Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crafty Critters

I have some exciting news, everyone! Every week on Wednesday I am going to do a CC(Critter Corner) craft! This month I am going to introduce some of the crafts you might see here on the blog.

Critter-lovers, I have decided to take up knitting. It is cool to make stuff like scarfs and washcloths, but what if I made things for my pets? I know some readers may knit, but far more do not, so I won't make it too complicated. It will simply involve paper crafts and whatnot. One craft I am particularly good at is a hamster hammock. You can make one of these by cutting a flap in a cardboard paper-towel tube and punching two holes on either side. Fill it with paper shreds or another favorite bedding, and then hang it by string in your hamster's cage! Easy, right? For a little harder crafts, I will take some pictures to show you the instructions in order. Maybe a video, too! I hope you enjoy this new "Crafty Critters," and I'll see you next Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Popcorn isn't the healthiest treat, but I only give some to her once in 2 months! She loves it, and it's fine as long as it doesn't have any butter and salt on it. Click "play" to watch this funny video clip.

Betta-Fish Feeding 101

I know I haven't been talking about my fish lately, so I'd better put him in the spotlight today! When I had written my second post a while back, I realized that I hadn't talked a lot about betta-fish feeding and nutrition, but don't worry. I will educate you about that topic today!

A main diet for your betta(s) varies in size and color. The best recommended food for your betta is BettaMin. It is featured in the picture below.

Bettas all have different tastes. Some prefer a certain flavor or color of food.

Other bettas don't like flakes that slowly fall to the ground. My past betta, Starburst, loved a kind of food called Floating Fish Pellets rather than the other brand. 

Once you have chosen the food, you can now go on and pick some treats, if you like. There are many different treats. Most of them are much bigger than normal food, and they float in the water. One I came across was shaped like a log, and was called Floating Log Nibblers. The fish didn't chow down on it all at once, but they could swim up to it whenever they wished and nibble on it.

Treats don't have to be store-bought to be yummy! Bloodworms and brine shrimp are a nice little snack from time to time. Two bloodworms or one brine shrimp once a week is a good amount for your little betta fish.

Jaws enjoys feeding time!

A small mount of food is just enough.

This food has bits of shrimp in it and has a bright orange color that attracts fish.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Get the Scoop on Litter-boxes!

Rabbits are extremely popular small animals because of their intelligence. Their personalities vary in the same way as human's personalities do. Some can be lazy, some can be energetic.....  But those kind of differences aren't the reason humans share their homes with these amazing creatures--it's the gentleness and affection they show towards their people that counts. It isn't the same as a dog's drooly lick when you get nuzzled with a bunny's cool, wet nose; neither is it the same when a rabbit shoves you off of "his" chair while you're trying to watch TV. Rabbits are naturally clean animals; they wash themselves at least 7 times a day, and they use the bathroom in the same place as long as they've been shown love and human care. When your rabbit was a baby bunny, he or she learned things like this from his mother before he was introduced to your home and family as a grown rabbit. These animals are a lot like cats when it comes to hygiene and cleaning, therefore, they are beloved by many.


Not much effort is needed during the training process of litter-boxes. The main thing to do is, on a daily basis, scoop some of the waste from the rabbit's "bathroom corner", and place in in the litter-box. In a few weeks, the bunny will start to catch on, and he'll want to sit inside the box. Rabbits spend most of their time on the litter-box, and not just for when they have to "go". Your rabbit will enjoy eating, resting, and even grooming while sitting on their box. Whenever I look at Daisy in her cage, she's sitting in her litter-box and chewing on her salt-lick that is attached to her hay feeder!

What to buy

Bulky litter-boxes made for cats are not for in the cage. Most rabbit-owners keep them handy during the day, when the bunny is roaming the house and he just might be upstairs when his box is downstairs in the cage. Critter Corner recommends keeping a box on each level. For example, if you have a 2-story house plus a basement and the cage is on the 1st level, put one upstairs and one downstairs. Bathrooms are a good location to put the box, so when you clean it, the mess doesn't get all over. But what about at night, when it's time to round your bunny up and put her back in the cage for a long rest? In the Small Pet area of your local pet-store, you can look for boxes that fit your pet's cage. If you don't see any there, ask a clerk who specializes in small pets if he can get some in stock. If you do find some, choose one that fits your rabbit's size well. Remember that a baby bunny grows!
Also remember that your rabbit is prone to Sore Hocks, which is a disease to the foot by sitting on urine often. Buy a litter-box that has good plastic that can't be chewed, and also a lock that locks a grate into place so your pet's waste falls below, and doesn't get all over your pet's feet.

A Final Word

So, remember that once your pet has been litter-trained, he will not go on the floor or any other place. If you are positive your pet is trained, and he or she is still getting urine on the floor, that means he or she has a rare disease that causes him to be unable to control his or her bladder.

Tip: Boy rabbits need a higher litter-box because they spray when urinating, so it could get all over your wall.

