Tag: bunnies

Bunny Rabbits – Resist the Temptation!

Easter arrives this coming Sunday and with it all those things that signal spring is truly here to stay. From daffodils and blooming trees and shrubs to pastel colors and sun bathing. Something else that’s also prominent in the springtime are baby bunny rabbits! These little balls of cuddly fur with perfect little ears make their appearance every spring – especially around Easter.

While in some places the admiration of baby bunnies, and chicks, and ducks are part of the Easter festivities, they are also encountered in the wild too. Do you or your children really know how to handle bunny rabbits though? They are A LOT more complex than they seem. We wanted to hit on a couple high points as you encounter these lovely creatures this season.

Bunny Rabbits 101

  • Don’t take one home as a pet on a whim. We can’t stress this enough. They require so much consideration and specialized care and can live up to ten years or more. If you plan on getting a bunny rabbit as a pet, it is so important you do your research. They are not a cat or dog and have very different needs.
  • Don’t let your children pick them up without adult training and supervision. If a rabbit has been handled enough that you can pick it up, you must do so in a specific way. Many bunny rabbit deaths occur from improper handling that result in broken backs.
  • NEVER pick a rabbit up by it’s ears.
  • If you find a nest in the wild, leave it alone. The babies have not been abandoned. Rabbit mothers spend most of their time away from the nest to keep from attracting predators. Leave the babies be or the mother may reject them.
  • If you find a lost baby bunny rabbit outside the nest, or your cat or dog bring one in, it’s important that you know how hard it can be for them to thrive. If it still has the little white mark on its head, it is likely still far too young to survive without its mother. If it doesn’t have the star, call your local vet to ask if there is a wild animal rehabilitation center or similar organization you can hand it over to.

This season, we really can’t stress enough how important it is that wild bunnies be left to be wild bunnies and tame bunnies are well thought out and planned for before they come home with you!

photo credit: -Porsupah- Between worlds via photopin (license)

Pet Litter – The Best Types for Your Pet!

If you have a cat, rabbit, or other small critter like a hamster you purchase pet litter regularly. Maybe at the time you got your pet you didn’t look into it that much. Litter is litter, right? Well, sort of. Would you love to improve the process of cleaning up after your pet? Is your litter choice healthy? Read on while we break down the types and help you improve your pets bathroom experience!

Pet Litter – The Cat Edition

Did you know that before WWII people filled their cats litter boxes with sand, dirt, or ashes? Not the cleanest options to be honest. At the time, the military was using absorbent clay to clean up oil spills in factories and a former sailor had an idea – thus pet litter was born!

Clay litter was a big improvement over sand or dirt. It didn’t stick to the cats paws and get tracked around as much. It also helped with odor control. We’ve come a long way since the technology of WWII though! Clumping cat litter was later developed allowing pet owners to simply remove the soiled clay instead of replacing it all.

Now clay pet litters even come in scented varieties. While this may be nice for us, most pets don’t care for it. Be sure to gauge your pets reaction before you stock up on it.

Other natural pet litter options include litter made from recycled paper pellets, pine pulp, and even corn cobs! Many of these options don’t combat odor the way clay does, and will have to be changed more frequently too.

Small Animal Bedding and Litter

While clay based pet litter may be the best option for cats, it’s usually the worst choice for other critters. Many small animals like hamsters or gerbils live and sleep in the same material they use for litter. Wood chips like pine or aspen are most often used for these small creatures, though a paper option like the CareFresh bedding/litter is also a popular, though more expensive choice. These creatures will often have a designated area of their cage where they do most of their bathroom business. Regardless of litter choice, it’s important to regularly refresh this area.

Paper fiber litter is an ideal choice for a rabbits litter box, as it tracks very little and absorbs well. Aspen pellets are a great choice for absorption, though some pets enjoy fluffier material. Aspen chips or fiber over the pellets can be a great combination. Avoid pine chips for rabbit litter however. Pine, when soaked in rabbit urine can create unhealthy fumes for your pet.

Whatever litter choice works best for you and your pet, be sure that you keep their bathroom area clean. Many pets won’t use poorly kept litter boxes!

photo credit: Carly & Art Eco-Bun Henrietta knows a grand way to reuse packing material via photopin (license)

Shelter Animal Adoption Tips

Pet adoption is a cause near and dear to our hearts here at Pet Nanny. We like to see every critter in a warm loving home! Anything we can do to ease the adoption process and get a shelter animal in your home, we want to do!

Cindy Grant at NoLongerWild.com has compiled the ultimate treasure trove of shelter animal adoption tips! The labor of love is really impressive! Here are some of the highlights of her work, but ultimately, we suggest you head over to her site too for the full details if you have any questions or concerns!

