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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Iguana Care


Iguanas are cold blooded reptiles. They are not easy to care for and often die in captivity. They should never be purchased without careful consideration. Iguanas are very expensive to care for, you need to make sure that they have the proper heat and lighting conditions, that they are fed the correct foods, and that their cage offers them enough room to grow to their full 4–6 feet (1.2–1.8 m). If you are considering buying an iguana, think how it will cost to spend the majority of your money making sure they are properly cared for. They are not a throw away pet!
Give your iguana a lot of proper light. Iguanas need lots of natural special light so they can absorb U.V.B. and U.V.A light. U.V.A light keeps your iguana feeling good and helps reptiles have a good feeding response. U.V.B. light allows the iguana to digest their food and absorb vitamin D which allows them to absorb the calcium that they need to help prevent metabolic bone disease.The best source of U.V.A light is the sun or basking lights. U.V.B. light should be purchased at pet stores like Pet Smart offer fluorescent bulbs that are designed specifically for U.V.B. output. It is necessary to change out the U.V.B bulb every 6-12 "nine months is usually best" to keep your iguana healthy.

It is very important to provide adequate heat for your iguana. These reptiles are native to warm climates such as Central and South America, and they are not used to lower temperatures. When keeping an iguana as a pet it is important to have a heat lamp to keep the iguana warm. Average temperature needed on a day to day basis is between 80 and 90 degrees. Once you have a heat lamp in place it is important to make sure that you watch your iguana to see how they react to the heat. If they are constantly under the heat lamp it needs to be warmer, if they are never under the heat lamp it needs to be cooler. Nighttime temperature shouldn't drop below 75oF, daytime temperatures should be in the range of 85-95oF, with a hot stop between 97-99oF. Check your temperatures. These temperatures can be attained by use of heat lamps hooked up to a dimmer. Iguanas are cold blooded and cannot regulate their temperature like humans. Therefore when they get to hot or cold they move to where it is cooler or warmer. Do not allow your iguana direct access to the heat lamps as they may burn themselves. Electrically heated terrarium rocks, though aesthetically pleasing are potentially dangerous and should not be used.

Prepare your iguana's home. You'll need a nice large house for your iguana. An aquarium that you get from a pet store is not big enough, even for your baby iguana. A good size for an adult iguana cage is 3 feet (0.9 m) deep x 6 feet (1.8 m) wide x 6 feet (1.8 m) high. This will give even an adult iguana some space to move around.

Other things to consider include the need for large branches, as iguanas love to climb. As a way to regulate the humidity within the cage consider buying a humidifier to put moisture into the air. The most important thing to remember when buying or making your pet's home is that iguanas grow very fast.
Feed your iguana properly. Iguanas are vegetarians and a variety of dark green leafy vegetables will keep your iguana healthy. Recommended greens are -collard greens, mustard greens, alfalfa, dandelion greens, watercress. Iguanas do not eat head or iceberg lettuce as these have virtually no nutrition! Romaine lettuce is acceptable, yet iguanas also need a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy diet. These include -yucca root, snap peas, parsnip, papayas, okra, mango, kabocha squash, green beans, butternut squash and acorn squash "avoid citrus fruits though, as reptiles can't handle the acidity". For treats you can give them - dahlia, hibiscus, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, or whole wheat bread pieces "give them bread very sparingly though" and do not be afraid of giving your iguana some "Commercial Iguana Food". It does provide the nutrients they need. However, it is "highly" recommended to give them vegetables and fruits so they have a broad source of vitamins and nutrients they need as well as extra hydration. Iguanas need a constant supply of fresh, clean water to drink from! Be sure to change the water frequently, otherwise you risk having a sick lizard!
Multiple Iguanas- Not a good idea if in the same cage. Iguanas are by nature very territorial, in the wild they live on their own and only get together to mate. Having two or more iguanas in the same cage will usually cause them to become aggressive with each other leading to fights and injured iguanas. This can cause disease such as mouth rot. Mouth rot happens if the iguanas get hurt at the mouth and the wound gets infected. Likely you won't notice it for a while but he or she will eventually stop eating due to the infection. Mouth rot can also occur from bacterial, viral, and parasitic origins. Mouth rot can occur from incorrect cage humidity and temps, poor nutrition, or bacterial infection. You can tell right away if your pet has mouth rot by just looking at his mouth. If you see puss in the mouth "usually looks like cottage cheese" or any swelling on the jaws, its most likely a type of mouth rot. There are vast ways an iguana can be in danger of something going wrong but mouth rot can be more common due to improper cage setup. It is treatable, but do not wait until your pet is very weak to get him treated, otherwise it may be too late to save the iguana. Don't wait to treat a problem or your iguana may die. Do as much research as possible, and set thing up right the first time around. An iguana can become a wonderful pet if care is taken seriously, as these lizards can live 20+ years.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Is Your Cat Freaking Out ? See some Signs


Stress can make anyone a little crazy, even our cats. The tricky part is while the anxiety and fear associated with stress affects our cats in much the same way it does us, most cats tend to hide and mask their inner turmoil. Even worse, stress can be an indication that your cat has a health issue.


