availability of shelters in one's area can help ensure that family members are safe and can provide a common meeting place.

Devise a plan: Sit down with the household and talk about what would happen in the event on a natural disaster. During the discussion, it's important to talk about the type of natural disasters that could occur. Additionally, pick at least two meeting spots for the family. Next, have an evacuation plan. Once the plan is formed, the next step is to practice it: "The plan" needs to be like a fire drill for the household.

Survival Kits:

Although fear and anxiety about natural disasters primarily center on death and loved ones dying, it can also be triggered by not having the right "tools." Thankfully, a variety of survival kits are available.

Food & Water:

Most individuals will have anxiety about food and water sources depleting in the wake of a natural disaster. A fear of dwindling food and water sources is a valid reason for having a storage area for emergency food and water ready beforehand because this could save lives and reduce this fear. Back up food and water should be kept in a place that would be easy to access in the case of a natural disaster.

Most Important; 

Do Not Forget your dog can be your family's very own Search and Rescue Dog!! 

Read these lessons and share them for others to read, so others may live!

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This book has everything you need to know and I keep it free on Kindle so everyone can read it. If you want a copy feel free to Ask me for one by emailing me or reach out via social media private message. If you do not mention the book or more than one word when you contact me, I will delete the email. I get alot of emails from bots and who knows whos.

Gathering Scent Articles 4 Your Dog 2 Find You !

Gathering Scent Articles 

Items to use to find your family members with a dog

It's best to fully understand how a dog uses its nose.

The author asking a Bloodhound pup to "smell" the bag
with the Scent Article of who to look for (more below)

To a dog, A Scent is a Scent !

Therefore, the fastest and surest way to teach or ask a dog to find a person is to use the person's scent to show the dog who we want to find. This makes the job easier for the dog because no two people smell alike.

To teach your dog to search for a lost or missing family member or friend, you have to prepare first by gathering the "scent article". This is easy to do but care must be taken.

It is wise to keep these scent articles stored as directed below in case an actual search ever occurs.

Gathering Scent Articles
It's best to gather one dirty sock from each person you can think of who you might ever have to look for before you start training your family pet.

Each sock should be handled and stored as outlined below for later emergency use. In case you ever have to call officials in with search dogs tell them you have a scent article which will save valuable time.

For now and for training; you should...

Place one dirty sock from each family member in a freezer bag after reading below.


DO NOT touch the sock yourself, have the person drop the sock from their foot to a new brown paper bag (lunch bag size) or into a new plastic freezer bag.

( new brown paper put in a zip lock natural non chemical bag is best )

You will learn more about scent article use during lessons.

The most important part of using a search dog is;

Do Not Contaminate that sock.

Do not touch it.

Do Not Put 2 socks from different people together, each sock gets its own bags.

Store socks in the freezer until a few minutes before use.

This is the so-called "Scent Article"

The “Scent Article” tells your dog who they are looking for.

Handle with Care.

Keep one for each family member for use if a disaster ever strikes.

When gathering "Scent Articles" of missing people during an incident, you will follow the same rule of Do Not Contaminate the article or location.A scent article can be any item or object the missing person is known to of touched recently, such as a piece of clothing, bath items, pillow case, smoking items include butts of cigars or cigarette, hankie, tissue paper, a cup or glass or steering wheel in the car and the seat or bed the person was last in.

Preservation and Collection of the item is critical to avoid another person's scent from getting on the item and contaminating it. the dog will disregard its handlers scent but it is still wise for the handler to take special care when handling the scent article.

Always try to pick up and deposit the scent article into a clean bag by using a stick laying nearby or coat hanger from the subjects home to keep the item clean of other scents.

Ask the family who touched what and do not use any item others have touched if possible. If the missing person and others have touched everything then ask the people to stand by when you start the dog to look for the missing person.

For instance, if a person is missing from a parked car where other people had been in the car with them, ask these people to stand by and take your dog to the car where the lost person sat and ask your dog to smell the seat then find the person.

