Dear Diary, In my last entry, I chronicled Sommer's “firsts.” Much like a toddler taking her first steps, once those “firsts” were achieved, there was no looking back! Why crawl when you can walk, and once you've figured out what a squirrel is, why not chase it? But recently, we experienced a first that I fervently hoped would also be a “last.
Category Pet care
Although many freshwater fish-keepers may disagree, saltwater tanks require a little extra attention to maintain water quality. Here is a quick guide to what you need to do regularly to keep your tank in shape. There's a lot to keep in mind so it's a good idea to start by keeping a calendar or notebook to track what you've done, especially for procedures that need to be performed only occasionally.
Corals have endured all sorts of environmental conditions throughout the 500 million years they have been in existence. Keeping a live specimen with such a rich legacy demands some general knowledge of how they live in nature. Then you can begin to understand how certain behaviors may play out in your tank.
Black widows and brown recluse are both venomous spiders. Black widow spider venom is a nerve toxin. One bite can be sufficient to severely affect or even kill a small pet. They are typically shiny black and have a distinctive red hourglass shaped area on their stomachs. Brown recluse venom destroys the tissues surrounding the bite.
The parrots come in all sizes, colors and temperaments. And the numbers just keep growing. In fact, the Washington home of Diana and Rick Waltman might just as well be called the "Birdhouse," since it houses the dedicated couple's Angels in Flight (AIF) rescue program and little else. "We are slowly but surely moving ourselves out of the house to accommodate the birds," says Diana Waltman.
During a Chicago blizzard, a black and white shorthair cat, who later would be named Madonna, was found shivering in a dumpster. Suffering from dehydration, her ears and tail were frozen. While most cats in such condition would have died, Madonna was one of the lucky exceptions. Rescuers brought her to Tree House, a unique animal shelter in Chicago dedicated to helping cats other shelters probably would put to sleep.
Amazons, macaws and cockatoos are most commonly associated with dominance and mating aggression, which can be quite serious and vicious. Watch for screaming, biting or lunging. Breeding season - late winter through summer - is the time when dominance behavior can become worse. Birds tend to protect their territory and their chosen "mate.
Much of a parrot's wild language is intended to give information to the flock or family. Vocal behaviors can develop any time before or after weaning. Screaming must be dealt with patiently, compassionately and sympathetically because it does have a purpose. If your bird is screaming excessively, then something's wrong.
An effective relationship with your parrot must begin with mutual trust. The baby parrot usually comes with these elements already established in his behavior. Cooperative games between you and the bird such as step-ups and towel-peek-a-boos should be repeatedly stimulated, enacted and reinforced to maintain tameness as the bird matures.
Keeping fish healthy requires a constant and reliable filtration system. Three types of filtration are necessary for a typical tank: biological, mechanical and chemical. Although some filters are "dedicated" to perform a specific filtration task, most are multifunctional and can handle several - if not all - requirements.
Parrots in need of a second home can make wonderful pets. The most promising candidate is a youngster that has merely been neglected, rather than abused or spoiled. To reduce fear and to bond with your new parrot, provide hiding opportunities by covering part of his cage with a towel during the first few days.
A healthy growth of green algae in an established aquarium, a sign of good water quality, will happen naturally. Microscopic algae that appear as greenish "films" on glass are easily cleaned with a rag, or controlled by herbivorous species. Snails are often thrown into a tank to thwart any overgrowth, which usually works well.
The most active time for nocturnal fishes is during the early evening and morning hours, when they feed. Grouper, lionfish and eels are among the species that are active mostly at night. You can keep a nocturnal tank by creating a cave-like environment and keeping the tank away from a bright window or area.
Koi can grow as large as 3 feet and reach mature length in as little as 3 years. With good care and proper environment, they can live to be 60 years old. Koi are best suited to ponds or pools, rather than in-home aquariums. They are cold water fish, thriving best in temperatures between 61 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
After surgery, it can be difficult to prevent your cat from licking or chewing the incision line. One alternative is an Elizabethan collar. This apparatus looks like a lampshade, which is tied around the cat's head. A hard plastic cone surrounds the head, preventing the cat from licking or chewing her body, or pawing at her face.
Before a bird can be "potty-trained," he should be familiar with the "step-up" command. Just as the bird begins to defecate, give a verbal command, delivered in a quiet, pleasant voice. Say "good bird," open the cage and take him out for some quality time and maybe a treat. After about 10 to 15 minutes, place your bird back in his cage and wait again.
Before you start clipping, determine how much to trim. The basic rule of thumb is that the nail, which curls downward, should be even with the paw pad. Whatever hangs over needs to be clipped. The earlier you start clipping your kitty's claws, the more accepting of the ritual she will be. Frequent trims when your cat is young will help diminish fear.
Various parts of the body can be bandaged. The most common reason a head wrap is applied is to stop bleeding from the ears. Leg bandages are typically applied to help temporarily stabilize a fracture or to help reduce bleeding from a wound. Splints are used to add extra support to fractures of the bones below the elbow.
After visiting and selecting the right kennel, bring your cat's own food. Abrupt changes in food may lead to diarrhea in some cats, especially when they are away from home and in a more stressful environment. For many cats, bringing their own litter is a good idea. If your cat has a special bed or favorite toy, ask if you can bring them with your pet.
It is a good idea to take extra precautions when you are pregnant. Cats can transmit a parasite known as Toxoplasmosis to people. This parasite rarely causes problems in healthy adults but can be devastating to a developing fetus. To reduce exposure, pregnant women should not clean litter boxes; someone else should remove the feces from the litter box within 24 hours.
It is safest to clean only the parts of the ear you can see. If there is significant wax just inside the ear canal, you can briefly place the tip of the Q-tip into the ear canal to remove the debris. However, this is important: You should ALWAYS be able to see the cotton tip of the Q-tip.