5 Best Pets for Small Spaces

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats, Reptiles, Small Pets

5 Best Pets for Small Spaces

Guest Post by Michael David

The Pet Rat

There are many health benefits that come with owning a pet. They lower allergy risk in children, help you stay social, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, help you get more exercise, and boost your mood. But not everyone has the space for horses, a monkey sanctuary, or even a 150 lb Great Dane. Here are a few pets that will do wonderfully in a small apartment or home with a little yard.

  • Aquatic
    Fish are a hands-off pet, require no training, and can be left alone all day and not cause trouble. Studies have also shown that watching a fish swim around for 10-15 minutes a day will lower stress levels. You don’t even need a huge aquarium or a school of fish; a couple of goldfish or a Betta in a small tank sitting on your desk will work just as well. They are also good for those on a tight budget; goldfish and small aquarium supplies can be quite inexpensive.

    You could also find a hermit crab for something a bit more exotic. They are very social, and so keeping at least two together is recommended. They do not need a lot of space, and can be quite happy simply with some sand to dig into or rocks to climb on.

  • Small and Scaly
    In this category there are quite a few options – geckos, box turtles, small frogs, and snakes. These are also more solitary animals, content with a stick or a couple rocks to climb around, although once you have gained their trust they will let you hold them for a while. They do well with being left alone for long periods (as long as they’re fed), and are fairly easy to keep clean.

    Be sure you know how large your chosen pet will grow to be, though; if you only have a small space available for a snake, you don’t want to be surprised later on when it grows to eight feet!

  • Small and Furry
    Guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, and small rabbits can be good for apartment living because they can stay in a smaller, centralized area that can easily be cleaned and maintained. They are more hands-on, cuddly, and social than fish or reptiles, but also can be left alone during the day while you’re working. If you have time for more maintenance, a ferret would also be a good option. They like having the run of the house and are temperamental towards visitors however, so keep those points in mind.

  • Cats
    Cats are more costly and time consuming than your other small furry pet choices, but also do very well in small apartments. They are easy to train to use a litter box, are very independent, which makes them great if you are gone all day, but can still be playful and interactive.

  • Dogs
    Dogs are the most hands-on pet on this list, so if you are hardly home or have no time to play, then it may be best to choose a different pet. Dogs are playful, social, and always happy to see you. They like to play outside and go for walks, so a small grassy area or nearby park would be good for them. Larger breeds will have a much harder time living in a small apartment, but smaller breeds will do just fine. Some of the smaller breeds to choose from include the Pomeranian, Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, Yorkie, Pug, Boston Terrier, or Chihuahua.

When choosing your new animal companion, be sure to put forth some serious thought before going out and buying the first thing that catches your eye. Make sure your apartment permits that type of pet and that you have enough time, funds, and knowledge to properly care for your pet.

Pets provide many wonderful benefits from health to companionship, and anyone can enjoy a pet no matter how small your living space is.

Author Byline
Michael David is a freelance journalist and blogger living in New York City. Michael loves writing about DIY projects, home improvement, and garden-related topics. He has recently been writing for Big Al’s Pets.

Cool Pets! Reptiles… lizards, snakes, turtles and tortoises

December 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Cool Pets!, Reptiles

Cool Pets! Reptiles… the Fascinating World of Lizards, Snakes, and Turtles

The sighting of a reptile captures everyone’s attention! These are the most bizarre and curious of all the land dwelling creatures, and also some of the most adorable of the aquatic creatures. Like other terrestrial animals they evolved from creatures of the sea, but these animals are certainly some of the most provocative.

Reptiles, just like their aquatic ancestors, are cold-blooded animals. But unlike the familiar warm-blooded pets such as dogs, cats and other mammals, reptiles lack any sort of furry cover. Rather they are sheathed in scales, or bony plating known as scutes. Although reptiles lack that cozy, huggable appeal of a fuzzy soft covering they are fascinating to look at and intriguing in habit. They are exceptional animals and make very cool pets!

Cool Animals Known as Reptiles

Incredibly, there are over 8,000 reptile species in the world! These are extremely ancient creatures, and have been a part of many culture’s folklore throughout history. This large group is divided into four classified orders.

