The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : October 2018 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : October 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Talkative Goat With Human Like Voice

Dog goes woof, cat goes meow... and this little goat says 'what, what?'

Dusty Belew from Tennessee recorded his talkative kid in action, bleating out the phrase in a human-like voice.

Instead of the standard 'baaa', the young animal repeats the word 'what' over and over.

When Mr. Belew instructs the kid to say it 'louder', the volume increases.

Then at the end of the recording the goat even bleats out a 'bye.'

His video has scored more than 4,000 hits on YouTube.


Feline Disease and Medical Conditions

No one likes to think about their cat getting sick or contracting a disease, but unfortunately there are many diseases your cat could contract. It is important for you to be informed, understand what signs and symptoms to look for, and most importantly how you can prevent your cat from contracting certain avoidable diseases.

We’ve compiled information regarding some of the most common feline diseases. You can learn about prevention, signs and symptoms, how your cat could contract this disease, and treatment options.

To read more on this story, click here: Feline Disease and Medical Conditions


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This Dog-Friendly Restaurant Wants to Pay You $100 an Hour to Play with Dogs

Dreams do come true.

This time is it MUTTS Canine Cantina that is turning fantasy into reality.

The Texas-based bar and restaurant, which has two locations, is all about dining out with your dog in a way that is fun for both of you. With a membership to MUTTS, dog moms and dads can drop their canines off at the off-leash dog park attached to the restaurant while they get a meal or drink and watch from the patio. Owners can also join their dogs in the park or have their pooches sit with them for a bite.

To keep their canine and human customers happy, MUTTS is looking for their first ever “puptern” for its Dallas-Fort Worth location. The title should be enough to get dog lovers squealing.

The sole duty of the soon-to-be puptern is to play with dogs all day. That’s it.

Not only is MUTTS offering a fall internship with serious puppy perks, the restaurant is planning to pay handsomely for this pleasure. MUTTS’ puptern will be paid $100 an hour to greet members, offer to play with their dogs while they dine and then play with said dogs.

How is this real life?

To read more on this story, click here: This Dog-Friendly Restaurant Wants to Pay You $100 an Hour to Play with Dogs


Top 10 Animals That Do Not Make Good Pets

Pet Primates
The worst kinds of animals to keep as pets are the ones that endanger human lives and that cannot survive outside of the wild, but that doesn't stop some people. Check out some of the worst kinds of animals to keep as pets and why there are better options.

Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. They are cute and “childlike” but are not a substitute for human babies. Sure, they are often treated like babies by their owners putting them in diapers and strollers but they also act like babies, permanently, with all the messes and screaming included.

The biggest problem with pet monkeys is that they may go on a rampage without warning since they have no moral conscience. They may also bite their owners which is something the health department doesn't like. This is especially scary given the fact that they can transmit diseases like Hepatitis A and HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS.

To read more on this story, click here: Top 10 Animals That Do Not Make Good Pets


Your First Thought….What a Cute Kitten!: This is Not a Kitten, This is an Adult Sand Cat

Don’t be fooled by the off the scale cuteness. This is not a kitten. This is an adult Sand Cat – or Felis margarita, a little known species of desert cat. In the wild it lives in areas that are too hot and dry for any other cat- the deserts of Africa and Asia, including the Sahara. It is the only desert species of cat known to us. As such, this cat is one tough cookie.

It also lives in the Arabian desert and those of Iran and Pakistan, yet despite being so widespread it was not described by a European until 1858.

To an extent the sand cat could be mistaken for a domestic cat but there are differences, noticeably the very broad head. Additionally the ears are much wider apart than they are in the domestic cat – a feature which means that the sand cat can flatten them horizontally when hunting. They are a little larger, growing up to ten centimeters longer in length than the domestic cat, with a span of up to sixty centimeters.

Likewise with their height – they usually grow to about six centimeters taller than the domestic cat. Their sandy yellow fur sets them further apart, as do the pale bars which can be found on their legs and backs. Perhaps what adds to their attractiveness is the white chin and underside and the pale red stripes which run over the cheeks from the eyes.

One difference from the cats that we know which is difficult to see in these pictures is the fur that the cats have between their toes. You might think that the last thing a desert living cat might need is more fur but this helps to insulate them against the piping hot sand over which they must stalk their prey. They also have fur on their footpads which makes it very difficult to hunt as the fur misshapes their tracks.

