It's a Dog's Life

It's a Dog's Life
Furry Four-legged Fun

Family Felines

Family Felines
Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?
Ride 'Em Cowgirl(boy)

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
Flights of Fancy

Make Your Life Easier With Cat Toilet Training

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So many of us assume that we only have two options as to where we can teach our dear cat to go to the bathroom: Give them a litter box to use that needs to be cleaned every other day, or send them outside which will require you to build a fence or keep a constant watch on them to avoid them getting into danger. The truth is that you can also choose option 3: teach them to use your household toilet, or cat toilet training.

Toilet-trained Cat by Caitlin Burke
Yes, it seems a little strange imagining how you can go about teaching your dear old cat, or younger kitten to jump up on the toilet. But people all over have been using cat toilet training to get the messy, smelly litter box out of their house forever.

You can do so with relative ease by using your imagination, or by purchasing commercial cat toilet training kits that are designed to make the process simple.

This type of training is best done when your cat is young, not long after litter box training, but can be done at any age. The basic principal revolves around having the cat get used to using a litter box, then using the fact that they're trained to do their business in cat litter to slowly lure them to the toilet.

Most cat toilet training kits usually come with three color coded rings i.e., red, yellow and blue. The final ring used will be a white one, which should match your own toilet seat. You can place litter in the rings to start with -- the first ring will have only a small hole to expose the water in your toilet and each ring will expose more and more water to the cat. You can expect training to last 6 - 8 weeks, but it will be well worth it in the end.

Author Resource
Written by James Lunden
Find out more on cat toilet training and read many interesting articles on pet health.


The Time I Had a Pet Blue Wasp

Monday, November 29, 2010

A lot of people have pets such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, turtles and some even have snakes and lizards, but how many times have you known or heard of someone that has a pet wasp? Now before I continue I want to stress, that some people are very allergic to the sting of a bee or wasp, in fact some people can die from them, while others just scream for a few moments from the pain. So if you get any ideas from this article, you do so at your own risk, I will not be held responsible for any injuries or other such negative outcomes.

Blue Wasp by Lisa Brown
Every since I was a young child I have always feared bees and wasps, in fact I would rather have a rattlesnake or a copperhead in the room with me, than to have a bee or wasp flying around. I think my fear of bees and wasps comes from getting stung by them while growing up. There are two incidents that happened to me as a child, that I still remember in detail to this day. One time years back when I lived on a farm, we had an old shed near the back of our barn, that was used to store tractors in. I had just received a plastic bowl and arrow, archery set as a gift, and was trying to find targets to shoot at.

As I was walking in front of this shed, I noticed that through an open area near the roof, there was a large bee nest of some type, I carefully aimed and fired, and my plastic arrow glided perfectly and landed, right in the middle of the nest. I stood there and watched a bit, as a few bees swarmed around the nest, then suddenly one of the bees, a yellow jacket, flew down and landed on my right arm, before I could react it stung me. I screamed and cried in pain, and danced around like I was a professional break-dancer. Needless to say, after that incident I was more careful in picking out any targets to shoot my remaining arrows at.

Some time later, during a warm summer evening, I was lying in bed, on top of my blanket in my underwear, reading a comic book before going to sleep. Then all of a sudden a wasp started flying around my bedroom, bouncing against the ceiling. I slowly reached over and turned off my ceiling light, as soon as I did, the wasp must of dropped, because it stung me right in my upper thigh, near the family jewels. I screamed in pain, and cried, and my upper thigh swelled up like it had a pancake under the skin.

After getting stung like this a few times, I truly feared bees and wasps as a child, every time I entered one of the spare rooms, or ascended to stairs in our old farmhouse, I would look around for any bees that were hiding, waiting to attack me.

As I grew older, my fear of bees and wasps diminished a lot, I still dislike them but I don't scream in terror and run, well, maybe some. Back in the 1990's, I was married and my wife and I lived in an apartment in Town. One day I was out in the living room watching TV when I saw a blue wasp flying around, bouncing against the ceiling. My wife jumped up and grabbed the fly swatter and headed towards the wasp. For some strange reason, I told her to stop and I would take care of it. I stood still and held out the index finger on my right hand and told the wasp to land on my finger. No sooner did I say that, when it flew down and landed on the tip of my out-stretched finger. I stood as still as I could, since I figured I would get stung at any moment.

I gently flicked my finger and the wasp flew off and started bouncing against the ceiling again, and then flew over and landed on top of a curtain. I told my wife, I think the little fellow is friendly, lets not kill him, she agreed and hung the fly swatter back up. Needless to say, that blue wasp stayed inside our house for a good week or so, occasionally flying around the room, giving the cats something to look at. One day I stood up and said, "Ok, wasp land on my finger again". I stretched out my finger and down came the wasp, and it landed on my finger. I walked around the apartment with the wasp sitting there, twitching a little. I decided to call my new pet, "Waspee", "Waspee the Blue Wasp".

My wife thought it was kinda neat, she always loved insects and animals anyway, and the idea of a pet wasp didn't seem to insane to her. Waspee, flew around the apartment for almost 3 weeks, then one time I was in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet when I heard the sound of a loud slap, and my wife holler, ' Ouch! '. I finished my human duties, and went into the room where she was to see what had happened, she was sitting there rubbing her leg, and she said ' Your pet wasp flew down and stung me! And I killed it'. I looked over on the floor, and sure enough there was Waspee, as dead as could be.

I gently picked him up by sweeping him onto a piece of paper, and dropped him in the trash can. In my mind I think my wife became a little jealous of all the attention I was giving to Waspee, instead of her, but she said she acted out of sudden instinct, and when she got stung, she slapped him. Now I must admit, most bees and wasps will sting anyone if they land on them, and I don't recommend anyone to try keeping a bee or wasp as a pet. This is a true incident that happened years ago, maybe it was just a special wasp, I don't know, but to this day, whenever I see a blue wasp, I still think of Waspee, and I have a desire to hold my index finger out, to see if it will land on it.

There is a website that describes numerous activities and other methods to help eliminate the Winter Blues, this website is called: Winter Activities - and it may be found at this url:

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

About the Author
Robert W. Benjamin has been involved in weight loss and has been researching the Winter Blues for a few years. He has personally turned his life around at the age of 50, by reducing his body weight from 400 lbs to 185 lbs. If you want to turn your life around, and read other great info and ideas on beating the winter blues, please check out the website below: Winter Activities

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Pet Rules

Sunday, November 28, 2010

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.

Uh, Mom .... About These Rules by Jay Atwood
Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets
  1. They live here. You don't.
  2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
  3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
  4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
  1. Eat less
  2. Don't ask for money all the time
  3. Are easier to train
  4. Normally come when called
  5. Never ask to drive the car
  6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
  7. Don't smoke or drink
  8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
  9. Don't want to wear your clothes
  10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college. And finally...
  11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Author Resource: Author Unknown

Taking Care of a Molting Hermit Crab

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Molting is the natural process of growing for a hermit crab. During this time, it sheds its exoskeleton and forms a new one. During the molting process, a hermit crab is very defenseless. A molting crab is under a lot of stress and extra care is required during this vulnerable time. The frequency of molting depends on the size and growth rate of each individual crab. Smaller crabs, that grow much faster may molt every 3-4 months. Larger crabs that grow much more slowly may only molt once per year.

