The House of Animals

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Month: November 2016

10 Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe At Christmas

Christmas is a fun time of year, filled with celebrations, good food, family, friends and presents. However, it can be a dangerous time for pets! Read these tips on how to make sure your pets have a safe Christmas.

Decorations

It’s the time of year to decorate our houses and put up the tree, but did you know they can pose a danger to our pets? Place your tree in the corner of the room and keep the decorations on the tree up high. That sparkly tinsel can be intriguing for pets, but if ingested, it can cause blockages. Don’t put the lights on the lower branches as they could get tangled or burnt and only have the lights on when you are around to keep an eye on things. Use a circuit breaker on the lights to prevent any electric shocks. Keep baubles and ornaments up high on the tree because as well as being ingested, they could also get broken and cut your pet. Avoid hanging chocolate treats as your dog could mistake them for a treat for them. If you do have a live tree, sweep up the pine needles as these can become embedded in your pets paws or puncture their intestines if eaten. Ensure your tree is placed in a solid base to stop it falling over if your cat tries to investigate. It’s a good idea to keep your pets out of the room where the tree is when you are not around to supervise.

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10 Things Humans Do That Annoy Dogs

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but did you know there are things that we as humans do that annoy dogs? Here are 10 things humans do that annoy dogs.

Change to routine

Dogs are creatures of habits. They like things to be done at the same time every day as it becomes ingrained in their brain and they expect these things to happen, such as feeding, playtime and walking. Try to stick to their routine as much as possible, even on your days off as they can get irritated with drastic changes.

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Coping With Losing A Beloved Pet

When we let an animal into our home, they become part of the family. We love them, care for them, they share the happy times as well as the bad with us. They really do become huge parts of our lives as we see them every day, perhaps more than we see some of our family members. The hardest part of opening your heart up to an animal is when the time comes and they have to leave. It’s never easy and it’s something I have had to deal with a lot as I tend to adopt elderly and terminal animals. Whilst everyone copes with grief differently, I hope this post will help you should you be going through this.

Deciding on the right time

It is a heartbreaking decision, but very rarely will your dog or cat pass away in their sleep. All of my dogs and cats have had to make their final journey to the vet to be helped along their way. It does feel unfair that we, as owners have to make this horrible decision, but it’s part of owning a pet. Only you will know when the time is right as you know them better than anyone else. It’s a hard decision, but you don’t have to make it on your own. Talk to other family members who have a close relationship with your pet as they may have noticed something you haven’t and they can support you during this time. Your vet is an important person to talk with as they can explain what could happen, and if your pet is feeling any pain. Some things to consider are;

Is your pet still enjoying life? Are they able to eat, drink and go to the toilet? Are they in pain? Have they been diagnosed with an illness? Are there any treatment options? Does your pet have a good quality of life?

Generally, if your pet is having more bad days than good, it doesn’t have a good quality of life.

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Why I Love Old Animals

I love all animals, but whereas most people go gooey over puppies and kittens, I cannot resist an old animal (although I do love puppies and kittens too!). Taking on elderly animals isn’t easy as most of them have spent their whole life with one person, and now find themselves in an unfamiliar place and they do find it harder to adjust than the younger animals. It makes things more difficult when they have medical conditions, and most will have some degree of senility which can be difficult enough to deal with when you have had the animal for a long time and it develops, but it’s even harder when that animal is out of their comfort zone.

I have taken in many old animals over the years. In fact, my very first dog was middle aged and helping them is just something I am drawn to.  My first ‘failed foster dog’ was a little elderly Jack Russell called Sally. She was found straying and ended up in a pound, and the first photo I saw of her in the pound still breaks my heart to this day. I didn’t intend to keep her when I took her in, but she wiggled into my heart and even though I only had her just short of a year, I loved that dog so much that I decided to open my heart and my home as a retirement home for any elderly animals who could not be rehomed.

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Do African Pygmy Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?

I have kept African Pygmy Hedgehogs (APH’s) for a number of years now. Each one has been a rescue, and people are often fascinated by these creatures. I regularly get asked if they make good pets, so I thought I would share the most common questions I get asked on them.

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10 Things You Need To Know Before Owning Rats

Rats don’t have the best reputation and many people see them as dirty, disgusting creatures with long, scaly tails and sharp teeth – however, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are 10 things you need to know before owning rats.

Rats need company of their own kind

Rats are highly social animals who need to be kept in at least pairs, however, if you have  space and the budget, you can have more than two. They are very interactive with each other, and enjoy playing, grooming and snuggling up together. Whilst you’re busy at work or school, your rat needs a friend to cause mischief with. Rats are easily bored, so getting them companionship of their own kind will help keep those ratty brains busy. They communicate through smell, touch and high-frequency sounds that humans are unable to hear. Two rats aren’t more work than one, and when you see them playing you will never want a lone rat again.

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Why You Shouldn’t Release Pets Into The Wild

Sometimes people find themselves in a position where they are unable to keep their pet. Some people do the right thing and contact their local rescue for help, however, others think the best option is to release their pet into the wild and set them free, which is a really bad idea. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t release your pet;

They could pass on disease/eat the native species

Goldfish are an excellent example of this. Some species of goldfish can grow to a large size and quickly outgrow their tank. A lot of them are released into the wild, which plays havoc on the natural English ecosystem. Goldfish are members of the Carp family and have the potential to pass on diseases to native animals. Not only this, they are gluttonous fish who will eat most things, outcompeting the local wildlife for resources. If they manage to get downstream, they could out-compete native fish. Competition is a huge problem as native animals are being forced out due to another species taking their resources. Giant African Land snails are a species who are likely to become an invasive species, due to their quick reproductive rates and huge appetites.

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Common Reasons Animals Are Surrendered To Rescue

Before you get a pet, please think about the future. There are so many reasons people want to give up their pet, and many can be avoided if a bit of thought was put into it before bringing an animal home. Here are the main reasons we have animals surrendered to rescue

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Should You Keep Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Together?

I don’t get asked this question as often as I used to, however, someone did ask me a few days ago so I thought I should outline the many reasons why it’s not a good idea to house rabbits and guinea pigs together for any amount of time.

The idea of keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together started when neutering small animals was new to the field of veterinary science and weren’t the routine thing to do. Veterinary medicine, like human medicine, has progressed over the years and it is now much safer to have your rabbits and guinea pigs neutered than it used to be.  It’s always better for communal animals to have some company of their own kind.

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