The hollow structure that encloses part of their middle and inner ear, their auditory bullae, are also larger than those of the domestic cat. This helps to enhance their hearing and with it they can pick up vibrations in the sand. Finally their mucosa (the membrane around their eyelids) is a conspicuous black which gives them a certain eyeliner look.

So desolate is their natural habitat that sometimes the sand cat can go for months without a drink of water. Instead, they survive off the water in their food, which is mostly rodents but they will also eat birds, lizards and insects. They will not live in sand dunes themselves but prefer flat or rolling terrain's, retreating to their burrows when it becomes too hot even for them.

As they mostly eat rodents, they do a lot of digging. Skulking close to the ground they use their extremely sensitive hearing to detect the sound of burrowing underneath them. When they hear something which corresponds to a meal they dig down to catch their prey.

Despite the fact they are not terribly social and only really get together for mating they do not defend territory. They have even been observed taking turns sharing burrows. One cat will leave and hunt while another stays behind and rests. When the first returns, the other will leave.

As well as their obvious enemy, us, the sand cat is not at the top of its own particular food chain. It is predated by wolves and even occasionally by snakes and large birds of prey. Yet they are fearless creatures, and are obliviously unafraid of humans when they come in to contact with us.

Hunting the sand cat is prohibited only in half the countries in its range, though it is hoped that this law will soon extend throughout its territories. It has even recently been reintroduced in to the wild in Israel where it had been previously extirpated. It remains one of the least known but beautiful cat species on the planet.

For more information on Sand Cats, visit: Sand Cat - Facts, Info & Photos


Female Trophy Hunter Travels The World For New Species To Slaughter

Animals deserve better. They are beautiful creatures that do not deserve to be slaughtered for “fun”. One woman is killing many majestic animals around the world for the thrill.

The world is outraged at the photos of innocent animals that were hunted and killed by an American trophy hunter, Larysa Switlyk. The self proclaimed ‘hardcore huntress’ is unapologetic in her kills and continues to travel the world for new species to hunt.

After one of her recent hunting trips in Scotland, she prompted the Scottish government to review the law around animal culling. A photo of her posing with a beautiful wild goat, that she just killed, went viral in which she said, “Such a fun hunt!!”. She killed four stags, two goats and a sheep, then posted pictures of her smiling – enraging animal lovers.

She has killed a bear, moose, sheep, timber wolf and a crocodile to name just a few. Not only are the images causing outrage but the captions are just as heartless. She recently killed a beautiful peacock in New Zealand and posted a picture to her social media accounts with the caption “Shake your tail feathers. And yes … they do taste like chicken!!”

To read more on this story, click here: Female Trophy Hunter Travels The World For New Species To Slaughter


Dancing Pit Bull - Woman Reveals The True Nature Of Pit Bulls, That Wasn't Expected! See Video!

Pit Bulls often get a bad reputation, but this video is proof that it is dog owners who cause some animals to be aggressive and dangerous. This video was such a great surprise for me! When I think of the traditional Bollywood-style dancing I’ve seen in films, it definitely isn’t a dog who comes to mind. I couldn’t believe my eyes once the music came on and these two started moving!

The dog’s owner is a trained choreographer who shows us that with a little love (and presumably a lot of practice!), even a Pit Bull can be the most graceful dancer. My favorite moments happen after about 0:59… just take a look at what a great dance partner that dog is! I hope these two keep showing off their moves, because they are both amazing talents. What a show!

Pit Bulls are just like any other breed. They love to learn, they love to love. Please share this amazing video if you love the breed as much as we do!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Do Dogs Need Sunglasses?

No, not really. But that doesn't mean you should put away the shades for good.

Humans wear sunglasses to reduce ultraviolet exposure, which can lead to age-related cataracts to our eyes. Dogs, on the other hand, have a shorter life span and therefore don't develop UV light damage in their eyes.

Dogs still get cataracts, or blurry, clouded vision, but they're either inherited, caused by diabetes, or develop because of continued lens growth during old age, says Robert English, an animal eye care veterinarian. “Because of their deeper set eyes, in most breeds at least, and their heavier brow, their eyes are more shaded by their brows and have less of a direct angle to the sun than our eyes,” English says.

