Rabbit Care Information

Feeding

Rabbits should always have fresh water. Young rabbits should be introduced gradually to greens as very young rabbits can suffer from tummy upsets when fed a lot of grass, lettuce, cabbage, etc. However, they can be given Lucerne hay which is good for them when they are weaning. Rabbit pellets combined with Lucerne chaff and seed mix is available from most pet shops and are ideal food for your rabbit. Dwarf lops, Cashmeres and Dutch need about 112 grams, Netherland Dwarfs 56 grams. Larger breeds need 168 grams. Your rabbit may enjoy a piece of apple, carrot, mango, celery, Chinese vegetables, and so on. Mine love some parsley which I grow for them.

Potatoes are poisonous, so is oleander and all bulb plants (like onions, rhubarb, etc).

Ready-mixed goods like Peter’s Mix are available from most supermarkets. However, I recommend cutting them with Lucerne chaff as they need that too, as it is good for them. You can either buy Lucerne chaff and mix it, or by a Lucerne chaff mix already made up. Ask Jennifer here at the pet store and she can show you what I mean. Besides the mix, they should have the rabbit pellets as these are their source of protein. Additional things that can be mixed in their dinner are Economix, a dry preparation for horses which is very nutritious and they like it, or Manomix, which is another horse product, a very high protein pellet best given in small doses to growing bunnies and adults who have lost condition, unless you are raising meat rabbits.
Beware of overfeeding your bunny. Greed, thy name is Lop. Lops in particular can get very heavy and fat which is not good for them and they are so good at pleading and looking cute to get what they want. One scoop or 112 grams of good a day plus the odd bit or fruit or veg is enough – whatever they think.
Clean cage, fresh food, hay (Lucerne or meadow hay) and water are all your rabbit needs in return for a lot of enjoyment and the affection she/he can give.

Outdoor Cage

Your cage needs to be dog, cat, fox, etc proof. You will also need to make sure it is fly, mosquito & flea proof. As we cannot vaccinate for myxomatosis, you can help with insects by covering the cage with flyscreen wire. (Myxomatosis is transmitted chiefly by mosquitoes). Vaccination against Calici virus should be done at 10 – 12 weeks. Rabbits also need protection from the weather, especially damp and cold winds and also heat. Metal cages suitable for rabbits can be bought commercially at pet shops and produce stores. They are easier to keep clean than the wooden ones, but can be cold in winter so a good thick layer of newspaper should be put in the hutch area as well as bedding or straw. You can make your own wooden cages, which should ideally be several inches or even a foot off the ground to prevent damp and to allow air to circulate. Or you can convert a child’s wooden playpen into a rabbit pen by attaching aviary wire to the inside of the bars (to prevent bunny from escaping between them) and on the base to prevent him/her from burrowing). A plastic box with a lid purchasable from Clint’s, Big W or K-Mart with a hole cut in one side and lined with newspaper and straw/hay can serve as a hutch and allow him/her to jump up and sit on it as bunnies like to roost. Cover the pen with lattice or similar to keep out stray cats and put shade cloth over it to protect the bunny from the heat. Flyscreen wire should be run around the outside of the pen to keep out insects.

For a Dwarf Lop a cage 110-120 cm long by 50 – 60 cm wide and 50 – 60 cm high is good. A Satin should have one at least 120 by 60 by 60 and a Netherland about 90 by 50 by 50.

Rabbits can handle cold well but have problems with heat. Therefore, ideally, the pen/cage should be able to be moved about the yard so that in summer it can be put under shade and in winter moved to where there is sunshine. Moving the cage benefits the lawn as the bunny can mow it while fertilising it. In very hot weather make sure the bunny’s water is cool as she/he will not drink it if it becomes hot and so can die of thirst. Ice cubes help. A bottle of water frozen in the freezer and placed next to the rabbit will give her/him something cool to lie against, simply with a wet or frozen towel or carpet. If the rabbit is in a shed, soaker hose laid over the roof and turned on low will bring down the temperature inside. Check out our ‘Ten steps for coping with summer’ guide.

The House Rabbit

If you intend to keep your rabbit in the house, make sure you do not leave it unattended as they love to chew on telephone cords and any electrical cords. Rabbit’s teeth never stop growing so they like chewing on things (eg chair and table legs).

Frequent gentle handling of your rabbit will make it more friendly and of even disposition.
Toilet training your rabbit: When you first have your rabbit, whether he is in the house or a cage, he will chose a place for his toilet. Scoop up his soiled material and place it in a litter train. Leave the tray in his chosen place and he should keep on using it. You may be able to move the tray later on and he still should use it.

Rabbits should NEVER be left outside in the sun on very hot days. You can provide your rabbit with a plastic bottle with frozen water in it to lie against to keep cool. NEVER leave your rabbit without shelter in the rain as if he gets wet he will take a long time to dry.

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Pet Turtles That Are Best For The Home

Pet Turtles For Everyone!

