Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Choosing a Rat Cage

Rats are super intelligent, love to cuddle, and make wonderful little pets. Because of their small size, and quiet nature, they are the ideal pet for apartment dwellers, who may not be able to accommodate a dog, or noisy parrot due to the proximity of neighbours.

Rats are fairly active creatures that love to climb and explore, and thus they ideally need a fair size cage. Tall cages, with multiple levels are perfect for rats, just make sure that the bars are vertical to allow your rat to climb upwards. The additional space that a tall cage provides, also allows enough room to add a hammock, which your rat will love to snuggle into when he gets tired of all the activity. Aquariums and enclosed hamster cages are not suitable for rats as ammonia build up from their urine can cause health problems due to poor cage ventilation. Some of the best rat cages on the market are actually ferret cages, however, the bar spacing may be a little wide for young rats, which may be able to squeeze through and escape. If you own a large rat, ferret cages offer fantastic spacious living quarters for your pet rat.

Rats are also very sociable animals, that naturally live in colonies. It is therefore kinder to keep more than one rat housed together, but do keep the sexes apart if you do not want hundreds of rats in no time at all! The size cage that you will require will depend on how many rats you need to house, but you should allow a minimum of 2 square cubic foot per rat. As a guide, the Fop Buddy Delux rat cage will house 3 rats, the Savic Freddy will hold up to 4 rats, the Ferplast Jenny rat cage will comfortably house 5 rats, while the Ferplast Furet Extra Large and Ferplast Furet Tower cages will house 9 rats, and both come fitted with a range of accessories to make their life more stimulating and comfortable. If you really want to house your rats in style, you can opt for the Savic Suite Royal small animal cage (pictured on left), which at 95 x 63 x 159 cm can house 16 rats in luxury accommodation, with all the bells and whistles. This cage comes with its own stand fitted with wheels, so it can easily be moved around, so you can enjoy your little critters wherever you are in the house.

Your choice will largely be determined by how many rats you plan on keeping, but bear in mind that bigger is always better, so purchase the largest cage you can afford. Your rats will thank you for it by providing you with hours of pleasure as you watch them frolic and play.

All the above cages are available from Pet Promenade, as well as cage accessories, toys, and food to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Dog Hot Spots: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Does your dog suffer from skin irritations that make him constantly scratch, lick and chew at the infected area, resulting in skin inflammation or possibly even bleeding, pussy skin lesions?

This condition is known as moist dermatitis, or hot spots, and it often stems from an allergy that can result in very tender, painful skin lesions, which can flare up and spread quite quickly, causing inflammation, hair loss, and open lesions. Dog hot spots are generally deep pink or red areas of inflamed skin that feel warm and moist to the touch, and often secrete a pussy discharge if left untreated and infection is allowed to set in.

What Can Cause Dog Hot Spots 
Hot spots in dogs are usually brought about due to an allergic reaction with some external stimulus. Grass seeds, pollen, and dust are all known to cause allergies in dogs with sensitive skins. Flea allergies are also very common, and once the dog starts scratching incessantly to alleviate his discomfort, the constant clawing at the skin can damage the tissue and allow infection to take a hold. A dog may sometimes come out in a clipper rash following grooming, especially if he has been shaved quite closely. The resulting discomfort may cause your pet to lick and chew at the area, resulting in further trauma being inflicted. Sometimes the allergy may be related to food intolerance, so if the symptoms persist you should consider changing your dog's diet to test whether the food you are feeding him may be causing the problem.
How to Treat Dog Hot Spots
Your primary objective will be to offer your dog some relief from the itching and pain to alleviate your pet's suffering. In order to achieve this, you will need to take the following steps:
  1. Trim excess hair away from the infected area, so that it can be cleaned and treated with ease.
  2. Wash the area with a medicated shampoo to kill any bacterial infection. Products containing Tea Tree extracts offer natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, together with soothing agents to treat dog hot spots using natural remedies.
  3. Reduce the inflammation by applying a soothing agent such as HEALx Soother Spray to provide relief from pain, irritation and inflammation.
  4. Veterinary medication may be necessary. Antihistamines will help reduce the inflammation, and may be obtained in tablet form to administer orally, or as a hydrocortisone cream to be applied locally to the infected area. Antibiotics can also be administered orally, or an anti-bacterial cream may be applied to the affected area to combat bacterial infection.

How to Prevent Hot Spots in Dogs
In order to prevent hot spots from reoccurring, one needs to find out what is causing them in the first place. This can sometimes be quite tricky, but it may require simple observation, and following a process of elimination to rule out all possible causes. Once you have identified the culprit, you need to take action to eradicate it from your pet's environment, or minimize your pet's contact with, or access to areas where he is likely to become infected.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Eco-Friendly Kitty Litter

Traditional clay and silica cat litters are mined products and therefore are neither environmentally friendly or sustainable. Furthermore, they are not readily biodegradable and add to landfill sites across the country. For those cat owners out there that are concerned about the environment, the good news is that there are a few environmentally friendly cat litters available. There are corn based kitty litters, wood pellet kitty litters, and recycled newspaper cat litters on the market, all are biodegradable and therefore substantially reduce landfill contributions of our feline friends.

The World's Best Cat Litter is a corn based clumping cat litter that is scoop-able and flushable, making it easy and convenient to dispose of. It is 99% dust free, and contains no chemicals or perfumes, so will not harm your cat. It comes in regular and extra strength.

Natural Pine Fresh Wood cat litter is made of 100% natural pine, and contains no dust or chemicals. It comes in pellet form and is flushable or compost-able, making it another worthy option for eco-concious cat lovers.

My favourite, Yesterday's News, is made from recycled newspaper, recycled cardboard and recycled industrial sawdust, and is also completely biodegradable, making it a remarkably eco-friendly solution to your kitty waste issues. It comes in pellet form, and is reported to be 300 times more absorbent than regular cat litters, offering an economical alternative. It is also dust and chemical free, making it healthy for you, your cat, and the environment.

All the above products can be ordered online from Pet Promenade, so, when next shopping for your kitty's toiletries, consider the environment and opt for eco-friendly solutions to your kitty's ablutions.

Image Credit: By Jakub Jankiewicz (jcubic/kuba) (Open Clip Art Library; detail page) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Welcome to Pet Promenade's New Blog!

We will be using this blog to regularly post pet related information and pet product reviews to assist you with providing your furry friends with the best of care. Pop back often, or subscribe to our post feed to get automatic updates.