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Choosing The Right Pet For You

Most individuals have an idea just what type of pet they want; however, the
maintenance of a pet can cause some concern. Knowing how to choose the correct
pet for you may be easy. You may have had several pets as a child and know you
need a companion for your own home or you may have always wanted a pet but been
told you could not have one. Whatever the case you may need to take into
consideration some key points to pet care when deciding what pet is right for
you.

First some pets take more care than others. Dogs are very needy animals. They
are very sensitive towards their owners. I am sure most of you have heard of
dogs tearing up a house when left along all day. Dogs can get bored even when
they have other dog companions and toys. They need the human interaction. Most
dog owners take their dogs out for a walk before work and after work for the
exercise and play time. Other owners who work outside will often let their dogs
come to work with them to keep them out of trouble. Cats on the other hand can
amuse themselves and as long as you put your valuables on a shelf, they cannot
reach and keep a clean house they will sleep, look out windows, and play with
toys while you are away. Fish are another type of pet that is typically low
maintenance except for cleaning the fish tank.

Pet care is very important when you own a pet. They need attention from their
owners, positive reinforcement, training, and love. Fish are usually excluded
from this statement, as they just need food, proper tank maintenance, and a few
plants to sustain life, however the point is proper pet care is required when
you own any pet. The decision will be yours to make in choosing what the right
pet is for you. Above I mentioned three types of pets and little about their
care, now I am going to look at it a little more.

While dogs are high maintenance and require the most training they are also one
of the best pets to own. They can alert you to danger, alert you to someone at
the door, and give unconditional love back. A dog only asks in return for
proper care and a great deal of attention. If you cannot be home all the time,
you will want to make sure the dog has a roof over their heads in case of
inclement weather, and a huge yard to play in. Some dogs can jump fences so it
may be best to have a dog run in the yard so they can move about, but not
escape.

Cats on the other hand can be high or low maintenance depending on breed as
well as personality. Some cats require hours of people attention while others
shirk attention. Some cats belong to a one pet household. They do not like to
share their owner's affections and will become upset if not mean towards the
infiltrator. Others need the playmate's attention to live happily. It will be
hard to determine just which type of cat you own when you first buy them as
kittens as their personalities are just developing.

Pet care is the most important factor when you are deciding which pet is right
for you and your home. You will want to consider all the pet care needs of the
animals you are looking at as well as the breed you are looking at to determine
if they will have a happy place in your home.

The Importance of Pet Vaccinations

When you were a child you had to have vaccinations at certain points in your
life such as measles, tetanus, and other shots. This is important for your pets
as well. We will specifically look at dog vaccinations, as they are a very
common pet to have. Keep in mind during some of these shots are required for
cats as well.

Dogs need to have vaccinations to guard against disease. When your dog is a
puppy they will need a distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus,
parainfluenza, and corona combination between six to eight, nine to eleven,
twelve to fourteen, and sixteen to seventeen weeks. They will also need these
shots again every twelve months. The next vaccination is a bordetella
administered at fourteen weeks and every six months. Rabies must be given at
sixteen weeks and again every twelve to thirty- six months.

Vaccinations protect your dog and other pets from human diseases as well as
other problems that could arise. Make sure you visit your pet on a regular
schedule. A few more vaccinations are the giardia at fourteen and seventeen
weeks, with a yearly dose. Lyme is another type administered at fourteen and
seventeen weeks as well as yearly.

Occasionally state regulations will require a different administering chart. It
is best to speak with your vet to gain the proper knowledge for your breed of
dog as well as the correct vaccinations. Dogs are "man's best friend" and thus
it is important to give proper care that includes treatments.

Other care besides vaccinations can be proper baths, toenail clipping, and
feeding your dog properly. Most health problems arise in a dog that is either
genetically susceptible or environmentally exposed to human food. Human food
because of its greasy qualities can block a dog's artery. So proper nutrition
is often found in dog food or cooking meals for your pet per vet guidelines if
your dog has health issues.

Dogs also require a lot of attention and exercise. Breeds such as the Huskies
or golden retrievers require special care. Huskies are breed as working dogs.
They need to have a lot of exercise as well as play time with their owners.
Golden retrievers are social animals, will feel lonely, and rejected if left
alone for too long. Other breeds though social may not react in the same
manners of the latter two. Other breeds can be content with a large yard and
runner as long as they can play and eat.

Part of owning a pet, especially a dog is to provide it with love and attention
just like you need. Proper care is very important on a day-to-day basis like
having a routine feeding time or visiting the vet for the proper vaccinations.
Vaccinations can determine the longevity of your dog just like a proper diet
and exercise. While your vet has spent a lot of time, going to school for the
proper care of animals it is always a great idea to be knowledgeable about your
pets care. Vaccinations when not administered properly can harm the animal. I
would stay away from ordering medications and vaccinations online if you are
not familiar with the products and how to give them to your dog, this may cause
some medical problems. Any pet deserves the care we would give ourselves and
with today's world, we are finding better ways to make going to a vet easier.

Picking The Right Food For Your Pet

Pets are wonderful creatures to share our lives with, and they need just as
much care as humans. All pets need to be fed properly, though we always have
the question of what that might be. There are individuals who give their pet's
human food, while others strictly give pet food. We will concentrate on dogs,
cats, and rabbits for proper feeding.

Rabbits

How many times have you heard that rabbits like their vegetables? This is true.
Most rabbits need a steady diet of rabbit food that includes lettuce and
carrots. Most of the time we raise our rabbits on pellets, however, this may
not be fibrous enough and can cause obesity. A steady diet of hay, vegetables,
and pellets will lead to a healthy rabbit.

Dogs

Is it wise to feed your dog human food? Most dogs are related to the wolf
family a very carnivorous bunch, which means they need to have meat in their
diet. This does not mean human food is the correct food for them. It is best to
find a dog food product where the first ingredient is meat. Make sure it is real
meat and not some processed substitute. Feeding your dog human food is a bad
idea because it can be too greasy for them and block their arteries. Dogs have
very sensitive digestive tracks so they are susceptible to diarrhea and upset
stomachs if you change their food. It is best to find a dog food you prefer and
that is healthy for them. You also want to keep them on the same food. Changing
food can cause problems. If you feel you need to change food, you should slowly
integrate the new food with the old until you have fully replaced the old. This
should take two weeks or a little more. Dogs when full grown should be fed once
a day at the same time.

Cats

Cats are great hunters if you let them explore the outdoor world. They will
often find mice, birds, and other animals to gain protein. Like a dog, your cat
needs a consistent diet. You should find a cat food that has the proper amounts
of protein. Cats can also have a very sensitive digestive system. Finding the
right food may be difficult and take a few tries. If they have a smelly litter
box, you will need to change their food. This is a sure sign they are not
receiving a proper diet. When you change their food you will want to integrate
it slowly over two weeks. Cats also need the vitamins from milk, though our
processed milk can be too rich for them, they do sell milk for cats in the pet
stores. Another idea is occasionally giving them a small piece of cheese to
help with their dietary needs, however you should try and find pet food that
fits all of their needs. Grass is also available for indoor cats and may be a
needed to get rid of hairballs. Cats eat grass when they have an upset stomach.
The grass will allow the cats to rid themselves of the problem and can help them
cough up hairballs.

Picking the right food for your pet will often mean not feeding them human
food, but checking the ingredients of pet food found in the stores. You want to
keep you pet just as healthy as you would want to keep yourself. Proper
nutrition for any animal is important to having your pet around for many years.
Some types of pets are more susceptible to disease, like dogs with heart
problems, but they can be monitored through proper care.

Getting Your Pet Through An Animal Rescue Group

Animal rescue organizations or groups offer you a great place to get your next
family pet. These groups are all different, but they do have common goals.
These groups work hard to locate a permanent loving home for unwanted or
misplaced cats and dogs. Many of these rescue groups rely on volunteers and
donations to care for these pets while they are between homes.

