Pet Tips and Pet Advice

Pets for Kids – “10 Essential Reality Checks!”
by Lesley Munnings

Essential Reality Check No. 1 – The Type of Pet for kids

The type of pet you can take into your household will depend on a whole host of things such as follows: How much will the pet costs be - not just to buy - but to care for on a daily basis? The ages of your kids - a two year old child will probably not be able to handle a pet gently and certainly won’t be able to care for the pet….. What size of pet does your child want? - What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space but guinea pigs, ferrets and rats need much larger cages. How much time do your kids and you as a family have to give to the pet? Will your family be safe with the pet?

Will the pet be safe with your family? If you have a larger pet such as a dog, cat, or goat what effects will it have on your family, friends and neighbours? How will your pet be cared for during your holidays. Will your family be able to cope with the eventual death of a pet? Some pets will sleep most of the day and be awake at night. Hamsters can be very noisy at night! If your child wants a dog you will need to look into the breed, size and exercise needs of the dog. Do you already have another pet, what effect will it have on that pet. For instance will your dog be ok with a cat or rabbit or bird? .

Essential Reality Check No. 2 – True Costs of Pets for Kids

Some pets are very cheap to buy for instance hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits and even ferrets. You will still need to consider: The cage set up ( this can be very expensive when looking at the cage sizes that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can manage Food costs per week Bedding Vets bills if your pets become ill. e.g. Ferrets need a yearly injection against canine distemper. Holiday care - you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.

Bigger pets such as goats, and dogs and pedigree cats are far more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds. You will need to consider: Bedding and a cage (if buying one for your dog or cat) Leads and collars for dogs. Food bills Vets bills (dogs should have yearly check ups with a vets) Toys Holiday care (kennels can be very expensive) Flea treatment Ongoing veterinary costs if your pets becomes chronically ill.

Essential Reality Check No. 3 – Ages of your Kids

As the parent or carer you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How often have parents heard the cry “oh but we promise we’ll take it for walks everyday” Or “we’ll clean it out mum, we promise”. How will you feel in a years time when you find yourself caring for the pets because the kids are busy with friends or away on a school trip or inundated with homework or just plain bored with the poor thing You will need to decide on a pet that is suitable for the age of your kids. For instance in most cases it would not be wise to buy a hamster for a two year old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.

Do you want to give your kids some responsibility in caring for an animal. Some kids are very responsible and will be able to manage this. Other kids, well the sight of a baby animal is just too appealing, after all who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster? At first you may need to help your kids, as caring for a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or carer you will always need to oversee a pet’s care.

,Essential Reality Check No. 4 – The Space Required

Even small pets for kids such as guinea pigs, fancy rats and ferrets need a lot of cage space for a happy life. They will need the biggest cages you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise out of the cage. Cats take up very little space, as do small breeds of dogs. Dogs will need a decent sized garden as well as walks to keep them well exercised.

Essential Reality Check No. 5 – Time for your Pets

Do you and the family have time for a pet. For smaller pets for kids you will need to have them out of the cage and being handled daily for at least 2 hours a day. Do you have time to clean out your pet at least once or twice a week, or even daily? Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage cleaned more often to avoid a foul smelling cage and pet. Water bottles and food bowls will need cleaning and refilling every day.

Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? - dependent on the breed some need more! Are you willing to look after your pets for the many years some can live? (From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse up to 15 years for a dog) If you are out at work all day and the kids are at school all day your pets will need and will demand attention when you return home

Essential Reality Check No. 6 – Your Pet and Family Safety

You will always need to ensure your kids safety when they are spending time with any pets for kids. Even little pets can bite and leave a wound. Dogs should not be left unattended with your kids as they are unpredictable. Even a faithful dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or afraid. It happens rarely - but it does happen. You will also need to ensure your pets safety: Is your child able to handle a pet safely without hurting it. Is your pet safe with any other pets in the home? - if you have young children and a dog …. you will need to make sure the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.

If you have a dog you need to ensure visitors safety as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even off your property) Make sure that when pets are having free time out of cages that: Other pets cannot hurt them They cannot chew electrical leads They cannot fall into toilets or baths of water. They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors They cannot get outside without supervision

Essential Reality Check No. 7 – Effects on Family and Neighbours

The whole family needs to be in agreement if you are getting pets for kids. Pets can be noisy and messy having an effect on family living. What effect will a pet such as a dog have on Granny who suffers with an allergy - will that mean she cannot come to visit anymore? If you get a dog will it bark and howl when you leave them for any length of time and will this annoy your neighbours. Will the dog bark when your neighbours are in their own garden. How will your neighbours take to having your pet cat mess in their garden? You will need to keep your yard free of dog mess to ensure it does not smell -particularly in summer months.