Shelters

Did you know there are different types of animal shelters? Each different type has its own operating procedures. You may find it helpful to know what kind your local shelter is so you know what to expect before you go there! Here are the five types Cindy identifies:

  • Municipal Animal Shelters
  • Private Full Service Non-Profit Animal Shelters
  • Non-Profit Full Service With Animal Control
  • Non-Profit With Limited Space Animal Rescue Shelters
  • Animal Rescue Groups

Need help identifying good shelters from bad ones? She helps with this too! Aside from taking note of the general well-being of the animals and their living conditions she also addresses a couple important, yet not often mentioned aspects:

  • Is the staff friendly? That’s a great sign that they are happy to help a future pet parent! However, don’t be quick to get offended as they may grill you over certain aspects of your life. They’re not there to be your friend, they’re there to ensure each pet goes to a loving and capable home so they don’t see them back at the shelter!
  • Shelter pets aren’t “free”! While shelters shouldn’t demand a “donation” with adoption, they will charge you an adoption fee. This isn’t for-profit though, so don’t get the wrong idea. This fee frequently covers the cost of spaying/neutering, shots, and other preventative care your pet received under their care. It’s important that you get an itemized list of these things so you know what your pet has had, and what it still needs before you head home!

Know What Questions To Ask About Your Shelter Animal!

Shelter pets have a history and you should find out as much as you can before you adopt. Does it have any preexisting health conditions? Why is it in the shelter to begin with? What’s it’s general temperament? Important questions you need to ask! Make yourself a list – but be prepared to answer some yourself!

 

 

photo credit: M.P.N.texan Helen via photopin (license)

Hairball Prevention – Because No One Wants To Clean Them Up!

Don’t be caught off-guard by an unwanted hairball being coughed up around your house this shedding season! Hairballs are likely just as unpleasant for your cat to hack up as they are for you to find. Hairball prevention day is just around the corner (April 24). Do you both a favor and prevent them before they form!

Hairball Prevention 101

  • Brush, Brush, and Brush – Cats tend to do a pretty good job of grooming themselves. We don’t think much about brushing them. While they’re shedding though a good daily brushing is a must! The more of that fur you remove with a brush, the less they ingest to hack up later! Once you’ve given them a good brushing, wipe them down with a moist cloth to pick up any extra loose fur! Heck, we’ve even used a lint roller before!
  • Medicines & Supplements – If you think your cat may already have a hairball brewing, pick up an over-the-counter “medicine” to help them pass it. These medicines are often mild laxatives and can help hair pass through your cat’s system normally. Adding extra fiber to your pet’s diet, through food or supplement, is a great preventative change you can make too!
  • Add some Olive Oil – Mix a small amount of olive oil in your cat’s food! The oil helps to lubricate their digestive system naturally. Consumption of it can also make their coat shiny! This is a short-term treatment though. Feed olive oil in moderation over short periods of time.

Hairball issues can be normal while shedding, but they shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you cat continually suffers from issues associated with vomiting, see your vet. There may be a more serious issue at play. Left untreated and attended too hairballs can form intestinal blockages that are very dangerous for a kitty!

photo credit: vanaddie Cats, 2003 via photopin (license)

Tips Caring For A Pregnant Pet

Congratulations! It’s a boy and a girl and a boy and a girl and… If you’ve got a furry expectant mother on your hands you’re likely to see some different and new behavior. A cat’s gestation period is between 64-67 days, a dog’s is 58-68 days, and a rabbit’s is only 31 days!  You might be wondering what your role is as a standby expectant pet parent? Are there steps you can take to help your pregnant pet? You bet!

Pregnant Pet Tips

  • Lower the Litter Box – If your cat or rabbit is expecting kittens (yup, baby bunnies are called kittens too!) you might need to amend their litter box. High litter boxes can be difficult to get in and out of with a big belly! Consider getting a plastic litter box and cutting one side out of it so they can simply step in and step out. Be sure to place it on a large mat to help with clean-up!
  • Gotta Dog? More Frequent Walks – If you have a dog that you take outside to use the bathroom you may need to make these trips more frequently. Especially if you can’t adapt them to using puppy pads. To maximize your pet’s comfort, you may even need to let them out in the middle of the night too. Unless you want to clean up accidents in the morning!
  • Increased Nutrition – Just like humans, pregnant and nursing pets will have increased nutritional needs. Do your research and talk to your vet about how you may need to change your specific pets food and feeding times to meet their new needs.
  • Provide Nest Material and a Safe Spot – Ultimately your pet will choose where their babies will be born, but you can “offer suggestions” by ensuring they have a comfy out-of-the-way spot with all the things they need to nest.
  • Know Your Pets Behavior – The better you know your pet, the better you’ll be able to address their specific needs and tell when their behavior might be signaling the time is near!

