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

Neon Tetras in Your Tropical Fish Aquarium

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Neon Tetra fish are small freshwater fishes and very popular with tropical aquarium enthusiasts because of their bright colors and ease of care.

Probably the most popular tropical aquarium Tetra is the Neon Tetra. Originally from freshwater streams in Brazil, Columbia and Peru, it's a peaceful, community fish and quite suitable for the beginner aquarist.

Black Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra by fro_Ost
The Neon Tetra is a schooling fish and, as such, should always be kept with a community of 10 or so - they get lonely and sicken if alone. They prefer a somewhat dim environment, so a few floating plants to filter the light is recommended as well as a dark substrate flooring. In addition, place plenty of plants on the bottom of the tank for hiding spots- but leave enough room for some "open" swimming. Be aware that during the night, - when your Neon Tetra is hiding and resting - it will "turn off" its bright sparkling colors and it will look dull or dim. Light will gradually bring back their bright coloration.

The water temperature for Neon Tetras should be kept between 72F-78F degrees. Neon Tetras, in the wild are omnivores and eat a variety of foods including crustaceans, worms and small insects. They do love to eat, though, so be careful of over-feeding. Use a high quality flake food, with occasional supplements of daphnia, or brine shrimp for variety and they will do quite well. The pH balance of your tank should be from 5.5-7.5, which should be easy to maintain with such a nice span! Because their natural habitat has lots of rainfall, it is recommended that you replace your tank water frequently.

Neon Tetras, due to the wide range of waters in which they have been bred (whether in captivity or the wild), should be carefully acclimated into your tank to allow them plenty of time to adapt to their new home.

Neon Tetras are susceptible to - well - Neon Tetra disease. The official name is Pleistophora, which is the name of the sporozoan which causes the disease. There is no cure for the disease and the best way to avoid it is to prevent it from entering your tank in the first place. New fish should always be quarantined in a separate tank for a few days before being released into the main tank. The first sign of the disease are usually restlessness and a dull coloration. This is followed by cysts, which make the fishes body look lumpy. The Tetra will have trouble swimming and near the end the spine will become curved. By quarantining new fish you can help prevent the spread of this disease. Neon Tetra can also get Pleistophora from eating the bodies of dead fish - so be sure to remove any sick or dead fish as soon as possible.

Author Resource: Written by Anthony Higgins
Neon Tetras, with their bright colors, easy disposition and general good health are the perfect fish for the beginner in tropical freshwater aquariums. If you want to learn more visit Doctor Do for lots a tropical freshwater fish resources, including a great guide to get you up and running with your new hobby.

Help! My Dog Has Heartburn!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes, it's true! Dogs can get heartburn just like humans can, but the condition isn't nearly as frequent with our canine friends. Unfortunately, when they do suffer from a bout, they can't tell you what's wrong, and they can't just pop an antacid to take care of the problem. As your pet's owner and companion, you need to know what the signs of heartburn in dogs are as well as what you should do about it. Not all human treatments are effective on dogs, and some can even cause the problem to worsen, so you need to learn how to get rid of heartburn in dogs the right way.

Oh, Excuse Me, Dinner was a Tad Spicy by Gregory Wake
Some of the same things can cause heartburn in dogs as they do in humans. If your dog is experiencing stress, has developed food allergies, or isn't eating a balanced diet, the result can be heartburn. The condition can manifest itself in canines as vomiting or lack of appetite which will give you a clue about what's going on. Naturally, you want to do everything you can to alleviate these problems which should help your pooch feel better. Taking your pet to the vet is also a good idea, because the vet can check to make sure that something else isn't causing the symptoms.

Your vet will also be able to tell you if it will be all right to give your dog over-the-counter heartburn remedies and can tell you how much you will need to administer. For example, Reglan can be used to help empty your pet's stomach instead of allowing food to remain in the stomach where it can cause indigestion. Other common antacids that are safe for dogs under a vet's supervision include Zantac and Pepcid AC.

If you'd prefer to take a more natural approach to managing your doggie's heartburn, you might try soothing his throat using either slippery elm bark or marshmallow herbs. You can also make changes to his diet in case what he's eating or not eating is the cause of the problems. Although commercial dog foods are the answer to feeding many dogs, one who suffers from heartburn may benefit from a diet of home-cooked food or raw food that emulates the type of food he would eat in the wilds. You will eventually learn how to get rid of heartburn in your dog by trying different types of meals. As a rule, as your pet ages, the incidence of heartburn should decrease, because older dogs no longer produce a lot of stomach acid.

Author Resource: Written by Kristie Brown
Want more information on how to stop heartburn? Get more information, tips and resources here: How to get rid of heartburn fast.

Essential Dwarf Hamster Keeping Tips

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Although they may be smaller to the cousin species, Syrian Hamsters, the dwarf hamster requires the same amount of care. There are several different species of dwarf hamster and they all can make wonderful pets.

Hamster's First Birthday by Dan Derrett
Dwarf hamsters can often be more delicate, skittish, and faster to make an escape. Their small size allows them to fit into small cracks and spaces so they need a secure enclosure. Hamsters make their homes in tunnels that they dig themselves in the sand and dirt of their native homelands. Even though hamsters hoard food in their nests instead of leaving in a bowl, they'll still require a constant supply of new food and fresh water daily. But, because of their small size, the hamster habitats might be too large for them to be able to climb and maneuver in properly.

Luckily, they now make tubular habitats that are built smaller and specifically for mice. Dwarf hamsters do better in these types of enclosures. They will also do well in a 10-20 gallon tank or a wire cage. Hamsters are naturally active creatures. So a wheel that can be placed inside the cage and can be used to run on is extremely important. Some research has indicated that hamsters can run up to five miles on their wheel. There are smaller wheels specifically made for dwarf hamsters.

A substrate on the bottom of your dwarf hamster's cage will satisfy their natural burrowing instincts. Owners need to use a dust free and absorbent material like wood shavings but not cedar or pine based products due to the repertory problems these materials can cause. The substrate in the hamster's cage should be completely emptied out and replaced every week. Hamsters like to make nests out of the substrates in their cages. Owners can also offer their hamsters a number of other nesting materials like paper towels, cotton, shredded paper, or tissues. Their next will often be constructed in small places, kind of like a nesting box. Because they are naturally shy animals, they like the privacy that these boxes offer.

Because of their high metabolism, dwarf hamsters eat as much as the larger Syrian hamster. They eat different types of pellets, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables. Although hamsters tend to hoard their food in their nests rather then leaving it in their bowls, they still need to be offered a constant supply of fresh foods and a fresh water supply. Another important aspect that owners need to be concerned about is ensuring that their hamsters receive chewing toys. Dwarf hamsters have a high metabolism making them each as much as the larger Syrian hamster. Without soft wooden toys to keep them busy they are liable to chew on plastic accessories which could injure them if chewed to become rough and broken.

In addition to replacing the substrate of the hamster's cage on a weekly basis, the cage and all of its accessories need to be washed weekly. Owners can use a light solution of soap and water and make sure to rinse everything thoroughly. The cage should also be completely dry before new substrate is added to the cage. Never use harsh chemicals because this can irritate hamsters. Although they require a moderate amount of care, the joy of owning a dwarf hamster far out weigh the amount of effort that needs to be put into the care of these amazing creatures.

Author Resource: Mary Wilbur is a Dwarf Hamster expert. For more great information on Dwarf Hamster Pet for Kids, visit

Article From Pet Article World

Nano Reef Aquarium

Monday, March 28, 2011

There is a new growing popularity in the reef keeping hobby called Nano Reefs. As the name implies, a nano reef is a reef aquarium on a small scale; 2.5 to 29 gallons. The price of a nano reef is also on a small scale, from the tank itself, the lighting, and it takes less live rock and corals to make a very dramatic reef display.