Hermit Crab by OZinOH
The first thing to remember is that when molting, a crab will bury him or herself; do not move him or her! As hard as it is not to pick him up and look to see if he’s ok, you must be brave and let him do his thing. Molting may take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for the average sized crab. Smaller crabs may take a shorter time; larger crabs may take longer. They may stay buried the entire time. Another important thing to remember is that molting crabs are in danger from other crabs while they are molting. Other crabs may attack the molting crab while it is vulnerable. Always keep the molting crab in an isolation tank. Most pet stores have dividers available to section off one part of an aquarium from another.

Once the process is complete, the crab should not just be put back into the main tank, as it takes awhile for the new exoskeleton to harden. The real way to tell if the crab is ready to be back in with the other crabs you may own is when they are active and appear healthy again. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Be patient and let your friend heal.

A question you may have about molting is how you will know when your crab is going to molt. There are usually pretty obvious signs. Your hermit crab will most likely start to act a bit differently and look a bit different just before molting. However, though there are crabs who exhibit obvious signs, always be prepared for molting as some hermit crabs may surprise you by molting when you least expect it. Keep a close eye out for the following signs and be prepared to support your molting hermit crab through this stressful and vulnerable time. Once you see these signs, you should consider isolating the hermit crab from the other crabs right away.

  • Sluggishness or relative inactivity.
  • Ashy body color.
  • A crab might dig more than usual. (Always check tank conditions as this can also be a sign of temperature and humidity problems.)
  • Eating and drinking significantly more. The crab may stop eating completely just before a molt.
  • Spends lots of time around water.
  • A molt sac, or water sac under the abdomen, may form.
  • Missing limbs may occur.
  • Whitish color on legs and claws.
  • Cloudy, whitish color to the eyes Legs may seem weak.
  • Eye stalks may face away from each other.

Observe carefully for these signs of molting and offer your hermit crab support. Remember, isolate him, and leave him alone. These are the best things you can do for your crabby.

Author Resource: Written by David Peterson
For more information on Hermit Crabs, visit Jinga's Pet Article World.

Article From Pet Article World

Fish Tank Maintenance

Friday, November 26, 2010

Once you own an aquarium the tank maintenance will be one of your most important responsibilities. It is certainly not as much fun as you get from decorating the tank or selecting your fish, but without proper fish tank maintenance, you will be endangering the lives of your fish.

Fish tank maintenance is an essential part of your new hobby as an aquarist, and neglecting this will lead to problems with both the fish tank and the long-term health of the fish. Fish tank maintenance can sometimes seem like a bother for the aquarium owner but it doesn't have to be that way. Perform your fish tank maintenance on a regular schedule and you’ll ensure that you never miss out on what needs to be done.

Serpae Tetras by Corey Wendorf
Now that you have learned about establishing a fish tank and you understand the cycling process, you will better understand the process of maintenance and cleaning. If your tank contains too many fish there will be excessive waste, food particles, and chemicals in the water, making maintenance difficult and the tank unhealthy. Set up your tank with a manageable number of fish and develop a schedule for carrying out regular aquarium maintenance tasks and it will make your hobby more enjoyable. Arrange the fish tank so that future tank maintenance tasks remain as easy and efficient as possible.

Your maintenance and cleaning schedule should not take very long to keep your aquarium sparkling and healthy. Cleaning your fish tank not only helps with the appearance of the tank by removing algae but can also prolong the life of your fish, as no pet can live in an unhealthy environment. Algae can be removed from the tank glass with an algae magnet or scraper. Remember to regularly remove any dead leaves from live plants. Do not overfeed your fish as this will cause excess waste in the water which will settle at the bottom of the tank and need to be removed.

Filter Maintenance
Aquarium maintenance must include regular cleaning of the filtration system as well as the interior of the tank. Cleaning the filter is usually a monthly task. This involves removing the filter medium and cleaning it under running water. When the filter medium becomes too worn it will need to be replaced. Remember, however, that the filtration system also contains “good bacteria” which aids in the breaking down of ammonia and balancing the nitrites in the tank, so rinse the filter quickly to remove large particles but do not be over-zealous in your cleaning.

Once you have your fish tank setup and cycling correctly, you need to set a schedule for cleaning that is strictly followed. Fish tank maintenance is an important aspect of your setup and it is necessary to integrate this into your overall scheme.

Some aquarium owners perform too much fish tank maintenance. Ideally you want the fish tank to become a self-sustaining system and not one where you are burdened with fish tank maintenance all the time. Establish a regular schedule for cleaning and maintenance every two to three weeks and your fish should remain healthy and happy and your aquarium should sparkle.

About the Author: Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains The Goldfish Site to assist anyone who wants to get started with setting up an aquarium fish tank and gain an understanding of fish tank maintenance.

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Pets Need First Aid Too

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The morning news and local papers always have tips and advice on how to protect your family and prepare for catastrophic events but you rarely hear about how to do the same for your pet. They'll mention first aid kits for children, but what about a first aid kit for dogs? Your pet's life and health is just as important and valuable as that of the rest of the members in your household. In fact if one of the people in your family needs first aid assistance they are more likely to be fine than a dog or a cat. The reason simply being that a person can retrieve a bandage or an alcohol swab while an animal can't; therefore it's up to you to be ready and able to assist your pet in the event of a disaster. We can improvise, your animal can't.

Dog with an Injured Paw by Lauren Oostveen
There are many types of accidents to consider that may unfortunately occur. The most common and likely nightmare a dog owner is prone to experience is their pet being hit by a car. This type of thing happens all the time and even to the most highly trained and intelligent dogs. Even if you always keep your pet on a leash accidents happen. You may drop the leash, your dog's collar may become loose, or he or she may simply escape from the back yard or through the front door. All it takes for a dog to dart into traffic is an enticing squirrel or a sudden spook.

If your dog is hit by a car an ambulance will not come to your rescue, but what most people don't know is that the fire department will. You should always have the direct phone number to your local firehouse saved in your cell phone and land line. While a pet's injury is an emergency, calling 911 won't get you the quick response you'll need to save your dog's life. The second thing to do is grab your dog first aid kit. In there will be an "Emergency First Aid Kit for Dogs Handbook". This will index the types of emergencies you may be facing and explain what to look for and how to respond.

Another common type of accident that plagues pet owners is a deep wound. Since most dogs don't wear shoes when they go for walks it's not unlikely that they'll step on a piece of glass or other sharp object. For a child you can simply clean the wound and put a band-aid on it, but that won't work for your furry friend. In your dog first aid kit you'll find Styptic Powder; this will stop the bleeding almost immediately. This powder can also be used if you clip your pet's claws too short. A dog first aid kit also contains sterile gauze pads and waterproof self adhesive wrap that will sustain you until you can reach a vet's office.

Natural disasters are also something you should prepare for. Food and water are items you should always add to your first aid kit for dogs, and remember to replace these items as they expire. If there's a catastrophic disaster such as Katrina it may take time for your pet to get assistance, so you'll want to make sure you have food for them. Purchasing a life preserver for your pet may also be a good idea in the event of a flood, or if you take your pet boating with you as many people often do.

