Is a Basset Hound the Best Pet for Your Family? – The Pros and Cons

Find Out Why a Basset Hound Will or Won’t Make a Good Pet

Basset Hounds are a favorite breed because they are so good-natured, laid-back, even-tempered and calm. Even with all these great attributes there are a number of things that aren’t so great. No matter how many bad things people bring up, a Basset Hound owner will be able to overlook them and say their pets are the best in the world. Below you will find the good points along with the bad ones so that you can make up your own mind whether a pet Basset Hound will be right for your family.

Pros:

Bassets are independent problem-solvers and are quite clever, likely due to their hunting genes. They love the outdoors and are perfect for a family that enjoys hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

They are a social, good-natured breed not only with people, but also with other dogs and cats. Your pet Basset Hound will enjoy being physically close to their humans and with proper training they are good with children.

Their coats are easy to maintain even with all their shedding. Brushing every day will be keep the shedding to a minimum and will be something they look forward to. Generally, Basset Hounds are a healthy breed.

Having fun appears to be their favorite pastime as they happily go through life.

Cons:

Bassets cannot swim because of their heavy torsos and short legs. They are short, but, because of their long bodies, they can reach things on tables. Their long ears can lead to ear ailments, while eye disorders are possible because the folds under their eyes can accumulate dirt and cause infections.

A pet Basset Hound likes to just lie around so you must exercise them regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight. This breed has a tendency to drool, which is messy, and can cause yeast infections around the mouth if not kept clean.

Since they are trackers, finding a scent and following it is what they do best, which means it may be a challenge to control them because they are so strong. When walking you pet Basset Hound you must keep it on a leash. If they find a scent they like they will take off and not hear a single command to come back. Shedding is an on-going situation with Basset Hounds but can be controlled with regular brushing. Their doggy odor is a turnoff to some people.

House training can be a real challenge, especially as puppies, but it must be done. Crate training is the best way to do this as it gives them a safe place to be while you are away. Overall training will need to be done with much love and patience as your pet Basset Hound can be stubborn and independent. Don’t discipline them as they will get their feelings hurt and then sulk. Many times the best way to train them is with food.

You shouldn’t leave your pet Basset Hound outside by itself as they have a tendency to bay or howl when lonely. The neighbors won’t appreciate this and many won’t tolerate it. Bassets can be dumpster divers. Keep your trash covered at all times.

If a fast walk with your dog is important to you, a pet Basset Hound may not be the proper choice. Their short legs and tracking instincts can make a walk with them a slow activity. Because they are long and low, they can have back problems and may need help getting into a high space (an automobile, for example).

While Basset Hounds are a healthy breed overall, one major problem they can have is Thrombopathia (a bleeding disorder). Normally buying your pet through a reputable breeder will minimize this problem along with any others.

Even with this long list of faults the typical Basset Hound owner will tell you the good traits far outweigh the bad ones as far as they are concerned. The first time you look into their eyes is probably when you decide this might be the ideal pet for you. Before you decide one way or the other visit a local breeder and some owners. You will likely come away with a new found love of these unique pets. If you are an active family with the will power and good humor needed to train them, then a pet Basset Hound just might be what you are looking for.

Source by Don A Levy

Kennel Cough: Is a Natural Treatment the Answer?

The consensus is still out on what the exact cause of kennel cough is but if your dog is suffering from it, you´re probably more interested in finding a treatment that is both fast and effective.

While some experts believe it is caused by a virus, others blame the bacteria Biordatella Bronchiseptica. Fact is, this illness is responsible for causing minor irritation of the trachea leading to that loud, hacking cough that can be so worrisome.

Luckily, the symptom is worse than the disease itself. If your beloved pet is suffering from kennel cough, you want to make sure she gets the treatment she needs. This basic information can help:

  • Please be aware it is extremely contagious. This means it can spread easily from one dog to the other, so keep your pet away from other animals while she is sick.
  • It can affect your dog, no matter what her age may be.
  • Whether or not your dog can be affected has nothing to do with her breed – however if her immune system is weak, she could be at higher risk of getting the disease.
  • Once your dog comes down with kennel cough the only way to have a peaceful home again is to get your dog the treatment she needs – and make sure she is healed completely.

Treatments

Most dog owners tend to look for home remedies when it comes to treating kennel cough. And while some people question whether these natural remedies are truly effective, often the problem lies in whether you are applying them correctly – or not.