But sunglasses may still help old pups or ones with certain eye diseases. In this case, English recommends Doggles, or dog goggles designed for your canine companion. “Older dogs with early age-related cataracts arguably probably have slightly better vision outside on a sunny day if they wear polarized Doggles."

Denise Lindley, a veterinary ophthalmologist, said dogs with Pannus, a disease of the cornea, also could benefit from Doggles because of the decreased UV exposure. “A typical case would be a dog in Colorado that hikes a lot with its owner,” Lindley says.

Take note: Doggle protection only goes so far. Veterinarian James Hagedorn says dog sunglasses do not provide protection against debris, so they won't help if your dog is hanging her head out the car window.

If you do want to go down the Doggles route, you can purchase a pair from a variety of retailers, including Petco. DoggieShades, another canine sunglasses retailer, offers $15 sunglasses with an adjustable strap for your dog.

Bottom line: dogs don't need sunglasses, but if you want to protect your old dog’s eyes or you want your dog to make a fashion statement at the park, there's no harm letting her sport a pair of sunglasses.


A Child's Heartwarming Response to, "Why Do Dogs Leave Earth First?"

I did not write this story, but sometimes out of the mouths of babes comes the most intelligent explanations to life. Please read...


Judge Sick Of Seeing Animals Get Hurt, So He Decides To Take Drastic Measures

His policy was always about getting even. He knew from the moment he met them he needed to make these criminals pay, but what the courtroom never expected was the original and humiliating sentencings the judge actually offered. One case, in particular, had the judge so furious, he had no other choice but to take his proceedings to the next level.

Michael Cicconetti is a well known municipal court judge from Painesville, Ohio. His unusual sentencings started in the mid 90's when he had had enough of first-time criminals getting away with almost no reprimand and not learning their lesson. He had to do something. The judge presides over more than 40 cases daily, and sadly, sees a lot of animal abuse and neglect cases. Being an animal advocate himself he is no stranger to giving out 'personal sentencings' when it comes to these types of crimes. Nonetheless, his creativity doesn't just stop there.

Judge Cicconetti had grown up surrounded by animals, his family pet was his loving childhood companion; “He was the best pet a kid could ever ask for,” the judge said in an interview. He had always been an animal lover from very young and now, is the proud dad to a 10-year-old Bernese Mountain dog named Kasey. After years of seeing different criminals come and go from his courtroom, he decided he had had enough. He needed to teach them a lesson.

To read more on this story, click here: Judge Sick Of Seeing Animals Get Hurt, So He Decides To Take Drastic Measures


'Gay' Penguins Manage to Successfully Hatch Baby Chick and Are Taking Turns to Look After It

At the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia, caretakers noticed that two male gentoo penguins, Sphen and Magic, had become inseparable. During breeding season, the pair were constantly seen swimming together and waddling around together. Then they began presenting each other with pebbles, a clear sign of romantic interest. (For penguins, pebbles are like diamonds, demonstrating they wish to become a couple.)

The aquarium quickly noticed Sphen and Magic had formed a serious bond. "They recognized each other’s signature calls and songs," said Penguin Department Supervisor Tish Hannan. "Only bonded penguins will be able to successfully find their partner using their calls when they are separated." When the couple constructed a nest out of stones, caretakers provided them with a dummy egg to practice incubating.

To read more on this story, click here: 'Gay' Penguins Manage to Successfully Hatch Baby Chick and Are Taking Turns to Look After It


Sunday, October 28, 2018

‘Maine Coon Kitten’ That Has A Human-Like Face Is All Over The Internet

The internet is obsessed with cats. Literally. Cat memes are littered across the internet with a populace that's quite astounding. It's no wonder why this Maine Coon kitten has drawn so much attention.

Tatiana Rastorgueva, the owner of a 2 month old Maine Coon kitten (whom she named Valkyrie) merely had to upload a picture on Instagram of her new fur ball before she went viral. Valkyrie, as it turns out, doesn't quite look like your everyday, average Maine Coon kitten.

Tatiana took notice of her kitten's minor abnormalities and wanted all her friends to see. She didn't expect that her kitten's human-like face would be an internet sensation.