It was often thought that the bigger the aquarium the easier it would be to keep the water parameters stable. You could not keep corals alive without a massive trickle filter, large efficient protein skimmer, and powerful metal halide lighting lights. The bigger the aquarium the more gadgets you could add to make the water quality pristine, from ozone generators, redox meters, ph controllers, and calcium reactors. You had to be a marine biologist and a chemist to maintain a coral reef aquarium. The nano reef aquarium would seem to go against all these principles. Can we really keep corals alive in a 10 gallon aquarium with no sump filter or a protein skimmer?

A Young Nano Reef Aquarium by Guilherme Morais
What has been learned through the years more than anything is, most of the biological filtration occurs in the live rock and live sand. Lighting has also played a role in enabling the reef aquarium to become smaller with the advent of power compact fluorescent and the smaller HQI metal halide lamps. Having invertebrates that sift through and clean the live sand and live rocks adds to the ecological balance of the tank. Most of the trace elements are replaced through strict regiments of 5% weekly water changes. There is yet to be a salt water mix that has adequate calcium and strontium levels for good coral growth and these elements should be maintained separately.

The best products to maintain calcium, strontium and other trace elements are made from aragonite, such as AragaMilk from CaribSea. So what is aragonite? Aragonite is fossilized coralline algae that has extracted minerals from the ocean to grow. Grinding aragonite into a fine powder and adding water creates a milky substance that precipitates quickly adding these minerals to the water naturally. Add a few drops to top off water to maintain calcium levels at 450 ppm. You will be amazed at the growth rate of SPS corals. Yes I did say SPS corals that can be easily maintained in a nano reef aquarium.

Fish For The Nano Reef Aquarium
Fish are a great addition to a nano reef, but you must take extra care of you nano. You will have to be sure to keep up with your water changes, because a small body of water can collect nitrates quickly. The following fish are nano reef safe: anthius, true and false percula, banggai cardinals, pajama cardinals, royal grammas, fire fish, clown gobies, pseudochromis, basslets, and most damsels. While you are not limited to just those fish, these are hardy and good for beginners. Keep the number small from 1 to 5 fish depending on the nano aquarium size.

Cleanup Crews For The Nano
A good cleanup crew will keep your nano reef running smooth, and free from algae, detritus, and other unwanted wastes. Commonly kept cleanup crew critters are red leg hermits, red tip hermits, sand sifter starfish, sand sifter gobies, turbo snails, and astrea snails.

Corals For the Nano Reef
There are may corals that are compatible with the nano tank. Soft corals would include zooanthids, zenias, star polops, and mushroom anemonies. Lps corals would include Fox Coral and Blastomusa. SPS corals do well with metal halide lighting. Acroporas and montiporas are the easiest to grow in a 24-29 gallon nano aquarium. SPS coral frags are the way to go in a nano reef. They are much cheaper and easier to ship. The benefits of buying corals online is the greater variety that cannot be found at your local pet store. Buying several items from the same seller can reduce shipping costs. Simply use some Marineland's Hold Fast, which is a two part epoxy similar to plumbers epoxy, to glue the coral frag to a live rock. Be sure to give them plenty of space for growth.

Author Resource: Written by RC Moore
Content writer for
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Treating Symptoms of Hookworms in Dogs

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hookworms are very common in dogs, most especially in puppies. Most of the time, puppies catch the disease more readily than full-grown dogs. Hookworms are tiny internal parasites that can infect a dog or puppy, and are sometimes fatal, most notably in puppies.

While the instance of hookworm is uncommon in older dogs, they may still be infected, but if they are, the infection is usually minor and recovery from the infection is fast. Dogs should always be protected from these parasites since they can cause such major damage.

Hookworm Attached to Intestinal Mucosa by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How a dog may contract hookworms:
Commonly, a dog picks up hookworms from infested soil. A dog may eat something off of the soil, and at the same time take in the eggs of the hookworms. Dogs can also be infected by roundworms, whipworms, or tapeworms in much the same way. Some of the larvae are able to burrow through muscle and membrane to the trachea, where they are coughed up and swallowed, ending up in the intestines. Other times, ingested eggs travel straight through to the intestines where they mature into adults and attach themselves to the intestinal walls. They feed on the blood of the dog and will make more eggs that are either expelled in waste by the dog, or they will go back into the bloodstream to continue the cycle.

What symptoms to look for with hookworms:
A dog's owner needs to look the dog over well for any signs of hookworm infestation. Some of the symptoms are anemia, weight loss, appearing weak or frail, and vomiting or diarrhea. A dog's gums may appear pale, and dark, tarry stools may be seen. You may also notice worm like parasites or eggs in the stool of the dog. The worst thing about hookworms is that the outward symptoms often occur only after complete infestation, when the larvae have matured into adults and have begun feeding on the dog's blood. This is especially bad for pregnant females, as the larvae may lie dormant in the dog, then get passed to the puppies before birth, or while they are nursing. Although hookworm disease is seldom fatal for the adult, it is often deadly in puppies, as their fragile immune system and small supply of blood makes them more susceptible to the dangers of the infestation.

Treatment of hookworms:
By inspecting the feces of your dog, a veterinarian can make an absolute diagnosis of hookworms. De-wormer medication is typically given to the animal to kill off the worms and help the dog evacuate them. The medicine is either a pill or liquid, and you should pay attention to the dosing recommendations of the medicine. Giving too little of the medication may not kill the worms, while giving your dog too much may actually poison him, leading to death.

Dogs typically get infested by hookworms a number of times during their lifespan. If your dog travels with you and is exposed to varied environments, he is more likely to contract the disease. It is advised to check your pet's feces periodically for signs of parasite infection, including hookworms.

Author Resource: Written by Rebecca Julia Ann
Rebecca J. Ann has a great passion for dogs. She loves dogs as much as she loves her family. Knowing that heartworm disease is one of the top 10 dog killers, she has built a site about Heartgard for Dogs, where you can find out how to prevent your dog from the deadly disease, heartworm disease. You can also read her article: Iverhart as good as Heartgard, which will help you choose the right preventative treatment for your dog.

Lighting, Heating and UVB for Chameleons

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chameleons, being reptiles, have a different attitude towards night and day, thus they are more sensitive to changing temperatures and lighting ad compared to humans and other warm-blooded animals. They are also more inclined to be active at night, and start their day once dusk takes place. However, when they are taken as pets, their lifestyle changes, and this becomes hard for them to adjust with. Hence, by the use of proper lighting and heating in their cages, chameleons will still be able to enjoy living with their owners as they think they are still living in their natural habitat.

Chameleon in Her Comfy Abode by jasmo
So, if you are going to install lighting and heating equipment inside your chameleon cage, it's best to follow these tips below:

1. Consider the proper placing of the light bulbs. Some owners just place the light bulbs anywhere they want to, or at any place at which the cage space can accommodate. Some owners on the other hand place lights in order to see clearly which directions their pet goes while inside the enclosure. However, lighting for chameleons serves a different purpose. When placed at the wrong positions, chameleons might get blinded by the light because the rays are just too much. Hence, when placing bulbs, particularly fluorescent ones, make sure that they allow only enough rays to get through the bottom of the cage; it is also recommended that they are placed just above the plants, so that there's still enough shade left for the chameleon to go to.

2. Use UVB bulbs at the lower parts of the cage. UVA and UVB bulbs have shorter wavelengths, and they become more useful during the darkness. Chameleons rely on UVB when hunting for food at night, however, since they are already in captivity, the ultraviolet rays serve to support the maintenance of their natural habitat, otherwise they will get homesick and depressed.

3. Offer sufficient heat inside the cage. Aside from light, chameleons also need humidity, and this can be generated not only by sufficient supply of water and mist, but also of heat. Thus, it is recommended to place a heater inside the cage to promote sufficient warmth for the chameleon to enjoy. This also encourages the development of better humidity, which is a crucial part of a chameleon's natural habitat.

4. Gauge the temperatures regularly. Things sometimes become too hot or too cold for a chameleon, thus you have to keep track of the changing temperatures inside the cage. If you don't know at which settings to adjust the heaters and misters, then you might as well make good use of a thermometer and hygrometer to measure the right amounts of heat and humidity in the enclosure. This way you will be able to set the surrounding tools properly and accordingly, thus keeping your chameleon happy.

