Saturday, June 24, 2017

Your GERBIL Should Live in an Aquarium

To understand why your gerbil should live in an aquarium we'll first have to look at gerbils in the wild.Gerbils are a burrowing animal, they dig up the ground and create underground tunnel systems in which they reside.The other noteworthy trait of a gerbil is that it is a rodent, which in short, means they like to chew allot.

English: A male and female fat-tailed gerbil (...
A male and female fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi).  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gerbil movement is more like hopping than running, and their large back feet are furry on the bottom to protect them from the heat of the sand. Gerbils are fast but overly inquisitive. In their natural environment, they mostly eat insects, and additionally gain moisture from desert plants that store water in them. A gerbil has fur all over its body, including the tail, as this prevents it from getting sunburned.

There are several quite obvious reasons why aquariums make better housing for a gerbil:

When the gerbil starts to dig around through his bedding, the bedding is contained within the aquarium and isn't splashed sideways on the floor (which I just finished cleaning of course).
Cages that have more than one level can become a serious danger, especially to pups. They run around and play around and a fall or stumble and can end up with a broken leg.

Gerbils also tend to chew the wires of the cage which isn't particularly good to the cage or good to the gerbil.

Moreover Gerbils are social animals, and prefer to live in groups. Often very large groups live well together, as long as the living environment is big enough; otherwise, the gerbils may become frustrated and attack one another.That's why it's very important to have a large roomy aquarium for you gerbils. Aquariums tend to be bigger than cages thus provide to the little ones more room play in. Moreover hamster wheels can easily be fitted at the top of an aquarium.

The other choice would going with a plastic habitat. IMO these aren't very good as a gerbil may chew them up and from experience escape is far too easy using those.

If you don't have a gerbil, get one!

Gerbils are a very popular house pet, and there are several reasons for that. They are typically non-aggressive, and they rarely bite unprovoked or without stress. They are small and easy to handle, since they are sociable creatures that enjoy the company of humans and other gerbils. Gerbils also have adapted their kidneys to produce a minimum of waste to conserve body fluids which makes them very clean with little odor.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

HAMSTERS Fuzzy Balls Of Fun

As a child, most of us grew up with hamsters or friends who had hamsters. Even our children are fascinated with the small fuzzy creatures. There are many types of hamsters, dwarf, Syrian, Russian, Chinese, and hybrid. The hamster is a burrower so they prefer to have lots of bedding to hide under as well as tubes to create little nests in. The most difficult aspect of hamsters is telling if they are female or male and being wrong. Who has bought two hamsters thinking they were the same gender and ending up with ten hamsters? I certainly have.

Photo: Flickr

A lot of biologists and geneticists use hamsters and other rodents to show genetic possibilities. In genetics, we often discuss the genome and how genes are dispersed in relation to eye color, hair color, and other traits. When you have hamsters as pets you are seeing this first hand. I had one gold hamster and one white hamster. When they bred I ended up with several color traits from gold, white, black, white and black to many more.  Half the fun for kids is seeing the baby hamsters grow up with different colors. It can be a great science project for school as well as having a wonderful pet.

Hamsters are relatively easy to take care of. You can feed them hamster food, vegetables, and little hamster treats to give them a good life. The bedding should be changed weekly or twice a week depending upon how many hamsters you have. The downside to hamsters is their short lives. Most live only a year or two making it difficult on the younger children.

There are lots of hamster accessories from tubes to wheels. Hamsters like other pets need to have exercise so giving them wheels to run on or having a hamster ball to run around the house in is good for them. The tubing and cages come in a variety of colors to add to a child’s fun. You can create straight pathways to other larger home areas or curve them around to reenter the same cage. Most of the caging is plastic and your hamster will try to chew or claw there way free. You will want to monitor their activity when you clean the cage to make sure they are not producing a hole. Some hamster owners go with a metal wire cage with tiny slits to avoid the chewing escape. Your preference will determine the type of accessories you purchase.  

Handling hamsters should be kept to a minimum and you should always wash your hand before and after. Hamsters can have a tendency to bite if they are not handled at least once a day or if they become scared. Be cautious with little children.

Hamsters are a lot of fun for all ages whether you have a budding scientist or just want an easy pet your child can care for. You will want to make sure you feed your hamster properly by not over feeding them while maintaining proper exercise. When your hamsters procreate, you will want to separate out the mother and children from the rest of the crew. A cautionary note before concluding this article: Dwarf hamsters are very susceptible to infections with cedar chips because it can tear holes in their tiny mouths.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

SUGAR GLIDERS, The Perfect Pocket Pet

If you have been thinking about getting a great small pet that is friendly, fun and entertaining then you should consider a sugar glider! Here is some great information about these cute little critters.