Now, "human-like" can mean so many different things. Usually, when animals are personified as human, they have some specific attributes. Sometimes animals make noises that sound like us talking, or they "smile" like us, or protect us. So, even though Valkyrie undoubtedly looks human, it's a toss up for what makes her so human-like to so many people.

In the pictures, which you can check out here, people have noted that the look in her eyes as she puts on a comforting, surreal expression is what makes her so human like. Others have pointed out that the structure of her bones along her face are truly resembling that of a human face.

Valkyrie, it seems, just has the "it" or "wow" factor that draws so many different people in!


This Giant Cat Couch is For Both Cats and Humans

Couch or gigantic plush toy?

If you love cats and have ample space in your apartment, then you’ll love this giant cat couch. It was created back in 2010 by Unfold, a design studio based in Antwerp, Belgium, as part of a five-piece feline-centric art installation. It’s actually described as a sculpture and it’s called Felix Domesticus

It’s awesome for so many reasons, I don’t know where to start. For one, it looks mighty cushy and comfortable. Because of its size and how it’s built, I’m sure up to a dozen people can lounge on it comfortably. The legs add a modular feel in the sense that you can use them as a pillow or as a hand rest of sorts.


New Growing Trend Across the U.S. - Freeze Drying Pets

Growing up on the family farm, Anthony Eddy learned early on not to get too attached to animals, including household pets.

His devoted customers are a different story. Pet lovers across the country count on the Saline County, Missouri, taxidermist to faithfully preserve Brutus, Fluffy and other beloved companions for posterity.

Even if it means shelling out thousands of dollars and waiting more than a year for the pets' return.

"They're very distraught, because their child has died. For most people, this animal is their life," said Lessie 'Les' Thurman Calvert, Eddy's office manager.

"Some are kind of eccentric. But most of them are just like you and me. They don't want to bury or cremate them. They can't stand the thought. ... It helps them feel better about the loss."

The front showroom of Eddy's Wildlife Studio in downtown Slater is a testament to pet owners' perseverance.

Lifelike dogs and cats of all sizes are scattered along the floor, from a perky-looking Brittany spaniel to a regal Persian cat, a lone iguana and the stray cockatiel or two.

Departed pets of all persuasions spend up to one year in hulking, freeze-dry metal drums before they are painstakingly preserved and returned to their owners.

Eddy said his business is one of the few in the country to specialize in pet taxidermy and has a two-month waiting list.

A former high school chemistry and biology teacher, hog farmer and Air Force veteran, Eddy started out in traditional taxidermy, stuffing great horned owls and pheasants with the help of a local veterinarian.

He originally used the freeze-dry technique to preserve mounted turkey heads for hunters before realizing in the mid-1990s it could also work with pets.

Eddy, 64, compares his line of work to the mortician's trade. He'll share broad details about the process with customers but likes to keep some mystery to the process and steer clear of the gross-out factor.

He's quick to embrace the artistry of his craft, especially when it comes to the primping and prepping required once the internal organs and body fat are removed and the carcass is fully dry.

Depending on the customer's preference, pets can be posed with a skyward gaze, an extended paw or with eyes closed, seemingly asleep.

"You just have a knack for it," he said. "It's like an artist painting a picture".

The degree of difficulty - and the scrutiny of demanding pet owners who can immediately detect flaws or imperfections in their loved ones - keep many traditional taxidermists from the domestic animal sector, said Steve Wolk, president of the National Taxidermists Association.

"No matter how perfect your pet comes out, there can still be something wrong," said Wolk, who owns Little Creek Taxidermy in Festus, Mo. "When you go deer hunting, you don't know what that deer looks like. Everybody knows exactly what their pets look like".

Debbie Rosa, a 59-year-old teacher who splits her time between southern Maine and Port Charlotte, Fla., had her 17-year-old fox terrier, Lexi, preserved by Eddy when the dog died just before Christmas 2005. She said the choice was an easy one.

"I could stare at an urn, or I could stare at the ground in the cemetery, or I could hold and pet her," Rosa said. "Her spirit is in heaven, but her body is here on Earth".

Eddy and Calvert estimate they receive two to three pets each week, every week. The studio charges $850 for pets under 10 pounds and $40 for each additional pound.