Thanks for reading today's post! See you next time on CC!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winter Games

Today's post doesn't include small pets, but instead I am going to talk about entertaining your dog or cat during the long winter breaks. I'm sure many of you have dogs and cats, and you probably have let your pet outdoors during play. Every day your pet exercises, most often outdoors. With protected paw-pads(you can buy little fabric sheets that stick to the bottom of your pet's feet) and a fluffy layer of just-grown fur, your dog is ready to face the weather. But it's winter now! Your pet doesn't really have a lot to do, right? Sure they do! From searching for lost treats to pulling a sled, dogs can now appreciate the time when "all this fluffy white stuff falls from the sky"(what dogs probably think of it)!

Activities for Learning Purposes

Hey, even dogs can go to school! Okay, not real school, but you can train your dog in a fun way and he'll still learn a lot!

  • Treat Hunt- Choose a place where a lot of snow is all clumped-up into hills. You know, some big hills, some little. Dig a hole half the height of the snow on the ground for some places. For others, challenge your dog and put the treat and the very bottom where the dead grass is. Bury all the treats. Then, take your pup over and watch him sniff for the hidden loot.
  • Sled Dog Tryouts- If you have a sled, see if maybe your dog will grab it in his mouth and drag it. If you do this on a daily basis, your dog will realize what he is supposed to do. One day you'll be able to  pile snow or even rocks in the sled and BINGO! He will pull the sled to the place you choose. Oh, but just don't sit on the sled while your dog pulls it. It doesn't matter if you a kid or an adult. Just don't. Not a good idea. Your dog could get injured or you could fall out if he runs too fast down the hill. Ouch.
  • Memory Check!- You know those tricks you taught your dog a long time ago? He caught on quickly, huh? These are the tricks your dog could just forget if you don't practice. You don't want your dog to be able to do these super-cool tricks like "Unload the dishwasher," or "Pick up the house", and never "sit" or "stay"! Before you teach your dog any other new things(like the "sled-pulling" trick above), test his skills--and then you can really see if he was paying attention during the puppy years!

Activities for Entertainment and Exercise Purposes

Now it's time to bring in the fun! That's right, Fido, you can stop all that sitting and laying down and instead, run wild!! 

  • Fetch the snowball!- Golden Retrievers and Labs are great at this game, because they love to retrieve things. Also, they have a "soft mouth", which means they practically can even carry an egg in their mouths without cracking it! (They were originally used by hunters to retrieve the animals they had shot from afar.) Simply mold a snowball and toss it. Your pet will race towards the ball and bring it back. Sometimes, your dog may not want to hand it back, but that doesn't matter. Snow is a great resource for water(for animals, anyway), and if your pet stubbornly turns away, he will most likely eat it. Oh well, at least it was a snowball, and not your dad's prized autographed baseball that he chewed up.
  • Meow "Marshmallows"- Nothing frightens a feline more than water, or a form of it. Snow is one of those forms. While Critter Corner doesn't recommend letting kitty come outside, they do say it is wonderful to provide some outdoor-indoor activities for them, including....

Catnip(or self-grown cat grass)

Cotton balls--you can tie them to a string or just let your cat dig in!

Hidden treats--place special treats for your kitty around the house for her to find.

Cozy cat sacks--you don't have to be great in needlework to design a cat sleeping sack! Just get a fleecy sweater that you don't want, cut off the very top, right at the part where the arm holes are, and get some adhesive no-glue fabric stick(Stitch Witch works great!)and there you go.(you can even tie a cat toy to the inside to intrigue your pet)

I hope you keep your pet warm and cozy this holiday season! That's all for now, animal-lovers, but I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff for your cat, dog, and small pet to enjoy!   


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

Hi, it's me, Nature Girl. Today's post is all about what I'm thankful for. Just wanted to drop in!

I'm thankful for......

the Thanksgiving parade.
all of my critter-loving fans!
my supportive mom.(;
Daisy and Peanut(and Jaws!)
pickles(my fave food!).
cozy sweaters.
my sister and brothers.
my great dad.(:
my blog.
anyone who's reading this(that's you! And you and you and you and you....)

There are many other things I could say, but for now, happy Thanksgiving!

A note to CC(critter corner) readers: Tomorrow I will not post anything, on account everybody will be very busy. On Friday I am not sure if anyone will have time either. Saturday you can read this if you have not read it yet. Sorry if you were looking forward to tomorrow's, but unfortunately I know nobody will read it anyway. --Love Nature Girl.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Critter Quiz

It's been almost a month of critter facts, tips, and other fun small animal stuff you've learned so far. If you have been listening closely, you should be able to answer this monthly quiz with ease. Tell us the answers in the comments below. Have fun! (Oh, and NO peeking at the blog!)

Warm-up Quiz

  1. What is one of Daisy's favorite foods?  _________
  2. How old was the longest living hedgehog? _________
  3. BONUS! Which of the following facts about rats are true?
(a) Rats can't burp.  (b) Rats can go without water longer than camels can. (c) Both A and B.

Now try these....

  1. What are salt licks?
  2. Should you introduce your family or your friends first to a pet hamster?
  3. TRUE OR FALSE? Guinea pigs can have meat. 
  4. Gerbils are famous for what? (clue: their nicknames are "kangaroo rats")
  5. Should you let your 4-year-old own any exotic pets such as chinchillas?   
CAREFUL, it gets a little harder..... 

