Friday, June 22, 2012

Tips For Keeping Pets Cool in Hot Weather

I already did a Weekly Tips post, but the weather around here has been pretty hot and humid, and Animal Gram mentioned in the comments that she would like to see weather related tips, so I decided to do this post.

Obviously having air conditioning in your house would keep your pets cool, but if you don't have AC, or if you do and your pets are still hot here are some tips to keep them cool.

Give Dogs Ice Cubes

Most dogs love to eat ice cubes. So if your pet is feeling warm give him/her a cool snack in the form of ice cubes. You can even put treats or things like peanut butter and yogurt (just regular fat free plain yogurt) inside the cubes when you freeze them to make them even more fun. 

You can also put ice cubes in their water dish to keep the water cool and some dogs may enjoy fishing the ice cubes out.

Some pet stores do sell special dog toys that you fill with water and freeze and give to the dog to chew, so you can always do that instead of ice cubes too.

Set up a small plastic pool.

If your dog (or maybe even your cat) likes water, fill up a small, shallow plastic pool meant for kids with water and toys, and let your pet play.

Some rats like swimming so if you have rats you can fill up a small plastic tub or a bathtub with a shallow amount of water and let your rats play in it. Just be sure to supervise them at all times in their little "swimming pool".

*the only small pet you should follow this tip for is rats. Rabbits and guinea pigs don't like to get wet, and gerbils, mice, hamsters, should not get wet. Don't do this tip for chinchillas either. They should NEVER get fully wet. (they are likely to lose their fur and get sick)

Place a bag of ice in front of a fan.

This creates a flow of cool air that can cool any pet down.

For caged pets place a bottle or container of frozen water up against their cage.

I do this for my hamster sometimes. It creates a cool spot in your pets cage. 

If your rabbits are warm you can mist their ears.

Rabbits get rid of excess body heat through their ears. You can use a spray bottle of cool water to lightly mist a rabbits ears if he/she is hot. Just make sure that the spray bottle hasn't been used for any harmful chemicals or anything toxic.

If you rabbits are warm definitely be sure to have a fan and some frozen water bottles around to keep them cool in addition to misting their ears. Rabbits overheat very easily.

Fortunately my rabbits cage is located in my finished basement, and it stays at just the right temperature for them (60-70) throughout the summer, so I don't really have to worry about keeping them cool, and the room that they play in is air conditioned.

For fish tanks, put ice cubes in the water, turn off the light, and place frozen water bottles up against the tank.

If your fish tank overheats you can cool it down by one of these fish tank tips. Just make sure to watch the temperature and not cool it down too much. 

And with any pet make sure they have plenty of fresh cool water at all times especially when it is hot out! 

And don't leave pets unattended in a hot car, they can quickly get heat exhaustion.

I hope you all liked the tips, and if you have any tips that I didn't mention here, feel free to leave a tip in the comments below, and I will do a post with all of the tips from the comments on this post.

Updates: Munchkin's vet visit, and new job

So I have a few more updates for you this week. The first one is that Munchkin had to go to the vet this morning. A couple days ago I was doing my regular health check that I do with the bunnies where I just look in their ears, through their fur, at their teeth etc, and make sure everything is okay. And when I looked in Munchkin's ears with a flashlight, there was some debris down there, so I cleaned it out gently, and when I did I looked in with the flashlight and saw some tiny white things crawling around. 

So after completely freaking out, I made a vet appointment for him, and took him to the vet this morning. The vet did confirm that he has ear mites, I caught it very early, if I hadn't looked with a flashlight so far down, I wouldn't have found them. 

The vet gave him an injection of Ivermectin, and he has to go back next week and the week after two get to more shots, and then it should hopefully be cleared up.

Next week I'll be bringing Cici along too, so the vet can make sure that she doesn't have any, which it doesn't appear that she does, but we want to be sure. 

Munchkin did not like the drive, but he had fun exploring the examination room while we were waiting for results. He hopped all around and explored and rubbed his chin on everything. It was cute.

My next update is that this week I started my first job at my local animal shelter. I am a dog technician so I got to clean the dog kennels, help with feedings, and I also helped out cleaning cat cages, and medicating cats, and I learned how to give the cats health evaluations. 

I'll also get to learn how to temperament test the dogs, and how to do adoption showings, so I can't wait to learn those.