Before you choose a treatment to use, do the proper research ahead of time to make sure you have the information you need to be able to apply the remedy successfully.

  • Astragalus is an herb used to support the functioning of the lungs, stimulate the growth and regeneration of bronchial cells and enhance the immune system. It is frequently used in Chinese medicine.
  • Esberitox is a fast-acting Echinacea that is known to directly attack the disease-causing agents once they are in your dog´s body.
  • Oregano oil is chock full of antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Like Esberitox, oregano oil also directly attacks the kennel cough bacteria, helping your pet successfully fight and conquer it!
  • Herbs like licorice root and marshmallow can help soothe and suppress a cough naturally, while slippery elm helps soothe sore throats.
  • Raw honey can help ease the discomfort of coughing
  • Vitamins C & E are both well-known for helping build up the human immune system and can do much the same thing for your dog. Together they can help your dog´s body resist kennel cough more easily if it is exposed to it.
  • Nosodes is a homeopathic remedy that comes from a pathological specimen being injected to help give your dog´s immune system a boost (much like your being given a flu shot with a small dose of the bacteria that causes the flu). This way, your dog´s body is prepared to fight off kennel cough if it comes into contact with it. Kennel cough nosodes have proven to be especially effective.
  • Essential oils like lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus all have antiviral and antibacterial properties; chamomile has a calming effect… all of these are great for helping a puppy with kennel cough breathe more easily.

Just check before using any natural remedies to make sure they will not negatively affect any other medication your pet may be taking.

Also keep in mind, that even if you are successful in finding a natural remedy for your dog´s cough, you may still need to use antibiotics to make sure the disease is cured completely. The fact is, if it goes untreated for too long, your pet may need anti-inflammatory medication to relieve any pain she may be suffering until the infection clears up.

And before you consider using the traditional kennel cough tablets to treat your pet, please be aware that these tablets are made of chemicals that can actually do more harm than good. Natural herbs, free of chemicals, are always a better alternative for treating the canine you love.

Source by Jenny McDonnel

Husky Separation Anxiety Solutions

Dealing With Husky Separation Anxiety

Husky Separation Anxiety is the cause of most husky behavior problems. In turn behavior problems are the main reason why huskies end up at rescue shelters. This is very sad because in nearly all cases separation anxiety can be prevented or cured.

Husky Separation Anxiety can be both frustrating and heart breaking if your husky is howling out of sadness whenever you are not home. What can follow is very destructive behavior such as barking, aggression, biting, jumping, chewing and escaping. If your husky is proving to be a major nuisance with obedience problems there is a good chance that they are suffering from separation anxiety.

Huskies are by nature very pack orientated. Your husky sees you and your family members as his pack. If your husky is left alone they may feel lost, scared, abandoned and isolated from the pack. Husky Separation Anxiety often shows itself as howling and destructive behavior. Your husky is in a bad state of mind and this is how these feelings come out. The good news is that by the time you finish reading this article you will be armed with the knowledge to help your husky on the path to wellness.

What Causes Husky Separation Anxiety

The root cause of Separation Anxiety is the difference in nature of humans and pack dogs such as the husky. Huskies are very social and have a strong inner desire to live in a pack and interact in a pack. A dog in the wild would do absolutely everything in a pack. This includes eating, hunting, sleeping and travelling.

Humans on the other hand due to our modern lifestyle operate as individuals in society a lot of the time. While you are at work your dog is at home pining for its pack leader. It goes against every fiber of a huskies being to be away from the pack.

Five Husky Separation Anxiety Symptoms

  1. When you are preparing to leave your home, your husky begins howling, whining and demanding extra attention.
  2. Catching your husky in the act of bad behavior when you are departing or arriving at your home is another indicator that your husky may have separation anxiety.
  3. If your husky refuses to be physically apart from you when you are home this can indicate fear that you will leave.
  4. Physical symptoms include but are not restricted to whining, howling, crying and trembling.
  5. A fully house trained husky starts going to the toilet in the house.

Basic Husky Separation Anxiety Solutions

Relationship Building – There is a fine line between creating trust and creating over reliance from your husky. You need to develop a relationship where your husky is dependent on you without being so dependent that they can’t function when you are not around. Be firm but fair with your husky and do not smother your husky.

Basic Dog Obedience – By teaching your husky basic dog obedience training you will be able to overcome many of the negative behaviors associated with separation anxiety. Basic commands as well as social interaction for your husky will help your husky to overcome separation anxiety.