  1. What are Question Tuesdays?
  2. Do hamsters enjoy dried cheese?
  3. Choose either MYTH or FACT--Rats carry diseases.
  4. How do you relieve pain from an insect bite or sting on your pet? List at least 2 ways.
  5. Is cleaning out your pet's cage optional?

AND NOW.......The Gold Bonus Question!
If you answer it.....YOU will become the Critter Corner Quiz Master!

The question is:  TRUE OR FALSE? How many days do butterflies live???(yes, this is in the blog!)

Remember, please answer all the questions. Use your best guess. Thanks a million! I wish you well on the challenging quiz.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not Just Fleas!

The beautiful colors....the migrating geese.....Autumn is the time where you can really appreciate nature.
But it's also the time for ticks and mosquitoes to start biting before the cold snow starts to come. If you let your small pet go on a harness outside, you have to be sure not to stay out too long. "Pets can not only get dehydrated, they can also get bitten pretty bad by those insects out there." a dog website tells readers.

Set up a Mini "Pet Treatment Center!"

Ouch! Have you ever been bitten or stung before? Boy, does it hurt! If you think your dog, cat, or other pet has been bitten or stung, try these simple, soothing methods for pets.

  1. Remove any stingers by gently scratching with the side of a credit card or your own finger on the wound area. The stung area will look pink and puffy and will have a brown line embedded in your pet's skin.
  2. Take some ice in a plastic bag and carefully press it on the pet's wound. There might be a little blood.
  3. Inject any venom in the bloodstream by putting a little baking soda and water or a small amount of meat tenderizer on your pet's wound site.
  4. To reduce itching and irritation, put milk of magnesia all over the bite or sting wound.
  5. To lessen any more pain, make up an oatmeal bath either using special pet oatmeal-shampoo, or you can also tie a sock filled with regular oatmeal or some colloidal to the water faucet. The water will wash out the sock, creating a creamy texture to the water.
  6. Get some ammonia and put it on a cotton swab. Rub it on the area. If you don't have ammonia, grab some hydro-cortisone cream and put a thin layer on your pet's bite or sting. This will decrease any more pain.
When you are done with the treatment, watch your pet carefully. Every day, put a little aloe-vera gel on the bite or sting. The healing process will increase more quickly.

If you think your pet has been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, take him to the vet immediately. You will save his life.

A few tips by Daisy and Peanut (when your pet needs the vet)

  • If your pet has lumps all over him, you should take him into the vet. He could have allergies.
  • If your pet has a small bug the size of a this period(.) or larger stuck under his fur, this is a tick. When the are as big as your fingernail, that means they are filled with blood. Remove them with tweezers and take your pet into the vet--pronto! 
  • A way to keep mosquitoes away is pet-friendly insect spray or, a clip-on one to put on your pet's collar. Mosquitoes aren't something to worry about like a different insect bite or sting is, but it still can get itchy!! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Please Read Me! What is Your Pet Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is coming up, and it's time to celebrate! I hope you noticed all the new changes I put on the blog, including a cute fish-feeding gadget(on the bottom page--they'll follow your mouse and if you click on the water you will feed them!) and a different design and color scheme. I was hesitant to change the look of my blog because then it may not look "critter-y, or whatever that means. Also, just for today I will say a few things and then be done with it--no critter info today, guys!

I am thankful for:


Running on my wheel--Peanut

Water;I'd die without it--Jaws(my fish)

My pets--me,(Nature Girl)

Now, you go ahead! Comment A.S.A.P every single day (one comment on one post per person) Then I'll post a special blog on Thanksgiving listing everything you and your pet is thankful for!

P.S: Please remember to ask your friends to tell you about what they are thankful for if you don't have a pet. Thank you!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can Hamsters be Trained?

So, can you train your pet hamster? The answer is yes. From the time you bring hammie home to the day you've entered your pet in an agility contest, your hamster has learned a lot.

Humphrey Bit Me!!

I remember when I got Peanut and brought her home. I set up her cage all nice, then I opened up her chewed carry-home box. There she was, sleeping in the corner of her little box, when I probably scared her half to death by opening it up. She refused to go in the cage at all. I had to scoop her up, despite her wiggling and shrieking, and place her in the cage. Every hamster-owner remembers this time too, and they've probably gotten to know the hamster better since then. There is a certain way to introduce your pet to you and your family, and it takes at least a month.

Day 1:

Leave hamster alone.  Allow her to explore the cage but don't let her out of it.

3 days later:

Slowly feed the hamster a few treats. Drop them near the hamster, but don't shove them in her face.

In a week: 

Put some treats in your hand and put your hand in the cage. Lay out your palm close to the hamster.(Tip: If your hammie seems scared of your hand, rub the bedding from the sleeping area all over your hands. They will not smell your scent very strongly, that way, he may come to sniff you.)

In about 2 weeks:

Your hamster should be starting to show interest and coming into your hand. Do this everyday, and be sure to do it in the cage(because if the hamster feels the need to run, he won't fall far).

In a month:

By now, your hamster will be staying in your cupped palm. He'll feel less timid, and he will be eating the treats you offer him. Try stroking your hamster while he is in your hand. If he shrieks or tries to bite your finger, stop. Put him back in the cage gently. This shows him that biting is not allowed.

In around 1/2 a year:

Great! You've achieved your goal! Now you can train your hamster to do the following things!!!

