Archive for February 2010

Pet Care Tip – Socializing Hamsters

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hamsters can make very nice small pets. They have some advantages over larger pets, and one of these advantages is their small size.  Being small, they don’t need a lot of room, and are usually easy to care for. They don’t eat nearly as much as, for instance, a 30 lb dog or a 10 lb cat.

When you first get your hamster, or are picking one out at the pet shop, keep in mind that the hamster doesn’t know you yet. It may be a little (or a lot) afraid. When hamsters get afraid, they might bite or try to run away.  To avoid getting bitten by a new hamster, let him or her get to know you gradually. If there is a cage or tank with several hamsters in it, don’t just reach in and grab one and pick it up.  Use the back of your fingers to pet the hamster on its back. Do this gently. If you have a hamster treat, offer it to him.

After a little petting, if the hamster looks like he doesn’t mind being petted and doesn’t appear to be afraid, then you might be able to pick it up.  Reach around the middle of the hamster, gently pick it up and remove it from the cage or tank.  Don’t stand up with the hamster, or raise him up too high. If he or she should fall, or jump, your hamster could really get hurt. Keep the hamster down low, maybe put him on your lap, or somewhere where he can’t get away or jump down to get hurt.

Keep petting your new hamster and handle him or her gently. Avoid sudden movements and loud noises.  If your hamster starts to get nervous and tries to bite or gets really afraid, put him back in his cage and try again later.  Just do this little by little and your new hamster will learn to trust you, and become a good pet.

Here are some treats your hamster might like:

Yogurt Drops

Healthy Bits Treat

Product Review: Aqueon Mini Bow 1-Gallon Desktop Aquarium Kit

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

1-Gallon Mini Bow Aquarium KitThe Aqueon Mini Bow 1-Gallon Desktop Aquarium Kit comes with a quiet flow power filter that is virtually silent, keeps water crystal clear, and is easy to maintain.  This aquarium kit includes a mini bow tank (8″ wide x 6″ deep x 9″ high), quiet flow filter and cartridge, aquarium light hood and 7-watt incandescent bulb, as well as Aqueon Betta food and water conditioner samples.

This 1-gallon mini bow aquarium is ideal for a betta, or Siamese fighting fish.  It would also be good for some neons, guppies, or other small fish.

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1-Gallon Mini Bow Aquarium Kit – Blue
1-Gallon Mini Bow Aquarium Kit – Black

Tons of Fun with Small Animals

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Guinea PigThe keeping of small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rats, and mice is becoming quite popular today. You can even choose from more exotic small animals such as chinchillas, ferrets, hedgehogs, and prairie dogs. Whichever one you choose, you can be assured that it will bring you a lot of joy and fun. Small animals make super pets because they are generally very playful, quite adorable and lovable, a lot of fun to watch and be with, and relatively easy to take care of.

Like other pets, small animals will first need to have their basic living necessities taken care of, such as food, water, clean bedding, and a roomy-enough, escape-proof place to stay. However, small animals are also relatively intelligent, interactive, curious, and energetic little creatures that must have things to keep them occupied in order for them to thrive and be happy.

To make their lives much longer and happier, and for your satisfaction and enjoyment as a pet owner, you should provide them some things for activity, exercise, and play. Thanks to the great variety of toys and accessories available for small animals today, this is quite easy to do, even if you do not have a lot of time or energy to spend with your pet.

Scampering and Running Around

Black GerbilScampering and running around are some of the favorite activities of most small animals, especially hamsters, mice, rats, and other rodents. The exercise wheel is a great accessory to satisfy that need for scampering. It provides fun activity and great exercise for any small animal that you do not have the time and energy to play or exercise with outside of its cage. An exercise wheel is also ideal for the very small and quick rodents because it may not be a good idea to handle them outside their cage very often, if at all, as you may lose them if you let them scamper around your home!

A popular variation of the exercise wheel is the plastic exercise ball. Just put your rodent or other small animal in it and watch it go! Most rodents love these balls, as they can zoom around the house without getting hurt or stepped on. It is a lot of fun to watch your rodent run in one of these too, as you never know where they are going to go. If you would like to keep an eye on your rodent and control where it goes, you can make it stay on specially made tracks. Your pet can overexert itself, so do not keep it in the ball for more than half an hour at a time. Also, you do have to be careful that they do not fall down the stairs anywhere.