Separation Training – Your husky needs to know you will return when you go somewhere. The best way to do this is to go through a planned process of leaving for a few minutes and then returning. Place your husky in a room where they feel safe for this. Incrementally increase the amount of time that you are away. You will notice that if you do this over time your husky will be a lot calmer. Make sure you praise your dog for waiting patiently. Medication is an absolute last resort if separation anxiety training is not successful.

Crate Training – Crate Training is a good way to prevent separation anxiety in a husky especially when they are a puppy. Slowly introduce your husky to a room where they feel secure. Place a favorite play toy and an item that carries your scent to help with making your husky feel at ease. This is a precursor to crate training.

Be A Good Owner – Give your husky all the essentials that they need prior to leaving. This includes water, food, shelter, territory and favorite play toys.

Regular Exercise – Your husky will be a lot more relaxed and content with regular exercise. Much the same as humans, huskies who exercise regularly have reduced stress levels.

Patience – You need to give your husky time to get used to you not being at home. This is even more relevant if your husky is a rescue dog. Your pet husky needs feel safe within a pack and they can’t help feeling anxiety. There is absolutely no reason to put down a pet because they miss you so much. Stay patient with your husky and you will both benefit from a great relationship.

Source by Kurt Tully

Desktop Pet – Good Alternatives For a Dog Or Cat

Pets are fun and they have been proven to reduce stress. Some people, due to their living situation, are unable to own pets like dogs and cats. However, there are some pets that will fit on a table to even your desk at work.

Desktop pets are a great idea to add scenery to your desk or your small apartment. Believe it or not, there are many pets that fit in a small tank or habitat. These pets typically require little care, and are fun to watch.

Before you consider a pet at work, make sure it is allowed. Some places may have rules in place preventing any pets. Also, make sure that your co-workers will not be nervous having your chosen pet around. You do not want to cause tension at work. Your goal is to make a positive impact with your tiny pet.

As you might have guessed, a fish is one of the most popular desktop pets. Some fish can fit in a tiny vase or glass. Ask someone at the pet store how much space the fish needs to swim around. You want to make sure that your fish will be happy and safe in the environment you provide. Beta fish or goldfish are both colorful and easy to care for. They are not pricey and typically do well in smaller fish tanks or other containers.

Another fun option is a frog. Many companies sell baby frogs, or tadpoles, that will change into a frog. The tadpole often comes with its own habitat and food. You may be able to find these at pet stores, too.

Hermit crabs are a fun way to bring the beach to your desktop! These pets are cute, cheap, and easy to care for. You can purchase a fun, painted shell for your crab and change it out as they grow. They live in a fairly small box that will take up a small amount of space.

If you are feeling adventurous, a tarantula is another example of desktop pets. You may scare off some friends and family with this choice, however. Before you bring home such an eccentric pet, do your research. Make sure your furry guy is in a container that will stay closed and that you know how to care for him.

Hamsters, mice, and rats are great small pets, although if you plan to keep several of them, you will need a larger space. Again, make sure that you have a good, secure habitat for them, as rodents can be escape artists!

As you can see, no matter what your space limitations, you can have a pet. Desktop pets are a great choice for those who live in apartments or who want a pet at work. Just make sure that you know how to take care of them and that you are ready for the commitment.

Source by Gary Pearson

How to Tell If Your Dog Has an Illness

Many people consider their dogs part of the family. However, unlike other members of the family, dogs are incapable of communicating when they are feeling ill. Most dog owners are able to easily identify when their pet is acting strangely. However, it can be difficult to know when a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Luckily, there are a few obvious warning signs that you can look for to help determine when your dog might need a professional examination.

Like humans, dogs can act abnormally for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes, dogs can become temporarily lackadaisical due to fatigue or depression. In this case, some simple TLC can be a suitable cure. However, there are certain symptoms and behaviors that should be taken seriously. If your dog demonstrates any of the following symptoms, you should immediately take him or her to a veterinarian for a proper examination.

Physical Symptoms

The skin, ears, eyes, nose and mouth can tell you a lot about whether or not a dog is ill. If you notice redness, swelling, crust or discharge coming from either the eyes or the nose, your dog might be suffering from a viral or bacterial infection. In this case, a veterinarian might be able to prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and provide drugs that can relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

The ears can also give hints to how your dog is feeling. If you notice drainage or foul odors emitting from the ears, you should be suspicious of a possible infection. Also, unusual twitching, scratching or shaking of the ears can point toward feelings of discomfort caused by a potential illness.

