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

Do Cats Think?

Monday, February 28, 2011

I don’t know why I thought I could get away with it.

When my cat “Bear” jumped onto my lap expecting his morning petting session, I wondered if THIS time I could get away with reading the newspaper while giving him a few off-hand, preoccupied strokes.

Do I Think? Yeah, and I'm Thinking I Want To Be Outside by Alexander Somma
“Heh, heh”, I thought. “I’ll start by giving him my full attention but then I’ll sneak my paper in when he’s not looking.” I “chucked” him under the chin while stroking him from head to tail, and he began rolling in ecstasy.

When he turned his back on me, sprawling on his stomach, my moment came. Quickly, I reached for the newspaper with my right hand. Continuing to pet Bear with my left, I opened it to the front page.

Bear put his ears back.

“Uh, oh”, I said to myself. “But wait…he can’t see what I’m doing. How does he know that I’m cheating?”

But he knew.

Bear tolerated it for a few moments; his ears laid back, his tail thrashing. Suddenly he leaped from my lap and lay down on the floor. After a few minutes of washing, he stared at me with an accusing expression.

I’d spoiled HIS morning petting session with my own selfishness and he was clearly letting me know the error of my ways.

Do Cats Think?
Cat owners may be the only pet lovers who sincerely believe their pets think. It won’t be the first time that a cat owner has the distinctly uncanny feeling that not only does his beloved cat think, but that he is being manipulated by her.

Veteran cat owners have noticed:
  • Cats are an extremely obsessed and determined animal.
  • Cats seem to contemplate things and make decisions.
  • Cats choose and adopt people.
  • Cats become offended and can hold grudges at insults to their dignity. Fortunately they forget them pretty quickly.
  • They are embarrassed easily and seem to cover it up with nonchalant behavior.
  • They are extremely independent, but want to cooperate with humans as long as this spirit of cooperation is thoroughly disguised.

In short, the cat “owner” always has the vague feeling that he is somehow being conned, but is never sure exactly in what way.

What Do We Mean By The Word "THINK"? defines the ability to think as “To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment.”

Arguably, it is the power of reason, the ability to conceive ideas, use judgment and put the results into action that has placed Man at the top of the food chain. In other words, Man dominates his/her environment because of his/her ability to think.

The Cat Brain and Cat Behavior
Cats are often used as experimental animals because the feline brain is structured like the human brain. The question is, however, do these similarities result in similar cognitive processes, i.e., can a cat actually assemble information, reason things out and make decisions?

The cat’s lack of cooperation with trainers has been taken either as a high degree of intelligence on the part of the feline (either too smart to do what a human tells her to) or a low degree (too stupid to be amenable to training).

Cat lovers usually opt for the former having the distinct impression that they, not their cats, are being trained.

Can Cats Use Tools?
A writer for, J. Justin Lancaster, reported that his cat Sasha had discovered a way to wet down her dry cat food by carrying a cotton hair “scrunchy” to the toilet to wet it and subsequently using it to drip water on her food. This may be the most sophisticated use of tools ever observed in the non-human animal kingdom.

On the other hand, most cat owners observe that a cat, when confronted with an obstacle barring her from a goal, will never move the obstacle out of the way. If the obstacle falls out of the way the cat will be momentarily surprised, but will then proceed to reach the unobstructed goal.

When finding herself again in the same situation, with the same destination blocked by the same obstacle, the cat will not knock the obstacle out of the way even though previous experience has shown that this is the best way reach the goal.

The Jury Is Out
So, the jury is either out, or “hung”, on the question of whether or not cats think.

But when my cat, without looking at me, knows that I’m not giving him my full attention, and gives every evidenced of being miffed at this, I wonder.

Why is petting him while reading the newspaper not the same thing as petting him while using my full concentration?

It doesn’t make sense unless I accept the possibility that he has thought it out. That he has decided that it is either all or nothing, and he just isn’t going accept “playing second fiddle” to a newspaper. And his conclusion is: I’d better shape up. Anything short of my full attention is not acceptable.

He is going to get a full petting from me -- or not at all.

About the Author: John Young is an editor and writer living in Southern California with his wife and pet cat “Bear”. He is author of “Your New Cat’s First 24 Hours”, and editor of a new ezine “The Online Cat”, .

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The Albino Ferret Can Be a Fun and Entertaining Pet

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It was the middle of the night when I heard noises in the kitchen, something or someone was moving around and my wife's worried expression said... it was my duty to check it out. I crept in quietly, not knowing whether I'd find a burglar or a large rat, neither a comforting thought at 2am. Flicking on the light I jumped into the room shouting... "Arghhh"! The noise stopped, but the room was empty. I stood in my PJs wondering if we'd imagined the noise.

Feisty, Flying Albino Ferret by Simon le nippon
It was only a moment before the noise began again; it seemed to be coming from a drawer near the kitchen counter. Having no idea what I'd find, I eased open the drawer, prepared to give whatever was inside a good whack. A furry twitching nose and two pink eyes brought a smile, easing any fears; it was my daughter's albino ferret.

Casper, my daughter's name for her albino ferret friend, was busy living up to his scientific name, Mustela putorius furo which translates loosely to "stinky little thief".

HISTORY FACTOID: Mustela putorius furo is the scientific name for the domesticated ferret. Other family members include weasels, minks, otters, badgers, wolverines, and skunks. Certain Egyptian tombs display pictures of ferret-like creatures on leashes. It is believed their domestication may precede both cats and dogs and that they were carried to Britain approximately 2000 years ago with the Romans who used them to drive away rats and find rabbits, which they used for food.

While there are wild cats roaming the streets, foraging for food and fending off attackers, ferrets can't survive without human involvement having been bred for domestication for thousands of years. Friendly, furry and forever curious, they can make ideal pets, but just like a dog, you'll need to make a commitment and have patience with your albino ferret. Whether you choose an adult ferret (there are many in shelters needing a home) or a baby (called a kit) with a cute cuddly face, you can expect them to live (if properly cared for) about 7 to 8 years becoming part of the family.

My daughter's ferret is albino with pure white fur and pink eyes; this isn't a defect, simply the genetic makeup. All baby ferrets (kits) have white fur at birth with their respective coloring showing as they approach 4 weeks, albinos remaining pure white and sables gradually adopting their adult coloring. The albino gene is recessive, so breeding an albino and a sable will never produce a white ferret with dark eyes. Males, called hobs, will grow to an average of 17 to 24 inches weighing about 3 to 5 pounds. Females, called jills, average 12 to 16 inches and weigh approximately 1 to 3 pounds.

Extremely agile (more so than any cat) they were historically used to follow rodents into smaller holes and protect stores of grain. Most likely they migrated to America aboard colonist's ships, earning their keep on rat patrol. In later years (and occasionally still today) you'll find them in remote dairy barns keeping rodents at bay.

FACTOID: Electrical contractors have been known to use ferrets to pull electric and telephone wires through ducts too small for conventional methods.

Your friendly ferret, either albino or sable, will gives you hours of entertainment and years of love and affection.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins writes for Ferrets at where you can learn more about the joys of owning a pet ferret.

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The Red Iguana: Important Features

Saturday, February 26, 2011

There are more than sixty types of iguanas and they have over seven hundred species. By and large, iguanas are found in America, Southern Canada, South America and a few islands of Fiji and Madagascar. The different varieties of iguana comprise those with curly tails, whip like tails, anoles and swifts. There are different types of iguana depending on their habitat: terrestrial, arboreal and semi-aquatic.

Red Iguana Munching Down by Amanda Lockwood
Because of their skill, they have easy adaptability to the environment they live in. For instance, the marine iguana can easily swim and green iguana can climb the high treetops. The others iguanas also develop the skills required to live in deserts and dry places. Iguana living in the forests and deserts are herbivores and eat leaves, vegetables, flowers and fruits. The other varieties eat juicy mealworms and wax worms. They are insectivore or omnivores.

