Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from Critter Corner!

Although our family didn't have a party like last year, we will still have some fun. Today Peanut got her cage cleaned(one Monday I always clean it anyways!) I bought Daisy some toys too: A 2-in-one bunny toy that is a blanket but has feet and a head like a bunny, a hanging chew toy, and a carrot chew toy that has a walnut to eat in it!! She loves them! I also got Peanut a new wheel that replaced her broken one(my fault--I dropped it, don't blame her!). Well Anyway, Happy NEW YEAR!!!!

Puppy Love

Yesterday I visited a friend's house, and she had a very special surprise! A new puppy for Christmas! Holly, which was the puppy's name, was a West Highland Terrier. Seems familiar from the Cesar dog food advertisements. Remember the cute fluffy dog with seemingly immaculate soft fur? As puppies they are teeny tiny balls of cuddly soft cuteness, but these docile breeds grow up to  14-16 inches in height, and from what I have read, they live 12-16 years.

West Highland Terriers, or Westies, as they are more popularly known, originated from Scotland. The name "Scottie", and "Westie" can confuse you into thinking they are two different breeds, but the names are all for the same dog. Right? Wrong. Just remember that the dog with a mustache is a Scotland Terrier. The dog with a beard under his chin is a West Highland Terrier. Also, the two differ  in the length of their snouts--West Highland Terriers have shorter muzzles, while Scotland Terriers have very long noses.                        

So fluffy.........Who doesn't want one?

Even the cutest puppy still needs for his puppy pads to be cleaned, his bed to be washed, and his fur to be cuddled. Before you rush off and buy your pup before you finish reading this post, you need to know about them. So come on and please please don't stop reading this, because we have just started.

Consideration #1: The Amount Of Care. When they get older and they can actually run outside, Westies are frisky breeds and should only be for people who have enough time to let them outside to play fetch often. They are active dogs that love to run and play, which is surprising since they have really short legs! Westies also are very courageous dogs that will do anything, even if it means death, to protect you and your home--another surprising fact since a lot of small dogs get easily frightened.

Consideration #2: Other Pets. Westies are known as "rat dogs" because they were used for hunting rats underground when they were first introduced to the U.S.  Therefore, any small rodents could get stressed around a dog like that, and to make matters worse, he could possibly be killed. Just because there isn't any rats in your home doesn't mean nobody will get "hurt". Animals get jealous about the attention others recieve. You may notice your cat is more in hiding than usual when you first bring your pup home. Other dogs aren't as jealous, but they probably will do something considered naughty to get extra attention, and they probably don't know that "going" on the floor and chewing the puppy's toys will cause the wrong kind of attention! Avoiding this is easy. Spend one-on-one time alone with your jealous pet often, and it surely will wear off.

To learn more about Westies, go to highland terriers. Thanks!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Critter Christmas

Peanut and Daisy are so excited for tomorrow because they surely want to know what will inhabit their stockings! Of course, although we do exchange gifts on Christmas morning, I want you to keep in mind that we are really celebrating Jesus's birth which is much more important than gifts!

Here are some pictures:

Peanut's stocking. I found this adorable thing at a farmers market. Someone hand-knitted it themselves!

Daisy's stocking I decorated on her first Christmas--3 years ago!

Who could this tiny present be for?

My adorable calendar picture for this month!

Isn't this house perfect for a little hamster?

So cute!

Our beautiful tree......

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your Pet and Grooming

Although baths are not a good idea for your small pets(See the post "Wet N' Wild"), grooming using a brush and comb is something your pet needs to have done at least once a week. Most pet owners have enough time to do this every other day, but everyone has a different schedule so it's hard to commit to something like that.

Grooming Benefits

Grooming pets not only creates soft, glossy fur, but it can also have other benefits too. For instance, when you groom your pet, he can trust and bond with you better. Petting or brushing an animal releases a substance that calms you and makes you happy, closely related to the effects of chocolate. Best of all, sitting down with your pet and grooming him is another way of spending time with him, and only then can you really enjoy your pet and your surroundings.
Like I said before, grooming also helps your pet's well-being and immunity. Animals involved in neglect and abuse have very dirty, mangled fur because their owner didn't care or had no time to take care of them. Of course, anyone who reads this blog probably doesn't need to worry about that happening, because they surely treat their pets with love.

