If it could talk, your guinea pig could teach you some amazing things.
Even though we live under the same roof, there are probably some things about my species you don’t know. For example, did you know that I’m a strict herbivore and must eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day? But be careful not to feed me the same thing all the time, and don’t feed me just anything. Learn which ones best suit me, and then surprise my taste buds.
Something else you should know is that I don’t sleep as much as you think. According to experts, I only sleep an average of four hours a day in total. Although you may see me lying down, that doesn’t mean I’m asleep. When I’m awake, I like to be active, so I need a large cage and plenty of outings.
While we’re on the subject, don’t take me for walks on a leash or harness. These items aren’t suitable for my body type and could make me panic and hurt myself. The same applies if you give me an exercise wheel or a ball designed for a hamster; using them could hurt my back.
Unlike my name implies, I’m not related to pigs and don’t hail from Guinea. There are many theories as to how I got my name. For example, guinea pigs were likely brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Around this time, the word guinea was often used to describe things that came from across the sea.
Thank you for giving me everything I need, including your affection.
(that’s the sound I make to get your attention)!
Should you adopt a pet when you retire?
Has your schedule freed up since retiring? Are you considering inviting a furry friend into your home? Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether adopting a pet is a good idea.
Owning a pet has many benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, lessened feelings of loneliness, increased self-esteem, and a general sense of well-being. For example, owning a dog helps raise your level of social engagement and physical activity because of walks and visits to the park. These changes can have a significant impact on your health.
Things to consider
Whatever type of animal you like, it’s essential to reflect on the long-term implications. Consider, for example, a dog’s life expectancy and your plans. Consider whether you may sell your home, move into a smaller space, or travel. Determine who can care for your companion if you can’t take it with you.
Finally, choose an animal that complements your level of autonomy. If you want a dog and you’re not very active, you probably shouldn’t get an energetic puppy that’s strong enough to cause you to lose your balance. You may find suitable companionship in a cat, hamster, or fish if you have reduced mobility.
Do you want to give an abandoned pet a second chance? Visit an animal shelter in your area.
How to make your home more pet-centric
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people welcomed pets into their homes. Whether you’re a new pet owner or have had one for many years, why not try making your home more pleasing to your furry friend? Here are three ways to create a pet-centric home.
1. Wash station. If you own a dog, why not create a dedicated area to groom and clean them? A ground-level wash station featuring tiled walls, a vinyl pan base, and a hand-held showerhead will help keep your pet and your house clean.
2. Pet door. Do you want your cat or dog to come and go as it pleases? Fortunately, pet doors have come a long way in recent years. For example, older doors with a simple flap pose a security risk since other animals, or heavy rain can also pass through them. Modern ones, in contrast, are electronic and use programmable collars or microchip implants to open only for your pet.
3. Pet flooring. Pets can be messy. Rather than get annoyed and frustrated, why not choose floor materials like linoleum, vinyl, or stain-resistant carpet that are easy to clean? A small area of radiant-floor heating will also give your pet a welcome place to lie down.
Contact an interior designer in your area to help you develop unique ideas to make your home more pet friendly.
How-to guide: adopting a pet turtle
Have you always wanted a pet turtle? Here’s a short guide on what you need to know before adopting your new friend.
Terrestrial or aquatic
Aquatic turtles are more popular than terrestrial ones because they’re significantly cheaper. However, they require a much more controlled habitat than terrestrial turtles. The type of turtle you choose will depend on how much time you have to care for it and your long-term budget. This is because most turtles live between 30 and 50 years.
When selecting the sex of your new pet, remember that male terrestrial turtles have a more concave dip on their underside than females. Moreover, male aquatic turtles have longer claws and wider tails than females.
Terrestrial turtles are solitary creatures that enjoy being alone. The same is true for their aquatic counterparts, as adult males frequently fight when together.
Before adopting a turtle, you must choose a terrarium or aquarium to accommodate its mature size. Adult turtles generally grow to a length of about six and 20 inches.
Health and behavior
When choosing a turtle, take the time to scrutinize its shell and skin condition. Healthy turtles have smooth, unblemished bodies. You can also test a turtle’s strength by gently tugging its limbs while they’re tucked under its shell. The turtle should offer some resistance. Moreover, observe how the turtle swims and ensure it moves in a straight line. Finally, choose a turtle that’s approachable and easy to handle.
Visit your local pet store to get everything you need to create an environment your pet turtle will love.
What’s behavioral grooming?
Are you looking for a pet groomer? Before choosing one establishment over another, find out what behavioral grooming is all about.
Traditional grooming methods often use restraints to hold your pet in place while grooming. However, behavioral grooming keeps your pet unrestrained while washing, cutting, and drying their fur. It focuses solely on your pet’s behavior. The groomer respects your furry friend’s limits by reading its body language. The goal is to teach your dog to enjoy the experience by taking a respectful and unrestricted approach.
Many dogs feel anxious about being manipulated, and the loud sounds of the clippers and the dryer scare them. These emotions are normal, especially when your pet doesn’t know what to expect. Behavioral grooming respects your dog’s limits. For example, techniques like positive reinforcement and increased motivation ease your dog into the experience.
Are you interested in learning more about behavioral grooming? Contact a groomer in your area that offers this service.
“My cat hates visitors!”
Does your cat run and hide every time someone comes over? Here are four steps to desensitize your feline to strangers.
1. Associate guests with something positive. For example, give your cat treats before visitors arrive and during their stay. At first, do this somewhere where your pet feels safe.
2. Over time, gradually lure your cat closer to your guests during their visit using its food bowl or treats.
3. Initially, ask your guests to ignore your cat if it approaches them.
4. Encourage your visitors to give your cat treats and play with it once it feels comfortable in their presence. Your cat will slowly understand that having guests over is fun.
Consult a feline behaviorist if you don’t see any improvement in your cat despite your best efforts.
How to choose a birdcage
Do you want to adopt a pet bird? Before visiting your local pet store, ensure you know what to look for in a suitable cage. Your bird’s health and well-being depend on it. Here are a few tips for choosing the right cage.
The cage should be large enough for your bird to fly around but not so big that it feels lost. The ideal cage size depends on your bird’s size and whether you plan on housing one or several birds in the same enclosure.
The shape of the cage depends on the type of bird you adopt and its flying preferences. For example, most birds fly horizontally. Therefore, long cages are most suitable. On the other hand, tall cages are more suitable for birds that like to climb, like parrots and parakeets. It’s also good to look for a cage with several perches.
Make sure the spacing between the bars isn’t too big. Your bird shouldn’t be able to stick its head through. If your bird likes to climb, choose a model with smooth bars. Finally, make sure the door has a secure latch.
Visit your local pet store to find a cage your new feathered friend will love.