The common type of iguana is muscular with its legs like frogs. They possess multi jointed delicate toes that make them climb easily. They have exceedingly sharp claws. The crest on the back of males is heavier than female iguanas. They have a wide mouth and sharp teeth, short nostrils and exterior ear drums. Iguanas have a third eye also at top of head, which watches the movements over the head.

Red Sided Skink iguanas also have a third eye. This variety of iguana is mostly found in rocky plains of Eastern and Southern Africa. These have lengths up to eight inches and they lay the eggs like other iguanas. They are also cold blooded and easily adjust to their environment.

These iguanas are insectivores and eat mealworm. They also like crickets coated with powder containing calcium and vitamins. They should be fed dark green leafy vegetables, fruits and clean water.

The Red iguanas belong to terrestrial category and spend time in search of food within a short distance from their domicile. They cannot travel long to find any other suitable dwelling place as they easily get disjointed.

The female red iguanas lay eggs in burrows dug by them in hot sunny areas. They cover their eggs and leave them unguarded. The eggs get hatched themselves because of warmth of steady temperature between 77 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit. All eggs get hatched simultaneously. Young iguanas come out of the tunnel themselves.

Iguana males are very invasive towards other males when they do courtship. But otherwise, they are calm and fearful and run away, if you go nearer to them. These species are gradually getting endangered. Those found abundantly in wild earlier are getting vanished. The major causes are cutting of forests. Consequently, they lose the place to live. Moreover, they fall a prey to animals and human beings also eat them in many islands.

However, it is possible to take some suitable steps to avoid their extinction. These measures may include enforcing anti-hunting laws, boosting up their captive generation in zoos, educating the people in the iguana inhabited areas to protect them.

Many Americans are keeping them as pets. This may also help these animals from getting imperiled.

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

Article From Pet Article World

Western Saddles Versus English Saddles

Friday, February 25, 2011

While there are many different types of riding the world over, the most basic are English riding, and Western riding. The saddles are specialized within each of these distinct styles of riding. Each of these types of riding means a different type of saddle. There are Western saddles for Western events, and English saddles for English events.

Western and English Saddles Photos by evelynbelgium and Kriestienn De Bruyne
An English saddle is quite a bit smaller and lighter than most Western saddles. You'll find that they have steel stirrups, do not have fenders to protect your legs from the straps, and that they have an elastic cinch. If you are not fully familiar with an English saddle and how it need to fit your horse, you should look out for professional assistance. The same can be said for cinching up your English saddle, it needs to be tight enough to hold the saddle in place, and yet the elastic allows your horse to breathe. Also, you require to study how to ride English so that your straps on the stirrups do not pinch your legs, this is one of the main cause that English boots are so tall.

A Western saddle weighs a fair bit more than English saddle. Not only does it have fenders to protect your legs, but also have leather wrapped or raw hide wrapped stirrups that are quite a bit wider at the foot area than the English steel style. Also, a Western saddle will have something called security. This is what surrounds and helps support the Western saddle tree. It's critical that this scurrying on your Western saddle be in excellent condition. If you aware that it's turning up on the corners, or if you notice that when you sit the leather comes outward, it's not offering the support it should. Instead, the whole saddle tree is bearing your weight. So ensure if you're going to ride in a Western saddle which is in good condition and that the leather is heavy enough to support the tree.

Certainly, most people are aware, that English saddles don't carry a horn. All Western saddles or most of them anyhow due hold a saddle horn. Generally, this was often utilized for roping events, but in today's world of barrel racing, cutting and reigning, the horn is also used to assist the rider remain balanced. You'll also find other types of saddles. You'll find an Australian saddles that come with or without a horn, and are sort of a cross between the American Western saddle and the English saddle. You'll also find saddles strictly made for endurance, these saddles are extremely light weight, durable, and distribute the weight evenly throughout the horses weight-bearing back muscles.

Author Resource: Written by Adam Rise
Within each of the type of saddles, English saddles and Western saddles, you'll also observe specialty saddles. You'll often notice a roping saddle has a lower back then perhaps a barrel saddle, and a three-day eventing saddle will be made very durable. Find out more tips about saddles at:

Article From Pet Article World

Familiarize Yourself with African Cichlids Breeding

Thursday, February 24, 2011

There really comes a time when a pet owner would love to breed their own fishes. As a matter of fact, African cichlids breeding has been a common practice for most fish enthusiasts. Since these types of fishes are very popular, it is somehow rewarding to have a few of your own. Inter-breeding different species of African cichlids enables one to come up with cichlids with unique color. Now, that's another feather on one's cap.

Although breeding African Cichlids is exciting as it may sound, it still involves some sort of hard work and discipline. It would also require you to do some research. Studying the ins and outs of the process like what you are doing now can really help.

Black and Yellow Striped Cichlid by DNAagram
First thing you should know is that most species of African Cichlids are mouthbrooders. When this is the case, the female cichlid keeps her eggs inside her mouth. Male African cichlids do a dance-like routine to woo the female cichlid. Once you see this seemingly unusual behavior from your male cichlid, you should start monitoring the next events.

After the actual mating process, the female will lay the eggs in the water. The male cichlid should be able to fertilize the eggs before the female takes it in her mouth. The whole process is repeated until there are fertilized eggs. The unfertilized ones are just left behind.

There is sometimes a stumbling block in breeding African Cichlids. How do you get the female and male cichlids to mate? You won't have a problem with this if you have a few female cichlids in your tanks.

You see, male African cichlids tend to fight with one another when the female cichlid is ready for mating. The fights can turn ugly and may lead you to lose some fishes. The key to this situation is to have one male and probably three female cichlids. This way, the male would have controllable aggressiveness.

Bear in mind that female cichlids must undergo necessary preparations prior to her spawning period. She must be at the pink of health. Also, take the time to ensure that she's well-fed. Female African cichlids usually go by without food during her spawning season.

Remember that female cichlids are mouthbrooders. The eggs stay inside the mother's mouth for at least two months. Feed the female as frequent as you can because she can only take little food during this time.

After the fry hatches, you need to put them in a separate tank. Otherwise, the mature cichlid will mistake them for food. The fry needs to be in a tank away from other mature fishes. Also, try to separate the mother cichlid as she needs to recover. She won't be able to do so if she has to deal with bullying from other fishes.

There is surely a lot to learn when it comes to African cichlids breeding. However, your patience would surely pave way for more worthwhile discoveries. Just pay close attention and love your cichlids more. They would surely reward your hard work.

Author Resource: Written by Larry Pearson
Is your cichlid always sick and unhappy? Are you looking for resources to help care and breed healthy beautiful cichlids? Larry Pearson is an authority on caring and breeding cichlid fish.
If you want to learn more about aggressive cichlids breeding and how to keep healthy and beautiful cichlids visit to sign up for his 10-Part FREE Email Mini-Course.

Cat Claws - A Sticky Subject

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cat claws are optimized for stealthy hunting and for defense. Your cat will also entertain you when you offer her a gift-wrapped package to open. Nothing like ribbons and noisy paper to tear into with her razor sharp cat claws.

Have you ever looked at your cat's claws? If you gently press on his paw pad, the little sword will pop out so you can have a good look at it. Just look at those things. You would never consider cat claws a form of skin!

Nature's Scratching and Sharpening Post by Arnaud Soyez
Your cat's little swords are more similar to skin than to bone. Your cat's claws undergo the same process to regenerate as does skin or hair. They are, in fact, a form of skin.

Cat claws have a dermis and an epidermis. Keratin forms the outermost layer of the outer epidermis. It forms a horn-like protein called the cuticle. This cuticle is hard and white and is actually dead tissue. Its job is to protect the living tissue on the inner part of the cat claw.

The inner tissue is called the quick. You can tell this easily because it is pink colored. It's pink because that is blood. There is also nerves at the quick. Cat claws regenerate with cells much like your skin regenerates.

Each claw is attached to the terminal bone of your cat's toe and is held in place by a thin layer of skin. Tendons above and below the toe bones are what your cat uses to extend and retract his claws.

One reason your cat can sneak up on prey is because his claws retract. Unlike a dog who's toenail clicky, clack across the kitchen floor, your cat walks silently without all that racket. Watch out mouse!