Allen McConnell, a psychology professor at Miami University in Ohio who studies pet owners' behavior, said those who opt for animal preservation can be motivated by grief, a need for belonging and anthropomorphism - the act of ascribing human attributes to animals or even inanimate objects.

"It's very common for people to memorialize important members of their family," he said. "We often visit relatives in family gravesites on birthdays. ... It's part of an extended connection that people have".

Eddy said he is no longer surprised by unusual requests from customers.
It seems that as long as humans embrace animals as four-legged friends, those bonds will continue past the pet's expiration date.

"It runs the whole gamut," he said, mentioning turtles, guinea pigs, snakes and more. "If you've got a pet of some kind, somebody's going to want you to preserve it".

Preserving: Joe Pycke prepares a deceased cat before placing it in a freeze dryer at Anthony Eddy's Wildlife Studio

Posterity: Animal lovers from across the country call on Anthony Eddy and his team to faithfully preserve their beloved departed pets

Full house: Receptionist Lessie Calvert sits behind her desk surrounded by freeze-dried animals

Frozen: Pycke pulls a cat out of a freeze dryer, an essential step in the preservation process

Resting: A freeze-dried squirrel and dog wait for their loved ones to take them home

A freeze-dried dog is displayed on a table at Anthony Eddy's Wildlife Studio in Slater.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Horses with Rickets - What is Rickets?

Epiphysitis, also known as equine rickets, is a condition of the bones that occurs in horses and is recognized by a slight lameness in the animal. It usually affects the longer bones, occurring when joints, such as the knee joint, become enlarged. While there are several theories as to where this comes from, the most respected one is that it is caused by the overfeeding of young horses.

When a young horse is fed on a high plane of nutrition, or a high caloric diet, its metabolism becomes unbalanced, sometimes causing growth issues like rickets on the small body. In short, their bones grow too large or too quickly for the rest of their body. It is most commonly seen in Welsh Cobs and fillies that are preparing for an exhibition or show, and generally doesn’t affect every type of horse.

Symptoms and Types
  • Pain in the joints
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Knee joint problems (e.g., knuckling of the knee joint, slight lameness)
  • Knuckling of the fetlock (or the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints)
  • Abnormal contraction of flexor tendon (allowing the flexing of the joints)
  • Abnormal contraction of cannon tendon (between the fetlock and the knee joints)
Horses on a high plane of nutrition, whether they be preparing for an athletic event or show, are more susceptible to rickets. Mineral and hormonal imbalances, especially brought on by overfeeding, can also lead to this condition.

In order to diagnose epiphysitis, your veterinarian will probably need a great deal of information about your horse, including its medical history and nutritional information. What your horse has been fed is vital in determining the diagnosis.

Most cases of rickets are treated with ease. Since the condition is based almost entirely on dietary imbalance, it is important to establish a nutritional plan with your veterinarian that will allow the horse's body to heal and grow in proportionately. This new diet should balance minerals and vitamins respectively, while lowering the caloric intake of the animal.

Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet recommended by your veterinarian should prevent rickets in your young foals.


Valais Blacknose Sheep: The Cutest Sheep In The World

Sheep, being multi-purpose animals, have always been a part of many cultures. Recently a breed of sheep dubbed the “world’s cutest sheep” has been taking the world by storm, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Valais Blacknose sheep are unbelievably cute. Their snow-white shaggy fleece is soft and incredibly fluffy. Their faces and hocks are black and their eyes are hidden under stringy wool.

The breed is native to the Valais region in Switzerland, hence the name. The animals live high up in the snow-capped mountains and graze in the alpine meadows on wild herbs. Due to their physiology, the breed is not suited for every country.

Within the past decade, the Valais Blacknose has been imported into the United Kingdom and Scotland, where its popularity began to soar.

Sally and Lindsay Strathdee, breeders from New Zealand, fell instantly in love with the animals after seeing a picture of them on the internet, according to Newshub.

The couple wanted to import the animal into the country but stringent laws forbade it. However, their business partner, Christine Reed, found a loophole in the law that allowed for embryos and sperm to be imported, so that’s what they did.

“We implanted in June 2017 and later in October had the most gorgeous 16 lambs on the ground—9 girls and 7 boys,” Reed told the MailOnline.