Essential Reality Check No. 8 – Holidays and Care for Pets

If you have pets for kids what will happen to them during your holiday times. Do you have family or friends who can care for your pets while you are away. If not you will have to pay for your pets care. This will be expensive for dogs, cats and larger animals. Even for little pets, holiday care can be expensive.

Essential Reality Check No. 9 – Loss of a Pet and Grief

Some children are really sensitive and will be distraught when their beloved pet eventually passes away, or is lost in some way. This is especially distressing if the pet has died as a result of an accident or illness. How will you manage this? The kids will need to grieve, grieving is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer losses every day in a small way such as not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or other family member struggles with the grieving then look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stepping stones through which people move. Your family member may not go through them in order or spend long on any one.

The stepping stones are: Shock, Denial, Guilt, ,Anger, Depression Bargaining, Acceptance Your child may want another pet this is called bargaining and is one of the stepping stones through the grief process. If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden losses that the death of their pet has caused. Could there be a loss of your child’s self worth or self esteem. Have they lost their only companion. Has your child lost the only one who listened to them. By chatting try to find out how your child is feeling and help them to work out their losses and then work through to acceptance by doing some healthy bargaining.

Would your child be able to regain their sense of worth or self esteem another way? Perhaps helping out with a friends pet for instance. For some children it may be helpful to have a burial service, so they can say goodbye properly. (My son kept some hair from his beloved dog) Our kids have managed the deaths of their pets really well and have gone on to have other pets, for other kids though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child’s pet.

Essential Reality Check No. 10 – Pets for Kids are GOOD FUN!!!

Pets for kids are for the most part a great addition to the family.. They are often good company for your kids especially if the kids are lonely. Kids can learn a lot from caring for pets and by having pets even when they are lost naturally. Dogs can encourage the family out to get exercise as they walk the dog. All our kids love their pets and they are an important part of the family. So whatever pet you decide upon have fun and enjoy

Lesley and her husband are parents of 18 years to four great kids and co authors of
For more information on pets visit best-pets-for-kids

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Choosing Pet Clothes for Different Seasons and Occasions
by David Hensley

After a hectic and busy day, you will feel good when your pets with pretty gestures welcome you. Pet lovers always consider their pets as one among their family members and take a lot of care for their needs. One product which all the pet lovers show interest is the Pet clothes. When you clothe them, you protect them from the changing weather conditions. Even though the pets have natural fur and hair for protection from cold, clothes adds more beauty and the pets also look very cute by wearing varieties of pet clothes.

The pet clothing for your pet depends on your living environment. If you are residing in a cold region your pet may be exposed to cold climate for a long duration and hence you have to choose thick clothes for your pet. When you are residing in a place with temperate weather condition, you have to unbutton your pet clothes and so you have to buy thin coats for your pets.

Though there are multiple reasons for dressing your pet, you don't have to be worried about your pet clothes if any of the following fits with your pet. When the density of hair and fur is more on your pet, you don't have to additionally burden them with pet clothes. When you live in a hot climate your pet will not enjoy getting dressed. Lastly, if you’re pet refuses the pet clothes offered to it, don't force such clothes on it and don't ever try to make it wear pet clothes that it does not prefer. You can always beautify them by other means like hairstyles, jewelries etc.

Pet clothes are having increasing popularity as a lot of stores and suppliers now offer different ranges of pet clothes. Pet clothes are available in different varieties and styles for pet dogs when compared with other pets. This may be because the dogs show more of cooperation in getting dressed. Mostly sale of the pet clothes are focused towards pet owners who are fashion conscious and clothes are marketed with the multiple benefits your pet attains out of using them. Normally after winter walk, pets get tired and their body temperature undergoes sudden change and pet clothes can prevent them from catching cold. Another important benefit of providing clothing for your pet is to safeguard the pet's skin from scratching or aggravating any itching area. If your pet has undergone an invasive operation, then the pet clothes will protect the wound till it's healed. Some pet clothes are exclusively available for preventing family way in pets. Though it may look awkward but it prevents the number of pets in your home from increasing.