Chameleons easily change their moods depending on their surrounding temperatures, thus it is important to keep their habitat cool and humid. Using the right tools will promote a more natural habitat, which chameleons love all throughout.

Author Resource: Written by Chris Smith
As a herp keeper, I have done tons of research on Chameleon Supplies to help keep your chameleons happy.

The Most Common Hedgehog Diseases

Friday, March 25, 2011

While hedgehogs are usually hardy little individuals, it may be inevitable that your hedgehog will become ill during the course of its life. Hygiene and a clean environment will go a long way to keeping your hedgehog healthy as will keeping its cage in a draft free part of the house. You should always keep hedgehogs within a temperature range of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

3-week-old Hedgehog by scpetrel
Respiratory Disease: Symptoms of respiratory disease include wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, lack of appetite and sudden death. Respiratory diseases in hedgehogs are usually caused by bacterial infections. Internal parasite infestations can also lead to respiratory disease, as can an inappropriate diet or dirty cage. Respiratory disease can start off mild but can quickly turn into pneumonia so you should never ignore any symptoms of respiratory disease. If your hedgehog exhibits any of described symptoms you should take it to the vet immediately.

Gastrointestinal Disease: Hedgehogs are susceptible to a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases, the most common being intestinal blockage. Symptoms of gastrointestinal obstruction are vomiting, severe lethargy and sudden loss of appetite. If left untreated coma and death ensue. Hedgehogs can develop intestinal obstructions and blockages by ingesting carpet fibers or swallowing foreign objects so always make sure you supervise your pet when it is out of its cage.

Urogenital Disease: While urogenital diseases are not very common in hedgehogs, they can develop bladder infections and bladder stones. Symptoms of bladder infections include difficulty in urinating and urine discoloration. This condition is very painful and could potentially be fatal so if you observe these symptoms in your pet you shouldn't delay in taking it to the vet. Hedgehogs can also develop liver and kidney damage or failure and signs of these diseases include vomiting, decreased appetite, excessive or decreased urine production, rapid loss of weight and anemia. Only a qualified vet can diagnose kidney and liver disease through a series of tests.

Cancer: Approximately 90% of captive owned African Pygmy hedgehogs develop cancer as they age. Why this is so is as yet unknown but treatments do exist depending on whether the cancer has spread to several organs or not. Surgery is an option in some cases as well as chemotherapy.

Hedgehogs, like other small mammals, are prone to many serious illnesses and diseases, and you shouldn't attempt owning one unless you have access to a vet who is qualified for treating these animals. As hedgehogs have only recently become popular as pets, qualified vets are hard to find. If you can't provide the needed veterinary care for your pet, please don't get one.

Author Resource: Written by Des Finney
Des likes to write on an assortment of topics and has been doing so for a number of years. His latest site provides folks with information on computer remote control software.

The Most Common Pet Infections and Pet Medications

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our pets are our best friends. We love them and their company and they have an unconditional love for us. And when one of them gets sick, it can be just as tough as having to care for a sick child. It's also just as stressful. Infections are the most common health issue in dogs and cats, as well as many other animals you may have as a pet. There are a few common ones that you should look out for and basic medications you should get to treat them.

Kitten with an Eye Infection by bejealousofme (rather ironic)
The first common problem is an ear infection. If your pet's ear seems to have a discharge, any swelling, or if it seems painful to your pet when touched, it could mean there's a serious problem. Most infections are due to a build up of wax, but can also be an allergic reaction. The infection can be bacterial, as well as caused by yeast or ear mites. Each of these problems would be treated with antibiotics, anti-fungal pet medication, or anti-parasitic meds like Mita-Clear respectively.

Another problem you may see are eye infections. The most common and easy to spot symptom is excess discharge. All pets have a discharge build up, just like human do. But if it seems to be a different color, mucus-like and more excessive than usual, it should be checked out. Overly watery eyes is another thing to look out for. Antibiotics will have to be prescribed such as terramycin, but an eye wash for pets will help ease their discomfort in the meantime while the infection clears up.

Urinary tract infections are common in cats but also can occur in female dogs. The infection affects them much the same as it would in a human. Your cat or dog may whine while tring to go to the bathroom, usually letting you know they are feeling discomfort. If there seems to be redness around the bladder area, a stronger urine smell than you are used to and they are drinking far more water than usual, it's pretty apparent a UTI is the problem. This can be treated with antibiotics as well as a change in dietary habits. They can also be given over the counter pet medication to ease the pain in the meantime like Cranberry Relief.

Lastly, upper respiratory infections are as common in cats and dogs as humans. They too can experience symptoms of sneezing, runny noses, and even a cough. It's most likely spread from animal to animal, especially in shelters, so it's not uncommon to adopt a pet and come home only to find they have a respiratory infection. Never leave a respiratory infection untreated as it may lead to further complications like pneumonia.

Author Resource: Written by Mark Etinger
Nate's Pharmacy is a Brooklyn pharmacy specializing in compounding medicines and other health products. For pharmacy services and information on pet medications, visit

Article From Pet Article World

Pet Bird Care - 5 Ways to Help Your Pet Bird Live Longer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How long your bird lives is directly related to the care that you give it. And since there are never any guarantees in life, the following five suggestions can greatly increase their life span as well as quality of life.

Whatcha Doin'? by Tim Zim
Seek Regular Professional Care
Instinct causes birds to hide their symptoms of illness. This is because in the wild any sign of weakness is an open invitation for the strong to attack. That is why having an avian veterinarian is a must. Taking your bird for regularly check ups can prevent small problems from become large ones. And having a vet as an immediate resource to contact about any changes in your pet's normal behavior can help you identify and successfully treat an illness, which ultimately can save your bird's life.

Provide a Properly Sized Cage
The space that you carve out for your bird to live will have a huge impact on every other aspect of its life. Providing a cage that is large enough for your bird to fully extend its wings without damage is a must. The bigger the cage the happier your pet will be. The ideal cage should also have several levels so that it can fly up or down to perches placed at different levels.

The cage should be placed away from drafts and at least one corner should be placed against a wall to give a sense of security. Avoid placing the cage in areas that get direct sunlight, as this can make it too hot. The cage should be cleaned completely at least once a month. Dried feces and dropping should be cleared daily to avoid having these airborne particles spread disease and infection.

The best material for cages is stainless steel. Initially it is more expensive, but this type of cage can last for the lifetime of your bird. It also eliminates the risk of harmful paints and metals that can prove fatal to your bird.

Meet Their Social Needs
Like people, different kinds of birds have different personalities. And the need for human interaction varies greatly depending on the type of bird you have. Be sure to research their requirements thoroughly before you adopt. Generally one bird will need more attention from its owner than a pair will. Knowing how much interaction is needed and making sure your bird gets the proper attention can greatly reduce health problems.

Failing to meet the social needs can lead to harmful behaviors such as feather plucking, and aggression. This type of stress often manifests itself as a decline in physical health. Providing food and water is surely important, but this piece of care is too.

Feed a Proper Diet
This varies greatly from one species to the next. The best way to decide what your bird needs is to check with your vet. Making sure the food you give is fresh, and is removed from the cage before spoilage can occur should be a routine procedure. Providing fresh water throughout the day will prevent your feathered friend from ingesting water that is contaminated.

Continuously Filter the Air
If your bird is breathing contaminated air it can severely impact their health. The bacteria and viruses that cause disease and infection often travel from one host to the next by attaching to airborne particulates. This is often the start of a downhill slide in their health.

Using a high-efficiency particle arresting (or HEPA) air purifier to keep the air fresh and clean is one of the best ways to help your bird live a long and happy life.

