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Friday, March 23, 2018

Complete These Tasks For a Happy, Healthy and Well Balanced Puppy

All kinds of problems can come about when puppies aren’t raised correctly, and it can cause big issues all the way throughout their lives. For this reason, it’s important to wait until you’re in a position where you can commit some solid time to your puppy- and that they grow up knowing exactly how they need to behave. Here are some of the tasks you will need to do when you bring your pup home, once they’re vaccinated and ready to go outside.

Take Them Out in the Car and on Public Transport
Taking your dog to all kinds of places, and even taking them travelling with you around the country is one of the great joys of being a dog owner. However if your dog gets stressed when they’re out in the car, on buses or on trains it can cause a huge problem. From a young age, you need to show your pup that it’s fine being in these situations, starting very young is key as they’re far more adaptable. 

By the time they’re a little older, fear can be more problematic and can even turn into aggression. Instead of walking your dog around your local park, put them in the car (complete with a blanket to sit on and a doggy seat belt) and drive somewhere a little further out. Not only will this give them chance to see new places, new things, new smells and everything else but it gets them used to being in the car. It becomes a positive experience for them rather than something scary. 

At the weekends, commit time to taking your puppy on trains and buses, around stations and other busy areas. Even if you don’t use buses or trains that often, getting them used to them now means if you do want to use public transport at a later date it won’t be an issue.

Socialize Them With Other Dogs

Dogs having other doggy friends can be an incredible experience for them. It’s a chance for them to play and tire each other out, and they can also learn the rules and behavior etiquette from older dogs. Dogs that aren’t well socialize can be fearful or aggressive of other pets, and so this is something to get right at an early age. Take them to the dog park and let them sniff and socialize with other dogs. 

There are often large dog walks arranged online on places like Facebook that you could attend. Behavior and agility classes will also allow your dog to meet others. If you have a neighbor with a dog, you could set up play dates or even offer to walk their dog along with yours. That way there’s never any issues and you can take your dog anywhere you want, without the worry of them being scared or aggressive to other dogs. 

If you want your pup to live in a home with cats, then now is also a good time to introduce them. It’s far better to introduce a puppy to a resident cat than it is to bring in a cat to a household that already has a dog. So if you know you want cats at some point, hold off on getting a puppy and get them first. Once they’re settled and happy you can get your pup from a site like

Do plenty of research into the needs and likely traits and characteristics of the breed so you know what to expect.

Get Them Used to People

Just like getting your pup used to other dogs, you should get them used to people too. If you don’t have a whole lot of visitors coming in and out of your home, it’s easy for your puppy to start developing stranger danger which again can lead to fear or aggression. Make the effort to get out in public with your dog, let people fuss them.

Meet up with friends, invite people over and again classes and dog meets will allow them to get used to being around other people so that it’s not an issue to them. Let children play with them, and get them used to people of all ages. This all needs to be done at a young age, after a couple of weeks and months if your puppy has already started acting cautious it could be too late- and a professional dog trainer will be needed to undo the damage.

Expose Them to Lots of Situations

With a new tiny puppy it can be tempting to want to wrap them up in cotton wool. But this is the worst thing you can do, and actually getting out there with them and exposing them to all kinds of noises and situations is very beneficial. Take them into dog friendly shops such as pet shops and dog friendly cafes. 

Stay with them at a dog friendly hotel, walk them in lots of different places so they can see that everything is fine. Dogs can develop phobias of everything from bicycles and prams to stairs, the vacuum cleaner and much more. Exposing them to all of these things as a young puppy will allow them to adapt and get used to it, they will see there’s no danger and grow up a happy and well balanced pooch.

Find Good Kennels
Going on vacation when you have a dog can be problematic, and there are dog owners out there who will refuse to go instead of leaving their pet behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are lots of fantastic kennels out there these days that will ensure your dog is well looked after. That way you can own a dog and still have your annual vacation or the odd mini break with no stress.

Find a good local boarding kennels, read plenty of reviews and go and see the place for yourself. You want somewhere you will be happy leaving your pup throughout their life. You could even book them in for the occasional overnight stay in puppy hood even if you’re not going away, that way they get used to the place and when you do go away for a week or two they’ve been there before. 