When you begin looking for a rescue group to work with, you will find that most
of these groups do rely on their hard working volunteers and support from the
local community to operate. You will also find a wide variety of animals
available through these rescue groups. Many of these groups handle all types of
animals and you will find kittens, puppies, and even older pets available for
adoption. You might be surprised to learn that some groups even offer exotic
pets such as reptiles, pot bellied pigs and even guinea pigs.

As you begin looking at pets available through rescue groups, keep in mind some
of these animals have had very hard lives. You may find a dog that was abused by
its owner. You may find a female cat that has just given birth. Their owners
have relinquished many of the animals offered by rescue groups because they are
moving or can no longer care for them. In addition, some of these groups take
animals that live in kill shelters or as strays living on the streets. Some
programs also offer spay and neuter release program for feral cats.

Rescue groups do a good job of screening animals before adopting them out to
new homes. They also screen potential pet owners. IF you find a pet offered
through a pet rescue group, you will be asked to sign a contract saying that
you agree to care for the pet long term. You will also be asked several
questions about your home, your children and other pets you may have. This is
not to be nosey -- it is simply to help match an owner with the right pet. If
the animal suffers from a medical condition, such as diabetes, the new owners
know this up front before adopting. Having the animal's health history at the
time of adoption helps the animal find a permanent home.

You can gain a lot of personal satisfaction by adopting your next pet through
an animal rescue organization. You know you have done something to help and
your new pet will show its appreciation. If you are interested in adopting
through one of the many rescue organization, it is easy to find one in your
area. Your vet can give you the contact information for organizations near you.
Most of the time, these pets are kept in private homes (foster homes) until they
are adopted. This gives the animal time to be socialized with other pets,
children and time to get used to living in a home. Sometimes, animal rescue
groups will bring their animals that need homes to pet stores or other
locations for interested people to see and meet the animals on certain weekends.

When you choose a pet in a rescue program, be prepared to go through an
interview and application process. The organization wants to know these pets
will be well cared for the long term. You will probably be asked about other
pets you may have, the age of your children, the size of your yard and your
thoughts on a cat with claws if you are looking at a cat. This is to help match
the pet with the right owner. Adoption fees vary by each organization, but you
can expect to pay $100-$200 for a rescued animal. These groups do not make a
profit. These fees cover the cost of the animal while it was in the care of the
organization. This adoption fee usually covers vaccinations, medical exams,
spaying, and neutering.

Getting your next pet through an animal rescue organization is a responsible
way to get your next family member. You can also find many volunteer
opportunities through these organizations.

Indoors Or Outdoors: What is Best For Your Pet?

Before you take on the responsibility of owning a cat or dog, you need to take
the time to consider the living arrangements for your pet. Many people adopt
pets with the idea that they will be raising an outdoor animal. How many people
in your neighborhood keep their dogs or cat's outdoors at all times? The fact of
the matter is, outside is not a safe place for a cat or a dog. When you adopt a
pet, you need to make sure that you are ready to allow your pet into your home.

Pets Love Being Outside It is true that cats and dogs both will love being
outside, it is their natural environment. Cats delight in chasing birds,
climbing trees, and hiding in shrubs. Dogs adore barking at the neighbors,
chasing squirrels, and digging. However, there are many dangers to keeping your
pet outside at all times. Dogs tend to get more outside time in cats. Owners
take their dogs out for walks, and in some cases allow their dogs, unsupervised
access to the backyard from time to time. Cats are usually either indoor pets or
outdoor pets.

It is more common nowadays, for owners to keep their cats indoors as they begin
to realize the dangers of allowing their cat to live outdoors at all time. It is
highly recommended that you keep your cats and dogs inside. For cats, you can
help them explore their natural instincts inside by giving them plenty of
places to run and play inside your home. Buy your cat a good scratching post
with a high perch and install a window seat so they can gaze at the birds
outdoors.

Dangers of Outside The number one danger to your pets when they go outside is
other animals. You never know when your dog or cat will encounter a stray or
strange cat or dog from down the street. You know that your pet is properly
vaccinated, but you do not know that health condition of other animals outside.
In addition, if your dog or cat gets into a fight with another animal. Your pet
can be seriously injured or harmed. Unless you supervise your pet at all times
when they are outside, you never know when your cat or dog will encounter a
strange animal.

Other dangers of allowing your pet to live outside are cars and other people. A
cat darting across the street late at night is a recipe for disaster. What if
your dog gets loose from your yard and encounters a child? How will your dog
react? You hope that your dog will be good and stay friendly. However, what
happens if the child begins to taunt or tease your dog or poke a stick at him?
If your dog bites or scratches another person, chances are, you will be
responsible for your pet's actions. Many pet owners have found themselves in a
serious situation when their dog or cat has acted aggressively when outdoors.

When your cat or dog stays indoors, you can also help control fleas, ticks, and
the exposure to heartworms. This is not to say that you should not treat an
indoor pet for these problems. All dogs, whether the event indoors or outdoors,
should be on a monthly heartworm preventative. Both cats and dogs should also be
treated with monthly preventative. It is important to remember though, if your
cat or dog lives outdoors, you will have many more problems when it comes to
fleas and ticks.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should keep your dog or cat
indoors. Pets that are indoor pets live longer and healthier lives than pets
that live outside. This includes all pets, once you make them an indoor animal;
you need to protect them from anything that might happen if they get outdoors,
they now depend on you to provide a home for them.

Keeping Your Pet Safe In The Warm Weather Months

The hot summer months can pose a real threat to pets. Cats and dogs simply
cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, you need to
make sure that your pet is safe during these warm weather months. Here are some
tips to help you and your pet.

Never leave an animal in a car: All pet owners should know the dangers of
leaving any pet in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. This
especially applies to dog owners. Dogs love riding in the car and it is very
tempting to let your dog ride to the grocery store with you. However, pet
owners should never leave cats or dogs inside a car during hot weather. Even
with the windows open, a car parked in the hot sun can reach sweltering
temperatures. Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from
severe dehydration. The best rule of thumb is the leave your pet at home in the
cool air conditioner during the hot weather. You should also know that if you
are a dog owner that allowing your dog a ride the bed of a truck could be very
dangerous for a dog at any time of the year. One jolt can send your dog flying
out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even putting your
dog unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public place can be a recipe for
disaster. Be extra careful with your pet during traveling. If you must travel
with your dog or cat, secure your pet in the car and leave the air conditioning
on at all times. Let your pets take frequent breaks on long trips and give them
a chance to get a drink of water.

Be Careful Walking the Dog: There are many areas where the temperatures soar in
the warm months. In places where the temperatures reach an all-time high, it is
a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when
temperatures are lower. During the summer, temperatures will be at the highest
during midday. You should refrain from walking your dog during this time. Not
only will you and your dog become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn
your dog's sensitive paws. When you do walk during hot weather, take along water
for your dog and stop frequently to let your dog drink. Your dog will thank you
for this.

Practice Proper Pet Grooming: It is always a good idea to keep your pet
properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If
your dog has very long fur, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather.
It is not comfortable to your pet. Also, keep an eye out for pets that have much
of their fur trimmed off, such as poodles. Longhaired dogs can quickly overheat
in the high temperatures. Poodles and other breeds with short cuts can get
sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs. With long haired dogs, regular
brushing also helps remove the winter undercoat and can help your dog better
regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Regular clipping of long hair
can also help keep your dog cool. Even longhaired cats can benefit from a
summer clipping. Longhaired cats are easily overheated, even if they do stay
indoors.

Watch for Insects: Insects can be bothersome to your pet during the warm,
summer months. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are the highest.
Mosquitoes are also out during this time of year. It is always a good idea to
make sure your dog and cat are getting their monthly flea and tick
preventative. Your dog also needs to stay current on heartworm preventative, as
mosquito bites can cause heartworms. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee
or wasp stings.