Most of the pet lovers choose sports style pet clothes like hooded tops, faux leather jackets, trendy vests, T-shirts and colorful knits as they add more of uniqueness in their appearance. Other fashionable clothes are pet's shoes and boots with matching pyjamas and there are also trouser suits that are waterproof available for your lovable pets. On special days if you don't want your pet to be left out, you can buy fancy costumes. The famous fancy pet clothes are bridesmaid outfit, wedding gowns, tuxedos, and seasonal costumes. When you love your pet and can afford more budgets you can buy fashionable pet clothes as a gift for your pet. and have exhaustive resources for pets' health and training and essential accessories for them.

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Top Five Dog Breeds For Senior Citizens
By Jennifer Andrade

Dogs are natural companions for seniors. Dogs are good company. They can help seniors feel secure by keeping the house under watch. They also have the added bonus of giving seniors a reason to be more active. But when considering a dog for a senior, there should be several things taken into consideration in order to find the best match.

First, the dog should be suited to living in an apartment or small space. They should be able to get most of their exercise indoors and grooming should not be too demanding, since most seniors are on a fixed income and cannot afford to pay for such services. I tried to stick with breeds that are relatively easy to train and don't need a strong pack leader.

Taking all those things into consideration, I've devised a short list of the Top Five Dog Breeds that would work best for Seniors.

The first on the list is my favorite breed; the Chihuahua. This breed is perfect for seniors because they are easy to keep and maintain and their exercise level will easily adapt to that of their household. They do need to be socialized thoroughly so that they do not become fearful or too yippy. They are a loving dog, but they need rules and boundaries, just like any other.

The second dog is the Chinese Crested. This may seem like an unusual choice, but they are very loving dogs and get along well with other pets. They are a true companion dog. As with the Chihuahua, the Chinese Crested needs to be socialized properly to prevent timidness and they do need to be protected from the sun and cold weather.

The third dog is the Pug. They are very happy and playful dogs and they get along well with other pets and people. They do need to be protected from the heat, as they tend to overheat quickly, but they do benefit from short walks. The fourth dog is the Lucas Terrier. This cute little terrier is sweet and easy to train. They are a very friendly terrier. They do require a weekly brushing, but they have a low doggie odor and shed very little.

Another one of my favorite breeds is the sweet little English Toy Spaniel (King Charles Spaniel), which ends the list at number five. This is a breed that LOVES to be around people. They get along great with children and are friendly with other dogs. They are happy and playful; a real treat to be around.

There is no reason why a senior cannot enjoy the companionship of a canine, but they need to be sure to choose a dog that will be happy in the environment and lifestyle that they live. Make sure the dog is easy to keep and maintain and both the dog and the senior will be happy for many years.

Written by Jennifer Andrade from A Dog for Life, LLC , which is dedicated to helping you choose and find the best dog for your family. My website features many other resources that can help you have a more positive and closer relationship with your canine companion.

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The Importance of Good Dental Health For Your Pets
By Ingrid King

Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Dogs and cats are particularly prone to tooth and gum diseases. An astounding 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society.

Normal teeth in both cats and dogs should be white or just a little yellow. Gums should be light pink and smooth (except in breeds with pigmented gums).

Oral disease begins with a build up of plaque and tartar in your pet's mouth. Without proper preventive and therapeutic care, plaque and tartar buildup leads to periodontal disease, which manifests in red and/or swollen and tender gums, bad breath, and bleeding. When the gums are swollen, they can be painful - a good rule of thumb is that if it looks like it might be painful, it probably is. Pets are masters at masking pain - when in doubt, assume that your pet is experiencing at least some discomfort.

The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease can lead to damage to other organs such as the heart, kidney and liver, and lead to other serious health problems. Dental disease can also be an indicator of immune system disorders, particularly in cats.

Common indicators of oral disease in dogs include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth and depression. If you notice any of these, don't wait until your dog's next annual check up, take him to the veterinarian for a thorough exam.

Cats rarely show any symptoms at all unless the situation is literally life-threatening. They will eat even when their level of chronic mouth pain would send a person to the emergency room. They almost never paw at their face, even with loose or abscessed teeth. They get pretty smelly breath from eating cat food, so it's tough to tell by smelling the breath whether your cat has dental disease or just had breakfast. But even though they don't show us much in the way of outward symptoms, chronic dental/periodontal disease can cause severe and often irreversible damage to internal organs. So it's important to get regular veterinary exams at least once a year, and twice a year for cats six and older or for cats with a known history of dental problems.

