My website is dedicated to pets-all -kinds of pets. What kind of housing is right for them, the best kinds of food for them, do they need warm or cool places, do they live in wide open spaces, or cozy small spots. Are there people who can treat them for health problems?
What qualifies an animal as a pet?
When the subject of pets comes up, most people think about dogs and
cats. But there are many people that prefer birds, ferrets, fish, lizards, rodents, horses, miniature horses, donkeys, miniature burros, small pigs, rabbits.
In many cases, these animals are second pets or pets in addition to the cat or dog. In other cases, these animals may be a particular specialty of their owners. But if you have one of these pets, do you know how to take care of your pet? That is the subject of this article.
What is a pet, anyway? I consider any animal that the human animal takes into his home and provides all the necessary commodities to keep that animal healthy and happy, as a pet. The Dictionary says that a pet is a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.
Animals have a place to fill in the Cosmos. Problems arise when the human animal populates areas that have, in the past belonged to certain other breeds of animals. The real trouble comes when human beings encroach upon the animal’s turf and the animals feel threatened.
Animals who are threatened when they are trapped may run away or they may turn and attack. These animals are wild and will never make pets.
However, there are a lot of domesticated animals that are considered pets by some people and those are the ones I am going to cover in the following weeks. Some are tiny and can be cuddled and petted. Others may be very large and need their own shelter.
We will cover care, food, cages when necessary, how to train, what kind of vet is needed when they get sick, or what kind of care they need just to thrive and live a full life.
Types of animal pets
First, we will take a look at large animal pets and their needs:
Pot-bellied Pigs- these little pigs were all the
rage a few years ago. There was a good deal of controversy over who should have a pig, is it really a pet, and should it be treated like a house pet, or should it be in a pen with the other pigs? I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. We are going to find out what makes a pig a pet.
Horses-If you have a yearning for a large, hoofed animal like a horse you will need access to a pasture. It doesn’t need to be acres big, but certainly large enough for a horse to find grass year around. I would say two or three large city lots . In winter time (except in warm, or tropical areas) a barn or inside stable is a necessity. And plenty of hay.
Donkeys and miniature horses-– They would still like some pasture, but a smaller amount of space, perhaps more like one city lot and one half of a two car garage for winter. You will still need space to store some hay.
Other things you will need: Farrier services—Horses and donkeys need attention to their hooves. If you are riding the full grown horse, and your children may be riding the donkey, you will need saddles.
Birds-If you are a bird enthusiast, you will need a cage of some sort, on a stand. Decide where it will stay most of the time so you can provide a
cover for the floor to catch bird seed and culls. Decide how many birds you will have. Are you going to have an indoor aviary or are you going to start with one and decide from there?
Ferrets–You will need a cage, a good size one. They are playful and quick. Put things like shoes- away where they cannot “ferret them out.” They are amusing creatures to watch and play with. Only one consideration,
They carry an odor about them that stays with them.
Rodents, Guinea Pigs, hamsters, gerbils–
all need aquarium like homes, so their bedding will stay inside the enclosure. These are small enough that you can have two or three. Be sure they are all the same sex or you will have chaos. The female has no place to hide and the male is relentless.
Rabbits--mammals with long ears, short tails, and long hind legs. Some species are wild, others are quite tame and have beautiful coats.
Lizards--small desert lizards- Are best housed in aquariums. Most of these do not get very large. The larger the aquarium , the larger the lizard will grow. These are mostly docile and will learn to stay in your hand or on your shoulder. They are fairly clean creatures .
–-many people like to keep an aquarium of fish. They are colorful, their swimming motions have a quieting effect upon the spirit. There is a lot of work to maintain an aquarium. Depending upon your fish and how many you will have, the water has to be kept at a certain temperature and at a certain chemical balance. Once you have this balance, your aquarium will maintain itself. Within reason, of course. You will always be making small adjustments.
The next big thing is food. The best way to get information about food is to work with the pet store or the person or organization who is selling the animals. They should carry everything you will need for your new pet. They should have bedding supplies as well. Also ask about veterinarians. There are people who have knowledge of diseases and particular problems your special pet may have.
I will research each animal category and present, hopefully, all the information you will need to care for your new pet .
I also know that a lot of people might not like to read about odd or unusual pets, so I will include some helpful tips for the care of the ever popular cat or dog.
Give this some thought
It would appear that there is a great need for people to adopt a homeless cat or dog. Animals are in dire need with all the war and weather upheaval across the planet. Adult animals are in greatest need. Consider adopting a grown animal who will still have many years to give you unconditional love.
September is Service Dog awareness Month. Dog Chow has just released a short film documentary called “Even Heroes need Heroes.” The film highlights the life changing benefits that service dogs can provide to veterans experiencing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Through the Service Dog Salute campaign, Dog Chow is on a mission to help pair more veterans with service dogs by supporting service dog organizations like “Got Your Six Support Dogs” in Collinsville, IL. and Tony Larussa’s Animal Rescue Fdn. in Walnut Creek, CA .
Dog Chow has worked with members of Congress on federal legislation supporting veterans with PTSD. The PAWS of Veterans Therapy Act will create a pilot program in the VA to train and connect service dogs to veterans with PTSD.
Dog Chow will hold a virtual watch party on Wed. September 8 at 12:30 p.m. cst. Viewers can tune in at YouTube.com/Dog Chow to watch the film and participate in the Q. and A. To watch the documentary and find out how you can help, visit DogChow.com/service .
I have received no compensation from any company or organization mentioned in this article.
I am Barbara Nelson and I would like to hear from you about what animals you would like to know about.