  1. Turtles, of the order Chelonia, are the most aquatic and are also the oldest living reptiles, existing nearly unchanged since the Triassic period.
  2. Lizards and Snakes are placed in the large Squamata order, and all are terrestrial.
  3. The very large, carnivorous reptiles found in tropical and subtropical swamps are placed in the order Crocodilia that includes alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and gavials. The ‘ruling reptiles’ of the great reptilian subclass Archosauria is also part of the Crocodilia order, and includes the popular, but extinct dinosaurs.
  4. The tuataras from New Zealand are in the order Sphenodontia with just 2 species.

Reptiles have a vital role in the natural world. They are an important part of the food chain both as predator and as prey. Predatory reptiles eat various species of rodents and insects, yet in turn, some mammals as well as birds of prey will eat some reptiles. Both sides of the equation help to keep animal populations in balance.

Cool People that Love Reptiles

All pet lovers tend to be very passionate about animals, and that’s equally true for reptile lovers. Reptile lovers repeatedly prove to be ardent enthusiasts for these unusual creatures. Also as is true to all animal lovers, these people also understand and care about the passions of their fellow reptile keepers. The dedication these fascinating creatures inspire is best illustrated by an amazing story that unfolded just a couple weeks ago.

At the recent Reptile Super Show, held on November 2nd and 3rd in San Diego, California, the herptile community came together to help an aspiring 13-year-old boy named Zayd Sheck realized his dream of owning a beautiful boa constrictor.

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) reported that Zayd “…came to the USARK booth to hand over a rosy boa he found in the lobby (misplaced in container by an attendee after purchase). After speaking with Zayd’s mother, we found out that Zayd has been to many reptile shows this year following one certain boa constrictor bred by SoCal Constrictors and had been saving his money to buy the boa. He had saved enough for the snake but not enough to buy a cage, so he bought two raffle tickets for a snake kit at our booth and would be able to take the snake home if he won the kit.”

Well Zayd did not win the snake kit in the raffle, so a wonderful USARK volunteer spoke with the breeders of the snake, relaying Zayd’s story. Together they devised a plan “…to guarantee Zayd had an incredible day!” After the raffle USARK paged Zayd, asking him to come to their booth. When he arrived they presented with the boa from SoCal Constrictors that he had been eyeing for months, along with a ReptiHabitat Snake Kit from Zoo Med. The herptile community extended a great gift to this aspiring reptile keeper. Zayd and his mother were overwhelmed with appreciation, “… Zayd’s mom had tears in her eyes and hugged nearly everyone in the room”!

Benefits of Reptile Keeping

For enthusiastic reptile lovers, learning about these animals and keeping them as pets is an exciting adventure in and of itself. But reptile keepers, as is true of all pet lovers, are passionate people with a profound respect for animals. Their strong compassion lends a deep concern when any Animal Cause comes up.

The ultimate reward for both the animal world and humanity is people equipped with knowledge and the ability to help maintain and even breed these wonderful animals. Reptile lovers make it possible to save many endangered species from extinction.

Find the Best Reptile Pets

It’s exciting to learn what great pets reptiles make. They come in a variety of shapes, patterns, colors, and habits. Keeping them as pets is a fascinating hobby, and they have many advantages over other types of pets. They are generally quiet, clean, odorless, and non-demanding. Many require very little space, are low maintenance, and yet are fascinating to observe.

The trick when picking out your pet is to match the reptile that best fits into your lifestyle and home environment. See pictures and find great information for all sorts of Reptiles on Animal-World. A broad selection of Snakes, Lizards, turtles and tortoises will make good pets.

Join the Herp Community

You can follow in the footsteps of Zayd and attend multiple reptile shows, expos, and special reptile events. There are so many dedicated people in the herptile community that it’s easy to get involved. All across the country there are numerous clubs and organizations too.

One of my personal favorite organizations is the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK). In their own words, they are dedicated to the “…science, education and conservation” of these fascinating creatures. Join their mailing list and you will receive details about many upcoming events. Another great online resource for shows and expos is the Reptile Shows & Events on Reptile Channel. Just be warned, once you start getting involved you may very well get hooked, and be a reptile lover for life!

