• Stages of Life

    Like people, dogs behaviors and health change through different stages of their lives. By knowing what to expect, you won't be thrown off balance when your dog suddenly adopts a unexpected behavior or shows signs of "unlearning" behaviors you thought it had mastered. Puppies Adolescence Old Age

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  • Special Needs

    Travel Because rabbits are more often prey than predator in the wild, they experience a great deal of stress whenever their environment changes. Traveling is stressful for rabbits and should generally be avoided. However, when you do need to travel with your rabbit, remember that you still need to be

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  • Socialization

    With People Generally, rodents are sociable creatures with their own kind — and with people. But they do have to have a level of comfort with people before they can relax and have fun. Be sure to acclimate your small animals to anyone who will handle them. Give them time to become familiar with each

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  • Special Needs

    Travel By Car Many dogs enjoy car rides, especially with the window down, the air blowing across their coats, and the movement, sights and sounds. But some dogs are fearful of car rides or behave in annoying or dangerous ways. You need to take your dog on a few short car rides to understand how it behaves

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  • Socialization

    Cats are easily stressed, which is why they depend so much on routine. As a result, anything new can be a problem for them. You need patience and consistency to give cats time to get comfortable with any changes, new people and new behaviors. With You With Another Cat With a Dog or Other Pet

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  • Socialization

    With People With Children and Infants With Multiple Dogs With Cats and Other Pets With People It is important to get your dog used to meeting new people from the youngest age possible. Some breeds are naturally sociable; others are reticent. You'll want your dog to be friendly without being

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  • Types of Reptiles

    Reptiles and amphibians together are known as herptiles. These animals are grouped together because they are ectothermic, which means that they cannot regulate their body temperature internally, but must use their environments to control temperature. Common temperature-regulating activities include basking

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  • Special Needs

    Travel Moving a small animal from place to place, even in a cage, is highly stressful to them. Except for vet visits and a permanent move, it isn’t worth the risk of traveling with them. When you do need to take them out, use a carrier. Be sure it has plenty of substrate material so your pet can burrow

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  • Special Needs

    Seasonal Needs Changes in the outdoor temperature at every season will require you to make seasonal adjustments to the temperature and humidity controls for your reptile or amphibian. Because the tolerance ranges for herptiles are small, you’ll need to keep track of the temperatures in your enclosure

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  • Reptile Glossary

    Amphibian - Cold-blooded vertebrates that live in water and on land, including frogs and toads, salamanders and newts and caecilians. Anthropod - A group of limbed and jointed animals that have external skeletons, including insects, arachnids and crustaceans. Aquatic - Animals living in water. Arachnid

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  • Pet Loss

    The end of a pet's life can be one of the most difficult and emotional responsibilities associated with pet ownership, whether the animal dies of old age, an illness or an accident. All pet owners know that, at some point, their pet is going to die. But the reality is always harder than anything imagined,

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  • Physical and Mental Stimulation

    The activities you provide for your small animal serve both as a form of exercise and mental stimulation. In addition to companionship, your little critters need activity for their health and well-being. Most activities relate to their burrowing and chewing instincts. Your pets will play together and

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  • Physical and Mental Stimulation

    Daily Exercise Just as with humans, herptiles need daily activity to remain healthy. For amphibians and some reptiles, this means swimming. For terrestrial animals, physical activity includes climbing and hunting. Your pet’s enclosure should allow it enough space to move around comfortably. Including

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  • Physical and Mental Stimulation

    Daily Exercise Activity is a vital part of keeping a rabbit happy and healthy. Your rabbit will need time to roam outside of its cage for a few hours every day. There needs to be enough space for the bunny to hop, jump and run. You can place some toys or digging materials in the exercise space to encourage

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  • Physical and Mental Stimulation

    Exercise In the natural environment, cats spend their days hunting for prey. They run and jump, hide and pounce, bat and play until they've completed their kill. Today, most pet cats are indoor creatures and do not need to defend themselves from predators or hunt for food. You need to give your cat the

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  • Physical and Mental Stimulation

    Daily Exercise Exercise is important to maintaining healthy muscles, bones and joints in dogs and for keeping major organs functioning smoothly. Dogs that get adequate exercise daily tend to look good, feel good and live longer. Exercise helps work off excess energy in dogs so that they can act more

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  • Kitten Care

    When kittens are born, they are completely dependent on their mothers. They don't have any vision or hearing until between two and five weeks. At one month old, kittens learn to walk, run, jump and play by observing their mother and interacting with their litter mates. By the time kittens reach three

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  • Housing and Equipment

    Cat Bed and Bedding Carrier Litterbox and Litter Scratching Post Cat Bed and Bedding Even if you plan to allow your pet to sleep on your bed or any other soft surfaces in your home, you need to set up a dry, warm place that is just for your cat. Bring home a cat bed that has one, lower side