  • Spin in a circle
  • Go through a maze you make
  • Stand on two legs
  • EVEN MORE!!!

Gradually train your hamster these tricks. If you do it all at once, he'll get confused and most likely walk off.
Train once a day for 10 minutes a day. Animals like hamsters love a challenge especially when it involves treats, so challenge your hamster but at the same time, let him have fun!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Hedgehogs?

So, you want to "stand out"? Is the affectionate cat or energetic dog not for you? Do rabbits seem too boring, or does the tiny hamster seem too feisty and timid for your type of personality? Well, look no further, because you are one of the many people who want a really cool pet--so why not get a hedgehog? These adorable little animals are the domesticated version of the common kind, and they aren't your average hedgehog you might find snuffling around the woods. You may be very surprised. (Hedgehogs as pets??) But if you raise a hedgehog well, you'll quickly be rewarded with a smart, friendly animal, indeed.

Wait a minute, aren't their quills sharp to touch?

Well, yes, in a way. Hedgehogs in the wild use quills to protect themselves, but, they don't release their quills by loosening their skin like porcupines do. They stick them out in all directions to scare off predators. Domestic hedgehogs still have a little bit of that defense in them, so when they are frightened, they do use the quills in such a way. However, if your hedgehog is doing this towards you or your friends, this means they are very scared about what you are doing or are about to do. So keep your hedgehog calm at all times until he understands that you mean well--when the hedgehog is relaxed, the quills stay against the back, keeping your fingers safe. Small children could potentially injure your hedgehog, and then they might just get a little "reminder" from the little quills.(Porcupine quills are 100 times worse than the tiny quills of your hedgehog, therefore, it's just like touching a comb's bristles.)

So this means I can't cuddle my hedgehog at all??

Hedgehogs show you affection often, but only when they're relaxed, they'll climb up in your lap and lay on their backs, giving you the official "Hedgehog Look." When they do this, they don't want a belly rub, they are just saying, "Ahhh, how nice and peaceful this is...."  When a male hedgehog pees on you, don't take it personally, your little guy is just saying that he loves you, and that "You are my property, I LOVE YOU! No other hedgehogs can touch my person." If you get that signal, this means you are very loved, and that your hedgehog trusts you a lot. That's the same as being the queen or king, for a hedgehog.

How old do they live? 

Sadly, some hedgehogs live up to 5 years in total. The longest living hedgehog was 8 years old, but you never know how old your pet could be. Everything matters, including the diet, area to live, kind of cage, the amount of stress.....everything!

I knew there was a catch.....

Well, like I said, you really don't know. One pet owner said she fed her pet one kind of food and he died in one year. Her second hedgehog lived up to 8 years(the world record) because she fed him a good brand of food.

So, I hope you learned a lot so far about hedgehogs!!!!

As always, I have found 3 websites for you:

www. hedgehog

Go Ahead! Try them out right now!

That's all on Critter Corner! I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Small Pet Literature

Ever wanted to read about your pet and learn more about him? Here are a few book titles (and authors) to check out or buy at your local library or bookstore. I've read them all, so you don't need to worry.

Rabbits (Animal Planet Pet Care Library) 
by Sue Fox

This colorful and informative read deserves an honorary place in your bookshelf!

The Rabbit Handbook 
by Karen Parker D.V.M

Thinking about getting a rabbit? This book is especially for people who want to learn more about these great pets.

by Carol Himsel Daly 

Written by a true rat-owner, this guide is a very good thing to read if you own a rat too!

My Rat(My Pet series)
By Gerd Ludwig 

For children and adults alike, this book is chock-full of info and advice for first-time rat owners!

Training Your Pet Hamster
by Gary Bucsis 

Complete with color photos and incidents you can relate to, this book is all you need in order to have a well-behaved pet hamster!

A House Rabbit Primer(Understanding and caring for your companion rabbit)
by Lucile C. Moore 

A book yours truly owns, it is a guide you'll not only want to read, you'll also want to keep it at home with you!

Guinea Pig Care(Quick & Easy series)
by the Pet Experts

A simple and reliable care book you can count on!

by Keith Lawrence 

Questions such as "Why does my gerbil chew on that?" will be answered in this great book.

Hamster(ASPCA Pet care guides)
by Mark Evans

Children will love this understandable book that is written by a real veterinarian!

For more great reads, check out your local library and bring a book home today--maybe even let your pet read it! Oh, but just don't let him chew it up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Recent Questions and Updates

Daisy: Wow, I think I skipped a Question Tuesday or something.....

Peanut: I guess so. Anyway, what are the questions for this week, huh?

Daisy: Let me see now--ah, yes....the first person emailed Critter Corner asking how much do guinea pigs cost.

Peanut: Maybe they're putting the thought of getting one into consideration! Oh, but, isn't that like slavery?

Daisy: What do ya' mean?

Peanut: You know...I don't think people should buy animals. Buying living beings was banned by George Washington.

Daisy: I thought it was a different president. Abe Lincoln. Or was it Teddy Roosevelt? Whoever that is. Or maybe James Garfield. Was it a president at all? Oh man, I really need to touch up on my social studies skills.