When It Isn't an Option

Animals with long fur need grooming attention often, likely every day. Most people prefer short-haired animals rather than ones with long fur because it is hard to promise to always care for their fur. That's why people are always rescuing long-haired dogs like Maltese and poodles because they have been running around for months, letting their fur get outgrown and getting moss, leaves, branches, and even live animals live in their fur. A dog held an accidental world record because he had 4 1/2 foot tall, twenty-five pound fur and he couldn't get up! They found mice and bugs in the fur after they removed it. Him and hundreds of others of dogs get outgrown fur just because nobody wanted to take care of the dog and left him.
So hopefully you groom your pet's fur well, especially if his coat is long.

How To Groom Small Pets

Once a week, have a pet "mini-spa." You will need an assortment of brushes: a flea comb, a bristle brush, a curved brush, and a clean bottle-brush or tooth-brush if you have a very small pet like a hamster. You will also need a dry washcloth, a mirror, animal nail clippers, a few baby wipes, a clean nail file, and some cotton swabs.

A Rabbit: For a pet rabbit, put a hand towel on a card table or counter-top, then place your bunny on top. Run your hand over his whole body, feeling for bumps or tangles. Separate every area of fur and look for mites or fleas. Pinch each tuft of fur between your middle and pointer finger, then brush the flea comb through the tuft. Next, use the curved brush to comb down his back, neck, and sides, then take your bristle brush and do the same. Gently take the clean tooth-brush and brush his head, being extra careful around the bump at the very edge of the back of his head between his ears. Now examine his face and use the baby wipe to wipe away any discharge under his eyes.(Brownish-yellow dry crusty stuff under his eyes is normal, like what humans have in the morning, but green liquidy snot stuff in his nose, eyes or ears is bad!) Look in his mouth for a normal pink tongue, gums and cheeks, and good teeth. If not, get a non-scented nail file and file down his teeth. If it is so long that it has cut into his gums, then consult a vet at once. Turn him over and look at his belly and check for bloating. Then examine his tail to see whether it is broken or not. Set him back down and cut his nails, avoiding the white/pink quick. Now he is done!

Any Small Rodent: Put your pet rodent in a plastic Tupperware container without the lid. Do all the yellow highlighted things above. Now, use the tooth-brush or bottle brush to brush his whole body. If you can, cut his nails, but be extra careful not to remove a toe. Look at his teeth and if they are ingrown, file them with a clean nail file. Use the dry washcloth to gently rub his underbelly. Do not use the bottle brush or tooth-brush, because they are very sensitive there.

Chinchillas: Use a chinchilla or pumice-stone brush to brush his fur. Check his teeth and nails.

Thanks for reading Critter Corner! Please comment if you have any questions or other things to say!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some Sad News

Hello Critter Corner Fans! I know you probably have been awaiting the upcoming announcement of the growth of my sea monkeys, but you probably won't hear that anytime soon. Sadly, all of my sea monkeys are dead, except for one. He died yesterday. Why? Because I, the sea monkey care-taker, the person responsible for this, didn't realize that you were supposed to buy the "million-bubble air pump" something-or-another. Every day you would pump the air pump, it said, and it would provide much-needed oxygen in order for your pets to live. Hopefully we can re-order them, but for now, I am not sure what to do with the tank. If there were any left, I would become "a sea-monkey murderer" because I poured him down the sink. But I am sure there are no left. Last night my dad saw the last one and said, "There isn't any left except for one. He looks like he is suffering." Then we looked at each other and I got the little brochure that came in the kit and read it. Oops.


So, that's how they died. I so feel bad for them that they probably suffered suffocation and I didn't realize it until......... until it was too LATE. Hopefully I can get new ones along with the air pump for sure. I'm sorry I had to tell you the sad news, but what would I do when somebody asks how big they are getting? I don't know either.

The sadly empty  tank. Poor guys.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Christmas isn't about presents and gifts, but it is nice to give someone something.Here are a few gift ideas for friends who have animals.

