Why Groundhogs Are Terrible House Pets

Thinking about a groundhog as a pet? Please read this article before trapping or charming one into your home. They are demanding animals and quite honestly belong in the wild. Is there any upside? Absolutely. Similar to a dog, my groundhog will lovingly greet me when I come home, but then he hastily scurries back into the crawl space and starts digging. If I had to do it over again, I would have chosen goldfish.

1. Hibernation. My groundhog hibernates in my basement all winter long. This may sound like a good thing, but when he wakes up in the spring, it’s a different story. Each year, right around March Madness, this little whistle pig comes climbing up from the basement. Not only is he very hungry, but he’s also looking for a new mate. Having to deal with a hungry groundhog in heat in an urban environment is rough to say the least.

2. Digging. These animals absolutely LOVE to dig. I usually have to replace the carpeting in my townhouse twice a year. Last July he dug right through the dry wall and wedged himself in between the walls. I had to call a contractor to help me remove him AND he bit me during the process. I had to get yet another tetanus shot.

3. Veterinarian Care. Not many vets will even agree to see a “pet” groundhog, let alone have experience in dealing with one. I only brought my little guy to the vet once and it was not a pleasant experience. The vet told me I shouldn’t try to domesticate a wild animal and she threatened to call animal control.

4. Not good with kids. When I first got my groundhog, I tried to get him comfortable around children. I assume he perceived the children as threats, which is why he started snarling so viciously. Thankfully no one was hurt. For safety measures, I always put him on a leash when we go out and I usually tie a piece of string around his snout so he doesn’t snap at anyone.

5. Special dietary needs. The pet stores don’t carry groundhog food, so I just feed him table scraps which may be why he weighs about 45 pounds and is very lethargic. His favorite snack is Bugles and I sometimes let him eat taffy and pretend he is trying to talk.

(No groundhogs were injured during the writing of this article)

Source by Guy Bellefonte

Desktop Pet – Good Alternatives For a Dog Or Cat

Pets are fun and they have been proven to reduce stress. Some people, due to their living situation, are unable to own pets like dogs and cats. However, there are some pets that will fit on a table to even your desk at work.

Desktop pets are a great idea to add scenery to your desk or your small apartment. Believe it or not, there are many pets that fit in a small tank or habitat. These pets typically require little care, and are fun to watch.

Before you consider a pet at work, make sure it is allowed. Some places may have rules in place preventing any pets. Also, make sure that your co-workers will not be nervous having your chosen pet around. You do not want to cause tension at work. Your goal is to make a positive impact with your tiny pet.

As you might have guessed, a fish is one of the most popular desktop pets. Some fish can fit in a tiny vase or glass. Ask someone at the pet store how much space the fish needs to swim around. You want to make sure that your fish will be happy and safe in the environment you provide. Beta fish or goldfish are both colorful and easy to care for. They are not pricey and typically do well in smaller fish tanks or other containers.

Another fun option is a frog. Many companies sell baby frogs, or tadpoles, that will change into a frog. The tadpole often comes with its own habitat and food. You may be able to find these at pet stores, too.

Hermit crabs are a fun way to bring the beach to your desktop! These pets are cute, cheap, and easy to care for. You can purchase a fun, painted shell for your crab and change it out as they grow. They live in a fairly small box that will take up a small amount of space.

If you are feeling adventurous, a tarantula is another example of desktop pets. You may scare off some friends and family with this choice, however. Before you bring home such an eccentric pet, do your research. Make sure your furry guy is in a container that will stay closed and that you know how to care for him.

Hamsters, mice, and rats are great small pets, although if you plan to keep several of them, you will need a larger space. Again, make sure that you have a good, secure habitat for them, as rodents can be escape artists!

As you can see, no matter what your space limitations, you can have a pet. Desktop pets are a great choice for those who live in apartments or who want a pet at work. Just make sure that you know how to take care of them and that you are ready for the commitment.

Source by Gary Pearson

Owning a Pet Otter

It may seem trendy to own an exotic pet, but owning an otter as a pet is illegal in most localities without a permit. They are considered wildlife and have requirements that are different from those of the average household pet.

Reasons Not to Own a Pet Otter

If you are considering applying for a permit to own a pet otter, here are some reasons why you may not want to. Of course, if you work at a zoo or wildlife sanctuary, then these reasons won’t concern you as much.

Otters Bite

Otters have very sharp teeth, and they bite.

Otters Spray

Otters have a musky scent and spray very much like a skunk’s spray. They are definitely not inside animals.

