Indoor Pet Enclosures

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts

Indoor Pet Enclosures

When you want to keep your pets close to you, housing them indoors is an option. For some pets, it’s the only option. Here are some examples of different types of indoor pet enclosures that work indoors.

We love our pets like family. But, if you have ever owned a dog, cat, or other pet, then you know that they are all animal. They have their own mannerisms and instincts and that can lead to costly damage in your home.

A solution is an indoor pet enclosure. Whenever your pet is inside, or, if they reside inside on a permanent basis, they can be restricted to certain areas when you are not at home. It also works for the purpose of training your pets.


Let’s begin with temporary enclosures. Gates restrict access for pets left home alone. This not only protects the furniture and your other belongings but also protects your pet. They could knock something over or eat something they shouldn’t and get hurt. No one wants to come home and find their pet ailing or mortally wounded.

Pet gates come in a variety of finishes and heights. For small pets, choose a gate that is as low as 20 inches high. This prevents them from jumping over and leaving the area you placed them in. Taller gates are available for large dogs and rambunctious pets.

Choose your features. Gates can be made of solid construction with small spaces between railings so pets don’t get heads caught. Some have walk though doors to easily release your pet. Gates work best for dogs.


Training your pet can take a bit of time. One device to use is a pet crate. Your dog or cat may not want to use it at first, but you can outfit it with comfy accessories to entice them to give it a try. Be sure to choose one that allows room for your pet to turn around in as well as sit down. Giving them too much room can result in your pet using the bathroom there.

Crates keep pets safe. During the day when you are not at home, your pet is kept from harm. It can also double as a place to house your pet while you are cleaning or hosting events in your home.

Crates also give pets a place of retreat from the family. They need their own space as well.


These are made for cats and dogs. A cage can be an alternative place for your pet to sleep. Crates are often used for training purposes, but a cage can be used as their hang-out spot.

This is often true of cats. Their cages can come equipped with scratching posts and perches for climbing and jumping.


Let’s move away from cats and dogs for a moment. Other pets need a place to call home inside the house. For birds, building an aviary allows room for socialization. You don’t have to build anything yourself. A large cage with room for flying and perching will work for one bird or several.

If you want to keep your pets safe indoors, try an indoor pet enclosure.

Dwarf Cichlids

December 24, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Freshwater fish

Dwarf CichlidsDwarf Cichlids
“All about the different Dwarf Cichlids, including South American and African Dwarf Cichlids. Learn about their natural habitats and how to keep them successfully!”

These Dwarf Cichlids are perfect for aquarists wanting a smaller aquarium!

Dwarf Cichlids are much smaller than regular cichlids once full-grown and they are also usually more peaceful. This also allows people to keep them in smaller aquariums as well as have a more community type of tank with other varieties of fish. It is also less common for them to have destructive habits such as digging holes in the substrate and destroying aquarium plants that larger cichlids have. All in all they are much better suited for other tankmates and a nicely planted aquarium, which is good for more casual fish keepers.

South American Dwarf Cichlids, as well as Apistogramma, are great for limited space aquariums and are just as amazing to interact with and watch as the large South American Cichlids. Most of them are also fairly easy to breed in the aquarium setting, which is just one more plus side to keeping Dwarf Cichlids… Read More

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Dog Breeds: The Labrador Retriever

December 22, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Labrador Retriever

Very few dogs are as lovable as a Labrador Retriever. If you are an outdoor person who loves the company of a four-legged companion, then this dog may be for you.


Before we begin, know that there are two types of Labrador: the American and the English. The breed as a whole originated in Newfoundland but was taken to England in the 1800s. It worked side by side with fishermen, helping them to bring in their catch. As a service dog, the Labrador Retriever has enjoyed a long history in a variety of services: police dog, watchdog, hunting, disability services, search and rescue, competition and field training. It is one of the oldest and most popular canine pets.


This dog is well-balanced both in body proportion and temperament. He is a friendly outgoing dog who loves to be loved by his owners. If you own an American breed, then your dog is tall and lanky. The English version is bred more for hunting and retrieving.

