Your Child's First Pet.

This is a great way to sit down with your child and decide what kind of pet you may want to start with. These are pets besides Dogs and Cats. See that section under Helpful Tips"

Kids: Never handle or bring home pets without your parents permission. You can look through this page and talk to your parents about what kind of pet you may want to give a forever home to. These pets need love too and would surly love to go home with you.

 

 This is a great website for Kids:

COMPASSIONATE ACTION INSTITUTE

Things That Kids Can Do To Help Animals
You may feel that because you are a kid, you are too young to make a difference.This is NOT true!!! There are so many things that you can do to help our animal friends. Some of these are listed below. You can probably think of even more ways to help animals. Tell us your ideas by clicking here and we will add them to our list. You can be an example to all around you by showing them how easy it is to be kind and helpful to animals. Your family, friends and neighbors will learn from watching you and soon the kindness will spread.
 Kind Kids Club
Violence has become one of the defining characteristics of our age.  Even if it hasn’t touched our lives directly, we are confronted with the images and effects of it daily in the news.   Growing up humane in a violent world is not easy these days.  That’s why humane education can play an important role – with programs that aim not only to reinforce positive attitudes and behaviors towards all living things, but also discourage negative ones.  Children who grow up with positive attitudes may be more likely to resist negative peer pressure later on.  Children need to learn compassion and empathy and also that they can make a difference.


To see all the great things they have for your kids: http://www.pleasebekind.com/aboutus.html


                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Looking for a Cat Who Gets Along With Kids? Consider These 12 Breeds

There's no doubt that cats and children can become best friends, especially when they share hobbies like hiding in sofa forts, playing chase and napping. If you're searching for a breed that may enjoy the company of a kid, we have some great suggestions for you.

Of course, every cat is an individual. How well a cat will do with small humans depends on his distinct personality and how he has been socialized — and, of course, on how the child treats him. Before adding a cat to your family, make sure your child knows about the right ways to interact with felines.

So which breeds tend to do best with children? Click through the gallery to see 12 good options. See the link below:

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/looking-for-a-cat-who-gets-along-with-kids-consider-these-12-breeds?WT.mc_id=Email;NewsLetter;Petwire;Jul-2;Article4

 

   Edited by Flickety, Travis Derouin, Caidoz, Dvortygirl and 49 others

Hedgehogs make great pets for those who are patient and dedicated. They will need a lot of long-term attention and quite bit of space. They are intelligent, friendly and enjoyable company for a dedicated owner. Here are some basic tips for looking after your hedgehog.

Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 1.jpg
1

Finding a good breeder. Finding a great breeder to purchase your hedgehog from is paramount. If you don't, you could end up with a grumpy hedgehog that may die young. Avoid any breeder who posts on Craigslist; do not buy them from pet stores; be sure the breeder has quality, pedigree stock with no WHS or Cancer in their lineage; see that the breeder is USDA licensed or is a part of breeders groups; ask to see their set-up and meet their hedgehogs. Don't forget to check for illness. 