The skin and mouth should also be checked for strange, foul odors. The dog’s tongue should be checked for dryness or strange coloring. Flaky, dry or red skin also represent warning signs as these could point to a potential fungal or parasitic infection.

Behavioral Symptoms

Most people have a good idea of how their dog normally behaves. If your dog is acting differently, it may just be a faze. However, if he is not eating or drinking water at the usual rates, this is generally a cause for alarm as this can be a sign of a variety of illnesses. Rapid weight loss, scratching, sleeplessness or sleeping too much are also indications that something might be affecting his or her health. Trembling, stumbling or falling should prompt immediate action as this could point to serious, advanced illness.

For many, their dog is more than just a pet. More than a few homes are full of photo albums peppered with images of the family canine. A lot of people consider their dogs an integral part of their family life and can’t imagine life without them. By knowing what to look for, you can help keep your dog healthy and get him the proper attention he requires if he falls ill.

Copyright © 2009, Ian White pet-sitters.biz

Source by Ian White

Brave Dog Names

In many cases, the dogs display such brave, fearless, and courage attributes. Dogs bravely protect the home, compound, territory, and master. Here are good names that relate to brave, fearless, and courage.

The sight of hesitation, sound of heartbeat, and smell of stress hormone are signs of fear. With the combination of sight, hear, and smell sense, the dogs pick up the sign of fear. Once the detection of fear, the dogs bravely go after the target.

Some of the brave dog names are Baldwin, Gallagher, Maynard, Reynard, Valiant, Willard, and Wyatt. The names literally and closely mean brave, strong, mighty, noble, and courageous.

Baldwin and Reynard does not exactly mean brave. Baldwin means brave friend, while the Reynard means brave counsel. Both names came from German origin. And, both are mainly for male dogs.

The heroes, warriors, soldiers, and knights often depict brave and courage. We hear the courageous acts in books, stories, histories, myths, and legends. So, we look to them for example of braveness.

The war tests the level of courage and braveness in soldiers, warriors, and knights. Here are a few names that relates to war. It may be appropriate for the brave dog.

Dustin is a male and English dog name which means brave warrior, fighter, knight, or soldier. The common variations of Dustin are Dustan, Dusten, Duston, Dusty, and Dustyn. Warriors may also exhibit high intelligence and fairness. Caedmon is an Irish and male dog name. It means wise warrior. Now, Findlay, Finlay, and Finley are Irish dog names that mean fair warrior.

The Chevalier and Ritter are names which mean knight. A shorter variation of Chevalier may be Chevy. In French, Chevalier means horse rider. In ancient times, the horse is the main transportation. And, the knight knows how to ride a horse. In German, Ritter is a name. It means knight as well. The name is more common for male dog.

Valiant is another word for brave. With the word valiant, we can come up with Conley, Gallagher, and Reilly. The names mean valiant in Irish origin. Except for Reilly, Conley and Gallagher are male dog names. On the other hand, Reilly works for male or female dogs.

Courage is another strong word for brave. Eyal and Tormod are good dog names that relates to courage. Eyal is a male and Hebrew dog name which means courage. As for Tormod, the names mean the mind and courage of Thor. He is the god of thunder in German Mythology. Tormod is most popular in Norwegian, German, and Dutch region.

Sometimes, we compare the dog and bear. During the hunting season, the master brings companion dogs to help hunt. Rarely, they will encounter bear. And, the companion dogs fend off the bear with his masters.

Bernard is a German dog name which means brave and strong as a bear. The variations are Barnard, Bernadette, Bernardine, Bernardino, Bernardo, and Bernie.

The brave attribute of the dog charms the pet owners. The dogs are always loyal to the master. And, the dogs will bravely defend and protect the master and territory. In many cases, the dog saves the life of the master with every ounce of brave and courage.

Source by Dennis Estrada

Australian Arowanas – A Very Good Alternative To The More Expensive Asian Arowanas As Your Pet

If Asian Arowanas are still off-limits due to regulations and restrictions in your area, consider an alternative that has color, attitude, and size. The Australian Arowanas may not be quite as brilliant in hue as their Asian cousins, but both species possess interesting color patterns, large and distinct scales, and the same habits and care requirements as Scleropages Formosus.

Although they take longer to mature than any other Arowana species, neither of the Saratogas (as Australian Arowanas are called) is endangered. Both are generally available for purchase at much more modest prices than Asian Arowanas.