Urinating Outside Litter Box

It's annoying, smelly and a pain to clean up, but pay attention. Cats that urinate outside the litter box are trying to tell us something. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to find out what it is.


Diarrhea, Constipation or other Digestive Issue

This is another rather stinky situation and one that could be indicative of several things. Best not let it go and speak with your vet.


Excessive Grooming

Cats are known for their fastidious grooming, but licking themselves raw or bald is a clear sign of distress. Skip the groomer and go straight for the vet's office.


Excessive Scratching

Like compulsive licking, excessive scratching can be indicative of several health and behavioral issues. Make an appointment with your veterinarian before the problem gets out of hand.


Isolation

Aloofness is second nature to cats. However, a cat should not be actively and constantly hiding from you and everyone else in the house. Once you've managed to wrangle him or her into a cat carrier, go to the vet.


Excessive Vocalization

Many find the tone of a cat "talking" quite soothing, but be wary of unusually long or recurring bouts of panicked meows — especially if your cat is not the typical "talker." If it does happen, take your cat to the veterinarian rather than try to crack the kitty language code.


Decrease in Appetite

Cats don't go on fasts or diets like we do so it's important to consult a veterinarian if your cat suddenly loses interest in food or stops eating altogether.


Increased Sleeping

Just because cats can sleep up to 20 hours a day doesn't necessarily mean your cat will. By now you will have become accustomed to his or her sleeping schedule. Speak with your veterinarian if you're cat is sleeping more than usual or seems overly lethargic.


Aggression Towards Other Animals

Fights or aggressive actions towards household pets or other animals can be a sign of a stressed or sick cat. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before the problems gets worse.


Aggression Towards People

A stressed or sick cat may also display aggression towards people, even you. Again, it's best to consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist immediately.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian Wolf)



The German Shepherd Dog, also known as the Alsatian in Great Britain and parts of Europe, is among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S., and probably one of the world's most recognized breeds.

He owes part of his renown to a small puppy who was plucked from a bullet- and bomb-riddled breeding kennel in France during World War I by Corporal Lee Duncan. At the end of the war Duncan brought the puppy back to his hometown of Los Angeles, trained him, and turned him into one of the most famous dogs in show biz: Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin went on to appear in dozens of movies and, at the height of his stardom, got 10,000 fan letters a week.The German Shepherd has held many jobs other than movie star: leading the blind, chasing down criminals, sniffing out illegal substances, serving in the military, visiting the sick, and herding stock are just some of the jobs held by this versatile breed.
The dog has even taken on the role of national hero. German Shepherds were the search and rescue dogs crawling through the ruins of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking for survivors and comforting rescue workers and families.



The German Shepherd may embody some of the best traits of dogs, but he's not for everyone. Originally bred to herd flocks all day, this is a high-energy dog who needs a lot of activity and exercise. Without it, he's likely to express his boredom and frustration in ways you don't like, such as barking and chewing.
The breed also has an aloof and sometimes suspicious nature — great for a watchdog but not the sort of family dog who'll make guests feel welcome. But if you expose a German Shepherd to many different situations and people starting in puppyhood, he can learn to take new people and circumstances in stride.
If you're buying a puppy, you'll get a slightly different kind of German Shepherd depending on whether you choose an American versus a German breeder. In general, American breeders are often aiming to create dog show champions, and they breed puppies more for that distinctive German Shepherd look than for those distinctive German Shepherd talents.
Fans say that American-bred German Shepherds are calmer than their German counterparts, but critics say these dogs have lost some of their talents for working traditional German Shepherd jobs, and are more prone to behavior problems such as separation anxiety.


German breeders, on the other hand, breed German Shepherds for their working abilities as well as to fit the breed's traditional look. Before a German Shepherd is bred in Germany, he has to pass numerous tests to prove he measures up to the physical and mental benchmarks the breed is known for. German Shepherd Dogs from Germany tend to have a more energetic and driven personality.

The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed, dating back to 1899, and he owes his existence to one man: Captain Max von Stephanitz, a career captain in the German cavalry with a goal of creating a German breed that would be unmatched as a herding dog.
Centuries before von Stephanitz came along, farmers in Germany, as in the rest of Europe, relied on dogs to drive and protect their herds. Some dogs were legendary for their skill, and sheepherders would travel days to breed their female dogs to a notable sire. However, as von Stephanitz noted, no one had developed the herding dogs of the region into a distinct breed.