  1. Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 2.jpg
    Bringing the hedgehog home appropriately. Before purchase, make sure you have everything you need set up and ready to go. Allow the hedgehog at least a month to become familiar with you, the new scents, and the new surroundings. They've experience a huge change in their life!
    1. Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 3.jpg
    2. Provide a good house. Hedgehogs need a large cage to be comfortable in. The house should: Be large. The cage should be a minimum of 18" x 24" with a solid floor. Houses should not have more than one level as hedgehogs have poor eyesight and their legs are all too easy to break. Wire cages that they can climb can also be dangerous if you have a climber! Include space for food bowls, toys and litter tray when considering buying or making a cage.
    • Be well-ventilated. Air flow should be available all the time. The only time you should impede airflow is if the room rapidly drops in temperature (for example, during a power outage) and you need to wrap the cage with a blanket.
    • Be well secured. Hedgehogs are master escape artists and love to climb. Ensure that the cage is secure or if it doesn't have a top, that the hedgehog can't climb out.
    • Include a hiding spot. As a primarily nocturnal prey animal in the wild, hedgehogs need a safety zone for "time-out" from prying eyes, light, and general activity. An igloo or sleeping pouch will do well.
  • Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 4.jpg
    1. Ensure a suitable temperature. Hedgehogs need a slightly warmer room temperature than most people keep their homes at, around 72ºF (22.2ºC) to 80ºF (26.6ºC). Anything cooler and the hedgehog will likely attempt "hibernation" which can be LETHAL, much hotter and heat stress occurs. Adjust the temperature if you see them spread out in the cage as if they're hot. If they're lethargic, or the body temperature is cooler than normal warm them up immediately by putting them under your shirt and using your body heat to warm them.
    1. Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 5.jpg
    2. Select good bedding material. Hedgehogs like wood shavings (but see "Warnings" below), or fleece liners as their bedding. The best type of wood shavings are aspen shavings. Carefresh is a choice but tends to get stuck in between their quills. Shredded newspaper can also be used but be wary of the dust content of any bedding.
  • Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 6.jpg
    1. Be attentive to the needs and behaviours of the hedgehog. Low level of noise. Don't house the hedgehog under your stereo player or near a boombox. As a prey animal in the wild that depends largely on their sense of hearing, too much noise and activity around your hedgehog will be very distressing. Ensure that noise, lighting and activity levels are low in its vicinity and move the cage if the noise levels increase for any reason.Hedgehogs can get used to noise if introduced properly.
    • Ability to exercise. Hedgehogs tend towards putting on weight, so exercise is a must for them. This means plenty of toys, and a hedgehog wheel is a must. Wheels should only have a solid floor - mesh or bar wheels tend to make them get stuck, ripping off toenails and even breaking legs. Toys should be something they can chew, push, nuzzle and even tip over but not to chew pieces off or swallow. Be sure their nails or feet can't get caught in any loose strings or small holes.
    • Closely watch their behaviour and food/water intake. Hedgehogs are notoriously bad at hiding ailments, so it is extremely necessary to be be aware of your hedgehog.
  • Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 7.jpg
    1. Feed your hedgehog properly. Hedgehogs are primarily insectivores, but will also taste for other things like fruits, veggies, eggs, and meat. They tend towards plumpness, so care must be taken with the diet to prevent a hedgehog putting on too much weight. An overweight hedgehog cannot roll up and may have rolls of fat hanging down which will impede its walking ability. Consider feeding: Quality diet is the main concern. A hedgehogs exact nutritional needs are somewhat mysterious.They are fed high quality cat kibble. Avoid hedgehog foods as they tend to have a lot of poor quality ingredients that can even be lethal to hogs.The kibble you choose should be below 15% fat, around 32-35% in protein, and should be organic, holistic, or of similar variety - avoid kibble that has by-products and corn and similar things listed. Most owners free feed their hedgehogs, giving just enough food for there to be some leftover. Feed a variety of treats to avoid nutritional deficiencies associated with a single food type - things such as fruits, veggies, cooked/unseasoned chicken, and scrambled or hard boiled & chopped egg. Mealworms or silk worms, or rarely crickets and wax worms are also an important treat to the hedgehog's diet which can be fed 1-4 times a week.
    • Never feed: Nuts/seeds, Dried fruits, Raw Meat, hard uncooked vegetables, Sticky/stringy/hard foods, Avocado, Grapes or Raisins, Hedgehog food, Milk, Wild caught insects, Alcohol, Bread, Celery, Onion and onion powder, Raw carrots, Tomatoes, Human junk food (chips, candy, anything really sugary, salty, etc.), anything very acidic or Honey.
    • Provide a food bowl that is wide enough for the hedgehog to access and heavy enough so that the hedgehog cannot tip it over (and start playing with it).
    • Provide a water bottle with a drinking tube or a water bowl.
  • Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 8.jpg
    1. Look out for your hedgehog's proper hygiene.  Provide a litter tray with no more than half an inch lip to provide easy access and prevent broken legs. Be sure that you use ONLY non-clumping kitty litter, if you decide to use litter, or you can use a paper towel. Make sure it is large enough for the hedgehog and clean it every day. Keep an eye for any irregular bowel movements which could indicate distress or illness. Most owners keep the litter tray under the wheel since that is where hedgehogs do most of their business.
    • Clean the hedgehog's home regularly. Clean the dishes and water bottle/bowl daily with hot water. Clean the wheel and spot clean daily and change bedding weekly or as needed.
    • Grooming. Bathing should occur on an as needed basis. Be sure to check your hedgehog's nails regularly. If they get too long they can get ripped off while running on their wheel.
  • Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 9.jpg
    1. Be prepared for "quilling". Quilling is the hedgehog equivalent of us losing baby teeth. This begins to happen at 6 to 8 weeks of age and can happen through out their first year of life as the baby quills make way for adult quills. This is a normal process and not something to worry about unless there are signs of illness or discomfort present, or the quills are failing to grow back. Your hedgehog may be irritable during this process and less amenable to being held. You can try an oatmeal bath to ease their discomfort. It is only a phase.