Peanut: Whatever. The answer is this: around 10 dollars. The cage is the expensive part. Um, I was wondering, where exactly do you get these random questions??

Daisy: I get the questions from the people who ask them!!!! Where else would they come from????

Peanut: Well, you could make them up because nobody really does email us. I know it!

Daisy: THEY DO TOO!! I ask people to mail us all the time! To prove it, I have another question send by air-mail: AH-HEM.....(smooths out letter) ........ A person wonders what our favorite foods are.

Peanut: That's so easy-peasy! I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE carrots, cucumbers, apples, sunflower seeds......

Daisy: Uh....oh-kay, we get the message! My turn next! My favorite foods are yogurt drops, crackers, pumpkin seeds, popcorn...

Peanut: NOT processed food! Veggies and fruits, you know what I mean. That's obviously why you're so fat!

Daisy: I am not fat.

Peanut: YES YOU ARE!!

Daisy: (whispering) Please stop saying that--your embarrassing me on national TV!

Peanut: Ha! Well, good! (in a sing-song voice)YOU are fa-aht, ohhh, you arrrrre FAh-t....

Daisy: AM not!

Peanut: Then why did you say you eat processed foods.

Daisy: One, yogurt drops are NOT processed, and two, I am NOT  FAT!!!!!

Peanut: Whoa.

Peanut: Uh, that's all, for now on Critter Corner, and a note to all yogurt drop-eaters, don't eat too many like Daisy here, or you'll get F-A-T!

And here is a picture I put up of a healthy food to eat. YUM! And it won't make you fat!

Daisy: (weakly)I'm...not..f-a...ttt.......

Peanut: I didn't say anything.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Avoid Overgrown Teeth in Your Pet Rodent!

 Nibble Chew...... how do you describe it? Gnaw, that's it! When your pet rodent's teeth grow, boy, do they grow--and when they get too long, your pet has to get rid of them somehow................      Ever find little chew-marks on the side of a desk or chair? Do you find towels or blankets slightly shredded, which baffles you to realize your small pet rodent has probably done this? To solve this problem, you need to supply chew blocks such as in the picture below. There are thousands of colors, shapes, and designs dealing with rodent chews, but you should purchase the biggest and long-lasting ones because the pet can go through them fast.
The first kind of chews are volcanic pumice chews, which are dusty blocks of soft rock that have a "spongy" appearance and have a very grainy texture. The second kind of chews are wood, sometimes dyed with natural vegetable dyes and they last longer because the rodent has to "strip" down and nibble at the wood until it's gone. The last alternative is a salt lick/chew mixture. The salt and minerals keep your pet healthy, and   the gnawing action it can give your pet is both tasty and fun.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Celebrating Your Pet's Birthday

"It's all about ME--right??"
Daisy's birthday is coming up--and so is your pet's. Why not celebrate it? Many people have different ways of celebrating. Some enjoy allowing their pet to do something they usually don't let them do. A special treat is given to the pet(one pet owner I knew gave her rat a mini-cupcake with frosting on it, yet another fed her ferret a "dog cookie" that is made of special batter for dogs and frosting too). Some people even host a small party, inviting other pets over to play. But if you are thinking about a huge party filled with games, snacks, and a GIANT birthday cake covered with all of your pet's most favored treats, then here is how to do it:

So, you want a party? Here's all the things you'll need to do.....

1) Decorate! Fill your house with pet-safe decor such as high banners, weighted down helium balloons that your pet can't choke as safe as possible--you don't want your pet to get hurt on his or her birthday!

2) Invite! Create cute but simple invitations requesting the guests to arrive at a certain time, and tell them about the things they will do there.

3) Prepare! Make a cake that's large enough for all the guests to eat. Cover the cake with yummy treats and use carrot sticks for candles(don't try to light them, though!) Think up games that pets can do--for example, a hamster b-day party may include a hamster-ball racing contest. If any games require things the owners have(like a hamster ball), then note this in the letter.

4) Have fun! Don't invite too many pets you can handle, and if you have "strangers"(other pet) that your pet hasn't played with yet, don't invite them. There could be a fight--and that could lead to a very bad birthday, indeed.

Birthdays only come once a year, so you should make them special. Pets deserve a good birthday too, so don't leave them out!


Fun factoid: Butterflies live only ten days; therefore, they don't even get to celebrate their birthday!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Taking Photos of your Pet

Attention, all critter enthusiasts! I know you have all tried once in your lifetime to take a picture of your pet. You may have succeeded, but most people have not. Small pets don't sit still, and the picture of your pet turns out to be a furry blur (ha ha!). Dogs are more cooperative, and they will allow you to snap a quick one as long as they can choose their own pose., they really can't be taught to sit in front of your camera(well, only if you offer them some treats--but they never do exactly what you want them to do), they just give you "the look", and slink off to their own business. Okay, so they may never be a feline model. But what about our small pets? Bunnies are pretty good at sitting pretty--hamsters, not so much.

How do I get Tiny to stay still?

Truth is, you really can get him to stay as perfect as ever, but you can feed him treats in order for the hamster or mouse to stay put for a few minutes. Sometimes the cutest poses aren't planned--they just happen by chance!

Keep it simple--and safe!