Outdoor safety: Summer is often when people spend a lot of times outdoors.
Whether it is working in the yard, visiting the lake or swimming in the pool,
you need to take extra caution when your pets are with you outside. If you mow
your yard or put chemicals on the grass, be sure your pets are indoors and away
from the dangers. Also, if your dog enjoys the water, keep a close eye on your
pet. Most pets can swim instinctively, but it is always a good idea to watch.
If you enjoy taking your dog out boating, you can buy life preserver vests for
your dog to wear. You can never be too safe when it comes to your beloved furry
friend.

The Advantages Of The Microchip For Your Pets

Every pet owner wants to keep his or her beloved cat or dog as safe as
possible. You do everything you can do make sure your pet is well cared for and
healthy. If you have an indoor pet, you may not think that keeping
identification tags is important, but it is. What if your fuzzy feline
accidentally slips out of the door at night and you search to no avail? What do
you do, especially if your dog or cat has no identification? Placing a collar
with an identification tag is important, but collars sometimes become lost.
When you consider the fact that many animal shelters only keep dogs and cats
for seven days, you want to make sure that your pet is properly identified.
That is where the microchip comes in handy. The microchip is the newest way to
identify lost pets and helps ensure that your lost pooch or feline finds his or
her way back home.

The technology of the microchip has become so popular that most animal clinics
and animal shelters have the ability to scan a cat or dog for microchip
identification. If you opt for the microchip, you should know that it is a
painless procedure for your pet. Your vet will insert a tiny microchip about
the size of a grain of rice directly under your pet's skin using a hypodermic
needle. The microchip is usually placed behind the neck. The microchip contains
special digital number that has been entered on a national microchip database.
That information will give the person your contact information. When you pet is
lost, a veterinarian or animal shelter can use a special scanner to retrieve the
microchip information. It is that easy.

Pet owners love the idea of the microchip because it is permanent. You cannot
remove the microchip and unlike a collar or tags, it cannot be lost or
destroyed. This is one of the best features of pet microchip, especially for
cats. If you place a collar on a cat, more than likely it will be a breakaway
collar. If your cat climbs a tree, or is caught on something, the collar breaks
off. If your cat does not have a microchip, it will be very difficult to
identify your cat if it is found.

There are a few important things to remember about pet microchips. First, if
your pet gets lost, you should never just sit back and wait for a call, even if
your pet has a microchip. Not all veterinarians and shelters are equipped with
this technology. You need to take the time to call around and place "lost pet"
flyers around your neighborhood. In addition, you need to make sure you take
the time to update your contact information should you move. It does little to
no good to have your pet implanted with the microchip if the information on the
national database is incorrect. Your veterinarian can give you information on
how to update this information.

It is important to get your pet implanted with the microchip at a young age.
Puppies can have the microchip at age six weeks. Even small breeds of dogs can
handle this procedure. Kittens can also undergo this procedure at six weeks.
The insertion of the microchip is not painful and feels like a regular
vaccination shot. You can have your pet implanted with the microchip at your
veterinarian office and can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for this service.

Teaching Kids And Pets To Co-Exist Peacefully

It is possible for children and pets to coexist in the same household,
peacefully. Many people mistakenly think that as soon as they start having
children that their pet needs to head to the local shelter. They fear that the
cat or dog will not get along with the new child and it will result in biting
or scratching. This is not always the case and if you take the time to
introduce your pets to your children properly, your kids and pets can live in
harmony.

One of the biggest concerns that new parents have when it comes to pets in the
home is how it will react to a baby. Many of the old wives tales such as cats
sucking the breath out of babies simply are not true. In fact, many cats and
dogs readily accept a new child into the home and become fiercely loyal and
protective over the baby.

When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you should introduce your pet
to your new baby. Of course, these introductions need supervision. Allow your
cat or dog time to sniff your child at his or her own pace. Make the
introduction pleasant for your cat or dog. In most cases, your cat or dog will
not give your baby a second thought. Allow your pet to adjust to the new
situation on his or her own terms. When a baby comes to the house, it is an
adjustment for everybody.

The other thing that you might want to consider doing when you bring a baby
into the home is to make sure that your cat or dog is properly groomed. This
includes trimming your dog or cat nails. Your dog may want to put a paw on your
baby. If his or hers nails are long and sharp, your dog may accidentally scratch
your infant. While you can never eliminate pet hair from your home, if your dog
or cat clipped and brushed it will certainly help your home stay a little
cleaner. Many new parents also worry about allergies. The fact is, many studies
have shown that children who are exposed to pets from a very young age, actually
have less pet allergies than children who are not exposed to pets.

Another good idea is to make sure that your pets do not have access to your
baby's room during naptime or at night without supervision. While your pet
probably means no harm to your child, pets are naturally curious. A cat may
jump into your infant crib, or in large dogs could easily a knock bassinet or
cradle over. You should always supervise your pet when it is around your new
baby at all times. Most of all, you should try to make sure that you are still
spending quality time with your pet when possible. This especially pertains to
dogs, which are used to playing in the backyard and going for walks.

As your child grows, you need to begin teaching your child proper pet
etiquette. If your dog or cat has learned to respect your child, then your
child also needs to learn to respect your pet. Teach your child from a young
age that they should never pull or yank a cat or dog's tail or ears. Your child
can learn proper pet etiquette even at a very young age. You will also want to
teach your child to respect your pet's space. This includes making sure that
your child understands that he or she should never wake a sleeping pet. This
could cause your pet to become startled and could result in biting or
scratching. In addition, you will want to make sure that your child understands
to stay out of your pet's food, water and litter box. Your child will be
naturally curious, so it is always best to give your pet some private space
away from your child.

There are many things you can do to make sure that children and pets coexist
peacefully. Your children and pets need to learn to respect each other from the
very beginning. There is no reason to get rid of your cat or dog just because
you have a child in the home.

Domestic Cat Breeds

Have you always wanted a cat, but heard some breeds make better pets than
others? Maybe you have always wanted a cat, but do not know anything about
them? There are plenty of ways to learn about cats and what breeds fit your
personality. The choice can come from having an indoor, outdoor or indoor and
outdoor cat. The tough and smart survive in the out of doors. Small cats are
often pray for birds and other wildlife and should be kept indoors. Tomcats, a
mixed breed, are great at surviving outdoors and mousers. So let us look at a
few breeds of cats and then you will be able to choose which one may be right
for your lifestyle.

Siamese: The Siamese cat can be a fickle creature. They often require a lot of
attention when they determine it is necessary. They tend to meow quite a bit
and can tear up a home if left alone for too long. These are the downsides.
Siamese can be great pets, especially when raised from infancy. They are often
white with brown ears and blue eyes. You may recognize them from Lady and the
Tramp? Those two were a little mean and not the typical portrayal of a Siamese.
Siamese are generally very affectionate. They are also one of the most
intelligent of the cat species. They tend to be very social, which is why they
meow or "talk" a lot. A sign for attention is usually a very vocal meow much
like a babies cry. Siamese typically bond to one person very strongly and are
territorial of that person.

Persian: The Persian cat breed is one of the oldest cats around. They are
longhaired cats with beautiful shinny coats. They are very soft and friendly;
however, they are prone to health problems such as allergies. The Persian does
not always play as much as other breeds, but they do enjoy a bit of fun for
exercise especially in a social situation. They love to have other cats around
to play with as well as have a lap available when they are in need of a lap.
Persians are a variety of colors from solid black, white or a mix of white and
browns around the face. A popular Persian is the Himalayan.

