Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sad and happy news!!

Well, got some REALLY BAD NEWS and some good news. 
Bad news.....We had to take Russell to the vet because he was sick. That's part of the bad news. Anywho, it's very unlikely he will make it. We took him to the PetSmart vet and you could tell they were trying to be nice and all, but he could barely breathe. He could not stand or walk, he had an ear infection, and he was actually too young to be sold. 
 The PetSmart has a 14 day guarantee and if the pet becomes sick you can either replace it, or have a vet "treat it". They took him into a room while we waited and put him in a cage, they told us they would give him medication.
 Since there was a slim chance of him surviving the night, I decided I wanted to look at other guinea pigs. Next door there was a PetCo and actually the store actually sold some adopted pets! They promoted adopt don't shop too! The lady was super nice and gave us loads of info instead of just trying to get me to buy one and helped me find a little sleeping hut for him and such.
 It was an awesome store!!! 
And here's the best news: I got a guinea pig! A new one. His name is Iggy. He is actually almost an adult, not a baby and is really big. We disinfected his cage BIG TIME because I didn't want him to get Russell's sick-germs. He's HUGE!!!!! Here's a pic.

Iggy's ADORABLE, don't you agree?

Review of CritterTrail Begin N Connect Cage

I got a gift card for Pet Supplies "PLUS" and decided to spend some of the money on an extension cage for Mickey, my dwarf hamster. The average price is $19.98 at the pet store, but online it was many different prices. The actual size is 14-1/2-inch long, 11-inch wide and 11-1/4-inch high.

This is what it looks like out of the box, after I assembled it. states, "Critter Trail Begin N Connect Habitat is an ideal starter home for your new hamster, gerbil or mouse."  ( I don't agree with this, as the cage is too small, even for a "starter cage".)

The first thing I noticed was that the cage is called, "Begin N Connect", and I hope that a new hamster owner does not get this as a stand-alone cage for their pet. The thing with CritterTrail is that you really have to get at least two large cages to connect to make a decent-sized hammie habitat. Luckily I have two other cages connected to this, the CritterTrail Burrowing Maze and the Two Level Habitat. Both are connected with elaborate tubes and accessories. The cage itself, the one I got, is cube-shaped and small, and I cannot stress how terrible that would be for a hamster to live inside without extensions.

As far as assembly went, the cage was more difficult to put together. I would have preferred a clamp on each side, similar to the other cages by the same company. Instead there were strange plastic things that linked the top and bottom together. 

As you might be able to tell in the picture, the one green plastic thing still popped out, no matter how hard I pushed on it.
Other than that, everything was in pretty good condition. It is safe for a hamster, perhaps not a gerbil or mouse though. The base was shorter than the other cages, which meant an agile mouse could hang on the door latch and pull it, which was secured by a small spring. My one concern is that the roof does not actually clamp onto anything. It lifts on and off and you have to take extra care to place it correctly over the sides or it may not line up correctly (allowing a potential escape). I do not have to worry about hamster escapes with my Mickey, as he does not like to climb cage bars.

The top of the cage had two openings closed by thin plastic that could be punched out. The CritterTrail line has accessories that fit in these holes, such as the Treat Dispenser.
The top of the cage was also a blue glittery color, the sparkles molded into the plastic.

There was a solid plastic wheel included as well. It was very sturdy and did not seem to make a squeaky noise when Mickey ran on it.

The base is purple. As I said before, it is shorter than the other cages, but Mickey, being chubby and a non-climbing type of hamster, didn't seem to notice the difference. 

The cage also came with extra caps, both of which I did not use. These ones are red, the other ones I have are green, yellow, and blue.

I don't mind the extra cleaning, but I am unsure if I can get away with just unclipping the part on the green piece that connects to the base. 
I don't know if the smaller rubber pieces on the green plastic will fall off during the process or not, so it may be wise to just assemble and take it apart every time I clean the cage.(every week)
I did read this customer review, and this is what they said about the assembly issue.

"Cute looking and colorful, appeals to kids but it is a HORRIBLE design. Every week I dread cleaning it because the poorly constucted cage literally falls to pieces as soon as you remove the bottom. Cheap plastic tabs are all that holds the separate peices of the wire cage together and it falls apart even when you are trying to be very careful with it. I would never buy this again even if it was half the price I paid. It is not worth it. Bought another cage for the same price and I LOVE it (it is called Tube Time and is larger and has more features) the wire part iteself is all one peice so it is a breeze to clean in a fraction of the time that ths awful one takes. I would only recommend this cage to someone who wants to be instantly aggravated when trying to assemble it."

I was able to assemble it pretty easily without too much trouble. You just need to put it in the right holes on the base, then slide in the green pieces. With just a little patience it will work out fine. I do agree about the cleaning bit, therefore I will just use a wipe or safe-for-pets spray solutions and a paper towel instead of dumping the entire tray into a trash bag.

I think the cage is a nice add-on that a CritterTrail cage user will appreciate in their setup. Of course, is Mickey happy with it? 
Let's ask him.