Your cat's claws perform other life saving functions. Your cat can escape a chasing coyote or dog by running up a tree. He can use his cat claws to rip away at another animal trying to harm him. Extended cat claws are essential to fend off predators.

The average cat has 18 claws-four on each hind paw and four on each front paw plus a dew claw. The dew claw is sort of like a human thumb without all the dexterity.

Although claws really don't present a problem to your cat, claws can be a problem for cat owners. Cats absolutely must scratch. That's where the problem come into play.

When your cat scratches away at your couch or carpet or table leg, then you get perturbed. Cat scratching is innate behavior, meaning that it's part of their nature.

They scratch for three reasons: to leave visual markers; to mark territory with scent glands in their paws; to slough off the old outer layer of their claws.

It really is easy and far more cost effective to provide your kitty with a good cat tree that he can use for his shedding his cat claws and marking. They love sisal and that is a better choice than a carpet covered cat tree.

Author Resource: Written by Kate Rieger
Try the natural remedies found at to keep your kitty healthy and vigorous. Find help for cystitis in cats at

Article From Pet Article World

GPS Pet Collars to Find Your Pet Quickly

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time is of the essence when your pet goes missing. The faster you react the greater your chances are of getting him back safe and sound. Some years back, if your pet was lost, the only recourse you had was to contact your local pet clinics and put up missing posters. Valuable time was lost going from pillar to post asking people if they had seen your pet and trying to track him down. The longer it took to find him, the greater the odds of him wandering off irretrievably. This was a bleak prospect to any pet owner and a heart breaking one as well.

Dog Wearing a GPS Tracking Collar by Fredrik Norum
As technology and time progressed, ID collars and microchips were introduced. However, neither of these offered any definite solution and the chances of finding your missing pet was only marginally improved.

Microchips had the added hassle of taking your pet to a veterinarian to get the chip implanted. Once this was done, if your dog went missing, you had to hope that he would turn up at a clinic or pet shelter that had the required scanners to access your personal information and return him to you. All in all, these methods were too time consuming and not always effective.

The past few years have seen a new product released that promises to find your pet as quickly as possible. This product is the GPS Pet Locator which uses the latest technology to provide you 24/7 access to your pet's movements. Using the same principles as when used in automobiles and phones so far, GPS systems are hooked up to a vast network of satellites and can pin point the location of an object or person anywhere, around the clock.

With the help of Google Map technologies, GPS Pet Locators such as the SpotLight not only tell you where your pet is at any point in time but also give you step-by-step directions on how to get to him. SpotLight and its value-priced counterpart SpotLite are available from Securus and aim to provide the quickest way to track and locate your missing dog.

How it works is simple. You attach the device on to your dogs existing collar. Being lightweight and sturdy, you can be assured that SpotLite will withstand the test of time and the most energetic of doggie behavior. Once the device is activated, you can create certain SafeSpots or zones such as your back yard or even the local park. Now, if your dog happens to move out of any of these SafeSpots, you will be alerted via text or email. This gives you enough time to try and get him back to safety as soon as possible. The SpotLite also provides you with a weekly log of your dog's movements. In this way, you can even pre-empt any further dangers and potential problems.

The SpotLight comes with a powerful LED beacon and rechargeable batteries. The LED light can even be remotely powered on and becomes especially useful when your dog is lost in the dark. There is a Rescue button on the collar device, that if pressed notifies you and AKC Companion Animal Recovery Spotters of your dog's whereabouts. Finally, both SpotLight and SpotLite come with a unique AKC CAR ID. This gives you access to the best retrieval hotline in the country with professionals on call 24/7. Thanks to Securus and SpotLight, your pet will now be returned to you as soon as possible.

Author Resource: This article is Co-authored by Chris Newton & Lewis Sheats, from Securus, Inc. For more information about GPS Pet Tracking System, visit

Article From Pet Article World

Tips on Bathing Your Horse

Monday, February 21, 2011

In the past, many horse owners and trainers did not bathe horses because they were afraid of stripping the bacteria and natural oils from the horse's coat. As more horses are being used in competition, they must look and be clean so horses are being bathed on a more regular basis, especially during the summer months. There's nothing better than a clean horse, so you want to be sure that you are bathing them correctly to preserve the natural oils and bacteria on the horse's skin.

Oh Yeah, That's the Spot by Beth L. Alexander
The first thing that you will want to do is go to your local tack shop or feed store and find a shampoo that is pH balanced for the horse. It is very important that you use a horse shampoo that is specially formulated for the horse as they are mild and will not strip the coat. The more you will be bathing the horse, the milder the shampoo needs to be. There are also conditioners designed for horses that are designed to replenish the oils in the horse's coat. These oils are important because they are what gives the horse its water repellent coat.

Frequent baths can be really hard on hooves and will cause them to crack over time. Painting the walls, soles and heels of your horse with petroleum jelly or ISP Ointment will help to seal the hooves and keep water out. Some horses are also prone to dry skin over time after several baths as well. You can rub their legs with an aloe-vera lotion or baby lotion to soothe their skin. If you do use lotions wrap the legs with bandages so that shavings and dirt will not stick to them. Remove the bandages when the legs are dry.

Geldings and stallions will also benefit from a sheath cleaning every six months. There are special formulas for cleaning sheaths, but you can also use plain water. Don't use soap, as it will irritate this sensitive area. You also want to move slow and easy while working in this area.

Remember, if it's too cold for you to get wet then it is too cold for your horse. Horses don't like cold baths, especially if you have to use cold water too. The bathing process can be a nice one on a hot day and they will surely appreciate the cool off. To keep your horse clean after the bath, because they will all try to roll, walk the horse until it is dry.

Author Resource: Written by Emma Thompson
Emma writes for Think Horses an equestrian classifieds website.

Dog Tuxedos – Formal Wear for Dogs

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dogs are part of our families. We feed them everyday; make sure they have plenty of water. We buy them lots of toys so they won't chew up all of our stuff. We give them a nice bed to sleep on, sometimes right next to ours. When it is cold outside, we put on their sweater before we go out. When we get married, what will your dog need? A dog tuxedo!

Wedding Day Woofer by Laura Jess
Dog tuxedos provide the opportunity your pet needs to walk down the aisle next to you. Since he will be included in this very important day, he needs a very special outfit. If your dog is not in the wedding party, perhaps he will be an invited guest. There are many different styles of wedding outfits designed just for dogs. The dog tuxedo is the most popular, but what if he doesn't really like to wear clothing? A necktie or bow tie would be perfect, just a little something to dress him up for the special occasion.

How do you decide what your dog will wear? Consider how comfortable your dog is in clothes. If he already has lots of outfits, if he wears something new everyday, then the sky is the limit. Aside from a tuxedo, he could wear a colorful shirt, maybe something that coordinates with the wedding party. Perhaps a special dog shirt that says "Ring Bearer" or even "Bridesmaid" would do the trick. A doggie bow tie would give him a touch of class, or a necktie in a fabulous fabric. He could also wear a ruffled scarf, one designed just for dogs.

Finding the perfect formal wear for your dog is not difficult. Keep his comfort in mind above all else. It is possible for pets to be part of such important events as weddings and parties. Give him something special to wear too. It will show him that he is an important part of the family.

Author Resource: Written by Linda Beckemeyer
Linda Beckemeyer is the owner of Doggie Clothesline. See her dog wedding apparel and dog harness collection for pampered pooches.

The Golden Apple Snail

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Golden Apple Snail is a popular addition to most types of freshwater aquarium due to their colour and size. They are native to Southern and Central America and Southern USA. If looked after and cared for correctly they can reach a size of up to 6 inches in diameter.

Golden Apple Snail by Roo Reynolds
Apple Snails are voracious herbivores. Devouring most plant life in your aquarium and rasping on algae growing in your tank. Although they have extremely good appetites and cannot survive purely on the algae growing in your aquarium and will require additional food. They will scavenge for any left over foods such as flake food and pellets and can also be fed algae wafers or even vegetables such as blanched lettuce and cucumber.