Whether you're putting him on your Christmas card this year or just doing it because you need a cute wallpaper for your computer, be sure to keep your pet safe at all times. "Just because your pet looks ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE doesn't mean its safe." Critter Corner says. "Flames, sharp objects, high ledges...all of these things and more can be potentially dangerous to your precious pet."

Keeping your small pet protected from harm is important--a lot more important than having a cute picture. Hope you enjoyed today's blog post on Critter Corner!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Ultimate Scrubdown

Note from the author: Critter Corner is asking you to comment and tell us all about what your pet likes to do on Thanksgiving and Christmas or a tradition you do with your family(and pets)--and you could have a chance to tell us a post you'd like to see on this blog. It could be featured in the future! Just comment on any blog, anytime, through November 9th all the way up to December 1st--telling us about your pet's Christmas and/or Thanksgiving, and tell what you'd like the post to be about if you could choose. Have fun!!

Today's post is much like the new poll for this week: all about cleaning out the water and food bowls--and cleaning out your pet's cage. Don't just clean it, scrub it!! Every week you should remove all objects from the cage and place your pet in a safe area while you soap up every surface possible. Using pet-safe spray or special wipes is ideal, but it can also be costly. Vinegar spray and non-scented baby wipes are less expensive and still just as safe, not to mention you almost always will have these in you home. Critter Corner doesn't recommend letting your pet eat or lick up any of these things, no matter how pet-safe they may be.

Does your small pet use a litter box? If so, you may find it easier to clean the cage and you may think this means you don't have to clean the main area. This isn't true!! You must always clean the whole cage--ALWAYS! Just because there isn't any waste in the cage--only the litter box, this doesn't mean you shouldn't clean it. Hidden bacteria could make your pet's cage dirty over time;this could gradually cause your pet to be sick.    Please clean out every inch of the cage--it will be better for you and your pet!

The bottom line: Do this every week! Remember, after you have cleaned the cage, use a towel to dry the wet areas, because you do not your pet to get wet and get pneumonia from the cold.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Big O

A problem pet owners face is the daily treat consumption of their small animals--and this can lead to a very, uh, heavy pet. Treats bought in the store cause most of the trouble because owners think that whatever the package says is OK. For example, A mistake I made once was to get the so-called "healthy" treats and follow what the back said was fine to do. Feed up to 4 per day, blah blah blah. I was feeding my bunny treats every day--when they were just meaning in a whole day, not every single day like vitamins or something. But even healthy treats like carrots, apples or celery can make your pet obese. "It isn't always  based on if the food is healthy or not, it's the amount of food you give the pet that counts." a rabbit magazine says.

Processed treats like "Yogies!" or those pet granola chew things are a big no-no for a pet who likes to eat a lot because they just can't say "I'm full". These treats aren't satisfying enough for your small animal to not want to eat anymore and still not be "stuffed". Herbivore's stomachs, especially rabbit's, digest food slowly and sometimes they can become very constipated--that's why hay and grass is vital to their systems. These "junk food" treats can ruin that natural flow that hay supplies, and that leaves the pet with a big stomach-ache. Some pet owners don't even offer treats to their pets--they only give them fresh pellets and hay. Most pet owners I know are curious about those cool-looking treats in the food aisle, and they might try them out once, and even just once is too much. Pets who have never eaten treats before have always been thinking there was was nothing better tasting than good ol' hay and dry pellets, but when the owner introduces treats, the pet could neglect his daily diet and just want treats.

To avoid making that mistake that many owners make, don't give treats that are fatty to your pet, because you'll be left with wasted money and a very chubby small animal on your hands!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Small Children and Animals can't Mix, Right??

Yesterday was a hectic day for little Benedict. Babies don't understand the importance of voting, all they care about is having their fun. So, what does a baby do when nobody is paying attention to him?? He makes some mischief--and I mean MISCHIEF. I had my "hamster wonderland" on the floor-- I had recently created an enormous exercise playland for Peanut out of cardboard boxes, and water bottles with both ends cut off, not to mention some toilet paper tubes......It was a lot of hard work, I'll say! Benedict ran over to it and started to tear everything off, and somehow, he found a piece of hamster food inside it. He must of attempted to eat it, and minutes later we were noticing chewed-up hamster food bits on the floor. Benedict is fine, but this could have been much worse--so, what do you do?

Small children are fascinated by animals, but they don't realize that animals have feelings too. The first reaction to a dog or cat is to run towards it and squeeze its neck or pull its tail--and not all animals are as tolerant as some I know. You just don't know what the animal may do. A cat who curls up in your lap and licks your face or a dog who is the most loyal dog you know won't always do the same to a screeching baby. The defense system for a small animal is fight or flight. A young child may become upset if your pet bunny runs under the bed--and even more upset if he gets a little nip on his finger from time to time. If you have a four year-old who wants a pet snake--chances are, he really doesn't want the pet for the true responsibility, he just wants one because snakes are "cool", and he'll likely get tired of it in a few weeks. Therefore, you shouldn't get a pet that more fits the age of 9 and up for a smaller child, because he'll not only leave the care to you or another sibling, he'll also treat the snake(or other pet) the wrong way. A responsible child needs to prove he's ready for his own pet, and for now, the best starter pet is a fish or a frog--they make interesting pets to watch, so you don't have to worry about a lot of care--just feed him and clean the tank--your young child will enjoy taking care of them(under adult supervision, of course).