Since our pets won't just sit still and open their mouths to have their teeth cleaned like humans, dental procedures for pets require general anesthesia, something that makes many pet owners nervous. While there are always risks with anesthesia, they can be minimized with a thorough pre-anesthetic check up, including bloodwork to assess kidney and liver function and rule out other underlying health issues. This will allow your veterinarian to customize the anesthesia to your pet's health status and potential special needs. Keep in mind that leaving dental disease untreated may present a far greater risk than anesthesia.

February is Dental Health Month, and many veterinary practices offer special programs and discounts on dental procedures and products. Contact your pet's veterinarian for more information.

Ingrid King is a Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Healing Hands also publishes periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit

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World's Smallest Kitten - The Teacup Kitten is Tiny
By Bryan Burbank

Teacup Kittens are the smallest and cutest in the world and they can come in many different breeds. It is important that when you are shopping for a miniature cat that you do not just look at the weight because many breeders will tell you a runt cat is a teacup but in reality it is just undersized. An average cat will weight about 10-12 pounds and a miniature will be about 3-6 pounds. So make sure that you do not get fooled when looking for this type of cat because there are breeders that will try to pass of a small cat as a miniature.

Most Teacup kittens are made when there is inbreeding with the smaller kittens. By using this method of breeding you create dwarf cats and this is how they become teacup kittens. The persian and the exotic breeds of cat are the most common when it comes to teacup kittens. Primordial dwarves are known as MiniPers and these cats are small but there bodies are proportionate in every way. The MiniPaws have short legs and in many cases they can be deformed because of this. Napoleon is a new teacup bread and they have long beautiful coats and big eyes. They are a mix of a Persian and a Munchkin and are very beautiful.

When looking for this type of cat it is important to now that they are cute and small but they will become cats. With cats they will not act like a kitten forever so make sure that this is the type of cat you would like to own before making the commitment.

Bryan Burbank is an expert in the field of Animals and Pet Issues

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Teaching Your Dog to Perform Tricks
By Ian White

Teaching your dog to perform tricks can be great fun, but it does require plenty of time and patience. It is, however, important to remember not to spend more than around five minutes a day practicing a particular trick with your dog; otherwise it may become bored of the whole process and refuse to co-operate any further. You should also aim to end each training session on a good note, so that your dog always associates the experience with pleasure and not unhappiness. Providing you use a variety of tasty and healthy treats, along with plenty of praise, your dog should be able to learn new tricks very easily. Here are a few for you to try out on your dog:

This is something that many dogs begin to do automatically, and doesn't generally take any real training. Some dogs, however, may not do it so readily and may need a little assistance. Try making a small slit in a ball and then place some tasty treats inside. Let your dog sniff the ball before you throw it and then run with your dog to get the ball for the first three or four times. Each time your dog picks up the ball, encourage him/her to come to you and then release the treats. It won't take long for your dog to chase willingly after any object you throw for it, even when there are no treats inside.

Get your dog to sit facing you. Hold your dog's favourite treat up so that it can be seen and then say: "Say please." Your dog's automatic reaction will probably be to lift both its front feet off the ground to get to the treat. As soon as he/she makes any attempt to perform this action, you should praise him/her and reward immediately with a treat. This trick is all about good balance and may take your dog a little time to master. Do take great care, however, not to let your dog fall over onto its back when performing this trick.

Shake hands
Get your dog to sit facing you. Then gently lift up one of your dog's paws and hold it for a few seconds and say: "Shake hands." Let go of the paw and repeat the action. Each time you put the paw down, you should praise your dog and reward with a treat.

Roll over
Get your dog to lie down on its belly and then kneel down by its side. Whilst holding a treat in front of his/her nose, move the treat around so that your dog lies on its side and then rolls over. Once your dog makes any attempt to move over, praise him/her and reward with a treat. As hard surfaces may be uncomfortable for your dog, it is best to perform this trick on a carpet or outside on the grass.