I Love Outside Time by Liz West
Author Resource: Written by Debbie Davis
Providing fresh clean air can greatly increase your bird's life span. See the air purifier that can do it now at

Article From Pet Article World

The Norweigan Forest Cat is a Beast

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Norwegian Forest cat is quite a beastly feline, in appearance, and occasionally demeanor. They are known for being gentle with humans, and reasonably patient with children. However, just like the pit bull (sorry to mention dogs) can be a deadly creature, so too can the Forest Cat. Not necessarily to humans, but to small rodent-like creatures that roam the land around your home. The forest cat is a hardy animal, and if given the opportunity to venture outside, it will not hesitate to do some mousing, or potentially some squirreling.

Wonder if I'll Get a Cat Fish? by Thomas Mues
A "Wegie" as some like to refer to their forest cats, knows it is big. Animals, like humans, size up competition. This cat's size advantage tends to get it into a bit of trouble when it goes outside. A squirrel is not a weak, docile creature. When cornered and attacked, they will fight back with their pointy, acorn gnawing teeth, and your forest cat could get some pretty nasty bites. Squirrels really aren't concerned with how clean their teeth are, bacteria abounds in their little gray mouths. So if your forest cat is banishing squirrels from the land, be sure to check their chest and forearms for little bites and scratches.

In addition to getting into tussles with rodents, forest cats are more likely to face-off with a dog than other cats, because of their size. A smaller cat may run when a medium sized dog attempts an attack, but a forest cat will often hold its ground and attempt to scare off the dog or fight. And some of these medium sized dogs are stronger than a forest cat, and will cause serious injuries. The majority of the time the cat escapes, because it is faster and more agile than the dog, but it will still likely get some wounds. The forest cat loves to climb trees too, they are natural hunters, and will climb trees to chase and stalk prey or just to get a good look at their kitty kingdom. Even though your cat looks like the most regal and graceful creature on the planet, it is still capable of falling out of a tree. Yes, that pretty, full tailed, wonder cat can still fall, haha.

This cat is going to want to put its thick water proof coat, and big fur covered paws to use in the elements, there is no doubt about it. It will want to get out and roam, and roam often, it's the nature of the mythical feline. If you have an extremely high fenced in yard, or a high walled yard, you can let them out and enjoy the fresh air and bounce around. You could also take this breed for a walk in the woods if you think you can make your cat feel inferior to you, but it's a bit difficult. Worth a try though. Often times you can make a homemade cat walking leash out of some very thick fishing line. The strength and malleability of the string will allow the cat to have a blast in the woods. But, don't let the cat go up a tree to high, because you don't want to have any unfortunate accidents. You can also get a cat play enclosure for outside, but these mortal pens or not really designed for a Norwegian Forest cat.

Author Resource: Written by Scott R. Jones
Make sure your cat has insurance that can take care of it in the event of any accident. Visit this cat health insurance site to read about the most reputable cat insurance available.

The Antediluvian Andalusian - An Ancient and Aspiring Horse

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Andalusian horse is one of the oldest pure horse breeds in the world. It has been highly regarded since the Middle Ages and reigned for several centuries as the embodiment of perfection, but Spanish horses have always been esteemed for their quality and appearance since Roman times.

Andalusian Workout by David De Biasí
The Andalusian has officially been known as the Purebred Spanish Horse, and has been represented by Iberian Saddle Horse, Iberian War Horse, Jennet, Ginete, Lusitano, Alter Real, Carthusian, Spanish Horse, Portuguese, Peninsular, Castilian, Extremeno, Villanos, Zapata, and Zamaranos. It is also known as the Lusitano Horse, which is the modern breed of Andalusian in Portugal. And since black is a rare color in the Andalusian breed, there is also a black Spanish Andalusian or Pura Raza Espanola (PRE) horse of Spain.

The Andalusian Horse originated in the province of Andalusia on the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain, where 2500 year old cave paintings portray the breed. Its ancestors are the Iberian horses of Spain and Portugal, which in turn were influenced by Celtic, Carthaginian, Germanic, and Roman horses; and the Barb horse which was brought to Spain by the invading Moors in the Seventh Century. These oriental horses were crossed with quality native Spanish stock, and the result was the Andalusian.

The Andalusian has been a major part of the development of many other horse breeds, including being the foundation breed for the Lipizzaner horses used in Vienna's Spanish Riding School in the 1500's. The breed has also been part of the development of the Irish Connemara, most German warmblood breeds, the Cleveland Bay of England, and the Peruvian Paso of the new world. The Azteca is an Andalusian/Quarter Horse cross while the Iberian Warmblood is an Andalusian/Thoroughbred cross. The Spanish Norman is an Andalusian/Percheron cross and the Hispano Arab is an Andalusian/Arab cross.

The Andalusian is mentioned in various historical texts dating as far back as Homer's Iliad, written in 1100 BC. Xenophon, a Greek cavalry officer who lived in or near 450 BC, also praised the "gifted Iberian horses" for their role in the Spartan's defeat of Athens. In the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), the Romans were defeated by the Iberian cavalry, and more than 1,200 years later William the Conqueror rode an Iberian horse into the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortes, brought Andalusians to America for his conquests.

As the middle ages progressed, heavier breeds of horses that were capable of carrying fully armored knights began to gain favor over the Adalusian as war mounts. When firearms were invented, a more agile horse became desirable, and the Andalusion was again back in favor. This new type of warfare ushered in a new era for the breed, when it became known as the "royal horse of Europe." During this period, Andalusian horses were present at nearly every European court as the favored mount for the nobles and played an integral role in the new riding academies that were forming throughout Europe, where the art of dressage. The Andalusian is still used in bull fighting in Southern Spain.

Spanish Bull Fight by Manuel González Olaechea y Franco
Andalusian horses owe a great deal to the Carthusian Monks who bred them, beginning in the late Middle Ages. In the late 1400's, studs and bloodlines were founded at monasteries in Terez, Seville, and Cazallo. The monks were excellent breeders and trainers, and kept their horses pure. However, that purity was threatened in the 1800's when Napoleon invaded Spain and his army stole many horses. This caused the Andalusian breed to decline in numbers and it came close to extinction.

Fortunately, one herd of Andalusians was hidden and was used to renew the breed. In 1832, an epidemic devastated Spain's horse population and only a small herd of Andalusians at the Monastery of Cartuja survived. In order to re-establish their breeding programs, exportation of an Andalusian became illegal without Royal consent and the penalty for exporting this treasured horse was death. No Andalusians were exported until 1962.

However, now the Andalusian's numbers are growing around the world. In 2005 there were approximately 400 Andalusians registered in Canada. In the United States, it is still a unique breed, but the population has risen to around 5400 horses. The total number of Andalusian (Lusitano) horses registered with IALHA in 2008 is approximately. 11,000.

In physical appearance, the Andalusian is a compact horse with a distinguished appearance and excellent proportions which balance well with their graceful, yet substantial bodies. The Andalusian has a natural balance, collection, impulsion, and agility. They are between 15.1 to 16.1 hands high with the average being 15.2 hands.

The Andalusian is known for its abundantly thick mane that flows from a long, elegant, well-arched but substantial neck, with stallions having more of a crest than mares. The classic profile is a long head with broad forehead, small ears, large eyes, and a flat or slightly convex nose. The shoulders are well-sloped and the withers are well defined. The massive chest and powerful hindquarters are lean and the long, thick, flowing tail should be low set. The breed has strong, medium legs with very energetic high knee action and short striding.

Approximately 80% of the Andalusians are Gray, (Torca, Ruca), 15% Bay (Castana, Castanha), and 5% black. The following colors are also acceptable but rarely seen: Black Bay, Brown, Chestnut, Buckskin, Dun, Palomino, Cremello (Isabella), Perlino, Roan. Other colors are rare or believed to be non-existent in the purebred Andalusian but may be accepted with proper documentation including parentage verification and photos. All dark spots within white markings or on pink skin must be recorded on the registration application for and the color of all hooves must be noted especially if they are striped.

Pura Raza Espanola by Yeguada San Joaquin
Andalusian Horses possess a proud but docile, calm temperament. The breed is renowned for its ability to learn quickly and easily when treated with respect. They are sensitive, intelligent, and particularly responsive and cooperative with a very willing nature.