There are two separate species of Saratogas: Scleropages Jardini and Scleropages leichardti. There are some notable differences between the two including geographical location.

Northern Saratogas: Pearl Arowanas

Scleropages jardini are commonly known as Northern Saratogas, or Pearl Arowanas. As their name denotes, they are found in freshwater, coastal areas of Northeastern Australia. They are also native to New Guinea.

Northern Saratogas appear longer and narrower than Asian Arowanas. Their bodies are grey to golden in color with characteristically shiny scales sporting crescent shapes. The crescent shapes are made up of between one and three yellow-orange or red spots – the ‘pearls’ behind their common name. Northern Saratoga’s fins and tails are also spotted red. Unlike the Southern Saratoga, a pattern of undulating lines or dots may also decorate the gill plates of the Pearl Arowana.

Pearl Arowanas are generally larger than the Southern Saratogas. They may grow up to 35 inches in the wild. Although it is claimed they can reach up to 60lbs, 38 lbs. is the maximum recorded weight. In the aquarium, they tend to reach 25 – 30 inches.

Northern Saratogas are considered much more aggressive in the wild or in captivity than any other Arowana species. They are popular among Sport anglers due to their feisty and tenacious attitude.

Southern Saratogas: Spotted Arowanas

Scleropages leichardti are referred to as Southern Saratogas, or Spotted Arowanas. They are found in the Dawson/Fitzroy River system in Queensland, Australia, where they populate many tributary lakes and rivers. Southern Saratogas have also been established in non-native lakes and dams throughout other areas in the South.

Spotted Arowanas appear more green or silvery-green than Pearl Arowanas. Their spots do not decorate each scale on their flanks: instead, red-orange spots appear in rows that horizontally span their lengths. Lines of red spots are also present on their fins and tails. Fins and tails may match body-coloration, or appear somewhat darker. In general, Spotted Arowanas have smaller spots than Northern Saratogas.

Southern Saratogas may command a slightly higher price than Northern Saratogas. Hobbyists claim Spotted Arowanas are more tenacious leapers than the Pearl variety.

Saratogas in the Aquarium

Saratogas require nearly identical habitats and care to Asian Arowanas. Very large tanks with sturdy, leap-proof lids are a must. Water must be kept immaculately clean to promote optimum health of Saratogas. They should be fed high quality, live foods and a variety of commercial foods, as well.

Australian Arowanas are susceptible to many of the same illnesses and diseases as South-eastern varieties. Make use of a quarantine tank when introducing tank mates or live foods to prevent parasite infestation of your Australian Arowana tank.

In addition, take care to carefully acclimatize wild-caught Saratogas. When considering a fish for purchase from your local fish shop, observe it on site for several days to weeks to be sure it is healthy. Ask to see the fish fed to ensure it has a healthy appetite. Check carefully for parasites, wounds, or fungal infections. Mimic the water conditions of the successfully kept source tank carefully at home, and avoid stressing the newly arrived Saratoga for several days.

Unless you have an extremely large tank or pond, keep only one Australian Arowana and keep tank mates to a minimum. Saratogas (especially the Northern variety) are notoriously aggressive. Choose tank mates carefully and be prepared for altercations and the possibility of fighting and injury. Only large, bottom-dwelling fish or fast-moving, mid-tank swimmers are likely to be successful tank mates for an Australian Arowana.

Source by Steven Yeoh

Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House

Fleas are harmful parasites that suck blood off their hosts. They are commonly found on cats and dogs. In this article, I will be showing you how you can get rid of fleas from your house and pets. After reading this article, I’m sure you will be considered a pro in getting rid of fleas.

The first thing you need to do is maintain a clean and dry environment in your house. Fleas love to lay their eggs in dark and damp areas. In order to have dry air in your house, you can improve the air ventilation by opening up all your windows and turn on your fans. Then, you should vacuum the whole area to keep it squeaky clean.

Fleas by nature, love to jump very high. Apart from that, they are easily attracted to light to. Once we understand its 2 characteristics, we can devise a trap to kill it. Set up a lamp, aiming at places where you think they constantly show up, and under the lamp, place a basin filled with water and soap. Their love for light will lead them to jump up, and land directly into the water. They can’t swim and therefore will be drowning to death.