Sniff sniff.... What an interesting cage...

I've never seen the wall from this side!

All this searching makes me thirsty!

I think I'm done here.

Or maybe I could give the wheel a try.

Mickey gives it 4 stars, and I give it 4 1/2. I think it's great and gives him more room to roam.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Requests and A New Pet - Merry Christmas!!

It's Christmas Day, everyone, and we have a new pet addition. 

Meet new adorable guinea pig. In the future he will be housed in a C&C cage but for now this rabbit/guinea pig cage is what he calls home. (AND IT'S HUGE!) 
He is already the best guinea pig ever.... 

In January I will have loads more on what I buy for him...etc....
But for now lets just give a warm welcome to Russell! 
Seriously, it's Christmas and nobody really has a lot of time to read all that stuff anyway,(neither do I to write all this) so I will save those for later. I cannot WAIT for this new means lots of new posts from Critter Corner and plenty of surprises!

I must say, the holidays have really made me busier and unable to blog here on CC, and this  must say, the holidays have really made me busier and unable to blog here on CC, and this Christmas I have not been able to do any critter info Christmas posts like last year

Next little thing is a request I got from my aunt who reads Critter Corner often.( I made a special post especially for her arthritic dog Conan a long time ago - here the link is if you would like to read )

Anyways, here is a list of makeup products that do not test on animals. After careful research and emailing some of the companies I wasn't sure about to verify, here is my list of makeup products that don't test at animals. You can find some of these online or at special stores, and the more popular brands are sold at any store near you.

100% PureAfrumosAfterglow Cosmetics Alex and Ani Alima Pure ArbonneAromiAubrey Organics, Inc. Avalon Organics Batty's Bath Beaute MineralBeauty Without Cruelty BellapierreBite Beauty Biogime Skin CareBloom NaturalsCAILYN CosmeticsChristine Valmy, Inc.Coastal Classic Creations Color My ImageCopper Lotus Cosmetics Cruelty-Free CosmeticsDarla MakeupDermaQuest Skin Therapy DeVita Natural Skin Care SystemsEarth's Beauty EcoGlo Minerals Everyday Minerals FACE atelier FACEFACTS Fevour CosmeticsForsythe Cosmetic GroupGabriel Cosmetics Gourmet Body TreatsGreen Girl Basics Imago Dei, Inc. (TRUTH) Jane Iredale Jing Ai Organic and Natural Cosmetics Joe Blasco CosmeticsJosi EssentialsKiss My FaceLoriannZ Mineral Fusion Modern MineralsMy Lip Stuff Nabelle Company Nature Clean Natures Garden TherapiesNature's Soap DishNeal's Yard Remedies Canada NYR OrganicsOfra CosmeticsONLY YOURx Skin CareOutside/In Cosmetics Paula's Choice Plain Jane Beauty Polish CosmeticsPure Anada Natural Red Barn Herb FarmsReliq MineralsRenee Rouleau Skin CareSally B's Skin YummiesSavon Du Bois Shear Miracle OrganicsSombra Cosmetics, Inc.Spice CosmeticsSuki The All Natural FaceThe Body Shop Urban Decay Vapour Organic Beauty Warm Earth CosmeticsZia Natural Skincare Zosimos Botanicals ZuZu Luxe 

 Here is my list of well-researched brands of cleaning products. 
First up, laundry products.

Allens Naturally Amedaya Natural BodycareAspen CleanAstonish BiokleenBio PacBotanical Skin WorksCADIA Caldrea Citra SolvCommon Good Daisy Blue NaturalsDesert Essence Earth Alive Earth Friendly Products Eco-Me Ecover Enviro Tech International Forever New InternationalGTC Greening The Cleaning LFT Group Magick BotanicalsMartha Stewart Clean Method Products Mia Rose Molly's Suds Laundry Products Mountain Green Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Mystic WondersNature Clean Nellie's All Natural Om Veda NaturalsPlanet, Inc.Pure & Gentle SoapSeventh Generation Soap Cauldron Solay WellnessSouth Side Soaps Sprouts Farmers Market TangieThe Good Home Co. The Vintage Soap FactoryTHinc. Skin & BALM BabyVermont SoapV.I.P. Soap Products
Next I have floor cleaners.(by now I am getting a cramp from all this typing!!)

Allens Naturally Amedaya Natural BodycareAspen Clean Astonish Aubrey Organics, Inc. Better Life Biogime Skin CareBiokleenBio PacCaldrea Citra SolvClean Via Common Good Desert Essence Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Earth Alive Earth Friendly Products Eco-Me Ecover EO Products Forever New InternationalFundamental Earth Greenwood Naturals Grime Eater Products GTC Greening The Cleaning Heritage BotanicalsKat & DogLFT Group Magick BotanicalsMartha Stewart Clean Method Products Mia Rose Mountain Girl Botanics Mountain Green Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Natural GraceNaturawl BeingNature Clean Natures Garden TherapiesNellie's All Natural Om Veda NaturalsOrange-MatePlanet, Inc.Pure & Gentle SoapSeventh Generation Solay WellnessSound Earth, LLC Sprouts Farmers Market TangieThe Good Home Co. The Vintage Soap FactoryTHinc. Skin & BALM BabyVermont SoapV.I.P. Soap Products 

Here I have dish soap products.