Today, the Valais Blacknose sheep is growing in demand by breeders and has a burgeoning fanbase.

“We have visitors willing to jump off cruise ships and rent cars just so they can see the sheep,” Reed shared. “Some visitors are also wanting to come to New Zealand just to see them and one photo quickly taken on a cell phone in January 2018 has now had 2.3 million views.”

The sheep’s appearance is definitely unique, capturing the hearts of anyone who sees it. Not only are they lovely to look at, but the animals have a pleasant nature too.

“One of the most wonderful surprises for us though, was that not only were these the cutest sheep in the world, but they had friendly inquisitive natures unlike any other sheep breed, more like your family dog following you around the fields,” Reed said.

The breed will be showcased at the New Zealand Cup and Show Week held in Christchurch in November.


Meet The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

Uroplatus phantasticus are one of the smallest species within the genus Uroplatus. Being in the Genus Uroplatus, Phantasticus have evolved to mimic leaves. Their tails have the shape, coloration, veins, notching, and lichen commonly found in their natural environment.

Uroplatus phantasticus have evolved to mimic dead or dying plant matter instead of branches and living vegetation. Their unique appearance and size have made them one of the most desired gecko species available.

Scientific name : Uroplatus phantasticus
Distribution : Madagascar
Average Size : 0.12 m (0.4 ft)
Life Span : 8 years or more
Difficulty : Advanced


There is more than one correct way to house your Phantasticus, but there are a few requirements to ensure your geckos’ needs are met. Like other species in the Genus, Phantasticus are predominantly an arboreal species. We suggest using vertical enclosures that still provide adequate substrate exposure. We have had the best success with 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.45 meters (0.9 x 0.9 x 1.5 feet) or 0.45 x 0.45 x 0.6 meters (1.5 x 1.5 x 2 feet) glass enclosures (depending on age/size of the pairs being housed with most being housed in the 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.45 meters). Unlike most others in the Genus, Phantasticus have evolved to mimic dead or dropped leaves instead of branches and live plant matter. For this reason I cannot stress enough how important the development and enrichment in the bottom 1/3 of the enclosure is for this species.

There are 3 ways of planting a U. phantasticus enclosure: real, artificial, or a combination of both. Although there isn’t a wrong way, the least preferred is the exclusive use of artificial plants. Artificial plants provide cover and enrichment but they do not help with humidity or air quality within the enclosure. When selecting plants for the enclosure, you have to first determine what is safe and best for the Phantasticus. I have found a combination of Pothos and Ficus to be the best options. These plants are hardy, strong enough to support movement, safe for the geckos, help retain humidity, and are easily obtained.

To read more on this story, click here: Meet The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko


Which Gecko Species Is Right For You?

What is an ultimate gecko? A gecko that fascinates the keeper. This gecko is beautiful, a pleasure to keep and has a long life expectancy, one that frequently outlives the family cat or dog. We are in luck. This gecko is within our grasp! Today, we can obtain some really sensational geckos from breeders and pet shops. We can also get captive-bred specimens, so they are healthy to start out with and are used to being in captivity. Wild-caught lizards do not offer these advantages and should be avoided.

The ultimate geckos that are great choices for a gecko enthusiast are:

The eublepharine (eyelid) geckos: the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) and the African fat-tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

The diplodactyline geckos from New Caledonia: the crested gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus), the gargoyle gecko (R. auriculatus), the mossy prehensile-tailed gecko (R. chahoua) and the giant New Caledonian gecko (R. leachianus)

From the wide-ranging Gekkonidae family: the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko); the Madagascar ground gecko (Paroedura picta); and the day geckos from Madagascar, the giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis) and the beautiful neon day gecko (P. klemmeri).

Leopard Gecko  
Let’s begin our adventure with one of the easiest geckos to keep. The leopard gecko (E. macularius) is the gecko gold standard in herpetoculture, with a long list of reasons why it is an ideal beginner gecko. Many of the basic principles of keeping leopard geckos apply to all of our ultimate geckos, so we will discuss them in detail here.

To read more on this story, click here: Which Gecko Species Is Right For You?


