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“I’m not happy in a tiny tank”

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If it could talk, your betta fish could teach you some amazing things.

Ever since you adopted me, I’ve noticed you admiring my shimmering colors and fluttering fins. On the other hand, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that you don’t know everything you need to know about me. I’m happy to tell you these important facts about my species.

First, you should know that although betta fish are often placed in small glass jars (because we’re tough and pretty, I guess), we need ample space to feel our best. If you want me to live a long and happy life of up to eight or even ten years, I need a large rectangular or square aquarium with at least four gallons of 77 F water.

You may have noticed I like to go back and forth between the surface of the water and the bottom of my tank. I’ll be thrilled if the distance is about six inches. And be careful: my aquarium must have a lid to prevent me from jumping out onto the floor.

Next, I would like to tell you that I like to eat floating pellets made for my species. But I also enjoy variety, like occasional freeze-dried or frozen larvae or worms. Yummy!

Finally, I’ll remind you that although my nickname is the Siamese fighting fish, I’m quite peaceful. I only get defensive if you encroach on my territory.

I look forward to continuing to dazzle you for years to come.

Bubbles XX

Bloop bloop (I’m sending you a few bubbles to say “Hi”)!

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“Despite my name, I’m not from Guinea!”

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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.

Doudou XX

Squeak Squeak
(that’s the sound I make to get your attention)!

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What you need to know about canine distemper

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Distemper is a potentially lethal virus that attacks dogs and other domestic animals like cats and ferrets. It can also affect wild animals like raccoons. If you have a dog or want to adopt one in the future, you should know about distemper.

Transmission
Distemper is a highly contagious disease. It can be transmitted through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose and mouth by coughing and sneezing. It can also spread through contact with eye secretions.

Symptoms
The symptoms of distemper vary from animal to animal because the virus targets both the nervous and respiratory systems. If your pet is infected, it could exhibit some of the following symptoms:

• Aggression
• Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
• Pacing
• Diarrhea
• Nasal discharge
• Rash
• Fever
• Lethargy
• Loss of appetite
• Excessive salivation
• Spasms or convulsions
• Coughing
• Vomiting

Many infected dogs don’t exhibit any symptoms but are still contagious.

Treatment
Unfortunately, there’s no antiviral cure for distemper. However, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics, anticonvulsants, or intravenous fluids to treat your pet’s symptoms.

Prevention
Veterinarians recommend all dogs should be vaccinated against distemper. The sad truth is that many unvaccinated dogs needlessly die from the infection or develop serious and irreversible side effects.

You can protect your faithful companion by following the advice of your veterinarian.

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Can you give your cat milk?

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You often see cats drinking milk in books and movies. A child rescues a hungry cat and gives it a saucer of milk, and the cat laps it up with pleasure. But is this the right thing to do? According to the experts, the answer is no. Here are a few reasons why.

Essential enzyme
Kittens can digest their mother’s milk because they’re born with a specific enzyme that allows them to break down lactose, a form of sugar, efficiently. However, as they get older, most cats lose this enzyme and can no longer properly digest milk.

Various health problems
If an adult cat eats high-quality food and gets plenty of freshwater, it doesn’t need to drink milk. Drinking this fat-rich substance can trigger a variety of ailments, including obesity and diarrhea. Milk is especially harmful if your furry friend is allergic to milk proteins or can’t properly digest lactose.

In short, if you feed cow’s milk to your adult cat, it may enjoy it at first but will suffer digestive issues and other health problems later. Consult your vet to determine what’s safe to feed your cat.

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Why you should clean your cat’s ears

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Cats are known for being great self-groomers. If your cat has short hair, you may think you don’t need to do anything to keep it clean. However, ensuring their ears are clean is vital to their overall health. Here’s why it’s essential to clean your cat’s ears regularly.

Neglecting the cat’s vulnerable ears can lead to poor health consequences. Routine ear cleaning helps get rid of ear¬wax, debris, bacteria, yeast, and parasites that can lead to a host of pro¬blems, including:

• Ear infections
• Ear mite infestations
• Hematomas
• Hearing loss

If its ears are compromised, your cat’s quality of life suffers. Your little pet may experience pain, loss of balance, or disorientation.

Therefore, you should inspect and clean your cat’s ears at least once a month. Purchase an ear cleaning solution specially designed for cats and carefully follow the instructions on the label.

If you suspect your cat has an ear problem, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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How to prevent food poisoning in birds

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Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for birds to get food poisoning. In many cases, it can be fatal. Here’s how you can prevent your feathered friend from getting sick.

Prevention
Many human foods are dangerous to birds. Giving your bird a sip of coffee, a piece of chocolate, or a potato chip can be harmful. Certain plants like onions and avocados may seem harmless but should not be in your bird’s diet. You should only feed your bird foods recommended by your veterinarian. Remove uneaten food from your pet’s cage regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Do you let your bird fly freely around the house? If so, never leave any potentially harmful food within reach. Your home may be full of hazards, including cleaning products and toxic houseplants.

Finally, many birds use cage accessories like toys and perches to sharpen their beaks or relieve boredom. Make sure these items consist of safe materials.

Symptoms
Despite your best efforts, your bird may swallow a harmful substance. Here are some of the symptoms associated with food poisoning:

· Loss of appetite
· Shivering
· Convulsions
· Fluffed up feathers
· Lethargy
· Vomiting or diarrhea
· Rapid, labored breathing

If your bird’s behavior changes suddenly, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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5 benefits of freeze-dried cat food

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Are you familiar with freeze-dried cat food? This preservation process involves flash-freezing raw food to remove moisture and bacteria. The food is then sealed in air-tight packaging. When it’s time to feed your cat, you simply rehydrate the meal with water to restore its natural texture. Here are five benefits of feeding your cat this type of food.

1. It has a long shelf life
Freeze-dried cat food has a long shelf life. Consequently, you can stock up on several months’ worth of meals when it’s on sale.

2. It’s nutrient-dense
The process of freeze-drying doesn’t affect the food’s nutritional value. Once rehydrated, the ingredients are as nutrient-dense as they were when fresh.

3. It’s convenient
Freeze-dried cat food is shelf-stable. This means it doesn’t need to be frozen or refrigerated. At feeding time, all you have to do is pour warm water over the food to rehydrate it.

4. It’s delicious
Freeze-dried ingredients retain their taste and appearance. Additionally, they don’t contain any chemical preservatives or additives. Consequently, you can feel good knowing your cat is eating delicious, healthy food.

5. It’s easy to transition to
Rehydrated food is very similar to raw food. Therefore, if your cat already eats a raw diet, you won’t have any trouble getting it to eat freeze-dried food.

Visit your local pet shop to buy freeze-dried food for your cat.

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Upcoming Events

Jul
1
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 1 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
2
Sat
10:00 am A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 10:00 am – Jul 3 @ 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Join Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalist Paul Guay and explore the rich natural history of trees along the park’s Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the[...]
11:30 am Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
Jul 2 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
On 2 July, at 11:30, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will read the Declaration of Independence on the porch of the Archives at the Warren Heritage Society. [...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Jul
6
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jul
8
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
9
Sat
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful Historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]
Jul
13
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]