Archive for June, 2011

Leopard Gecko as Pets

Leopard geckos (scientifically named as Eublepharis Macularius) are belonged to reptile family. These lizards are native to Pakistan, India and Afghanistan where the land is rocky and dry. They are nocturnal and mostly live on and under the ground, and are easy to domesticate. Unlike other geckos, they do not have the toe pads therefore, they do not climb. Another feature that makes them different from other geckos is that they have eyelids and they can even blink their eyes.

The average size of a leopard gecko is between 8 and 10 inches in length. Its head is of a triangular shape and has a large, fat tail where it stores fat. Its skin is rough and wholly patterned. There are a number of color and pattern variations. These lizards use their patterned skin to camouflage them from predators.

If you want to own a leopard gecko as a pet, then you need to get all those things that are necessary for your pet. Among those things, housing is the most important one as your new pet’s health is highly depended on the place where you keep it.

When deciding on home you need to ensure that all bases are covered, which include the followings:

  • Home – cage, terrarium, vivarium (glass or plastic)
  • Warmth
  • Humidity
  • A place to hide
  • A substrate (bedding or floor covering)

A glass vivarium is the best option as it is better for cleaning than plastic, and also it gives an easy view of your pet gecko. The size of a vivarium should be at least 10 gallon, however, bigger is better.

The temperature of gecko’s home should be around 90 F (30 C) on one side and 70 F (23 C) on the other side. Keep the humidity level between 50 and 70 %. In addition to this, give you gecko a place to hide in order to make them feel safe. For this, you can use inverted plant saucers, rocks, dry wood, dried cactus skeletons, and old branches.

Lastly, choose a substrate that is not harmful for the geckos. Avoid using aquarium gravel, calcium sand, and walnut shells because the pet can swallow these things. Good options include newspaper, wood chips, and paper towels.

Leopard geckos are great pets, and if you take care of them properly then they can live 10 to 20 years.

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Hamster: General Information

At present, hamsters that are kept as pets were first discovered inSyriain 1830, when an Israeli Zoologist working in theSyrian Desertbrought them in his laboratory and successfully bred them. In 1839, a British zoologist, George Waterhouse, gave them their current name, which is the Golden Hamster. It is interesting to know that all pet hamsters are descendents of theSyrian Deserthamsters.

Hamsters were transported to all parts of the world, arriving in theUKin 1931 and in theUSin 1938 for use in lab research. Hamsters are usually healthy, disease free animals, and are enable to have a new litter of babies almost every month.

Scientific Information:

The scientific information about hamsters is briefly mentioned as under:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Suborder: Myomorpha

Super-family: Muroidea

Family: Cricetidae

Subfamily: Cricetinae

Temperament Information:

The Golden Hamster is a nocturnal animal, however, infrequently can be active during the day. Hamsters as pets can be very domesticated however must always be handled with care as they can become very hostile when terrified. They are prone to chew on and escape from their cages. Once they escape, it becomes very difficult to make them return to their home and needs to be trapped to be put back in their cage. Therefore, special care should be taken when handling them.

Hamsters love exercise, particularly wheel running. It is interesting to know that pregnant female hamsters have been known to run up to five miles per day.

Female hamsters are more hostile and aggressive than males and, depending on her sexual cycle, can attack new males that are introduced into her cage. Moreover, females may willingly look after her young ones. If the mother hamster feels intimidated, she can either attack the interloper or hide her babies in her mouth in her cheek pouches. Female hamsters with new litters must not be disturbed frequently.

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Degus as Pets

A degu (pl. degus) is a small rodent-like animal, found in the lowland, west coast plains of Chille and up through the Andes Mountains in South America. These animals are closely related to the guinea pig and chinchilla. Though they are not rodents, but they look very similar to large gerbils. However, they are more closely allied to rabbits than gerbils.

Degus are very social, curious animals and can be very vocal. They can be up to 5 – 7 inches long. The average life span of a degu is around 7 – 8 years in captivity. These animals make different noises, which include weeping, warbling with happiness, and screeching when alarmed.

As a social animal, a degu likes to live in a group. These animals live in colonies in the wild, among hundreds of other degus. Therefore, before buying degus as pets, it is important to consider how much space you have and whether you can afford to have more than one degu. Consider buying at least two degus of the same sex. However, four is better, and half a dozen best. Keeping a single degu as a pet may cause depression and sometimes refuse to eat. Because of this fact, quality breeders and pet stores normally do not sell single degus.

It is better to purchase males, or be ready for pregnant females. Since degus are very productive, a single male can impregnate a cage full of female degus. A careless breeders or pet stores can sell pregnant females by mistake.

Last but not the least, be a friend of your new pets. Degus are very intelligent and they need daily attention and enjoy being around people. Therefore, you need to hold them frequently so that they can become comfortable in your presence. Finally, they can learn to sit on your shoulder, or crawl into your pocket.

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How to Choose a Bird Cage

To provide your pet with suitable living space is one of the basics of bird ownership. Although there are different sizes, colors, and models of bird cages easily available in the market, however, following are some of the simple guidelines to help in making the process of selecting one much easier.

  • The most important thing to consider is the location and placement of the bird’s cage. You need to shop it based on what will work best with the area you have set aside.
  • Bird’s cage should be away from windows and drafts, and must be placed in an active part of your home to encourage your pet birds’ social growth.
  • Consider the size of your birds in mind while buying a cage for them. You can keep a Finch or canary in a small space however, larger birds need larger cages.
  • It is best to purchase the largest cage you possibly can for your birds, as too small cages lead to undesirable behaviors, which include biting, screaming, feather plucking, psychological disorders, and so on. You can consult local avian veterinarian for recommended cage sizes for your pet birds.
  •  One thing to consider in choosing a cage is the bar spacing. It is better to buy cages with bars no more than a half inch apart for smaller birds, such as lovebirds and parakeets. For larger birds, consider buying cages that have horizontal bars instead of vertical ones. This will allow your birds to climb and exercise on them.
  • An important factor in choosing the bird’s cage is its style. Many veterinarians agree that round cages have been found to be harmful to birds’ psychological health; therefore, angled cages are preferable. Some of these cages can either be hung or placed on a stand, and are available in various sizes and shapes to accommodate any species of pet birds.

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