  1. Treats. Unless your friend's pet is diabetic, you can make up a little gift bag that has treats in it. If you don't want it to be a surprise for the owner, ask her what his favorite treats are. At pet stores they have special Christmas-themed treat packages, such as a candy-cane-shaped rawhide chew I saw once.
  2. Toys.  One of my animal-loving friends has a dog and a cat, and she bought little personalized stockings in them that come with toys and treats in them already. The ones she had had a little clear place to put a picture of the pet. You could get that, or just get some rope toys. Even if you get the same as what they already have, they probably won't mind. The original toy will get old over time, and the owner can simply replace it with yours.
  3. Coupons. Try collecting pet coupons and put them in an envelope. By that, I don't mean toys and treats kind of coupons(although those would be fine too) but I mean the other kind. For example, there are doggy spas and camps all over. There are some coupons that make them less expensive and offer a better package.
  4. Pet care. Even experienced pet owners need a break from their pet-chores from time to time. Or maybe they are going on a trip and they need a kennel for their pets. A great gift is to take care of your friends pets for the day(or more). Since it's a gift, don't even charge them. Just do it for free and save your friend's wallet.

Although all these gifts are great ideas, the best gift of all is to spend time with your friend and your own pets. It's up to you to be the best friend possible to your human friend, and your animal friend too! Merry Christmas!(Well, not yet, but it's coming up fast)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Friends

After a long time I finished this 550-piece puzzle. It is definitely adorable and goes perfectly with the time of year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Say What?

Your pets. They always do the funniest things and make us laugh. Parakeets are those kind of pets, because of their amazing ability to copy words. I heard of this parakeet who loved to talk so much, that his owner would get more than a little annoyed. But do these incredible creatures really get what they are even saying? Not quite. Sadly enough, when your parrot blurts, "I'm going to watch TV," it doesn't mean he wants to watch TV, even if he knows what "that big box of moving pictures" is. A parrot never says something if he has not heard it before. He just repeats what you are saying, and sometimes he mixes up the letters. While you are playing with him, he may suddenly say something you said weeks ago. Another fascinating thing about them is that they have good memory.

Talk To Me

How exactly can parrots talk? you may think. Have you ever noticed that your dog's tongue is thin and long, while a parrot's tongue is thick and short? The tongue size and shape makes all the difference. Just like humans, parrots have tongues and mouths that are shaped in a way that enables them to talk. 

Sing Your Heart Out

The easiest and most effective way to train your pet parrot to speak is to turn on the radio. People who are serious parrot-lovers create playlists for their parrots on the computer. All parrots have a favorite song, and they usually like to belt out the lyrics sooner or later. It may be really cute at first, but the tone-deaf birds can really get on your nerves. The way to relieve your misery? Put it online for all to see. Everyone loves a singing parrot if they don't have to live with him. Plus, he may even add a few dance moves, such as the Feather Ruffle, the Claw Kick and everyone's favorite, the Twist.

Teaching your pet bird to talk is worth it, but don't expect him to carry on a conversation with you. Oh, and remember, speak wisely, as your little copycat may be listening to every word!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Natural Remedies for Dog Arthritis

Old age is one of the things your dog will have to face, sooner or later. Arthritis is a problem that most dogs usually get in their senior years, although it could be quicker that you think! Some veterinarians are perplexed when dogs or cats that are only a few years old come in and they have arthritis. Harsh medicines can make your dog allergic, and possibly create more damage. Many owners like using homeopathic remedies and treatments concerning this joint problem, and they usually always work immediately!

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

What is coconut oil? Naturally derived from the coconut's inner layer of soft skin, it can help many things in both animals and humans. You will find it at any local store, in a bottle. Many pet 
owners have it in a pet care/first aid kit at home.

Here are just a few of the benefits that coconut oil has for your dog:

Skin and Fur

  • Clears up eczema, flea allergies, and itchy skin
  • Helps your dog's coat and makes it glossy
  • Deodorizes doggy odors that baths cannot remove
  • When applied topically, it promotes healing of wounds, cuts, bites, stings, dry skin and fur.


  • Improves and speeds up digestion 
  • Reduces hairballs             
  • Aids inflammation of stomach lining
  • Gets rid and prevents of bowel syndrome and colitis

Joints and Bones

  • Aids and prevents arthritis
  • Makes bones stronger and prevents bone damage and thinning

Like I said before, these things are only half of all the benefits of coconut oil. For a much longer list, go to www. It has great info about all sorts of natural dog treatments, diet, and more!