Be sure to find good homes for your new critters and get them fixed as soon as you can! Puppy’s  & kittens can be fixed at about 8 weeks, and rabbits are usually around 6 months.
photo credit: Sukanto Debnath One day old Mongrel pups via photopin (license)

Whiskers – Your Pet’s Sixth Sense in Action!

Whiskers – just about every fuzzy creature around has them. They stick out of cheeks and snouts, hang off chins and even span out like exaggerated eyebrows. They are found in predators and prey alike, and cats even have them on the back of their front legs! What do these peculiar hairs do though and why are they so common? Here are some interesting facts about your pet’s whiskers!

All About Whiskers

  • They are much different from normal pet hair, or human hair! They are embedded much more deeply and send information about an animal’s surroundings straight to their sensory nerves. This helps animals have a clearer sense of their surroundings knowing how and when to react to them.
  • Did you know that whiskers will shed, just like fur? Don’t worry if you find one laying around. It’ll grow back!
  • Not all whiskers are straight! Some breeds of cats can curl!
  • Don’t trim them! Trimming can give an animal a distorted sense of their surrounds. Some critters, like rabbits, can’t see right in front of them and whiskers are pertinent to keep them from bumping into things!
  • They help gauge width. Ever wonder how your cat or rabbit just knows they can fit into a tight spot? Those long hairs help tell them the width of spaces without being able to see them. If the whiskers fit, the body can fit!
  • They are so sensitive, they respond to vibrations in the air!
  • The cat with the longest whiskers lives in Finland and is named “Missi”. In 2005 they were measured at 7.5 inches long!
  • Whisker Stress is a real thing! If your pet eats or drinks out of a narrow food or water dish they can develop this disorder. The constant stimulus every time they eat or drink can become uncomfortable. This may lead to your pet not eating or drinking enough, or attempting to drag their food out of their bowl before consumption.

photo credit: y_egan “Whiskers on kittens…” via photopin (license)

2017 Popular Pet Name Predictions from Pet Nanny!

Happy 2017! Each year claims a new style or trend to define it – and that includes popular pet names! If you’re looking to pick-up (or adopt!) a new furbaby this year check out our one-stop-shop for what are sure to be the most chosen names of 2017!

You got a name for me?

 Pet Names for 2017

  • Go Viking with strong names like Thor, Loki, or Asgard. Or their girl counterparts of Freya, Hilde, or Astrid.
  • How about your favorite pop culture icon? Living or recently passed are sure to be hot this year: Bruno, Bowie, Prince, Lou, Drake…
  • Are you a football fan? How about LeBron, Love, or Peyton?
  • With a remake of Beauty and Beast hitting the theaters this Spring, pick a Disney name! Belle, Beast, Gaston, Major, Pluto, Merryweather, Nala, Bambi…
  • We’re sure to see some names inspired by the latest Star Wars film from late 2016. Try out Ezra, Kylo, Hera, Mace, Rex, Rey… and of course the classic – Leia and Luke
  • Science Fiction will rule 2017 so don’t be afraid to break out your “nerdy” side! Nebula, Gamora, Gallifrey, Zelda, and Scully
  • It may be 2017, but some names are classic and timeless – Molly, Bear, Lucy, Duke, Max, Rex, Ruby, and Ali.
  • Politics may be a hot button issue, but expect to find pets whose names reflect the turbulent 2016 election year! Bo, Obama, Donald, Hillary, Bernie… Even Ken Bone!
  • Want something a little more unique than what trends have to offer? Consider some of these unusual pet names! Ox, Novac, Babs, Palto, Reese, Igor, Dagney, Elsie, or Evo?

Don’t forget to get your new pet a nice shiny new name tag for their collar and include your phone number! This helps differentiate a stray from a lost pet and can be the difference between a quick return home or a trip to the local animal shelter if found!

photo credit: Carly & Art “What? Go out in the snow? Are you nuts?” via photopin (license)

Literary Pets of Legend From Classic Books

It’s no question that pets play an important role in our lives. This fact is often reflected by their inclusion in our favorite stories and literary tales throughout the ages! Below are some of our favorite examples – an excellent list for children, or source of nostalgia for adults!

Literary Pets of Legend

Big Dan & Little Ann – You don’t have to be from the rural south to fall in love with these two loyal-to-the-end coon dogs made famous in Where the Red Fern Grows. These two dogs led us through an adventurous story capturing the freedom of youth.