A dog first aid kit contains the main essentials which you may need when faced with an accident, but don't hesitate to add items to this kit as you feel necessary. Some suggestions might be a list of emergency contacts such as your primary vet, and animal hospital as well as the phone number to an animal loving neighbor or relative who may be able to help out if you're in a panic. Other items you might want to consider are snap heating pads, an extra collar and leash and while this may sound silly, a familiar toy can sometimes calm a pet when they are in pain. Never keep your first aid kit short on love, and take good care of your precious pal.

About the Author
Written by Margherite Cermak
Buy Dog Grooming Products and Dog Shoes online at PuppyLaPu.Com.

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

Rabbits: The Cat Alternative

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thinking about getting a pet? There’s one furry companion you probably haven’t considered, but should. It’s smart, uses a litter box, can learn to come and walk on a leash, is at home anywhere from a big house with yard to a college dorm room, and it probably won’t make you sneeze. What’s this terrific alternative to a dog, cat and hamster? A rabbit.

Bunny with a Stuffed Friend by Snuggle Pup
Rabbits are funny and charming – and they need you as much as you need them. Like dogs and cats, rabbits are abandoned every day. The United States Humane Society reports that 3 million to 4 million -- yes, million -- rabbits are euthanized in shelters each year. By adopting a bunny, you not only get a terrific companion, you save a life.

What’s so special about bunnies?
  • Rabbits are quiet, smart and will play with toys.
  • They’re cute. Watching them eat a carrot or just wash their big ears will put a smile on anyone's face.
  • Far fewer people have allergies to rabbits than other furry pets, and you can find some breeds that barely shed.
  • They’re clean, as animals go. Once they’ve learned to use a litter box, they can roam around your house like any other pet. Plus, their droppings are virtually odor-free and are considered cold compost, meaning you can toss them directly into the garden with great results.
  • They are social animals. They’re happiest and healthiest when they have another rabbit to play with. They also like to snuggle with people, so you can plan to spend time holding, petting and playing with them each day.
  • There are more than 40 different types of rabbits to choose from. (For more information on them, go to

Who should get a rabbit?
Bunnies are especially good pets for people who live in apartments because they’re quiet, don’t need to be walked and can be litter trained. Most apartments and dormitories allow rabbits because they are considered "caged" pets.

Rabbits -- especially if they have another bunny for company -- are ideal for people who work long hours or take weekend trips. They do fine for a day if you leave plenty of timothy hay, rabbit feed, veggies and water.

They are great starter pets for school-age children (the recommended starting age is 8, but it depends on your child). Just be sure the bunnies aren’t too big for your kids to handle properly. And since rabbits live about 10 years, be sure you’re prepared to care for them, like you would dogs or cats, if your children don’t. The organization where you get your rabbits can help you find the best match.

If you are unsure about a rabbit as a pet, seek out a local rescue organization and become a foster. Most rescues will pay for all supplies and food -- and all pay for veterinary care -- until a permanent home is found. This is a wonderful way to save some bunnies’ lives, decide if you’re a rabbit person and find the perfect one for you.

How do you choose?
Rabbits’ personalities change greatly when they go into adolescence. Some love toys, others like to romp in the tall grass. Getting a rabbit that’s at least 6 months old will help guarantee that the bunny you adopt will act the same way a year from now. If you adopt from a rescue organization, the foster parent can give you information on the bunny's likes, fears and quirks.

If you’ve got a dog, consider up front how it will respond to a new pet in your home. Many dogs learn to get along with rabbits; some befriend them; some see them as prey. If a rabbit will be safe in your home, choose one that’s the right size to interact with your other pets.

Rabbits have a variety of personalities. Like cats, some rabbits will play hard to get; some will sit on your lap and let you pet them as long as you like. Find a bunny that suits your style.

Reputable rabbit rescue organizations will insist that your rabbits be spayed or neutered, for their health and your happiness. Most rescues factor that into the adoption fee.

Hot Cross Buns? by Anna Hull
How do you care for bunnies?
Rabbits need attention, fresh water and food (timothy hay, rabbit chow and vegetables) every day.

Their litter boxes must be changed at least weekly.

Rabbits need a cozy space to call home, but they don’t require much stuff. An extra-large wire dog crate, water bottle, heavy food bowl, litter box with recycled paper litter, a box with shredded paper to dig in, and a few hard infant or cat toys will keep them happy.

To keep your bunnies healthy in a wire-bottom cage, put old carpet scraps on the bottom. Without that protection, they’ll develop painful and debilitating arthritis in their toes. While you’re at it, add a 12- by 12-inch ceramic tile for him to lie on to cool off. You can often get these for free from a local flooring store.

Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits take a few weeks to warm up to new people and surroundings. At first they will hop a few feet out of and then back into their cage, then they’ll gradually start to explore. They’ll relax once they become comfortable with their environment. Although they love to hop around the house, rabbits need a safe place -- a covered box or small covered doggie bed – where they can go when they need time alone.

Bunnies don’t see in color, so they often mistake wires for weeds and chew on them. You can easily bunny-proof your home by tacking wires up out of their reach.

House rabbits have difficulty cooling off above 85 degrees and staying warm below 40 degrees, so you’ll need to use caution when you take them outside in the summer or winter.

My bunny’s home. Now what?
Enjoy! You won’t be able to resist:
  • Watching carrot juice drip from your baby bunny’s chin after an especially good carrot.
  • The first time bunny grooms you (to show you are his).
  • The times when she jumps with glee and spins around in mid-air.
  • Watching bun sleep peacefully on his back, legs straight up in the air

To learn more about rabbit habits, adoptions or fostering opportunities, visit:
House Rabbit Society:
Rabbit Haven's list of state rescue organizations:
The Humane Society of the United States:
Gainesville Rabbit Rescue

About the Author: Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes received her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and Addictions and her PhD in Counseling and Education from the University of Florida. She is an ordained Christian minister . Currently she runs an online continuing education site continuing education for rehabilitation counselors, addictions professionals, social workers and engineers and has a part-time private practice.

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Sea Anemones In Your Aquarium

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Perhaps putting in corals is one thing that makes an aquarium lovely, especially if you use a sea anemone. Anemones are actually animals that attach themselves to corals or even rocks. They have stinging cells and these things can paralyze small sea creatures. This is one good defense mechanism for these little babies. There are others who say that crabs and sea anemones share something close to a symbiotic relationship. This is because crabs will eat the small sea creatures that died from the sting and the anemones will eat the scraps of the crab.

Sea Anemones by Dennis Hamilton
Anyway, sea anemones look like flowers. This is why they are dubbed as sea flowers. They come in different colors and shapes and sometimes they may even look like green grass plants. This is why they are good in hunting because they are mistaken by other fish as harmless. The truth is, these things are predators and they are omnivorous. The hunting style of these creatures is to lie in wait for fish that will pass by and then sting them with their tentacles.

Most of the day, sea anemones are just anchored to rocks. They are considered to be great for starters or beginners for marine aquariums because they are not difficult to maintain. These things are not demanding and all you need to do as an owner is to make sure they get the right amount of food supply and lighting. These are the best things to get if you are serious in pursuing maintenance of marine aquariums. If these sea anemones will survive in your care, then you are ready to take more marine life into your hands.