Exercise wheels and plastic exercise balls come in many sizes and colors. Metal exercises wheels often will work best, as they can not be chewed up and are more sturdy. If your wheel squeaks, try putting a little vaseline on the rotating shaft. Plastic exercise balls may range in size from as big as a basketball for rats and other large rodents, to some as small as a grapefruit for mice or dwarf hamsters.

Burrowing and Tunneling

HamstersBurrowing and tunneling are also favorite, natural, and common activities for many small animals. Great toys for simulating and enhancing these activities are funnels, tunnels, tubes, and various hiding places.

For even more fun, there are special playhouses and funhouses made for small animals that will keep them occupied for hours with plenty of antics. These houses usually have built-in tubes, wheels, and other exciting accessories for your small animal. The houses are also great for them to sleep or hide in. Playhouses and funhouses for small animals are available at your local pet store or in our online store.


FerretHow would you like to walk your rodent or small animal around like a dog? Think of all the attention you would get! Harnesses and leads work well with some of the larger small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. They allow you to keep your pet from getting away from you and from getting into things. Most harnesses can be adjusted to fit the size of animal that you have. Keep in mind that some animals such as mice are simply too small and easily frightened for a harness, while some others such as ferrets may be too wild and active for harnessing up.

Be creative and have fun with your small animals! For example, if you have two or more rodents, you can try putting them side by side in a little track, or even in a maze with some cheese at the end, and let them compete in races. They can be unpredictable, but once they get going, these little guys can really move!

In addition, remember that most small animals can be trained to perform easy tricks. Often, they are trained with the use of food rewards and a little patience. Some of the bigger small animals such as ferrets also love to go places with you, riding on a shoulder or in a bag. Ferrets can be also be trained to do tricks and play games much like cats and dogs.

If you are looking to get a small animal, take a little time to find out which one best suits you and your home, and see what activities are most fun for you and your small animal. Your reward will be a very happy pet and you will have a great friend.

Pet Care Tip – Decorating Your Aquarium for Cichlids

Friday, February 19th, 2010

If you have an aquarium with cichlid fish, or are thinking of getting cichlids, you will want to consider how to best decorate your aquarium for the benefit of these fish.

If you are choosing African cichlids, of which there are a large variety, you will need a lot of rocks, caves and plants.  African cichlids tend to get a little aggressive, and could fight among themselves.  Try to get rocks, artificial driftwood,  artificial rock, and plastic plants in enough quantity to really fill up your aquarium.

The aquarium should be fairly large if you are going to have several cichlids.  Have decorations with plenty of hiding places and caves so if a cichlid needs to escape from a bully, he can.  Cichlids will often have a pecking order, and usually the larger or most aggressive will rule the tank.

With a lot of cover and hiding places, your cichlids will have more color as well as more protection from the more aggressive cichlids. There are many other types of cichlids available too. Depending on what type you have, you will want to appropriately decorate with good hiding places for the less dominant types.

If you have oscars, you probably won’t have too many oscars together in one tank, as they get quite large.  If you have a pair of oscars that have grown up together, they can usually get along fairly well.  If you have a third or fourth one in the same tank, they may not all get along.

Having plenty of good hiding places made of rocks and plants is a good idea for most cichlids.

Here are some items that make good decorations for cichlid aquariums:

Rock Tunnels with Plants

T-Rex Skull

Crocodile Skull

Anacharis Plant

Foxtail Plant

Product Review: Four Paws Brewers Yeast Natural Daily Supplement

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Four Paws Brewers YeastThis is a very healthy natural supplement made in a pill form for cats and dogs.  It is designed to improve and maintain a healthy coat and skin for your pet.  It provides protein, zinc and biotin.

Four Paws Brewers Yeast Natural Daily Supplement with Garlic  is recommended by veterinarians.  It is a natural source  of vitamins, minerals and protein to promote a healthy, shiny coat. It helps control shedding and conditions your pet’s skin.  This supplement also provides amino acids, which are the individual “building blocks” your pet’s body uses to build and repair tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, etc.

Some of the vitamins and minerals in this supplement include: zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxin, niacin, antithetic acid, and biotin.  Also, the  garlic contained in this supplement may help in repelling fleas as they come around.

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