Friday, October 26, 2018

HGTV Star Defends Putting Her Infant Next To Her Big Dog After Bullies Try To Mommy-Shame Her

Mina Starsiak has been having an awesome year. For those who don’t share in our deep-seated HGTV obsession, Mina is one of the stars of Good Bones, where she flips houses with her mom, Karen Laine. The pair, who refer to themselves as ‘Two Chicks and a Hammer,” have been teasing season four of Good Bones. Mina also recently became a mom herself, welcoming a baby boy named Jack with her husband, Stephen Hawk.

Mina is learning what it means to be a mom in the spotlight. She’s been pretty open with sharing her journey throughout pregnancy and her first few months as a new mom.

Of course, sharing your life publicly means you’re opening yourself up to criticism, as so many moms have learned in the social media age. Mina recently posted a sweet shot of Jack alongside one of her three dogs, Frank. The sight of the tiny 2-month-old lying with the large-breed dog seems to have upset some of Mina’s followers, but she’s not standing for it.

To read more on this story, click here: HGTV Star Defends Putting Her Infant Next To Her Big Dog After Bullies Try To Mommy-Shame Her


Lyme Disease in Dogs- What You Need to Know!

Summer is approaching and the flea and tick season is rampant.  While you are with your dogs’ either walking, hiking, or at the beach, there is always a chance that they will get bitten by a flea or tick.  And ticks can carry a number of illnesses, including Lyme disease which can affect dogs and humans.  Lyme disease can cause tiredness, fever and joint pain in your dogs.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection that causes arthritis and lameness and is transmitted to dogs (and some cats) through the bite of infected ticks. If it is untreated, Lyme disease in dogs can cause heart, kidney, and neurological problems. Lyme disease is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to humans. Lyme disease can be transmitted if an infected tick from a dog bites a human.  Cats can get Lyme Disease but it is very rare and the symptoms are just like those in dogs.

Lyme disease is more common in certain areas of the United States, including the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest.

Symptoms of Lyme disease

Some of the symptoms may not appear for several months after a dog is infected with Lyme disease. And some infected dogs don’t always show the symptoms.  The signs of infection can typically include the following:

Your dog is very tired and stops exercising, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, symptoms seem to get better and then re-appear later.

To read more on this story, click here: Lyme Disease in Dogs- What You Need to Know!


Can Wild Birds Be Tamed and Kept As Pets?

"Taming" a wild bird may be a flawed word when considering a wild bird as a pet. A better word would be "habituate." Habituating means the bird accepts the presence of humans in such a way that they aren't spooked and fly away when a human is present. Several small songbirds can be habituated easily by placing a bird feeder near your house and filling it with feed. As the birds visit and revisit your feeder, they recognize your human presence as not being a threat. Amazingly, a few of those songbirds can be so habituated that they can be "trained" to take food right out of your hand! But make no mistake, these birds will remain wild.

Some of those common songbirds who are willing to become friends to humans include such species as the House Sparrow, the chickadee, the tufted titmouse and the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Other birds that will come close to humans but probably won't be trusting enough to be hand fed are the Cardinal, the Downey Woodpecker, the American Robin, the Purple and House Finches, the Goldfinch and the White-breasted nuthatch.

To read more on this story, click here: Can Wild Birds Be Tamed and Kept As Pets?


What States Don’t Allow Ferrets?

Most states in the United States do allow ferrets as pets but some states do have laws prohibiting ferret ownership, so it's best to check with your state and municipality to confirm that you are allowed to keep ferrets in the home.

As with other 'exotic' animals (such as snakes) your local laws may be stricter than your state laws and regulations may change, so it's a good idea to obtain up to date information from an animal control board or your local government.

States Not Allowing Ferrets

California or Busted

In California, it is illegal to sell, import, transport or to have ferrets as pets unless you also have a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game. The permits are issued only for medical research and other special circumstances and not for home possession. This statewide ban stems from fears that escaped ferrets could establish wild populations that could upset the delicate balance of the ecosystem in the area.

To read more on this story, click here: What States Don't Allow Ferrets?


The Maryland Department of Agriculture Confirmed That A Single Adult Spotted Lanternfly Has Been Found Northeast Cecil County

Annapolis, Maryland - The Maryland Department of Agriculture confirmed on Thursday that a single adult spotted lanternfly has been found on a trap in northeast Cecil County.