About the Author
Written by Perry Stevens
If you like what you've read go to

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My First Guinea Pig: What Shall I Do?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Contemplating a first guinea pig? Concerned about what you need to know in those first few days? Don't worry; this article will give you the answers you need to know.

Your baby pigs need specialized care. You first and foremost need to make their areas safe. Start by considering a box rather than a cage as a location to adapt your baby. Boxes have no trapping like wire mesh, and are smooth so they do well for the first couple of weeks. Baby Pigs are not able to climb, so don't worry about them climbing out.

Guinea Pigs by photon y
The down side of course is that your new family member cannot see out. But their little heads and feet cannot get stuck in wall mesh and wire floors. Once you have your pet's home, talk softly and feed regularly. Watch your guinea pig squeal with joy shortly.

If the new pet is fearful, soft voice and trying not to hover over her will work wonders. Read below where you can obtain more interesting facts about creating a great home for your pig.

What to feed your guinea pig? This is a lot cheaper and easier. Start with some little bits of fresh veggies like cucumber, shavings of carrot and carrot greens. Add apples and other fruits, but not grapes. Hay is easy to buy at any pet store and is cheap and useful. Hay is a great vitamin C enhancement and they love the flavor.

Caging is very important. A cage with a solid bottom is usually preferable but not always available. Make sure the cage is large enough for a house (not too big) and room to run. You can find out more for free at our web site on caging and supplies. During the first few days, be gentle, slow and deliberate. Do not rush your guinea pig into liking you. Get to know him or her and then they will be cuddly and loving always to you.

Guinea pig babies are always welcome additions and wonderful loving creatures. However, they require careful handling in the first few days or they could become afraid and withdraw from humans.

Lastly, what will you name your guinea pig? We have a helping hand there. We have a data base of over 1000 names to be easily searched. We named our guinea pig Daisy because that is the favorite flower of my wife. What will you name your guinea pig? We hope you enjoy your first guinea pig as much as we did, once we knew what we were doing.

Author Resource: Jim and Gabe Balladis jointly wrote "My First Guinea Pig: The Ultimate Guide," See our story for our interesting story. We became guinea pig experts out of necessity. If you have a new guinea pig, and need some FREE practical advice, visit My First Guinea Pig . There you will find tons of helpful information, and free courses on guinea pig care.

Article From Pet Article World

How Old is Your Pet - Really?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just how old is your dog really? More than likely you know the dog's age in years, or at least have an approximation of its age, but do you really have any idea how old it may be - chronologically speaking?

I'm sure you've heard of the old "seven year theory". You know, the system where each year of a dog or cats life is the equivalent of 7 of ours. An example of this thinking would be that a 1 year old dog would be the age and developmental equal of a 7 year old person. Now just how many 7 year old kids do you know that are sexually mature -and able to reproduce? A cat or dog is much more likely to have a litter when it is one year or younger, or at the other extreme, ten years or older, than is a human who is under the age of seven or over the age of seventy!

Playful Dog Pointing for a Pinecone by Starr Hendon
This system was simple - but too simple. Many people today may still use these calculations when coming to some idea of their pets chronological age. Still, due to examples like the one above you can see why this most simple of systems is not accepted today.

In the early 1950's a French veterinarian, Monsieur LeBeau, formulated another system to address this problem. In LeBeau's system, a dog/cat of 1 year in age became the equivalent of a 15 year old person- due to the onset of puberty in each species. The second year of a dog/cats life became the equivalent of a 24 year old person- someone/ something that has reached full maturity. After two, each year of an animals life would equal 4 years of human life.

Pop quiz time! Just how old would a 6 year old cat "really" be using this newer system? According to the LeBeau theory, the dog/cat would be the equivalent of a 40 year old person. Remember, 24+ (4*4)= 40. How about a 10 year old dog? If you came up with 56 then you were correct!

It is interesting to note that dogs and cats move up this newer age scale at the same rate until they reach the age of 14. At that time the rates begin to differ between dogs and cats compared in human age terminology. This chart would work quite well for a dog or cat having an average life expectancy(ALE) of 14 years. As we all know, oftentimes animals,as do people, may exceed the ALE which would call for further refinement of this age formula. For this we need to be aware of something called the maximum life span(MLS). Basically, the average life expectancy is the amount of years a person, animal, etc. may reasonably expect to live. The MLS on the other hand, is the genetically based maximum age beyond which no member of that species may live.

Now, with that in mind, consider this addendum to the first age chart. A human maximum life span is close to 110 years. A cats maximum life span is around the mid-30's, while a dogs maximum life span is around 29.

So, just how do you calculate a cat or dogs age who lives past the 14 year mark? In this event, each year of life past 14 for a dog would equal 2 1/2 human years, and only 2 for a cat.

Due to recent research it has been found that many times an animal may live past his ALE when given improved care, activity, social and psychological stimulation. If we examine the oldest living dogs on record, we can begin to see that most had a regular moderate exercise program that included differing levels of psychological and social stimulation.

Currently, the oldest living dog on record worked as a herding dog in Australia(29 years old). The runner-up, a mere 27 years of age, was a Lab who lived in the home of a game keeper in England. Other famous notables include Higgins, the terrier on Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies(20); Pal, the collie who started the role of Lassie(18);and,last but certainly not least, Rin Tin Tin, movie star and German Shepherd who lived to be at least 16 years of age.

The following charts will show you just how LeBeaux theories work when determining the age of your pet. We hope this material is of help to you in the future.


About the Author
Written by Debbie Ray

Purebred dogs are really incredible. But they're not for everyone - and if you're thinking of getting one I highly encourage you to do all the research you can about them ahead of time. I know a perfect place where you can learn about them - check out loads of AKC Dog Breeds now!

Trimming Your Pet Bird’s Wings

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There are a lot of things that you need to know about your pet before you become a pet owner. This is true no matter what kind of animal you have, and no matter what kind of situation you find yourself in when it comes to that animal. No matter if you have a dog, cat, or a bird, you have to do research before you make that animal a part of your life, and you have to be sure that you can do all of the proper things for that animal before you find yourself in a situation where you have to take care of an animal. If you can’t take care of an animal properly you shouldn’t have it, because it is not fair to that animal.

Parrot's Wing by Nicole Mays
One of the hardest things about owning a pet bird is learning how to deal with its wings. There is no magic formula for what kind of birds need certain things done for their wings, and what you should be doing. Most of the time, you should buy the pet bird in the condition that you want it to stay in, because chances are that it was done correctly wherever you got the bird from, and it might not be done correctly if you try to do it yourself.

Trimming a bird’s wings is one of these situations. There are so many things that you have to know about it before you can consider doing it. First of all, you have to take into account what kind of bird you have, and if trimming their wings is even something that is good for that bird. Then, you have to see if the situation you have the bird in even makes it possible to trim their wings. Lastly, depending on what type of bird you have and what situation you are putting that bird into, there are certain ways that you have to go about trimming the wings and there are certain ways that might hurt the bird if you do them.