Now that we understand how to kill them, let’s talk about how to get them off our pets. Fleas have one other weakness – hatred towards vinegar. So when bathing your bed, pour a small amount of vinegar with the shampoo and brush it on your pet. After rinsing all the foam, you can instantly see all the dead fleas on the ground.

Here’s another home remedy that has been proven to work for many. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice concentrate, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper seeds, another teaspoon of oil plus a cup of water into a spray bottle. This spray should be used only after you have bathed your pet. While your pet’s fur is still a little damp, spray the mixture onto it and let it dry. Then comb its fur to check for remaining fleas.

Now that you know how to get rid of fleas without hiring a pest control company, you can teach your friends how to do it too. Specifically, be sure to try out the booby trap method discussed above, I find it really fun when I see dead fleas in the water. So the next time you find your dog scratching itself, give it the vinegar bath and the lemon spray.

Source by Adam D Curry

Unique Names For Rabbits – Never Be Stuck With Bunnykins Again

Looking for great names for rabbits? Sick of the usual boring suspects? Check out our unique, fun names below and you’ll never have to resort to ‘Bunnykins’ again, unless you want to of course!

Bunny-Aid: Famous singers

Does your bunny fancy himself as a rock star? Loves to be the centre of attention? Pick a great name to go with that attitude.

Names for boy rabbits: Elvis, Bono, Sting, Marley, Prince, Bowie, Ziggy, Axl, Mick, Kurt, Ringo, Robbie, Jools, Eminem, Usher, Moby, Seal, Snoop, Fiddy, Buble.

Names for girl rabbits: Cher, Fergie, Madonna, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, K.d, Britney, Dido, Mariah, Kelly, Amy, Carrie, Taylor, Pink, Alicia, Avril, Jewel, Gwen.

Pass Me My RayBuns: Designer bunny names

Gucci, Dolce, Gabbana, D&G, RayBan, Prada, Hugo, Fendi, Calvin, Giorgio, Armani, Jean Paul, Gaultier, Kors, Oscar, Versace, Vera, Choo, Manolo, Miu Miu.

Meant For Each Other: Names for pairs of rabbits

Salt & Pepper, Bubble & Squeak, Arthur & Martha, George & Mildred, Superman & Lois Lane, Tom & Jerry, Milo & Otis, Batman & Robin, Hansel & Gretel, Asterix & Obelix, Barbie & Ken, Barnes & Noble, Ben & Jerry, Wallace & Gromit, Venus & Serena, Victoria & Albert, Edward & Mrs Simpson, Rhubarb & Custard, Rock (Hudson) & Doris (Day), Homer & Marge, Gin & Tonic (or G&T), Calvin & Hobbes, Chip & Dale.

Don’t Fence Me In: For the bunny who’s a rebel at heart

James Dean, Courtney, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry, Bonnie & Clyde (see ‘Bunny Love’ above for more names for rabbit pairs).

Oh You Smell So Sweet: Names from famous perfumes

Chanel, Coco, Envy, CK, No5, Angel, Allure, Anais, Eden, Paris, Joy, Miss Dior, Diorelle, Diorling, Charlie, Crystelle, Cinnabar, Bluebelle, Giorgio, Lou Lou, Samsara, Tommy Girl, Organza.

Just Too Cute

These names are for that extra special, gentle bun that needs something really cute.

Crumbles, Poppy, Pinks, Bumble, Brambles, Marcello, Squeakle, Tartuffo (truffle in Italian), Winkles, Po (the baby of the Teletubbies, Crinkle, Jelly Bean.

Source by Abbey Mitchell

Treats For Hamsters (and Other Rodents)

Small animals love food, especially treats. Giving your small pet these extra treats is a great way to add to its staple food and keeps it healthy and happy. You should always keep in mind that treats should be given moderately, especially sugary or fatty foods. When giving treats you should also think about what sort of things your pet should and shouldn’t eat, for example chinchillas should avoid sugary foods. Here are some things small animals will love to eat:

Fresh Fruits and vegetables:

Small animals love to eat vegetables and the occasional fruit; it not only gives them a yummy treat but also helps keep their teeth short and fur shiny. Vegetables such as carrot, peas and sweetcorn make excellent choices. Make sure to give in moderation, one pea or sweet corn is enough for a hamster, and the end of a carrot will make an ample treat, ensure you take out any uneaten food so that it won’t go mouldy and pose a threat to your pet.