The invasive species poses a major threat to agricultural industries in the region as they feed on over 70 types of crops such as grapes, hops, apples, peaches, and many others.

Originally from Asia, the spotted lanternfly was first seen on U.S. soil back in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Since then, the MDA has tracked its spread through Pennsylvania to Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey.

The MDA will continue to look for spotted lanternfly egg masses through the fall and winter when they can be seen. As cold weather continues to set in, adult lanternflies will begin to die off.

When spring comes, each egg mass will produce 30-50 black and white-speckled nymphs.

The Maryland Department Of Agriculture asks that anyone who finds a spotted lanternfly, an egg mass, or a nymph, take a picture, put it in a bag, freeze it, and then call (410) 841-5920.


The Most Common Dog Grooming Mistakes That Pet Owners Make

These are 5 of the most common dog grooming mistakes that pet owners make when grooming their pet at home.

1. Lack of training

Grooming is simply another aspect of training -- and improper training can create unhappy grooming sessions for everyone involved.

If you have a new puppy, it’s important to get them used to brushing, bathing and having their feet, faces and ears handled from day one.

Early, grooming is especially important for breeds who will need haircuts throughout their lifetime.

For rescues or dogs acquired later in their life, it’s important to approach grooming with a calm manner and lots of praise, making every experience positive, even dogs who are predisposed to having a bad reaction to grooming can be turned around with the right encouragement.

Approach a new dog’s grooming in a calm, firm and patient manner, and include lots of positive reinforcement like praise and treats for the dog’s calm cooperative behavior.

If you aren't able to be calm and anxiety-free when teaching your pet about grooming, you should continue to use a professional groomer until you get used to it.

2. Long hair + water = mats

A common problem that groomers deal frequently is matted fur in longer-haired dogs, but the cause of the mats isn’t always obvious to owners.

Most pet owners don’t know that when a dog with long or thick fur gets wet, they have a higher likelihood of getting painfully tight tangles and mats. Brushing as much dead or tangled hair out of the coat before a bath, swim or walk in the rain or snow is recommended.

A quick brush to check for tangles before getting wet can prevent a lot of uncomfortable brushing or a shave later on.

Always do a quick brush after the dog has dried off, just to make sure any dead hair loosened up by the water comes out. If mats are discovered during a bath, use a  conditioner and a comb to loosen them as much as possible, and blow drying will help break the tangles apart.

3. Incomplete grooming

Be thorough, many owners concentrate their brushing efforts on their dog’s back, missing other areas that need grooming just as much.

It’s important not to forget about those trickier areas like faces, ears, tails, bellies, bums and legs when grooming at home. For shorter-haired dogs, it’s still important to brush all areas to promote healthy skin, oil production and fur growth.

Your groomer can tell you which at-home tools are best for your pet, as different coats need different brushes and tools.

A part of a thorough groom includes checking the inside of ears and mouths. Ask your vet or groomer what the most appropriate cleaning schedule is for your dog.

Expensive and painful dental and ear issues can be easily prevented with regular maintenance.

4. Creating bad grooming habits through improper play

It seems cute when your pet snaps frantically at the garden hose, shakes her head when you blow on her ears or plays chase with the hair dryer or vacuum, but this type of teasing can make grooming really difficult for you, or your groomer, and scary for your pet.

A professional groom involves equipment that vibrates, shakes, sprays, and blows air at the dog. You need to make sure that they’re not teaching the dog to bite or run when a groomer turns a tool on.

According to the professional groomer, “playing shake a paw, or gently grabbing their tails, jowls or ears while giving lots of praise,” makes grooming safer, as the dog won’t overreact to being touched in those areas.

5. Make grooming a year-round priority

When the weather starts to get colder, owners understandably want to make sure that their dog has enough fur to keep them warm, but neglecting grooming actually does more harm than good when it comes to protecting that insulating coat.

When grooming is neglected for cooler months, matting often occurs before the weather warms up in springtime.

The only cure for that kind of severe matting is a short shave, the exact opposite of what dogs and owners want in the middle of winter. Regular maintenance throughout cold wet, months can prevent a bald dog in February.

Regular maintenance and appropriate training seem to be the keys to grooming success.