I am not a veterinarian. The health information provided on and accessible via this Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be healthcare advice, veterinary or medical diagnosis, treatment or prescribing of any kind. Additionally, none of this information should be considered a promise of benefits, a claim of cures, a legal warranty or a guarantee of results to be achieved. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your pet’s veterinarian or any other healthcare provider. You should not use this information for diagnosis or treatment of any disease, condition or health problem or for prescription of any medication, supplement or other treatment for your pet, yourself or any other person or animal. You should consult with a veterinarian before altering or discontinuing any of your pet’s current medications, treatment or care or starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program. You should also check with your pet’s veterinarian if you have or suspect he or she might have a health problem.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

African Grey Parrots

Photo Credit: L. Miguel Sanchez
The African grey parrot is one of the most talented talking/ mimicking birds on the planet, giving it quite a reputation among bird enthusiasts. Not only do bird keepers love this intelligent bird, it’s one of the most recognizable species to bird novices as well – everyone knows the African grey parrot. This parrot is one of the oldest psitticine species kept by humans, with records of the bird dating back to biblical times. Understated beauty and a brainy no-nonsense attitude are what keep this parrot at the peak of popularity.

There’s a reason why the African grey is often considered the poster bird for parrot intelligence … not only is this bird inclined to amass large vocabularies, African greys have also demonstrated an aptitude for recognizing the meaning of words and phrases. An African grey will need plenty of toys that challenge their intelligence, such as foraging and puzzle toys. African greys seems especially effected by stress and commotion in their environment and can be put more at ease by placing one corner of the cage against a wall as opposed to in the middle of a room.

African greys are especially susceptible to feather picking, calcium deficiency, vitamin-A and vitamin-D deficiency, respiratory infection, psittacosis and psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD).

Did you know?
Much of the grey’s appeal comes from its talking ability. It is among the best talkers in the parrot family, able to repeat words and phrases after hearing them just once or twice. This bird reaches full talking ability around a year of age, and most individuals become capable mimics much earlier.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hoping for a Hedgehog? 10 Things to Know Before Bringing One Home

Photo Credit: Gaudete
Wild hedgehogs have been living in Africa forever, but only in recent years have they been kept as pets. Most North American pet hedgehogs, typically called African pygmy hedgehogs, were bred from African species and are considered domesticated. These little animals can make terrific companions when housed and fed appropriately, and their popularity appears to be increasing. But hedgehogs are not meant for everyone. Before you consider bringing a hedgehog into your home, there are several things to be aware of.

1. Hedgehogs Are Prickly
Like porcupines, the skin over hedgehogs’ backs is covered with sharp spines that protect them from predators. Thankfully, unlike our native porcupines, hedgehogs cannot shoot their quills out in defense. When caught in the mouth of a predator, however, hedgehogs will twitch and jump so that their quills poke into the skin and lips of the aggressor, making things generally unpleasant until they are released. Handling a nervous hedgehog can be tricky for an owner, and you may need to hold your friend in a small towel until he relaxes.

2. They Like to Play ‘I’m Out of Here’
As a defense mechanism, hedgehogs roll their bodies into tight little balls when threatened, causing their spines to point outward so that predators are unable to see their faces or limbs. They have very strong muscles over their backs, and it is nearly impossible to unfurl a hedgehog once he’s curled up. Pet hedgehogs must be handled gently and often to get them to relax and uncurl. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time staring at a cute but prickly little ball in your lap.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Keeping Sugar Gliders as Pets

Photo Credit: http://www.popsugar.com
Sugar gliders do indeed make extraordinary pets. It is not, however, the best pet for every household. Gliders, like all exotic pets, have particular needs specific to their species. They also live 12-14 years in captivity. The decision to add a glider to your household is one that we hope you consider carefully. Our glider friends are not difficult animals to keep.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Iguanas as Pets

Photo Credit: Ommnomnomgulp
Iguanas are certainly one of the most popular lizards to have ever been kept as a pet. There are a multitude of online resources available to iguana owners or potential owners but their popularity has thankfully been decreasing as pets over the years.

