Being a dedicated rat owner can be very rewarding. All it takes is a little research and a lot of preparation.
If you’re getting ready to adopt a rat as a cherished pet, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of beforehand. Here are 10 of the most common pet rat care mistakes that first-time rattie owners make:
1. Getting only one rat.
A person might think that getting two rats is too much extra work… or that a pet rat will bond with a human owner more readily if there is no other rat around to become friends with. The truth is that rats are highly social creatures. They need to have other rat-friends to play with and to “talk” to. Furthermore, taking care of two rats is not much more work than caring for one.
2. Getting the wrong kind of bedding.
Sometimes a rat owner will want to cut corners and use newspaper or cheap bedding. Rats are very sensitive to the chemicals in the ink and cheap bedding can often have dusty particles that will irritate their lungs. If you see a red discharge coming from their noses, chances are, there is an irritant present in the air. Pine wood chips are not safe!
3. Feeding the rats an imbalanced diet.
No, it’s not cute how your furry friends can eat almost as much pizza as you. Caring for pet rats means feeding them healthy food. Look, there’s no excuse. Fruits and veggies are not expensive items to buy; also, be sure they get their share of lab blocks, seeds, and a daily dab of a vitamin supplement.
4. Not cleaning the cage often or thoroughly enough.
Their urine will decompose and produce ammonia. This, along with the decomposing bedding can irritate their lungs. Yes, it’s a pain to do. But putting up with the unpleasant aspects will only help you to appreciate them more. Clean and disinfect with bleach-water once a week, or up to two weeks, maximum.
5. Not taking them out to play often enough.
Rats will eventually get depressed if they remain cooped up inside their limited cage environment. If you make play time fun and challenging, you will be looking forward to the bonding time as well!
6. Deciding to breed for the wrong reasons.
When you’ve had some success caring for captive snakes, you might find yourself interested in breeding them. This can be done, but it requires record keeping and attention to many details concerning the living conditions of the snakes. The breeding is generally done in the winter so that the babies are born or hatched in the spring.
Breeding snakes requires feeding them well for about four months, and then putting them into a cool state of hibernation. To do this, you first need to fatten them up, especially females, for a few months in late summer, then lower the temperature for a few more weeks or months. The exact timing varies with the species, as do the temperature requirements.
Just a quick note about determining the sex of a snake. This skill needs to be learned from an expert. It is a tricky process, sometimes requiring the use of a metal probe to look for the male reproductive organ. Even the most experienced of snake breeders make a mistake now and then.
During the hibernation, the snake is not fed, but is provided fresh water. When the time is up, the snake is gradually warmed up, and fed well again for a little while. Then the female and male are placed together. If she resists him, separate them and wait another week. If not, leave them together for a week or so.
A female snake that is developing eggs within is called “gravid.” Some species of snake eat well during this time and others don’t. The length of time it takes varies even within the same species. Again, the amount of heat provided makes a difference. Most females will shed shortly before laying their eggs.
Some snakes give birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs. The boas are examples of this. The hibernation requirements for these tropical snakes are much less, amounting to just a couple of weeks with low nighttime temperatures. Their humidity needs are higher, and they should be misted daily. With boas, you can add more than one male to the female’s enclosure.
Pregnancy takes from 4 to 10 months. The mother to be usually eats well during this time, but you should choose smaller food items, since her inside body space is getting more crowded. Shedding usually precedes giving birth, but it can be as much as another month …
Humans have been trying to domesticate animals for thousands of years. We’ve taught dogs how to fetch the paper, cats how to use litter boxes, and horses how to pull carts since ancient times. The efforts have paid off in many ways humans benefit from having well-trained workers, such as farmhands or soldiers, while pets provide companionship and entertainment.
However, there are still plenty of animals that people don’t want around them, like cockroaches or mosquitoes. And even those they do desire can be difficult to tame.
“Domestication is a complex trait,” says Dr. Steven M. Calle, professor emeritus in the Department of Biological Sciences and director of the Center of Excellence for Aquatic Research at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “It takes time and effort.”
