About Those Bulging Cheek Pouches

Sept_2013_1You may have seen your hamster with bulging cheek pouches. What you might not know is that his cheek pouches aren’t always used for food. Read on for some interesting facts.

Did you know?

Hamsters stuff their cheeks to hoard food for later or to carry nesting material from one area to another. Female hamsters might also carry their pups in their cheek pouches.

When full, cheek pouches can make a hamster’s head double or even triple in size.

A hamster’s cheek pouches don’t have salivary glands and can keep contents dry and fresh.

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A Message From Your Cat: Why I Need My Hiding Places

Mar_2014_2Dear Keeper of the Food:

It’s me again, your fantastic feline, with a little message about the importance of preserving my hiding places. Remember the fun box you got rid of the other day? I know the box was looking a little worn from my attention, but it provided much fun and was a fabulous hiding place.

I need my hiding places, because…

1. I may want to hide, of course.
That friend you brought over last week with the sticky child did not understand that only a select few can play with my fabulous self (unless treats are involved).

2. They’re secure places for me to relax and de-stress.
After spying on the neighbors from the window, playing with my toys, I need secure places to unwind from the stress of it all. I guess I could do the same under the bed or in the closet, but I’m also happy in a box or at an elevation (or better yet, both). Speaking of elevations…

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Items at Home that can Endanger Your Pet Bird

Mar_2014_7As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial you know that birds are fragile creatures in a human’s world. They are susceptible to many of the things they can come into contact with in your home.

To ensure your pet bird stays out of harm’s way, read on for some of the dangers that may be lurking.

Poison control
There are a wide range of substances that can be quite harmful to your bird. They include:

Insecticides
Bleach
Ammonia
Glue
Nail polish remover

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Bad Cat Habits and How to Correct Them

Mar_2014_2Cats are famous for doing what that they want, when they want. They scratch at walls, jump on furniture and spray areas they shouldn’t, among other things. You might think your feline companion is being stubborn or willful, but the truth is your cat is just being, well, a cat.

With diligence and some helpful tips, you can turn your cat’s bad habits around.

When combating any bad habit, keep these essential steps in mind…

Try to figure out why she does it or what she gets out of that behavior

Offer a substitute that will give her the same result or better

Reward her for using the alternative

Here are some examples…

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Cold Weather Safety Tips for Dogs

Mar_2014_1The cold winds of Old Man Winter are blowing in and you aren’t the only one who will feel the chill. Just because your dog is covered in fur doesn’t mean he won’t get cold as well.

Keep your pooch warm, cozy and safe this winter with these helpful tips for cold weather safety.
Keep him inside
Though your dog may enjoy spending time outdoors, limit his time outside when the weather turns frightful. The longer he’s exposed to cold temperatures, ice and snow, the greater the chance he will suffer from the effects of the cold.

Adjust his diet
Offer him a premium pet food diet, that is high in protein and consider a supplement with essential fatty acids. This will help thicken his coat and keep him warmer when the temperatures drop.

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How to Speak Hamster

Sept_2013_1Perked ears, waving hands, hissing… do you know what these actions mean in “hamster speak”? Read on for tips on how to interpret your hamster’s actions.

Is he waving at me?
Your hamster may seem to be waving hello, but he’s really exploring with his senses. Since he doesn’t have good eyesight, he relies on his senses of smell, hearing touch and taste. To do that, it helps to stand on his hind legs and wave his front paws a little.

Hiss, hiss or stay away
As you may have guessed, a hissing hamster is not a happy hamster. In this case, he’s feeling aggressive or is afraid. Take it as the warning it is and leave him alone for a while.

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Enjoying the Holidays with a Curious Cat

Mar_2014_2If you have a cat, you’re sure to have a curious cat. While your feline may love the holiday decorations and blinking lights, help her keep out of mischief by keeping certain dangers away.

Use these tips for a cat-friendly holiday.

Holiday plants: You may love kissing under the mistletoe, but chewing on it can cause an upset stomach for your cat. Keep mistletoe, holly and other holiday plants at a safe distance or better yet, use artificial varieties.

Holiday leftovers: Holiday food is too fatty and spicy for your kitty and may affect her diet. We suggest a special cat treat instead.

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Holiday Doggy Dinner Dangers

Mar_2014_1As you enjoy your holiday meal with family and friends, it may be natural to want to share the holiday feast with your furry family.

While your pets certainly wouldn’t mind some extra holiday treats, there are a few foods that can pose a danger to your pets.

Holiday dangers:

Fatty food can lead to stomach upset and even pancreatitis in dogs. Don’t overindulge Fido with turkey skin, ham fat or other fatty foods, which could cause problems.

Beware of offering your dog meat bones. Turkey bones can puncture intestines and should be avoided.

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The Basics of a Guinea Pig Diet

guineapigGuinea pigs are popular pets. They’re small, fairly easy to care for and are fun to watch.

But this small animal needs a certain diet to stay healthy. Fortunately, the diet of a guinea pig is fairly easy to accommodate.

Wondering what you should be feeding your small friend? Here’s a look at a well-rounded guinea pig diet:

Pellets
A large part of your guinea pig’s diet should include timothy-based pellets. They’re specially formulated with extra vitamin C, which is vital for your pet’s health. Guinea pigs don’t produce this vitamin on their own and must get it through their diet.

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Tips for Senior Cat Care

Mar_2014_2As your feline companion gets older, she will need extra TLC to stay healthy, comfortable and happy. To keep her feeling young at heart, adjust the way you care for your senior cat and tend to her special needs.

Here are some tips that will help you keep your kitty healthy once she reaches her golden years:

Switch from Dry to Wet
If you’ve been feeding your cat dry food, make the switch to canned or wet food as she gets older. Kidney problems are not uncommon in senior cats and increasing her water intake may help avoid these issues while easing digestion.

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