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  • Housing and Equipment

    Housing Different people have different expectations about how freely they want their dogs to roam in their homes day and night. Whether you choose to allow you dog on the furniture, sleep in bed with a family member or have access to all areas of your home, it is still important that you keep a crate

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  • Housing and Equipment

    Cages Bedding/Substrates Hide/Sleeping Box Toys and Activities Carrier Cages Choosing the right cage is important to make sure your pet has the space and components it needs to create a satisfying home. It is important for creating the microenvironment small animals need for optimum comfort

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  • Housing and Equipment

    Enclosures Heating Lighting Enclosures It's worth committing a lot of attention to creating the perfect home for your amphibian or reptile to ensure its safety and because they are great hiders when they escape! Key determinants for how to house your species are its adult size, activity level and

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  • Handling and Grooming

    Handling Because rodents are so small and easily frightened, they need to be handled gently. Until your pet becomes familiar with you, scoop it up with a paper cup or small flower pot to remove it from its cage and give it enough support. Once socialized to you, scoop up your pet with one or two hands

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  • Handling and Grooming

    Handling Grooming Brushing Declawing and Nail Clipping Bathing Tooth Brushing Ear Cleaning Handling To handle an adult cat, put one hand beneath the chest and use the other to support the cat's hind quarters. For kittens, be sure to support theirs legs and feet at well. Please note:

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  • Housing and Equipment

    Cages Litterbox Exercise Area Toys Cages Rabbits have strong legs meant for active living, such as running and jumping and are very social creatures. That is why they need daily exercise. They also need a cage with room to maneuver placed in a location around household activity. At a minimum,

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  • Health Care

    Veterinary Visits and Vaccinations Neutering or Spaying Common Health Problems Veterinary Visits and Vaccinations Like all pets, it is important to take your rabbit for its first vet examination as soon as you possibly can. The first visit gives the vet an opportunity to establish a baseline

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  • Health Care

    Vet Visits Vaccinations Common Health Issues Spaying and Neutering Vet Visits Next to you and your family, your veterinarian is one of the most important people in your cat's life. You should identify a veterinarian for your new cat before you bring it home and arrange for a first appointment

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  • Health Care

    Vet Visits Vaccinations Spaying and Neutering Common Health Issues Vet Visits Next to you and your family, your veterinarian is one of the most important people in your dog's life. You should identify a veterinarian for your new dog before you bring it home and arrange for a first appointment

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  • Health Care

    Vet Visits Vaccinations Spaying and Neutering Common Health Problems Vet Visits Rodents are susceptible to a lot of infections, so you'll need to line up a veterinarian before your pet gets sick. It is advisable to take your small animals for a vet visit when you first obtain them to make

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  • Health Care

    Veterinarian Visits and Vaccinations Spaying and Neutering Common Health Problems Zoonotic Diseases Veterinarian Visits and Vaccinations Whenever you bring home a new pet, whether they are old or young, from a known breeder or the street, always take your pet for an initial veterinary visit.

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  • Diet and Nutrition

    Water Food Supplements Water Water is a vital component of every small animal's diet. Because of their small size, it does not take long for them to dehydrate. You need to be particularly attentive to water needs of densely-coated small animals when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The

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  • Diet and Nutrition

    Water Foods Supplements Feeding times Water Despite old assumptions to the contrary, reptiles do need water to drink. You'll need to place a bowl of clean, fresh water into their enclosure every day. It is helpful to keep the water bowl in a designated place so that your pet knows where to go

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  • Daily Care and Maintenance

    Rodents depend on routine to reduce stress. You need to plan your routine before your bring your pet home. These small animals operate on 12-hour cycles. You need to know whether or not your animal is nocturnal, diurnal or both so you can schedule accordingly. You also need to know how frequently your

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  • Diet and Nutrition

    Water Birds need to have cold, fresh water to drink. Place a water bowl in the cage and change the water once or twice a day. Some cages have water dispensers that allow birds to drink when they want. However, these dispensers can get blocked, which frequently leads to dehydration. A water bowl or cup

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  • Daily Care and Grooming

    Cleaning Keeping a pet reptile healthy requires integrating regular cleaning habits into your life. On a daily basis, you should plan on cleaning your pet’s water bowl, any food serving containers or utensils, and remove any debris from the enclosure, including feces. Generally herptiles defecate

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  • Diet and Nutrition

    Water Rabbits need access to fresh, clean water at all times. Use a sturdy ceramic water bowl or a water bottle that attaches to the cage. Be sure to change the water two or three times a day to prevent bacteria from building up. Diet Rabbits are herbivores with an unusually practical system for processing

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