Nov 7, 2012

How Pets Can Improve Your Health

It’s been circulated in conversation that pets cannot only improve your day and life experience, they can also improve your health. Whether you own a dog, cat, fish, bird, a horse or another companion, there are ways in which they can all enhance your physical and emotional states. Here is a list of five ways that various pets can offer healing in your life:

1.    Pets are great at enhancing your mood. Curling up with your cat for a few minutes, petting your loyal canine companion or even observing your pet fish float gracefully through its tank can do amazing things for your nerves. It causes cortisol, a stress hormone, to be lowered and replaced with serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical, which promotes relaxation in the body and this saves your body from exhaustion and physical damage due to stress and anxiety.

2.    Although this statistic is surprising, owning a cat can actually reduce the risk of a heart attack. It’s been noted in studies that 40% of people who had never owned a feline companion were 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who did own cats. Other studies showed that those who owned dogs had a better recovery rate subsequent to a heart attack. Pet owners in general have been shown to have a much lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease.

3.    Depression is a common emotional disorder in the United States and it’s one that should be taken very seriously. Therapists have been known to suggest to those who suffer from depression to pick out a pet to care for. Through grooming, play, walking, feeding and petting, a pet owner can spend quality time loving their pet, therefore taking themselves out of their state of mind and allowing them to feel good about the way they are spending their time.

4.    Pets make great exercise buddies. Whether it’s a jog through the park with your dog, a game of ball or Frisbee with your dog, or combining floor exercises with playing with your cat, they’re all healthy ways to get in shape. Not only are you doing it alone, you’re also helping to take care of your pet and ensure that they’re in top physical condition too.

5.    For older pet owners, arthritis may be a chief concern. For an owner who has an older dog who also has arthritis, benefits can go both ways. You can synchronize doctor’s appointments, keep your medications together and take them at the same time and make sure you get adequate exercise, always watching out for each other.

Useful pet links:

Aug 23, 2012

Gecko Talk

Today's featured topic is Geckos and how they can become the most lovable creatures ever. They're certainly better than people. We'll talk about taming your Leopard Gecko, because they are the best Geckos and certainly the most underrated ones. Most people think Geckos are all green and they can talk and sell you insurance.  Leopard Geckos don't do that, sorry.

Taming is a fairly easy process when dealing with Leopard Geckos.  The process doesn’t take long at all and is very simple.  A widely accepted practice involves daily taming techniques.  But first, remember to allow your new gecko to adjust to his/her new environment.  You never want to start the taming process the day you bring your new gecko home.  Geckos need some time to adjust to the new environment and human contact is only going to stress them out even more than they already are.  I suggest starting the taming process 3-7 days after you bring home your Leopard Gecko and put him/her in her new home. 

When it is finally time to start taming your gecko, remember that all geckos are different, just like people.  These little guys and girls do have somewhat of a personality.  They’ll develop as they grow.  So your gecko may take less or more time than average.  Be patient. 

To tame your gecko simply start by placing your hand in the cage with them.  Try not to come over top of the gecko.  Wild predators, such as birds, attack from above/behind.  The gecko will be startled and get stressed if you approach them like that.  Place your hand flat on the floor of the enclosure in front of the gecko, but not too close.  Let your hand rest there for a few minutes without moving.  The gecko will know your hand is there.  At first he/she might not even come out from hiding.  That’s ok.  Be patient.  Do this every day.  Eventually the gecko will come out from hiding and inspect your hand.  At first they might just come over to smell you (or lick you even) and then leave.  Eventually they will crawl over your hand. 

When the gecko becomes comfortable with your hand in their home, let them crawl on it and SLOWLY lift your hand while they are on it.  Do not go too far at first, as the gecko will probably jump/crawl off your hand once you move it.  Eventually they will get comfortable with movement and just go for the ride. 

When you’re finally confident enough that the gecko will not jump off, you can remove your hand from the cage with the gecko on it.  This may be a few days after starting the taming process or possibly up to 2 weeks after.  Be patient.  When you do get to this point, allow the gecko to crawl around on your hand/arm.  Keep placing one hand in front of the other so that they may climb around.  Use slow movements.  Do not talk loudly or put your face down near the gecko.  You’ll start to learn what startles the gecko as you do this. 
Eventually your gecko will get used to you and be comfortable with crawling on your hands/arms.  I don’t usually pick up my gecko by hand.  I let Artemis climb onto me and then I lift her.  Artemis isn’t quite comfortable with being grabbed yet.  It will take a while for your gecko to get to that point.  Some geckos never get used to being grabbed.  Remember, they have personality.

So there’s your basic overview of taming and handling.  There are other techniques as well.  This is just the technique that we prefer.  Feel free to share other ideas in the comments.

Jun 20, 2012

Buying a Bird Cage

Huachipa Bird cage                            (Photo credit: Wikipedia)We love pets, in all shapes and sizes, and if you're a bird owner, one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your pet is buying their bird cage. It's the place where they will spend over 90% of their life, and if you pick out one that's too small or does not have the perch sizes, you will have one unhappy, and possibly unhealthy, bird. Take a few tips from us when buying your next bird cage. 

What materials is your bird cage going to be made of? Do the bird cages contain any traces of zinc and lead? Odds are if you're buying a cage not intended for bird use they could possibly contain some, and your birds will certainly bite at the edges of the cages, leading to possible health damage.

Get the right size cage. Usually too big of a cage is not a problem, but it can be a problem if they can fit their heads between the bars. As long as that isn't a problem, a bigger cage is better, especially if you plan on getting more than one bird to live together.

How easily can you clean the cage? You may find a fancy cage that will be a great living environment for your birds, but if you aren't able to clean it efficiently both you and your birds will suffer.

Most importantly, do your research before buying a cage for your bird's specific needs. The internet usually has all the answers, and your local bird shop usually can help you out a bit as well.

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May 10, 2012


Great white shark at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico, A...Great white shark at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico, August 2006. Shot with Nikon D70s in Ikelite housing, in natural light. Animal estimated at 11-12 feet (3.3 to 3.6 m) in length, age unknown. Français : Photographie d'un Grand requin blanc (Carcharodon carcharias) de 3,5 mètres environ, prise à l'île Gadalupe en août 2006. Matériel : Nikon D70s dans un caisson étanche Ikelite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Do you like fish, we know we do! Fish can be quite difficult to take car of however, so we have dedicated a blog for maintaining fish as well as other related aquatic pets. Feel free to browse around, we hope you enjoy what you see! If you know much about fish or pets in general, feel free to leave a comment. We always appreciate the feedback!
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