Some Homeopathic Medicines

Licorice Root
Gutu Kola 

More treatments and other ways to avoid it...

Here are some non-medicine treatments that still work well!

Weight Loss---This is a biggie. Overweight dogs tend to get arthritis because it is so hard to "drag" themselves around. Plus, they sometimes are so lazy too, and without a lot of exercise, their bones will get too used to lying around.

A Healthy Diet---Special dog foods for senior dogs are the best kind for your arthritic hound. Some dogs like the taste of home cooked meals. Be sure to read up on it before you plunge into the art of home cooking for dogs. I have seen these books at the library at bookstore before.

Chiropractic Methods---Many veterinarians have a directory in their offices. Ask them if they know any pet chiropractors that are close to you. If they do, take your pet when he is suffering too much; he will be sure to be happy soon enough!

Laser Therapy--Usually this is pretty expensive and time-consuming, so I would not recommend it. Some owners, however, have reported that it worked like a charm! If it does work it will be worth it, but it rarely ever works for animals.

Physical Therapy and Hydrotherapy---Most pets who have lost a limb do this. Hydrotherapy is a form of exercise, except it is in a tank of water, letting the dogs feel the natural motion of walking. This is how three-legged dogs get used to walking again, but it still works for arthritic dogs.

Massage---This is one thing you can do at home, or do it at a professional. A belly rub is fine, but you can learn to do different techniques from books and online that have different specific benefits for every part of your dog's body. Most dogs love a massage, as it relaxes their bones, making it easier to walk. The best thing is that it has the same benefits as it does for people!

Even if your dog isn't that old, arthritis can happen. You just need to be prepared. I hope this help your own dog!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Animals Can Have Friends Too!

Animals are a passion to me, but books follow close behind. Yesterday we picked up some books at the library, and along with the so-called "long lost" book of my favorite series, plus a rat guide-book, I found an amazing book o true incidents called Unlikely Friendships(by Jennifer S. Holland). It's about strange, weird, and even hilarious friendships between different animals. Take the lion, tiger, and bear. They were all abandoned in the wild, and they soon found each other in an animal rescue sanctuary. The trio love to sleep, eat, and even play together! Or what about the sheep and the elephant, brought together when the baby elephant's mother died suddenly, leaving the elephant sad? When the sheep was introduced to the baby elephant in hopes that he would make a good companion, the people at the sanctuary were amazed when the sheep did normal elephant things, such as taking a dust bath along with his buddy.

Some stories in the book you may have heard of. For instance, many remember Koko the gorilla that could speak ASL(American Sign Language), but did they know about her beloved pet kitten she named All Ball?
Many stories are just plain "wow". (Please don't try this at home!) A few years ago there was a hamster, jokingly called Gohan--meaning "meal" in Chinese-- who was supposedly about to become dinner for a rat snake. Instead of eating his live meal, the snake allowed the hamster to climb on his back, scurry around, and make his home in the home of the rat snake. There wasn't anything wrong with the snake; it just so happened to be a very special hamster, and lucky too!

If you think your pets could be in this book, you may be right! Some of the stories I encountered featured guinea pigs and rabbits living in harmony. My favorite funny story was a cat and a rat. They used the same litter-box, cuddled together on their owner's bed, and watched birds by the window. If you think that's outrageous, then get a load of this! Further research indicates that the owner has said that the rat rides on the cat's back to get a better view when "staking out!" Then, the rat climbs onto the counter when the owner isn't looking, and grabs the loot, no other than a few nibbles of dry cat food! The two dine on their favorite food in style--under the owner's bed!

This book is a great insight into how animals can care for each other. I personally thought it was beautiful to read, because it gave me a little laugh now and then, in-between those true awe-inspiring moments. THIS IS A MUST READ for all animal lovers, and that's a promise. You can find it at your local library, or if you are willing to pay a little at a bookstore so you can keep it for yourself, you won't be disappointed. Trust me, it is worth every penny!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Taking Your Pet Along For The Ride

Because of Christmas coming, people usually have parties and get-togethers concerning this holiday. Most relatives live far away, and you probably remember driving up to your brothers or sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces or nephew's house to celebrate the season. When pet-owners can't leave their pets home, what do they do?

