Tag: rabbit

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!

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Rabbit Starter Kit – Tips For A Happy Bun!

Did you know that the rabbit population in animal shelters grows every year? Rabbits can be complicated, yet very rewarding pets if you know a few basics beforehand. Before you let that round little rump and those fuzzy paws entice you into an impulse purchase/adoption let us guide you through some of the basics of rabbit ownership!

Rabbits Aren’t Cats or Dogs

It’s important not to treat them as such. They are a very different creature and how you care for them and respect them can be vastly different. Here are a few of the key points you need to be aware of:

  • Rabbits are prey animals, unlike cats or dogs. Their instinct for survival kicks in each time they get spooked and its fairly easy to spook even a familiar rabbit.
  • It’s very important that you let them familiarize themselves with their environment in a quiet and respectful way. You can’t always be quick to scoop them up, or even approach them, if they aren’t used to regular human contact, or are shy.
  • Locate a vet that is trained specifically for rabbits. Cat and dog vets are not necessarily able to treat rabbits so be sure you have one picked out.
  • All pets have different personalities, but rabbits can vary widely. Some are laid back and up for anything, some are stand-offish, even at their best. If you’re adopting, spend time with your rabbit before you commit. Bunnies need forever homes to be truly comfortable, not temporary ones.

Rabbit Supplies

  • Cage/House – Even free-roaming (house tyrants, really) need to have an out-of-the-way bunny specific place that is off limits to you. It’s also important that you have a place you can confine them when doing house projects or when you go out. Rabbits can be dangerously curious and deceptively destructive!
  • Two Litter Boxes – Two are best, one for their cage, one for the house. You may place the litter box where you want, but rabbits frequently will pick their own location and it can be easier to just place the box in the spot they pick.
  • Bunny Litter – Wood chips are fine, but choose Aspen over Pine as pine can be unhealthy for them. Wood pellets and paper are also good choices – Cat litter is a big no-no!
  • Timothy Hay & Pellets – Rabbits should have unlimited access to this delicious hay. They should have a trough in their cage and have access to more while in their litter box. Rabbits are happiest snacking on it while doing their business. Food pellets are also necessary. Choose high quality pellets with lots of vitamins and minerals. Rabbits also love fresh greens like kale, cilantro, spinach, and, as a treat, banana!
  • Grooming supplies – A good, rabbit-specific brush is a must for the shedding season. Good nail clippers are also important.
  • Harness & leash – House bunnies love trips outside! Use a harness with their leash to better protect them and focus on leash training them in the home first, before you venture out. Make sure the space you walk them in is free from predators.
  • Food & Water Supplies – Food and water dishes must be secured. Bunnies are playful critters and anything not secured in their territory is going to get tossed about.

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Summer Fun List For Your Pet!

Need some endless summer fun tips for your pet? Now’s the time to take advantage of the great outdoors (or backyard!) and get in some awesome activities with your pet. Check out our awesome list to brighten up the “dog days of summer”, increase the bond with your pet – while staying cool at the same time!

Summer Fun List

  • Kiddie pools are so versatile and fun! Fill one with some water for your pet to splash around in! If they seem a little apprehensive about taking the plunge, toss some of their favorite water friendly treats in!
  • Make pet popsicles! Cheap popsicle trays can be a great way to treat your pet and cool them off! Mix bouillon with water and freeze it for your cats and dogs, or use something fruity for a pet rabbit!
  • Sprinkler and/or slip-n-slides anyone? We think these are self explanatory!
  • Do a search for local geocaches and take your pet out hiking!
  • Explore new dog parks with your pet! Find ones in your area and hit a new park each day to meet new people and explore new spaces!
  • Make a trip to one of these Cat Cafe’s and see what all the rage is about!
  • Get creative! Make pet toys like scratching posts, backyard obstacle courses, or even a little tree house for your cat if you’re feeling ambitious.
  • Drop your pet off for a spa day, and head to one yourself!
  • Leash train your cat and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and exploring with them!
  • Plant pet friendly sprouts in containers for cats or rabbits to nibble on or dig in!
  • Take your pet out for a photo shoot! Consider bringing outfits and/or props?