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

Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

The Norwich Terrier

Is your dog feeling trapped inside because he or she isn’t allowed outside? Or maybe your canine feels a little too free, jumping fences with no regard to boundaries or rules. There is a solution for both situations. Choosing the right fence for your dog is almost a science—you must take into account the dog’s size, temperament, needs, and your own desires and abilities. Here are some common options that you might want to consider to contain your canine.

Kennels

A kennel is a great option for smaller, mostly indoor dogs that need a little more fresh air. It is a safe, contained outdoor area for your dog. The size of the kennel will greatly depend on the size and number of dogs you own. It can be portable (like wire or metal cage), or it can be a permanent run (a gated enclosure set over a concrete slab or run area). Outdoor kennels are especially helpful if it is directly connected to an entry to the house, such as a doggie door.

Traditional Fences

Either a property fence or a smaller fence to block off a certain area of your yard are popular and traditional choices for dog owners. Many dog owners are mostly concerned about dogs leaving the property, so a boundary fence is usually sufficient. These traditional fences are available in many different materials: chain link, wood, wire, or a combination of materials.

However, some people don’t like this option because of the visual aspect—fences can block views, or simply lack visual aesthetic. There can also be problems with dogs digging under the fence to get out, but some Calgary fencing companies just suggest burying a few feet of chicken wire underneath the fence to create a barrier. Other downsides could include problems with dogs jumping over the fence, and the fences need upkeep to make sure there are no escape routes.

In-Ground Fences

In-ground fences are a great option for those who don’t want to build a fence on their property, for financial or aesthetic reasons. To install, you simply bury the transmitting wires a few inches
underground where you want the boundary to be. This is a really good option for abnormally shaped yards or for homes with pools because it easily follows curves and is very customizable. You can even use this system to prevent fence digging and jumping—simply attach the wire to an existing fence.

The system includes a radio transmitter, with a receiver on the dog collar. A warning tone sounds when the dog is getting close to boundary, a static correction is transmitted if the boundary is
reached. Many people are concerned with the humaneness of the static collar, but it is similar to a static shock a human might receive on a dry, static day when touching a doorknob.

Wireless Fences

Wireless fences are similar to the in-ground fences, except for… you guessed it, no wire to install! Wireless fences are great for smaller yards or areas. The fence is set up with a wireless transmitter that creates a circular boundary around itself. It is very easy to install and adjust the area when needed. You can even take it with you when you travel, go camping, or spend a day
on the lake! As long as you have access to an AC outlet, you can set up your circular boundary.

These fences can be customized even more if you choose the system with programmable flags. The flags allow you to create a non-circular boundary, so you can tailor it to your yard area. The downside is that you have to keep a bunch of little flags all around your yard to keep the fence in place.

All of these options can help keep your furry friend safer. Choosing the right fence means the difference between anxiety every time a car passes your home, and comfort in having a pet that knows its safe boundaries. Sometimes, set boundaries can be a good thing.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running with his dog and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch. He also urges you to check out Calgary Fencing for your dog!

True Percula Clownfish A Sunny Newcomer on Animal-World

October 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Aquariums, Catch All, Saltwater Fish

True Percula Clownfish, Amphiprion percula

Popular and Perky! The True Percula Clownfish Has Just Popped In!

The True Percula clownfish is true to its name, being both a true clownfish and a Percula. But it does have contenders for its title and position in both the fish-identity and fish-keeping worlds! Yet it is still considered perhaps the best all around clownfish for any saltwater fish keeper, beginner to expert.

One of its two contenders is the Ocellaris Clownfish, which is almost identical in looks and tries to steal the show as the star of “Finding Nemo”. But though this fish is adorable it is still held at bay from abducting the Percula’s title and positions, and has even been dubbed the “False” Percula Clownfish!

Surprise, Surprise! The incredibly handsome Maroon Clownfish is the other True Percula contender. Yet the similarities are only found in the genes. This clownfish looks totally different and it is much more irascible!

