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Pet Care

Know more about how to care for your pet!

Pet Care*: We rely on Pet Experts for their advice on pet care as they would know best! 

Dog Care:

 

 

 Cat Care:

Make manicures enjoyable and easy for both you and your cat.

Does your kitty disappear when the clippers come out? Do you have to wrap her in a towel to give her a manicure? According to our behavior experts, calm, enjoyable nail-trimming sessions are not only possible—that’s how they should always be! Check out the following tips for getting kitty to relax while you trim, turning nail-clipping sessions into enjoyable together time.

Setting the Mood

Ideally you should introduce your cat to nail clipping when she’s a kitten. Choose a chair in a quiet room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, like in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isn’t able to spy any birds, wild animals or action outside nearby windows—and make sure no other pets are around.

Make Friends with the Paw

Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than the count of three. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in gentle contact. When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a different toe until you’ve gotten to know all ten.

Get Acquainted with the Clipper

Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad. When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently. Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.

Never Cut to the Quick 

The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick. It’s a good idea to keep it nearby while you trim.

Time to Clip

With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Check to see how much of a trim her nails need and notice where the quick begins. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable. Be sure to reward her with a special treat afterward. Please note, you may want to do just one paw at a time for the first couple of sessions.

Clipping Schedule

A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is a nice routine to settle into. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, ask your vet or a groomer for help.

What Not to Do

  • If your cat resists, don’t raise your voice or punish her.
  • Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.
  • Don’t try to trim all of your cat’s claws at one time.
  • Do NOT declaw. This surgery involves amputating the end of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged. Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and ask your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

Feeding Older Cats

Cats begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to twelve years of age. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too. Some of these are unavoidable. Others can be managed with diet.

  1. Start your cat on a senior diet at about seven years of age.
     
  2. The main objectives in the feeding an older cat should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow or prevent the development of chronic disease, and minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present.
     
  3. As a cat ages, health issues may arise, including:

    - deterioration of skin and coat
    - loss of muscle mass
    - more frequent intestinal problems
    - arthritis
    - obesity
    - dental problems
    - decreased ability to fight off infection
     
  4. Routine care for geriatric pets should involve a consistent daily routine and periodic veterinary examinations to assess the presence or progress of chronic disease. Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be avoided. If a drastic change must be made to an older pet's routine, try to minimize stress and to realize the change in a gradual manner.

Small Animal Care:

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Rabbit Care:

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Fish Care:

Background 

Congratulations, you’re going to be a fish parent! While your role may not be as interactive as that of a dog or cat caretaker, there are some important skills—such as tank set-up and maintenance—you’ll need to master to ensure a happy, healthy home for your fish.

Coldwater Fish

Because they’re easiest to care for, fish who live in cold water are recommended for first-timers. You will not need a heater in your tank, as you would with tropical fish, but you will need to ensure water quality with a powerful filtration system.

The most popular coldwater species by far are goldfish. And did you know there are more than 100 different breeds? Here are a few types for you to consider:

Common goldfish—These sturdy orange-red fish can grow up to eight inches long and live 10 to 20 years, if properly cared for.

Comet—This breed is a bit slimmer in the body, and has longer tail fins.

Shubunkin—This fish looks like a comet, and also boasts colorful splotches in a variety of hues from blue and brown to black and orange.

Fantail—This goldfish has a rounded body and two tail fins.

Veiltail—This dramatic-looking goldfish has long, flowing fins.

Bubble-eyes—This interesting breed has bulging water sacs under each eye.

Please note that rare and exotic forms of goldfish require special care and conditions; an experienced aquarist can tell you exactly what they need.

Other options for a coldwater tank include the hardy weather loach, a bronze or brown bottom feeder about three to four inches long. When first introduced to the tank, this fish may spend his time hiding, but will come out at all hours once he’s settled in.

Tetras can also live in coldwater tanks. If you plan to keep plants in your tank, note that Tetras will probably eat them. Pearl danios and giant danios will also do well in a coldwater tank, but keep in mind that danios are fast swimmers and will need as much room as possible—at least a 20-gallon tank, preferably a 30-gallon.

Housing

Tank: Familiar with the image of a single goldfish in a bowl? That’s a great example of exactly how fish SHOULDN’T be kept. The ASPCA recommends a 20-gallon-aquarium for beginners. You may be tempted to get a 10-gallon tank, but please keep in mind that it will be easier to maintain healthy water conditions with a larger tank—and your fish will appreciate it, too. The experts at your aquarium store can help you select fish who will get along with each other and can thrive in a coldwater tank.