Otters are Nocturnal

They like to hunt for food at night, and the last sound you need at night while you are trying to sleep is that of an otter splashing in your swimming pool.

Otters Need to Be Near a River

Otters like to hunt fish in a river and can eat lots of food in a day. Chances are, you don’t have secure access to a river.

Otters Learn Survival Skills from Their Mother

Otters need to learn how to survive from their mother. Their mother teaches them these skills up to 18 months of age.

Caring for an Otter

Once you have a permit for your otter, there are some special requirements that you will have to consider.

Water for Swimming and Food

Otters spend the majority of their time in the water. They like to live in very cold water, and they have a high metabolic rate to keep them warm. They can even hold their breath under water for up to 10 minutes. They are playful creatures that like to hunt for fish and eat lots of shellfish, frogs, sea urchins and invertebrates.

However, because you are keeping them in an unnatural enclosure, these foods will have to be introduced. Otters eat 15-25 percent of their body weight a day, and that’s a lot of fish. In the wild, they can spend up to five hours a day hunting for food. They can grow to be 100 pounds in weight, so plan on supplying them with lots of food each day.

Mating Season Behavior

Otters can get very aggressive in the mating season so you have to make sure that household pets or other animals are not in the vicinity because an otter will drag an animal into the water and eat it.

By whatever means you obtained a baby otter and want to raise it yourself (don’t go near an adult otter), you can see there is more to caring for a pet otter than meets the eye. For your own sake and the sake of the otter, why not hand it over to the authorities who will know what to do with it for its survival.

Source by Kate Strong

Raising Mallard Ducks – 5 Vital Tips For Beginners

Ducks are the commonly found pets and social birds too. They can be easily raised by human beings. Though these pretty birds fear the human, it is quite easy to raise the ducklings. Pets are just like our children, they understand the language of love and compassion. So, if you are thinking of raising Mallard ducks, then some tips given below can be quite useful.

1. Caging

Cages are very important for the raising Mallard ducks. It is always good to raise more than one duckling since these social pets love the company of others. Initially, these cute pets can be stored in cages with some material that can be the source of warmth for them. In the absence of their mother duck, these ducklings need to grow in the similar and natural warmth, isn’t it? The ducklings with their mother do not need any heat source since the mother takes complete care of them.

As the ducklings are raised, one can find them moving around in the time span of 2 to 3 weeks. These birds generally look for warmth in the beginning. After they grow to ducks within 4 to 5 weeks, one can see them moving in any type of environment, either warm or cold. The cage for one duck is generally larger in size that measures around 10 sq. ft.

2. Water

Raising Mallard ducks cannot be done without sufficient water. If ducklings are alone, then, little water is supplied for them. Ducklings without their mother cannot swim because they cannot produce the oil for their features that helps them to swim. Due to this, we need to be careful because these cute pets might drown. When they are with their mother, the duck oils the feathers for her ducklings and then they can swim easily. For the ducks, ponds are the best for swimming. Even when they can leave without them, it is always good to have an artificial pond to keep the ducks happy.

3. Food

Ducklings love to have fresh greens and weeds. Game bird starter feed is also good for them. Once they grow to ducks in 5 weeks, one can change their feed to the game bird grower feed. You can also try a special duck feeder that can be easily available in the pet stores that provide the feed for raising Mallard ducks. Drinking water can be stored in a large clean bowl for the ducks.

4. Shelter

Shelter plays very important role in raising Mallard ducks. Shelter protects them from the heat, rain, snow and cold. A wooden shelter can be easily made for the comfort of your beloved pets.

5. Special Care

The health and happiness of the ducks can give them longer life. Your ducks need special care and for that some tips below can be useful in raising Mallard ducks.

1. One needs to take them out of the pen daily.

2. After that they are free searching for food, flying and swimming

3. Keep a watch on your ducks to protect them from predators

4. Cleaning their cage is very important

5. Make sure that the floor for the ducks is not too hard for them to walk

So, finally, your pets need a lot of food, water, shelter and care too. Well, raising Mallard ducks is quite interesting and can be done will complete care of the pets.

Source by Mary Louise

The Importance of Pets

Pets are very important to all that own them. Those that own pets live longer more satisfied lives. They have been known to lower our blood pressure and give us a reason for each day. I have owned both dogs and cats and they all left their paw prints on my heart. Each individual pet has their own personality and their relationship with you is built on love and trust.