Bye for now, Julia

Sunday, December 15, 2013

5 Reasons Why Gerbils Make Good Pets


I have to say, in all honesty, that gerbils make really good pets - for slightly older kids, and anyone living in a small space like an apartment. They have a lot going for them besides being absolutely adorable - they really do (and that's a message for all you moms out there who KNOW you will be spending a bit of time with any new pet your child acquires)!

Hamsters have long been awarded the popularity trophy when it comes to small rodent pets. But I want to challenge that! Not to make all you hamster owners mad, but biting often seems to be more of a problem with hamsters than gerbils. Gerbils are also (sorry hamsters!) less smelly.

They both cost about the same to set up - you'll need a good cage or 10 gallon tank with a mesh top, food, food bowl, water bottle, toys and chewy things (or tubes), and bedding. You can also get one of those "exercise wheels," although most gerbils have never figured out how to use theirs. 

Speaking of gerbilS (plural!) it's best to get TWO gerbils because gerbils are very social and like to have a pal. Never get a male and a female unless you want oodles of babies to deal with!!

One bit of caution when it comes to gerbils: They move quickly! So if you have a very young child (under eight) be sure to supervise his or her interactions with the gerbils, and help with the cleaning. You don't want any rodents going crazy in your house (especially if you have a cat or dog or large predatory creature of any kind)!

Gerbils do seem a little more hyper than hamsters - but in my book, that's a plus. This makes them more interesting to watch! This is what also makes gerbils better suited for slightly older children. My blogger friend who's a gerbil owner always takes her gerbils out in a bathroom or bedroom with the door closed. That way, if they should scoot off - at least they can't go far.

You can also get one of those "hamster balls" (I guess it's a "gerbil ball" now) so the little guys can get out and "run around" inside of them, yet still be safe from roaming housecats and other dangers. The exercise is good for them, and the activity is entertaining to watch (especially for those roaming housecats).

Are you considering acquiring gerbils for either yourself or your child? Without further ado, here are FIVE REASONS why gerbils make great pets:

1. GERBILS ARE FRIENDLY AND MILD-MANNERED. Friends of mine who own gerbils have never bitten - not once. Personally, I like this trait. I don't want to own something that bites. Gerbils may nibble on your finger just a little, but that's only because they have bad eyesight and might mistake your finger for food. One way to avoid this, is to make sure your hands DO NOT SMELL LIKE FOOD when you stick them in the cage! (And always wash hands after handling any small rodent).

Other than that, though, gerbils are very friendly and sociable - not aggressive, at all. Try not to startle your gerbil (gerbils don't like loud noises)! Be gentle with your gerbils and they will be gentle back. You can even train them to take seeds right out of your hand.

2. GERBILS ARE VERY CLEAN NON-SMELLY PETS. Not that you can get away with never cleaning out their cage, of course! You should - at least once a week (that's what we do). They love the nice clean cage - it makes them go racing around with joy! But overall, since gerbils are desert animals, they don't require a lot of water (although you should have fresh water available at all times) and consequently, they don't pee as much!

3. GERBILS ARE REALLY EASY TO TAKE CARE OF. Honestly, they don't require a lot of work or supervision. You just need to replenish their food and water and change their bedding once a week. If you get two gerbils together (and you should!) they have each other to keep them company. However, they love it when you talk to them or spend time with them - whenever that's convenient for you. Gerbils will learn to recognize your face, by the way...because even though they might be "your kid's pets" your face will be around a lot, me!

4. GERBILS ARE VERY ENTERTAINING AND FUN TO WATCH. Gerbils are such active and inquisitive little critters. They love to dig and chew and play play, play! Also, because they are active during the day, their schedule meshes better with a human's schedule.

5. GERBILS ARE GOOD FOR RECYCLING. No, no...not the actual gerbils, themselves! I mean, since gerbils love to chew, you can offer them all sorts of recycling items like empty toilet paper and paper-towel tubes (finally, something else to do with these besides turn them into bad crafts), empty egg cartons, those cardboard drink holders from MacDonald's...they love em' all! They especially love the tubes, because the tube instantly becomes a fun tunnel and a chew-toy, rolled up in one. Yup - gerbils are very "green" pets!

(Here's a little tip from me that I thought I would toss in: Gerbils LOVE nectarines! I know it sounds weird. However, if you cut up a little piece of nectarine and offer it to them they will go nuts... squealing and squeaking and fighting over it! You may have to put in another piece just to keep the peace).

So, in summation, I'll say it again. GERBILS ARE GREAT! Yes, they are a little bit of work. And yes, they can be a little messy (bits of bedding and cardboard will fly out of the cage). However, no pet is perfect, let's be honest. Nevertheless, I'd say these little guys come pretty close!