Saturday, September 29, 2012

Small Animal Saturday

Mice As Pets 

A mouse can be a great pet for a number of reasons.  The are quiet an small so they don't take up much space. They only get up to 3 inches.  They are social animals that are alert and active.  You can teach the tricks and they don't cost much.

The down side is that they can be smelly.  Usually the males will mark their territory with a musky smelling urine.  So if your worried about smell stick to a lovey lady mouse.  If you choose more then one some of their behavior can be down right Hysterical.  When ever I Clean their cage at work they all scurry around and run on the wheel.  Usually five of six of them will get on some will run while some just hold on and spin around.  My favorite time is when little ones are in the store watching.  They laugh so hard you can't help but smile.

Hey George don't look down!

However do not take a mouse out of the wild they can carry diseases such as Hantaviruses.  
Pet mice have been breed by humans so do not come in contact with mice that might be carry disease.

Mice of a feather snuggle together!
You might want to chose more then on since they are social.  Just make sure they have enough room and if you choose males watch for dominance behavior because they will hurt each other.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Know Before You Go

A few years ago when we moved here to Long Island we took a trip up to Tuxedo New York for the Renaissance Faire.  A wonderful place full of fun shopping costumes and Jousting.  While we were there we saw St. George's Dragon Orphanage where you could "adopt" baby dragons.  They came with little cages like these:

With some rocks and decorations.  The sales people were holding the little lizards who sat calmly on their hands.  We thought about "adopting" a couple the price seemed right.  We decided to wait until closer to closing and by the time that came around we figured we should probably do a little research.

Well I'm very glad I didn't buy them it turned out that the "Baby Dragons" were Green Anoles and after working with them in the pet store I know what they didn't tell us at St. George's Dragon Orphanage.  These reptiles are wicked fast when they are warmed up to the proper temperature.  At the Renaissance Faire they were cold and that's why the sales people could hold them to show them off.  The little cages they sold with them are inadequate since they require a heat lamp which you can't install on a little plastic box.  That's a valuable lesson everyone should learn.  Know what your getting into before you buy a pet.  
Don't expect a pet store worker to tell you what you need to know.  Not that there aren't a great many whole will spend all the time you need to make sure the pet is right for you but there are those that won't bother, don't know, or don't care about anything but making money.  How do you know which your getting unless you know something about the animal your interested in.  Need more proof that its important to know before you go.  Well here is what you will see in a pet store:

Awww isn't he cute

what a tiny little baby

Well that's the thing the pets you seen in pet stores are Babies.  Babies are sold because they are cute adorable and small.  But don't forget babies MUST grow up.  That little guy there well turn into this:
Meet Baby Beardy All Grown up

Yep that cute little 3 inch baby bearded dragon you see in the pet store turns into this monster 2 foot lizard.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Bearded dragons are excellent beginner lizards.  Their calm dispostion and just hang out attitude make him a great choice.  But if your not ready for the size he gets to you might find yourself spending out the wazoo to keep him housed.    

Which is why I can't stress enough KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
It doesn't cost you anything but a little time.  Hit the library they will have the books you need to get started.  I found an excellent one at my library called The ultimate encyclopedia of small pets and petcare by David Alderton.  Its a great place to start!

Monday, September 24, 2012


My Aww Monday this week reflects my desire to one day have a little homestead in the country. This are pictures I took out at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Come look at all the Aww Mondays at

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Small Animal Saturday

Yep I'm bringing it back all the interesting, strange, or fun questions I get asked at work I'm answering here.

Today's question:  Can I house Mice and Rats Together?

The answer is a definite No!  Rats and mice are two totally different species as a matter of fact given the chance a rat will prey on a mouse just as fast as a snake, hawk, or bullfrog.  Why?  Rats are omnivores and will eat anything that looks and smells tasty.

Now that being said is there exceptions to the rule .. well there have always been exceptions to the rules when it comes to pets.  The question is do you want to clean up the aftermath if nature takes it's natural course.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Awww Monday

Ok it's been a little while since I participated but here we go:

Just needed a night cap

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tips On Adding New Pets

It's always a bit of a crap shoot when adding a new pet member of the family.

 Are they going to get along or are they going to kill each other?

Well there are things you can do to help increase your chances of harmony between your new pets and old one.  Having just recently added two new members to our crazy household I though I would share.  I won't be focusing on the extra costs of owning extra pets today this will be about helping the pets get along.  Also I won't be focusing on things like lizards since the likelihood of your leopard gecko interacting with your cat is slim to none provided you place his habitat in a secure location

First of all you need to consider what type of pets you already own.  This not only includes species but breeds as well.  For example... you don't want to mix a Rat Terrier with a Guinea Pig ...Terriers are born rodent killers and well Guinea Pigs are rodents so not the best mix.

Next if you have the chance rub an old towel on the soon to be new addition and leave it where your old friend can have a chance to sniff it.  Animals are all about scents and this will help introduce you new friend to your old one before you even bring them home.

Next is real life introduction... having more then one adult helps immensely with this step a neutral location is suggested but I've have always just used my living room.  In the case of introduction cats and dogs its always good to have an escape route for the cat ...if the cat wants to run away let them they can be very determined and will scratch and bite if scared enough.   Now this next part can be a little hard on egos but you need to decide who the old pet prefers.  No fighting now you have to be honest.  One of the problems when adding a new pet is the old pet feels he's losing his place in the family.  The pets favorite family member needs to sit with the old pet during introductions so he will feel reassured.  Have another member sit with the new pet and let the pets meet.  If you are worried about aggression the new pet can stay in their carrier while the intro sniffs are going on.  If the pet outside the crate starts to act aggressive break it up with a quick sharp noise. Now obviously if you are introducing a small animal such as a guinea pig to an dog the guinea pig is the one in the cage.   While they are getting to know each other its a good idea to keep them crated when you can't be there to watch them.  It give the new member a safe secure place to be while you are not there.

Now the hard part... as with any change time plays a big role.  You need to make sure that you are giving lots of love to your old buddy while he gets use to the new addition.   Don't let the novelty of the new pet make your forget someone was there first.  There will be some power play as the new pets figure out the dynamics of there place in the house and as long as it doesn't get out of hand you need to let it happen. If it does start to get out of hand NEVER stick your hand in to try and break it up.  Try a spray of water and if that doesn't work try a more physical barrier such as a couch cushion. Once separated then remove one of them from the room and let things settle down. Once they have determined their place in the home peace should return.  

* sometimes there are instances where pets refuse to get along  in these instances you have to decide what is best for your pets.
** alot of this is kind of geared toward introducing dogs to dogs, cats to cats, or dog to cats.  for example you wouldn't leave a hamster or pet rat running around the house.