Manx: The Manx is known for its stubby tail or having no tail. The downside to
Manx cats is the lack of tail. Often a Manx can suffer from worms and other
parasites due to improper cleaning and not having the protection of a tail.
This does not mean you should discount the Manx as a breed. The Manx breed is
extremely intelligent and playful. They are a lot like dogs in the play area
because they can fetch when you through toys and bring them back to you. They
are very social animals and depend on human care. They don't like to be left
alone for too long, so it is wise to have other cats to play with when you are
gone during the day. The best home for a Manx is one filled with children.

These are just three of the more popular breeds of cats. There are over a dozen
cat breeds to choose from and finding the one to fit your lifestyle is
important. Cats are very social and intelligent, but some breeds can be loners.
Most often, a cat chooses when the time is right and what type of attention they
want at the time. The phrase "you do not own a cat it owns you" is very true.

What To Do About Litter Box Accidents

There is probably nothing more frustrating to a cat owner than litter box
accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why
cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use
the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become
exasperated by your cat's inability to make it to the litter box, here are some
common causes for this problem.

Litter Box Woes One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the
litter box is because their own litter box is dirty. Many cats are extremely
fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no
matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first
place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer that their litter
box cleaned out after each use. While this is time consuming for you, it may be
a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out
your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.

Another common problem related to the litter box is there are not enough litter
boxes for the number of cats you have. For example, if you have four cats in
your home, and you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to
have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter
box. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat,
you should have at least two litter boxes.

In addition, when it comes to litter box accidents, look at the type of litter
you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray
litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed
box. If you have an older cat, or a young kitten, you cat may have a difficult
time getting in and out of a closed top box. Watch your cat carefully when he
or she uses the litter box. If you find that, they are having a difficult time
getting in and out of the litter box and consider getting a different box. Also, 
look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be extremely fussy about the 
smell or texture of the litter. Many people preferred using the scoop away 
litter; however, many cats will not use this type of litter, because it sticks 
in the paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that 
is disagreeable to your cat.

Health Issues Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box, because of health
related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be
working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder
problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes are more prone
to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet
and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering
around an ailment. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe
medication to help your cat.

Habit and Your Cat's Territory If your cat has been ill or have stopped using
the litter box for any of reason, you may find that your cat returns to their
old ways out of habit. It is extremely important that when your cat has a
litter box accident, that you clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odors
that may remain. In addition, your cat may have not stopped using the litter box
at all but instead, your cat is marking his or her territory. This is especially
common in multi-cat households or when you bring in new pet into the home. This
is also more common in males than females. Even male cats that are neutered can
mark their territory by spraying urine.

When you determine why your cat is having litter box accidents, you can find a
solution. It takes time and patience; however, this is much more preferable
than getting rid of your cat.

Understanding Why Cats Fight

If you have a household with multiple cats, you know that cat fights do happen.
Even if you cats generally get along, at times, they can still fight. While
humans may not completely understand why their kitties are fighting, cats have
their reasons for fighting. Some of these reasons are similar to the reasons
that humans have disputes. Cats express their discontent with other cats by
picking fights. The reasons why cats fight can help you determine how to
prevent your cats from fighting in the future.

Fighting for their territory: Many cats fight because of their territory. One
of the reasons that cats fight is because they feel like an unwanted cat has
invaded their territory, even if it is a cat that has lived with them for a
long time. Cats are much more territorial than dogs and the gender of the cat
has very little to do with it. Contrary to what many people believe, female
cats are sometimes just as territorial as their male counterparts are. If you
have two cats in your home, you might notice that one cat hisses and swats at
the other whenever he feels his territory has been invaded. This can also
happen if you bring a new cat into the home. They are simply defending their
territory.

Social ranking: Either male cats frequently threaten and fight with each other
for social ranking or despite what you may think; even neutered males may do
this. If you have multiple cats, especially more than one male cat, one cat is
usually considered the "alpha male" and will be at the top of the cat
hierarchy. Two cats might posture their bodies, then begin howling and
screaming at one another. If one of the cats walks away or backs down, then the
catfight is usually avoided. However, if neither one wants to throw in the towel
and surrender, then one cat will attack the other by jumping forward and
attempting to bite the neck. The other cat will fall on his back and tries to
bite or scratch the attacker with its hind legs. The two cats might go through
this several times before walking away. There are usually no injuries sustained
in these kinds of fights. You may even notice that kittens or young cats play
with one another this way. Most of the time, you will not need to interfere.

Aggression: Cats also fight as a result of some kind of redirected aggression
and this is quite common, especially with indoor cats. Your cat might be
looking outside the window at another cat or dog crossing the yard. Your cat
begins to feel territorial and aggressive at this cat, but since this other cat
cannot be reached, he may instead attack the other family cat. Another example
is if you are giving your cats treats. One cat may reach the treat first and
begin eating. The other one wants a bite, but the cat that is eating may become
aggressive over the treat and begin to swipe or yowl and the other cat.

If you find your cats fighting occasionally, you should know that this is
common and quite typical of cats. Most of the time, you will be able to tell
whether or not your cats are fighting for "blood" or just playing around. The
time to stop a fight is when it gets nasty otherwise; allow your cats to work
it out themselves. If you feel the need to stop a catfight, then you should do
it carefully. Even the most loving cat can bite or scratch you in aggressive
passion. To stop a fight, you should make some kind of loud noise, such as a
handclap. Since cats are startled by loud noises, they will both stop to see
what is making the noise. You can also spray water on them to interfere with
the aggressive behavior..

When you find your cats fighting, it is best not to punish the cats for their
fight. Cats do not understand punishment and fighting is a natural instinct in
cats. The best thing to do is only interfere when necessary. If you find your
cats are fighting more than they should, it is time that you find out why. Do
they fight over a litter box, a food bowl or a prime window location? Make sure
each kitty has his or her own "things" and a place to retreat when they feel
overwhelmed by other pets in the house. This will go a long way in preventing
real catfights.

Can Feral Cats Be Tamed?

Feral cats are different from stray cats. Stray cats are usually the product of
a person's irresponsibility. Irresponsibility could be defined in two ways when
it comes to strays: dumping a cat to fend for itself and/or neglecting to spay
and neuter their cats. Stray cats can be timid, but are often easily tamed.
Feral cats are cats that were probably born to wild parents and are wild
themselves. Feral cats have had no human interaction and are very difficult to
tame.

Because feral cats are difficult to tame, thus making them undesirable indoor
pets, there are many rescue organizations that are dedicated to the trapping
and spaying and neutering of feral cat colonies. Many times, these
organizations trap the cats, have them spayed and neutered and then release
them near where they were originally found. Then, they dedicate themselves to
providing food to these colonies.

Feral cats are everywhere. You can find feral cats in rural or farm areas,
abandoned buildings and even parks and alleyways. You might catch a glimpse of
them, but chances are that you would not be able to catch them easily. After
all, they have not been around humans so any contact would make them shy away
from you. If you have feral cats in your neighborhood, you may wonder whether
these animals can be kept as pets.

Taming a feral cat can be a difficult proposition simply because they are not
accustomed to humans. Depending on the level of their interactions with humans,
some cats might be classified as semi-feral, total feral or even a converted
feral cat. Depending on what your cat is classified dictates your potential
success in socializing it. In addition, it takes a lot of time, love and
patience to tame these cats.

If you find a cat that is has been feral for a years, chances are that there is
little to no chance of socializing it. With no human contact at all, these cats
are overly independent and would never depend on a human for food or
companionship. You might have better success with a cat that is semi-feral. In
these instances, they have had some limited human contact. A converted feral
cat would probably have the best chance at a normal life as someone's pet.
These cats were once domesticated, meaning that they probably started life as a
pet and then was abandoned. The converted feral cat will more than likely
eventually respond to human interactions such as love and affection.