Before I end today's post, here are the guidelines for children and animals, please enjoy!:

Fish: ages 4 and up. Just always help with the tank cleaning and watch the amount of food which is being fed.

Hamsters(golden hamsters)ages 6 and up--also a great family pet! These hamsters, unlike the dwarf breed, rarely ever bite or scratch. The cage cleaning, feeding, exercise, and other care should be monitored if your child is under the age of 8 years. The whole family can help with the hamster's care and playtime.

Bunnies: ages 8 and up. If you research the breed and personality, you will be rewarded with a loving pet. Keep the cage in an area where the rabbit can be around your family most often(such as a living room).

Rats, dwarf hamsters, mice gerbils: ages 10 and up. These animals require more exercise and you have to make sure the animal is not being handled roughly. The cage needs cleaning attention every week, and you should feed them and water them when it is needed. They should be not left alone, as a rat or hamster may run away or get stuck if they are not trained to be good.

Chinchillas, skunks, sugar gliders, hedgehogs: ages 11-12 and up. These pets are very rare, exotic animals. They need very special requirements, and they are usually not seen in a normal pet store--they can only be found at an exotic pet store, so if you find one of these in a normal pet store, don't buy them, as they may have a disease because they have not been cared for properly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guinea Pig Nutrition and Diet

    If you've been thinking about getting a furry friend to add to your family that doesn't need a lot of exercise, is cuddly and friendly, and will be exciting to take care of, choose a guinea pig!! These adorable little guys are unlike other rodents that climb and run around the room, but they are more likely to want to sit in your lap while you read a book or watch TV. If you already own one, or are going to get one soon, read this post all about food and nutrition!

Main Diet

Guinea pigs mainly eat dry guinea pig food, the best kind is usually Oxbow because they don't have any unhealthy colored dyes that some brands use to make the food look more interesting. Oxbow also offers hay, and some healthy, natural hay-based treats for guinea pigs. Never buy treats that say "for rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters", only buy the ones that are specially for guinea pigs, because they have different needs, so therefore, they eat different things.

What Can and Can't I feed my Guinea Pig?

Fresh food is a must in your guinea pig's health, but sometimes we don't know exactly what is OK for them. In a book, they say cauliflower is okay, and another unknown resource states it isn't. Here is a list of the Do's and Don't's of what you should avoid and what you should feed your guinea pig. Don't worry, the research I did was completely safe and perfectly fine for your piggie.

                                                                                               Iceberg Lettuce
                                                                                               Potato Skins
                                                                                          Raw Beans(dry kidney beans..pinto beans...)
                                                                                           Potato Chips or other processed human food
                                                                                            No store brand Yogurt treats like "Yogies!"
                                                                                             (guinea pigs cannot digest dairy)
                                                                                             Any Non-Guinea pig food (like 
                                                                                              hamster food, gerbil food, rat food...etc...) 
                                                                                                 Any type of meat--raw or cooked
                                                                                                Popcorn--it can get stuck in the pig's throat
                                                                                                    Sugary Foods
                                                                                                      Coffee, chocolate, tea, or alcohol 

Semi-Sweet Peppers 
Spinach-3 leaves maximum
Parsley--If you tear it up near your guinea pig's
cage, he'll love the smell!
Apples--just be sure there isn't any seeds in it!!
Broccoli--A small piece
Banana Slices
Dandelion Greens
Cherry tomatoes--don't give him too many, 
they have a very large amount of citrus in them!!

These lists cannot cover even half of what a guinea pig can and can't have. Go to pig nutrition to see a bigger list of foods for guinea pigs!

Daisy's Fun Facts:

Hey, did you know that guinea pigs' ears turn reddish-pink when they are hot?
That's my fact, folks, and I am Daisy the Rabbit signing out. Goodbye!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Keeping a Routine

Rats are highly intelligent and observant creatures, so even a slight change will make a rat confused and worried. If someone, for example, passed away in the household, especially if the rat favored them, the rat could become depressed and even die too. But the things you can change whenever you like should be in an organized way. In the mornings, you should do what you normally do for your rat. Perhaps you give it a crumble of toast or a nibble of dry cereal. In the afternoons, you most likely will go to work or school. Around the evening, right when you come home, spend time with your rat for at least half an hour. Later on, you should spend another half hour of time with him. Be sure to include at least an average of 10 minutes of "ball time"(or when you put your rat in his exercise ball) and training time, if you want to. Rats don't like "whenever", they like it if you are planning on doing it every day. In the wild, rats went in packs, like a colony, and every day they scavenged the same area they always went to. Domestic rats are like this. There's a time to eat, sleep, and play. This is how a rat's normal day usually is.

A Rat's Normal Day

Scurry around
Nibble on food
Climb on cage bars
Take naps
Wake up
Drink water, eat...
Take more naps
Owner comes home
Owner gives treats
Owner lets me out of cage
He lets me explore room(or even house)
He gets down
He plays with me
I go in rat ball
I get out and go in cage
I eat, sleep, play in cage
Owner feeds and waters me
Training time
Owner does his own thing
The end

Usually all rats are different, so they do things differently, and so do their owners, so try to   "go with the flow" and observe your rat's routine!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What's in a Name??