The International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association is the association that maintains a registry for Purebred Andalusians and Half-Andalusians and is also the official representative of the Lusitano Horse (the modern breed of Andalusian in Portugal) in the USA and Canada.

As for genetic anomalies, veterinarians do not yet know if Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD) has its roots in genetics, overuse of affected limbs, hormone fluctuations (previously-sound broodmares may develop symptoms of DSLD around foaling time), or if it is some combination of these factors. Although the condition is probably best known in gaited breeds (American Saddlebreds, Peruvian Pasos, Peruvian crosses, Standardbreds, and National Show Horses), it has also been diagnosed in Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Andalusians.

But all that aside, this versatile breed can be found competing in dressage, driving, jumping, cutting and cattle work. It is ridden under both English and Western saddle. Their stunning presence and charisma makes them an asset to any show ring, exhibition or parade. With its love of people, the Andalusian is an ideal family horse.

Author Resource: Written by Crystal A. Eikanger
Crystal writes for, classifieds of Andalusian Horses for sale and other horse breeds, organic farms, trailers for sale and horse tack.

Raising a Pet Coatimundi: Learn The Details

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Raising a pet coatimundi can be quite a challenge at the start especially if you're going to do this for the first time. You need to know a lot of important things. You also need to consider different sets of factors while you're doing this so that you can ascertain that your exotic pet won't grow up having bad habits that may cause you some harm later on.

Pet Coatimundi by Lee Ann Barker
One of the most important things that you need to know about raising a pet coatimundi at home would be not overfeeding your baby during one feeding. You need to watch how much you feed your exotic pet because coatis usually continue feeding until they become really bloated. Overfeeding can lead to inhalation pneumonia; loss of body condition; and loose stools. When you finish feeding your pet coati and it's still hungry, you have to wait for at least 45 minutes before you can offer the bottle again. At 5 weeks of age, your pet coati should start eating an average of one ounce per feeding. You should feed your pet four times daily. You can increase this frequency as your exotic pet gets older. Don't forget to burp your pet coati after each feeding.

The next important thing that you need to know about raising your exotic pet would be the right time when to wean. This is usually up to the pet owner and can be based on your own circumstances. You have to know that the more frequently you bottle feed your baby coati, the less inclined it's going to be on eating solid foods. At 5 to 6 weeks of age, you should start leaving some dry puppy food for your exotic pet. When you start feeding solid foods to your exotic pet, you can mix some apple juice with puppy food or monkey biscuits. Each coati is considered as individual with its own unique taste buds. Some of the favorite foods of coatis include pizza, luncheon meats, newtons, blueberry muffins, watermelon, eggs, and bananas.

Vaccination schedules are another thing that you should consider. These should be the same with puppies and kittens. First vaccinations and worming are given at 5 to 6 weeks of age. After which, this is then done every 3 weeks until coatis reach the age of 16 weeks. Annual boosters and worming are also highly advised. Aside from this, coatis should also receive a dog distemper-parvo shot or DHLP-P and the cat panleukopenia vaccine. You can have your pet coati wormed with any good cat wormer or dog wormer.

Next, never use too much counter flea products because most of these things are toxic to exotic animals. If you have a pet coati that's below 12 weeks of age, it would be best for you to spray Adams brand flea spray on a towel and wipe it on its skin. Don't overdo this.

Lastly, if you have a male coati, it's highly advised that you have it neutered. Males that are intended to be breeders on the other hand, should be mother raised or should be placed in the breeder pen at 4 to 6 months of age.

Author Resource: Written by Autin Hatcher
Read more about important details regarding raising a pet coatimundi at the Tifkar Publishing website.

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A Healthy Dog Eats His Greens

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Like humans, vegetables are also important for the optimum health of dogs. What your dog eats has a direct relationship with your dog's holistic well-being and total lifespan. Vegetables are excellent sources of important vitamins and minerals which are required for the various biological processes of the body. More importantly, vegetables are also great sources of antioxidants and fiber.

Antioxidants are important in preventing damage to cellular membranes. Fiber will also promote the health of the gastrointestinal system. It serves as an additional bulk to the feces thus promoting regular defecation. In this way, constipation is prevented. In general, a greener diet for your pets can promote longer and more quality life.

Veggies ... Let Me at 'Em by the bereted chamois
Since dogs are innately carnivorous, they cannot tolerate cooked vegetables in their meal. That is why a specially formulated supplement is out in the market to help your dogs become healthy and live a longer life. This product is composed of:

  1. Garlic powder is traditionally used for pets to promote the health of the immune system by increasing the production of killer cells and prevent the occurrence of cancer. Garlic can also improve the function of the liver because of its detoxifying effects. It helps the liver to eliminate harmful chemicals inside the body.
  2. Chlorophyllin, which can be isolated from green leafy vegetables, is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. It also has a powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant property.
  3. Parsley also contains abundant vitamins and minerals tat is why it is recommended for its nutritive, immune system booster and breath freshener effects.
  4. Spinach is an excellent source of iron. This is especially great for pregnant and nursing dogs.
  5. Kale is a form of cabbage which is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables. It contains high amount of beta - carotene, vitamin K and C, and calcium.
  6. Carrot is a root crop rich in beta - carotene and is employed as an effective herbal medicine because of its anti - inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
  7. Broccoli which is also a member of the cabbage family is generally consumed to improve the general well - being of your pets. It can also strengthen the stomach's resistance against harmful microorganisms.
  8. Brussels sprouts which is another part of the cabbage family which is a great supplier of fiber. It also contains abundant amount of vitamin C thus boosting the health of the immune system and vitamin K which promotes good clotting conditions.
  9. Wheat is very useful as dietary roughage. It adds bulk to the feces to prevent constipation. It is also high in manganese, magnesium and tryptophan.
  10. Rice bran is also rich in fiber but it also contains essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Rice bran will have a significant impact on your dog's health.

Generally, vegetables contains a high level of not only vitamins and minerals but also antioxidants specifically beta - carotene and alpha - carotene. These types of antioxidants are very effective in lowering the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Antioxidants prevent too much damage of the cells caused by free radicals and toxins inside the body and from the environment.

Author Resource: Written by Robert Palmer
If you want to improve your Dogs Health, feed him or her greens from Actipet. VitaNet®, LLC Vitamin Store.

Article From Pet Article World

Tips on Purple Firefish Care

Friday, March 18, 2011

Purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora) are members of the family Microdesmidae. These little fish are native to the Indo-West Pacific. Their habitat ranges from the Philippines to Australia. They were first made known to the aquarium trade in 1973 by marine aquatic experts Randall and Allen.

Purple firefish are often mistaken for gobies. While they are very closely related to the goby family, they are actually dartfish. This species is predominantly white or yellow with slender cylindrical bodies. The body markings on this fish are extraordinary. They have a purple patch on their head and their fins are trimmed with varying shades of purple, blue, red, orange and maroon. This is a small fish. It will only grow to a maximum length of 4 inches. They are more typically 2.5-3 inches.
Purple Firefish by Jamie Henderson

This fish carries an easy care rating and is an excellent choice for the inexperienced saltwater aquarium owner. They are rated reef safe. This is a hardy, very disease resistant species. Their general durability, small size and tolerance of varied water parameters make them extremely popular among nano-reef owners. This fish can be kept in an aquarium as small as 10 gallons, even smaller if you are diligent in maintaining water quality. Purple firefish are also sold by the aquarium industry under the names elegant firefish, flame firefish, decorated firefish, fire goby, and purple dartfish.

If this fish's size and survivability tempt you to add one to your community tank you should be aware that they are prolific jumpers. They should only be kept in a tightly lidded aquarium. This is one of the more aggressive dartfish but is still relatively docile compared to other marine species. It should only be kept with smaller, less aggressive fish. They will exhibit territorial behavior toward their own kind. Do not purchase multiples. A male and female of the species will mix together well.

The purple firefish will require lots of hiding places. Plenty of coral rubble on top of your primary substrate will make them feel right at home. This fish must be allowed to feel confident in its new surroundings. It will starve itself to death rather than compete for its food. A fading in color is a good indication that it is suffering from malnutrition. If food is not an issue this fish may live from 7-10 years in captivity.

