Don’t Forget About Your Pet During Hurricane Sandy

Sandy has recently hit the northeast. We live in the Lehigh valley, and have been off all week so far (Monday-Wednesday). I work at schools, so they are slowly restoring power. Many trees (large trees) have fallen down, including many power lines and posts. We were without power for only one day (lucky). However, over 80,000 people are still without power, and some are estimated to have their power off until Sunday. The Jersey coast, NY, and Long Island have been hit hard. Many of my relatives are from long island and have lost power, have trees down on their houses, and flooded basements. Some of my relatives had to evacuate and can’t get back into their houses yet because of severe flooding. It’s very sad that these storms seem to be more frequent and cause more damage each time.

One thing you can’t forget in preparing for a storm is making sure your pet is prepared too.

Make sure you have:

  • pet food for a week
  • water for a week
  • medications
  • copy of vaccines
  • vet phone number handy
  • photographs of your pet (in case they get lost)
  • your dog’s collar, with tags…ON your dog
  • toys
  • food and water bowls
  • leash and collars
  • blankets

I was happy to see so many local shelters for people were also accepting dogs! Stay dry & warm if you are in the Hurricane Sandy Zone!


Tick Preventatives

We went hiking a week ago in the Poconos and found over 12 ticks on the dog! It was one after the other. I thought we would be safe since it’s been colder, including a few frosts…boy was I wrong! She was EXTREMELY good, she even laid down as I was getting them off (yay!). She use to try to bite me every time she saw me coming with the tick twister or tweezers. By the way, the tick twister is AWESOME. She had lots of deer ticks (they carry lyme disease ), so I called the vet to check in and see if there was anything I had to do. They said to watch her and we’ll see. Only 20% of young deer ticks carry lyme, while 50% of adults carry lyme disease.

You may be wondering what we use to protect her from ticks and why she had so many. We hiked through the woods with small brush where deer are very frequent. She is not protected from ticks. Unfortunately, she is allergic to the collars and liquid applications found at the store and vet. This also includes any sprays, wipes, etc. There are some things I do to help her fight ticks and lyme disease. First off, I feed her a fresh diet and add many supplements to help boost her immune system. Garlic, Skullcap, and Licorice can also be used to protect against bacteria. I usually add some garlic in her food. Yes, garlic can be bad for dogs…but only used in very large amounts. Probiotics are also good for protection.

Different natural topical applications such as tickweed and rose geranium can be combined with almond oil and put onto your dog’s collar to help repel ticks. There are endless amounts of natural tick repellents. Have you used any that work?



Treat Training Dog Syndrome

Does your dog look up at you when you’re walking? Does your dog follow by your side? If so…your dog might have TTDS (Treat Training Dog Syndrome). Here are more symptoms of TTDS so that you may be able to diagnose your dog:


  • you open the door, your dog sits patiently while you clip the leash on their collar.
  • opening the door, your dog sits and waits without you saying a word.
  • you are locking the door at your house, your dog is leashed and waiting behind you sitting.
  • your dog sees another dog and automatically looks at you or offers a trick

These are just some of the symptoms of TTDS. The symptoms vary depending on how well you have treat trained your dog! Don’t worry, TTDS is a great syndrome for your dog to have!


I love my bone!

This was definitely after a long walk…ahhh so peaceful. She loves her bone! It is a good extra source of calcium since she is fed mostly homemade food. We let her chew on it in the evening and when she is done we put it away. This is a good managment idea for resource guarders…don’t leave toys or things around your dog guards (if you can help it), and keep practicing “trade”.

Fire Alarm Fiasco

The other weekend we had quite the fire alarm fiasco. As many of you know, loud noises can bother fearful dogs immensely. Fear of loud noises usually worsen over time, can be learned, or have a deeper cause like genetics. Oreo is definitely genetically predisposed to being fearful, but she was not always so fearful of the fire alarm.

It all began one Saturday evening. My husband and I were running around doing chores and cleaning up the house. We finally ate and sat down to watch a nice movie until…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, goes our fire alarm. We live in a newer home, so the fire alarms seem to be unusually LOUD. The first time the alarm went off Oreo followed my husband to where the fire alarm is, jumped up, and checked it out.

We sat back down to enjoy the movie, and literally we just got through the previews…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. This time Oreo whines and follows my husband to the fire alarm while he turns it off.

Again, we sit down and start the movie. By the way, this is a movie that I’ve been waiting to watch for quite a while. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. This time Oreo barks and follows my husband.

You can understand the pattern, each time the fire alarm goes off Oreo gets more upset. Meanwhile, we don’t understand why they are going off, but know that the fire alarms have a history of acting up in the neighborhood.

The next time it goes off Oreo now barks and whines, walks in circles and runs around.

The final time Oreo can’t take it, barks, whines, follows us upstairs, and pees.

I know it’s bad when she pees. She doesn’t pee in the house. She use to do that a long time ago when we first got her-she would pee whenever we turned on a hair dryer or anything else that sounded like it-but she isn’t afraid of that sound anymore.

However, with the large amount of loud fire alarms going off in such a short time, Oreo was exposed to the sound too much. I did treat her, do tricks, and try “having a party”, but she was too anxious after the second fire alarm.

You may wonder why we didn’t just shut them off. We tried, they are like SUPER fire alarms, made so no one can take them off! We did eventually get them off, wrapped them in a towel, and threw them in the car. Not the safest decision, but for our sanity, and Oreo’s we did it. Later we found out the batteries were dying, which should have just triggered a one beep, not a full fire alarm, but who knows.

Signs your dog may be afraid of loud noises:

panting, whining, pacing, urinating, circling, trembling, running away/jumping to avoid

There are much more serious signs where your dog may actually injure themselves because they can not handle how anxious they are. Many dogs try to hide, especially in the tub. Oreo is not afraid of thunderstorms…yet, so I do different things during thunderstorms. I make sure I play games and do tricks for treats during thunderstorms. Some other things you can do are play soothing music, put a fan or something on that will hide some of the noise, have a treat party (throw high value treats around your dog to make a positive associate between the storm and good things), try to desensitize your dog, or see your vet about medications if it is severe.

We are happy the fire alarms are fixed. Coincidently as I was just finishing writing this, the show my husband was watching had fire alarms going off. Oreo raised her head from her sleep and looked, but luckily the alarms only lasted about 2 seconds!