Calle has studied the genetics of dog breeds extensively, but he also believes that all animals possess their own unique attributes that make them more or less suitable for domestication.
For example, he notes that wolves tend to be aggressive toward strangers but not toward members of their own pack. In contrast, dogs are very social and friendly with other dogs but often wary of everyone else. On top of these innate characteristics, however, human societies also play an important role in shaping which animals thrive best among us.
In this article, we’ll look at several types of animals that humans consider our friends and why some are easier to turn into household pets than others. First up: the most popular pet on Earth.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about getting a puppy or a new dog is love. But what kind of love? Some people prefer a playful pooch who will run through the house after balls or chase cars down the street, while others seek out a loyal friend who won’t leave their side no matter where they go. Regardless of your preferences, though, one thing is clear: It’s tough being a dog.
First, dogs need lots of exercises so they can burn off excess energy. They must also be exposed to sunlight (which helps regulate their body clock) and fresh air (to help control odors). This means spending time outside every day.
Next, they require a diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamin D, as well as adequate water intake. Finally, they require constant attention from their owners, especially during playtime. All of these requirements put …
While it’s not possible to determine the exact lifespan of any animal, science is one step closer to understanding the lifespans of our pets. One new study on lovebirds suggests that the average lifespan in captivity is around six years old, with some females living up to 10 years. While this may seem like a long time for a pet, it’s important to remember that these birds are from tropical environments and don’t know what it means to be cold or hungry.
Lovebirds are known for their fun-loving personalities and high energy levels, making them easy pets to keep up with. Follow these tips for keeping your lovebird healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Lovebirds as pets
While they are active, fun-loving birds that can be difficult to keep up with at times, lovebirds make a good pet. Lovebirds enjoy affection and attention from their owners and require less time than other birds. They also have a very short breeding season, which makes them a low-maintenance pet for many people. For example, the average lifespan of a lovebird in captivity is six years old while it’s around three years old in the wild. They live much longer than chickens or most other types of birds. Here are some things to remember when caring for your lovebird:
– Provide them with plenty of toys
– Give them lots of attention
– Keep their cage clean and well-ventilated
– Provide them with a variety of fresh foods
– Cage them in a separate room away from your family
The Lifespan Of Lovebirds
Lovebirds are known for their high energy levels and fun-loving personalities. They require a lot of attention, as they need to spend time interacting with their human counterparts. They also have a penchant for getting into things and exploring their surroundings. Lovebirds sometimes can be prone to picking up parasites like mites or lice, which will cause infections and make your bird sick.
You should be diligent about taking care of your bird by cleaning its cage and changing its substrate regularly to avoid these parasites. You should also keep a close watch on your lovebird’s feathers so you can detect early signs of illness.
These birds come from tropical environments, so they don’t know what it means to be cold or hungry. The average lifespan in captivity is around six years old, with some females living up …
The practice of keeping aquariums came about in the late 1800’s. They were fairly crude. Usually these ancient aquariums only had one side that was made of glass, with the other three sides being made of metal or wood. Most aquariums consisted of fish that were native to the region of its owner simply because of availability. Also most old school fish tanks contained only fresh water fish. The reason being that salt water would corrode the metal frame that held the aquarium together.
Aquariums drastically changed in the 1960’s with the invention of silicone adhesive. Metal frames became obsolete and more people started to keep salt water fish and invertebrates. More recently glass tanks have become less frequently used due to the flexibility of acrylic. Literally flexibility! Acrylic aquariums are far more for forgiving than there glass counterparts. If a heavy object strikes a glass tank, it will almost certainly break. The flexibility of an acrylic tank will prevent this catastrophe from happening. In addition, acrylic offers more flexibility in design than glass. Acrylic aquariums have been made into everything from coffee tables to gum ball machines.
That being said, there is a short downfall to owning an acrylic aquarium. They do scratch more easily than glass. When cleaning your aquarium, be careful not to use paper towels, and harsh or abrasive chemicals, as they can scratch the acrylic surface of the aquarium. Always use a cleaner specifically labeled safe for acrylic. Use plastic or rubber scrubbers, rather than metal to clean the sides of an acrylic tank. Be careful not to accidentally pick up a piece of substrate or gravel while cleaning the inside of the tank. However, if you do happen to scratch an acrylic aquarium, all is not lost. The tank can be repaired, unlike glass. There are acrylic repair kits available at specialty pet stores, your local hardware store and of course online.