Trimming a bird’s wings is something that should always be done by a professional. You should not assume that you can figure out how to do it on your own, because if you don’t do it correctly, you can damage that bird forever, and might even cause it to die. If you are considering trimming your bird’s wings, be sure that you have talked to the place where you purchased the bird, as well as to a vet, and that they both agree it is a good idea. Then, be sure that you find someone who knows how to trim your particular bird’s wings.

Author Resource: Written by David Peterson
For more information on Birds Jinga's Pet Article World.

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Mastering the Sitting Trot

Friday, November 19, 2010

One of the most difficult lessons a novice rider may encounter is how to sit at the trot. With time and practice it can be achieved. There are some exercises to help build balance and posture to aid with this difficult pace. Pilates and abdominal exercises help build abdominal and core muscles which can help tremendously.

The best time to start your training on the sitting trot is after you've mastered the classical seat. Due to the fact that the classical seat permits you to sit securely and deeply you should try to master this seat before trying the sitting trot.

Johnnie Trotting #3 by Eileen Terwilliger
Here are a few exercises that will help you master the sitting trot:
1. Cross your stirrups over the horse's shoulder and have someone lunge the horse. By doing this you can focus on your posture and balance and not have to concentrate on steering your horse. Tie the reins in a knot over the horse's withers so they are neither too tight nor too slack. Now think about your seat, focus on achieving a classical seat but don't worry too much about dropping your heels. Concentrate on sitting deeply and keeping your legs far apart. Hold the pommel lightly and rest the inside hand on your leg. Ask the person lunging the horse to get the horse started on a slow trot and concentrate on maintaining the classical seat as much as possible but do not allow yourself to tense up. Do not grip the saddle too tightly with your hand as this will cause you to become rigid. Focus on the horse's forward rhythm while maintaining regular breathing. Try to relax as much as possible.

2. Once you begin feeling more confident about sitting to the trot you should start holding your hands as if they were holding the reins. Keep your upper arms to your side and your forearms should feel like the natural extension to the reins (even though you are not actually holding the reins). If you begin to tense up concentrate on relaxing. Keep breathing, feel the warmth of the sun, enjoy your surroundings and most importantly, enjoy the ride! Remain relaxed at all times while maintaining proper body position.

3. Once of the best exercises to perfect the sitting trot is to ride bareback. The classical seat will still apply but relax your heels and don't try too hard to keep them down. Use a neckstrap to help maintain balance if you feel insecure. Instruct the person lunging your horse to cue the horse to gently trot for 4-5 strides then to walk a little, then to trot for 5-6 strides and return to the walk. Alternating walking and trotting helps your body relax if you've tensed up during the trot.

Practice frequently and you should be able to master the sitting trot in no time. Learning how to sit to the trot will dramatically improve your balance and riding skills as you will learn to balance and easily control your horse at the trot.

Author Resource: Written by Josie Amani
Stal Amani is an impeccable equestrian centre complete with three indoor and outdoor arenas. We regularly hold show jumping and dressage competitions from novice up to Grand Prix level and due to our central location in Belgium, the facility is ideal for foreign competitors looking for a temporary or permanent base in Europe. We are minutes away from Herentals.

Article From Pet Article World

History of Animal Rights

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Animals Rights has been a long debated issue because it is difficult for either side to win so a middle ground is usually sought out. A common argument for the side of the people who believed in full rights for the animals was that eating animals is wrong because it would take away an animal's life and an animal can reason and sense just like humans which would make eating them unfair. There has been a religion called Jainism which forbids any animal eating and it is so extreme that they have to cover their mouth to prevent accidentally swallowing an insect and every night before they sleep, they pray for forgiveness in case they accidentally killed some living thing.

Kangaroo Court by Prairie Kittin
One of the most significant years for the idea of animal rights was 1641 when a philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau who based his ideas for animal rights all on the issue of animal consciousness. He said that animals are sensitive to things and seek to participate in the natural rights of the universe. Some people today argue about the animal consciousness issue as well, which is basically, if an animal is aware of its feelings then it shouldn't be eaten or killed. The first law that prevented animal cruelty was passed in 1635 which prohibited cutting wool off sheep and attaching ploughs to horses. Other countries didn't do that because wool and horse powered ploughs were big conveniences.

The group of people that started making animal rights a big issue were the puritans who managed to pass some animal protection laws in England. For the US, the first animal rights act was passed in 1641 in Massachusetts. Although all of us know that killing animals is wrong, we still do it because they give us so much conveniences.

Also in history, there are those people who are somewhat for animal rights but not entirely for it. They don't mind eating animals but are against the use of animals for experimental use in medical research. They believe that animals don't deserve all the rights, only a few. There are people for animal rights as well as people who are not for animal rights and ever since it became an issue, when one side wins, the other side would still continue to do as much as possible to lessen the other side's victory. Like in 2007, the U.S animal rights people managed to pass a legislation that ended horse slaughter in the U.S. but live horses were still exported to be slaughtered outside of the U.S. Then the horse meat would get shipped back to the U.S.

There have also been animal rights extremists in the past who would slash the tires of a hunter's vehicle and break a lot of hunting equipment. One group of people in 1973 even burned down a pharmaceutical research laboratory. Spain became the first country to grant legal rights to animals, which were the apes, and this happened less than a year ago in June of 2008. That was a landmark event for animal rights. One of the biggest factors in history of animal rights is religion. Some religions absolutely prohibit the killing of certain animals. But some religions used to sacrifice animals. And then there are those religions where the topic of animal rights is debatable. People who aren't for animal rights say that humans have dominion over everything which means that they should be allowed to do what they want to other species. The strong survive and the weak die out (Natural Selection). Some people who are not for animal rights can say that animals have been eating other animals for millions of years, so why is so much more wrong when a human eats another animal?

Why are animal rights activists spending so much effort to stop us from eating/killing an animal and not spending any effort on preventing something like a lion from eating a deer? Animal rights activists probably blame humans more because we have a choice to not eat animals, but we still do it anyway. Today when you ask someone if they are for animal rights, they might say something like: "I don't like the killing of animals but I still like to eat them" and that's where it stands for most people right now.

Author Resource: Brian Tse is a pet owner and would like to spread the message to people who truly care about animals, about the origins of animal rights. Hopefully this would provide more insight for the animal lovers out there. He also dedicates some time to helping people with math, you can visit his algebra 1 worksheets site at or visit

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Should My Cat Be Grooming Itself So Much?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grooming is a very natural behavior in cats. You will often watch your cat sitting in the corner just going to town licking and grooming itself, another cat, or even the family dog. However, there are instances where cats get a little exuberant about licking. They may even start grooming you, which some people want to discourage.

Cat Grooming Itself by ex.libris
There are a number of reasons that you may want to discourage your cat from grooming himself. One of the major reasons is if your cat is injured or recovering from surgery. If you get your cat neutered or spayed, your cat may be tempted to lick the wound clean. The problem is that your cat does not necessarily know when to stop, and he or she can end up removing stitches or causing further injury.

If your cat is injured or recovering, you can purchase several topical products to help prevent licking. Discuss the products with your vet to make sure that they will not cause any further irritation to the wound, and then apply the product to the affected area. Many of these products have a nasty flavor that discourages your cat from licking the wound.