In 1898, von Stephanitz retired from military life and began his second career, and what would prove to be his passion: experimenting with dog breeding to create a superior German herding dog. Stephanitz studied the breeding techniques of the British, noted for their exceptional herding dogs, and traveled throughout Germany, attending dog shows and observing German-type herding dogs.
Von Stephanitz saw many fine herding dogs, dogs who were athletic, or intelligent, or capable. What he didn't see was a dog who embodied all those traits.
One day, in 1899, von Stephanitz was visiting a dog show when a wolfish-looking dog caught his eye. He immediately bought the dog, named Hektor Linksrhein. Later renamed Horand v Grafeth, the dog's powerful physique and intelligence so impressed von Stephanitz that he formed a society — the Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde — to found a breed out of Horand's descendents.
Although he had intended for his breed to work as herding dogs, as Germany became more and more industrialized, von Stephanitz saw the need for such dogs fading. He was determined that his breed would continue as a working dog, and he decided that the dog's future was in police work and military service.
Making good use of his military connections, von Stephanitz convinced the German government to use the breed. During World War I the German Shepherd served as a Red Cross dog, messenger, rescuer, guard, supply carrier, and sentry.
Although German Shepherds made their way to the United States before the war, it wasn't until the war that the breed became popular in the U.S. Allied servicemen noted the dog's bravery and intelligence, and a number of dogs went home with these soldiers.
One such dog was a five-day-old puppy plucked from a bomb-riddled kennel in France by an American corporal from Los Angeles. The corporal took the puppy home, trained him, and turned him into one of Hollywood's most recognizable four-legged stars: Rin Tin Tin, who appeared in 26 movies and helped popularize the breed in America.

Although the Allies were impressed by the German dogs, they weren't so happy with the dog's German roots. During wartime all things German were stigmatized, and in 1917, the American Kennel Club (AKC) changed the breed's name to the Shepherd Dog.
In England, the dog was renamed the Alsatian Wolf Dog, after the German-French border area of Alsace-Lorraine. The AKC went back to using the original name of German Shepherd Dog in 1931; it took until 1977 for the British Kennel Club to do the same.
Von Stephanitz stayed closely involved with the development of the breed, and as early as 1922, he became alarmed by some of the traits that were turning up in the dogs, such as poor temperament and a tendency to tooth decay. He developed a system of tight quality control: Before any individual German Shepherd was bred, he needed to pass numerous tests of his intelligence, temperament, athleticism, and good health.

American breeding of German Shepherds, on the other hand, wasn't nearly so regulated. In the United States, the dogs were bred to win dog shows, and breeders put more emphasis on looks and on the dogs' gait, or way of moving.

After World War II, American- and German-bred German Shepherds began to diverge dramatically. At one point, the U.S. police departments and military began importing German Shepherd working dogs, because homegrown German Shepherds were failing performance tests and plagued by genetic health conditions.

In the past few decades, some American breeders have begun to put the emphasis back on the breed's abilities rather than just appearance, importing working dogs from Germany to add to their breeding program. It's now possible to buy American-bred German Shepherds that live up to the breed's reputation as a capable working dog.
The German Shepherd personality is aloof but not usually aggressive. He's a reserved dog; he doesn't make friends immediately, but once he does, he's extremely loyal. With his family he's easy-going and approachable, but when threatened he can be strong and protective, making him an excellent watchdog.
This highly intelligent and trainable breed thrives on having a job to do — any job. The German Shepherd can be trained to do almost anything, from alerting a deaf person to a doorbell ring to sniffing out an avalanche victim.
One thing he's not good at is being alone for long periods of time. Without the companionship he needs — as well as exercise and the chance to put his intelligence to work — he becomes bored and frustrated. A German Shepherd who's under-exercised and ignored by his family is likely to express his pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking and chewing.
Like every dog, the German Shepherd needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your German Shepherd puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
If he's well trained and has had plenty of exposure to kids, especially as a puppy, a German Shepherd is a great companion for children. In fact, some say he's a cross between a babysitter and a cop, both gentle with, and protective of, the children in his family.
This is a big dog, though, capable of mistakenly bumping a toddler or small child. True to his reserved nature, he's not tail-wagging friendly with kids he doesn't know, but he's generally trustworthy.
The German Shepherd can also live peacefully with other dogs and pets, as long as he was taught to do so from puppyhood. Introducing an adult German Shepherd to a household with other pets can be more difficult if the dog isn't used to getting along with other dogs or cats. You may need to hire a professional trainer to help, or get advice from the rescue organization if that's where you acquired the adult German Shepherd.

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