Your dog will use a missing member search technique of eliminating the people who are on the scent article (the car) and go to the people who are standing by then set off looking for the missing person. But if the people are not there for your dog to eliminate them then your dog will look for all the people in the car.

This is why it is important to find out before you start your dog who touched what that the missing person touched and where was the person last standing,laying or sitting.

Who was with them and how long have they been missing are also critical to a successful search because of possible contamination of the scent article.

A contaminated scent article will lead you on a wild goose chase, take care.

Only you, your dog and the person who is missing should come in contact with the item or location used as the scent article or starting point.

Family Disaster Dogs author and Bloodhound pup Bo

Amber and Bloodhound pup Bo getting ready to train how to Trail a Lost Person.

Bo was 5 months old at the time of this picture in 2001.

He later went to volunteer with sheriff depts in California and then Georgia with his half sister Samathia (Sam)

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Family Disaster Dogs Book

Coming soon "My Puppy Can Find Me" picture book will teach your children, you and dog how to work together if they are ever separated from you ! 

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

How-to Make Dog or Cat Booties at Home From Recycled Items for cold weather protection

How to Make Dog or Cat Booties at Home

For cold or wet weather and dog training on rough or contaminated surfaces.

I thought with the climate crisis ramping up to bring everyone winter weather and the past summer  extreme heat waves and wildfires this would be a good time to tell you a quick easy way to make some booties for your pets with recycled items at home. If you need to train your dog to wear the booties, here's a free online workshop where you can learn how. 

Recycle old socks and gloves for pet booties

Save these item to recycle into booties for your pets

Large Paws

Save old human socks when you buy new ones, cotton is best but any socks will work

Small Paws  

Save old used cotton gloves when you replace garden gloves or leather work gloves. Medium to Large size give the pets more room.

Waterproofing Material 

Recycle and save plastic grocery sacks, zip lock baggies and other lightweight flexible material that will be comfortable for your pet to walk on. Like old rain coats you would throw away or tents.


String, shoelaces, ribbon, waterproof tape can be used to tie the Bootie on your pet's paws. 

To Make a Dog or Cat Bootie at home from recycled material

First Measure the paws .for a good fit

Measure a standing or sitting down pet's paw from the bottom of the paw at the floor to a height you may need in snow or water. 

Front Feet Measurements for Booties: 

Make sure to measure so the top of the Bootie is an inch or so above the unused Toe (Carpal pad) high on the back of front feet above the "pastern" area of the leg  (see pics below). This will help hold the Bootie up and prevent slipping off the foot. If the Bootie only goes over the dew claw (see pic below) the Bootie may slip off.

Image result for dog paw

Image result for dog paw
Image source and more paw care

 Back Paw Measurements for Booties

Measure the back feet the same way but to a height above the Hock on the back leg. See pic below.

Related image
Image source 

After you have the height of the Bootie determined follow these steps to make one Bootie for each paw.

Booties for small paws and pets 

1. Cut the fingers off of large sized cotton gloves, gardening or flexible soft leather gloves. Baby socks and other small bag like object that will easily slide over the pet's paw.

2. Punch small holes in the top edge of the cut off finger part of the glove or the baby sock.

3. Lace a shoestring, string or ribbon through the punched holes to tie Bootie on the paw.

4. Trim a square or round piece of the recycled waterproof material to cover the Bootie from the bottom to top by placing the Bootie in the middle of the square waterproofing and fold then trim to cover.

5. Punch holes in the plastic waterproofing cover and lace a tie string through the holes loose enough to slip this over the Bootie once the Bootie is on your pet.

 Putting the Boots on your dog or cat, rabbits and birds can wear these too.

Some pets will have to get use to the booties on their feet.

It's best to do the front feet first then the back feet.

Do one foot at a time to help your pet grow accustom to the feel and weight of the Booties.

Be prepared for your pet to shake its foot, walk funny at first or try to remove the booties. Some pets may chew the boot off and never get use to wearing one but most pets will learn the boot feels alright and its okay with a little patience on your part.