Another way to prevent your cat from licking any wounds is to use a bandage. In certain areas of the body, a bandage will completely keep your cat from licking the affected area. However, bandages often pose a challenge to your cat, and he or she may go after the area with fervor.

If you have tried bandaging and topical ointments, you may end up having to put the dreaded cone on your cat.

This is a collar that forms a cone around your cat’s head. Your cat will look funny, and he or she will probably be fairly humiliated, but it will keep your cat from licking the affected area. Just make sure you move breakables out of the way, and keep an eye on your cat. The cone collar will throw off your cat’s balance and ability to maneuver certain areas. Your cat will become clumsy for a while.

Another reason why you may want to prevent your cat’s licking behavior is if it is causing injury to itself. Some cats will lick and lick until their fur starts to fall out and they form sores. Excessive licking is a result of food allergies, anxiety, stress, and other items. Stopping the excessive licking is not always about deterring behavior.

If there is a medical reason, you need to see the vet. Even if you are not sure, you should check with your vet first to rule out any medical issues.

If your cat is licking excessively out of stress, anxiety, or other psychological reasons, deterrents like sprays or ointments will not do anything to decrease the stress. In fact, it may even increase the problem. Therefore, you need to find the root of the problem to solve it.

For instance, a cat may be licking excessively, because it feels like it is low on your priority list. To stop the licking, you may just have to devote some extra time to your cat each day where it is just your time to play. By giving your cat your undivided attention, you may stop your cat from licking.

If you are confused about what issues your cat may have, you may want to contact a professional. Discuss the issues with your vet. If he or she cannot help you solve the problem, the vet will probably know some cat experts that will know what to do.

About the Author
Written by Michael Moyssidis
For more information about Cat Grooming and more cat care training tips visit

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Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The most common disease in dogs is dental disease, in particular periodontal disease. However, this is one of the most preventable and treatable diseases. Luckily, it is possible to reduce or even prevent dental disease in dogs. Feeding them a crunchy diet, with appropriate chew treats and toys, as well as a daily brushing routine will assist in reducing or preventing this disease. Listed below are some of the steps that will guide you in understanding how to brush your dog's teeth.

Doggie Dental Care by Patricia H. Schuette
•You should obtain a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste from your vet. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda, as they may cause your dog problems. As well as this, toothpaste from the vet has flavors that the dog will enjoy. Only use a bristled toothbrush, as others will not get below the gum line, which is the most important place to brush.

•The upper back teeth are generally the worst areas, where the dog has periodontal disease. Plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth on a daily basis, especially under the gum line. It takes less than 36 hours for this plaque to mineralize and harden into tartar which cannot be removed by a brush. Therefore, your dog's teeth should be brushed on a daily basis in order to remove the plaque from under the gum line.

•Selecting a particular time of the day for tooth brushing that will become part of your dog's routine is extremely important. Your pet can in fact look forward to having his teeth brushed if it is before a walk or a daily treat. It will take a couple of days for both of you to become used to a teeth brushing session, which is why each session should be followed with praise and a walk, or a treat.

•Allow your dog to have a taste of the toothpaste before you begin. The next time allow him to taste the toothbrush, then run your finger along the gums of the upper teeth. This can then be followed by using the toothbrush. Allow the bristles of the toothbrush to run along the gum line of the upper back teeth and angle slightly up to enable the bristles to get under the gum line. Working from back to front, brushing in small circles along the gum lines is the best way to achieve clean teeth. No more than 30 seconds should be spent on brushing your dog's teeth. On your very first attempt at brushing your dogs teeth, do not attempt to brush them all. If your dog allows you to only brush the outside of the upper teeth, you will have achieved something. As he progresses with tooth brushing, he will permit you to brush more.

•Some dogs may require professional brushing. Just as we need to visit the dentist on a regular basis for check-ups, your dog may need to seek professional brushing.

Therefore, in order to ensure that your dog has healthier teeth with a sweeter smile, it is important to undertake daily brushing.

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check out our elevated dog feeders selection online.

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A Dog Life Jacket Helps Prevent Drowning

Monday, November 15, 2010

I first saw a dog wearing a dog life jacket a few years ago, whilst on holiday in America where they seemed quite popular. I was staying with a friend who had a bulldog and noticed that every time we went out near the lake, for a walk or to swim, my friend would put the brightly coloured dog life jacket on him. I thought all dogs could swim, so I was a bit puzzled. Whenever we went to the local beach, where dogs were allowed, Teri the bulldog would be wearing a dog life vest too and some of the other dogs swimming and playing on the beach had them on also.

Safe, Water Loving Dogs by Jesus and Kristle
Asking my friend about the dog life jacket later and whether it was really required, she was quite amazed that I had to ask. My friend told me how she had been at the beach the year before when a 9 year old labrador dog had drowned. Apparently the old dog had swam out a bit and just became tired out on the way back when responding to his owner whistling him and sadly went under and drowned before the owner could get to her dog.

Later at home my friend pulled up some news articles online for me from the U.K. about some drowning accidents there - dogs falling in frozen rivers and getting into difficulty, dogs running after wildlife into rivers and getting swept away and other fatal accidents. I only had to read a few pages to see the point - in many cases people had died from attempting to rescue their beloved dog.

She went on to tell me about Teri her bulldog and how short-muzzled dogs often have trouble swimming as they can often swallow too much sea water but as a dog life jacket elevates the head above the water and keeps it there, this is an added benefit for Teri and other short-muzzled dogs.

Teri the bulldog even wore his dog life vest when anywhere near my friend's swimming pool, in case he went in when people weren't around. Dogs who drown in pools do so usually as a result of tiring swimming and being unable to use the pool steps to get out, so unless you have a pool ramp or shallow end with an exit, teach your dog to use the steps or make sure the pool is fenced off.

My little westie, Dougie still wears his dog life jacket that we bought for him on that trip to the States and he has a second one as a spare.

Anywhere near or in the water a dog life jacket will protect your dog.

About the Author
Written by Juliette Morgan
At and you can kit out your best friend for life with the best dog Life jacket

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Are Red Peacock Cichlids Right For You?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Like their land dwelling counterpart, Red Peacock Cichlids are brilliant and beautiful. Also like the bird, it is the mature male that displays this beauty, while the females and young males remain plain. They are as mild as they are attractive and very easy to breed, making the Red Peacock Cichlid a very popular choice for pets.

Red Peacock Cichlid by Jim Given
The biology of the Red Peacock Cichlid gives them the ability to sense prey without seeing it. This is important since it hunts in the dark, relying only on its senses for food. As the fish senses food it will bite into the sand and then filter the sand out of its mouth while retaining the microbes for sustenance. It really is a rather remarkable design and is intriguing to witness.

Unfortunately, most Red Peacock Cichlid owners will not have the opportunity to witness their hunting as they do not hunt this way in most aquariums. The reason is that they are given their food a set times during the day and it is much easier to just eat the food your given as opposed to hunting for it when you are hungry. Occasionally, it may go sand diving for wayward food particles, but that will be rarity if you are feeding regularly. These cichlids are not particularly choosy about their food and can be sustained on a diet of mostly flakes and pellets, though it is a good idea to occasionally offer fresh foods as well.

