Friday, November 29, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
To get started, you will need to head to the pet store and buy a small plastic dish to hold the litter, along with a box of special "hamster litter" pellets. It is very important that you don't use cat litter as it contains fine particles that will irritate your hamster's respiratory system. Major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart carry the special hamster litter, or you can find it online at websites like Amazon. Once you have the litter dish and hamster litter, you are ready to go. Just put about an inch of hamster litter in the plastic dish, and use a spoon or scoop to place a small amount of soiled bedding from your hamster's cage into the litter. Now, place the litter dish in the exact same corner of the cage that your hamster currently uses to go to the bathroom. Make sure to "bury" it a little bit so it is the same level as the rest of the bedding in the cage.
Almost immediately, you will notice that your hamster smells his new bathroom spot and begins using it for elimination. While most hamsters will begin using the litter box immediately, other hamsters may take a few days to adjust. Adding more soiled bedding to the hamster litter box can make the scent stronger, encouraging your hamster to go to the bathroom there. Don't be alarmed if your hamster eats a few of the litter pellets. They are non-toxic and will not harm your hamster. Your hamster will quickly learn that the litter pellets are not food. By litter training your hamster, you'll create a cleaner and healthier cage for them and a lot less cleaning for yourself!
Trimming your rabbit's nails can present a bit of a challenge for another reason - your rabbit won't like being restrained, which is part of the process. Enlist a helper if you can. You can wrap your rabbit in a towel with her feet sticking out and trim the nails while your helper holds her. The main thing you want to be cautious about is cutting into the quick of the nail. If your rabbit has light colored nails, the quick (the portion of the nail containing the blood) will be highly visible, making them very easy to trim. All you have to do is clip the nail below the quick. If your rabbit has dark colored nails, it will be more difficult to see the quick, so you should cut the nails a little at a time. Remember your objective is to trim the sharp points. It's not necessary to cut off a large part of the nail, particularly if you trim them on a regular basis. Scissors or a guillotine type nail clipper for pets is the best tool to use.
If you should cut into the quick by mistake and bleeding occurs, you can stop it by using one of the following methods:
- Apply pressure to the nail with a cotton ball
- Use a coagulating agent such as "Quick Stop"
If you don't want to attempt clipping your rabbit's nails yourself, your veterinarian can do the job. Nails should be checked every four to six weeks. Never declaw a rabbit! It is unsafe, inhumane and is not recommended.