Category Archives: Small Animal

Strange Turtle Facts

Mar_2014_3If you have a turtle, you might be surprised to find that your shelled friend exhibits some pretty interesting and even strange traits.

Here are a few strange facts you might not have known:

They are vocal
Though they don’t have vocal cords, turtles can still make sounds. They suck in air and then force it out of their lungs, which can create some pretty distinctive sounds. The red-foot tortoise makes a sound similar to the cluck of a chicken. The male Travancore tortoise lets out an ear-piercing whine, similar to the sound of an electric motor, when they’re looking for a mate. You’ll hear a loud yelping sound, similar to a dog’s, when the giant musk turtle is afraid or is under attack. Also a female leatherback sea turtle, when nesting, will make sounds that are similar to a human belching.
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How to Choose the Best Cage for Your Hamster

Sept_2013_1There are a greater variety of hamsters now being kept as pets. But whether you have a tiny dwarf hamster or a large Syrian, you’ll need to consider your pet’s size when getting your hamster a home. 

Cage types

  • Wire cages: Wire cages tend to be larger and work well for large hamsters. Make sure the wire bars aren’t spaced more than a half inch apart.
  • Plastic cages: Plastic cages, many of which have various tunnels or levels, are good choices for small- to mid-sized hamsters. The built-in tubes are great for hamster exercise, although they may be more difficult to clean.
  • Aquariums. Small Chinese and dwarf hamsters do well in aquariums, which give them (and you) greater visibility. Continue reading

What you should know about feeding your ferret

Aug_2013_1Love ferrets? To keep your ferret his normal, playful self, make sure you’re meeting his dietetic and nutritional needs. Here are a few facts about feeding your ferret:

 

  • As carnivores who can’t absorb nutrition from vegetation, ferrets need a diet high in animal protein, high in fat and low in fiber.
  • It’s important to include high-quality animal protein in a ferret’s diet. A premium ferret food is recommended.  Continue reading

Rabbit Facts

Sept_2012_1A Rabbit Diet for Healthy Hopping

In the wild, rabbits spend their days eating grass and other greens. At home, rabbits depend on us for a proper diet.  Making sure they get enough water and fiber is important not only for their digestive health, but also for their continuously growing teeth. Keep reading for top tips to a healthy rabbit diet.

Hay for High Fiber

Hay is vital to a rabbit’s diet and should be available at all times. It provides roughage (fiber) and can prevent serious health issues, as well as obesity.  There are two basic types of hay: legume hay and grass hay. Legume hay (alfalfa or clover) is tastier for rabbits, but should be used in Continue reading

Dos & Don’ts of Rabbit Housing

Sept_2012_1

Bringing home a new rabbit? Every bunny needs a safe haven where he can eat, play and rest comfortably. Follow these tips and your bunny is sure to love his new home.

  • DO buy a cage or pen big enough for your rabbit.
    A bigger cage offers more freedom of movement.
  • DO line the litter area with rabbit-safe litter.
    Timothy hay, grass hay or pelleted newspaper are safe options for litter. Avoid pine/cedar shavings or clay cat litters as they can cause health problems.
  • DO use sturdy food or water bowls that can’t be tipped over.
  • DO get a home with a side opening.
    If your bunny is going to roam indoors occasionally, a side opening will allow him to get in and out on his own. Continue reading

Irresistible Toys for Ferrets

Aug_2013_1

Want toy ideas to keep your playful ferret entertained? Read on for some ferret favorites…

Tubes and tunnels

Ferrets were meant to chase rabbits or rodents and love running through tubes and tunnels. The Chewbular Play Tube and other tunnel systems can provide hours of fun. The Crinkle Tunnel adds another layer of amusement with its crinkly noises.

Plush or stuffed toys

Your ferret is sure to love small plush toys he can carry, chew on or hide. Use plush or stuffed toys with squeakers or without. Continue reading

How to Properly Set Up a Rabbit Cage

May_2013_1Preparing a home for a new bunny buddy? These cute, fun animals have specific housing needs. Follow these tips for the proper setup of a rabbit cage:

 

  • Set up your rabbit’s housing before you bring your pet home.
  • Unless they’re spayed or neutered, rabbits should be housed alone.
  • Caging should include a hiding area, food bowl, water bottle, salt lick, and hay manger.
  • The larger the cage, the better! Get a cage that has a lot of surface area, rather than multiple levels. Two levels are fine, but there is no need for a really tall cage.
  • The cage should have a solid bottom. Avoid a wire bottom, which can irritate a rabbit’s sensitive feet (the same goes for exercise wheels).
  • Use rabbit-safe litter or shavings to line the litter box. Make the bedding about one inch deep and be sure to change it at least every other day.
  • Rabbits need daily exercise for their health. An exercise pen is ideal for keeping your rabbit safe, but still giving them room to run.
  • Put the cage in an area that gets a lot of activity – rabbits are very social and love people! Continue reading

Why Ferrets Are Good Pets

Aug_2013_1

Although they’re appearing more often in movies and TV, ferrets are still misunderstood. They’re playful, intelligent creatures and can be a lot of fun to watch. We’ve listed a few reasons why they make good pets.

Ferrets are…

Friendly
Although they’re independent, Ferrets often seek attention and enjoy being with their human family.

Playful
Ferrets never lose their curiosity and enthusiasm for play, which makes them fun to watch. If you keep two ferrets, they will have you laughing with their antics as they play together. Continue reading

About Your Hamster’s Cheek Pouches

Sept_2013_1

Have you seen a hamster with bulging cheeks? They love to hoard food in their cheek pouches and might even use them to carry nesting material. Keep reading for some more interesting facts.

Did you know?

  • Hamsters stuff their cheeks to hoard food for later or to carry material from one area to another.
  • Since a hamster’s cheek pouches don’t have salivary glands, they can keep food dry and fresh.
  • The pouches have rough-textured skin lining the inside. This helps keep food from moving or falling out. Continue reading

Water Tips for a Healthy Ferret

Mar_2014_5

While a nutritious diet is a top priority, clean water is also essential to your ferret’s health. Dehydration from a lack of clean water can cause serious issues, including heart and kidney damage. Here are some tips to keep your ferret hydrated and happy…

Tap or filtered?

In many cases, household tap water has fluoride, chlorine and other additives. Your ferret may be fine with it, but filtered water or spring water are the safest options in general.

Cleaning tips

Just like you would pour yourself a new glass of water each day, your ferret would appreciate a fresh bowl or bottle daily. Since bacteria or even algae aren’t always visible, it’s best to wash his bowl with soap and water each morning (bleach can leave residue) and rinse it thoroughly. Consider wide-necked water bottles for easier bottle cleaning. Continue reading