Do you already have a summer fun list for you and your pet? Share it with us to help inspire others!

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Licking – Why Does Your Pet Do It?

Whether you’ve got a cat, dog, or bunny, there is likely to be licking involved in their interaction with you. What does it mean, though? How about when they lick other things? You’re questions answered about all that pet slobber!

 

Busting the Licking Mystery

Rabbits

Aside from grooming themselves, the average rabbit does a whole lot of licking. Rabbits practice altruistic grooming when bonded with another rabbit – or an “FLR” (funny looking rabbit) = YOU! They are social and territorial animals with a defined hierarchy. There is always a dominant rabbit, and this dominant rabbit must be groomed by its subordinates (again, you…). However, once a rabbit has picked its partner, they will return the grooming and you may get a good bath once in a while! While rabbits typically only have one bonded partner, they will frequently lick objects around other rabbits to show they are fond of them, while maintaining their dominance. Rabbits often lick items that belong to their favorite people, and frequently explore the world with their little bunny tongues!

Cats

Cats too, lick to show affection. Their affection is always as limited as the rabbits though and they may have many people or other animals that they are fond of. Grooming solidifies bonding and is a great compliment.  Cats also really like salt and humans (especially after a sweaty day) will often taste salty. Unlike rabbits, cats will not frequently lick inanimate objects, unless they have something tasty on them! On rare occasions, a cat may lick/groom out of anxiety. If you notice them licking compulsively to the point of bald patches in their fur, they are likely trying to comfort themselves and it’s important that you talk to your vet about underlying problems.

Dogs

Dogs might be the kings of licking. They need few reasons to break the slobbery tongue out to show you, or sometimes anyone, a little affection. Like rabbits, they lick for affection. Like cats, they also lick for salt. Dogs will often lick to get your attention too, though you may not always realize it. If they start licking you for not other apparent reason, see if you can figure out if they need something. While not given the credit of a cat or rabbit, dogs will also groom themselves some with their tongues. Dog saliva also contains healing and antibacterial enzymes that make licking wounds a vital part of the healing process.
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Pet Peeves – What Our Pets Do To Annoy Us

We may love their furry faces and are willing to do just about anything for them, but admit it – sometimes your pet gets on your nerves. In fact, the complaints about cats, dogs, and even rabbits, seem to be pretty consistent. Our pets might annoy us, but even these little pet peeves are endearing for how they show personality! If anyone out there is an ambassador to the pet world, here are some of the top “pet peeves” to please pass along!

  • Dear Cat… I was excited to see you when I got home and really wanted to cuddle on the couch but you were too busy taking a bath in a remote part of the house. Now that I need to focus on work/homework/anything really, you’re all purrs and cuddles right in my face.
  • Dear Dog… You are a creature of nature. We go on walks regularly, I’m pretty sure that a leaf/rock/stick has never attacked you nor I. Barking at it is pointless.
  • Dear Cat… I’m making a mental note that pouncing on your face while you’re in a deep sleep is considered a type of “fun”. Is this why you prefer to sleep out of reach?
  • Dear Bunny… That’s the same litter box it’s always been. It’s not a predator in disguise. Why you have to randomly tip-toe up to it before deciding not to trust it and peeing on the floor next to it I’ll never understand.
  • Dear Dog… Please stop dramatically requesting to go outside to potty, then just sitting down outside instead.
  • Dear Dog… It’s not polite to stare – especially at someone who is eating.
  • Dear Cat… Please relinquish your hidden stash of my pens/hair ties/socks.
  • Dear Bunny… Thumping the house awake at 3AM is no way to get nose rubs

Give us a snapshot of your pet’s personality by sharing your biggest “pet peeves” with us!

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April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Would you know how to administer first aid to your pet in an emergency? Do you even have emergency numbers quickly accessible? You don’t need to have an accident prone pet to realize it’s just good policy to make sure that you’ve got an action plan in case of an emergency! This April, take some time to brush up on what you need to have and know – your pet’s counting on you!