In the fruit department you can give small slices of fresh apple, watermelon or pear, half a grape or strawberry, or small amounts of berries such as blackcurrant, cranberries or blueberries. Don’t feed high acidic foods such as oranges or lemon and avoid sugary foods such as fresh banana. Also remember with both fruits and veg to wash it thoroughly as there may be harmful pesticides or residue from them.

Dried fruits and vegetables:

Many pet stores will stock dried fruit and vegetables for your small animal. These are excellent choices, as they have no preservatives or extras added like you might find in supermarket brands intended for humans!

Another positive to these is many of the fruits are safe for your small animals to eat dried and therefore they come in a staggering range. They also won’t go mouldy so can be placed in the food bowl to zing up your pet’s normal food.

Varieties come separate or mixed usually with coconut, peanuts or popcorn! Some common varieties include: Dried banana, dried strawberries, dried kiwi, dried papaya, pineapple or passion fruit, dried leek, dried tomato, dried artichoke, dried potato, dried apple, dried coconut and raisins.

Herbs and plants

Some plants and herbs can be dangerous to your pet so you should always find out first, generally if in doubt avoid it! You should always wash any fresh herbs or plants before giving them to your pet! Many small animals will enjoy nibbling fresh grass and even more enjoy dandelion leaves.

Dried herbs and flowers are often sold as treats for hamsters and other small animals and are generally safer than feeding your pet plants you find. Also because they are dried you don’t have to worry about them going off. You can mix them in with the dry food to make it more interesting or provide a separate bowl for the mixture.

Some common herbs are Salvia, Parsley, Thyme, Bulbiferous Sunflower (Topinambur), Marjoram, Willow Bark, Milfoil, Linden flower, Goats Rue, Briar Rose, Dandelion, Chicory, Cornflower, Plantain, Mint, Nettle, Chamomile, Marigold and occasionally Birch Tree Leaves. All of which create a great and interesting treat for your hamster or small animal.

Nuts, seeds and grains

Nuts, seeds and grains are great for small animals as they help to grind down teeth and provide essential oils and fats for healthy eyesight, growth and skin. The majority of foods provide these already, so many are unneeded as treats. However if your pet is on a pellet diet or you just want to spoil them these can be an excellent choice.

Peanuts, in the shell or not, make a great treat that most small animals will go wild for. However be careful not to give to many as your pet may decide to eat only peanuts, which is bad for it’s health. Hamsters have a lot of fun de-shelling the ‘monkey nut’ variety and this helps keep their teeth healthy too! Make sure to buy nuts for either wild birds or hamsters so that they are free of salts, preservatives or anything harmful.

Similar to peanuts is the sunflower seed, which can be mixed into food or given separately, small animals love taking the husk off of these, but just like peanuts only feed a small amount and make sure they are safe for your little critter!

Hanging snack bars

Made from grains, seeds and other tasty treats, these bars of yummy food can be hung from cages or décor within the enclosure. They not only provide lots of tooth gnawing treats, but lots of exercise too. They can come in all sorts of flavours, from honey and nut to rose petal, strawberry, seeds, banana and fruit.

Chocolate for hamsters?

You should never feed your hamster chocolate, as it contains many chemicals that are harmful for your little pet. However many treats are sold as ‘hamster chocs’ these are actually a blend of ingredients that while high in fat and sugar make really interesting and tasty treats. They should be given moderately, as the fats and sugars will give your hamster energy but too many could make them unhealthy.

These treats are often found in ‘chocolate’ flavour, milk flavour or even sometimes honey flavour. You may also find them in fruit flavours, including berry, strawberry or even vegetable flavours such as carrot or leek!

Crunchy stuff

Crunchy stuff is important as it helps wear down those ever growing teeth! There is a whole array of biscuit treats, some filled with yummy apple or other fruits and some that are just flavoured like fruits, vegetables or cheese. You can also give very, very small pieces of brown bread toast and the occasional dog biscuit is also well appreciated!

Other treats

There are some other types of treat that you can give. Some are occasional and others are a little different, all of them will provide fun and enjoyment to your pet.

Mealworms

Dried mealworms, given either separate or mixed with food provide protein and fun for your hamster. Don’t give too many!

Popcorn

Plain popcorn, not the sort you get from the supermarket, gives a fun treat. You can even buy microwavable maize sticks to make your own hamster treats at home!

Cheese

Hamsters like a very small amount of cheese, but it needs to be small. No more than half a centimetre cube. You also need to make sure that your hamster does not store it as it could go mouldy!

Source by Gordon Bloomfield