If you want to attempt to tame a feral cat, remember that it can be hard work
reaching out to the feral cat and getting them to trust you after being on
their own. Sometimes, your efforts will not pay off for months, especially with
older cats. If your attempts are a success, the rewards are well worth it
because a strong bond can develop and loyalty and love is the reward.

If you believe you have the time and the love to attempt to tame a feral, there
are some things to remember. First, these cats see you as an intruder and are
very likely to spit, hiss, bite and claw. This is a normal response as they are
defending themselves against a perceived predator -- you. If they manage to get
in a few bites or scratches, you should apply first aid immediately. After you
have successfully trapped a feral cat, your very first step is to get it to the
vet for spay or neuter and to check for any diseases it may carry. This is a
necessary step and an absolute must if you have other pets in the house. After
you have arrived home with your cat, you need to let it adjust to you and the
surroundings by giving it a small, safe place to stay. Allow the cat to stay in
a small bathroom or laundry room, where it does not feel overwhelmed. You will
need to take time every day to spend time with the cat and allow the cat to
adjust to you.

Remember, not all feral cats can be socialized; however with love and patience,
your time and efforts may be worthwhile.




Training Your Cats or Kittens With Positive Reinforcement.

Pets make our home more complete by being there to greet you after a hard day
at work or snuggling up to you while you sleep. Cats have been termed the most
fickle of creatures; however, they are sweet lovable creatures if you raise
them from infancy. Most cats recognize their owners by the sound of their
voice, the car they drive, and who spoils them the most. Like dogs, cats can be
trained. A cat can be trained to come to your call, to bring their toys when
they want to play, as well as more domestic issues such as using a litter box.
The key to training a cat or kitten is reinforcement.

Reinforcement starts at any age, but it is typically wise to start out with a
kitten. Cats cannot distinguish words, but they are very astute in
distinguishing tones of your voice. They will know they have done something
wrong just by the tone of voice you use. This is why it is important to use
your upset voice when they have done something wrong, otherwise they will
become confused. Let us go back to reinforcement. Reinforcement is either
positive or negative. Water is a negative reinforcement for a cat or kitten
because they typically despise being wet. Some positive reinforcement can be
hugs or fully body petting, treats, or play time.

To train your kitty to come to your call is to repeat their name while they are
looking at you. Look them in the eye while you are using a nice tone of voice.
Another way to call your cat is to have another sound, like snapping fingers,
or clicking noises with your tongue. These typically gain the attention of your
cat or kitten so they learn to come when you call.

Litter box training is perhaps the easiest part of having a kitty in your life.
It is best to keep them confined to one room, the room you will have the litter
box in to train them. They will learn by you putting them in the box and
allowing them to familiarize themselves with the smell. Cats by nature
understand the feel of litter associating it with dirt. You may have to pick
them up when they first begin to go if they do not understand the litter box
and place them inside. Occasionally a cat does not like the litter you use.
They show their displeasure by using the floor. This is a time to try something
new. Most female adult cats will train their kittens so it is important they do
not leave their mother's care to quickly. Food works in much the same way. Once
you show them where their food bowls are they will continue to go there. Cats
are creatures of habit.

Habits are how you will train your kitty to bring you toys. Some cats will
simply meow when they want to play and casually bat their toy, however if you
give them positive reinforcement every time they carry a toy mouse or stuffed
toy they will continue to bring the toy without the reinforcement of a treat.
For an example my kitty, Spooky, is two. She brings me a stuffed animal every
afternoon or evening when she wants to play. She lays it down near the end of
my couch and meows until I recognize the good deed and begin to play with her.

Cats are trainable, perhaps not to the degree; a dog is trainable with voice
commands, but they you can succeed in training them in some ways. Cats will
enliven any home and given a lot of positive reinforcement, they can be just as
much fun if not more fun than other pets. Especially when they give you comfort
by stepping on to your lap kneading and purring. These moments can take away a
bad day at work within a few seconds.

Tips For Bathing Your Cat

Cats normally do not need help getting and staying clean. They are fastidious
about their cleanliness and spend much of their day primping and preening. Cats
learn from a very young age to stay clean, as the mother always teaches their
young the art of bathing. Cat owners rarely need to give their cats a bath,
however, there are some situations where you may find it is time to bath kitty.
You never know when your cat will get so dirty that they need a little extra
help. If your cat is afflicted with skin allergies or has a flea infestation,
you might need to bathe your cat. Sick and older cats may have a difficult time
keeping clean, too. You will find that your cat probably resists getting a bath,
but you can do it if you are prepared.

Get Your Supplies The best place to bath your cat is in a small, enclosed room.
If you have a sink in your laundry room, that would work perfectly. A deep
bathroom sink would also do the trick. The idea is to get your cat in a small
area to help him or her feel safer during the process. Another idea is to use a
baby tub and place it inside your own bathtub. This might cause an aching back
on your part, but may be just the thing for your cat.

In addition, you will want to make sure that you have everything you need on
hand before you begin. It will be almost impossible to stop what you are doing
with a struggling cat to run and get a towel or shampoo. You will need several
old towels, mild, non-irritating shampoo such as baby shampoo or pet shampoo,
and a cup for rinsing. You might even consider using a turkey-basting tool to
reach under the chin, around the neck and between the legs. In addition, if
your cat's fur is matted, you might want to consider cutting these mats away
before beginning.

Get the Bath Ready When you have gotten all of your supplies where you need
them, you will want to prepare the bath. Your cat will not like very hot or
very cold water, so lukewarm water works best. Think of the temperature you
would use to bath an infant. That is what you need when you wash your cat.
Next, fill up the tub or sink. You do not need a lot of water when you bath
your cat--just enough to rinse the cat off. It is also a good idea to place a
non-skid mat or folded bath towel in the bottom of the sink or tub before you
begin filling it with water. This prevents the cat from slipping around on the
bottom of the sink or tub.

Ease your Cat into the Water It is now time for the hard part. You have to get
your cat and ease him or her into the water. This may sound easier than it is.
Some cats may struggle with you more than others may. Only you know your cat's
personality. The best way to go about doing this is to lower your cat into the
water. Do this by placing one hand under the cat's belly and one hand firmly,
but gently on the cat's back. Lower the cat from its hind legs into the water.
If your cat is still struggling, you might want to wrap a towel around your cat
to prevent scratches. You might be surprised by your cat's reaction. Some cats
will sit there quietly and let you work. Others will be scared and will try to
run from you. You will get wet, but you may think about holding the cat's body
close to your own while bathing so he or she feels more secure. Never raise
your voice or move too fast, as this can send your cat into a frenzy.

Begin the Bath After your cat is somewhat situated in the water, you can begin
to bathe. Work quickly, but gently. The best method for bathing your cat is to
start with the head and work your way down. Be careful not to get water or
shampoo in your cat's ears or eyes. You will only need a very small amount of
shampoo. If you get too much, you will have to rinse longer. If you are
treating fleas, then you will want to follow the directions on the flea shampoo
at this point. You can use vegetable oil if you need to remove sticky substances
from your cat's fur. Use this sparingly because this will leave an oil residue
on your cat's fur, although it is harmless.

The Toys Cats Will Love

Do you walk through the pet store, see the many toys available for your cat,
and wonder if the expense will be worth it? Cats can be fickle creatures, but a
good time can be found with almost any toy. Cats are like children they go
through stages and sometimes need age appropriate toys and can get bored very
easily. Some suggestions for toys include the cat towers, stuffed mice, small
amounts of catnip, stuffed animals, ribbons, and plastic balls.

From an early age, kittens learn to pick up things in their mouths. It is an
instinct, just like using their claws. When a cat plays, they like to grab and
bit their toys. Let us look at the toys listed above. A cat tower is a great
way to teach you cat where it is appropriate to climb. It will keep them off
the blinds or curtains while giving them hours of fun. There are many styles of
cat towers from the two story towers to the ones rising to the ceiling. The
answer to your question is, the more levels they have the more fun and
enjoyment they will receive out of a cat tower. A cat will use the tower for
play as well as sleep. They like to bat at ropes and other items dangling off
the tower as well as going through little tunnels up to the next level. If you
have two cats you will have fun watching them give chase to the top often
trying to knock the other off. A cat tower can be practical because they will
scratch at it rather than your couch.