     

    1. Take Care of a Hedgehog Step 10.jpg
       
      Handle frequently. A hedgehog's familiarity with being handled comes with being handled frequently. Always be confident when handling a hedgehog. They are not as fragile as they seem. The general rule is at least 30 minutes a day of handling.

          
    Hamsters

    Cute Hamster, which belongs to rodent family, is one of the most popular and tiny-winy pets around the world. Hamsters are cute, clean and easy to take care of, which makes them favorite pet for people of all ages. Hamsters can be real entertainment for his/her keeper if proper care of his mood and diet is taken. The only sad thing about hamsters is that they live only up to 1000-1100 days (about 1-3.5 years), which can be a real heartbreaking thing for children. But few people think it as an opportunity for children to understand and learn the responsibilities and other important things in life.


    Types of Hamsters

    • Syrian Hamsters: This type of hamsters are also called black bear hamster, golden hamster, teddy bear hamster, fancy hamster etc. Syrian hamsters are generally golden brown colored with dark colored markings on parts like jaws, cheeks etc. of their body. Syrian hamsters are the largest in all the type of hamsters and are very easy to tame and take care of, which make them most commonly accepted hamster as a pet. They grow about 6-8 inches in length, and their lifespan is around 2 to 3 years. Syrian hamsters are strongly territorial animals and cannot tolerate presence of other hamsters in their territory, which makes it very important to keep them alone in a cage/home. Syrian hamsters are mainly nocturnal and are quite active from the early hours in evening and night.
    • Dwarf Hamsters: They are also called Campbell’s Russian Hamsters, Winter White Russian Hamsters, Roborovski Hamsters. Dwarf Campbell’s Russian Hamsters are the most common type of hamsters people like to keep as pet. They grow about 4-5 inches in length and have almost same lifespan as other type of hamsters. Dwarf hamsters prove to be good mates for hamsters of the same species rather than of other species (given they are introduced to each other from young age).
    • Chinese Hamsters: These type of hamsters are often misinterpreted to be Dwarf Hamsters as they exhibit similar physical characteristics as of Dwarf Hamsters but they are actually different. They grow same in length as Dwarf Hamsters, and have lifespan of about 2.5 to 3 years. Chinese Hamsters are also nocturnal but are not as lazy as Syrian hamsters during day time. Female Chinese hamsters generally are not comfortable with the other hamsters and so should be kept alone or with the hamster they get along easily.
    Ideal Homes for Hamster:
    Consider what will happen if you are confined in a very small place with no room for you to at least walk through it? You will surely get frustrated and would wish to get out of the place as soon as possible. Same is true with hamsters. The first and the most important thing to take into consideration is that house for hamster should be as large as possible, with a proper, dry and hygienic bedding. It is found that if hamster is not allowed to exercise (play around and run throughout the home), there is a high risk of his/her getting paralyzed, so you should consider buying/building a home for hamster that is enough to allow it run through, it should have a running wheel (hamsters really love it and cover up to few miles of running using it everyday).