Yes it’s the True Percula Clownfish Amphiprion percula that is still much sought after. The benefits start with its fantastic looks, and it is also available in 5 different varieties. The bright sunny appearance is topped of with an a great personality, being very hardy, and suitable for all types of tanks. Yup, it’s a great fish for every marine aquarists!

Check out the all time favorite True Percula Clownfish, with pictures and information, including its habitat and aquarium care!

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

Making Babies! Once a Year Coral Spawn Event

October 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Animal News, Catch All, Corals Mini-Reef

Tenting a Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis
All Photos included here courtesy Richard Ross
California Academy of Sciences

The Octo Mom pales in comparison to the Florida Keys Coral Spawn

An event that happens just once a year yet results in hundreds of thousands of babies. Imagine have just one such happening to produce all the offspring you could ever want! That’s the annual spawning of Elkhorn, Staghorn and other corals off the Florida Keys.

For just a short period of time each year, by a phase of the moon, thirty thousand coral colonies or more are synced-up and driven to reproduce. This happens in August or September, usually just a few days after a full moon.

See exactly how corals spawn! The Coral Spawn video produced by NOAA Ocean Media Center

Now that type of baby making is enough to stir the envy of any mom, Octo or otherwise! Granted, there’s not the same type of physical interaction mammals have, making babies in the animal world. There’s no dating or marriage, nor ongoing obligations.

Coral parents never actually have sex, nor do the mothers (or fathers) then host and provide sustenance for the developing offspring. Rather corals are sessile invertebrates that spew their gametes (eggs and sperm) into the ocean’s water column in one mass spawning exchange.

Buoyant gamete bundles float about the water column until they meet up with gametes from neighboring colonies. Cross-fertilization, resulting is baby corals, is then a happen stance event.

Staghorn Coral Gamete Bundles
Acropora cervicornis

Coral Spawning, Gamete Bundles

Hundreds of thousands of fertilized gametes quickly evolve into coral planula, which soon becomes free-swimming larvae. A few days later they will begin making their way down to the reef. They will seek a suitable area to on the reef area to settle, attach and form polyps.

These polyps grow into beautiful new coral colonies, expanding the reef.

Coral spawning is a curious event similar to being in an upside down snowstorm. Tons of tiny little flakes begin swirling about. But corals only spawn at night, so to watch this wondrous “dance of the gametes”, it helps to be a scuba diver. It also helps to be experienced in diving at night so that you don’t miss any of this exciting event. This years spawning lasted for 4 consecutive days.

Elkhorn Coral Gamete Bundles
Acropora palmata

Restoration of Corals in the Florida Keys

The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), based in the Florida Keys, has been working to restore various threatened coral species. I had an opportunity to see some of their cultured specimens of staghorn corals just a few weeks ago at the SuperZoo trade show. Ken Nedimyer, president of the foundation, was very excited about their ongoing efforts in creating offshore coral nurseries, as well as an onshore lab for studying reproduction.

For this years spawning event, CRF joined with 8 other organizations from across the country. Representatives from Akron Zoo, California Academy of Science, Florida Aquarium, Mystic Seaquarium, NOAA, Seaworld and Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund joined with CRF to provide help and support. 25 people in all worked to collect spawn from the open waters as well as from selected staghorn specimens spawning in their lab.

Collecting Gamete Bundles
During a Coral Spawn

You and I, and everyone are invited to volunteer and participate in CRF dive programs to help plant specimens. Although the spawning season has passed until the fall of 2014, the restoration efforts are ongoing. The ultimate goal of CRF is to test the fertilization of selective gametes in an effort to propagate more resistant corals and help ensure their survival.

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

Celebrate World Animal Day 2014

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Animal News, Catch All

World Animal Day

Join the Annual October 4th Worldwide Celebration of Animals

The 4th of October is a special animal recognition day. This is a day set aside to honor all types of animals across the world; and to also honor all the people who love and respect animals. Let’s all participate in the World Animal Day celebration! There are millions of amazingly wonderful animals and their presence on this beautiful planet enriches our human experience as we journey through life.