Stuffed mice are also important to any kitty's playtime. Not all mice are the
same; most cats prefer the small leather mice with the multi colored fur and
long tails. These mice come in twelve packs or three packs, and believe me if
they are anything like my kitty they will tear them apart. Cloth mice are
typically second during playtime. If you find your kitty to be uninterested in
mice you might want to check the type of mouse you have bought them.

Catnip toys are very popular. Catnip will cause your cat to be more rowdy,
which can be a plus because they wear down faster. Catnip before bedtime is a
great way to get your cat to sleep for quite a while and leave you to slumber.
Catnip should be given out sparingly. You do not want to give your cat catnip
everyday because it can have adverse affects to their behavior. They can start
to depend on it and have mood swings.

I have found the best toy may just be your old stuffed animal lying around the
house. My kitty, Spooky, will bring me a stuffed animal when she is ready to
play and she has stuffed animals in her toy basket. There is nothing more
amusing than watching my kitty brings me a stuffed animal bigger than she is
and proceeds to toss it in the air and pounce. Cats like the feel of certain
things in their mouths that is why they chew on paper, plastic and even your
blankets. The feel of the material in their mouths allows them to clean their
teeth or when they are teething help reduce the pain. The stuffed animal can
work in much the same way and keep them away from harmful products.

To answer my above question you do not have to go to great expense to entertain
your cat, however when you spend a little on toys you keep your kitty from
getting bored. You may even decide to hide a few toys and reintroduce them
after a few months to keep from purchasing new ones all the time. Just make
sure it is not the favorite toy of your pet or they may find other ways to
entertain themselves that you do not find amusing.

Caring For Your Diabetic Cat

If your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be afraid of what
the future holds for your beloved pet. The good news is that cats can live
long, healthy lives after being diagnosed with diabetes. The trick is that you,
as a pet owner, must be dedicated to care for your cat during his or her
illness. Diabetes is not a death sentence for pets. Here is some information to
help you understand what you need to do to help your diabetic cat.

Regular Medical Care: After your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is
imperative that you visit your veterinarian on a regular basis. Your cat will
need regular checkups to check the blood sugar levels and to make sure that he
or she is receiving the right amount of insulin. When your cat goes in for a
check up, the vet will ask that you do not feed your cat twelve hours part to
the checkup. While your cat is at the check up, your veterinarian will draw
blood and check blood sugar levels. People that have diabetes are able to check
their blood sugar at home. However, this is not possible with cats unless you
buy a glucose monitoring system. Your will probably ask that you bring your cat
in every three months for this type of checkup.

Getting your Cat Insulin: When your cat has diabetes, it is your responsibility
to make sure that your cat receives the proper dose of insulin twice a day. The
amount of insulin that your cat will need will vary according to your cat's
individual condition. Most cats will receive between three and five units of
insulin to times per day. It is important that you establish a routine for your
cat. Your cat needs to receive insulin 12 hours apart. Most people that have
diabetic cats will give their cat and insulin shot at the same time every
morning and at the same time every evening.

It is not difficult to learn to give your cat insulin injections. Your
veterinarian will walk you through the process, and then you can repeat this at
home. Usually your veterinarian will recommend that you give your cat injections
between the shoulder blades in the scruff of the neck. With patience and
practice, your cat will barely feel the injections. In fact, most diabetic cats
know when it is time to get their injection and they may actually remind you by
meowing.

Stocking the Right Supplies: It is important that you have the right supplies
on hand to help treat your diabetic cat. You will need a vial of insulin as
prescribed by your veterinarian, syringes and alcohol swabs. It is always a
good idea to order your insulin when you are about halfway empty. It may take a
couple days for your veterinarian to order your insulin. Your veterinarian might
also recommend getting your diabetic cat vitamin supplements and seating him or
a special prescription diet such as Science Diet W/D. You must be able to see
your cat immediately after he or she receives their injection. It is also a
good idea to have some numbers to your veterinarian into at least two 24-hour
emergency vet clinics available with you at all times just in case your cat
needs help.

Many people who owned diabetic cats worried about the costs that this condition
incurs. It certainly does cost money to take care of a diabetic cat. A vial of
insulin will cost you approximately $85 and will last you about two months. A
box of 100 Syringes will cost about $30 and will last you 50 days, as you
should use a new syringe for each injection. Prescription food will cost you
about $40 for a 20-pound bag. However, it is important to remember that your
cat is a part of your family. Most pet owners do not hesitate spending this
kind of money on their pets.

Patience and Love: Above of all when you have a diabetic cat, you need a lot of
patience and a lot of love. It is not always easy to care for sick and ailing
cat. However, with the right care, you can expect your diabetic cat to have
many more years of happy life.

Dangerous Dog Treats: What To Know Before You Treat Your Pup

What pooch does not love getting a treat or two now and then. Dog owners also
love giving their dog's treats. If you have a dog, then you have a good idea of
what your dog likes to nibble on. There are so many treats available these days
and they all come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies.
For every great dog treat, there are those on the market that are not so good.
These treats can harm your pet by being lodged in your dog's throat or
intestines. This can cause choking or worse. If you love treating your canine
friend, then you will want to be aware of those treats that can be potentially
harmful. Even with treats that are not usually dangerous, you need to supervise
your dog when they eat.

Greenies: Most dogs really enjoy these treats. They are advertised as a treats
that help clean your dog's teeth. However, you need to be aware that "greenies"
can cause choking. This is because dogs eat these very quickly causes large
chunks to lodge in the throat. Young puppies should not eat this treat and dogs
that are prone to "scarfing" food. If your dog eats these treats, be aware of
potential vomiting, bloody stools, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any
of these symptoms after your dog has eaten this treat, seek medical attention.

Rawhide Chews: What dog does not love snacking on these chewy treats? Rawhides
are good because it cleans your dog's teeth and keeps your dog occupied.
However, rawhides are dangerous, as well. Some rawhides that originate outside
of the United States may actually be preserved with arsenic-based chemicals
that will be ingested by your doggie when he or she chews. For this reason,
make certain that any rawhide treat you purchase is processed in the United
States where this preservative is forbidden. If you cannot tell where a treat
originated do not buy it! In addition, you still need to watch your dog when he
her she is munching on rawhides to help prevent choking. Make sure you buy
rawhides that are the right size for your dog, too. A small dog needs the
smaller sized rawhide treats.

Chocolate: Chocolate is a terrible thing to allow dogs to eat. Of course,
sometimes dogs get into candy and cake without your knowledge. Chocolate is
toxic to both dogs and cats, so you need to be aware of your dog sneaking
chocolate nibbles, especially around the holidays. Chocolate contains an
ingredient called theobromine. This acts in the canine about the same way
caffeine acts in the human. A little will make the doggie hyperactive, but a
huge dose may be fatal. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you need to look
for vomiting, shallow breathing, and irregular heartbeat. A visit to the
emergency vet unusually results.

Bones: It seems that it is the right of every dog to be able to crunch on a
real bone from time to time. Dogs love bones of all types. However, some bones
can be dangerous. Both chicken and turkey bones are especially dangerous
because they are brittle. When your dog chews on the, they can easily splinter
and cause choking. Some pork and beef bones can also cause the same problem.
Veterinarians agree that the one of the safest bones you can give your dog is a
shinbone. If you must give your dog a bone, make sure you supervise your pooch
and if he or she shows signs of bleeding, then you should call your vet
immediately for some advice.