Location: Set the tank on sturdy table, stand, or counter, in a place that is convenient to a sink or water source. Do not put the tank in direct sunlight—this makes it harder to control the water temperature and may cause excessive algae growth. Deciding on the perfect spot is a big decision—a 20-gallon aquarium filled with water and gravel weighs more than 200 pounds, so you won’t be able to move it once it is set up. And please note: Your fish should not be subjected to rapid and/or wide temperature swings, so take care to keep the tank out of direct, hot sun and away from heating and cooling vents.

Décor: Fish may not care if their gravel is color-coordinated, but they’ll greatly appreciate a “hiding” place to chill out. You can use a clean, cracked upside-down flowerpot or arrange aquarium rocks into a cave; there’s also a variety of tank décor available at the pet supply store. Plastic plants provide great camouflage, too

Step-by-Step Setup

You will need to purchase your equipment, set up your tank and get it running for several days to a week, allowing the water to “ripen,” before you add fish.

Once you’ve decided on a location, rinse the gravel with clean water and put it in the tank; you will need 1 pound of gravel per gallon of water. If you plan to add plants, note that too-fine gravel may pack too tightly to allow roots to grow and spread.

Next, set up the filtration system, and add rocks, wood and other tank decorations. Your aquarium will need one or more filters to maintain water quality. Without proper filtration, fish waste can poison the water—and your pets.

The most common types of filters are: - Box Filters, which are filled with activated charcoal and a special fiber. Often placed in the corner or an inside wall of the tank, they are only effective for tanks up to about 10 gallons; 
- Undergravel Filters, which are flat plastic platforms placed on the bottom of the aquarium and covered with gravel. These are good for 20-gallon aquariums with adequate water flow. Waste trapped in gravel nourishes any plants you may have. On the minus side, cleaning requires complete breakdown of the tank; and 
- Outside Filters, which usually hang on the side of back of the tank. They are highly efficient and easy to clean, but you must make sure you’ve bought the proper filter for the size of your aquarium; this information is usually printed on the outside of the box.>

Next, fill your tank with clean tap water. You can also buy a chemical neutralizer at a pet supply store to add to the water. Most fish do best in water that has a near neutral pH level around 7—neither acidic nor alkaline. Test your water with a kit from the pet supply store. Some fish require water that’s more or less acidic, so please ask the aquarium store staff about the particular needs of any fish you plan to add to your tank.

You will also need to provide a light source for your fish. This is best accomplished with a combination aquarium cover/light fixture, which will also limit excessive water evaporation and prevent anything from falling into the tank—or your fish from jumping out. We recommend a fluorescent fixture to provide full-spectrum lighting, show off the colors of your fish and support plant growth. The light should usually be on a schedule of 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

Introducing Your Fish to Their New Home

Start your tank with 3 to 4 small- or 1 to 2 medium-sized fish. They’ll be in sturdy plastic bags when you buy them. Simply float these bags in the tank for 15 to 30 minutes, so that the temperature of the water in the bag is the same as the temperature of the tank. Carefully open the bags and let your fish swim out on their own. If you want to add more fish and if your tank can support it, add a couple of fish every week until the tank is complete.

Diet

There are very good commercial fish foods available. Dried flakes provide a balanced diet, and fresh foods such as live brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex worms provide variety.

Number one rule when it comes to fish nutrition: DO NOT OVERFEED! Excess food will fall to the bottom of the tank and spoil, reducing the water quality. It is best to feed several small meals daily, just enough so the fish eat everything before it falls to the bottom.

And here’s a quick and cheap (actually, free!) snack for your pets: Scrape off any algae growing on the front glass of the tank so your fish are clearly visible, but let it grow on one end or in a corner. Your fish will enjoy nibbling on the bits of algae growing there.

General Care & Maintenance

Daily: In addition to turning on and off lights and feeding, you will need to monitor the water temperature. Coldwater tanks do not require a heater, but you will want to ensure that the temperature remains relatively constant. An inexpensive liquid crystal thermometer that attaches to the outside of tank will work great. FYI, goldfish can thrive at water temperatures between 50 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Weekly: Every week or two, remove several gallons of water from the tank and replace it with clean, pre-aged water. This will help remove chemicals that build up in the aquarium and that are not eliminated by evaporation or filtration. We also recommend that you test the water quality with a kit from the pet supply store weekly, and scrape any algae that has built up.

Monthly: Clean the filter or replace the charcoal and filter pads monthly. And if you have plants, it’s time to prune them.

And one final precaution! Goldfish are beautiful, but they also tend to be messy, with very hearty appetites. This translates into a high output of ammonia, so you'll need to be very careful about maintaining water quality. That involves frequent water changes, high-capacity filtration and regular water tests. Ask your aquarist for more information.

 

 

 

 

*All our pet care information is from The ASPCA website. For futher details; https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/

 

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