Pet First Aid Refresher Tips

  • Get the App! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a First Aid app just for pets? It provides helpful information for both dog and cat owners in emergency and disaster situations!
  • Update your Pet First Aid Kit! Don’t have one? Get/Make one now! You should check your pet first aid kit annually to ensure that all the supplies are still properly packaged, any medications are not out of date, and nothing has leaked. If you don’t have one, this needs to be on your must list! There are a wide array of pre-packaged kits out there for sale. Bump those store bought ones up against this list from the Humane Society to make sure it includes everything you need. Or, use that list to make your own! Be sure to include comfort items for your pet too!
  • Know the basics! It’s apt that April is pet first aid month since Spring means more time outdoors for everyone! It also means that pets are at a higher risk for being victims of the native flora and fauna. Know what plants to keep your pets away from, and what to do in case of snake bites, bee stings, etc.
  • Vaccinations! Check your vet records to ensure your pets vaccinations are all up to date! This includes wormers, flea and tick prevention, dog flu, and rabies!
  • Check those emergency numbers!  Maybe you’ve changed vets? Or moved to a new location? Make sure that the numbers for both your regular vet and the nearest animal hospital are still accurate and quickly accessible for the whole family!

Don’t forget to share your emergency contacts and details about your first aid kit with any pet sitters you hire!
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Earth Day Tips for Your Pet!

With Earth Day still fresh on our minds (it was last Friday!), have you ever considered your pet’s carbon footprint? Or small changes you could make to be a greener pet owner?

Green Pets For Earth Day!

  • Green Pet Toys – While you may be tempted to treat your pet with a new toy each time you head out the pickup supplies, most pets don’t know the difference between a bought toy and a homemade one! Not to mention there is no telling what unhealthy chemicals are in/on the plastic and polyester toys commercially available. Dogs love sticks, bones, or even old shoes! Cats are suckers for balls of yarn, pens, and really anything they can swat around the house!
  • Spay and Neuter – Believe it or not, this may be the greenest thing you can do! Nearly 8 million pets are euthanized in animal shelters each year. The resources to house, feed, and eventually euthanize 8 million pets are huge. Spaying or neutering your pet can not only help the planet but prevent animal suffering if you are unable to care for all the potential offspring yourself!

  • Scoop or “Pickup” Cleaner – Whether you’re a cat, dog, or even bunny owner, resources are often used disposing of their waste… Consider trying out eco-friendly plastic bags in honor of Earth Day! Poopbags.com sells biodegradable baggies made just for your pet’s “business”.  Use it on walks, or place one in a small container with a lid next to your litterbox and scoop into it daily, then toss at weeks end! If you’ve got a bunny and space for composting, rabbit manure is praised by gardeners and most rabbit litter is compost friendly too!
  • Avoid Plastics – When possible opt for metal or ceramic pet accessories. They usually last longer, are more natural, and consume less resources to make! Next time you need to replace water and food dishes, litter boxes (yup, they make metal litterboxes!), bedding, toys, collars, etc., opt for the real thing, no plastics or polyesters need apply!

Do you have your own ways you “go green” with your pet(s)? Share them with us in honor of Earth Day 2016!

Infographic Courtesy Of Ultimate Home Life

 

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Poison Prevention and Your Pet

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – a cause that needs regular awareness. Carelessness and over-confidence on many pet owners parts lead to pet poisonings every year. While many animals have natural instincts that help them avoid unhealthy things in nature, they are less keen when it comes to man-made things left accessible in their territory. As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure our animal’s homes are safe and poison-free at all times! See our tips below to stay on your toes and keep your pet safe!

Keeping Your Pet Away From Poison

  • Household cleaners – As Spring cleaning gets underway it’s easy to get careless with your cleaning products and leave them within a pet’s reach. If you can’t banish your pet from the area you are working in until you’re done, it’s important to always stay aware and not become distracted. If your pet has a problem with drinking out of the toilet, make sure to never leave toilet cleaner unflushed. Unattended mop buckets with cleaners in them can also pose a threat to a thirsty pet.
  • Mouse, Rat, or Insect poison –  These are three types of poison people tend to tuck away into areas pets can’t get to – the backs of cupboards, closets, shelves, etc.  These carefully concealed poisons can become a threat to your pet when you forget about them and then drag things out of a closet or cupboard, potentially bringing the poison with it. Always be mindful this! Especially if you have recently rented or moved into a new place. There may be poisons left in nooks and crannies that you’re not aware of!
  • Fertilizers & Herbicides – Don’t think your home is the only place you have to be worried about poisoning your pet! Newly fertilized lawns can harm pets too. In addition to storing lawn and garden poisons well away from your pet, be sure not to let them spend time in newly treated areas. Remember you can track poisons too, so keep your shoes out of reach!