Some dogs are hunting companions. They enjoy retrieving game with their owners and enjoy their outings together. These dogs make great family pets also. I had an Irish setter that went hunting for birds with my husband. She was all business in the woods but when home was the sweetest dog. This dog also was taken to Obedience trials and won ribbons in dog shows. She helped make cherished memories for our family.

I have seen guide dogs as they allow their owner to participate in activities they could not without their presence. There used to be a man guided into our church every Sunday to sit in the first row by his guide dog. The priest went out of his way to bring him the communion host. The dog was obedient and a blessing to this man and it was beautiful to watch the dog as he worked. No one was allowed to pet the dog while he was doing his job. He was a beautiful German shepherd.

There are other dogs that are just family pets. I had two other dogs that I used to walk daily. I miss them and their times with me as they have now passed over the rainbow bridge. The second dog was an English setter and the third dog was a Gordon setter. There are so many fun memories that are in my mind.

Of course we had cats with these dogs. It is a myth that dogs and cats do not get along. If they are brought up together they tolerate each other and sometimes even learn to love each other. It is best to bring them in as either puppies or kittens and then they will have a bond for each other and even may play together.

I just can not imagine a day without my pets in my lives. If I am sick, I have one of my cats that will meow constantly and pace beside me telling me that I am in need of asthma medications. This cat, Joshua I speak of as my angel kitty. Tinkerbelle my newest member of our household has not learned yet to anticipate such events with me. I know that my pets help me throughout each day showing me their love and attention. They are worth more to me than any diamond ring.

I know my own life would not be fulfilled without the presence of a pet. They give me a reason to live as each day with them is a treasure to behold in the pages of my own life’s book.

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on pets in our lives.

Source by Christina R. Jussaume

Keeping a Pet – The Pros and Cons

Pets are loved by everyone for many reasons; no matter what breed of animal you own, they can bring happiness to lives. However, when you are thinking of getting a pet for the first time, whether it’s as a new addition to your current family of pets or a replacement for one that sadly is no longer amongst you, there is a lot to consider when keeping a pet.

People have pets for various reasons, whether given as a present (remember, they are not just for Christmas!) or perhaps the children are interested in having their first pet; or you were perhaps unable to have a pet as a child but are in more suitable circumstances or simply because you and they share a love for animals, the notion to need and want a pet is deep-rooted in our psyche. This is perhaps not surprising considering pets act as great companions, providing company for people from all walks of life.

Pets can provide excellent social opportunities for both adults and children, with the ability to improve your exercise routine, depending on the type of pet you own. They also provide opportunities to meet new people and begin new hobbies, should you have a pet you can walk around the park or enter competitions with. In that respect, some pets are easier to look after than others, and depending on your circumstances, such as type of accommodation and location you live in, this could be an important factor as not all rented accommodation allows pets; so the type of pet you choose to have may also relate to your situation.

Although pets can bring lots of happiness to lives, it also not too surprising to discover how much responsibility they are to keep, as in some respects they are not too dissimilar to looking after a child in that they have needs to consider too. If you are planning to go on holiday and it is not feasible to take your pet with you, it is always a good idea to find someone suitable to look after your pet. This may not always be an ideal situation, expecting others to look after your pet, whilst kennels can be a costly option should your pet be a dog.

There are further factors to take into consideration when deciding to keep a pet, with probably the most popular deciding factor for many being cost. They are expensive, particularly given the expense of purchasing food, and also those accessories to allow them to have an enjoyable level of living, these including shelter and toys to keep them entertained.

When deciding to keep an animal, pet insurance can help reduce any stress surrounding potential veterinary expenses, having the ability to cover your pet’s health through insurance, whilst also attending to any specific needs they require such as ongoing treatments and medication.

Despite there being many pros and cons to consider with keeping a pet, the levels of enjoyment and companionship afforded by pets are often worth every penny we lavish on them. After all, money can’t buy you love and pets give it freely.

Source by Isla Campbell

Having a Pet – The Pros and Cons

Buying a pet is something that has to be well thought about. Many people rush in only to find that they made the wrong decision afterwards. The choice you make does not only have consequences for your own life but it is also a choice you make for another living being.

An unwanted animal is a very unhappy animal, even if it’s physical needs are being met. Every year thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, tortoises, hamsters are being thrown out on the streets by their owners because reaching the wrong decision was so easy.

Being the considerate and responsible person you are you will want to make sure that you only get a pet if you can give him or her a good life with you.