This is not to say that you cannot give your dog an occasional treat. That is
one of the fun parts of owning a dog. You do need to watch your dog and make
sure that your dog is safe when snacking. Always pay attention to what kind of
treat you give your dog in case of a recall.

Rabbit Care and Tips

Pets complete a home for single people and families. Children often desire pets
more than adults do as they think animals are cute and fun to have. Adults of
course know the work required. Like any pet, rabbits need care. They need to go
to the vet, get feed daily, and have their domain cleaned. When you decide to
purchase a rabbit, you will need to know exactly what is required of you.

Before we get into your rabbits needs, you will want to know a few of the
species available. Most common are cottontails, dwarf, and lop eared rabbits
for pets. The dwarf rabbit is small and best kept indoors, while the
cottontails are not as sensitive to the weather and can be housed outside in
moderate climates. The lop eared rabbits like the cottontails grow to be a good
size and have long floppy ears. The type of rabbit you wish to have for a pet
will in part decide on the care.

First like cats and dogs, rabbits require shots from the vet to keep them in
good health. People carry diseases that can harm animals if we do not wash
before and after we handle our pet. Rabbits can be susceptible to worms and
other dietary parasites so it is important to take your rabbit for its vet
visit when needed. Speak with a vet about your rabbit's care and any questions
you may have before you complete your purchase.

Rabbits eat pellets, hay and vegetables. Most rabbits like to munch on carrots
or lettuce. You want to feed your rabbit everyday to ensure they are receiving
the proper amount of food. Unlike cats that eat when they are hungry, a rabbit
can over eat and become over weight. Some commercial feeds for rabbits contain
nuts; however, these are typically not good as they are high in fiber. You can
feed your rabbit fruit as a treat, but you should not do so daily.

Housing for a rabbit can be in your home or if you wish to keep them outside a
wooden cage will work. Most outside cages are designed to let the waste fall
through so they are not sitting on it or laying on it. The cage should be built
large enough to house an adult rabbit with bedding spread out to make a nice
little home. They should be given plenty of water and have it changed out
daily. Having a backyard for your pet rabbit is a great idea. They can roam for
a little exercise, which all pets need.

You will want to clean their cages out at least once a week or more depending
on how messy or smelly it becomes. Your rabbit needs a clean environment just
like you to eliminate the possibilities of disease. An important factor in
having a long living rabbit is their environment. Most rabbits live 5 to 10
years.

Rabbits with their fuzzy cottontails or floppy ears are just some of the cutest
pets you can own. They are a medium maintenance pet with proper feeding and
environment care you can have your rabbit for years. Your children will enjoy
showing off their pet rabbit to all their friends and beg you to take him to
show and tell. Pets are needed to complete a family and provide enjoyment for
everyone.

Training Your Pet Parrot

Parrots are wonderful pets. You will quickly find that these birds extremely
smart and their ability to learn make them fun to train. Keep in mind that any
animal that shows signs of high intelligence can easily get bored, so your job
is to train your pet parrot and spend the time it takes to make your bird into
a wonderful pet. It takes time and patience to train a parrot, but with the
proper training, your parrot will provide you with many years of friendship.

You can train your parrot when you follow a few steps. Whenever "school is in"
for your parrot, it is always best to remove your parrot from his or her cage
and train in a small quiet space. Your parrot is more likely to remain
attentive and retain information when it is in a new environment. The next
thing you will want to do, eliminate all distractions in your home. If your
parrot becomes distracted during training, it will not learn well. That means
that you need to turn off the radio, television and perhaps even the telephone.
Also, remember that parrots are a lot like children. They have short attention
spans, so short training sessions are recommended.

In addition, try to plan your parrot's training time around their schedule, not
yours. After mealtime is always, a good time for training because your parrot
will be content and will pay attention. Your parrot will also appreciate plenty
of praise. Even if you find that you were not very successful, do not let your
parrot see your stress levels rise. This makes it an unpleasant experience for
your bird and you will have a harder time getting your parrot interested in
learning in the future.

When you are ready to teach your parrot a new trick, your pet parrot will
respond well to treats and praise. Remember that all animals respond better to
praise than punishment. Try to avoid punishing your parrot, even if he or she
is acting naughty. Ignoring this behavior is your best bet when training your
pet parrot. Parrots do not understand punishment or negative reinforcement. In
fact, if you respond to your parrot's bad behavior, your pet may actually see
this as positive attention. Keep in mind that while your parrot will love food
treats as rewards, try to accentuate the positive and encourage good behavior
with lots of praise and play time. Otherwise, your parrot may only perform the
tricks you want them to when some kind of food reward is available.

Repetition is the key to successfully training your pet parrot. Repeating these
basic steps repeatedly until your pet "gets" the trick is the best way to train
your parrot to perform. This works well for basic commands and advanced tricks.
If you have just gotten your pet parrot, start out with very simple tricks, such
as teaching your parrot to sit on your finger on command. Find a word for each
trick and use it every time you train. Most of all, never force your parrot to
train. If you find your parrot is tired or uninterested, then stop and try
again another time.

As your parrot learns more command and tricks, you can begin moving your
training session closer and closer to the bird's cage. As they get better at
their new skill, they will feel comfortable performing in his or her cage and
in the hustle and bustle of your household. Birds learn quickly in most cases,
and sometimes just by listening when not in training, which may cause
embarrassment to you if they learn something inappropriate.

Training a parrot takes a lot of time and patience. You must love your bird and
have a lot of time and dedication to make this partnership worthwhile. With
patient training and love, you end up with a fantastic and well-behaved pet
that will be with you for a very long time to come.

Helpful Hermit Crab Basics

Hermit crabs are fun pets to care for in your home. They used to be reserved
for souvenirs from seaside vacations, but now they can be bought almost
anywhere. They make wonderful starter pets for kids. They make a great
alternative to the more traditional gerbils or hamsters, and they have a much
longer lifespan than goldfish! Contrary to what you might expect if you are new
to hermit crabs, it is possible to play with them, and they do have little
personalities of their own. Do you think hermit crabs may make a great pet for
you? Here are some helpful hints to get you started.

Before you get your crab, you need to get the basic equipment and supplies in
place. First, they will need an aquarium for their house. Forget those teeny,
tiny cages you see at the shops by the beach; hermit crabs really need a
ten-gallon aquarium to be comfortable. If you are getting more than one crab,
obviously you will be a bigger aquarium. A pet shop will be able to advise you
on the best size for the number of crabs you will be housing. Make sure the
aquarium has a snug fitting lid so your little friends do not make a run for
it! Place a heating pad under the tank to keep your crabs feeling nice and
tropical.

You will need something to cover the floor of the tank, as well. Three to four
inches of sand works best, but you can also use crushed coral or reptile fiber
bedding. If you use something other than sand, it is still a good idea to cover
a portion of the floor with sand, so the crabs will have somewhere comfortable
to go when they molt.

Now that you have the house and the flooring covered, you will need to get two
shallow water dishes and a food dish. Shallow shells work well for this job. In
one water dish, you should keep fresh water, and in the other, keep salt water,
made with a marine aquarium salt solution. The dishes need to be shallow enough
for the crabs to crawl into. A natural sea sponge is a nice addition to the
fresh water dish, your crab will love to pinch it, and it will help keep the
humidity levels up the aquarium.

The last thing you will need to gussy up your hermit crab home is some
decorative wood pieces for the crabs to climb on. Coral and coconut shells also
make great additions that your crab will love to play with.

Once you get your crab, to feed it, you will need to get some commercial hermit
crab food. You can supplement that food with small pieces of fruit, meat,
cereal, or fish. Additionally, make sure your crab gets crushed eggshells or
oyster shells to boost their calcium level; it is important to keep their
fragile skeletons strong. Cuttlebone is another option for this purpose.