    All about Hamsters:

    http://allabouthamsters.net/

    Communities:

    http://dailyhamster.com/


                   

    Gold Fish

    Caring for goldfish is important if you want to prolong the life of your pet. After all, who would want to look into an aquarium with a fish floating upside down? In order to enjoy viewing the goldfishes in your aquarium longer, the general rule is to have a regular maintenance. This means that you have to watch out for all the elements in it such as the water, temperature, tank, filter, gravel, weeds and decorations.

    Keeping a tank clean is important when caring for goldfish and includes making sure that each side is free from any unwanted dirt as it may become the breeding ground for parasites and bacteria. The same thing goes for all the non-living things inside the tank. Make sure that they’re always cleaned and maintained. The size of the tank is also a consideration. Remember that the number of your goldfish must be proportionate to the size of the tank. Otherwise, the tank may get too crowded and the survival of your fishes will be lessened. Water is another important element to watch out for. Keeping it clean and at correct temperatures will ensure good health. Changing the water and keeping a filter inside will help in the clean up. As for temperature, installing a thermometer will make the monitoring easier.

    Food is an essential part of caring for goldfish. Choosing the right food for your goldfish may be tricky. It is important to check first what specific type of goldfish you have before feeding it. Some goldfish eat flakes while others eat brine shrimp. You also have to remove the uneaten food to prevent build up of dirt.

    All About Goldfish:

    http://www.goldfishpetcare.com/

       Ferrets
    I was surprised to learn recently that ferrets are considered domestic animals. I mean, I knew that people kept them as pets, but I didn’t realize that ferrets (unlike their cousins: otters, weasels, badgers and skunk) are not considered wild animals since they have lost all of their wild instincts as well as the ability to survive in the wild. In fact, if one gets loose, it will not survive for more than a few days on its own. I also have always thought of ferrets as “exotic”–wrong again. While many pet stores classify ferrets as exotics, the definition of an exotic pet is a pet whose species can be found in the wild. Because there are no wild colonies of ferrets, to call ferrets exotic is incorrect. Ferrets are “companion animals” just as cats and dogs are. Ferrets can make great pets and are super loving, but just like with any type of pet, they are not for everyone.
    Ferrets are quiet and affectionate like cats, but playful and interactive like dogs. Their size makes them a good option for people with small homes or apartments. And since they are hypoallergenic, they can also be a good option for those with pet allergies.
    Much of the ferret’s charm comes from their curious, mischievous nature; but they can injure themselves if their surroundings haven’t been ferret-proofed. Somewhat surprisingly, ferrets generally get along with cats and dogs–cats and ferrets can actually become frolicsome playmates! (Although terrier dog breeds might be a problem since they were developed to hunt rabbits, rats and foxes–you can see the potential problem there.)
    Ferrets are so undeniably cute, but is it the right pet for you? I found these 10 questions to determine one’s ferret-ability at Rocky’s

    Ferret Rescue:
    1. Have you done your research; spoken and visited with ferret owners or local shelter?
    2. Have you read about the housing, nutritional, exercise and medical needs of the ferret?
    3. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment to the love and care of your ferret, knowing that a ferret has a potential life-span of 15 years?
    4. Are you prepared to feed your ferret quality ferret food?
    5. Are you prepared to visit the vet once a year for vaccinations and check-up?
    6. If you rent, are you allowed to have a ferret?
    7. Are their other animals in your house that could threaten or be threatened by a ferret? These could be terrier breeds and large and/or aggressive dogs.
    8. Are there existing pets that could be harmed by a ferret? These could be rabbits, kittens, snakes and amphibians.
    8. Can you spend one to three hours a day nurturing and supervising the exercise and playtime of your ferret?
    9. Are there children under 5 years old in your home or are you planning a family?
    10. Can you ferret-proof your house?
    If you answered yes to all 10, maybe you’re ready to provide a loving home for an abandoned ferret. Rather than support a pet store, use this directory to find a local ferret shelter and adopt a ferret.