So let’s start with the advantages of having a pet before we get to the facts which speak against pet keeping.

Pro

  • A pet brings happiness and joy into your life.
  • A pet gives you the opportunity to share your love and caring.
  • If you are living on your own a pet keeps you company.
  • Animals give unconditional love – they don’t care who you are, what you are or how much you earn.
  • Pets make great companions for kids, helping them in times of emotional turmoil or trouble as well as educating them about nature and non human beings.
  • Kids learn how to be more understanding, patient and responsible in their actions when they grow up with a pet.

Con

  • Owning a pet means being responsible for another being who depends fully on his caretaker. This responsibility may be experienced as a burden at times.
  • If you lead a very busy life being responsible for the physical as well as the emotional needs of a pet maybe too much to muster.
  • Who is going to look after your pet when you go on holidays or, heaven forbid, if you have to go to hospital?
  • Animals have physical needs just as we do. They need to eat and get rid of waste material. This means that you will have to put up with certain smells in your house, no matter how clean you keep your pet. If you are very house proud or maybe even a bit compulsive when it comes to bacteria, if you like a spotless place to live in, animal hair and dander might not be for you.
  • Keeping a pet may be quite expensive. You need money to feed the animal and to provide healthcare. Depending on the species this may amount to a considerable sum each month.
  • I know of many good hearted people who underestimated this important factor only to find themselves in serious debt after the illness of their beloved animal. Just imagine the heartbreak of having a pet put to sleep just because you could not find the money to pay for necessary surgery or treatment!

Even so there are many animals on the market which are suitable for all different life styles we must never forget that animals are sentient beings who fully depend on their people.

If in the end you do decide to get an animal companion, make sure to pick a healthy specimen in good condition, don’ get carried away by his sweet looks and if in doubt, ask your veterinarian.

Remember: A pet is for life!

Source by Martina Annelie Becher

Pros and Cons of Wild Animals As Pets

Many people find the idea of having wildlife as pet as exotic and exciting. However, if you want a wild animal as a pet, you should have thorough understanding of the animal and its behavior and needs. The people who have these animals as pets are invariably trained to handle them, but even they will tell how unpredictable these animals can be. You may have read stories in the newspaper of zoo keepers being mauled by their wards.

So, having wild animals as pets has become quite a sensitive and controversial issue. Some people like to highlight the pros, while others just point out the cons. However, both should be weighed equally and only then a decision should be taken to keep a wild animal as a pet.

Here are some pros and cons of wildlife as pets.

Sometimes, conventional pets like dogs and cats cannot be kept due to lack of space. In such circumstances, one can keep a wildlife like a hedgehog or gecko as a pet as they do not require that much space. Some wild animals have their own benefits. Like a hedgehog can be used to keep insects and others pests at bay in a house.

Often it has been seen purchasing a wild animal can be cheaper than purchasing a pet that is popular and has a pedigree.

Also, many proponents of wild animals feel that some species have a better chance of survival if they are adopted. It has been seen that the dart frog is facing a problem in the wild as its natural habitat is diminishing. Hence, if this animal is adopted, it will have a better chance of survival.

However, there are sufficient cons and disadvantages of owning wild animals as pets. First of all, one has to take into consideration the welfare of the animal. Having a wildlife means giving due consideration to its diet, exercise and social interactions. Often, the animal will not have any interaction with other animals of its own species and will be left to leading a lonely and solitary life. Also, the owners will not be equipped to provide proper care to the animals as they may not be well-versed in these things. Many wild animals look cute and cuddly when they are small. However, as they reach adulthood or sexual maturity, their wild side takes over and the animal becomes aggressive. This is the time many owners abandon their pets or give them away to zoos.

Wild animals are carriers of many diseases that are lethal to humans. For instance, reptiles and amphibians are carriers of salmonella infection and each year thousand of people in the US contract this disease due to their pets. Also, rats imported from Africa are known to carriers of monkey pox. An outbreak of this disease occurred in the US in 2003 when Gambian rats brought in the monkey pox into the country.

Above all, the demand for wildlife as pet is increasing. So, many illegal traders are taking advantage of this demand. Most of the wild animals are captured and then transported in cruel and inhuman manner to reach their owners. In addition, majority of the owners do not know to take care of the animals and this causes them to fall sick or even die.

So, weigh the pros and cons of having wild animals as pets before jumping to adopt one. Make sure that you are properly equipped to handle the care of the animal. Do not adopt one if you have any doubts.

Source by Kum Martin