Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adopting a rabbit: Choosing the right companion for your home!

As many of you know, I support the "Make Mine Chocolate" campaign that encourages people not to buy rabbits for Easter. However, rabbits make great companions and are fantastic pets in the right home. There are many homeless rabbits at a shelter near you and they are ready to be adopted! Rabbit personalites vary widely and like any animal, there may be behavioral issues you have to deal with. Take your time at the shelter to choose the right rabbit for you. Shelters are happy to answer your questions and let you play with the rabbits to get a feel for what they are like. If you already have a rabbit and are looking for a buddy, many shelters let you bring your rabbit in for play dates so that they can choose their own friend.

If you know me personally, you have heard me talk about how cute, sweet, and intelligent my rabbit is. Hershey has been a faithful companion for almost 8 years and she constantly amazes me. However, it hasn't aways been easy. Everytime I move, I have to litter train her again. Even though I am careful to make sure cords are tucked away, I have still had a few destroyed. Somehow, my phone charger ended up on the floor once and by the time I found it, the cord was chewed in half. When I first got Hershey, I had to train her not to dig up carpet. Landlords usually frown upon this. Speaking of landlords...many apartment complexes classify rabbits as farm animals so it can be difficult to find a complex that will allow them. They are out there if you do your research. Sometimes you can get people to write a letter of reference for your rabbit and convince a complex to make an exception. These are just a few of the troubles I have had thoughout the years. For the most part, Hershey has been very easy and she is definitely worth it.

I would like to share a list of questions to ask the rescue to help you choose your furry friend:

-Is the rabbit shy or friendly?
-Can the rabbit get along with other pets?
-Does the rabbit get along with children?
-Does the rabbit like to be picked up and cuddled?
-Does the rabbit get frightened easily?
-How old is the rabbit?
-What is the lifespan of the particular breed?
-Has the rabbit had any health problems?
-Is the rabbit already litter trained?
-Do you know of any behavioral problems?
-Does the rabbit shed a lot?
-What diet is the rabbit currently on? (If the rabbit is used to eating mostly pellets, veggies will have to be slowly added in)

These are just a few questions to get you started. I am happy to answer any questions you may have to help you find the right pet for your home. For more tips about animals, funny videos, and other valuable information, please check out my Facebook page at

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homemade Diets to Ensure Healthy Cats and Dogs

Making your pets food at home can help to ensure that you know what your pets are eating and that it is not contaminated. Remember all of the recalls back in 2007? So many animals got sick from contaminated food. I am still hearing about recalls often so it scares me to feed commercialized pet food. Also, most pet foods have additives that the pets really don't need.

If you can't make your pets food at home, I suggest that you stick with a high quality, grain free canned food. I can help you to choose brands that I trust. That is not a guarantee that they are perfect, but it is definitely a start. My own cat gets a combination of raw food and canned. My ultimate goal would be to feed only raw. However, I want her to get a variety of meats.

Watch Doctor Karen Becker's video of why you should feed homemade pet food.
If you decide to go that route, I am happy to help you find resources on how to do it properly.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Small Dogs Need Constant Supervision- Even in Your Own Back Yard

Small dogs can be targets for several types of predators. An acquaintance learned that the hard way this week. She let her Pomeranian out to potty as she always did. She only left her unsupervised for a few minutes but when she got back, her dog was gone. Her yard backs up to land so it isn't a surprise that wild animals live nearby. Her sister and brother-in-law helped her search and they found several foxes living nearby.

I am sad to say, that this isn't the first story I have heard of dogs disappearing like this. Tiny dogs can be considered prey to fox, coyote, hawks, and owls. With the constant new construction in our area, we are running wild animals out of their natural habitats. They are getting braver around people and dogs can be easy targets. I know that I have personally seen all four predators in Lewisville and Flower Mound. In fact, I saw three grey fox in broad day light. I always thought they came out at dusk and dawn, but that isn't always the case. I saw them standing in a field by somebody's private fence. I found myself wondering if there was a dog on the other side.

We can coexist with our wild friends, but we have to be smart about it. Don't leave garbage out longer than you need to for trash pick up, keep you yard tidy, and supervise all small pets!!! If you have any concerns about wildlife in your area, please contact The DFW Wildlife Coalition