Fresh food is the key to a healthy iguana. Old thought processes included feeding cat food to help bulk up iguanas quickly but owners found out that all that protein caused kidney failure in their pets and their life spans were shortened greatly. Dark leafy greens, some fruit, and calcium supplementation must all be provided to keep your iguana healthy. Fruit and calcium supplementation should only be added about once a week to the diet. Avoid diets high in protein with your iguana.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

10 Fun Facts About 'World's Ugliest Dog' Winner Sweepee Rambo

The competition was certainly fierce for crowning the homeliest hound in The World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California. But Sweepee Rambo, a blind Chihuahua/Chinese Crested mix, emerged victorious after her third attempt for the crown.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Photo Credit: Armin Kubelbeck
Goats are important farm animals all over the world. They can live in mountainous and dry areas where other animals (such as cows) would not be able to live.

Goats are covered with hair that can be white, black, gray, brown or red.

A goat is a "ruminant". That means that it has 4 stomachs. A goat has "cloven" hoofs. That means that each hoof has 2 toes.

A goat that is less than 1 year old is called a "kid". An adult female goat is called a "doe" or a "nanny". A "buck" or "billy goat" is an adult male goat.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Keeping Skinks as Pets

Blue-tongued Skink
Photo Credit: JJ Harrison
Certain species of skinks can make great pets particularly for reptile beginners or children keen on getting a reptile pet. They are among the best lizards to handle, being relatively docile and easy to tame. They are also playful and agile, providing hours of entertainment for those watching. Care is much the same as for other lizards, although careful thought must be given to housing as skinks can grow to a substantial size. The two most popular species that are kept as pets are the blue-tongues skink and the Berber or Schneider skink.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Turtle Care Guide

Photo Credit: Petsmart.com
Of all the reptiles, turtles are the most beloved. And what’s not to love? These animals have adorable facial expressions, attractive patterns on their shells, and gentle habits.

Each species has slightly different requirements, but proper care is within the capabilities of most people. That said, taking in a turtle means you’re into pet-care for the long haul.

Any pet needs consistent care for his or her entire natural lifetime. That might be a couple years for a guppy or thirty years for a horse or eighty years for some of the parrots. Turtles are on the high end. Keeping a turtle as a pet is a long-term commitment. Indeed, a healthy turtle might outlive you. Make arrangements for his care, before the time comes when you are no longer able to keep him.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Welcoming Your New Hamster

Syrian Hamster
Photo Credit: Peter Maas

Here's how to make your hamster's transition to her new home as stress-free as possible.

Where should you look for a hamster companion? Instead of creating more demand for hamsters by purchasing one from a pet store, we suggest you adopt one from a local animal shelter. Hamsters and other small animals are frequently brought to shelters so that they can be placed in other homes.

When you first bring your new hamster home, she's likely to feel stressed by the transition to an unfamiliar environment. She may be away from her litter mates for the first time and will be inundated with strange sounds and smells.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

14 Things to Consider Before Buying a Ferret

Photo Credit: Alfredo Gutierrez
What Every Prospective Ferret Owner Needs to Know

Ferrets are playful, active, curious and loving. They make wonderful pets, but before you fall in love with one at a pet store or rush off to get one after talking to a delighted ferret owner, there are a few things that you must consider.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Choosing a Pet Snake

Photo Credit: http://exoticpets.about.com
Snakes are fascinating animals and with regular handling most of them can be quite tame as pets. However, snakes are obviously not the right pets for everyone. They have unique requirements and should only be cared for by those with the commitment and understanding to meet their needs. If you are new to pet snakes find out what you should consider before deciding on one and what species are the best snakes for beginners.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Thinking of Getting a Pet Turtle?

Photo Credit: http://www.turtlerescueleague.com
Turtles and other reptiles carry Salmonella bacteria, which can be easily transmitted to people. A small turtle may seem harmless, giving parents a false sense that they're a safe pet for children. But they're not. The disease risk is so great that selling small turtles is illegal in the United States.

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