So far I love this job. I get to be with animals all day, and it is a very rewarding job, helping the animals.

next post: Tips for keeping pets cool in hot weather!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekly Tip

That's right, that is a picture of a toothbrush. This week's tip for pet owners is to keep a few extra toothbrushes around! 

I use toothbrushes for cleaning my fish tank (it cleans algae out of corners, off the grooved ends of the heater, out of hard to reach places, the filter, off of plants, and ornaments). It is a cheap and easy cleaning tool for fish tank use.

I also use toothbrushes for cleaning out my hamsters water bottle, cleaning cage bars on my hamsters and rabbits cage, and just for anything difficult to reach/ clean out.

Just make sure that it hasn't been used to brush teeth, and if you are going to use it for a fish tank, make sure that that brush is used only for that purpose to avoid contaminating your fish tank with anything.


I have a new poll up! You can vote on what you want the next post to be! The poll is on the top right-hand side of my blog's homepage.

more updates!

Since I haven't made any posts for a while, you all are probably wondering how my pets are doing so here is an update on all of them.

Munchkin and Cici are doing great, they are still loving living together, they have now become a trouble-making team! Cici did have a medical problem, she had a bald scabby spot on her head, so I took her to the vet. They vet ruled out mites or lice, and she says it is most likely a fungal or bacterial infection or an allergic reaction to something. She gave me a treatment lotion to apply to the spot twice a day. The medicine has stuff to kill fungal and bacterial infections and it has soothing ingredients. I have been giving it to Cici for over a week, and most of the spot is all cleared up and new hair is growing back.

Squirt is doing well, he was under the weather for a while, but he is back to his usual self. A few weeks ago I seriously thought he was going to die. He was lethargic, losing color, and had no appetite, and was behaving oddly. I couldn't find any other specific symptom of illnesses, he only had general stress symptoms which he could have with any illness, and his tank water was clean, so I don't know what the problem was. Whatever it was one day he suddenly got better and now he is active and happy. He is blowing a bubble nest while I am typing this.

The dogs are their usual selves not much to say about them. They haven't had any medical issues, although Lacey is going in for surgery soon to have a growth on her foot removed. She has had it for years, but it has been getting bigger lately, so we are going to remove it before it becomes problematic.

The cat unfortunately isn't doing so well. She has had a cancerous growth for a few months now, and it seems to be bothering her now. It has gotten bigger and it is starting to get uncomfortable for her I think, and she has lost a little bit of her agility (she has trouble jumping very high and loses her balance every once in a while). She is an indoor cat now for two reasons; her growth, and a cat in our neighborhood that is causing fights. She has had a couple of screaming sessions with the other cat, but she didn't get hurt. So she stays inside now. I have been hearing other cats fighting with the new cat in our neighborhood at least a few times a week. 

And finally Ninja is happy and healthy and adjusted to his new life here. I think he is the friendliest hamster on the planet, he has never nipped or bitten anyone in the entire time I have had him. He just loves people. I am going to be uploading a video of him soon.

I hope you enjoyed the update, I apologize if it was rather long, I haven't done one of these posts in a while so I had a lot of updates.

more updates

I just thought I would let you all know that I finally updated my "My Pets" and my "Pet Profiles" pages, so the profiles are up to date, and both pages now include Ninja.


If you follow both of my blogs, you may have seen this on my other blog. I have decided to not have two blogs anymore, it is to complicated and confusing, so I am moving my Critter Care posts to this blog.

Over the summer I am planning on doing some more blogging and I have a bunch of new posts planned. I also have some blog "series" planned, and I will make a page for each one so that any old posts in that "series" will be easy to find.

My new "series" are:

Weekly Tips

Each week I will do a post or video about a pet care tip.

"Cooking for Critters" 

I like to make treats for my pets, so whenever I try out a new recipe I will make a post for it.

"Critter Crafts"

This one isn't new, but I do have some new craft posts planned!

"Shelter Tales"

This isn't really new either, it is just my new name for the shelter pet profiles that I like to make of  some of the animals at the Kennebec Valley Humane Society.

"Munchkin and Cici's Diary"

I am going to make a "diary" of sorts. Sort of a day in the life of my rabbits. So every once in a while I will do a post about what my rabbits have been doing.

"Critter Care"

This series will be all the posts about pet care that I would normally put on my old Critter Care blog.


I am planning on make some videos and posts to review some of the new pet care products that I have tried or have been using.