Some kennels offer grooming and training too, and will allow friendly dogs to socialize. So it’s something that can be stimulating and fun for your dog while you’re away! You will need to ensure your dog’s vaccinations and boosters are all up to scratch for them to go into kennels so it’s a good reminder for you to get them done each year.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Keep Your Companion Content

Having a dog is a wonderful gift that everyone deserves to experience. They give us so much and have a huge positive impact on our lives. There are many reasons as to why you should get one, so if you haven't already - what are you waiting for?

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, and it really is just that. They provide you with so much endless love that you don't even have to do anything to receive it. They give and give because it's what they do best, and yet they don't expect anything else from you in return. Some people even say that dogs are better than humans because they don't have the ability to lie - they're one - if not the only - most loyal creature on the planet.

So as you can see they give us all we could ever have asked for, so what can we do for them in return?

Keep them healthy

This is all down to the foods that you give them. Bear in mind that if you accidently leave a table full of food out with your dog in the room - they will consume as much as they possibly can. So what you give them is very important. The food that they have is one thing, but you can also ensure that they are getting all the right nutrients that they need with extra supplements. If you're not sure what these may be, you can have a look online and find things like the best fish oil for dogs, as this gives them the essential fatty acids that improve so many things from their neurological health to their cardiovascular health.

Keep them fit

It is your responsibility to make sure that they are getting all the exercise they need. Sure, if you have your own garden then they can play outside, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to take them for walks. You still need to do this around three times every day to keep them mobile and healthy. Plus they'll thank you for this outing. Dogs aren't meant to be kept locked away inside four walls - they're an animal. They need to go out and see new things and smell new scents and explore! That's what they crave, to go out and socialise with other dogs from the park. Just like a human, if they don't get that then they are prone to becoming depressed and miserable.

Keep them loved

This shouldn't come hard to you, because that's part of what owning a dog is filled with - love. It doesn't take much for you to show them your love. It can be with your voice, your touch, and even the look you have in your eyes. You wouldn't believe how intelligent dogs are - they have a sixth sense, and the ability to read a humans body language is extraordinary. So they know how you feel, they can pick up on it. The action of petting your dog is a magical connection that not only feels lovely for them, but it also relaxes their muscles and relieves any stress they may be feeling.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pack A Bug-Out Bag For Your Dog Before It's Too Late

Let’s say that S is about to hit the F, which isn’t too hard to imagine with the Russians poisoning people in Britain, a world war of tax deals is about to erupt across the globe and Trump and that North Korean guy about to get together for a you-know-what measuring competition. That’s when having a survival kit and plan is going to come in handy like never before.

Of course, you’ve no doubt imagined this kind of situation before. We all have. We’ve all thought about what would happen if a) world war broke out again, b) an invasion took place or c) a zombie apocalypse broke out. You’d grab your bug-out bag, load the car with essential supplies and make sure you have everyone that means the world to you: significant lover, spouse, kids, siblings, parents, neighbours and maybe even friends.

But what about your dog?

What about that beloved pooch that has been by your side through thick and thin? The one that has been nothing but loyal. Don’t get us wrong, we know that you love your pet as much as anything else in this world, but have you ever thought about them when preparing for a world-changing disaster? Don’t worry - you’re not alone.

Now, when disaster strikes, there is a whole bunch of reactionary thought-processes and actions that are going to take place. There is so much to do in such a short period of time. However, nothing is possible without a bug-out bag. So, without further ado, we have pulled together a list of things you need to pack in your pet's bag should an all-out doomsday scenario come about. Hopefully, it won’t but, like we said, with the clock at two minutes to midnight, you never know.

1. Saddle Up

Depending on the size of your tail-wagger, the best thing you can do is invest in a bug-out bag that’s made for a dog, something they can wear, something like a saddlebag. You’re going to have enough to carry, so get a pack that will help your pooch carry their own supplies. Not only is this going to free you up, it will ensure you have something that quickly attaches to your pups back and. Let’s be honest, when SHTF, time is going to be of the essence.

2. Favorite Foods

We should have to tell you that food is going to be one of the most essential supplies your dog will need, but it’s well worth reinforcing this fact just in case. That said, there is more to packing your dog’s food than just shoving into their saddlebag; you need to think about the weight of it, how much storage space there is and how it is all distributed. The bottom line is: you need to make sure the weight is evenly distributed between both sides or else the bag could slip off, slide around or make it hard for your dog to move freely. Our advice: take what food and snacks you have and separate them into four or six piles and then put these in ziplock bags, placing an even number on either side of the saddlebag. If your dog’s food comes in cans, we recommend you empty it all into air-tight bags to make it lighter and easier to carry or, at the very least, remember to pack a can opener.

