Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

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Ramsey says hello !

Ramsey is the latest addition to the family, my beautiful pet rat! No doubt some of you just cringed; well let me assure you he is disease free and just as good (if not better) a companion then a dog or a cat. I got Ramsey just before Christmas 2013 from a friend who works in a local pet shop. He was the last of a litter and getting old and he knew I was on the lookout for a new furry friend so asked if I was on for giving him a home. I couldn’t leave the poor boy on his own so didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Rats should always be housed in pairs or groups as they are very social animals and can get lonely. I give Ramsey lots of attention every day and whenever I am home he gets free run of my bedroom and sometimes gets the chance to explore the other rooms as well. He will usually spend half an hour at a time running around, climbing, playing and trouble making before retreating back to his bed for one of several naps a day.

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Up to no good, looking for the sweets I had in my handbag 😛

Rats are extremely intelligent animals and they form strong bonds with their companions be it other rats or humans. With pet rats you have to really earn their trust. When I first got Ramsey he was very shy, he would hide in his bed whenever I approached and when the cage was open he would look out for a while before going back into hiding. With time and patience he began to get more curious and brave. Now I can’t open his cage quick enough, he is already waiting to be let out to play. He is still a little shy when it comes to handling, but he knows who his mammy is and is starting to trust me more each day.

Enrichment is very important when keeping rats as they get bored easily. Ramsey isn’t too interested in toys but he does love to climb and explore. I hide treats for him around the room and even in a shallow tub of water, he doesn’t mind getting wet. Most rats love to swim but need to be introduced slowly to water as they will be cautious of new experiences. Gradually I am filling the tub with more water and will get him a larger tub soon. You can also teach rats a whole range of fun tricks, which can be as fun for them as it is for you. Just make sure that trust is established first and be patient with them.

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Cleaning his face 🙂

Rats get a lot of bad press, but trust me they make great companions and are very clean animals, much more so then dogs. I wouldn’t trade my little guy in for the world. Remember as with all pets make 100% sure you can offer them a forever home, no excuses later on down the line.

 

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As with dogs, owners need to take care with what food their cats get their paws on. It is important to become familiar with what might be harmful to your cat’s health and avoid giving them anything that might be a risk. Here is a quick list of what should be avoided:

1. Chocolate:

Theobromine, that nasty substance present in chocolate is deadly if ingested by cats. Luckily cats are not too keen on chocolate but if hungry or curious they may still eat it so make sure and keep it away from reach.

2. Dog food:

Despite a common misconception that dog and cat food are pretty much the same, this is not the case. Cat food contains many nutrients, which are not present in dog food, which are an essential part of their diet.

3. Onion:

Onions when consumed in even small quantities can damage red blood cells and lead to anaemia in cats. It is important to remember that onion powder is in a number of products such as gravy and baby food so these need to be avoided along with other onion based foods.

4. Raw Egg:

Avidin, an enzyme which can decrease the absorption of vitamin B, is found in raw egg whites. This can lead to skin and hair problems in cats.

5. Raw Fish:

Raw fish also contains a harmful enzyme; this one’s called thiaminase which breaks down thiamine (Vitamin B). The lack of thiamine in a cat’s diet can lead to neurological disorders.

6. Milk:

Some cats have it worse then others, but better to be safe than sorry, so unless your cat has been raised on cow milk and never had any problems with diarrhoea or dehydration, then it should be avoided.

7. Mouldy or spoilt foods:

Don’t throw it away, the cat will eat it”. Bad idea. Mould and rotten foods can contain a whole string of toxins which can harm your cat. You wouldn’t eat it yourself, so why feed it to the cat?

8. Bones:

Be careful with meats that can contain bones as they can easily splinter and cause serious internal damage and cats can choke on smaller bones hidden in meat. Remove all bones from foods.

9. Grapes or raisins:

As with dogs, they contain unknown harmful toxins that can damage the liver.

10. Liver:

In small amounts liver can be good for cats but given too often can lead to vitamin a toxicity so be very careful.

 

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Bailey - Authors Own

While the urge to hand your dog leftover food and throw them down a scrap or two from your plate at dinner time is not uncommon , it is important to take note that as well as this increasing chances of obesity and undesirable begging behaviours from your pet, a number of food substances can be toxic to your dog. Here is a short list outlining just some of the risk foods:

1.Grapes & Raisins:
In recent years these have been found to be toxic to dogs and lead to kidney failure, all though the reasons why are not yet known.

2.Onions and Garlic:
The toxins present in these break down red blood cells in dogs and in turn can lead to anaemia. These are ingredients found in a lot of foods including gravy so it is vital to keep them away from your pet.

3.Dairy products:
As with cats, dairy products when given to dogs can cause diarrhoea and dehydration so you should always be careful with this.

4.Fatty meats & bones:
It is vital to take care with meat as dogs can easily choke on bits of bone and in addition the bone can splinter inside their digestive tract causing serious harm. The fat and grizzle on meat in large quantities can lead to pancreatitis so if you wish to give your dog leftover meat ensure it is cooked properly, bone free and fat free.

5.Chocolate, Candy and gums:
These are all very harmful to dogs and in large quantities can be lethal. Xylitol, and ingredient found in many sweets can disturb insulin levels in dogs leading to liver failure. Theobromine found in chocolate is poisonous to dogs and this is why chocolate should always be avoided.

6.Caffeine:
Caffeine is like poison to a dog and should at all times be avoided. It is present in coffee, tea, chocolate and a number of soft drinks.

7.Alcohol:
While this one may seem obvious there are still pet owners that slip their dogs a bit of alcohol now and again. Due to their lower body weight and different metabolisms this should be avoided as it doesn’t take much to cause alcohol poisoning in dogs.

8.Yeast dough:
When digested by animals yeast dough can expand in their stomach and cause unease and digestive issues. In turn the yeast can produce alcohol in the dog’s stomach leading to a possibility of alcohol poisoning. Bread is ok to give to dogs in very small quantities as a treat.

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