Get your dog to lie down facing you. Hold a treat right in front of his/her nose and say: "Crawl." Gradually pull the treat away from your dog whilst keeping the treat close to the ground. Keep repeating the command until your dog begins to move across the floor. As soon as your dog makes any effort to crawl, you should praise him/her immediately and reward with a treat. You may find that your dog will try to stand up at some point during this exercise. If this happens say: "No" and gently coax him/her to lie down again.

Turn around
Make sure that your dog is standing facing you. Then place a treat in your hand and show it to your dog. Lead your dog's nose round clockwise with the treat until he/she has gone round in a complete circle. As you are performing this say: "Turn around" and then praise your dog and reward with a treat.

Play dead
Get your dog to lie down on its tummy and then roll him/her gently over onto their side and say: "Sleep." Encourage your dog to stay there for a short time and then say: "Wake up." Once your dog stands up, you should praise him/her and reward with a treat.

After teaching each trick for a period of time, you should find that your dog begins to respond quickly to your commands without you having to guide him/her into the correct position. You can teach both young and old dogs to perform tricks, but obviously your dog will learn quicker if trained from an early age. It is also important to remember to stick to the same commands whilst training, to avoid confusion, and only introduce one new trick at a time.

Copyright © 2009, Ian White

Author Ian White is founder of Petsitting Directory

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How to Take Care of a Saltwater Aquarium and Have Healthy Saltwater Fish
By Darin Sewell

If you are wondering how to take care of a saltwater aquarium its really pretty easy. Although there are a few things you need to keep an eye on in order to have a stunning marine aquarium and healthy saltwater fish.

Change The Water- Saltwater fish tanks need frequent water changes in order to keep harmful compounds to a minimum. It is recommended that you change at least 25% of the water on a monthly basis. This does not all have to be done at once and is better if you split it up into two or three water changes over the course of a month.

Salt Levels- Saltwater fish tanks will evaporate water just like a freshwater tank. The only downside is that in a saltwater tank the salt levels rise as freshwater evaporates out. You must make sure to replace any evaporated water every few days to keep your salinity levels constant and within range or your fish can get stressed out and sick.

Nitrate Levels- High nitrate levels in a saltwater fish tank can cause a lot of problems that will make keeping your tank much harder. These problems include sick fish and problem algae growth. By testing your water weekly you will be able to pick up on any increases in nitrates and take evasive measures before it becomes a problem.

Temperature- Saltwater fish are very sensitive to changes in their environment and the biggest change that can cause them to get sick is temperature swings. You will need to check the tanks temperature daily to make sure it is not to hot or cold. This is very important during summer and winter. If the temperature gets to hot the oxygen levels will drop and the fish can die. To cold and the fish will not be able to survive and will perish quickly in cold water.

To create a stunning and easy-to-maintain saltwater aquarium grab a copy of our Saltwater Aquarium Guide. This illustrated guide will show you step by step how to properly set up your aquarium. It's crammed with tips and secrets that the pros use to create stunning displays! Learn more at

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How to Ride a Horse - The Top 5 Mistakes Made by the New Rider
By Lisa Blackstone

It is hard enough to start out learning how to ride a horse. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of these five guidelines that will assist your efforts and make your goals attainable faster!

1. Start out with the right horse. So often it seems someone falls in love with a horse that they think is beautiful, or exciting, or loving and because of this unfettered commitment, continue riding a horse that is completely wrong for them. Horses come in all sizes, colors, breeds, and talents, just as humans vary in experience and talent. If you are riding a horse that is simply too hot blooded for you, or too rough gaited for you, or simply too bull-headed for your temperament, you will not be happy. Some things can be changed. Your horse's training can improve and your skills as a rider will improve. But, there is simply nothing that will change that rough gait of his that throws out your already-weak back. There is nothing that will change his hot blooded spirit that you find so difficult to control. Have the good sense to rethink your mount and consider trading or finding a horse more suitable for you.

2. Many riders do not know when they are getting into trouble. Riders can get into precarious situations simply because they lack the knowledge to know better. Take the time to learn about horse behavior, their instincts, their natural reaction to their surroundings and use that knowledge. I have seen a beginner riding a mare who was in season too close to a paddock in which a stallion was turned out. That is a potentially catastrophic situation! The old adage about rookies who "know just enough to be dangerous" could not be more true than with horses! You gain a certain comfort level after a short time of riding that gives one a false sense of competence. There is SO much to learn about horses and horsemanship. It is a lifelong journey to become the best horseman you can become.