Sugar Gliders are marsupials which means that the babies are born extremely immature and then grow in a pouch on the mothers abdomen until they are mature enough to survive outside her body on their own.

English: Sugar Glider Petaurus breviceps at Ci...
Sugar Glider Petaurus breviceps at Cincinnati Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The adult sugar gliders size is usually around 5-6 inches long with a weight of 4-6 ounces.
Between the wrist and the ankle, sugar gliders have a fur covered membrane called a patapium. To see an example of a sugar glider in flight visit By spreading out their hands and feet the sugar gliders patapium acts like a parachute allowing the sugar glider to float through the air.

Sugar gliders have large apposable toes on their hind feet which allows them to grip branches. This assists the sugar glider while gliding from limb to limb and while climbing. Sugar gliders second and third toes form a grooming comb which they can use to groom their fur.

Sugar gliders are extremely social and enjoy companionship. Because of this fact sugar gliders usually bond well with their owners. If you do not have a lot of time to spend with your sugar glider it is a good idea to keep more than one.

If you plan on keeping more than one sugar glider it is advisable to raise them together from a young age as it can be difficult introducing unaquainted adults.

Be sure to purchase an appropriate cage for your sugar glider. It is best to get the largest cage that you can afford to give your sugar gliders plenty of room.

Before purchasing a sugar glider as a pet, be sure to research their nutritional needs. Sugar gliders have some special dietary calcium requirements that are important to follow to keep your sugar glider in optimum health.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, so if you plan on owning a sugar glider be prepared to have a pet that is most active during the night. Sugar gliders make a chainsaw like sound, so you may want to place their cage in an area where their talking does not disturb you while you sleep.

In spite of the fact that sugar gliders are nocturnal, they are usually happy to spend time with their owners during the day by sleeping in a pocket or pouch. Many sugar glider owners find this trait particularly charming and take their little sugar glider pocket pets with them everywhere they go.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

6 SMALL PETS for Almost Every Household

Focus is always on dogs and cats in the pet world, but what about those of us who can't own a larger animal? Don't overlook the benefits of small pets-they can be good pets just like any other animal, and are often easier to take care of. There is a large variety to choose from so it's hard to pick just one, that's why we broke it down for you so you can decide which pet is right for you!

Photo: Flickr
• Rabbits: These furry animals are social and friendly, and adapt very well to human companionship. They actually have longer life spans compared to other pets-in fact, some rabbits live to be 7-10 years old! Rabbits are kid friendly-but a downfall is that you need lots of room indoors for them. They also need to be socialized just like a dog, so if you're very busy and don't have time for that, rabbits probably aren't right for you.

• Birds: Pet birds have been known to reduce depression in owners because of the color and charming, calming sounds they bring to the home. They are one of the cleanest animals and only need to take up a small area in your home. Several birds have been selectively bred for human ownership and adapt well to domestic life, including finches, cockatiels, canaries, parakeets, and lovebirds. Some downfalls are that some birds, such as parrots, are better off in the wild and can be loud and destructive. When deciding to purchase a bird, you must consider getting two because most birds are flock animals and need a friend to keep them company.

• Hamsters: These small animals are cuddly, friendly, and inquisitive. They do not require a large amount of attention, so they're great for people with busy lifestyles. A downfall is that they are nocturnal, so if you're planning on keeping one in your bedroom you may want to reconsider so you can sleep. They can also bite and carry diseases like salmonella, so you should handle them carefully and wash your hands after touching them. Hamsters also have very short lifespans-if you have small children in the household, be prepared to explain death after 2.5-3 years.

• Ferrets: These are very fun and engaging small pets with playful attitudes. They have long life spans and become very cuddly as they age. You must keep a close eye on them when they are out of their cage, and you should not keep one in its cage for a long period of time. Ferrets can get pretty smelly and it takes time to keep them clean. But if you have the time and energy, ferrets are probably perfect for you!

• Guinea Pigs: These pets have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years and are very sweet and social. They require grooming and do better when they have another guinea pig for companionship. Like hamsters, they can carry salmonella and other diseases so it's important to wash your hands after handling one.

• Chinchillas: These small pets also have a longer lifespan of 5 to 10 years and are quite adorable. They tend to be solitary so there's no need for a companion. Chinchillas are usually clean and odorless and friendly to humans. A downfall is that they require dust baths at least once a week and should be handled very carefully because they are easily startled. They can get to be large and hard to handle.