They are not overly fussy about the water parameters they live in. They do require space though as they will grow to their potential maximum size regardless of the size of your aquarium. One problem that I have often seen in Apple Snails is a lack of calcium in their diet and water causing the softening and cracking of their shell. If this occurs then a good remedy is to scrape some cuttle fish, available from most pet store, in to their water and let it dissolve. This should raise the calcium levels in the water and lead to a healthier shell on your Apple Snail.

The optimum temperature for Apple Snails is between 18 degrees c and 26 degrees c. Although they can be kept in cooler water you will find that they are less active and will eat and grow slower than when they are housed in warmer water.

Apple snails, unlike some other snail species, need two separate sex snails to reproduce. They generally reproduce during a time of warmer water and when higher quality food is in abundance. Apple Snails lay their eggs in a medium sized, pink coloured egg case outside of the water. Usually in the lid of your aquarium. leave the egg case in position and soon enough the baby snails will hatch and make their own way into the water. Feed the baby snails well on a mixture of algae wafers, cucumber and daphnia and brineshrimp.

Author Resource: Written by Tom Williams

A Complete Guide to Bearded Dragon Nutrition

Friday, February 18, 2011

Because bearded dragons eat an extremely diverse range of insects, vegetables, fruit and flowers, they're not difficult to feed. However the important thing to remember is that they also need good nutrition. So it's not as simple as finding just any old leftovers in your kitchen. Whilst this is possible you need to be very aware of exactly what you're feeding your beardie and if that food provides the nutritional benefits he or she needs.

Bearded Dragon Getting Some Greens by fro_Ost
To start with let's talk about greens. There are a number of options to choose from here. They include collard greens, which are the most popular choice, dandelion greens and mustard greens. People make a terrible mistake when they feed their dragon lettuce. Whilst it's not exactly harmful or poisonous it doesn't contain any nutritional value whatsoever, making it a particularly bad choice when it comes to designing your beardies balanced diet. Some types of lettuce are more nutritionally deficient than others such as iceberg lettuce. But nonetheless all types of lettuce should be avoided. The other type of green to be mindful of is spinach. This is ok to feed to an adult in small amounts but should never be fed to a juvenile as it is high in oxalic acid.

You'll also want to make sure you provide a variety of vegetables. These can be fresh or frozen, either is very nutritious. There are many options to choose from such as beans, peas, pumpkin, zucchini and much more. So this should be easy to come by and may already be found in your fridge. Also feed your beardie flowers such as daisies, dandelions or hibiscus if possible and choose some fruits like berries, squash and apples as a treat.

Protein is also a very important part of a bearded dragon's diet. Generally this comes in the form of crickets, roaches or mealworms. Crickets are usually the insect of choice for many beardie owners. However roaches and mealworms are not uncommon. Crickets are also the healthiest option as mealworms tend to be very high in fat. As a guideline most people suggest that you feed your beardie as much as he or she will eat in 15 minutes. In most cases this method works and I'd suggest you give it a go. However just be aware of how much your dragon is eating and be careful to observe any weight gain. Some beardies have huge appetites whilst others don't, so you might need to begin regulating his or her protein intake. Another important point to mention is insect gut loading. This is for when you choose to breed your insects yourself. You want to feed them highly nutritious food for at least a couple of days before feeding them to your dragon. This is important because they pass on all the goodness when ingested.

Finally you should always dust your bearded dragons meal with a calcium supplement at least every second day. This provides them with the nutrients they need to keep them active and healthy. Some people provide calcium in other ways such as feeding foods which are high in calcium regularly or by using a calcium sand substrate. The calcium sand is not recommended though as it only provides the calcium when ingested and this is something you want to avoid. It is ok to feed foods high in calcium as this is a more natural way of doing it. However most choose to dust their food with calcium as they can monitor exactly how much calcium they are receiving.

Author Resource: Written by Lauren Powell
To learn more about bearded dragon nutrition bearded dragon nutrition, try Bearded Dragon Answers, a free site that provides information on how to care for and keep healthy bearded dragons.

The Brittany Spaniel - Equally at Home on Hearth or Field

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Brittany Spaniel - sometimes called simply the "Brittany" - is one of the most popular birding dogs, but has also become a very popular family pet. The attractive coloration and easy temperament have brought it into many homes. Still, there are a number of bird hunters who are Brittany Spaniel enthusiasts.

Brittany Spaniel by Pharaoh Hound
The origin of the Brittany Spaniel is up for some debate. Some people believe the breed is a direct descendant of other spaniels, though others aren't sure this is true. Regardless of the bloodlines, it seems fairly obvious that the breed either originated or was brought to Brittany, France, where it gained popularity with hunters. What is clear is that the first Brittany Spaniel was officially shown in the late 1800s at a dog show in France. The beautiful dog was an immediate sensation, though it would be some four decades before the breed was recognized by dog organizations.

Though many people are adopting Brittany Spaniels as family pets, remember that these dogs were bred for stamina. They need plenty of exercise and that means that they need time outdoors. As a rule, they'll run and play by themselves, but they seem to prefer to play or hunt with their people.

Remember that these dogs were bred for hunting. They love to hunt and are almost ready to accompany their hunter on the next expedition. Some readily make the transition from indoor dogs to hunting and then readily come back inside with their "indoor manners."

They like cooler weather and will not let cold temperatures or even rain keep them penned indoors, given the opportunity. If possible, Brittany Spaniels will get their exercise from running and playing off leash. If you have to keep these dogs on leash, be prepared for a work out of your own!

Brittany Spaniels have a medium-length coat. It's easy to maintain with regular brushing, but you'll need to be sure nothing is tangled in it when they return from hunting trips or romps through the woods. The coat has a white base with spots that are either orange, liver or black. Combinations of colors occur occasionally. It's important to note that some canine clubs do not accept black Brittany Spaniels. Usually, ears and most of the face are the same color as the spots. Noses are always white. A black nose on the Brittany Spaniel is considered a disqualifying feature. Tails are naturally short, though some breeders dock dogs that are born with long tails, depending on the region.

As is true with many breeds that are extremely active and sensitive, the Brittany needs good socialization at an early age. Some of these dogs can become shy to the point of cowardly if they do not have that socialization or if they're treated badly. Consistency is vital to establishing good behavior.

The fact that these dogs can move from outdoors to the family hearth makes them a good choice for the hunter who plans only to keep one or two dogs. Though they may be more closely bonded to the hunter, they will also likely bond with all members of the family.

Author Resource: Written by Charles Kassotis
For more information on Brittany Spaniels and other Popular, and not-so-popular breeds of dogs, visit The Sporting Dog Directory

Tips on Banggai Cardinalfish Care and Spawning

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cardinalfishes or Pterapogon are classified to the family Apogogonidae. Over 200 individual species comprise this genus. Cardinalfishes are endemic to both that Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These ray finned fish are primarily a marine species. Although, they also inhabit brackish water found where bodies of saltwater and freshwater come together.

Cardinalfish can be distinguished by their disproportionately large mouths and the division of their dorsal fins into two different fins.

The Banggai or Pterapogon kauderni is the cardinalfish most commonly raised by home aquarium owners. Banggai cardinalfish is native to the shallow water reef systems found around the twenty-seven island cluster of Banggai Archipelago in Indonesia.

Banggai Cardinalfish by Tom Weilenmann
This cardinalfish is relatively small, only growing to a total length of approximately four inches. They have a striking color pattern consisting of three black bars running vertically across the head and body. They have prominent black anterior edges on their anal and second dorsal fin. They also have a white dot patterning that develops during adolescence. Banggais have a maximum life expectancy of five years.

Banggai are an excellent choice for amateur saltwater aquarists. This is an extremely robust and docile creature. They are rated reef safe and can be easily kept with most fish typically found in marine reef aquarium. These fish function better in groups. You should have at least six if you intend to keep them in your aquarium. Avoid mixing them with more aggressive species.

Like many reef fish these fish are hiders and will require plenty of hiding places. They have a special affinity for live hiding places. Young fish display a preference for sea anemone. Adults and juveniles prefer the company of long-spined sea urchins, branching corals, and sea stars.