When purchasing an acrylic aquarium kit, there will be many different options to choose from, at many different price points. Aquarium kits can be purchased at places such as specialty aquatic pet stores, from huge retail chains, or again online. A fish lover can choose from small cylinder shaped tanks that can double as a coffee table lamp to wall huge wall sized aquariums. While, there are some basic things that will be included in most kits, such as, …
1. Birds need to eat a nutrionally sound diet in order to live a long life. Improper feeding can lead to malnutrition and disease resulting in a shorter lifespan. Start off by feeding your bird right from the beginning.
2. Parrots and birds of the parrot family can eat a variety of different kinds of foods. Seeds should not be a parrot’s only food. This is a mistake many new bird owners make. Seeds contain mostly fat and not enough protein and very few vitamins.
3. Birds can eat most table foods but it is best to stick to healthy items including items containing whole grains, pretzels, and whole wheat pastas and bread. Foods high in fat should be avoided. Never feed them avocados as they are toxic to birds.
4. Good sources of nutrition for your bird include beans and legumes as well as various vegetables and fruits. Some birds resist new foods at first while others are open to trying many new things. Although it may take some time keep trying to introduce your bird to a variety of healthy foods.
5. Changes to a bird’s diet should be done slowly and progressively over time. Provide fresh foods twice per day for approximately an hour each time. Be careful not to leave fresh food in the bird’s cage too long as it will develop bacteria which can make your bird sick.
6. Your bird should be fed two times per day. This will result in your bird getting hungry which will make it more active. Also, a good appetite can make it more likely that your bird will try new foods. Feeding at set times twice per day will also allow you to be able to monitor how much your bird is eating. If your bird is not eating well this can tell you that it is not feeling well or has a health problem.
7. If your bird is a picky eater and you cannot get it to eat a varied diet you can try warming or cooking the vegetables. Take away seeds except at meal time until your bird starts eating healthy foods on a regular basis.
8. Just as water is necessary for people it is also necessary for healthy birds. Keep your bird’s water dish filled with fresh, clean water at all times. Bird bowls can become …
Many people have pets that make a great companion in their life. Unfortunately, some people may not know the difference between these two animals, which can lead to confusion about which is better for you. A hamster is a type of rodent and a member of the subfamily Cricetinae of the family Cricetidae. It is not a true hamster, but a guinea pig or Syrian golden hamster instead.
A rabbit is any medium-sized mammal in the family Leporidae. There are over 40 species of rabbit that exist worldwide today, with around 20 known to be domesticated species. The main differentiator between these two animals is size as well as lifespan. Hamsters typically live anywhere from 2-3 years in captivity while rabbits live for up to 10 years on average.
What Makes These Two Animals Different?
There are two main differences between these two animals. The first is size, as hamsters are much smaller than rabbits. The other difference is lifespan. Rabbits typically live for up to 10 years in captivity while hamsters typically live for about 2-3 years.
The type of physical activity that you want your pet to be involved in also plays a role in the decision between these two animals. If you’re going to be doing activities with your pet and require their speed, endurance, or agility, then the rabbit would work better for you. Additionally, if you plan on using your pet as an assistant in hunting small game or as a companion on walks, then the rabbit may be better suited for you.
How Do Hamsters And Rabbits Live?
Hamsters live in burrows and can be kept in cages when they are not breeding. They need a wheel to run on, but they are able to exercise by wheel running. A hamster’s diet is primarily composed of hay, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and sometimes meat. A hamster eats up to 4 times its weight every day; this means that a female hamster would eat up to 250 grams a day and a male would eat up to 600 grams of the food.