Labradors are great companions who are good with children and adults. They are friendly and love any opportunity to show their masters that they can do the job you give them. They love to swim and play games with their human family.

Intelligent and devoted, they crave the attention of their family. This dog has the potential to become quite destructive without human contact. Be sure that you have enough time to devote to play and recreation each day or you will have a problem. Socializing them well can put an end to this problem.


Labradors have a double coat. the under coat is weather-resistant and soft. It helps to insulate the dog from the cold. The shorter outer coat is water-resistant and very dense. This dog is an average shedder. Regular brushing with a firm brush is needed to keep from forming mats and tangles. Coat colors are usually chocolate, yellow or black. Bathe your dog when needed. Dry shampooing is preferred but only when necessary.

This dog can be prone to a few health issues. Be aware that they can develop hip or elbow dysplasia and eye disorders. Exercise them well to keep their weight in check.

Exercise is also essential to fulfill their migration instinct. Apartment dwellers can own this type of dog as long as they are walked briskly on a daily basis.


This dog is not hard to train. In fact they enjoy it most when you give them a job to do. Labradors also subscribe to the “pack” mentality. This means that they need to know that their human master is the pack leader to feel comfortable. When walking them, be sure that they stay behind you or at your side. When you stop, the dog should heel behind you. This prevents them from bounding out of doors and tackling people.

Labrador Retrievers are loyal, loving, energetic and responsible. If you have the time and space (they get quite large), try this dog.

The Corky Sea Finger

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Corals Mini-Reef

Corky Sea Finger - Briareum asbestinumCorky Sea Finger
Briareum asbestinum

“This coral actually gets its shape by growing on and over other Gorgoninas – which makes him more “quirky” than corky!”

The Corky Sea Finger reproduces easily and is quite easy to care for – making it a great

beginner coral!

The Corky Sea Finger Briareum asbestinum, also goes by the name of the Purple Corky Finger. It is quite beautiful and has a finger shape, which is helped formed because it actually grows over and on other gorgonian species. These Gorgonians thrive in many conditions and are native to areas all over the Western Atlantic Ocean, including pristine and clean waters as well as more nutrient rich areas of water. They most often inhabit knee deep shallow waters. These corals are extremely popular and are collected more often than any other species. Other names this species goes by include the Purple Corky Finger, the Caribbean Corky Finger, the Moss Coral, the Deadman’s Finger, and the Sea Stalk Briareum.

These Gorgonians have another neat quality – if they have green tentacles with a purple base, then they have a fantastic glow when kept unter actinic lighting! The mat of the Corky Sea Finger is usually tan or purplish and gray with calyces that are basically just nubs and which are slightly raised… Read More

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Dog Breeds: The Chihuahua

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs


This cute little dog has been featured in movies and fast food commercials. But, how is he as a pet in your home? Keep reading to find out the information you are looking for about the Chihuahua.


This is the smallest of all dog breeds. It originates in the Chihuahua region of Mexico. These dogs were highly prized as companions of the royal and the wealthy. In the late 19th century, the dog made its way to Europe. Because of its unique features it is believed that the Chihuahua was descended from the Fennec Fox.


As a companion dog, the Chihuahua is aces. If you’ve ever seen one, then you know they are rambunctious, courageous and affectionate. But, they can also become strong-willed if not socialized well.

They are loyal to their owners, even licking their faces at times. People mistakenly treat them as if they were little toys instead of dogs. Giving them preferential treatment because they are small could turn your treasured pet into a spoiled brat who doesn’t know how to behave with the family or other people.


For a toy sized dog, the Chihuahua has a well rounded head and large pointy ears. Often, they are born with a soft spot in their head called the “molera.” It usually closes over by adulthood but in some it does not which can lead to injuries. They have large wide set eyes.

Chihuahuas can have short or long coats. The colors they come in include: black, white, chestnut, black and tan, white, sable, silver, fawn and sand to name a few. The long coat requires daily brushing to keep it manageable. The short coat only requires an occasional wiping with a damp cloth. Bathe them once a month or as needed. Keep the ears clean and the nails trimmed regularly.