3. One of the most frustrating things an instructor deals with is the new rider who has an excuse for everything they are being asked to change. It goes like this:

Instructor: "Lower your hands"
Student: "I can't because my reins are too long."
Instructor: "Well, shorten your reins"
Student: "I can't because ....blah, blah, blah"

You get the idea. I call this the "shut up and just do it" rule. There is so much to learn and so many things to think about at the same time "Keep your heels down, quiet your hands, sit up straight in the saddle, keep your chin up, keep a light contact with his mouth, now, heels down again!" Until it comes naturally, it seems to be a textbook of rules to remember! The more you hear what to do, the more stiff you become, the more difficult it seems and the more impossible to achieve. But just hang in there! Keep listening, stop talking and keep trying to do what the instructor is telling you. Have faith that it will all gradually become muscle memory and will come much more naturally after more and more hours in the saddle. It is certainly okay to tell your instructor if you are confused or have a question. Generally speaking, however, be quiet, keep trying, keep practicing, and keep the faith!

4. New riders are usually so enthralled with their new sport that they pay more attention to themselves than to what is going on around them. Everything is so new, they lose themselves in what they are doing and that is understandable. However, new riders will benefit so much more if they stop, listen, and learn from other professional riders, and I mean professionals. It is not going to help you much if you are trying to augment your equine education with a barn pal who has had all of three riding lessons more than you have. Watch the horsemen who have the skills and the knowledge of horsemanship you can truly learn from. I remember in my earlier days of showing horses, I would go to the warm up arena at the horse show, late at night and watch the professional trainers working their horses. Although I could not hear much, I could watch their techniques, their manner, their demeanor, their methods to communicate certain things with their horse. Even if I did not get it all at the time, their professionalism and their respect for the horse left an indelible impression on me.

5. Lastly, gain a realistic perspective of yourself, your goals and how to attain them. A frequent mistake made by new enthusiasts is to evaluate their progress based on how they placed in a horse show class. As with so many things, it is the journey that is worth while. Do not get caught up in who got first place, who got second place. It is only one person's opinion anyway. It is not an indictment of your ability or your horses' ability if you do not win a horse show class. Focus on the larger goal, the pursuit of excellence within yourself, achieving that union with your horse. Do not worry about anybody else, including your competitors and your fellow barn students.

For more information go to to or

Lisa B. Blackstone has been involved in the Arabian horse business all of her life. She is a practicing attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Recently, Lisa launched two websites designed to teach the novice rider about horses and horsemanship. You can visit them at and She is the host of The Horse and Rider Radio Show at Radio Sandy Springs.

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How to Take Care of a Guinea Pig
By Jake D

Guinea pigs, or cavies, are cut, fun-loving, and clean animals. They make great pets. However, they aren't as easy to care for as many others. This article will teach you how to take care of a guinea pig.


First, you need to learn what to feed your pet guinea pig. Pellets made specifically for cavies should be the staple of your pig's diet. Make sure he has access to pellets throughout the day. It's also important that you feed him fresh fruits and vegetables. You can feed him kale, collards, apples, lettuce, tomatoes and others.

He will also need a constant supply of fresh hay. Hay helps them grind down their constantly growing teeth. If the teeth are allowed to grow excessively, it will be too painful for him to eat other types of food.


Guinea pigs can't make their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from their diet. It's very important that your pig gets this important vitamin, or he will develop scurvy. The brand of pellets you feed him may contain additional vitamin C, but this is often not enough. Give him either liquid or tablet supplements of vitamin C to be safe.


When learning how to take care of a guinea pig, it's important that you know you need to trim his nails regularly. If they aren't cut, they will keep growing and start cutting into your pig's pad. This may cause an infection. At the very least, it will be very painful for your cavy. Therefore, try to trim his nails about once a month.


You need to buy your guinea pig a cage large enough to give him ample room to move around. As a minimum, try to provide about four or six square feet of space. Make sure that the floor of the cage isn't raised. Cavies have very sensitive feet.


You will also need bedding for your pig's cage. Some of the most common bedding options include wood shavings, hay, and paper products. Make sure that you don't use bedding that's too hard on your pig's feet.

These are a few tips on caring for a guinea pig. If you're new caring for cavies, then there are many things you need to learn about proper guinea pig care. So, click here now to pick up even more tips to ensure excellent guinea pig health.

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