The answer is to pack up your pet's supplies and get on the road!


Most dogs or cats really don't like going in the car. Dogs assume it means the vet, and cats have to sit in a cramped, uncomfortable, crate. Supplies are needed for the car trips. For your small pet, bring all his cage supplies. The tiny critters are easier, because they can bring everything they need with them, in their cage!! But dogs can't use the bathroom in the car! They need to let them out for a potty break every half-hour, just in case. Cats are even more difficult, because the litter-box will spill if you put it inside the crate. Invest in a built-in litter-tray crate that has food and water bowls that easily pull out.


Dogs may need chewing toys to play with and blankets to lay on. Do not offer any treats because the pet dog or cat may puke it up before you arrive to your destination--and who wants the stress of cleaning that up before they get there? Small pets like hamsters and mice will nap the whole way, because the shaking car will probably frighten them too much or make it hard to get around. Your cat will most likely meow or hiss because he is scared too. So how do you get your pet to be calm and quiet? Well, there is really no way to resolve this problem. All cats are naturally scared of being in a vehicle, and you will most likely notice him to race under the bed when you arrive at the house.

Daisy talks:

Yeah, I have been in a car before. There are all sorts of weird noises, and your water bowl usually spills. But the nice thing is that your owners clean it up and if it gets on your fur, they dry you off. I got some on my nose. It dribbled down my face and stuff, but my owner helped me. I remember the color of the towel she used---red. MY FAVORITE COLOR!!! Oh, that was pretty random. Anyway though, you know, you could alway take your pet to the kennel. Kennels are, like, these big things, these, like, cage things.... You know, and you sit in them. Well, like, I mean...You know. Some hotels, are mean, because they don't EVEN TAKE RABBITS!!! I mean, isn't that so mean? Really, people! SOME PEOPLE, they don't even know how smart and intelligent rabbits are, I bet, like, humans aren't as smart as rabbits! I MEAN, really. They probably think I don't know how to count! I can even add! 2+2 is 5! Take that, humans. Uh, I got that right, didn't I? Good. I was so worried I didn't, and.....Anyway, though, I was saying? Oh, yeah, about hotels and stuff..... Oh and I have a joke. What do you sing to a bunny on his birthday? "Hoppy birthday to you!" Get it?? Like, happy, but, hoppy....Hoppy, like a rabbit hopping....Happy...hop---- Okay I better stop now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Beyond the Front Door

All experienced bunny-owners know that a little outdoor exercise is good for a healthy rabbit. Fresh air benefits your pets want to play, and while he is romping in the grass, you may notice him kick up his heels with joy!


A bored rabbit is likely to chew and gnaw on his cage, and maybe even attempt to chew on a rug or blanket, even if he is well-trained. While living full-time outside isn't a good choice, playing for a limited time is a fun way for your rabbit to exercise fully. Most owners think it is unsafe for a bunny to play outdoors, but they are wrong. However, rabbit owners who are careless leave bunnies to play on their own, left to fend for themselves in the open. But a serious bunny-caretaker doesn't live their pets where the great outdoors could pose a threat to their precious carrot-munchers. If you have a fenced-in yard, your pet will have a little more free run of the outdoors just as well as he does indoors. It is still fun to have a harness on hand, in case your rabbit is brave enough to walk on the leash down the sidewalk! Daisy has her very own red harness that she adores, although she really rather would prefer "taking the reins" and racing around our yard. Still, your pet may enjoy either form of exercise when going outside, because there are many exciting things to see and do.


Dogs or cats love rabbits, and not to be their friends, but for a nice dinner. Some dogs or cats do live peacefully with a rabbit, but the strange dogs that aren't yours are the ones to watch for. Be careful that the harness is tight enough! It may look fine when your pet is happily nibbling on grass, but if he is attacked, he could wiggle out. Also, don't tighten it too much, because your bunny could choke when running or walking, and the spine could be damaged beyond repair if your pet became frightened. Even calm rabbits could be seriously hurt, though! Most plants, like grass, pansies, and dandelions, are safe, but some, like hastas, are poisonous. Then why do wild rabbits eat them with no sign of injury? Well, this is because wild rabbits are truly equipped for the outdoors. They can live in the coldest conditions, unlike domestic rabbit breeds. Your domestic pet needs protection, and you can supply it!