To care for your crab, clean their water and food dishes daily, and spot the
clean the tank when necessary. You will want to provide plenty of extra shells,
in increasingly larger sizes, so your crab can change homes as they grow. Shells
with wide openings are best. When your crab molts, remove the skin they have
shed as soon as possible.

One optional, but useful accessory to get is a tank thermometer and
humidity-measuring tool. Your hermit crab will be most comfortable when the
temperature is kept around 72F -- 80F and the humidity level is between 70%
and 80%.

With these helpful hints, you are ready to get your hermit crab. All that is
left to do now is come up with a name for your new pet!

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.

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.

Ferrets: A Friendly Playful Pet

Ferrets, often considered a rare pet to own. Most individuals choose dogs,
cats, birds, or fish to complete their family, however a select few turn to the
ferret for its social, playful, curious qualities. Ferrets love to play and
explore not only with others and their owners, but also on their own. For this
reason, you need to know a few things on how to take care of a ferret.

First, you will want to ferret proof your home before you introduce them as
pets. They will crawl into walls, furniture, and anywhere they can get their
little bodies. It is much like childproofing a home for a baby. You will want
to make sure all of the dangers are eliminated when you allow them out of their
cages for playtime.

Ferrets are also biters. The kits, baby ferrets, tend to bite more. You can
eliminate the problem or tone it down with frequent handling. It is a sign of
their behavior as mock fighting or sparring. The younger ferrets tend to bite
more when they are teething and do not mean any harm. For this reason, you will
want to handle the ferret or ferrets as often as possible to help reduce the
biting behavior. Often those who do not take the time or patience to train
their ferret end up leaving the animal in its cage and thus it has a shorter
lifespan. Please make sure you are up to the task of training a ferret before
brining one into your home. Trained properly they can be as great a pet as cats
or dogs.

A ferret's lifespan is usually six to ten years, however proper care and
feeding can lead to a little longer life. Ferrets are carnivores so they
require a high protein diet. Most owners decide to feed their ferret's mice,
rats, rabbit, and other raw meats such as chicken. Stores carried other types
of ferret food that many owners choose over the live food. Carefully reading
the label will tell you if it has the proper high protein diet. Most kitten
food can be used for example because it is designed to be high protein and fat
for growing cats.

While play is an important part of your ferret's life so is sleep. Most ferrets
spend fourteen to eighteen hours a day sleeping. Part of sleeping is to
rejuvenate them from the active play life they have. They love to explore and
to play with toys. Many pet stores have toys for ferrets, or you might have
something around the house that your ferret will find appealing.

The type of cage is important. Ferrets tend to be very smart so you will need a
cage they can get plenty of air, but small enough bars they cannot break away.
You will also want to clean the cage once or twice a week depending upon the
number of ferrets you have, how dirty the cage looks. They are also burrows so
some type of bedding is required.

Ferrets are little balls of fur that love to play and interact with humans and
each other. While there are some special concessions you need to make to have a
ferret the results are worth it. Proper training as a kit will give you even
more joy when they reach adulthood.

Fascinating and Novel Pets: The Turtle

Do you remember reading children's books with turtles as the main pet? Children
adore turtles as pets. They are very interesting creatures and there are many
species. When you decide to have a turtle for a pet, you will need to know the
exact species for the proper care. Let us look at some turtle species you can
own. There are two types of turtles, the terrestrial and the aquatic. This
means the first type of turtle spends more time on the land, while the aquatic
turtle needs to have a great deal of water.

Box and mud turtles are the terrestrial turtles. They require land to hibernate
during the winter and sun on during the day. Most terrestrial turtles need 12
hours of sunlight, which can be provided by a UV lamp. Turtles are very
susceptible to temperature changes often living in 80 degrees during the day
and 70 degrees during the night. Terrestrial turtles also need water not only
to drink, but also to swim around in.

Aquatic turtles are sliders and painted turtles. Sliders typically live in
swampy areas or near lakes with a lot of mud. They tend to basic in the sun
during the day as well as swim to cool off. The painted turtle like the slider
is mostly aquatic so they spend more time in the water than out sunning
themselves. The painted turtle is the most complicate turtle to take care of
because they require special care.

Once you have decided on the type of turtle you wish to have you will then know
what size tank you need. Most turtles require a 40 gallon tank or larger to have
room for land and water. You will want to have plants in the tank, but make sure
they are not poisonous to your turtle because they will eat them. You pet shop
should be able to tell you the right type of plants to have. Wood chips and
bark are not a good idea, not only do they harbor bacteria and molds, but the
turtle can eat them. A turtle does not have a large digestive track and
therefore wood chips often cause blockages. Certain turtles can even have small
rocks to burrow under along with the dirt.

Some proper food for turtles is often lettuce, goldfish, special feed sticks,
berries and insects depending on the species of turtle you own. Water is very
important to your turtle. You never want to give them tap water to drink. It is
also best to give them natural spring water or non- chlorinated water for
swimming in. Chlorine and other chemicals of tap water can cause bacteria in
their digestive systems.

Turtles can make great pets if you know a little about their habitat needs.
Turtles are wondrous creatures that you can find in most warm climates walking
along the roads or basking in the sun, so what better way than to give you
child a great pet than to own a turtle. Keep in mind that turtles are sensitive
and you will not want to handle them a lot. They do need to hibernate to live a
longer life requiring you to keep the turtle somewhere little children cannot
disturb them during the fall period. Turtles are both fascinating and novel
pets for children.

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.

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.

Reptilian Pets: The Snake Every Boys Dream Pet

Most girls and moms have an adverse reaction to having a snake or any other
dangerous animal as a pet, however with proper care and the correct selection
even those with aversions can become quite fascinated by the snake as a pet.
The key is to do a lot of research when buying a snake. Most pet shops will
sell the harmless snakes and teach you how to feed them. If you always wanted a
snake as a pet when you were a boy, you might choose something a little more
exotic. Tips to finding the right snake for you or your child can come in handy
when you are faced with the task.

First you will want to research snakes in general. You have your garden-variety
snake that is very common and not dangerous. Then there are pythons, kings, and
boa constrictor snakes. Keep in mind if this is for a child you probably want a
harmless snake that will not grow to large. The larger snakes mentioned above
take more care and larger aquariums and are not suited for smaller children.

The species of snake you chose will have a special diet. Most species have
different diets. You may have seen a pet snake in the pet store eating mice
while other snakes do not. It is important to choose a snake you can provide
proper food for at all times. You also do not want to keep a wild snake, as
they tend to carry diseases and stress with the change in environment. It is
best to shop at a trustworthy pet shop or snake breeder.

Most king snakes and gopher snakes tend to eat mice and need to have plenty of
water to drink. You may have a little pond in your aquarium with a tree
branches, rocks, and dirt for your snake. Like food most snakes require a
special environment. You will want to research that snake before choosing the
environmental accessories. Snakes are often tropical in nature so they require
heat as well as moderate temperatures in the evening. You have heard of the
desert being cold at night. Snakes are proliferating in the desert areas and
rainforests. Being able to provide the proper environment will ensure a long
life for you new pet.

Touching on food again you also need to have a feeding schedule. Some snakes do
not have to eat every day. In fact, gopher snakes will not eat every day. If you
are getting a pet snake for you child you will want to make sure they understand
the feeding schedule. Most young adults can handle having a pet snake while
little children will need you to take care of the snake.

Handling the snake is also important. The more a snake is used to human contact
the more contact the more domicile they tend to be. This means those that are
dangerous can be held given proper training and handling. I recommend staying
away from these snakes when you first have a pet snake. It is important to take
small steps when you have a pet snake to get used to their special needs.

Snakes can make great pets if you take proper care of them. Many young boys and
even girls are fascinated with snakes. They have pretty colors and just the lure
of a little danger can add to the interest. Make sure you are prepared for the
requirements needed from you to have a pet snake before giving in to a child's
demand.






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