You can encourage the Red Peacock cichlid to breed and spawn in your aquarium, but must provide plenty of rocks in its environment to help it feel safe. You may also use clay pots, but be sure to provide ample hiding spaces. To encourage spawning to the highest degree you will want to replicate the Red Peacock cichlids nature environment as closely as possible in your aquarium. They do not eat plants, but may uproot them, so be sure to secure any tank vegetation.

In closing, I am going to share my number one tip for raising happy Red Peacock cichlids: replicate their natural environment. In fact, this tip will work for any fish you place in your aquarium. If you can reproduce their natural habitat in your aquarium including decorations, water chemistry and food, then you will have some very happy fish on your hands. It can be tricky to get this right, but as long as you do your research and mimic the natural conditions as best you can you will be alright.

About the Author
Written by Preston Mane
For a more detailed overview of Red Peacock cichlids visit my webpage now. You will also discover other things like how to set up an African Cichlid aquarium.

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Owning a Pet Hedgehog

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hedgehogs can make great pets if you know what it takes to keep them happy and healthy. Hedgies gained popularity as pets with the rise of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" video game series. This, unfortunately, led to an increase in the number of abandoned and ignored hedgehogs. A little research and information before bringing one of these pets home can go a long way toward making sure they are a good fit in your life.

Baby Hedgehog by Sarah McManiman
Hedgehogs should be let out of their cage on a daily basis. This time should include time with you. At first you may want to use a towel of blanket to pick them up because they will, most likely, be a little nervous toward you. Once they are accustomed to you and your scent they will relax their quills and can be very affectionate toward you. Extended isolation will make them unfriendly and uptight.

Many knowledgeable hedgie owners recommend feeding your pet a high quality cat food rather than foods that are packaged for hedgehogs. The reason for this is that because cats are more popular there is more of a demand for cat food which results in higher quality ingredients. In the long run, this is more cost effective, anyway. You can buy cat food in bulk as long as you keep it from getting wet. For treats, crickets and mealworms are hedgie favorites. These can be purchased either live or frozen. Sometimes there will be a preference for one type over the other.

Despite their need for attention and affection, hedgehogs enjoy solitude from time to time. The larger the cage the better but they don't need as much space as some other pets. Glass aquariums do not make good cages because of the poor airflow. Wire mesh cages are widely available and work very well for housing. The cage should be kept in a dry area of the house. The temperature, also, needs to be kept above 62 degrees to prevent your pet from starting to hibernate.

Hedgehogs are unique pets that can be faithful companions if cared for properly and kept healthy.

About the Author
Written by Derrick Anderson
Go to Legacy Cages to see their high quality hedgehog cages and wide variety of pet cages available.

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Owning a Blue and Gold Macaw Takes Your Time and Devotion

Friday, November 12, 2010

Many people have the desire to own a Blue and Gold Macaw. Yet only a few should actually do it. Simply pay attention to the numbers of Macaws being sold by private owners. Far too often people simply bite off far more than they can chew or don't understand the amount of time, dedication, work, commitment involved with owning a Macaw parrot.

It is likely the beauty, the out of this world colors, the affectionate/playful natures and overall intelligence of Macaw parrots that make these birds nearly irresistible for animal lovers.

Blue and Gold Macaw Hitching a Ride on Its Human Friend by Jay Kleeman
Unfortunately many people buy on impulse when buying one of these magnificent birds. Buying a Macaw is too often based on a delightful casual introduction and not any appreciable amount of before purchase research.

Properly trained, loving and intelligent Macaws are not something that just happens. That bird is the product of love, care, devotion, understanding and work. For those who own and love the Macaws, it may be the most gratifying work but it is work none the less.

Dedicated, reputable breeders hand feeding and socializing the chicks begins the work for you. After purchase that socialization must be a continuing process. Breeder commitment and dedication is the reason that hand fed babies make the best companions. By hand feeding the babies the breeders instill humans as essential to the babies existence and as a natural and normal part of his flock. This makes humans a recognizable part of the birds family.

It takes a real expert to tame a Macaw Blue and Gold or other that is not a hand fed chick. Most of those will just never become as loving, gentle and happy to be a part of the family as will the hand fed bird. The first step in socializing any large companion bird is hand feeding the chicks. Personal attention by the breeders goes a very long way, helping to insure anyone willing to continue the process will likely continue to have a good natured, trainable and loving bird. Unfortunately most or too many prospective owners do not fully grasp the importance of continuing the socialization process initiated by the breeder. So having a great deal of time and even more desire to continue the process is mandatory before anyone should buy a Macaw. With large birds like the Blue and Gold Macaw the socialization process must be ongoing for life. Left alone to fend on their own Macaws can easily revert. They may become far more wild than a loving, gentle companion.

Left alone too long and or too often the Macaw can easily lose any interest in being that lovable bird and companion you first purchased. He can become that feather plucking, aggressive, extraordinarily loud and destructive bird he is quite capable of becoming.

Done correctly owning a Macaw parrot is every bit as gratifying as owning any other pet, for me it is more. I can think of no other pet that will bond closer or for as long as the Macaw or other large parrots. For me and maybe because Macaws are not domesticated animals, bonding is of a more personal nature. Perhaps it is the sole fact that the Macaws are not domesticated that makes bonding so very remarkable and heartfelt.

Casual pet owners should not consider a Blue and Gold Macaw. If lacking the time, dedication and commitment to supply his needs the Macaw is not a good choice. The Blue and Gold Macaw almost demands you spend your time and that you provide him not just physical care but emotional support also. He can be almost maniacal in his need of your attentions but can be just as maniacal when it comes to showing and giving his affection to those within his flock.

Primarily due to his loving and friendly nature, it's seldom that a Blue and Gold Macaw will prefer to be left alone. A well socialized Macaw will want to be included in everything you do. Most of the time a Blue and Gold Macaw simply wants to be with you helping to do whatever you're doing. He can't help it. It's his nature. A Macaw can become an amazing companion only if you invest your time, your caring, your love, your understanding and devotion. He easily becomes just another beautiful bird without your commitment.

Because owning a Macaw means giving so much of yourself, it is unlikely to ever duplicate the experience with any other type of animal. Life with a Macaw becomes intensely personal and gratifying. The bonus is - the experience can last your lifetime.

Author Resource: Ryleigh Cantrell has owned his Blue and Gold Macaw (Shadow) since 1978. There are two guesses as to the bird's name.The two are inseparable. To learn more about Blue And Gold Macaws.

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The Special Gait of a Tennessee Walking Horse

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This astonishing animal, which is also referred to as a Tennessee Walker or more accurately as the Tennessee Walking Horse, is the quintessential smooth-gaited equine. Without the need for special training, the "glide walk" is readily obvious even to people unfamiliar with horses. Not surprisingly, these horses are not only exceptionally beautiful, but they are gentle giants that are bred to be ridden, and are thus favorites among teaching stables that cater to children or senior citizens. Riders -- who might have been otherwise uncomfortable when on the trail or even just during regular practice sessions at the riding school -- find that the animals' special gait makes them an excellent alternative to other breeds.