Banggai are nocturnal. So you will seem them most active in a dimly lit aquarium.

Unfortunately these fish are in such high demand that collecting them for the aquarium industry is threatening them with extinction in the wild. Recent surveys identified a drastic decline in the numbers of two different species from 2001-2004. The population off Limbo Island has been fished into extinction.

Cardinalfish are carnivores. They will eat frozen or dried foods formulated for marine carnivores. You can also feed them vitamin enriched brine shrimp or finely chopped fresh shrimp or squid from your local grocer.

Spawning Banggai Cardinalfish
Fortunately, for their continued long-term survival as a species, this fish is known to breed in captivity. Males and females are similar in coloration. Males can often be distinguished by their larger oral cavities. The male's jaws will become darker when it enters into its breeding cycle. The female's body will become rounder as eggs develop insider her.

Banggai have a tendency to pair up for spawning purposes. Once paired, the mating couple will establish a spawning territory away from the main group and will defend it vigorously. You will want to remove the fish to a breeding tank once they start showing signs of pairing. The breeding tank will also require plenty of hiding places.

The female will lay extraordinarily large eggs for a fish of her size. She should be removed from the tank once she has laid her eggs. Cardinalfish are mouthbrooders. The Benggai male will gather the eggs into the protective cavity of his mouth. He will keep the eggs and fry in his mouth until they are fully developed. The developmental period ranges from 20-30 days. The male will not eat until after he releases the fry.

He will be quite hungry by the time the fry are released. You will want to watch the tank carefully and remove the male promptly after release to prevent him from devouring the fry. Fry can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.

Author Resource: Written by Stephen J. Broy
The hottest new trend in saltwater aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish can't be kept in a traditional saltwater tank setup. They need specially designed Jellyfish Tank Aquariums to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish tanks don't require the constant upkeep normally associated with saltwater aquariums. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish for home aquariums because of their exotic beauty and ease of care. Find out more about Moon Jellies and other Pet Jellyfish. Jellyfish are among the most interesting creatures in the aquatic kingdom.

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Spiders' Increasing Popularity As Exotic Pets

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spiders can be really amusing to observe. They move about quietly and are known to cope well in several types of environments. Maintenance is likewise not very difficult as they are generally clean and don't leave much clutter. These account for the growing popularity of keeping spiders as exotic pets. Would you like to buy exotic pets?

However, as spiders are generally seen as low-maintenance pets, owners at times fail to recognize that taking care of them is, in fact, not that straightforward. There are still many things to take into consideration. Thus, having spiders as pets as a result of mere influence of their popularity shouldn't be the case. You must also remember that, just like in taking care of other types of pets, a high level of responsibility is involved.

Pet Tarantula by Magelet
If you are a first-time owner, it would be wise to choose those which are neither fragile nor treacherous. Tarantulas like Chilean Rose, Mexican Redleg, and Costa Rican Zebra belong in this category. Their venom isn't very harmful but is instead similar to that of the bees. Strength of venom is one of the important things that you have to check at the very start of your search for an exotic pet spider. Mild venom may cause significant pain. Hairs on their abdomen are equally harmful as they may shed it in moments of threat and stress and may cause irritation and great hazard when they get into the eyes. You have several options but, in general, prior to acquiring any type, you have to check with your local government if there are policies regulating such.

Many people are in search of the perfect pet. Whether you are single, newly married, married with four children, or about to retire, there are some things to consider when you begin looking to include a pet into your family. When you think of having a pet, you most likely think you have to choose between having a dog or a cat, but in reality there are countless animals that can become ideal pets.

To maintain their suitability to become pets, you have to create a habitat that closely mimics their natural living environment. This need not be expensive or spacious as a simple terrarium may be enough. You also don't have to worry about giving them companions of the same species as they are usually not after socialization. By nature, they are also predatory thus they may just end up eating their companion even if it is a fellow spider. What you have to check is the enclosure as spiders are good climbers and they can easily pass through small holes or crevices. They may escape if their habitat isn't secure enough.

Taking care of spiders indeed isn't that easy. They deserve respect just like any other animal. At the same time, you also have to protect yourself from possible harm that they may inflict. Overall, acquisition must be a result of careful research and consideration.

If your pet can feel happy when there is the cause to, then why do you think it can't feel sad and grieve when there is cause to?

Author Resource: Written by Neo Lim
Would you like to buy exotic pets?

How to Groom Your Chinchilla Properly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chinchilla dust allows your pet to stay clean. If they were still living in the Andes Mountains, they would have to use volcanic ash to stay clean. Oils and dirt stay in your pet's coat because of the dust. The dust then causes the oil and dirt to be released from your pet. This is the process of how the chinchilla's fur is cleaned.

A chinchilla's cleanliness relies on regular dust baths. If they don't have them, they can end up being stressed which can turn into health issues. They can also suffer from behavioral issues as well. When it's warm, give your pet a fresh dust bath every other day for about ten minutes. Their fur will not be matted and greasy. If their fur stays like that, they can get overheated. When it's cold, you should dust bath your pet twice a week. When you're giving them a dust bath, cover the cage with sheets to prevent dust from flying everywhere.

Chinchilla Taking a Dust Bath by Ikayama
You can give your chinchilla a dust bath every day if their skin doesn't get dry. They did it when they were running wild. This may help them especially if their fur is continuously matted and greasy. You may want to consult a veterinarian just to be sure.

It's not good to smoke around your pet. The second hand smoke is detrimental to your pet's health as it is a human's health. The tar from the cigarette covers their fur. The chinchilla would be able to taste the smell because they clean their fur with their mouths. The tar is ingested in their bodies. You must give a new chinchilla in your care a wet bath if you find this to be the case for your pet.

Another idea for the dust bath is to mix Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to the mix. This helps your pet to smell fresh. If your pet is urine-sprayed, wipe him with a damp cloth and dry them completely with a towel. Then you can administer the dust bath. Usually the chinchilla learns to roll in the dust bath from their parent. If not, that means that the parent was not throughout in their training of the pet.

If your pet is sensitive or allergic to dust, you should wipe their nose. The sensitivity can result from inhaling particles. You will know this by the chinchilla clearing their nose. Other symptoms include the eyes watering. You must beware when you see this happening to your pet. It could be a sign of pneumonia or an issue with the respiratory system.

If your pet is not using the dust bath, give him a massage everyday. Once your pet starts accepting feeling the cleanliness, he'll use the dust bath on his body. If they still refuse it, it may mean something more serious, like an injury. You will know this if they don't move around like they normally do or if they can't roll without feeling pain. They may also refuse it because of the texture of the dust bath. Some stores carry a heavier texture than others. If that's the case, check with the pet store to see if they have a lighter texture.

However you do it, make sure that your pet feels clean and fresh at all times.

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

Article From Pet Article World

Pet Lizards Basics

Sunday, February 13, 2011

There are approximately 5,000 "known" species of lizards around the world and a lot of them have become popular in terms of becoming household pets. The range in size, shape, color and look is so wide that breeders and ordinary pet lovers find them very interesting and for some, they consider their pet lizards as their collection.

But there are a few things one must remember when owning or planning to own a pet lizard. Unlike cats or dogs, these animals are usually unfriendly. Most lizards don't like being handled and are aloof, if not apprehensive, towards humans. So proper care and precaution must be observed when owning and handling one.

That's One Way to Keep Warm by Lima Orosa
Lizards are complex animals. Just because you've had experience in owning or caring for other kinds or types of pets does not mean that owning a lizard would be relatively easy for you. These creatures have strict diets to follow. They have dietary and needs that you can't just simply guess and there are specific requirements for their tanks or housings.

If you are just a beginner in the field of owning a lizard, make sure to research all the important information first on how to care for pet lizards before you set off to buy one. There are various species of lizards that you could own, some look better than others while some look meaner or scarier than others.. Don't make the mistake of getting one simply because it looks cool or because it looks scary and you can use it to play pranks on your little sister.

