January 2012

Meet The Finches

The newest members of our family

After months of talking about it, we finally did it. Last weekend my husband and I stopped at the pet store and bought a couple of zebra finches. We had looked at them every time we went to the pet store, and I kept saying I wanted some. My mom had zebra finches when I was growing up, and it’s a fond memory I have of her.

Anyway, like I said, we’ve been talking about getting finches for a while. We found an inexpensive cage last Saturday, and we went ahead and bought it. We figured that we’d hold on to it for a while and buy the birds at a later date. Then, on Sunday, I saw a flier for the local pet store, with a 15% off sale on finches. If that wasn’t a sign that we were to buy finches, then what was it?

So, after we had our weekly breakfast with my father-in-law, we loaded up the van with the dog and the cage we had bought, and headed for the pet store. We can’t make a trip to the pet store without taking the dog with us.

Homemade Dog Treats

My sister’s dog will eat anything, but I have to say that homemade foods and treats are still healthier than store-bought products. They also cost a lot less to make yourself. If you have time, you can make a batch to last the week. Busy individuals can multiply the recipe and make one month’s worth of dog treats at a time.

Bedding Options for Guinea Pigs

My sister has since adopted our two female guinea pigs, however, we went through almost every bedding option while we had the guinea pigs. Each one had its benefits and drawbacks.

First, we used the wood pulp/wood shavings. They absorbed the guinea pig urine well, but were quickly tossed out of the cage whenever the guinea pigs would run around. This made it necessary to vacuum twice per day just to keep my daughter’s bedroom looking clean. It is important to note that when you purchase this type of bedding you want to look for a bag that does not contain pine or cedar oils.

Teaching Tricks to Your Pet Mouse

You can train your mouse to stand up and beg

If you have a pet mouse, or other small rodent, have you ever considered teaching it tricks? Dogs are not the only animals that can learn how to do tricks. With a little bit of patience and a lot of treats, you can teach your mouse, rat or hamster to do tricks as well.

If you are interested in teaching your mouse tricks, you need to be patient and consistent. You will need to work with your mouse daily, for about 30 minutes. Mice are small animals, and they have a small attention span. Longer than 30 minutes, your mouse is going to quit paying attention.

Dirty Job

Any of us with pets are well aware, that like children, being a pet owner can be a daunting and messy job. Proud mother of two French bulldog puppies = potty training incidents, shredded toys, and journeys to go “potty” being filled with rain, snow, dirt and mud. Step outside the box and add the mini trips these puppies experience; the car journeys, walks and camping trips. I suppose the common theme is that our little ones have a tendency to be out in the elements and with that, comes moments of nature making its way onto your dogs and back into your home.

For Christmas, we received a wonderful and unique gift – specifically directed to the puppies. It doesn’t necessarily have a name, but it does have quite the usefulness in our home. What do you get when you blend an “oven mitt”, “towel”, and a “splash of puppy décor”? You get one of the best damn inventions in puppy world. Given its lack of name, the premise is simple…you slide your hands in the “mitt” and use the towel portion to wipe down your dog…pull off some dirt or mud…dry off some wet hair…while being able to still maintain control of your little one. Best part – machine washable.

Caring for Your Pet Throughout the Winter

Many dog and cat owners assume that their animals will be just fine during the cold winter months because they are covered in fur. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sure, the fur helps protect the animals in the cold, but if exposed to the elements long enough, the pets can suffer the same ill affects as humans.

Keep your dog or cat indoors once the temperatures outside begin to drop, and only send it out to go to the bathroom. Make sure you check on your pet frequently, and call it in if you notice it is becoming sluggish or tired in any way. I prefer only to allow a pet outside in 15 minute spurts during the winter months.