Allow the pet time to get use to it, let them dance around a bit getting the feel for the new thing on the foot, keep them out of harm's way, laugh a bit, and in a few minutes they will understand the Bootie is not going to hurt them and all is fine.

Put the soft sock or glove on first then the outer waterproofing cover. Tir the bootie in place using a bow like your own shoes or a quick release knot below.

Then put another Bootie on the next foot. Remember, it's best to do the front feet first then the back feet.

Tie the booties tight enough to not slip off but not to tight to block blood flow. You should be able to slip a finger in between the leg and bootie for easy movement.

Do Not use a knot or bow that will tighten and not release instantly

Never use a knot to tie on any animal that cannot be released quickly with one pull. 

See below

Image result for quick release knots

Image result for quick release knots

Below is a good graphic about animal knots and the linked article on basic horsemanship hold true for restraining or using ropes or strings on dogs too

From Think Like a Horse site 

Image result for quick release knots

Stay safe and warm!

Here's an awesome Free workshop for you ! 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Is It To Cold Outside for Dogs and Cats?

About Your Dog or Cat in Freezing Weather

Is it to cold outside for furry friends? 

While it is true that dogs and cats have fur coats that insulate them from extreme weather they can become stressed by the weather just like we do. Older, younger pets and animals that are kept in a heated or air conditioned home are especially prone to stress during extreme weather.

The amount of cold or heat an animal can take depends on the animal's internal comfort zone due to the environment they live in and not the breed of the animal.

My dogs outdoors  in play yard, Arkansas winter 2001

Animals have to acclimate to new climate changes and this means their body has to make internal adjustments and the body has to have time to get use to making this adjustment in order to stay comfortable.

If the body is not given the time to adjust to the climate changes then the body goes into shock like leading to hypothermia, this can happen quickly when the animal is working or slowly if the animal is resting.

All of a sudden you might find your dog or cat panting and unable to stand, they will get worst and can die if the temperature of the body is not brought back a comfortable level fast.

Either extreme reaction to the climate is treated the same. You have to reverse or bring the animal back from the extreme.

My Incredible Sue staying warm 2000

If pets are to hot, then you must cool them. If they are to cold, then you must warm them.
Primary Cause

Hypothermia can occur in any of the following situations:
1     Exposure to cold for a long time
2     Wet fur and skin
3     Submersion in cold water for long time
5      Anesthesia given for a long duration

Immediate Care
1     Warm some blankets on a radiator or in the clothes dryer with haste.
2    Wrap the dog in the blankets.
3    Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and place it against the dog’s abdomen. Do not use it unwrapped, as this will burn the skin.
4     If the dog is conscious, give him warmed fluids to drink.
5     Check the dog’s temperature every 10 minutes: if it is below 98°F (36.7°C), get immediate veterinary attention.
6     Once the temperature is above 100°F ( 37.8°C), you can remove the hot water bottle to avoid overheating. Keep the dog in a warm room.

Wear a hat in cold weather so body heat does not escape!

Read about summer heat and overheating pets in my other article

Leaving a dog or any animal exposed to harm is against the law!

Detroit Dog Rescue said a man abandoned a Pomeranian mix in a cage outside their facility during the night. It was so cold outside fleas stuck to the poor little dog that froze before being found.

A dog named Nanas found dead in Toledo, Ohio, curled up on the porch of a home after getting out of the house. “She was frozen solid,” Megan Brown, cruelty investigator with the Toledo Area Humane Society, told The Toledo Blade.
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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018 is Here !

Happy New Year World!


Family Disaster

May all your dreams and wishes come true !

Stay in touch for new book releases, more dog training and care articles !

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Get a free preview of my books for helping me help others learn!

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Look for my books on Amazon UK

Click the books below to go to Amazon in the UK and see my books !

Thank You UK friends for all your teamwork and support in keeping online and growing for the world to see!

Watch for updates coming soon for my children's picture book with
UK Dog Cartoonist "Scotty" doing the artwork.

Click the link above to see her great dog artwork!

Thanks Scotty!


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Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
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Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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