Your very first consideration should be your ability to own and raise a complicated animal for a pet. If you think you can't handle owning one, then it would be best not to, but if you are insistent, then get those that are more manageable and will not give you too much trouble.

When you get your first lizard, make sure that you house it in a tank with enough space for your pet to move around and grow. Some breeders will opt getting two tanks for their pets. A small tank while the lizard is still a hatchling and another one when the pet lizard has become an adult. There is nothing wrong with this but it's a waste of money. Instead of getting two housings, just get one that will be enough to house an adult lizard. This way, you don't have to transfer your pet from one housing to another.

In terms of diet and nutrition, the needs depend on every species. There are lizards that feed exclusively on insects, there are lizards that are vegetarians, there are lizards that eat small mammals, birds, fish and insects, while there are lizards that eat everything that will fit in its mouth. Before you get your pet lizard, make sure that you know what their diet is so that you could prepare your daily budget for their dietary needs.

These reptiles, just like every other animal in the planet, do get sick as well. Unlike other animals though, lizards won't show you their sick until it's too late. They either don't feel that they are sick or they are so good at pretending to be healthy. So be cautious of your pet lizards health and lifestyle in order to avoid severe illnesses that could cause its death.

These are just a few reminders and information that you might want to know about lizards. If you want to know more about Pet Lizards, the type that are popular and manageable to own for beginners, and how to properly care for and feed pet lizards, visit: Pet Lizards for more readings.

Author Resource
This article is written by Rio Regio, a budding writer that is harnessing his skills by composing articles on various unrelated materials with varying difficulty, popularity and theme. The article you have read is just a sample of Rio's skills as a writer. If you want to read more of his works, click Pet Lizards

How to Train a Rabbit to Use the Litter Box

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Training a rabbit to use the litter box is not very hard. Rabbits are pretty smart so you can train them to do lots of things besides litter training. Litter training will give your rabbit the freedom to be adventurous around the house while not having to pick up after him/her. Chewy our rabbit was relatively easy to train when we first got him. It took about a week or so for him to get use to the litter box and it is basically his home base now. Here are a few tips to help you started in training the rabbit to use the litter box.

Rabbit in Its Litter Box by Amanda Warren
A reason that it was so easy to train Chewy was that he was neutered. A rabbit being neutered or spayed (depending on if it's a male or female) makes a big difference in training. Rabbits like other animals like to mark their territory. During the earlier stages of their life hormones are increased. So having a neutered or spayed rabbit will make training easier and they will be much happier and healthier. Age is also a difference maker in litter training rabbits. Rabbits are easier to train the older they become. So keep that in mind when you're training a baby rabbit to use the litter box. You will have to have more patience with them.

Buy a litter box that is at least a bit bigger than the rabbit. If you buy one that is too small for the rabbit they will either not use the box or try to use the box and spill all their bathroom stuff onto the floor. Once you have found a litter box you need to buy the right litter for your rabbit. Some litters advertised are actually toxic for your rabbit. So you need to be careful on what type of litter you buy. There are some things you need to remember while shopping for litter. Rabbits spend a good amount of time inside the litter box. So make sure that the litter is comfortable for the rabbit. Also rabbits like to eat some of their litter. Make sure that the litter is okay for the rabbit to eat. Last thing is look for how well the litter can absorb liquids. The rabbit's urine has a really strong smell so you want litter that can absorb liquids well. I found a great website that has a list of all the different types of litter. (link in resource box) shows a chart with all sorts of litter they tried out. I personally put newspapers on the bottom of the box (making sure it is soy-based ink). Then I put paper pulp on top of the newspaper. Non-toxic, easy clean up, and Chewy enjoys it.

Whether you want the rabbit to have full range of the house or a couple of rooms you have to start small. Start with a small room in the house. Put the litter box in the room and observe the rabbit for awhile. If the rabbit does not go into the box just gently pick him/her up and put them in the box or move the box to where they do go to the bathroom. While the rabbit is in the box if he/she did their business inside the box feed him/her a treat showing them they did a good job. This will encourage them to go to the bathroom in the litter box.

The rabbit should be able to go to the bathroom in the box without any help after a couple of weeks. After the rabbit is comfortable you can ease them into other rooms and you can either add more litter boxes or continue training them to use one litter box. Make sure the rabbit has access to the litter box at all times or they will be forced to use another place. Make sure you clean the litter box occasionally. Twice a week is preferable.

Hope these tips help out in training your rabbit to go in the litter box. The rabbit will be much happier with the freedom to roam the house. And you don't have to worry about the rabbit going to the bathroom in random places.

Author Resource: Written by Russell Nguyen
How to train rabbits

Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Obesity in Your Horse

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everyone has their own perception of what equates overweight. A big bulky horse just like the front row of a rugby team might be heavy because of muscle. However if that excess weight and bulk is due to fat, then you need to be concerned. Epidemiological studies and statistics indicate that overweight horses are a growing ('scuse the pun) problem, reflecting the same trend in people and other domestic animals.

With that mindset I've compiled a list of 10 nutritional tips to help you maintain your horse's weight at all times, no matter what activity it might be doing.

Hefty Horse Grazing by David Domingo
1. Reduce calories not bulk; all horses should eat a minimum of 2.5% of their body weight as food, (includes hay, chaff, and bucket feed, i.e. ANYTHING he consumes!). Restricting intake to less, means your horse is at greater risk of developing: gastric ulcers, stereotype behaviour, colic, and dental problems. Soak hay for 12hrs if you cannot get hold of oat or barley straw. This removes most of the nutrition especially the calories, making it the horse equivalent of celery. You can then feed 'adlib' satisfying the horse's need for trickle feeding. BUT make sure you add the vits and mins back in by using a balancer, supplement or special vit/min treats.

2. The number of calories, (MJ of digestible energy) he eats needs to be less than the number of calories he uses. Increase the amount of work he does, borrow a jockey, lunge, ride and lead if you have 2 horses and only time to ride one.

3. Most horses resting, retired or in light work will consume excess calories just from grazing. Ignore the traditional advice of 1 horse/acre and overgraze the paddock with a minimum of 3-4 horses/acre, (make sure you pick up droppings and pull ragwort).You will be surprised just how little grass cover is needed to maintain weight on your horse. Horses and ponies don't get fat on 'fresh air'; they get fat on grass.

4. If you cannot 'overgraze' your grass with other horses, keep it cut; think how often the garden lawn needs cutting, your horse is consuming all this!

5. Rather than strip graze, put an electric fence in a u shape around the field so that the water is at the opposite end to the gate. This will increase the amount of exercise your horse has to do and therefore he will use more calories.

6. Weight loss must be slow and does not require you to 'starve' your horse. Rapid weight loss or restriction of food will lead to hyperlipaemia(high blood fat) or a reduced metabolism making subsequent weight loss more difficult. If your horse is obese, (20% over his optimum weight, then it will take at least a year to shift the weight).

7. It might be tedious but weigh any food you are giving including hay or haylage the first time you use the products. If the advice is to feed 500g a day of a balancer then find a yogurt pot or similar that holds 250g EXACTLY. This means that you will not be tempted to sneak the ¼ scoop up to ½ scoop!!

8. Take a photo on a monthly basis; you don't notice weight changes when you see your horse every day. Weigh using a scientifically validated weight tape fortnightly at the same time of day and fat score at the same time. Keep a diary of the changes.

9. Consider a muzzle. Horses standing in a stable use considerably less calories compared to those out moving around.

10. Remember that steady but active walking burns up more fat than trotting or canter work. Ensure that your horse gets at least ½ hr per day of brisk walk. Exercise is also protective against insulin resistance for both horses and humans.

Bonus Tips
11. Leave that rug off. Horses use 80% of their feed energy to keep warm. Insulate them with a rug and the extra calories will go on their back as fat.

12. Remember that calories are energy and energy is calories. If you have a cuddly laid back horse, he doesn't need extra calories to give him energy. Extra calories = more weight gain.

Author Resource: Written by Felipe Bazon
Got a question about equine nutrition? Feel free to ask them via the comment section and I'll kindly answer them as soon as possible.