    Read More on Ferrets:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2113239_feed-ferret-healthy-diet.html

    Ferret Communities:
    http://www.ferretfriends.org/


    Rabbits

    You’d think that “Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month” would be in the spring when people have bunnies on the brain–like in April. But no, July is the month that holds the honor. Why? Because it takes a few months for all of the people who bought those cute baby bunnies for Easter gifts to abandon them at the shelter once the bunny has turned into a full-grown rabbit. By July, the kids have grown tired of them, the parents realize the responsibility involved, and thousands of rabbits are being dropped off at shelters across the country.
    “Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month” was originated by the House Rabbit Society (HRS), an international nonprofit animal rescue and education group, in partnership with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The goal has two aims: To educate the public about having rabbits for companion pets, and to help rescue and “re-home” domestic rabbits.
    Rabbits can make fantastic companion pets, as long as you know what you’re in for. They get along with cats and dogs, are smart and affectionate and can learn to use a litter box. They even come when called. However, they have their caveats. According to the ASPCA, you should be aware of these facts when considering a rabbit as a pet:
    • Rabbits cannot live outdoors! Although they’ve traditionally been kept in backyard hutches, these days we know better. Outside, rabbits can die of fright at the approach of a predator, and will be susceptible to diseases spread by ticks and other parasites.
    • In most cases, rabbits and very young kids are not a great match. No doubt, many children love bunnies–but they’ll want to show their love by hugging and picking them up. Rabbits naturally feel insecure when picked up off the ground, and will do anything in their power (or in their powerful legs) to get down. An accidental fall can result in a broken bone. Better to wait until the kids are older.
    • Rabbits need to dig and chew, they can be pretty destructive, so you will need to make sure to give them plenty of opportunity to do that, as well as rabbit-proofing your house.

    How to Care for your Rabbit:
    http://rabbit-rabbits.com/2009/04/rabbit-as-pets/

    Here is a website that is all about Rabbits or you can donate to help rabbits.
    http://www.rabbit.org/


    Guinea Pigs
    One of the most popular pocket-sized pets–especially with small children–is the guinea pig, or cavy. These pets are relatively easy to care for and are very small. They generally live to be between five and eight years old.  Guinea Pigs are mammals which belong to the rodent family having large incisor teeth that are continually growing necessitating gnawing to prevent the teeth from overgrowing. The word 'rodent' is derived from the latin word 'rodere' which means 'to gnaw'.

    Guinea Pigs form the Family Caviidae which is broken down into different Genera and then Species. There are 8 species of guinea pigs but only one is widely kept as a pet. Guinea Pigs have a compact body and no tail and are native to South America where they live in burrows in mountain and grassland areas.

    Find out the basics on guinea pig care, here:
    1. Diet. Guinea pigs should eat a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The latter are especially important because guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. Pellets contain vitamin C, but most experts believe it is important to supplement them. Other C sources include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, chicory, and leaf lettuces.
    2. Feeding bowls. Ceramic dishes are best for feeding, as is true for most animals. Do not feed in plastic, because this can precipitate various conditions.
    3. Symptoms to watch for. These might warrant immediate attention by a veterinarian: decreased appetite, weight loss or gain, discharge from eyes or nose, diarrhea, limping, lethargy, hair loss, and lumps or bumps.

    All about Guinea Pigs:

    http://www.petwebsite.com/guinea_pigs/about_guinea_pigs.htm

                    

    So You’re Thinking about Getting a Bird?

                              

    Welcoming a pet bird into your home means a world of cheerful song and brilliant plumage—but remember, potential parents, adding a feathered friend to your family is not to be taken lightly. Birds are not easy starter pets—in fact, they require specialized housing and diets, and their veterinary care can be quite costly.

    The ASPCA recommends Canaries, Finches, Cockatiels, and Lovebirds as good choices for first-time bird guardians—but please do not buy him or her from a pet store! Like other exotic pets, millions of birds are taken from their native homes each year to be sold in pet stores. If adoption is not an option, be sure to seek out a reputable bird breeder.

