Understanding Guinea Pigs

guineapigGuinea pigs are fun pets, but it’s safe to say most pet parents aren’t familiar with their pet’s sounds and behavior at first. Do you understand your guinea pig? Here’s a short guide on guinea pig sounds and behavior you’ll want to know.
“Wheeking” is another name for the squealing or squeaking sounds of your guinea pig. She may seem like a quiet animal, but you’re likely to hear her squeal quite often. She might use it to get attention or to beg for her favorite food. A high-pitched squeal, however, could be a sign of fear or pain.

Similar to cats, guinea pigs purr when they’re relaxed and content. Pay attention to the tone however. A deep purr is a sign of contentment. A high-pitched one can signify annoyance or fear.

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Senior Cat Care Tips

Mar_2014_2While we may wish our cats had nine lives, they only have one. But you can do all you can to make your cat’s single life the best possible. When your feline reaches 10 years of age, she’s considered an ‘elderly’ cat. To ensure she’s comfortable, you may want to make a few changes in the care you give her.

Here are some tips to keep your senior cat comfortable and healthy.
Plenty of water
Water is the key to preventing kidney issues, which are common in elderly cats. Always have fresh water available and pair her food with water.

Trim nails
Keep your aging cat’s nails neat and trim. Nails become more brittle as cats age and they can crack, chip and cause pain. To keep your cat comfortable, check her nails regularly and clip them when they’re getting long.

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What Your Dog’s Tail Can Tell You

Mar_2014_1Do you ever wonder what your dog is thinking? Is he happy? Is he sad? Is he feeling unsure about himself?

 Even though your pup can’t speak, he gives you cues to how he’s feeling, especially with his tail. Dogs use their tails for more than just balance. They also use them to communicate.
When you come home from work, your pooch’s tail might be wagging quickly. When you go to the vet, however, his tail might hang low and move slowly. The difference in position and movement will let you know his reaction, but keep in mind these positions may vary for breeds with curly tails or naturally low tails. Read on to discover what your dog’s tail can tell you.

Happy Pup
Is your dog’s tail perched up high and wagging quickly? If so, he’s feeling very happy! You’ll most likely see this reaction when you arrive home, when you’re getting ready to go for a walk or when you’re about to throw his favorite ball. Continue reading

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:

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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