World Animal Day started in Florence in 1931, at a convention of ecologists with the original intent to bring attention to endangered or threatened species. The date October 4th was chosen because it is a feast day in honor of Francis of Assisi, who is a historically notable nature lover and patron saint of animals and the environment.

This special day is celebrated in many different ways in every country. Today the celebration and recognition of animals has no regard to nationality, political ideology, religion, or faith. This celebration does not represent any person, organization, or campaign but rather belongs to all of us, everywhere. Churches, synagogues and independent Animal Chaplains hold blessings in parks and fields, while Zoos and other organizations celebrate with simply sharing and recognition.

World Animal Day gives all of us a chance to focus on our individual pets as well as other animals. It’s a day for unity and to help spread animal education. It’s a day to help raise awareness of all animal issues that exist throughout the world.

Today let’s join the world in celebration and begin a journey of increased animal awareness. Start today to learn more about animals, and then about the plight of animals in our modern world. Learn about the species whose survival is threatened, what’s causing the threats, and what can be done. Join others to help keep animals well, and to help improve the standards of animal welfare around the world.

Each of us can do something special to highlight the importance of animals in the world; and honor those who dedicate their lives to animals.

Here are 8 things you can do to celebrate World Animal Day:

  1. Make animals a part of your conversations. Share what you know about animals. Start by discussing your favorite pets, but expand into animals you’ve seen on a walk in nature, in zoos, aquariums or reserves, or that you’ve simply seen on television.
  2. Expand your knowledge about animals; it’s an exciting adventure! Take some time to learn about a species that you are aware of, but don’t know much about. Reading is a great way to do this because you’ll get in-depth information and you can see pictures and illustrations too. There are many excellent books available as well as great websites like Animal-World.com to help broaden your horizons. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself discovering even more interesting animals.
  3. Find the benefits of animals in nature, and share them! Try topics like bees cross-pollinating our flowers resulting in important foods, or the different types of predation that keeps the natural world in balance.
  4. Share the wonderful aspects of animal ownership on all levels. You can help dispel the negatively held beliefs about specific breeds and animals. Discuss children connecting to the animal world with that first lizard, or the invaluable benefits to the disabled and elderly that an assortment of small animals that can add like a bunny, small singing finch, or a small lap dog!
  5. Make your outdoor home environment animal friendly. You can put up bird feeders and birdbaths. You can also plant flowers that attract helpful insects like butterflies, bees and ladybugs.
  6. Visit an animal shelter, veterinarian, animal charity, or animal rehabilitation center. Find out what types of problems animals in your area face, both domestic and wild animals. Find out what solutions are available. Learn about strays and pet adoption options. Also learn about endangered species around your community or in your state.
  7. Monetary donations as well as product donations are always welcome at shelters and animal care facilities. Just be sure to check with them first so you can provide items they can use.
  8. Volunteering is a great way to get involved. There are many types of animal care facilities that welcome volunteers. Shelters and charities are the no-brainers followed by zoos and living museum type facilities. But think outside the box, because any facility that provides care for animals will often welcome help including pet stores, veterinarians, animal boarding facilities, retirement homes, and even schools.

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

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

October 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

With several recent advancements in home security technology, more and more people are resting easy knowing that if their homes are broken into, help is on the way. However, even the smartest technology has its flaws. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts to reduce response time, not all homes are in a convenient location for an immediate response. Additionally, while a home security system will alert the authorities of an intruder, your family isn’t necessarily safe until police arrive.

Adopting a reliable guard dog can be an effective way to protect your home and family. However, some dogs are better at the job than others.

The German Shepherd

German shepherd

German shepherds are known for their intelligence, strength, and protective nature. It’s for these reasons German shepherds are the most popular choice among law enforcement agencies’ K-9 units. German shepherds can learn simple commands after only 5 repetitions or so. They are also very obedient, responding to a first command 95% of the time.

German shepherds are also very strong, which is why they are often employed in search and rescue efforts. Larger shepherds can weigh up to 100 pounds or more, which is not a bad attribute to have in the case of a home intrusion. On average, German shepherds bite with around 236 pounds of force (that’s in comparison to a human male’s 80 pounds). They also rank high on speed and agility tests.

