Tag Archives: vet clinic’

Funny Quirks That Are Common Among Guinea Pigs

There are a few things you are likely to expect from your pet based on what you know about animals. Dogs will bark when a squirrel runs across the lawn, cats purr when they’re happy, and some birds will sing. However, there are also quirks that come as a surprise to owners.

That’s especially the case when it comes to guinea pigs! Chances are, you probably didn’t know these quirks were common among these animals, especially if you’re a first-time owner.

Vibrating

Cats purr, so it might not be all that surprising to learn that guinea pigs do the same. What you might not be expecting is to feel your furry little friend start vibrating when you pet his back!

A professional animal hospital wants you to know that Guinea pigs are very expressive critters. In addition to their vocalizations, they have also been known to vibrate. The challenge is knowing whether your pet is vibrating because he’s happy or he’s anxious.

If your pig vibrates, purrs, and rubs against your hand for more affection, you can feel confident that your critter loves the attention. If his vibrations are accompanied by scurrying or kicking, it’s probably a good idea not to pet him that way again.

Popcorning

Guinea pigs aren’t very quick critters. How could they be, with large barrel-like bodies and short, stumpy legs. That’s why it comes as a huge surprise that these animals can really get some air when they’re excited!

When guinea pigs are overjoyed, they will jump into the air. It’s quite a sight, so it’s referred to as popcorning. If your pet engages in this behavior, it will surely bring a smile to your face!

Hissing and shrieking

Not all your guinea pigs quirks are a good thing. There are also some clear signs to be on the lookout for that mean your pet isn’t happy.

Guinea pigs hiss, just like cats do, and like our feline friends, it isn’t a good sign. Shrieking isn’t a good sign either, although you are likely to hear your pet do it from time to time. It means he’s unhappy, but sometimes it can’t be helped. For example, your critter might scream out in exasperation every time you bring him into your local animal hospital, but that doesn’t mean you should stop making appointments!

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Quick Tips for Training Your Rat

Although there are limits to what you can train a rat to do, a professional vet clinic says that their trainability remains underappreciated. You can train your pet to come when called, go to the bathroom in a litter box inside the cage, and you can even train your furry little friend to do fun tricks, like jump through a hoop!

You just have to make sure you get your training technique down. Here are a few quick tips that are sure to help you train your rat in a jiffy.

Get the treat just right

It should come as no surprise that rats are very food motivated. You can get them to do all kinds of things by using treats, but that doesn’t mean all treats are created equal.

Different rats have different preferences. You might find that your critter is more likely to follow your directions if you use a bit of cheese instead of peanuts. Use the reward that your pet is most motivated to earn.

However, you also have to be careful about feeding your pet too much. Favorite treats can be high in fat and calories so you may have to switch out the treats you use to keep your critter healthy.

Keep training sessions short and sweet

Although rats are smart, they do have their limits. These critters can’t sustain their attention for too long, so plan to keep training sessions short.

Just 10 minutes is probably all your rat can handle. You should also integrate training time organically into their playtime, so it’s something fun that they look forward to doing.

Start with easy tricks

Going straight for the hardest, most impressive tricks will just leave you frustrated. Instead, start with easy tricks.

That might mean teaching your rat to come when you call his name or showing him how to use the litter box. Once he has had a chance to learn a few simple tricks, you can try teaching him more complex tricks.

Although there’s no such thing as training classes for rats, you can ask your vet clinic for advice! Not only can they provide you with advice on which tricks to try, they can also show you the proper training techniques to ensure your pet learns his new tricks as quickly as possible.

Fun Games to Play with Your Pet Rat

Half the fun of having a rat is getting to play with him! These rodents are surprisingly intelligent, so there are plenty of fun things to choose from!

Here are a few game ideas from a vet clinic that your rat is sure to love.

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo is a fun and simple game you can play with your rat. It starts by placing your pet on the bed. Then, duck down behind one side of the bed. Your rodent will come over to see if he can find you!

You can also play a version of peek-a-boo where your rat is the one who hides. Pile up some blankets on the bed and let your critter run around inside the folds. Then, lift up the blanket and try and find your furry friend!

Digging games

Rats like to dig. Giving them the opportunity to dig is fun for them, but it’s also fun for you to watch!

Get a box and place a few treats at the bottom. Then, fill the box with stuff that your rat has to dig through. It might be a lot of bedding, soil, or even scraps of paper. Then, let your furry friend dig his way to the bottom to get those treats!

Bobbing for peas

When the weather is warm and your rat seems a bit overheated, let him bob for peas! Simply place a few frozen peas in a dish of warm water. Then, let your pet splash around and eat the peas!

Some rats like playing in the water, and some don’t. If your pet doesn’t seem interested, don’t force him. If he does like it, try putting the peas in the bathtub and filling it with a little more water so your critter really has to dive to get his snacks!

Create a maze

Mazes are fun for rats to learn, and it’s pretty easy too! Set up a maze and walk your pet through it by leading him with a treat. After a few tries, you can put the treats in the maze. Once he’s learned the layout, you can place the treat at the end and he’ll zoom to get it!

Your rat loves tearing treats out of mini piñatas made of paper towels too. He can even learn his name! For more game ideas, visit with your vet clinic.

How to Make Sure Your Pet Rats Are Cared for When You’re on Vacation

A lot goes into planning a vacation. You have to make all the plane, car, and hotel arrangements. You have to know what to pack and you have to know what you’re going to do when you get there. Well, if you have pets, your work isn’t done yet.

You have to make sure someone will care for them while you’re gone!

Here’s how a professional vet suggests you have someone care for your rats while you’re on vacation.