Pet names these days.....what is the world coming to? Back then, the most popular was Fido, Max, and the tried and true "Buddy".......but now, it's more about the cute-ness and the names that make people ask: "Why'd you name your pet that??"  When you bring your pet home, try to create a name that displays your pet's personality, or has something to do with the coat color or physical description. A ferret who likes to dig into a blanket could be named Digger, or if your bunny flops on your couch lazily you could give him the name Flopsy. But a baby Flemish Giant* rabbit shouldn't be given the name Tiny(unless you want it to be a cute joke). Here are some ideas for names(including "baby names" and nicknames), but try to use your creativeness and make up a name yourself!

The Most Popular Names Across All Species

Smokey(Various spellings)
Baby(My wittle bAh-by wa-hby...)
Nibbles(or Nibbly)
Peanut( perhaps given the nickname I use: ChickPea--I think it's adorable!)

Chinchilla Names

Chilli(various spellings)
Chinny(don't ask)
Dusty(a winning favorite!)
Fluffy(.FUffy Wuffy....)
Che-Che(Mainly a nickname)

Ferret Names

Bear(or Teddy and Bear)
Angel(especially if the ferret's the exact opposite! Just kidding.)

Gerbil Names

Scooby Doo

Guinea Pig Names

Milky Way

Hamster Names

Snowflake(Snow or Snowy)

Rabbit Names


Mouse and Hedgehog Names


Heggie(various spellings)

Rat Names

Princess(or Prince)

There are millions of names out there, and many categories, such as:

Actions(such as Jumper or Nibbles)

Have fun choosing names--and if you have a lot you like but can't choose, have your small pet pick one himself out of a bowl or hat! After all, he's the one it will be stuck on!!

*Flemish Giant rabbits are a certain breed that can grow up to the length of a medium-sized dog!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lock 'er up!

What do you get when you cross an open cage and a mouse? Answer: A furry escape!!  Sometimes it's because we forget, sometimes it's simply because we think we did it but we really haven't, but almost everyone has done it once in their life-time--leaving open the cage by accident is a common mishap in our daily lives. The horror when at work or school. The terror while shopping at the mall. OH NO!!!! I left the cage open again... You worry. When you arrive home, you search the couch before you sit down, hoping the hamster or rat isn't being squished to death by his own owner. You, for some reason, are unable to turn on the TV to watch football. Looking over by the back of the TV, you see him. He must of chewed the cord right over there.  Poor guy. To avoid that happening, quickly close all doors and push towels underneath the doorways. Put treats under beds and near the baseboard of the walls, so the hamster(or rat, gerbil..etc.) will eat the treats(and not starve to death). Every morning, check the areas where the food was most eaten and put a "trap" in that room. A non-harming trap involves a plastic bucket, and a wide ruler leaning against the bucket. 1 or 2 hand towels stuffed in the bottom will be fine. Get some fresh food(like apples or bananas) that smell strongly to a small animal and put them on the towels. If there is no sign of the pet, this means he is outside. Put a live trap( usually sold at some tractor supply stores) out side close to the house and bait it with peanut butter or any other treat you don't give your pet often. If this doesn't work, your pet may be gone for good. To avoid this whole catastrophe in the first place, maybe you should remind yourself to close that cage!! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Are you sure you're OK??

Bunnies can't just get your attention and say: "Uh, I don't think I am feeling good", or "This really hurts!"
The most they can do to allow you to notice them is squeak or grunt--and sometimes you can hardly even tell what those grunts mean. Signs having to do with behavior changes or unexpected things your bunny may do can also be confusing. Here are some "Help my bunny's" that can help you determine what is wrong!

"Help, my bunny's......

abdomen is swollen"

This may be a sign of severe gas or acute bloat and must be treated immediately with simethicone to save the rabbit's life. 


Rabbits may occasionally cough, choke, and snort during mealtime. Gently take a clean soft cloth and wipe the rabbit's face and the nostril area. If the coughing continues for more than a minute, consult a veterinarian. 

ears are hot!"

While petting your bunny, you may notice either hot or cold ears. This indicates that the rabbit is either feeling very hot or very cold. Keep your rabbit inside at all times, unless you are letting them out on a harness for a little while, because they do not deal with high or low temperatures very well.

leg is dangling!"

Most likely the leg is broken, or cut so badly it has gotten so swollen they cannot bend it. You can easily tell by the size and how normal-looking the leg is. Do not, and I mean NOT try any "home remedies" such as a home-made cast or any sort of ointment on the rabbit, just take them to your trusted vet who helps with emergency care. (P.S: Choose the best vet who specializes only in emergencies, even if your other vet who only does check-ups claims to do this kind of care. Believe me, he could make the leg even worse...)

lying on the floor not moving"

Well, this can be many different things. One, it could be as simple as your bunny is catching some "Z"s. But if the rabbit is panting or breathing very slightly, the rabbit may die soon or is already dead. In these cases, you may only have one choice, and that is to take bunny to the vet for his last time.

For more rabbit first aid tips, go to: first aid

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Choosing a Hammie Habitat

Here's another video explaining the basics of hamster housing--feel free to comment if you have any questions!