There are a few conditions to be aware of that might affect your dog. They are prone to rheumatism, gum problems, corneal dryness, glaucoma, colds and fractures. Corneal dryness is often due to their protruding eyeballs. Fractures can occur during birth as most are born by cesarean due to the large head.

For a small dog, he is prone to obesity. Watch his diet to prevent him from gaining too much weight. Also be aware of toxic products that can kill him. Avoid chocolate and fertilizer in places where your pet can get at them.


Even though he is small, a Chihuahua very much has the “pack” mentality. It is important to teach him early that his human master is the pack leader. If not, this can cause stress on your pet as they try to fulfill that role. Allowing him to get away with behaviors because he is small can lead to nipping, biting and aggression.

Don’t forget to walk him. Exercise is good for the mind, satisfying their migration instinct. Like the pack leader, walk your dog behind you so he knows who the boss is.

Want a small dog that is good with the entire family? Try a Chihuahua.

Lake Victoria Cichlids

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Freshwater fish

Lake Victoria CichlidsLake Victoria Cichlids
“Victoria and East/West African Cichlid information, as well as Dwarf Cichlids and Mbipi. Helpful tips on keeping an aquarium with African cichlids!”

The Lake Victoria Cichlids have a huge range of differently colored species!

The most popular cichlid species are typically from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika, however several other species of African cichlids from other areas are also available for keeping and they add even further variety in terms of beauty and behavior. Lake Victoria Cichlids are cichlids that meet this criteria and are becoming more popular among cichlid enthusiasts.

About 200 species of Lake Victoria Cichlids are out there as well as many East African Cichlids from close by lakes and rivers and some species of West African Cichlids as well.

African Cichlids in general are popular because they have so much variety in their colors and behaviors. They are able to live in many rivers and lakes because of the way they have evolved. Because of this many hundred species of diversely colored Lake Victoria Cichlids are found in Lake Victoria alone… Read More

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The Leaf Coral

December 18, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Corals Mini-Reef

Leaf Coral - Pavona decussataLeaf Coral
Pavona decussata

“What looks like a head of Romaine lettuce, but feels like a rock? You got it…me!”

The Leaf Coral is another coral which makes a great beginner coral!

The Leaf Coral Pavona decussata is attractive and has a frilled appearance. Quite like the Cactus Coral P. cactus, it has upright and flat fronds but they are thicker and not quite as twisted looking. Horizontal plates can also be formed. It has a surface that looks spiked due to tentacles that are spindly and pointed. Colors come in anything from brown, to green, to yellow cream. Other names for the Leaf Coral are the Frilly Coral, the Lettuce Coral, and the Cactus Coral. Other specimens of the Leaf Coral that have been aquacultured have names such as Green Pavona Decussata, Green Decussata, or Pavona Sp.

The genus which this Leaf Coral belongs to, the Pavona genus, typically has corals with small polyps stony (SPS) and are best for starting aquariums with. They do best with strong currents and high lighting but can also thrive in more moderate conditions… Read More

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The Senegal Parrot as a Pet

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Birds

Senegal ParrotSenegal Parrot
“What could be a more excellent pet than a splendid little fellow like me. Friendly, brains and color all in one… I dance, perform, and talk up a storm!”

The Senegal Parrot is a small parrot, but has a big bird personality!

The Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus, are also called the Yellow-vented Parrot, is a delightful small parrot and can be easily trained. They are known for their mischievousness and acrobatics! They adapt quickly and easily to new environments and will become your companion quickly, wanting to cuddle as soon as they get used to you! People who own a Senegal Parrot often say they are great companions and are a source of amusement.

Senegal Parrots love to have routines in their lives and definitely get to know their owners habits. They need interaction with their owners so make sure you spend at least an hour a day with your parrot because they need social interaction, even if that just means holding him/her while you are watching TV. Senegal Parrots are known for becoming very attached to their human companion and can become jealous of other people when they come around. If there are several people who live in a new Senegal Parrots home, make sure to socialize the bird with all members of the household to avoid too much possessiveness on the part of the Senegal… Read More

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Palm Tree Polyps

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Corals Mini-Reef

Palm Tree Polyps - Clavularia Sp.Palm Tree Polyps
Clavularia Sp.