Rabbits need that positive human affection, because they will get bored and aggressive without it. Instead of holding onto your rabbits leash while talking to the neighbor, or sitting on the porch "watching" him lay in the yard while you read the newspaper, play with him! That's right, get down on your knees! Offer him treats and play fun games that rabbits like! You got it!


When bunnies lay down, it usually means they are saying, "C'mon, I am pooped! No more play!" When he lays down in the grass, pet him and talk to him. When it gets long, and you think you should be heading in, say a key word, such as, "Inside!" or, "All done!" That way if you need your bunny to wrap it up, you can say the word. He will do it immediately. To show him, pick him up and take him in. After a few weeks of saying it, it will "click." Cool, huh?

I hope you enjoy playing outdoors with your bunny or other pet as much as I did! Remember to be safe, have fun, and go beyond the average indoor playtime!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sea Monkeys

Remember in the post I wrote awhile ago about fish feeding? I am a little ashamed to admit it now, but, sea monkeys are brine shrimp! You know, those packaged kits that have eggs you grow and feed? What do you mean, huh? Oh, I had better start from the beginning.......  After I got a sea-monkey kit, my sister Emerson and I set to work putting water in it and putting in the water purifier. You have to wait a little while for the tablet to disintegrate before you pour the eggs inside. Sea-monkeys are basically a sort of shrimp that have been cross-bred to create a larger, longer-living pet. Original brine shrimp, which you may remember that were sold in kits when you were a kid, only live a few months, but these brine shrimp last two years if you feed them the food provided. I remember reading in an article about brine shrimp for snacks for fish, and I wrote about it in the blog a week or two ago. Now I feel different about feeding these little guys to a fish, especially if I raise them myself. In each packet of eggs there comes three 1 and a half-inch sized sea monkeys, five medium sized ones, and eight/nine small ones.

A Little About Sea-Monkeys

The amazing things about these pets is that, yes, they are alive. The egg doesn't hatch until fully submerged in water. They need a little oxygen, so you have to stir the container gently once a day to create bubbles that they use to breathe. The eggs are about as small as the period at the end of this sentence, but they grow overnight. They look kind of like a fish, but they are clear with black eyes. Some look like miniature hammerhead sharks, while others look like tiny x-ray fish. When the shrimp hatch and are big enough to see, I will most certainly take some pictures of them.

Fun Facts:

  • Sea-monkeys, or brine shrimp, don't look a lot like the shrimp you'll find on your dinner plate. They are clearer looking, and are pretty cute!
  • Sea-monkeys are great pets for people who don't have a lot of time to play with a pet. Lonely sea-monkeys enjoy "Crystal Balls". The balls are plastic floating balls that your monkeys will love to play and monkey around with. (That's where they got their name!) 

Moms love these pets, and kids do too! How come, you ask? These low-maintenance pets are a great learning experience, and they remind people of the ant farms you can order--but these pets swim!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wet N' Wild

When your pet is dirty from another fun-filled day, the last thing he wants to do is take a bath, and he might just get what he wants. Why is this? Although bathing your dog has its benefits, bathing a rabbit, hamster, chinchilla or bird may be a very bad idea. 

It May Be Soft Now

Your chinchilla probably has extremely soft and cuddly fur, right? If you think he needs a bath and you plop him into the tub, that fur will get all oily and crusty. Kind of like when you put a super-soft fleecy blanket or pair of pajamas in the dryer and you put it on HIGH instead of LOW. That's what it'll be like for poor old Dusty once his fur dries. Chinchillas get those bath benefits from sand, or self-grooming. So if you are thinking about putting your chinchilla in the tub, think again. He will put matters into his own paws, or to be more exact, his own tongue.

Birds of a Feather Bathe Together

Ever see a flock of birds bathing in a puddle from last rainfall? Believe it or not, those birds are substituting the puddle for a birdbath. Your pet parakeet, finch, or other pet bird bathes in this way too. However, they don't need to be bathed in the way you would bathe a dog. (Have you ever seen Bird Shampoo in the store?) Some birds like to sit under a gentle slowly-running faucet, probably because it is like the splashes of water from a water-fall. Others don't like water at all.