This is a carnivorous species. In their natural habitat its diet consists primarily of zooplankton. In captivity they will eat flaked food and pellets. However as with any marine species it is advisable to provide these fish with a varied diet. You can feed them vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, finely chopped fresh seafood and frozen or freeze dried food formulated for marine carnivores. These supplements will help maintain their fit and vigor.

Purple firefish do occasionally breed in home aquariums. This is an egg laying species. They are also monogamous in nature. Once a pair is mated they may spawn 2-4 times a month. Eggs are whitish in coloration and approximately 2mm in diameter. The egg's incubation period is 7-10 days depending on water temperature.

An aquarium doesn't have to be the same mundane rectangular tank found in everyone else's home. Why settle for the ordinary? Your aquarium should be a focal point to your décor, not just an afterthought shoved away in some corner. We offer unique alternatives to the traditional rectangle fish tank. Transform your fish's home into a piece of living art. Get the Look of a Custom Aquarium Without the Custom Price Tag at Your Freshwater & Saltwater Aquarium Source.

Author Resource: Written by Stephen J. Broy
Helping you have healthier and happier fish is an essential part of our business. If you found this article interesting and would like to learn more about your favorite freshwater & saltwater aquarium fish visit our Online Fish Buying Guide.

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Thinking of Buying a Horse?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There is so much excitement and anticipation in the very art of buying a horse. It is certainly a task not to be taken lightly. A horse is certainly not as easy to drop off at your local shelter as a cat is. When you buy a horse it should be genuine, not a spur of the moment whim.

Nah ... Don't Think So! by Cindy Seigle
The biggest consideration when buying a horse is where to keep him. Investigating local stables and yards, finding out the fee and what you are paying for is an important step to make the transition easier. I have yet to find a stable that pays for horse shoeing, unless it is on their horses!

Once you've settled on a place to keep your horse, you can then indulge yourself in finding a good horse. Horses are easy enough to come by, but not all horses are alike. We know that all horses bite, it is a fact horse owners rarely think about. However when buying a horse it is a tidbit to keep handy.

Some horses due to cruel handling, neglect or an aggressive streak will bite. Biting is a bad habit called a vice, horses that bite do not make a good first horse purchase. There is fact in the saying "once bitten twice shy"!

Read up on vices so you know one when you see one and if the current owner says the horse crib bites, you'll know what that means and whether it is a vice you can live with. Remember the horse is yours and will be your responsibility once you purchase it.

Like humans you have horses in good health and others in questionable health. Some owners will try to sell a horse when they find out his health is less than perfect. The horse could have been in a field and cut his leg. Seems like an every day possibility but depending on where and how severe the cut, he could have done permanent damage. He would thus have a weakness and be prone to lameness.

It is always a good idea to have a veterinarian inspect the horse you want to purchase. That way any possibility of ill health can be brought to your attention and you are in control of taking on the responsibility or not.

Find out if people know about the horse and let them tell you their view of the horse. What is he like on an every day basis when a prospective buyer is not looking? Some horses are lunged to tire them out before a buyer comes to ride...

Yes, riding is sure a very important step when buying a horse! I was so desperate to buy my first horse that I overlooked this step and regretted it every day of the two years I owned the horse. Sometimes you can simply get sold by the look of a horse...

Make sure you buy a good horse that is right for you. The best way to do that is to read and gain knowledge of horses. Take a trainer or experienced horse person with you, but be sure to trust your instinct and have the knowledge to make the best decision for you. Turns out the person I took with me to buy my first horse was really looking for something they wanted.

Author Resource: Written by Benjamin Wise
Horses. Get information on buying, owning and caring for your horse, learn about buying a horse.

Gregarious Gerbils Make Great Pets

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gerbils make excellent first pets for your children (and you!). They don't smell, they're active at various hours of the day, not nocturnal like most rodents, and are very inquisitive and playful by nature. They love to explore and are easy to tame, traits that make them a sure hit with all the members of your family. Another great thing about gerbils is that they rarely bite, making them ideal pets for kids.

Snowy, the White Gerbil, Getting a Bit of Exercise by benmckune
If you're thinking of getting a gerbil as a pet, it's always a good idea to get a pair. If you don't want them breeding then get a same sex pair such as two males or two females. Gerbils are social creatures and do better with a companion.

Before bringing your gerbil home, prepare its habitat. Gerbils can be kept in wire cages or glass tanks (such as aquariums). Gerbils love to chew so plastic cages are not a good idea as they will chew through them. Glass tanks make the best gerbil cage but make sure it has a wire mesh top to provide adequate ventilation. As gerbils are very active, the bigger tank you can afford the better. Gerbils are great jumpers so make sure the top is secure!

Provide your gerbils with toys and things to gnaw on to prevent boredom. Ramps, platforms and ladders will also be appreciated by your pets as they love to climb and explore. A solid spokeless exercise wheel will ensure they don't get their tails pinched or snagged when exercising.

As gerbils love to burrow, make sure you put an adequate amount of bedding for them to burrow in. Hay, tissues and shredded paper will do. Never use pine or cedar for any rodents as it is unsafe and can cause respiratory infections, tumors, kidney and liver damage.

Commercial gerbil seed mixes and pellets or lab blocks are available for feeding your gerbils. A varied diet is the best and you should try to offer your gerbils a combination of each. Occasional treats such as vegetables and fruits, nuts and sunflower seeds can be given, as can small pieces of cheese, raisins, boiled egg and mealworms. Dog biscuits can be offered sparingly and on occasion as well. Remember that treats are not to be given in large quantities, only as a training tool or treat so as to avoid diarrhea and the risk of your gerbils becoming overweight.

Author Resource: Written by Russell R. Fesio
Russell likes to write on various topics and has been doing so for several years. His most up-to-date internet site is which provides people with information on bookshelf headboards.

Common Boa Keeping - the Perfect Pet Snake

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Common boas (boa constrictor imperator) are underrated as a pet snake. The majority of snakes kept as pets are corn snakes or royal pythons. These species are popular for good reasons. They are small enough to be manageable, easy to care for, and are often good feeders and breeders if kept in optimal conditions. Neither, however, have the majesty of a boa constrictor.

Boa constrictors, like all boas, are part of the Boidae family of snakes, along with the pythons and anaconda. In general the Boidae (or simply Boids) are considered to be large snakes, although none of the boas reach the massive sizes of the true giants such as the green anaconda, or the reticulated python.

Boa Constrictor Scarf by Daniel McConnell
Boa constrictors in general can be considered medium to large snakes, with the common boa being one of the smallest and averaging around 6 - 8 foot in length. Neonates average 14 - 20" in length, and a female may give birth to as many as 40.

Boa constrictor imperator is often confused with boa constrictor constrictor, or the red tailed boa. The true red tails, while superficially similar, are larger than the common boa, with brighter and better defined red anterior markings.

Most species of boa constrictor do very well in captivity. They will generally take frozen/defrosted rodents and due to their docile nature they are easily handled. It must however always be remembered that these are large and powerful snakes, and should always be given the respect they deserve. Large specimens should only be handled when another person is present, and enclosures should always be latched and/or locked especially if children are present.

Boas are best kept individually, and an adult can be kept successfully in an enclosure measuring 6 x 3 feet. Since they are primarily terrestrial, height is not as important as floor area, although many specimens will occasionally climb if given the chance, especially when young. The enclosure needs to be heated to a temperature gradient around 80 - 85 F. A basking spot of 90 - 95 F, and a cool end no lower than 75 F will allow the snake to thermoregulate properly. Heat sources should always be thermostatically controlled, and properly guarded to prevent possible burns.

In addition a water bowl large enough for the boa to soak in should always be provided, along with suitable substrate and at least one hide box. In these conditions a common boa can live for more than 30 years in captivity.

Boa constrictors are not the right pet for everyone, but if you are thinking about keeping snakes do some research and find out more about these amazing animals. While a corn snake or royal python makes a good pet, neither compare to the sheer beauty of the boa constrictor.

