The Importance of Pets

Pets are very important to all that own them. Those that own pets live longer more satisfied lives. They have been known to lower our blood pressure and give us a reason for each day. I have owned both dogs and cats and they all left their paw prints on my heart. Each individual pet has their own personality and their relationship with you is built on love and trust.

Some dogs are hunting companions. They enjoy retrieving game with their owners and enjoy their outings together. These dogs make great family pets also. I had an Irish setter that went hunting for birds with my husband. She was all business in the woods but when home was the sweetest dog. This dog also was taken to Obedience trials and won ribbons in dog shows. She helped make cherished memories for our family.

I have seen guide dogs as they allow their owner to participate in activities they could not without their presence. There used to be a man guided into our church every Sunday to sit in the first row by his guide dog. The priest went out of his way to bring him the communion host. The dog was obedient and a blessing to this man and it was beautiful to watch the dog as he worked. No one was allowed to pet the dog while he was doing his job. He was a beautiful German shepherd.

There are other dogs that are just family pets. I had two other dogs that I used to walk daily. I miss them and their times with me as they have now passed over the rainbow bridge. The second dog was an English setter and the third dog was a Gordon setter. There are so many fun memories that are in my mind.

Of course we had cats with these dogs. It is a myth that dogs and cats do not get along. If they are brought up together they tolerate each other and sometimes even learn to love each other. It is best to bring them in as either puppies or kittens and then they will have a bond for each other and even may play together.

I just can not imagine a day without my pets in my lives. If I am sick, I have one of my cats that will meow constantly and pace beside me telling me that I am in need of asthma medications. This cat, Joshua I speak of as my angel kitty. Tinkerbelle my newest member of our household has not learned yet to anticipate such events with me. I know that my pets help me throughout each day showing me their love and attention. They are worth more to me than any diamond ring.

I know my own life would not be fulfilled without the presence of a pet. They give me a reason to live as each day with them is a treasure to behold in the pages of my own life’s book.

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on pets in our lives.

Source by Christina R. Jussaume

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

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

Rat Food – What to Feed Your Pet Rats For Optimum Health and Happiness

Rats are omnivores, which means they will basically eat anything. You can buy rat and mouse food from the supermarket or a pet shop, but to keep your rat super happy you should supplement their basic cereal food with something a bit more exciting. Improved nutrition can lengthen your rats lifespan to 5 years.

You will discover what your pets favorite food are with a bit of experimentation (don’t mention that word in front of the ratties). Try out lots of healthy, fresh foods like carrot sticks dipped in hommous, juicy apples and pears and you will soon see what they eat straight away, what they hide for later and what they just can’t be bothered with at all.

One of my rats loves grapes. He holds them so delicately, takes off the top and the licks out the inside like a crème egg.

It’s OK to give your rats treats too. They like the fruity treats you can buy in the pet shop for rabbits and guinea pigs and carob drops that you get for dogs. My rats like a bit of my dog’s dried biscuits too.

Try out raisins and bread and peanut butter, spread thinly, to avoid choking (on a carrot or celery stick) and you will see what they like best. Just like us, they like variation in their diet. My rats, Ginger and Mr T just love chocolate soy milk and a lot of rats like yogurt too. Regular soy in our rats’ diet is proven to reduce their chance of getting mammary tumors. Hard boiled eggs and bacon rind are other things your ratties might enjoy.

Ginger in particular is rather greedy and will actually try and grab things from my mouth when I am eating! What a cheek!

Try hiding special treats around their cage in secret places and your rats will love spending time searching for their favorite food, just like they would in the wild.

Remember not to overfeed your rats. If they get fat they can be more susceptible to tumors and other nasty things, so everything in moderation and try and feed lots of healthy living foods as well as the odd treat.

Of course you must always provide plenty of fresh water, ideally from a dripfeed bottle, fixed to the cage, that you can get from the pet shop. Try to clean the bottle and the food bowl out regularly to help keep your rats nice and healthy. Also make sure you change the food every day.

Don’t feed male rats oranges. They have a component called d-limonene that builds up in the male rats kidneys and can cause cancer. Avoid all citrus flavours, oils and fruits. D-limonene is not shown to have any effect on female rats, but perhaps it is best to avoid these fruits anyway and stick to other foods your rat likes. Rats don’t need to eat as much vitamin C as humans, as they are able to make their own. You should also avoid feeding lettuce as it can cause diarrhea.

When you find out what your rat’s favorite food is, you can use it to train him. Rats are very intelligent and will do anything for their favorite food. They also like to please their favorite person too. My rats love to do tricks for a piece of Nesquick chocolate cereal or a spoon of chocolate soy milk (note the chocolate theme).

Source by Catherine Smith