Charlotte (Okay, well maybe it was Wilbur…) – Pigs might not be the most popular pets around but noone can say they could resist the friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider in Charlotte’s Web. 

Cat – Not a terribly creative name from one of the most creative literary icons of children’s books – Dr. Seuss. While the cat in Cat in the Hat may exhibit human characteristics, his knack for chaos will be instantly recognizable to any cat owner!

Peter – This posh little rabbit may where shoes and a jacket like a human but his love of Mr. McGregor’s garden delights is pure bunny.

Toto – A delightful little companion for Dorothy during her adventures. He may have a small role in The Wizard of Oz compared to the others but is iconic and this little terrier holds many hearts! Maybe we can all relate to the comfort found in a pet when we feel lonely or out of place as children?

Old Yeller – Possibly one of the earliest tragedies you remember as a child!  This pet that makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to protect the family he loved. Old Yeller will always remain iconic with a special place in our hearts!

Black Beauty – This horses tale teaches us about struggle and kindness, as well as encouraging empathy for animals. A great story that reflects the reality of what it might be like to actually be an animal, instead of the many children’s books that focus on the animal behaving like a human.

Do you have a favorite? Share it with us!

photo credit: alicejamieson Dog Intelligence via photopin (license)

Spay or Neuter Your Pet – The In’s and Out’s!

Spaying or neutering your pet is a very important aspect of pet ownership. Doing so helps to keep your pet healthy and keeps the population down at animal shelters. Here are a few bits of spay or neuter information you need!

Age

While there is some variation on what the best age to spay or neuter a pet is, the average seems to be about four months. Some vets advocate two months as being old enough and encourage this since younger animals can heal faster, while others think one should wait until six months. Both cats and dogs can become capable of reproduction around five months. It’s important to be aware of this if you plan on waiting till the six-month mark.

Can I spay if my pet just had babies?

You should not spay or neuter you pet while they are nursing. They can become pregnant again during this time though. It is important for you to keep your pet away from unneutered males until their babies are weaned. This can be 5-6 weeks for kittens 4-5 for puppies.

Spay or Neuter Cost

Spaying and neutering isn’t’ free so it’s important that you factor this into pet costs before you commit to bringing one home. Prices will vary from place to place. Because this procedure is so important many areas offer low-cost clinics. Check out the ASPCA website here to find a low-cost clinic near you!

Other reasons for spaying and neutering

This procedure can help with several territorial issues pet owners may deal with. Territorial behaviours can be as unpleasant as spraying to mark turf, or as dangerous as aggression toward both you and other animals. Spaying or neutering can also help to keep your pet from wandering. The term “catting around” is based on the likeliness of male cats roaming far from home while looking for mates.

What is the recovery time?

Fourteen weeks seems to be about average. This may vary based on your pet’s age and other variables specific to them. It’s important to follow all your vet’s instructions post surgery!

 

 

Color Your Pets World – Learn What They See!

Color is just one of those things most humans take for granted. The world around us is a vibrant mix of primary colors with all their differing shades and hues. When we talk about how our pets see the world many people seem to assume they either a.) see it like us, or b.) are color blind. In fact, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

How Your Pet Sees Color

Cats Since cats are not just excellent predators, but also super stealthy, we tend to assume they have exceptional vision – and that good color is a part of that. In fact, cats see color very differently from us. Eyes are made up of what are called rod and cone cells. Humans have more cone cells that cats do allowing us to see a wider color spectrum. We can also see clearer at much greater distances. Cats can only see clearly for about twenty feet in front of them, while humans can see 100-200 feet. Cat’s see much duller versions of color than we do. They do not see reds or greens well and this leaves their worlds with what we would call a “washed out” look.

Your cat sees better at night!

How your cat sees color.

Dogs – Dogs aren’t color blind! …though they are blind to certain colors… Dogs only have yellow and blue cone cells. This means, to a dog, green, yellow, and red are all the same color. They can note levels of vibrancy though so a vibrant yellow will appear different than a dark red. See the examples below from Dogvision.com to better understand your dog’s color spectrum.

How humans see color

How your dog sees color

Rabbits If you’ve ever seen a rabbit you know their eyes are positioned differently than those of the cat or dog. This side placement allows them to see almost a full 360 degrees around them. Though they do have two blind spots – directly behind them and directly in front of them! Like the other two, rabbits see color mostly in two tones. They can see greens (good for veggies!), yellows, and blues. Like cats, they can see much better than us during dusk or dawn when the light is dim. Though their vision diminishes in full dark.

Keep this new information in mind when buying toys and accessories for your pet! Brighten up their world by catering to their primary colors!

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