This breed is very good around children. As dogs are pack animals, German shepherds in particular have a keen sense of family; they can easily pick out who is not welcome. The one drawback is that modern German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia, a genetic condition which can lead to arthritis in later years.

The Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinscher

An intimidating figure, the Doberman pinscher is another intelligent breed that can be easily trained. One advantage to owning a Doberman is that they are very easily identified—stopping potential crooks in their tracks before they even start.

Dobermans are similar to German shepherds in a lot of ways, including their aptitude for companionship and their relative size and strength. And while they can be very aggressive toward unwanted guests, they also have the potential to act more hostile around any stranger—friend or foe. However, Dobermans tend to rank lower on overall aggression and are great household pets when properly trained.

The Rottweiler

Rottweiler

If you want a big, mean dog standing guard, a Rottweiler might be the best choice. Rottweilers easily weigh in around 130 pounds or more. As opposed to the German shepherd, a Rottweiler’s bite force is somewhere in the neighborhood of 328 pounds of force.

In addition to being larger and stronger than most domestic breeds, Rottweilers are also known for their persistence and toughness. In other words, not only will Rottweilers ward off intruders, but they’re also more likely to chase after them, even if they are somehow injured in the process.

The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is around 9 to 10 years—a bit lower than the other two breeds. This may be due in part to their proneness to obesity. If you decide to adopt a Rottweiler, make sure it is not over-fed and receives plenty of exercise.

A Final Word

One advantage guard dogs have over automated security systems is that they provide companionship as well as security. They are pack animals and will be loyal to your pack if they are properly cared for. However, just like your parents have probably told you, dogs are a big responsibility. Your duty to your dog extends far beyond feeding and walking. There is a right way to train your guard dog—neglect, abuse, and starvation are the wrong ways. Before getting a guard dog, consult trainers, breeders, and veterinarians to help you know what to expect and how to keep your dog disciplined in a controlled and healthy way.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves animals, and keeps himself up-to-date on training tips, new aquarium supplies and animal rights news. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch.

The Chinchilla

October 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Featured Pets, Small Pets

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

I have to admit, one of my all-time favorite pets has been the Chinchilla. I didn’t start owning them until I was in high school, but after I got my first one, I was in love! I have owned 5 Chinchillas since that first one! Many people who keep chinchillas as pets will attest to their wonderful pet qualities. A niche market for chinchilla fur also exists and chinchilla breeders around the world abound for this very purpose.

Chinchillas are believed by many to be wonderful and personable pets. Being very loving and curious, they can easily bond with their owners. They also love exercise and are quite active little critters! In general chinchillas don’t have much of an odor and are very clean. Although I would recommend chinchillas as pets, they do have some more stringent care requirements. I learned from my personal experience that chinchillas are quite fragile and do not do well with stress or extreme temperatures. They also require regular dust baths to keep their fur in good condition.

Chinchilla Background

Did you know that the chinchilla has the most fur per square inch of any mammal? About 60 hairs emerge from every hair follicle. Their fur is extremely dense and soft which makes for a very nice feel. Chinchilla pelts are desirable for this very reason and are used for many different garments. The chinchilla fur trade has been going on since the 1500′s and many breeders only breed for the purpose of selling their furs. Two varieties of Chinchillas are available in the United States for the most part. The Chinchilla lanigera is usually the pet variety, while the Chinchilla brevicaudata is usually the kind used in the fur trade.

South America is the native home of these little guys. Peru, Bolivia, and Chile originally housed Chinchillas in the Andes Mountains, however they are now found only in Bolivia. This is because of extensive illegal hunting. In the wild the Chinchilla is very endangered. Domestic chinchillas are doing pretty well, however, with thousands of chinchilla breeders in the United States. The term “chinchilla” came from the Spaniards, who gave them their name based off of the South American Chinca Indians who lived there in the 1500′s.