3. H20 Go, Go, Go

After the water is all done and dusted, you need to make sure you have plenty of water packed. Once again, the trick is to distribute the weight. It’s also worth assessing how strong your dog is so that you can assess how much they can carry. To give you a little tip, we would urge you to buy a couple of Camelbak-type water carriers, which will make it lighter and more comfortable. Of course, in order for your dog to be able to eat or drink anything, you are also going to have to bring a couple of bowls, preferably collapsible ones to make sure they don’t waste too much space.

4. Live On The Leash

If an apocalypse of any kind erupts, then it doesn’t matter how calm and collected your dog might be, panic will start to fill their senses, which is why you need to have a couple of leashes packed. But don’t just buy any leash, shop today for something that won’t break; something that’s made out of climbing rope or something. Like we said, you want something that can withstand a scared dog yanking on it. The other thing that is worth mentioning is the need for an extra collar and set of tags. You don’t want to run the risk of losing or breaking the only ones you have, not in this situation. Oh, and make sure you have practised certain obedience tricks. You will need them more than ever before.

5. Medication A Must

If your dog takes any medications, and we mean any, then you need to make sure these are included in your dog’s bug-out bag. That said, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just the ones your dog takes on a regular basis. You should also bring along any that may come in handy when you are out surviving. We’re talking about flea and tick medication, dressing to assist with any wounds, and pain medication should the going get tough. It could also be worth investing in a doggy backpack in case you need to carry them at all, for whatever reason.

6. Comforting Is Key

This is a survival kit we’re talking about. It’s that bag of essentials you need to grab before you run because some disaster is coming. That means it is bound to be a pretty terrifying ordeal, even if just some of it is. As such, you need to consider these stresses and how you will keep your dog calm. Our advice: pack their favorite tidbits. Back the creature comforts that will help them stay relaxed. Dog treats, chew toys, blanket, brush, anything you can think of. This will make keeping them calm and relaxed a whole lot easier than just ssshing or whatnot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

4 Dog Breeds That'll Rescue You In A Pinch

Dogs are incredibly loyal creatures, there’s no doubt about that. We all want to be able to rely on our perfect pet pooches to come and rescue us should the need arise, and it makes sense to believe that they would. They snatch the mail out of the delivery man’s hand and they bark excitedly when the doorbell rings. It makes sense to think that the dog in the home would be the one to turn Lassie in a crisis and come to our aid. Dogs are fiercely protective of our every move, so it stands to reason that if there was a fire or something went wrong in our homes, hero doggy would come to help.
There are, however, some breeds over others that have heroism stamped through their bodies like sticks of rock. There are so many misconceptions about dog breeds out there, and while some dogs are as useful as a fish out of water, others make the list of best dogs to have around in a crisis. If your pooch isn’t on this list, don’t worry. They’re probably still really good at making you feel calm and happy.

Image result for rescue dog

Newfie (Newfoundland). A Newfoundland is a beautifully large dog that looks like it was made to jump overboard when the boat capsizes and drag you to shore. With their surprisingly webbed feet, a coat that not only repels moisture, but is double layered for warmth and a tail of pure muscle for propulsion, Newfoundlands are a dog breed built for rescue. They’ve been known to jump from helicopters and rescue those in the water and it’s a miracle thing that they do!

German Shepherd. Commonly chosen as military dogs, these pups are high energy, courageous and very trainable. They are always wary with strangers, but once you’ve gained their trust they are fiercely loyal to you and your family. They’ll be right by your side in any crisis and won’t let you down.

Golden Retriever. Originally bred to, well, retrieve, these dogs are such intelligent creatures. They’ve been repeatedly bred for search and rescue missions, including those in the aftermath of 9/11. You can’t go wrong with choosing a dog who is not only playful, but amazingly warm and loyal, too.

Collie. Lassie was a Collie, and though she may be fiction, the heroism of other Collie dogs isn’t. There’s an award called Dog Hero Of The Year, and Collie’s have topped the list more than once. There are several stories in the media of Collie dogs saving the day when there’s a problem, and Timmy isn’t the only child that has been rescued by a Collie.

Image result for newfoundland dog rescue

In all seriousness, there are many dog breeds out there with threads of heroism woven in the very pads of their paws. Dogs of all backgrounds have plenty of heart once you get to know them, win their trust and show that you love them as much as they love you. Dogs are great in a crisis and will take a bus or a bullet for you. Treat them well.

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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