Find someone who likes rodents

The first step can be the hardest. You have to find someone who isn’t afraid of rodents!

Unfortunately, many people don’t care for rats. From their long tails to their reputation for being dirty, many people have the wrong idea about these critters. If you choose someone who doesn’t like rodents to care for your pets, they probably aren’t going to do a very good job.

Only ask someone who is comfortable handling your pets. That way you can ensure they will be cared for properly while you’re gone.

Food and water

Their biggest job will be to make sure your critters have plenty of food and water. Give them plenty to eat and they may only have to check in on them every few days. A large water bottle can ensure they only have to check on your pets a few times while you’re gone as well.

Make sure they give your critters treats too! Just make sure they know not to give your pets too much.

Cleaning the cage

If your rats are trained to use small litter boxes in the cage, they will need to be cleaned at least once a day. Whether they use litter boxes or not, the cage should be cleaned at least once a week. If you’ll be gone longer than that, your helper will have to replace the bedding too.

Playtime

Don’t forget about playtime! Show your friend or family member how your critters like to play outside the cage. Then, when they come every day or two to check on your rats, they can get them out to play.

To learn more about how to make sure your rats are properly cared for while you’re on vacation, call and ask for advice from your local vet.

Tips for Making Your Hamster as Happy as He Can Be

We all want what’s best for our furry friends, but sometimes life gets busy and we slack on our duties. In some cases, we don’t actually know what’s best for our pets. But, with a little research and diligence, we can make sure our critters are as happy as they can be.

Here are a few tips from a professional vet on how to make sure your hamster is happy.

Food and water

It should come as no surprise that the happiest hamsters are full and hydrated. To make sure your critter is as happy as he can be, give him plenty of lab block to chew on and a full bottle of water at all times.

That’s a good start, but if you really want to make your hammy as happy as he possibly can be, give him treats every once in a while! You can find tasty snacks at the pet store that your critter is sure to love, but don’t be afraid to experiment with the vegetables in the refrigerator. Snacking on a carrot could really make your hamster’s day!

Fun things to do

Sitting around with nothing to do is no fun for you, but it’s no fun for your hamster either. In order to make sure your critter is happy, you have to make sure there are plenty of fun things for him to do.

Hamsters love to dig. Make sure there is plenty of bedding in the cage so he can move it around. Don’t be surprised if he moves most of the bedding into his nesting box!

Tubes are a must for hamsters. The more tubes the better! Get a cage that allows you to reconfigure the tubes so you can keep things fresh and exciting for your hammy.

Time with you

It may take a little time and dedication, but your hamster will learn to like spending time with you. Once he does, you should get him out to play regularly.

Let him run around in a hamster ball or create a special pen just for him that contains paper towels, wash rags, and treats so he can have fun exploring. You can even put him in your pocket!

A happy hamster is a healthy hamster, so make sure you schedule appointments with your vet whenever it’s necessary.

Important Things Your Dog Wishes You To Know

Important Things Your Dog Wishes You To KnowEven if you have been sharing your life and home with a dog for a considerably long period of time, there are some doggy secrets that you may not know yet. Knowing some of them will help you decipher some of their behaviors and help you provide the best care for your pooch.

  • Spinning around before doing their business

A study conducted on the behavior displayed by dogs in relation to their elimination habits showed that dogs prefer to align with the north-south axis when defecating. They generally avoid the east-west alignment.

  • Different beds for different dogs

Like humans, different dogs have specific bed preferences. Dogs that like to curl up would be more comfortable in a bumper bed, while those that sleep with their legs straight out prefers a flatbed.

  • A wagging tail is not always a friendly gesture

Dogs wag their tails for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are friendly gestures. A dog that is angry, agitated, or annoyed may also wag his tail. You can tell whether your dog’s tail wagging is a positive behavior or not by observing his body language, such as the positioning of his tail and whether the muscles of his face are tense, his ears are pinned back, and pupils dilated. These are signs of a dog that is not feeling friendly or welcoming.

Best, and Worst, Small Animals for Apartments

Sharing your life with an animal can bring you a lot of joy, no matter where you live. But, some pets are better for some homes compared to others.

Cats and dogs can be an option for people living in an apartment, as long as you’re thinking about the particular breed you choose. But, if you’re looking for a smaller companion, it’s just as important to consider which one would be best for you.

Here are a few of the best, and worst, small animals for apartments.

The best animals for an apartment

When considering which animal is best for your small apartment, you want to consider a few things. According to a professional veterinarian, noise is a very important consideration. You don’t want your new pet to be the reason why you don’t get along with your neighbors.

You also have to consider size. Animals that require a large cage are a bad idea for the same reason why large dog breeds can be a challenge in a small space.

In general, rodents often make good companion animals for people who live in an apartment. If you’re looking for a more independent pet, choose a hamster. They don’t mind being left alone in the cage if life gets a little busy. If you’re looking for a more social, trainable, and friendly critter, go with a gerbil or a rat.

Rabbits can be a good choice too! You just have to make sure you choose a relatively small bunny so your new furry friend’s cage doesn’t take over your apartment.

The worst small animals in an apartment

As mentioned above, any animal that’s noisy isn’t a good idea for an apartment. Some parrot species are especially bad for apartment life because their screaming and cawing can easily penetrate the walls. That can make your life miserable, but it’s sure to make your neighbors hate you as well.

Steer clear of animals that require a lot of space. Iguanas are one example. They may be cute and cuddly when you see them at the store, but they can grow up to be six feet in length. A pet like that needs a huge cage!

Need help figuring out what animal would be best for your family? Call your local veterinarian and they can provide you with professional advice.