Chinchilla Housing and Care

You will most likely want to keep your chinchilla inside your house, especially if it gets over 80 degrees Fahrenheit in your area. Chinchillas have extremely dense fur and have no sweat glands, so they can easily overheat. You will want to be careful on that. Provide a large, roomy cage with non-toxic bedding. Stress can be a problem for these little guys, so make sure to provide a hiding area for him to sleep in and feel comfortable in. Keeping more than one together is also a good idea, because in the wild chinchillas are very social.

Food is pretty simple. You can offer them commercialized chinchilla pellets, which contain just about all their needed nutrition. Give occasional treats, either commercial treats or fresh greens or fruits. Their teeth grow rapidly throughout their lifetime and they must chew regularly to keep them trim. For this reason you will also want to provide chew blocks to keep their teeth healthy. Dust baths 2 or 3 times a week are also a must. Rolling around in dust and then shaking themselves off is how they keep clean. Because of their extremely dense fur, getting wet is not ideal for them. If they get wet and stay wet, their fur can become a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Not healthy!

The Chinchilla

Chinchilla Health Conditions

As I mentioned earlier, I know from personal experience how fragile chinchillas can be! Not only are they extremely heat-sensitive, they also cannot be dropped or played with roughly. One of mine fell from the top of his cage and broke his leg. I took him to a veterinarian and they sedated him and fixed his leg. But, the whole experience stressed him out so much that he refused to eat or drink anymore and eventually passed away.

Other relatively common health problems are diarrhea, constipation, and runny eyes or respiratory problems. These can be caused by their diet or environmental conditions. Raisins are good to help clear up constipation. Also reduce the amount of greens you are giving if your chinchilla has diarrhea. If the symptoms don’t clear up on their own in a few days you will want to take your chinchilla to a vet to determine what’s going on.

Finding a chinchilla for a pet should be relatively easy. You can look up chinchilla ranches online or go to your local pet store. Pet stores will either carry them or can special order one for you. Finding a local chinchilla breeder might be more difficult, but you will have a lot more choice on what type and color of chinchilla you get!

Are you in the chinchilla pet business, or the chinchilla fur trade business? What are your thoughts?

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

Ocellaris Clownfish – the Real “Nemo” is Animal-World’s Newest Arrival

September 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Aquariums, Catch All, Saltwater Fish

The Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris

Nemo’s been found and his identity revealed, meet the Ocellaris clownfish!

The Ocellaris clownfish is the most recognized little orange saltwater fish in the world. This personable little fish began its long journey to stardom many years ago. Because it is very hardy, it first became an all time favorite of aquarium keepers. Then with its eye-catching appearance, it became the marine fish icon for coffee table books, advertisers, and publishers.

Finally, lo and behold, the movie industry picked up on this illustrious little fish. They dubbed it “Nemo”, and the Ocellaris clownfish became the star of the popular 2003 Pixar film “Finding Nemo”!

The Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellarisis not a stand alone in looks however. It’s very close in appearance to the Percula Clownfish Amphiprion percula. In fact they are so similar that the two are often confused, even by the experts. It takes a keen eye and a good memory to discern which is which, and the Ocellaris also became known as the “False” Percula Clownfish.

Learn more about the habitat and care of this personable little celebrity, really known as the Ocellaris Clownfish, and learn how to tell the False Percula Clownfish apart from its look-alike cousin the True Pecula Clownfish!

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

Maroon Clownfish makes its debut as Animal-World’s New Arrival

September 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Aquariums, Catch All, Saltwater Fish

The Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus

The Maroon Clownfish could easily be Called “King of the Clowns”

The largest and most dominant of all the clownfish is the elegant Maroon Anemonefish. It is adorned in regal shades of maroon to red, accented with bright yellow or white stripes. Other fish, if they wish to subsist in its domain, live at its discretion and according to its mood!

Yes, the Maroon Clownfish Premnas biaculeatus could be called the king, except for one slight caveat. The female is up to 3 times as big as the male and tough. She’s in charge, and yes, she actually is the ruler. The female controls her environment and all who cross her path. She dominates the home and her empire. Even the male bows down to her wishes.

Perhaps its better to say the Maroon Clownfish could easily be called the “Queen of the Clownfish”! Learn more about the regal and dominant Maroon Clownfish, including its habitat and care!

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

« Previous PageNext Page »