There are so many small pets to choose from-hopefully you are able to determine which small animal is right for you!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

RAT and MICE Health - Tips on Medications and Neutering

Just like cats and dogs, rats and mice need regular medication and the occasional visit to the vet. As always, prevention is best, and this article gives you some tips and advice to help your pet mouse or rat live longer and healthier and be the best companion for you.

English: A female pet mouse standing in hand. ...
A female pet mouse standing in hand. It's an adult, but it's smaller than a pet mice usually are, because it's bred to be small.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rats and mice need worming three to four times a year. They also may need spraying to keep mites away. However, this can be done cheaply if you purchase your products from your local pet store owner and you buy a generic brand. There are vitamin supplements that can be added to their water too. Most of these products can be purchased for approximately $10 each and are well worth keeping just in case your pet becomes ill. By administering vitamin syrup or worming, for example, you may be able to save your pet's life or at least prevent if from getting very ill.

Cages and toys should be sprayed for mites at least once a week when they are cleaned. By keeping cages and toys clean, you will provide a much healthier environment. I always soaked toys and bowls in hot water and disinfectant; they were then rinsed thoroughly. They never went straight back in the cages, however. I always had two or three sets of everything. That way items could dry properly and there was little risk of the mice and rats becoming ill from the disinfectant I used.

Both rats and mice have a fantastic sense of smell and will benefit from the use of essential oils. These oils will aid with healing wounds and regulating behaviour. However, as with dogs and other pets, you will have to dilute it and read the instructions carefully. If the male mice were fighting, I used to apply a tea tree cream. It has great healing qualities and is so pungent that the other mice would live the victim alone. As male mice tend gang up on just one, the use of this cream allowed the poor thing to recover and heal its wounds.

Get professional advice from your health care expert about which oils would be best for your pet. There are also some great websites available that can offer advice about which oils to use, dosage rates and much more.

You can desex rats but not mice; they're just too small. Desexing male rats is much simpler and painless than desexing females. However, the easiest and cheapest option is to keep separate cages for your males and females or just keep one gender.

You shouldn't breed your females too young as this may stunt their growth and cause problems later on. Females will need to be rested for months between litters as over breeding will cause health problems. Proper diet is also essential for lactating females and I have covered it in another article.
Rats are not as territorial as mice and we mix rats from different litters together all the time and we have never had any problems with one rat accepting another, in fact, they welcome the company after a brief investigation. I have seen females grooming small young that are not their own in both mice and rats too. Both species seem to have a very community spirited idea to caring for the welfare of their young.

If you are concerned about introducing a new animal to your existing ones, do it in neutral territory like your bathroom; clean the cage thoroughly and then give them fresh food. Put both animals back in the cage at the same time. They will be so busy running around investigating the new food and new bedding they won't bother with each other.

If these animals do start fighting, there is not much you can do but separate them in different cages.

    By Sue Day
    Sue Day has worked in the pet industry for many years. Now a full time dog trainer, Sue has put together a website of over 50 pages to share her knowledge and experiences of pet care.
    Article Source:  EzineArticles

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How To Find A Good Pet Sitter For Your CHINCHILLA

When you have an exotic animal such as a chinchilla, because they're in the exotic animal family, they need special care.  So if you're going away, you'll need someone to take care of your pet.  However, it can't be the same kind of person who can pet sit dogs or cats.  They have to be someone who is experienced in taking care of exotic animals such as chinchillas.  Where do you find someone who fits that mold?

English: 2 pet Chinchillas. Русский: 2 домашни...
2 pet Chinchillas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you don't know anyone offhand, you can start by checking out a professional pet sitting service.  See if you can find one that deals with exotic animals.  It may take you a little more time than usual because these types of services are not common.  You'll want to start your search at least several weeks before you leave; that is, if you know that far in advance that you're leaving.

You can check with Pet Sitters International and The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for more assistance.  You would probably have them do a few more additional tasks, like get the daily newspaper and check the mail.  You may also have them maintain the lighting by turning them on and off at different intervals of the day.   

Getting a referral is a great way to get a sitter for your pet.  Make sure they know enough about exotic animals before you consider them to take care of yours.  In addition to professional pet organizations, ask around to see if anyone knows of people that are experienced in taking care of exotic pets such as chinchillas.  If by chance, you happen to know someone that has a chinchilla, see if they're available and willing to watch your pet.