“How about a grove of palm trees in your reef aquarium? This beauty can do just that!”

The Palm Tree Polyps are an easy to care for and beautiful coral!

The Palm Tree Polyps C. viridis is named after the way it looks – like a palm tree! Actually, its tentacles look like palm fronds and each one is surrounded by what is called a pinnule or feathery looking structure. The coloring varies and can include yellow, green or tan in different areas. Other names the Palm Tree Polyps are called are Fern Polyps and Clove Polyps.

Out of the many Clove Polyps, the Palm Tree Polyps is only one! The polyps are contained within unlayered flat stolons that are connected and housed in a structure that reminds you of mesh. These corals are mat-like and encrust. The mats as well can be a variety of colors – including gray, tan or brown. The tubular calyces that house the polyps are small – only 0.5 to 2 inches tall (1 to 5 cm). The size depends on the species. There are a total of 8 tentacles, which again come in a variety of colors! White, brown, purple, green, yellow, and pink with possibly a combination of contrasting colors. Also, if needed the polyps have a base that allows complete retraction… Read More

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Animal-Worlds Featured Pet of the Week: The Zebra Finch

December 11, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Birds

Zebra Finches

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Zebra Finch!

If you would like to try out a bird as a pet, the Zebra Finch may be a great way to go! They are small, easy to care for, relatively hardy, and inexpensive! I know many people who have had them for pets, and they are especially good for an older child who would like a bird but who may not be ready for the responsibility and care that comes with a larger bird such as a conure or parrot. They are a good bird that is best enjoyed by sitting back and watching and listening to them – rather than handling and training them. They are very active birds and love to tweet and fly around often.

The Zebra Finch Poephila guttata castanotis originated in Australia and has been one of the most popular pet birds for over 100 years! In Australia, they are naturally wild in over 90% of its landmass, they live and breed in groups, and feed on grass seeds from the ground. They actually live a fairly long life in domestic conditions – up to 12 years with decent care – and are quite easy to breed in captivity if you have a desire to do so.

Their care is not hard to accommodate into most people’s lives, although it does take daily maintenance. They should be provided with fresh water every day as well as fresh food. The best food for them is a finch seed mix – which can be found at virtually any pet store. Treats can be offered occasionally, which could include moistened bread, green vegetables (lettuce, celery tops and spinach), and packaged bird seed treats from pet stores. It is essential that you provide them with grit which contains charcoal because they need it to aid in their digestion and provide them with certain minerals. You can purchase this grit at a pet store as well and either spread it on the bottom of their cage or provide it in a separate dish from their food. They should also be given a cuttlebone to provide them with calcium. Calcium helps keep their beaks strong as well as aids in reproduction.

Zebra finches also need and love baths, so providing them with a bowl of bathwater every day is great for their health and well-being. Their nails will continue to grow as well, so it is best to keep an eye on them and if you notice their nails getting a little long you will want to trim them back a tiny bit.

If you want to provide optimal conditions for your zebra finch(es), make sure to provide a cage that is big enough for them to fly in and that is larger horizontally than vertically because they love to fly in a horizontal direction. This will help keep them in good physical shape and they will be happier overall. Also provide at least one or two perches (depending on how big the cage is) so that they have places to stand other than the cage bottom. These birds also do much better when kept in pairs and not singly – so plan on buying at least 2 finches and ensure the cage is large enough to accommodate that!

As I stated earlier, zebra finches are hardy little birds and rarely get sick. As long as you keep them in a healthy environment, provide the proper diet, and keep them out of drafts (all birds should be kept out of drafty areas), you will most likely have a very healthy bird (or pair of birds!) for many years.

Zebra Finches are available almost everywhere and should be easy to find if you would like to purchase one. For more detailed information on their care, read up on Animal-World’s Zebra Finch care guide!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

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