American Curl - History and Breed

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boasting head adornments that could have easily been fashioned by a legendary hat designer, along with their opulently plumed tails reminiscent of a luxurious ostrich-feather boa, the American Curl has audiences in awe worldwide. Distinguished by truly unique ears that curl back in a graceful arc offering an alert, perky, happily-surprised expression, people break out into a big smile when viewing their first Curl. Designed exclusively by Mother Nature, the ears can be likened to those of a Lynx with long tufts fanning outward accentuating the swept-back look, while complementing the Curl's overall sophistication, stylish elegance, and dynamic presence.

American Curl Catching a Ride by Katja Maasing
Wake-up call! The alarm rings and emerging out from under the covers eager to start the day is your Curl buddy. Eyelid pats, nose kisses, and hairlicking prompt a gentle awakening. Then your eyes focus on that exuberant little Curl face, and another day begins. The Curl personality is truly unique. If not sleeping up high somewhere in a large salad bowl, figuring out with great determination just how to get into the shower with you, or assuming their spot right in front of a favorite TV show, they are patting at your glasses while you try to read the paper. Needless to say, Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soulmates adjusting remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything. When introduced into a new home, Curl's seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. Not overly talkative, the Curl's curiosity and intelligence is expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.

When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days they start to curl back staying in a tight rosebud position, unfurling gradually until permanently 'set' at around 16 weeks. This is the time breeders determine the kitten's ear quality as either pet or show in addition to the kitten's overall conformation. The degree of ear curl can vary greatly, ranging from almost straight (pet quality) to a show quality ear with an arc of 90-180 degrees resembling a graceful shell-like curvature. Although the distinctive feature of the American Curl is their uniquely curled ears, the medium-sized rectangular body, silky flat-lying coat, and expressive walnut-shaped eyes are equally indicative of the breed. They are available in both long and shorthair color and pattern varieties, and since there is minimal undercoat, the Curl sheds little and requires hardly any grooming.

Indeed, the discovery of a novel cat is an event of great importance to feline fans and fanatics, and especially true when it is inherently born to radiate well-being and good things to all fortunate enough to hold one. As the founder of this amazingly spiritual breed says, "They are not just 'decorator' cats. You might say that they are 'designer' cats, perhaps even signed masterpieces of a humor-loving Creator."

Pricing on American Curls usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National, National Breed and/or Regional winning parentage (NW, BW, RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After 12 weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations, and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.

About the Author
Animal44 is the owner and administrator of a discussion board that spans all aspects of cats. You may repost this article as long as all links and original content are included.

Peach Faced Lovebirds

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Peach Faced lovebirds are pint-sized bundles of joy. They have the full personality of parrots while being easy to house because of their size. My birds are little clowns, playing for hours at a time. They love to hang from toys, spin them around, and dance on your shoulder. I have had to watch my buttons! They love to pull them off my clothes! Such loving little birds: they love to snuggle and preen.

Peach Faced Lovebird by Keven Law
Many people believe lovebirds must be kept in pairs. This is simply not true. A single lovebird makes a better pet because it bonds to you rather than to another lovebird. While it is easy to keep a pair of lovebirds tame, if you plan on spending lots of time with your bird you can keep it alone. However, if you work long hours and don't think you'll have a lot of time for your love bird, I recommend you get him/her a companion. This will keep your lovebirds happy and prevent boredom. It is important to realize that while lovebirds are a small parrot, they have the intelligence and abilities of some of the largest parrots.

They never stop amazing me with their ability to escape their own cages. I have to put copper wire on the cage doors to keep them in, and sometimes they figure out how to untwist the wire and open the door!

Lovebirds will sometimes try to become the little bosses of the household. I recommend using the same type of gentle dominance training that is used for larger parrots.

Are you looking for a bird that you can teach to talk? Lovebirds can learn to mimic sounds and speech on occasion. However, I don't recommend that you buy any species of bird only because of the expectation that it will speak; even the famous African Greys sometimes don't learn to speak. So, if that is your only reason for buying a bird, I'd seriously urge you to reconsider as the bird could end up abandoned because of your own disappointment.

In my opinion, love birds and parrots both make great pets even if they never utter a word. We have both in our home. The lovebirds chatter away all day, never making a sound that anyone can understand, except as being simply 'noisy chatter.' However, our Double Yellow Head parrot makes up for it; his vocabulary is very long, extensive and he is constantly talking.

If you decide to breed love birds just remember they are prolific breeders. You may soon, as we did, find our home over run with lovebirds! And, as a word of caution, "do not" put bark chips in the nest of the baby birds. Though the odor is pleasant to humans and is good for older birds it is too strong for baby lovebirds. I must admit I learned the hard way and had casualties on my hands! Paper is the best thing to put in the nest along with some alfalfa. Do not get powdered alfalfa, rather dried alfalfa blades. If you decide to use paper, do cut the paper (newspaper is best) in long strips and put it beside the nest. Mama will take it into the nest. And, remember if mama snaps at you she is only protecting her nest!

Squabbling Lovebirds by Paul-W
My favorite lovebird is Lucky, so named as it was our first clutch and she was the only one, of six, that survived when I put the bark chips in the nest.

We do not have an aviary breeder, rather, our lovebirds are paired off in separate cages. The best way to tame babies quickly is to remove the babies from the next when they are about two weeks old and hand feed them. This way, the birds get the best of both worlds: the immunity conferred from their parents and the tameness that comes from being handled by humans.

Our lovebirds are abundance weaned so that they are happy, well-adjusted birds. We feed them pellets, a good seed mix, alfalfa, wheat grass, quinoa, sprouted beans, and other veggies and fruits. And, oh yes! Lovebirds love to not only eat grapes, but to toss them around also. In short, lovebirds love playing. They keep us entertained for hours. If you decide to get a lovebird for a pet, you will have made an excellent choice! ~Ms. CiCi~

Author Resource
Ms. CiCi has a gift of teaching, is an accomplished author and world traveler who enjoys sharing her life's experiences with others, making their life, their world a bit easier. Her writings expose her wealth of "secret information" so derived from her travels as well as drawing from her own personal wealth of wisdom. Ms. CiCi builds websites to help share her vast knowledge and great experiences. Do take time and visit:

Article Source:

Dwarf Russian Hamster Care

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dwarf Russian hamsters are often preferred over larger hamsters due to size and appeal of small hamsters. Dwarf Russian hamsters make great pets provided the owner keeps a few things in mind. This article will elaborate on the things you need to know to care for your dwarf Russian hamster.

Dwarf Russian hamsters need a cage that is escape proof since these little critters try to escape whenever possible. The cage you choose should either be an aquarium or a wire cage with sturdy metal. If you are choosing a tunnel or tube play cage then you should ensure that you pick up a cage that is large enough for your pet hamster. The cage you choose should also be easy to clean since you will need to wash the cage twice or thrice a month.

Dwarf Russian Hamsters by Alensha
After choosing a cage for your dwarf Russian hamster you will need to choose suitable bedding. Bedding soaks up urine and also keeps your pet warm. The bedding you choose should be absorbent but it should be safe for your pet. Pine shavings and cedar shavings are harmful to hamsters since they cause skin and respiratory problems. If you are on a budget then you can use clean old newspapers for bedding. You should also make sure that you change the bedding at least once a week preferably twice a week. Old bedding that collects urine and poop can cause skin problems for hamsters and it also accumulates harmful organisms like mold, mildew and insects.

The dwarf Russian hamster's diet consists of seeds, vegetables and fruits. These hamsters also eat hamster pellets but you should not feed hamster pellets more than thrice a week since hamsters also require fresh food. Vegetables should be given to your pet dwarf Russian hamster every day, fruits should be given thrice a week and seeds should be given twice a week. Most Russian dwarf pets love tomato and cucumber but both these foods should be fed maximum thrice a week. You can definitely give your hamster small pieces of cheese, boiled egg and cooked chicken twice a week.

