Category Archives: Pets

Are Fish Good Pets?

72Are Fish Good Pets?

Many people think that the best alternative to a dog or cat is a Fish. Why not, right? They don’t bark, they don’t have a litter box to clean, they are easy! Well, that is really not the case.

First off, if you plan to have a several fish, you need to invest in the proper size tank, with a filter system, heater, thermometer, aquarium and fish food. So the initial investment can range from around $60-$100 for a 10 Gallon Tank with all components. Not that inexpensive is it?

Next you have to buy the fish, you need about one gallon of water per fish. Fish prices vary depending on the fish you want but you have to be careful that the fish you buy will all be able to coexist as some may attack the others.

Once you have your tank set up, you simply feed the fish according to the feeding instructions and your done, right? Not so fast. With a fish tank, you are supposed to change ¼ of the water each month. You will have to ensure the water sits out at least 24-48 hours to make sure it is safe to add to the tank. You will also have to test the pH in the tank to ensure it is balanced and will have to treat if necessary.

Also dependent upon the brand of your filter, you will need to change various components within the filter monthly as well.

Rescued Border Collies

71There is little doubt that Border Collies are amongst the most intelligent of canines, if not the most intelligent. That is a trait that allows them to successfully herd other animals, especially when directed by human. This trait can be traced back directly to their ancestral connection to wolves and wild dogs. We can see why they excel at herding when you watch a pack of wild dogs or wolves when they are stalking their prey. This was highlighted recently in graphic detail by filming from a helicopter revealed the way the different animals paired off and went in different directions to encircle their prey, and shown on a television programme.

However, it is this instinctive nature and inbuilt intelligence that can get them into trouble, especially rescued border collies. This is because people often take them in as pets from rescue centres. Whilst this may seem like a reasonable idea on the face of it, it often leads to problems once the animal arrives at home. This is because of the Border Collie`s nature. They are not lapdogs. Neither will they loaf around all day waiting to go for a quick walk after dinner. They are traditional working dogs. It is inbuilt. If they are not worked during the day, they become bored and listless and develop psychological problems.

It is not unknown for them to attack other animals in circumstances where they are suffering from psychological problems through lack of exercise. This is not because they are nasty or vicious, but simply they become over zealous. They are the breed most often associated with sheep worrying. This is an obvious problem related to the nature of their normal work on a farm. So are we saying that you should never take a rescued border collie as a pet?

Well yes, and no! What I would recommend, and so do the experts, is that you can find a crossbreed. In fact, these types of dogs often have the best of both worlds. They have the instinctive intelligence that owners would like in their animal coupled with a slightly more placid behavioural attitude. I was fortunate enough to come across a wonderful Border Collie cross whilst actively searching for `a dog` for my wife. She had been brought up on a farm, so she naturally was used to being around animals, particularly dogs. We were at a nearby rescue centre when a young girl came in with a box full of puppies. They had been thrown into a nearby canal to die and she had rescued them. We immediately fell in love with one particular one and named it Jack, only to realise later that Jack was a bitch! So Jack became Jackie!

If you are considering taking in a rescued dog, you will want to be forearmed with the necessary information about which type of dog you want, and the best type for your situation. However, for all round performance, you will not do much better than a Border Collie cross.

If you would like more information about Rescued Border Collies, why not take a look at my website below where you will find all the information you need, plus you can find out more about how we coped with Jackie.

4 Birds That Make Good Pets

70Choosing a bird that makes a good pet can mean the difference between looking forward to coming home or not.  And while there are all different sizes, colors, and shapes available their innate traits should play a big part in your decision to adopt.  Here are 4 types of birds that make great pets and lots of reasons why they do.

Sun Conure-These have become so popular because of their sunny dispositions, beautiful coloring, and their ability to adapt easily to most situations.   They can entertain themselves for hours if a variety of toys are provided for stimulation. But they also enjoy a close relationship with their humans.

Some may learn to speak a few words, and they are generally healthy and can live as long as 15 years with proper care and diet.  They vary in size but can grow to as much as a foot in length.   They make an exceptional pet for both the experienced bird owner or for a novice.

Budgies—Budgerigar is the formal name, and it is one of the most common pet birds found in the stores.  Often called parakeet, it has been bred in a variety of colors with the most familiar being green and yellow or blue with black and white markings. On average they live up to 8 years with exceptions noted at 15 years.

Because they normally live in large groups in the wild, they need lots of love and attention from their owner if they are to be the only bird.  Their dietary needs are pretty straightforward and if well cared for their potential health issues are few.

Cockatiels—Described as outrageously beautiful by the National Cockatiel Society, this is another gorgeous feathered friend to consider.  Smaller than its bigger cousin, the Cockatoo, it is a great alternative in smaller packaging; yet its small size does nothing to diminish its wonderful personality.