A Young Tennessee Walking Horse by Carrot Mama
Tennessee Walking Horses are known as the Golden Retrievers of the horse world because of their calm and obedient personalities. The fabled gait of these horses is best compared to a "gliding run" or "running walk" that is markedly devoid of the jarring jumps other equines may take when slightly accelerating. The "running walk" takes the place of the bouncing trot that is so uncomfortable for most riders. This is a pleasure for seated riders, so a leisurely trail ride allows the rider the opportunity to concentrate on riding skills, as well as enjoy other riders, conversation, and the scenery.

The "running walk" has been clocked at about 10 to 20 miles per hour. Even an only incremental increase in speed leads to a decrease in smoothness of the motions. Riders frequently comment on the rhythmically nodding head that accompanies the gait. Most equines of this breed are capable of other gaits than what they are best known for. We also hear about gaits known as the rack, pace, and foxtrot. They are also famous for the "rocking chair" canter.

It is interesting to note that the famous gait is actually breed-specific and thus hereditary; it has far less to do with training. This gaited trail horse was deliberately developed in Tennessee during the late 1800's. Farmers there wanted an animal that would work in the fields with them during the day, yet be a smooth easy ride during off work hours. Tennessee Walking Horses are the result of cross breeding Thoroughbreds, Saddlebreds, Morgans, Standardbreds, and Narranganett Pacers. As outlined by the National Walking Horse Association, this gentle giant accomplishes naturally what many other breeds must learn as an artificial gait: the inborn ability to glide at predefined speeds.

Author Resource: Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed SEO 2.0 researcher of practices, products, and services for a variety of industries. Walking After Midnight Farms has a fantastic assortment of Tennessee Walkers for sale.

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How to Protect Your Dog's Teeth From Decay

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If your canine has bad breath, there's a good chance he's dealing with a dental problem. Bad breath is caused by residual bacteria that remain on his teeth and gum line. Unfortunately, most people assume their dogs are supposed to have bad breath, and thus do little to look for a growing problem. The bacteria eventually evolves into something much worse, causing pain and in some cases, decay and infection.

Dental health is critical to your canine. It is just as important as a proper diet, plenty of exercise, and routine veterinary examinations. Yet few owners give it the level of priority it deserves. Below, we'll describe some of the problems that can occur if you neglect your dog's teeth. We'll also explain how your pet's veterinarian can help, and offer a few tips for providing dental care at home.

Massive Tartar Buildup and Decay of a Dog's Teeth
Plaque, Tartar, And Gingivitis
Your dog is unlikely to ever suffer from a cavity. They are rare in canines. Instead, he is susceptible to gum disease, which begins as bacteria. While he eats meals, small fragments of food can become stuck between his teeth and gums. These fragments attract bacteria, which allows plaque to form. Even though plaque can be removed easily at home, most owners neglect to do so.

If plaque is allowed to persist, it will eventually turn into tartar. This process occurs due to elements contained in your canine's saliva; it usually takes several days. Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be easily removed without special tools (i.e. scalers) or a veterinarian's help.

Tartar causes inflammation. If you lift your pet's lips, you'll notice his gums are red and irritated. This is called gingivitis. The tartar should be removed as quickly as possible before the condition evolves into periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease
Tartar that is left on your dog's teeth will begin to create gaps along the gum line. This allows bacteria to colonize the gaps, causing severe pain. This is called periodontal disease; damage to the teeth becomes permanent. Even worse, periodontitis can cause abscesses and infection. If bacteria gains access to your canine's bloodstream, it can affect the function of his liver, kidneys, and other organs.

Oral Cleanings From A Veterinarian
Your canine's veterinarian will perform a thorough examination that reveals any signs of tartar, gingivitis, or periodontal disease. He will examine your pet's mouth and face, looking for indications of swelling; he'll also inspect your dog's teeth, gums, and tongue to note any signs of infection; and he'll observe your canine's bite to make sure it is normal.

Once a thorough exam has been completed, the veterinarian will perform a professional cleaning. He'll remove any plaque or tartar present on your canine's teeth. Then, he'll inspect and polish each tooth to eliminate blemishes.

Tips For Preventing Dental Problems At Home
The most important thing you can do to help preserve your canine's dental health is to brush his teeth once per day. Doing so removes food fragments that might otherwise become stuck, and attract bacteria. It thus prevents plaque from gaining a foothold, and stops tartar from forming in the first place. Use a toothpaste that is designed specifically for dogs.

Also, provide your dog with dry treats and foods that minimize the likelihood of plaque. Canned foods are more likely to lead to plaque than dry foods.

You can also purchase toys that promote good dental health. These toys can be chewed, or gnawed, by your dog, which helps to dislodge food particles that have become stuck between his teeth and gum line. Take care to not give him toys that will cause his teeth to wear down, however.

Your dog depends largely on you to help him avoid gum disease and related dental problems. Brush his teeth regularly, and have his veterinarian examine and clean them once a year.

About the Author
Written by Lawrence J. Reaves
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The Burmese Cat

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The first Burmese cat is well known and dates back to the 1930's. Its name was Wong Mau. After a long breeding period of using the Siamese cat, the Burmese was established as a breed. There are four recognized colors by Cat Fanciers Association; sable, champagne, blue and platinum.

Burmese Cats Cuddling by Sue Tupling
Having been a dog lover all my life, I never dreamed I would end up with a cat. We were on vacation and met some friends of our family who had a Burmese cat. I love all animals and this was a sable color Burmese. I picked it up from sleeping on a bed and immediately noticed how heavy it was. They are very heavily muscled cats and are often described as a brick wrapped in silk. I picked this cat up and it just laid its head on my shoulder as if I were its caretaker.

When we got home I had to learn more about this cat that I had never heard of. We did some searching and here is what we found.
  1. They originated from Burma back in the 1930's.
  2. They are a very heavy cat for their size.
  3. They are described as dog-like because of the following:
    A. They like to fetch a ball.
    B. They like to ride in the car if introduced at a young age.
    C. They like other dogs.
    D. They will lick your face.
    E. Some will seem to communicate with soft talk-like noises.
  4. Easy to groom.
  5. Good with children.
  6. They stay very playful into adulthood.
They have a short coat so they are easy to groom. Their eyes are large and very telling when they look at you and they do like to look at their owners. They love to be held.

We did find a Burmese and named him Sid. He is a year old now and exhibits some cat behaviors you would never expect from a cat. He does love to be held. In fact lately if I get close to him, he will sit up and put his paws on me wanting up. I thought it would be cute to say do you want up, up, up and now he jumps to get in my arms, sometimes from a little too far and I end up with an unintended scratch.

They are very playful as kittens and adults. They become very intelligent and become their own cat as they mature. They can take over the household and in our case, Sid rules. We had two dogs when we brought SID home and they both jump when he says jump. Sid is a very curious cat as most are and wants to always be right in the middle of whatever you’re doing. He is fascinated by smell and must smell everything you are about to put in your mouth.

He loves paper and will jump into the cupboard if you give him a chance. In this breed the male is more laid back and loves the lap of any person he trusts. Females tend to be more aggressive. Sid loves our longhaired Dachshund, they are best friends but sometimes the thought of a feline type friend seems appealing.

This cat has turned at least this dog lover into a sometimes cat enthusiast.

Author Resource: Michael Michael is a Respiratory Therapist, now disabled working in Internet Marketing, writing articles and building websites.

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