Hare today, gone tomorrow.....

Bunnies may have the ability to swim, but they can get way too cold. Besides, who needs water when you have a built-in personal grooming machine--your tongue! There is no need to bathe your rabbit, much less let him swim around in a bathtub or pool. Rabbits' fur don't trap heat like other animals, because wild rabbits would stay in warrens during the winter cold. The fur also does a bad job of avoiding wet liquid to seep into the fur--so wild rabbits would instinctively stay away from any deep water sites*. Even if you see the "Bunny Bath" shampoo in pet stores, you should not get this. Domestic rabbits have to let their owners do most of the things they would do in the wild by themselves; and that includes food, water, and most importantly, shelter. So, if you were a rabbit and you trusted your owner to take care of you, do you think you would like it if someone plunged you into deep water? Probably not. Plus, your pet could get pneumonia, and that explains the title "Hare today, gone tomorrow...."! (just kidding)
Tip: If your [senior] bunny does have grooming problems because of arthritis and his lower body is getting soiled badly, causing infection, give him a "bottom bath"(see 'In Certain Circumstances...)

Hammie Help

Hamsters are sensitive animals in more ways then one.  Their skin have special oils that hamsters in the desert used to mark their territory. When meeting other hamsters, you may notice your pet's sides have wet, blotchy stains that are clear. These disappear within a few hours. Back to the subject, though: If you bathe your hamster at all, these scent gland areas could get infected and crusty! Hamsters either clean themselves using dust baths or self-grooming, but remember, do NOT use any water if your hamster is dirty. Use a dry, new toothbrush and a soft cloth to gently rub off dirt or any food stains. Be careful around the underbelly and face area.

In Certain Circumstances....

In medical conditions, usually during your pet's senior years, you run into situations that bend the rules a little bit. Senior "Buns" (Bunnies) can get arthritis and it becomes difficult to reach vital areas when grooming, if you know what I mean. If it gets so bad your bunny is suffering, then turn on the faucet halfway and pick up your bunny, supporting its hindquarters and laying his head and neck against your chest. Place his bottom under the warm-water faucet until all the gross stuff looks gone. If it isn't clean yet, take a warm washcloth that has been squeezed out until there is hardly any water there. Gently clean the rest with the washcloth until it is completely clean and then dry him off. The good thing is that senior bunnies don't kick or wiggle like the younger ones would.

Some vets use water to clean out wounds too, and that's okay. Just remember that that is only when it is your pet's last chance to live, and it's for a good reason!

* Swamp rabbits are the only kind of wild rabbits that live near the swamps. When faced with a predator, they simply jump into the water and swim as fast as their webbed feet can take them. Fascinating, huh?

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Mouse Checklist

Mice are fairly different from rats; they are very active and don't show as much affection towards owners as rats do. They are extremely social with other mice, though, and they are fun to watch and take care of.

If you are thinking about getting pet mice, you need to pass a "test", which is really something you should think about every time you commit to something. Ask yourself these questions:

Am I sure that I am fine with the idea of that mice do not live long?
Am I a person who does not mind touching and holding a rodent?
Do I enjoy noises that mice make?
Am I careful that I will not injure the mouse on purpose?
Have I figured out what to get for my mouse?
Have I found an ideal place for him to live?
Do I describe mice as nice?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then you should possibly re-think your choice of pet!

But if you said "yes" to all of them, it is time to go to the next step!

Pt. 2: Getting the supplies

The next thing you should do is get all your supplies and then pick out your mice.