Author Resource: Written by Billy Deakin
For more information on boa constrictor imperator and keeping boas, try visiting, a popular website that provides tips, advice and resources on caring for boas.

Corals and Their Habitat

Monday, March 14, 2011

Corals are a beautiful addition to any saltwater aquarium and they can also have beneficial effects on the miniature semi-ecosystem that exists in a well functioning aquarium.

Corals in Home Aquarium by Antonio Guerra
Corals are living animals that are commonly called sessile invertebrates. What this means is that they are animals that don't have a backbone (like vertebrates do) and that they are generally stuck in one spot and can't move around like most animals can. Corals are usually attached to a rock. Corals consist of many individual polyps. The polyps may have an internal or an external skeleton that is made of calcium carbonate. Each polyp has an oral opening that leads to a gastrovascular tube. There is a lot of variety in the types of food eaten by coral polyps. For example, some corals feed by using their stinging tentacles to catch small fish. Other corals eat microscopic organisms, where as some coral polyps don't feed at all, and obtain all their nutrition from zooxanthellae (a single-celled algae that lives within the coral).

Corals are more complicated to keep than many saltwater fish species, and can for instance require more intricate currents, powerful lighting and supreme water quality. Keeping the water temperature in the ideal range is therefore imperative when you keep corals in you aquarium. Reef building corals prefer quite shallow depths where the light penetration is good and will therefore usually grow at depths of less than 46 metres / 150 feet. The reef building corals require plenty of strong light since they form symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae. Other coral species can however survive without direct sunlight and live much deeper down in the ocean.

Corals should be thoroughly researched beforehand because of their often hefty price tag and demanding water, lighting and feeding requirements. The great part about live rock, aside from the biological importance of using it, is that you can use aquarium silicon sealant to shape the rocks into any type of design you desire. We now have a new term - "rockscaping". You can also use a drill to create small holes in the rock and use pvc pipes to hold them together to make columns or archways. The rockscaping possibilities are endless. Another thing you'll probably need to do is place the rock directly on the tank bottom and not on top of the sand. Sand burrowing species could get injured or worse if you place the rock on top of the sand.

Corals are very popular with aquarium enthusiasts. Some of the most common corals are now being successfully kept and grown in a rapidly growing number of home aquariums. There are hundreds of species including soft corals, corallimorpharians (mushroom corals), gorgonians, zoanthids, large-polyp stony corals, and small-polyp stony corals.

Fish Swimming in the Coral by Matt Woolner
For the beginner reef aquarium, there are a number of soft corals, that require less light and less than perfect water quality standards, than their hard coral cousins. These soft corals are the better candidates for converting to a fish only, or fish only with live rock aquarium tank to a reef tank with corals.

You can have coral in any sort of aquarium/fish tank i.e. fish only tanks, fish only with live rock tanks to a full reef tank.

Moving smoothly from tank to tank isn't really all that difficult. You need to move coral because believe it or not there can be turf wars in coral reef tanks. Corals on the reef compete for space. So do the corals in your aquarium. Corals are still deemed difficult for the average reef tank hobbyist but in my experience I have not found this to be true.

Corals are found all over the world, even around the poles. Reef building corals are however only found in warm subtropical and tropical waters. Reef building corals are present in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Western Atlantic. Their habitat is generally limited to the region between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S latitudes. In the Indo-Pacific Ocean you will find reef building corals from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and eastwards in the Indian and Pacific Oceans all the way over to Panama and a few places in the Gulf of California. In the Western Atlantic corals are living outside Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Belize and around the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and Bahamas. Reef building corals will only live where the water temperature is warm enough; 20-28 degrees celsius / 68-82 degrees fahrenheit.

Author Resource: Written by Peter Crawley
I'm a full time carer who in my spare time likes to write articles and short review. My reviews can be found on

Ten Things to Consider When Purchasing a Savannah Cat

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1.) Savannahs are like any other domestic pet. They need food, shelter, basic veterinary care, and a safe, loving home. If you can't provide for these basic needs, you shouldn't consider buying a savannah or any other pet, really.

2.) Savannahs are a larger breed of cat. They can reach weights of 15 -20 pounds or more. While you may not mind a large loving lump of fur greeting you at the door every day, you'll have to consider if your home has enough space for you, your family and your savannah, too.

Savannah Kitten by Karen Leigh
3.) Savannahs need room to romp and opportunities to play. They are extremely energetic, playful and active. You'll need to ensure that your home provides plenty of safe space for your savannah to roam, while giving it lots of interesting and stimulating toys. Savannahs love toys. They also love to chew, so toys that have buttons, loose strings or other small parts that could be chewed off and swallowed should be avoided, as the small parts could pos a choking hazard. Savannahs are very agile and great jumpers. It's no sweat for a savannah to bound from the floor to the top of the refrigerator. So, you may need to "cat proof" areas in your home you hadn't considered. They love water, too, so you may need to buy a heavy-duty metal dog watering bowl, or one of those self-waterers, to keep your savannah from dragging the bowl around or playing in it. Don't be surprised to find that your savannah likes showering with you, too.

4.) Savannahs are highly intelligent. They need lots of stimulation and interaction. They can learn to play fetch with small dowels or pencils. They are very curious and will explore closets, cupboards and other areas of your home with abandon. They can be trained to walk on a leash with a harness or leash jacket, and seem to enjoy going out and about. Owners have reported that savannahs have learned how to do things like turn on light switches, pat at the remote control buttons to turn on or off the tv or stereo, turn on and off paddle-style faucet handles, and even one who learned to turn doorknobs so that he could enter or exit any interior room he pleased, when he pleased.

5.) Savannahs are cats. As with other cats, they typically don't take too well to changes in their diet, or their environment. If you do need to change your savannah's food, you'll want to do so gradually, adding a bit more of the newer food in with the old, until you've switched over completely. One owner reports that her savannah shows displeasure with new food by dumping the entire bowl over and scattering the offensive offering all over the kitchen floor. Remember, savannahs are highly intelligent, and will find ways of making their opinions known.

6.) Savannahs are very vocal animals. They have a distinctive cry and can be quite loud about it, too. Thin-walled condos may not be the best environment for a savannah, unless your neighbors don't mind.

Adult Savannah by miheco
7.) Savannahs are hybrid animals. Some states and counties within states don't allow hybrids to reside there. You'll want to check with your local veterinarian, ASPCA, Humane Society or law enforcement officials before purchasing a kitty you can have, but can't live with.

8.) Savannahs are only a few generations from the wild. The earlier the generation, say an F1 or F2 savannah, the closer to a wild animal they are. They will see other small animals in the home, like birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, mice and the like as prey. Their hunting instincts combined with their high intelligence will have them figuring out ways to open cages, aquariums and other small animal habitats. It is probably best if you have a collection of small pets to purchase a later generation savannah, as it will be less inclined to see Bongo the hamster as lunch.

9.) Savannah males are sterile, but should be neutered anyway. They will still have the hormones, and won't be aware that they are sterile. To avoid spraying and marking of territory, aggressive behaviors towards female cats and other unpleasant incidences, you should have them neutered at about 5 to 6 months of age, as you would any other domestic male cat.

10.) Savannahs are hybrids, and are difficult to breed. This makes them a bit rare and exotic. Therefore, the kittens, especially the F1 and F2 generations, will be more expensive than other breeds and later generations of savannahs, such as F3 and F4 kittens. Paying more or less for a savannah isn't always an indication of the quality of the kitten or its breeding stock. It has more to do with what generation of cat you are looking into purchasing.

Author Resource: Written by Ryan Petersen
Urban Safari Cattery is home to the finest savannah cat and bengal kitten breeding with information regarding the history and development of this beautiful breed. Visit online today.

The Yorkshire Terrier

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Yorkshire Terrier is undeniably an adorable breed. A mixture of England's finest terriers, the Yorkshire Terrier, or "Yorkie," is a combination of the Clydesdale Terrier, English Black and Tan Terrier, Waterside Terrier and the Paisley Terrier.