Pet turtles make wonderful companions for children and adults alike. They can be hardy animals that live for a very long time when properly cared for.

However not all pet turtles are created equally. Of the many many different types of turtles available there area select few which make wonderful pet turtles. And while being easy to find, they are also easy to care for when you know how.

Below we’ll discuss the most widely available pet turtles you’re likely to find in a pet store or local pet shop.

Box Turtles

Box turtles are one of the most popular types of pet turtles. These turtles are best when kept in an outdoor, enclosed environment. Although you can have them in an appartment setting, it is not recommended since they prefer a lot more space than is usually afforded in an apartment.

There are quite a few different types of box turtles. According to Wikipedia, see below for the available types of box turtles.

  • Amboina Box Turtle
  • Yellow-headed Box Turtle
  • Snake-eating Turtle
  • Indochinese Box Turtle
  • McCord’s Box Turtle
  • Pan’s Box Turtle
  • Three-banded Box Turtle
  • Yunnan Box Turtle
  • Zhou’s Box Turtle
  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Florida Box Turtle
  • Gulf Coast Box Turtle
  • Three-toed Box Turtle
  • Mexican Box Turtle
  • Yucatán Box Turtle
  • Coahuilan Box Turtle
  • Spotted Box Turtle
  • Western Box Turtle
  • Ornate Box Turtle
  • Desert Box Turtle

Obviously not all of these are suited for family living but the most common as pets are the Eastern Box Turtle, Spotted Box Turtle, and the Ornate Box Turtle.
Red Eared Slider Turtles
Ollie the red eared slider and favorite of our pet turtlesThe Red Eared Slider is probably the most popular of pet turtles. They are also the most affordable and easy to find. Pretty much any pet store will carry these and you’re likely to see them swimming together in a water filled tank.

Red eared slider turtles are distinguished by the red or orange stripes behind their eyes, hence red eared slider.

We have a pet turtle named Ollie who you may have seen a couple of times. She is a 3 year old red eared slider and is the official pet turtle of What Do Turtles Eat Info.com

Painted Turtles

Painted turtles are another great options for families interested in pet turtles. Their popularity is second only to red-eared sliders.

They are very hardy pets and, in the wild, have been known to live for over 50 years. So compared to other pet turtles, no doubt they can be a lifelong companion when cared for properly.

One drastic difference between the red eared slider and box turtle and the painted turtle, is that painted turtles don’t care much for being held. So if you have a younger child, who wants pet turtles to play with, a painted turtle may not be the best option.

Instead stick to the more lovable pet turtles available.

When Cared For Pet Turtles Can Be A Great Addition To Any Family
So if you’re interested in finding out more about the various kinds of pet turtles available, be sure to check out the category for pet turtles or simply ask your local pet store for any recommendations whether you’re a first timer or an experienced turtle owner.

If you enjoyed this information, or have any suggestions please be sure to comment below or share this page with someone you know who would benefit from this information.

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Hypoallergenic Dogs

If your allergies have kept you from adopting a loving pup, you’re not alone. Millions of people have some form of allergic reaction to dogs, which can range from minor skin irritation to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. But if you’re willing to do a bit of homework, then you’ve still got a shot at dog ownership. Despite your reaction to most canine breeds, you may be able to bring a hypoallergenic dog into your home.

Note: The concept of a “hypoallergenic dog” has been debated for years. Many believe the low-allergy breeds reduce allergic reactions as promised, while others are skeptical and think the concept of a “low-allergy” dog is a silly marketing ploy. As objective observers, we encourage you to speak to your dermatologist in addition to a local veterinarian for specific details and advice. But for the purpose of discussion, let’s review some common questions and concerns relating to the celebrated hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Dogs and Allergens
Non-hypoallergenic dogs tend to shed a lot. This is because their fur is often loose and dense, which traps pollen, dust, and dander. As the dog sheds its coat throughout the day, these particles are released into the air, carpet, couch, car, and anywhere else your pooch roams. Eventually, the allergens find their way onto your skin and eventually into your mouth and nose. These dogs may also have an undercoat, which is an additional thick layer of fur that protects them from harsh temperatures, water, or other environmental conditions. The undercoat is another culprit in allergic reaction as it can also trap dander is also shed frequently.

Also, some non-hypoallergenic dog breeds salivate more often than other breeds, which also leads to more allergic reactions. This is because dog saliva contains bacteria that many people are allergic to. Of course, a dog can’t control the amount of saliva she produces, so if you’re highly allergic, then be sure to select a breed that keeps their doggy spit to themselves.

Realize that you can have an allergy to dog fur, saliva, or any of Mother Nature’s particles that are picked up by your pooch. Therefore, the first step you should take is to visit a dermatologist and identify precisely which allergens cause your reactions. Then work backwards to find a suitable breed to match your allergy profile and lifestyle.

