General Care

Are Pets Appropriate Gifts?

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Pocket Pets, General Care, Birds, Fish

Are pets appropriate gifts for the holidays? The answer to this should always be yes, but unfortunately this question is often tragically answered, no! Pets make wonderful companions. They enrich our lives and are always there for us. Where else are you going to find an individual that is always in a good mood and glad to see you? These wonderful critters are devoted and loyal. Yet they are dependent on us for everything, thereby creating an awesome responsibility.

Lack of Sex in a Female Ferret Can Be Deadly!

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Ferrets, General Care

Female ferrets reach sexual maturity at 4-8 months of age, typically in their first spring following birth.Female ferrets undergoing their first heat cycle may prove it to be their last heat cycle unless spayed or bred.Ferrets are induced ovulators.Induced ovulation refers to the fact that the female ferret will remain in heat or estrus until such time that they are bred or are artificially stimulated to ovulate.

Bites from Reptile Prey

Filed Under: Reptiles, Diet & Nutrition, General Care

Bite wounds most commonly occur in reptiles when live rodents are left in cages with a reptile that does not want to eat the rodent, regardless of the reason. The rodent will then often gnaw on the reptile. Rodents may also bite in self-defense when they are seized by a reptile in any manner that fails to induce immediate death. Wounds made in self-defense tend to involve the head, mouth and face of the snake.

Catnip and other Cat Attractants

Filed Under: Cats, Behavioral & Training, General Care

Natural cat attractants include more than 100 plant species that produce terpenoid-based organic chemicals that elicit responses from domestic cats. Of these plant species, a herb known as catnip is the most appealing attractant to most cats. Catnip or catmint (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb in the mint family Labiateae. Approximately 70 to 90% of all cats possess the genetic ability to respond to the active ingredients in catnip. The scent is the primary attractant.

General Ferret Husbandry

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Ferrets, General Care

The scientific name for the ferret is Mustela putorius furo, which literally translates to “stinky thief.” The scientific name is thought to refer to the ferret’s musky odor and mischievous nature. Ferrets are classified in the family Mustelidae. As a member of this family they are closely related to mink, skunks, weasels and otters.

Humidity Control is Essential with Amphibians and Reptiles

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

Collectors of reptiles and amphibians need to replicate the natural environment of their pets as close as possible. Humidity is an essential ingredient in the creation of a natural setting. Humidity affects all aspects of life and may affect growth, reproduction and even the general health of any confined species.

Acceptance of water depends in part on the species in question. Turtles, snakes and many lizards will drink from bowls. Turtles and snakes sip, while lizards will lap. Anoles, chameleons and day geckos lap from droplets sprayed or dripped onto foliage.

Caring for Orphaned Baby Birds

Filed Under: General Care, Birds

Raising baby birds can be a heartwarming experience. Most do well when you follow some basic rules. Baby animals are not able to maintain body temperature and require an additional heat source to warm up next to or someone to snuggle up to. Hypothermia is the primary cause of death in orphaned birds. When confronted with a baby bird, the first thing is to warm them quickly and gently. A hot water bottle is the safest and can be easily constructed from a couple of empty plastic soda bottles. Fill the soda bottle with hot water and wrap in a towel.

Care of Neonatal Squirrels

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, General Care

Raising baby squirrels can be a rewarding experience. Most baby squirrels do well when you follow some basic rules. Baby animals are not usually able to maintain body temperature and need to warm up to an additional heat source. Hypothermia is the primary cause of death in an immature squirrel. When confronted with a baby squirrel, the first step should be to warm them quickly and gently. A hot water bottle is the safest heat source and can be easily constructed from a couple empty plastic soda bottles. Fill the bottle with hot water and wrap in a towel.

Euthanasia

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Reptiles, Horses, General Care, Pigs, Birds

One of the most difficult decisions an animal owner will ever make is when to euthanize a pet. Most owners want to do what is right for their pet and will agonize over the decision whether to euthanize or not. The only criterion that should be used in this difficult decision is if the quality of life is good enough to justify the quantity of life. With people, we do not have the luxury of keeping them from going through those last agonizing moments of life. We are kinder to animals.

The Chemistry Behind the Skunk Smell Remedy

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Reptiles, General Care

Paul Krebaum developed a skunk spray remedy from common household items through his knowledge of chemistry. Routinely used in the treatment of pets, his recipe is as follows:

  • 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap (usually Dawn detergent is suggested)

Receptors in your nose are very sensitive to sulfur in a low oxidation state. These same receptors are not sensitive to sulfur in a high oxidation state.

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