Keep your pets away

from areas herbicides

have been used!

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Gardening For Your Pet – Grow Your Own Treats!

As March creeps closer one can’t help but feel Spring fever take hold and the pull to do a little gardening! Whether you live in the city or out in the sticks there is a gardening style to suit both you and your pet! Each pet has their own personality so try a few options from your grocery store to find out their preferences and then get busy planting!

Gardening for your Pet

The Urban Gardner: Here you may be restrained to window or balcony boxes and indoor planters. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow pet-friendly treats and snacks! Catnip is a given. It’s easy to cultivate, pretty and green, and drives kitties crazy! Bunnies also like to give it a nibble. Lemongrass and any variety of mint are also favorites for cats, rabbits, and even some dogs! Trays of wheat grass are an attractive multi-pet friendly option for indoor gardening and can be found at most pet supply shops!

Gardening for your pets!

The Backyard Gardener: If you’ve got a little space like a fenced in courtyard or a full backyard garden your options expand a lot! Many of the indoor varieties listed above are also great options for outdoor gardening. Lavender is a lovely fragrant plant that some dogs enjoy chewing. Other common vegetable garden plants dogs enjoy include spinach, pumpkins, green beans, melons, carrots, blueberries, and even sweet potatoes!  Cats often love to nibble thyme and it’s a great culinary herb for cooking! Try broccoli and zucchini as well (just don’t place a cucumber behind them)! Got a bunny hopping around? Plant a nice patch of parsley and kale – two rabbit favorites!

Some precautions: If your pet is going to be playing in your potted or outdoor plants, make sure that the plant leaves and soil are free from pesticides or fertilizers Be sure to always do your research before you introduce your pet to vegetation. Lots of house and garden plants can be poisonous!

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Nutrition for Your Pet – Do You Know What They Need?

You might be familiar with the nutrition pyramid to maintain an active and healthy body, but do you know what the most important elements of your pet’s diet should be? Don’t just assume the pet food you buy is complete because it says so on the bag or can! Take your pets nutrition into your own hands by familiarizing yourself with their individual essential needs.

Top Pet Nutrition Needs

  • Dogs: Did you know dogs create their own Vitamin C? That doesn’t mean there still aren’t lots of other vitamins and minerals they need! Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium are three important ones. These can be found in fish, milk, and grains. Scientifically dogs are omnivores like us!  This means their nutritional needs are similar to ours. Their body’s require large amounts of proteins, fats, and fatty acids like omega-6 too. Poultry can be a great source of protein, fat, and omega-6 for dogs. If you prefer to take a vegetarian route just ensure that there is plenty of protein, amino acids, and vitamin B in their diet!
  • Cats: Cat nutritional needs have been greatly misanalyzed in the past.  Taurine is an essential nutrient for cats that was originally left out of commercially produced cat food until a deficiency in it led to a lot of pet deaths. While cats largely have the same nutritional needs as dogs, their systems have a harder time metabolizing plant base sourced nutrients. It’s important that cats receive their nutrition from fish, poultry, or other meats. Taurine is found in adequate quantities in a meat based diet.

  • Rabbits: Contrary to popular belief, a healthy rabbit diet isn’t composed of carrots! Where protein is primary for carnivores and omnivores, fiber is number one for herbivores! Feeding rabbit pellets alone is not recommended for a long and healthy life. An essential source of fiber for rabbits is timothy hay and should be provided in unlimited quantities at all times. 2-4 cups of fresh greens & veggies like kale, carrot tops (not carrots, too much sugar!), broccoli, or spinach per day should provide them with all their essential nutrients. Just remember not to rely on rabbit pellets as the primary source of nutrition – a healthy rabbit must have it’s food source fresh and varied!

Be sure to ask your vet if your pet has any further specific nutritional needs based on their breed, age, or existing conditions!

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