Just because they have the same kind of pet doesn't mean they're willing to take on the extra duties.  Ask your veterinarian if they know of anyone who can and are available to be a pet sitter while you're gone.  Or even try the pet store.  Ask the employees if they can recommend someone.  

Once you do have a candidate available, ask them questions to make sure they are knowledgeable about chinchillas.  Make sure they know how to take care of them, what to feed them, etc.  When you do find that person that will be able to take care of your pet, the next step is to find out the setup.  If you can move your chinchilla and the cage, then you may be able to transport it to a facility or take it to the sitter.

There is a downside to this:  if you do have to transport, beware that they may come in contact with other animals that have contagious diseases.  Also, since chinchillas don't adapt to change well, especially an abrupt change, it may cause them to be stressed.  You can also have the pet sitter come to your house if you feel comfortable with that.  At least your pet will be in familiar territory.  They already know the surroundings, and they would be able to thrive.  If you use this option, you must be able to trust the person to stay in your home.  

When you have found the right person, make sure you provide them with detailed instructions on how to care for your pet.  This is very important, because you want them to care for your pet like you care for them, so the chinchilla won't notice a difference in that.  You should also leave detailed instructions and information for the pet sitter in the event of an emergency.

If your pet needs treatment and you can't get back right away, then you may want to give them permission to get treatment for them.  Leave a contact number for your veterinarian as well as a contact number where you can be easily reached.  

It may take time for this process, but once you find the right person, your mind will be at ease.   

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Cavy Care: Is A GUINEA PIG Right For You

If you are thinking about getting a pet for your home, you might want to consider a guinea pig. Guinea pigs, also called cavies, are lovable furry little critters that will bring you a lot of joy.  In addition, guinea pigs can be a perfect first pet for children because they are easy to care for and more cuddly than a hamster and or fish. Here is some more information to help you determine whether a guinea pig is the right pet for you.

Guinea Pig baby. About 8 hours old.
Guinea Pig baby. About 8 hours old. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are thinking about getting a pet for your home, you may a first consider a dog or cat. These animals are perfect for homes if you have a lot of time to dedicate to owning a pet. Dogs and cats need a lot of attention and a lot of space.  Guinea pigs on the other hand are just as cute as dog, cats, and they do not require near as much space or care. Many people love the idea of guinea pigs as first pets for children because they live a lot longer than hamsters or gerbils. In fact, a well cared for guinea pig can live up to eight or nine years. Once you own a guinea pig, you will be hooked by these cute, sweet natured critters.

When you go to the store to get a guinea pig, it is always a good idea to look at them carefully and choose them by their personality. Each guinea pig has his or her own personality.  Some are more reserved in nature, while others are more outgoing.  If you are choosing a guinea pig for your child, you want to make sure that your guinea pig can tolerate being held and petted. Guinea pigs are not known to be aggressive or to bite, but your child will have no fun with a shy guinea pig. 

Guinea pigs are also should social animals, and they enjoy the company of other guinea pigs.  If you are planning to get a guinea pig, you might want to consider getting two guinea pigs at the same time. Male guinea pigs get along quite well with each other when you get them when they are babies. Male guinea pigs will fight with each other.  If you introduce them after they are grown. Female guinea pigs can also get along well with each other. It is not recommended that you get a male and a female, unless you want to breed guinea pigs.

When looking at guinea pig cages, you need to find one that will allow enough room for movement and play. Guinea pigs like to stay hidden when they sleep, so make sure that your cage has a place where they can hide. A plastic or wooden structure inside the cage is always a good idea. You will also want to add some sort of betting to the bottom of your guinea pig cage for easy cleanup. Cedar chips are not recommended. You also want to include a large water bottle for your guinea pig. If you have, two guinea pigs consider getting two water bottles. Guinea pigs love to drink water, so make sure that you give them plenty of fresh water every day. 

Some experts recommend adding vitamin C drops to their water. This works well for some guinea pigs. However, some guinea pigs do not like the taste and will not drink the water. If you do decide to add vitamin C drops to their water, make sure they are staying hydrated throughout the day. If you choose not to include vitamin C drops with their water.  You can supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Guinea pigs love fresh vegetables and fruits of all kinds. Just make sure that you are not overfeeding your guinea pigs and use fruits and vegetables as treats. As far as food is concerned, you will want to feed your guinea pigs specially formulated guinea pig pellets available at pet stores. Guinea pigs also needed daily supply of Timothy hay to help aid in digestion.

Guinea pigs are great pets for all types of homes. When you get your guinea pig young, you can work with it to social it. You and your children will enjoy these adorable pets for many years to come.