By the late 1800s, Yorkies had made their way to the United States, but their name did not come about until the early 1900s, as there were many varieties of size at first. It was at this time that the majority of dog enthusiasts deemed the smaller-sized Yorkie as being the most desirable, creating a name for just this size of the breed.

Cowgirl Yorkie by Morgan Porter
While Yorkies are typically small in size, the temperate (or behavior) of this breed is bold, confident and outrageous - making it appear as though these tiny dogs are completely unaware of their small stature. While the average Yorkie is always ready for fun and adventure, this excitable behavior can sometimes turn into aggression towards other small animals and unfamiliar canines. Yorkies definitely maintain their rough and tumble terrier spirit at all times.

Like many toy breeds, the Yorkie needs a large amount of exercise, but can obtain this rather simply, even by running from room to room in a small apartment. Of course, this does not mean that the Yorkie should be kept indoors, even Yorkies need to get outside and play! They love to take brisk walks with you whenever they can, just be sure to keep your Yorkie on a leash at all times to avoid that Terrier toughness from causing problems with other small animals.

While Yorkies do love to be outside, they are not an outdoor dog. As a breed, Yorkshire Terriers prefer to be indoors in the company of their family with plenty of human contact. If you must leave your Yorkie outside for a brief period of time, however, just make sure that there is plenty of adequate shelter and bedding.

As with all dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier requires proper grooming and maintenance. However, when it comes to grooming, Yorkshire Terriers are flexible in their appearance and upkeep. They tend to grow very long hair, but it is up to you whether you decide to keep this style or not. Leaving it long, of course, requires more grooming habits such as frequent brushing so that the hair does not tangle or mat. If you decide to cut your Yorkie's hair, then you will only have to brush him or her three to four times per week. Low maintenance is important to some dog owners.

The Yorkshire Terrier has a lifespan of up to 16 years when raised in a positive, caring environment focused on the health and happiness of the dog. Fortunately, they are a breed without many known health risks to monitor. Veterinarians do suggest having Yorkies tested regularly for eye problems and knee dysplasia while also having routine liver ultrasounds, however.

Yorkshire Terriers are an active, energetic, playful and typically attractive breed of dog, with a long lifespan and less health problems than some dogs. They make a wonderful addition to any loving home who desire a faithful, spunky companion for many years.

Author Resource: Enrico Pallatzo is a professional dog trainer. He is a graduate of Temple University. Hobbies include opera singing, tennis, and scuba diving. More on the yorkshire terrier.

The Ideal Rabbit Hutch

Friday, March 11, 2011

Not only are rabbits cute, they make excellent pets requiring minimal care once you know what you're doing. Bear in mind that rabbits can live anywhere from 5-10 years so make sure you're ready to make that kind of commitment before buying one. Also be prepared to provide your pet with an appropriate rabbit hutch so your bunny can feel safe and secure. Consider the amount of time you have available to interact with your pet because rabbits are social creatures and shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time. If you're thinking of getting more than one rabbit then consider purchasing one of the larger multi-level rabbit hutches available.

Double Decker Rabbit Hutch for the Bunny with Everything by Neil Bird
If you decide to buy an indoor rabbit hutch then you will have to provide it with some outdoor time. A rabbit run in your garden would be ideal but be very careful to make sure it's predator proof. Never leave your rabbit unsupervised in an insecure rabbit run. If your rabbit is kept indoors you must provide it with entertainment. Allow your rabbit freedom to run around in a room but make sure there is nothing to harm it such as chemicals and electric cables. Rabbits love to chew so provide your bunny with toys and safe things to chew on.

If, on the other hand, you have room in your garden or backyard, you may consider an outdoor rabbit hutch. Outdoor rabbit hutches come in a large variety of sizes and designs. Always ensure you choose the proper size for your rabbit, keeping in mind the general rule that the hutch should be at least 4 times the size of your rabbit to allow it to move around fairly easily. Bigger is always better and some rabbit hutches even come with a rabbit run to provide your rabbit with some outdoor exploration experience. Rabbits love to hop around and explore.

When space is limited you can elect to purchase a multi-level rabbit hutch to ensure your rabbit has ample space to move about. Wooden rabbit hutches are the best when choosing an outdoor hutch. Some multi-level rabbit hutches even provide attic and storage space. The attic space can be filled with straw during the winter months to provide warmth and insulation. Storage space can be used to keep food and treats for your rabbit in a convenient and tidy manner. If you live in a particularly cold part of the world, rabbit hutch covers are available to provide extra warmth and insulation.

Whichever design you choose, make sure it is sturdy and safe. Rabbits are easily frightened and your rabbit hutch should provide an enclosed area where your rabbit can hide from anything that intimidates it. So next time you're choosing from amongst the many rabbit hutches available, remember these simple rules: size, safety and practicality. Making the right choice can mean the difference between having a healthy, thriving pet and one that is unhappy and unhealthy.

Author Resource: Tom Woodcock is a Pet Lover, pet product expert and builder of rabbit hutches. To learn more about Large Rabbit Hutches and Rabbit Runs visit him online.

All About Panther Chameleons

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Panther Chameleons originate from Madagascar, which is off the coast of Africa. They are a relatively large species of Chameleon. Male Panther Chameleons grow larger than female Panther Chameleons. Their heads have a low casque and males have a shovel shaped rostral process on their nose, which is less developed on the females. Female Panther Chameleons typically have dull coloration compared to males. Panther Chameleon types are named based on their locales, the town or village in which they are located. Their coloration and patterns help determine which locale they belong to.

Ambilobe Panther Chameleon by Pashka
  • Ambanja Panther Chameleons are a locality from northwest Madagascar. Male specimens from this locale are known to show lots of blue, green and red. Typically their body is green to blue with either red or blue barring. Sometimes body coloration can show yellow and the eyes have red radiation patterns.
  • Ambato Panther Chameleons are a locality on a coastal peninsula slightly north of Ambanja in Madagascar. Males are known to show high blue, white, maroon and yellow and their body is typically blue to white with maroon barring. They do not show red radiation patterns in their eyes. 
  • Ambilobe Panther Chameleons are often referred to as Sirama Panther Chameleons or Picasso Panther Chameleons. They are located in northwest Madagascar. Ambilobe Panther Chameleons are divided into two color patterns - Blue-Bar and Red-Bar. They show color combinations of green, blue, yellow, orange and red. 
  • Ankaramy Panther Chameleons are located near the southern most extend of the species in northwest Madagascar and they are often marketed by the name Pink Panther. Males display a vibrant pink coloration with light blue crests. 
  • Diego Suarez or Antsiranana Panther Chameleons are located at the northern most tip of Madagascar. They typically have a V bar instead of a U bar. They are green with maroon-red colored bars. 
  • Nosy Be Panther Chameleons are located on an island locality of the coast of northwest Madagascar and are known to show green, blue, yellow and red colors. They body is typically green with darker green bars. Some are known to be blue with blue barring. 
  • Reunion Panther Chameleons are located far off the eastern coast of Madagascar and are very similar to Nosy Be Panther Chameleons with green and red coloration. 
  • Sambava Panther Chameleons are located in northeast Madagascar. They display a U bar rather than a typical Y or V bar on their flans. Their coloration ranges from green, yellow, orange and red with dark pattern lines. 
  • Tamatave Panther Chameleons are from the east coast of Madagascar. They have a green base that turns to red when in display when in display with white speckling.

Male Nosy Be Panther Chameleon by AZ pics n stuff
As you can see, Panther Chameleons come in many different colors and patterns. These patterns and colors are based on the locale from where they originate. Panther Chameleons are truly one of the more beautiful of all the Chameleons. They display some of the most vibrant colors of all creatures in the world.

Author Resource: Written by Chris Smith
Chris has been in the reptile trade for 10+ years and has experience with many different types of reptiles. He manages two reptile businesses and attends many reptile expos. Visit Chameleon Supplies to find everything you need to properly care for your Chameleon.