Chocolates, avocados, coffee, sodas and processed foods meant for humans should not be given to hamsters. If you allow your hamster to play around the house or if you have kept a small plant in his cage then you should ensure that the plants in your house are safe for hamsters. Plants or vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides should not be given to hamsters since this can cause gastrointestinal problems. Teflon fumes and deodorant fumes are toxic to your furry pet so you should make sure that your pet does not inhale these fumes. Paint and household cleaners should also not be used close to your pet cage.

Dwarf Russian hamster make wonderful pets and they are fairly easy to care for you just have to follow a few simple instructions and make sure they have the proper food, housing and water at all times.

Author Resource: Written by Dawn Morris
For the most complete and up to date information on the care and raising of your pet dwarf hamsters. Go to

Proper Tiger Barb Fish Care

Monday, February 7, 2011

Many fish lovers choose to have an aquarium in their home or office. When deciding to have an aquarium, one should do some research to find out what types of fish do well with other fish and ones that do not. It is also very important to learn proper aquarium care as well. Many local fish and pet stores can give you the information that you need or you can find many resources available online.

Tiger Barbs by Mitja Mavsar
The Tiger Barb is a very popular fish to house in an at-home aquarium. They are very short, round shaped fish with tiger like stripes on their side. At a full grown size, they are about 3 inches long. They are very lively schooling fish that are known to be very aggressive with other fish. They are notorious for nipping the fins of other fish in their tank. It is not a good idea to have the Tiger Barb with Gouramis, Betas, Angelfish, or any other fish that has long fins. A community tank is not recommended for this type of fish.

For proper Tiger Barb care, the tank needs to be completely cycled before adding them to the water. They are also very prone to a common parasite called Ich. You may want to have some kind of treatment available and on hand when you first add your Tiger Barbs to your tank. The optimal tank set-up will include hardy plant life, a soft gravel bottom and an open area for the fish to swim.

If the water conditions are optimal, the Tiger Barb will pair up and breed. They need soft and slightly acid water with a water temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That will encourage spawning. A spawning pair will scatter up to 200 eggs over the aquarium gravel. The parents should then be moved to another tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs hatch in about 3 days if they are not disturbed. Tiger Barbs will eat all types of live foods and fish food flakes. They are very active fish and are fun to keep and to watch. The Tiger Barb can be found in several color variations. Two of the most popular colors are the green and albino morphs. When they are kept in a school of six or more fish, they will make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Author Resource: Dustin Williams is an avid aquarist who has kept various types of freshwater aquarium fish for several years. He has learned much about the hobby from reading books and personal experience. To learn more about Tiger Barbs please visit

All Ferrets Go To Heaven

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On my fourteenth birthday, I'll never forget it, I got a pet ferret. I was a little hesitant about the present, but my dad assured me that ferrets made great gifts. Gee...thanks, I thought. Who wants a stupid ferret? I wanted a dog. Not just any dog, a rottweiler. I guess my dad had other plans. So just to be mean, I named the ferret 'Dookie', because it had some brownish fur spots. Within the first couple of hours playing with 'Dookie', I realized that ferrets were actually fascinating creatures. And the more I got to know 'Dookie the ferret', the more I began to realize just how cool ferrets really were. I grew to love my ferret.

Ferret Relaxing on the Sofa by originalpozer
Three years came and went and 'Dookie' was right by my side. We had survived most of high school, several girlfriends, and all-night cramming sessions, together. He was really one of my best friends. I took great care of my ferret, made sure to give him a bath, everyday. I cleaned his cage with special ferret deodorizer, three times a week. I made sure to fully ferret-proof my house and give him the proper diet. And because of my ferret care those three years, 'Dookie' grew to be a strong and intelligent ferret. What was special about my ferret was the way he'd find a way to make me laugh, everyday. You know how people say dogs have personalities, and they do. Well, ferrets have their own unique personalities, and to me, they're hilarious, fun-loving animals.

At the ripe age of 4, my pet ferret had reached his peak of life. 'Dookie' was a fully mature ferret, cunning and quick. But 'Dookie' was no match for one of his kinds most feared enemies; a reclining sofa aka ferret squasher. One day after a long football practice I let 'Dookie' out. I was always pretty confident about where it was he would go. Really, 'Dookie' roamed around the house like he owned the place. I knew that reclining sofas were potential ferret killers, my family had the sofa prior to me getting him. I see that my dad didn't look over his ferret information. Anyways, 'Dookie' had never, in the four years that I had him, climbed into the sofa. Keyword is 'into'. When my mom sat down on the reclining sofa, the chair folded up and there was a loud yelping noise. Right away I knew what had happened. I did not want to believe it at first. Worse, I could not stand to look under the sofa, to make sure that's what happened to my precious pet ferret. Half an hour passed and my mother came into my room. I'll never forget what she said, "All ferrets go to Heaven".

About the Author: Jim Worthington owns Pet Ferret Secrets which helps others learn about pet ferret care -

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5 Reasons to Avoid Buying a Dog From a Pet Store

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You pass a pet store window, and observe several cute puppies behind the glass. They seem happy, healthy, and friendly. It's tempting to venture inside the store, and inquire how much it will cost to take one home. You would be better served by continuing on your way.

Many people have heard that buying a dog - puppy or adult - from a pet store is a bad idea. Few aspiring owners, however, are familiar with the reasons. In this article, we'll describe a few of them. If you're thinking of taking home a pet store puppy, the following should give you pause.

Pet Store Puppies by jessiesgirl614
1 - A Poor Match For Your Lifestyle
The people who work at pet stores are trained to sell animals to those who want to adopt a pet. While they carry myriad products, the profit margins on animals are higher. Thus, their goal is to "move" the animals. Unfortunately, they often encourage people to adopt canines that are ill-fitted to their lifestyles.

Unlike a professional breeder or reputable shelter, both of which will make sure you know what to expect from the dog you're adopting, the store will simply push the sale. Sadly, many people are burdened with a poor match, which motivates them to abandon their canines.

2 - Puppy Mill Dogs
The puppies that are sold from pet stores often come from puppy mills. These are essentially breeding farms where pups are caged and mistreated. Some of them are malnourished. Others suffer serious health conditions brought about by the squalor in which they are forced to live. Still others suffer from socialization issues that may be challenging - even impossible - to address.

Why do pet stores sell puppies that come from puppy mills? Because the profit margins are high. As long as people continue to buy them, they will carry the inventory.

3 - Health Problems
Related to the previous point, many pet store dogs suffer from an assortment of health issues. Some, like digestive problems, hip dysplasia, and infections, are hidden from view. A casual inspection of the canine will fail to reveal them.

Sometimes, a store will extend a degree of coverage to those who purchase an animal in their care. This coverage is seldom exhaustive, however, and thus may not cover some of the diseases from which dogs can suffer.

4 - Behavioral Problems
Many of the canines at pet stores struggle with behavioral issues. In some cases, these issues are due to treatment they received at the puppy mills from which they arrived. Other times, behavioral problems have resulted from a previous owner's lax approach to training and discipline. As the problem worsened, the owner was finally forced to abandon his or her pet.

These issues are often difficult to address, even by a professional trainer. Over time, persistent separation anxiety, biting, and jumping on people, can strain the relationship between the canine and his owner.

5 - Contributes To The Puppy Mill Industry
One of the best reasons to avoid adopting a pet store dog is because doing so removes financial support from the puppy mill industry. As mentioned earlier, stores will continue to sell these puppies as long as people purchase them. This means new generations of canines will be bred and raised in these facilities. Those that remain unsold - or outlive their usefulness - are often euthanized.

Puppy Mill in Rural US by PETA
An alternative is to adopt a dog from an animal shelter. The employees at these facilities are keenly interested in finding a good match for the animals in their care. They realize that failing to do so leads many owners to abandon or return their pets. For this reason, reputable shelters will make certain the canines are healthy and friendly. When the pets display small behavioral issues, the employees will inform potential owners.

Buying a dog from a pet store can lead to many frustrating and expensive problems. Each of the reasons above pose a compelling argument against doing so.

About the Author: Written by Larry J. Reaves
Find the best dog bones and dog treats at

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