    To help get you on the happy road to bird parenthood, our experts have created a list of the top 10 things you should know before getting a bird. Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:

    • Birds are social butterflies. Birds can be every bit as loving and affectionate as dogs or cats. In fact, they should be taken out of their cages and handled every day for at least an hour. Daily exercise and ample out-of-cage time are the keys to a happy, well-adjusted bird.
    • Birds can be noisy. Birds sing and chirp, but they also squawk and screech. Not all vocalizations are soothing and pleasant; some can be downright ear-splitting. Take this into consideration, especially if you live in an apartment building.
    • Birds are naturally clean. Like cats, birds are self-cleaners, and they preen their feathers daily. No smelly shampoos or flea baths for this feathered pal, keep up your bird’s good looks with a simple nail trim.
    • Birds are sensitive to their environment. It is important to place your pet’s cage in a warm, bright area, close to where the action is but away from drafts and direct sunlight. Avoid kitchens at all costs—birds are extremely sensitive to fumes from self-cleaning ovens and Teflon-coated cookware.

    To read our complete list of top 10 bird tips, visit ASPCA.org.

     http://www.aspca.org/news/national/02-26-10.html#3

     


    Pot Belly And Mini Pigs



    Although some people would never consider sharing their home with a pig, there are many people who are charmed by intelligence and the personality of their pet pigs. There is no doubt that given the proper expectations as well as care and training, a pot bellied pig can make an interesting and much-loved addition to the home. However, many people find that pigs are demanding pets and are overwhelmed by their needs - as shown by the abundance of shelters overflowing with pigs (one such shelter, PIGS, a Sanctuary houses more than 200 abandoned pigs at times) Before discussing the negative aspects of pigs, it must be noted that pigs have several desirable qualities. They are intelligent, readily trained, affectionate, curious, playful, clean, generally quiet, odor free, and usually non-allergenic. Many owners consider their pigs an integral part of the family and involve them in all their activities. However, there are a few things potential owners should know. PIGS neatly summarizes the pros and cons of pet pig ownership. Pigs are complex creatures and require an owner who understands their needs.

    Pigs are very intelligent. This is usually a positive trait, and in fact pot bellied pigs are quite trainable, much the same as a dog (i.e. can be house trained, leash trained, and will learn a few tricks). However, their intelligence can make them a bit of a handful, too. They are curious and playful, but also head-strong and sensitive. Without appropriate stimulation, they will become easily bored, and possibly destructive.

    Pigs are also unrelenting in their quest for food - and can learn to open the fridge, cupboards, pantry - wherever food may be lurking. They can become demanding, begging for food, and even getting aggressive with kids that have food. Pigs also "root," or dig/explore with their snouts - and in doing so may overturn items in the house, including wastebaskets, and can disrupt the landscaping. This is instinctual, so an area of soft dirt should be provided in the yard so they can fulfill their need to root.

    Another problem some have encountered with their pigs is aggression. Pigs can be territorial and have a drive to be dominant ("top pig"). Unless shown that the humans in the household are number one, pigs can exhibit a form of aggression known as dominance aggression (also seen in dogs). Pigs need to be taught to respect their owners, but setting rules and boundaries, teaching the word "no" and using gentle but firm discipline. Pigs respond well to positive reinforcement (e.g. using praise and treats when the pig is doing something desirable), and do not do well at all with physical punishment. From day one, the owner should be setting the rules and enforcing them. Consistent rules, praise for good behavior, and correction/redirection with lots of repetition and patience will help produce a well mannered pig with a good relationship with its family.

    On a more basic level, a pig will live an average of 12 -18 years, estimates range up to more than 20 years. Although often called miniature pot bellied pigs, the term miniature is relative - they are smaller than most pigs kept for food production, but they still usually weigh 125 pounds or more when fully grown. Responsibility for their care is not to be taken lightly, with respect to time or finances. Pigs should be obtained form conscientious, reputable breeders, and will need a good quality pig food, regular vaccinations, hoof and tusk trims, and will also need to be spayed or neutered. Regular access to the outdoors for exercise is a necessity as well. Pigs are social animals so needs lots of attention and interaction, and if feasible, owners should consider keeping more than one pig. Of course, as with any other exotic pet - an owner needs to check local regulations to make sure pot bellied pig ownership is permissible. For people with appropriate expectations, a pot bellied pig will make a rewarding, entertaining, much-loved pet.

    More on Pot Bellied Pigs (on this site)

    http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/potbelliedpigs/a/pbpexpect.htm