I Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty ImagesSabrina is a curious feline, so naturally she played in your bag and got your packet of gum. Chewing gum can be toxic for your kitty.ChokingOne of the initial things that can happen if Sabrina swallows a hunk of gum is choking. Gum gets sticky and chewy when it gets wet, after all; it’s supposed to.
Walking through a pet store, you may see several lizards housed in the same cage, giving the false impression of chumminess among reptiles. The truth is, crowding reptiles is often an example of poor parenting on the owner's part. It puts stress on the animals and the dominant, aggressive ones will feed more, while the others will fail to thrive.
Hedgehogs appear to be omnivorous, eating both plant and animal foods. Their natural diet includes insects, worms, snails, slugs and occasional fruit. But homebound hedgehogs typically chow down on kitten, cat, dog or ferret food supplemented with earthworms, mealworms, crickets and small amounts of chopped fruits and vegetables.
For many reptiles, home is an aquarium or cage-like structure. Their entire world lies within those glass walls. In addition to providing food, security and proper light and temperature, keeping their home clean is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy. Cleaning methods and recommendations vary, depending on the type of cage and the species.
When first-time puppy owners pick up their 7- or 8-week-old pup, they usually glow with pride and affection. At this time, they set their hearts on doing everything possible to make the new pup welcome in their home and try to help it adjust to the considerable change in lifestyle that the pup inevitably faces.
According to fossil records, reptiles first appeared on earth more than 300 million years ago. Like all other living organisms, they have survived by acquiring information about the environment through the senses - sight, smell and hearing - and a few other specialized senses for life in the reptile world.
For people able to provide a semi-aquatic environment, amphibians can make interesting pets. As long as you can provide the proper setting and don't cave in to your desire to touch them, amphibians are great additions to a home, adding color and beauty. As with other pets, they can add a calming space to your home.
Native to the Andes Mountain region of Peru, guinea pigs were first domesticated by the Indians of the region who used them as a food source and sacrificial offering to the Incan gods. Known to scientists as Cavia porcellus (origin of their other common name, “cavy”), guinea pigs made their way to research laboratories in the 18th century and have made significant contributions to the scientific community ever since.
Do your fish look tired, listless, not as colorful as they looked when you first put them in the tank? Something just seems wrong? An aquarium is a small world but it can suffer all the same problems of the big world. And pollution is the biggest problem you face. Are there too many fish? Have you been feeding them too much?
Ever since the Garden of Eden, people have had a love/hate relationship with snakes. Many consider them to be creepy, slimy, slithery creatures whose only purpose is to terrorize people. Those in the know realize that snakes are not slimy, come is a variety of beautiful colors and play an important and crucial role in maintaining our wildlife.
When you bring your guinea pig home, let him have a few quiet days to adjust to his new surroundings before you start handling him. Speak to him softly in a comforting voice when you give him fresh water and food but don't try to pick him up just yet. Instead, try feeding him a celery or carrot stick directly from your fingers before you place his bowl on the cage floor.
The biggest mistake we as humans make with newborn rabbits is thinking the mother has abandoned them. The mother rabbit will leave her young for the entire day at times to go out and forage. We humans often think we need to play mom and intervene. Not true! She feeds them once in the middle of the night when we are sleeping.
The popularity of reptiles and amphibians as pets has risen meteorically, and animals that were once uncommon are now available even in a variety of “designer” color morphs. In many respects, this bodes well for the animals involved. Improved husbandry translates into healthier pets and captive breeding often eliminates pressures on wild stocks.
Feather picking in pet birds is one of the most difficult symptoms of all to contend with. A multitude of causes have been blamed for the frustrating condition, yet few of these prove to offer any consistent path to resolution. Essentially, any situation that produces a physiological or psychological disturbance can result in a bird plucking out its own feathers.
In recent years, hedgehogs have become popular pets. Both European and African hedgehogs are kept as pets but African hedgehogs are much more popular. Laws regarding keeping hedgehogs as pets may vary depending on your location. Be sure to check with local authorities to see if special permits or laws are required to keep these animals.
Rats are very sociable animals. They love being played with by their owners and quite happily ride around on your shoulder, take food treats from your hand and sit on your lap. With patience and gentle training you can even teach your rat to answer to its name, fetch objects thrown and complete obstacle courses.
Your hamster is an enthusiastic eater, and his next meal may be the highlight of his day. With high metabolic requirements, hamsters find themselves chewing through 10 percent of their body weight in food every 24 hours. By maintaining a well-balanced diet, you will increase your critter's chance of leading a long and healthy life.
Three words pretty much cover the market when you're talking about housing for amphibians, and those words are “cool,” “clean” and “damp.” Amphibians breathe partially through their skin and mucous membranes, both of which need to be damp or moist in order to be permeable. And an amphibian's surroundings must be kept clean so it doesn't absorb waste products through its skin.
An important aspect of pet bird care that often gets overlooked is bathing. In the wild, nature provides rain, puddles - even dew - for birds to clean and groom themselves. In captivity, you have to provide alternate means for your bird's “personal hygiene.” “Rain” can be produced by gently misting a bird from a spray bottle or by lightly sprinkling him with the spray attachment of a garden hose.
Some rabbits are small: Dutch and Polish dwarf breeds weigh under 4 ½ pounds (2 kilograms). Some rabbits are large: Flemish Giants or Lop-Ears weigh over 11 pounds (5 kilograms). With some 50 different breeds you can pretty much have your choice. Whichever you choose you will have lots of company: In the United States some 5 million pet rabbits are divided among just under 2 million households.
The key to training a sugar glider is to start young. A baby sugar glider is an open heart just looking for someone to love. “Assuming you're starting with a youngster, I recommend you get them when you have two or three days off from work,” suggests Sharon Massena, a breeder and owner of Massena's Menagerie in Auburn, Wash.