Hypoallergenic Dog Traits
Hypoallergenic dogs have shorter coats, and many don’t have an undercoat at all. While this lack of extra fur makes most hypoallergenic dogs unprepared for extreme climates, these pups may be just what the doctor ordered for allergy sufferers. The hair (notice we’re not calling it “fur” anymore) on these dogs is similar to that of humans, which means it typically won’t shed as frequently as non-hypoallergenic dogs. In fact, for low-allergy dogs, the hair may need to be trimmed regularly to prevent it from growing too long. And if hair itself is the problem, then some hypoallergenic breeds don’t have a coat at all. Oh, and here’s your trivia for today, a dog is considered “hairless” even if it has some hair on the paws and head. Also, hypoallergenic dogs don’t salivate as much as other breeds. As a result, when your pooch is cleaning herself, she’ll leave less bacteria behind.

Specific Breeds
As always, consider your lifestyle before selecting any dog, as this will impact your pup on a daily basis. Remember, smaller dogs are generally better for apartment living because they tend to have a quieter bark and require less room to run around. On the other hand, if you have a house, then you don’t have to worry about the upstairs neighbors, and you may also want to consider a larger breed that will be able to fully enjoy your huge backyard.

Here are five of the most popular hypoallergenic breeds. Of course there are dozens of other breeds for you to choose from, but we want to suggest a few to get you moving in the right direction. What’s your favorite low-allergy breed? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

The Poodle
Among the most popular dog breeds in general, the Poodle is usually the first low-allergy breed that comes to mind. Aside from the hypoallergenic qualities, a wonderful trait with Poodles is their versatility. Depending on which version you select: miniature or standard. Poodles are sporting dogs, service dogs, show dogs, guide dogs, and even lap dogs. It’s a very friendly breed and thrives on physical exercise, mental games, and constant human interaction. The Poodle is also considered one of the smartest and most obedient of dog breeds. They blend a spirit of adventure and playfulness with an irresistible personality that most people find adoring. The Poodle enjoys running, swimming, retrieving, and any other outdoor activity. They are also excellent with kids and other pets.

The Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is available in two varieties: the Hairless and the Powder Puff. Both are considered hypoallergenic. The Hairless, which is more common, actually has hair on its paws, head, and tail. The Hairless Chinese Crested loves to play outside, but due to its hairlessness, doesn’t fare well in cold weather. Actually, because they’re so small, you can exercise a Crested by just running it inside the house. These dogs love to jump and climb any everything, so be sure to maintain tight security to prevent injury or escape. Grooming requirements call for regular trimmings of the head, neck, tail, and feet. The Hairless Chinese Crested is prone to sunburn and acne, so be sure to purchase your pup a soothing moisturizer to keep her skin healthy and, for those outdoor days, an SPF-rated sun block. Aside from the skin care concerns, the Crested is very friendly and enjoys spending time with people and other pets.

Bishon Frise
These cuties are perky, playful, and maintain an overall happy-go-lucky outlook towards life. The Bishon is responsive, loving, and gets along great with children. On that note, Bishons require regular human contact, so don’t plan on leaving this pooch home alone all day while you’re at work. As for grooming, the Bishon Frise does not shed; however, some hairs may loosen and get entangled with the rest of the coat, causing it to mat. So you’ll need to brush your Bishon a few times per week to keep her tangle free. Also, the white puffy coat-a Bishon Frise signature- will need regular washes and trims.

Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog absolutely thrives on human interaction, so personal attention is in high demand for anyone who owns one. An active lifestyle is also essential because these dogs can’t sit still for very long without being overtaken by the urge to run around. The Portuguese makes an outstanding family pet since they love children and other dogs. They have an endless amount of energy and will play all day long if allowed. Excellent swimmers, they are the perfect dog for boating trips, fishing expeditions and water games at the lake. If bored, the Portuguese Water Dog will become frustrated and destructive, so unless you want chew marks on the sofa, do not keep this breed cooped inside all day while you’re at work. Grooming requires a thorough brushing every other day, with professional clipping about once a month. The Portuguese Water Dog is not bred as often as the other hypoallergenic breeds, you’ll likely have to search for a breeder online until you find the Portuguese pup of your dreams.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an athletic and playful member of the Terrier Group. Fun-loving and always ready for the next adventure, these dogs are a joy to have around the children. Always on the lookout for a new friend, be it human or canine, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is friendly and ready for training. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is available in four varieties: Traditional Irish, Heavy Irish, English, and American. The main difference is the size of the dog. This breed has a short coat that doesn’t shed much during the day. However, they will need to be groomed regularly to prevent clumping, matting, or skin rashes. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier thoroughly enjoys exercise and wants to be around people as much as possible. But due to their size and energy levels, we don’t recommend this breed for apartment living. The Wheaten Terrier loves to run and bark, so a large backyard is a necessity. This is a largest dog on our list, so if the hypoallergenic toy breeds turn you off, then take a close look at this big contender.

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