They need a lot of interaction with their owner so if you work during the day, consider getting two so that they are company for each other.  Generally males tend to me more vocal while females have the potential to be more aggressive.  With that said, each bird has individual traits that may or may not coincide with these general tendencies.  They are relatively inexpensive and can live for as long as 20 years.

Macaws-They vibrant plumage makes them a beautiful companion, but they are extremely intelligent as well.  They want a very close relationship with the main care giver and are a great choice for a family.  They can become bored easily so placing them in well traveled part of the home will provide stimulation for both bird and humans.  Some can be fairly noisy; be sure to visit the bird at different times during the day to determine if that will be a problem.  With proper care they can and often do live for as long as 60 years.

Do Fish Make Good Pets for Your Child?

69Fish, fish, and more fish. Who doesn’t love to look at beautiful fish swimming and diving in clear clean water? Do fish make a good pet? Here is the down and dirty on fish so you can decide if fish work for your family as the family pet.

Fish are not cuddly. Fish do not lick, bite, fetch, or give any feedback to the owner but pure appearances with their antics in the water. If you don’t need a pet you can touch and hold fish may be the perfect pet for your child.

Consider the cost of the fish and replacing the ones that flop over sideways from too much food or water temperature issues. Fish are relatively inexpensive compared to other pets even when they may need to be replaced every so often.

Fish tanks and fish bowls come in all sizes from a one gallon gold fish bowl to big 200 gallon tanks with pumps and lights. Tanks now come in wooden cases that become a part of the décor in your home. They come in tall shapes and oblong shapes and fit into most any space you find in your home.

Children can take an active part in picking the tank decorations and plants that are needed for the fish. They can learn the upkeep by helping to clean the tank, feed the fish daily, and watch the thermometer to report changes in water temperature.

Fish do not need much care if you need to be gone. They have weekly feeders that can dispense food gradually over time while you are away. There are timers to put the light on and off when no one is around and heaters for the water so the temperature can be the same for weeks on end.

Angel fish, black molly fish, zebra fish, guppies, gold fish, you name it there are thousands of fresh water fish to choose to keep your tank attractive and keep your child interested. Salt water tanks offer another environment for a wide variety of sea creatures but keep in mind that salt water tanks take a tad bit more effort to keep the fish healthy. The water has to be just right for the salt water fish to survive.

Oh yes, and fish do poop. If you don’t have a filter, the water in a bowl or small tank will need to be changed frequently to keep it clear and odor free.

Fish make a great pet for children. They do not need to be potty trained, they don’t usually bite, they stay contained in their environment, and children only need to feed and observe. After the initial expense of the tank and fish, feeding is a minimal cost and the enjoyment is priceless minus of course the missing cuddle factor.

Hamsters As Pets

68If you are at that point in life where you are considering a pet, either for yourself or for your child, you may want to consider hamsters as pets.

The Good

The hamster is a very small animal that will not make a large change in your life. If you have little time, you will find this furry addition to the family is a nocturnal animal, thus will not experience separation anxiety when you are away all day.

If you hate the thought of leaving an animal alone for long periods of time, you may want to explore the dwarf hamsters as you can have more than one of them in a cage together. You will want to be careful about mixing males and females unless you wish to raise hamsters yourself.

Hamsters as pets are generally a quiet friend to have around. They do make noises however. They squeak when they are agitated or afraid, chew on their cage when they desire attention, and hiss when they are upset. However, the small amount of noise is not anything you will have neighbors complaining about.

These furry little guys also groom themselves. This is a big advantage if you simply don’t have time for a lot of bathing and brushing. You can help them keep themselves if great condition by brushing them gently, but you will want to be sure you use a very soft brush so you don’t irritate their skin.

The Bad

If you have an aversion to rodents, this may not be the pet for you. They do resemble a rat if you are seeing they run around in the dark. However, once you hold them and cuddle them, that perception will go away.

You will need to potty train your hamster. This is helpful in keeping the bedding clean and smelling good. You will simply need to pick a spot for him to use, and cover the potty with some urine and droppings which you will then cover with litter. Place your pet in this same spot when he wakes up and he will soon learn that is the place to go.

The Ugly

The hamster is a very short-lived animal. They will generally live two to three years, if really well cared for they can live four years. This is difficult if you do not deal well with the loss of your pets.

It can be good or bad if you have children. It is bad having to help your child adjust to the loss of their pet. However, it can be one way of helping your child understand that pets as well as people don’t live forever. It is a hard lesson, but possibly better learned on a beloved pet than on a relative.

As you can see the advantages of hamsters as pets far outweighs the disadvantages. If you are considering a pet never neglect looking at the smaller varieties.