  • A wire cage with half-an-inch bars
  • Pelleted/ recycled fluffy paper bedding(Pelleted for the litter area and fluffy for the sleeping area)
  • Small Nesting box or a flower-pot on its side: store-bought or home-made
  • A good exercise wheel without rungs
  • Tubes(In one of the videos I posted, I talked about hamster cages. The cage Peanut has is great for mice!)
  • Pellet Food---Mouse or hamster food works well
  • Grass hay for the mouse to nibble on or nest in
  • Hanging water bottle(Tip: Attach it so the tank itself is on the outside but the tip is sticking in. Why? Because mice like to climb the wire hangers and that can be unsafe!)
  • A wood block or a dog biscuit to chew on
  • Swings, hammocks and ropes for fun play
  • A ceramic food dish(to avoid tooth action-- the plastic food bowls are always chewed)

After you purchase the supplies, pick out your mice--choose the ones with bright eyes, clear noses, shiny fur and non-crusty skin, and well-trimmed teeth and nails. The mouse should be playful and wide awake, not cowering in the corner. Bring your pet home in a special carry-home box provided at the pet-store. This can be used for a cool sleeping house for the time-being! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

7 Strange-But-Common Ferret Behaviors

Have you ever seen your ferret do any of these strange-but-common behaviors?

Ferrets do things that owners might consider strange, such as sleeping like they're dead, nipping toes, digging in the food bowl and more, but these are completely normal. Here are 7 things that ferrets do often that may seem strange, weird or downright crazy, which are accompanied with why they do it.

  1.     Why does my ferret sleep so soundly it appears dead? The shock of finding your ferret's lifeless, limp body on the floor of his cage is frightening. You pick him up, and he doesn't seem to be breathing. When you've lost all hope, he suddenly "comes alive", and starts to claw at your hand. Why is this? Ferrets sleep very, very deeply, and after a long day of rambunctious play, he's probably exhausted! If tiredness is the case, he will wake up when he feels like he has gotten his rest.
  2.     Why does my ferret dig in his food bowl? Ferrets were mainly wild critters before domestication, so many weird stuff your ferret does is from his furry ancestors. "Burrowing is just another ferret thing," Ferret Magazine tells readers. "When you see this, all it means is that your ferret is in a 'digging mood', and he wants to search for hidden treasures."
  3.      Why does my ferret nip my toes? Don't be surprised if your ferret comes up to you and chomps your toes. He isn't trying to be mean, he's just inviting you to play! "Ferrets have very thick skin, along with an extra pad of fur, so they don't feel a thing when bit by a playmate," Critter Corner says. "He doesn't know it hurts, he just expects you to play along." But if the nips turn into hard bites that break the skin, you should stop this. Tell your pet "No" every time he bites you, even if it's not for self-defense!
  4.     Why do ferrets make clucking or hissing sounds? Though I cannot list all the noises and definitions, I will  tell you why you may hear these sounds from your ferret! Hissing is an aggressive sound which you will only hear when he is feeling especially frightened. Sometimes he may also poof out his tail to make himself look bigger. Clucking sounds are a different story. When your ferret clucks(also know as "dooking"), he is trying to tell you he is happy. Ferret-owners usually notice these noises when the ferret plays out of his cage or is meeting another friendly ferret for the first time.
  5.      Why does my ferret slam into walls? When your ferret races around your home, you will notice that he doesn't pay attention to furniture or walls very well. Sometimes he will even crash into something. Ferrets have poor eyesight, because, in the wild, they really count on their sense of smell to guide them. Usually they don't get hurt when this happens, but if your ferret is lying on the floor not moving after crashing into an object, you should check for broken bones.
  6.   Why does my ferret wag his tail? Once again, this another way ferrets show happiness. It is normal for a ferret to do this, even when you least expect it. People love it when ferrets do cute things like this, and they are constantly posting videos and pictures of these popular ferret moments.
  7.   Why do my ferrets roll on the floor and shake each other? Multiple ferrets show each-other who's "boss" by fighting. The ferret who becomes the king of the cage has to win a fight. These fights are more cute than, say, bloody. It's all wrestling and nipping, and the ferrets aren't doing it in anger towards each-other, they are simply betting on who will win. They never want to draw blood, or even cause pain at all, unlike a dog-fight between two enemy pooches. The ferrets simply want to prove a point. Hmm...I wonder what they're thinking....

Ferrets are truly fascinating creatures, and unlike how my rabbit may play,(rather lightly, and "cuddlier",) a ferret will want to tumble and fight. The reason for this difference is because of the food chain. Wild ferrets are predators; they hunt and don't have to hide like a rabbit would. The art of stashing objects in their domestic way of life is kind of like how they would hide un-eaten fresh-kill in the wild. So every time you watch your pet ferret, think of where he originated from, and you too will understand some of these things they do!