Rabbits live in burrows or hutches and need plenty of food, water, and shelter. They love fresh vegetables, carrots especially! Rabbits typically live 10-12 years in captivity with larger breeds living longer. Their diet includes hay (50%), vegetables (30%), fruit (10%), seeds (5%), and occasional protein from commercial pellets …
Declawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat’s forepaws. There is a slight chance of death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below). Get your kitty some ball toys at DoggieToys.Deals
People generally have cats declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants’ cats be declawed.
Veterinarians are generally critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it because the absence of claws in a cat:
1. Deprives it of its main defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
2. Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
3. Compromises its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This operation is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless “a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal”.  In Britain, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized.
An alternative to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.…
Many Americans warmly welcome four-legged friends into their homes, but few are comfortable when creatures with eight legs wander in from outside.
Even though they make you shriek, some spiders play a positive role around your home by preying on other pests. For some homeowners, their contributions to reducing unwanted insects far outweigh the fear they evoke.
“Many household spiders are not dangerous to humans,” said Orkin, Inc. entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “However, there are a few species with a venomous bite. The key is distinguishing between those that make harmless houseguests and those that present a threat to your family.”
Several spiders can protect your home from pesky invaders. Cellar spiders-the web-spinning species most common in homes-have been known to prey on black widow spiders. Some, like the spiny orb weaver and house spiders, can hunt crickets and small flying insects. Wolf spiders can help rid lawns and gardens of common pests. Even the brown recluse-the most dangerous spider to humans-can assist by eating cockroaches, silverfish and other soft-bodied insects.
When protecting your family from venomous spiders, it is important to identify key characteristics of harmful species like the black widow, brown recluse and yellow sac spiders, whose bites can cause severe skin irritations.
• Black Widow: Females are shiny black, with a red hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomen.
• Brown Recluse: This spider is yellowish to brown in color, with a dark brown violin-shaped back marking; legs are long and thin with fine hair.
• Yellow Sac: This spider has yellow coloring; its abdomen is often much brighter than its head or legs.
According to a survey conducted by Orkin, Inc., spiders have a noticeable presence in two out of three American households. So when spiders make frequent appearances in your home, trust an experienced professional to identify the species, consider its web-building or hunting behaviors and determine the best way to control the infestation.
Homeowners can take some steps to prevent spider invasions and reduce potentially harmful encounters, such as removing food sources and discouraging nesting by keeping low-traffic areas, such as cellars or closets, clear. However, a licensed pest control company should be called upon to treat and repel spider infestations.…
Cats of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages often share the same space and the same dinner bowl. But cats have different dietary needs, and those with more than one cat often find that it becomes cumbersome to keep track of the amount and type of food each cat requires.
To make the process easier, The Iams Company recently introduced a food containing ingredients that the company says “work together to meet the individual needs of each cat in a household.”
“Feeding different foods to multiple cats living in the same home often is impractical, so Iams Multi-Cat is formulated with those needs and differences in mind,” said Dr. Dan Carey, a veterinarian with Iams. “Developing this food was a two-step process. First, cat owners described the ultimate food that would answer the needs of their cats. Iams nutritionists took that information and discovered the ideal combination of ingredients to accomplish the goals and fulfill the needs of these multi-cat households.”
The key ingredients in new Iams Multi-Cat are L-carnitine, which helps overweight cats burn fat; vitamin A, which is believed to help lower risk of weight gain; and protein for lean muscle mass.
According to industry research, 71 percent of all cats living in the U.S. live in a multi-cat home and 40 percent of those households make the extra effort to sequester each cat at mealtime.
But feeding is just one of many challenges multi-cat owners face. For those considering bringing an additional cat into their household, Iams offers the following tips:
* Give the new cat its own room with a bed, a scratching post, litter pan, food and water dishes and toys.
* Ease into it. Let the new cat explore the house while the other cat explores the new cat’s room. Also, let the new cat play with the first cat’s toys and then switch the toys. This will help them get used to each other’s scent.
* When introducing the cats, open the door just wide enough so that they can see and smell each other and stay close by to supervise. Repeat these short introductions as often as necessary until they are able to stay comfortably in the same room, with supervision.
* Give your first cat lots of extra attention and affection during this period of adjustment.…