Arowanas in your Aquarium

Popularly dubbed as the “dragon fish”, the Arowana (also spelled as aruana or arawana) is one of the most popular types of big fishes kept by avid fish collectors, capable of growing as big as four feet long.

Known for being feisty and temperamental, Arowanas are part of the Osteoglossidae family of fishes, easily identified as “bony tongues”. With origins which date back to prominent species during the Jurassic Period, the Arowana’s head structure is bony, with its body elongated in shape, covered with large heavy scales.

As a member of the Osteoglossidae family, Arowanas are carnivores, as the floor of their mouths would reveal toothed bones (the “tongue”, so to speak). Arowanas are specialists for surface feeding, and owners, at one point and time, have revealed of instances when feeding them has left nicks on their fingers.
If keeping an Arowana is on your list of future plans, know that they are quite puckish when it comes to their diets, opting for live food over non-live varieties. Generally, they do not eat anything that is at the bottom of tanks, but they can adjust to food items which easily float on water surfaces.

They are known to go for insects such as grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets, and also respond well with worms. Small frogs are also a “treat” for Arowanas, along with certain species of smaller shrimp. Small fish is a popular type of “feed” opted by Arowana owners, but going for small fish as Arowana meal staples isn’t highly advised.

With different types of Arowanas, primarily defined by their color, the most commonly encountered type would be the Silver and Red, with known varieties of Gold among the ranks.

Though they are naturally temperamental, Arowanas do get to cool and calm down over time, which would make things easier for you if you do plan on getting one.

Just keep in mind that though they are beautiful to behold, their upkeep – primarily with what they eat – calls for a degree of commitment in keeping them in your aquarium.
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Smart Collars for your Cat

Cat collars come in different colors, shapes and sizes, and their variety, though well populated, does come with a downside for cat owners: which one to pick.

As a quick reference on three of the most popular types of cat collars, here are the upsides and benefits of break-away collars, magnetic collars and flea collars, collars which will surely be of service for you and for your cat.

Break-away Collars – break-away collars, also known as safety collars, are designed to easily break during situations when a cat has to break them.

Since cats are at risk of being strangled or choked when wearing collars, break-away collars provide them with an added safety measure, allowing them to easily cut off from a collar which is snagged on a tree branch or caught on low lying bushes or ferns.
Break-away collars generally come in two types, one being elastic, the other being easily breakable. The elastic variety, as its type already says it all, gives cats the chance to stretch out a collar and get away from being choked or strangled. The easily breakable, again, as its type would already say, is made with materials which cats can easily break off literally.

Break-away collars are great for any cat to wear.

Magnetic Collars – magnetic collars are designed to work with your home’s cat flap, which pretty much gives your cat an “access collar” for getting home, while not letting your neighbor’s cat in.

It is a smart option if stranger cats manage to get into your house via cat flaps, doing away with the problem of having your cat fight with a strange cat in the kitchen.

Flea Collars – as deterrents in the infestation of fleas, flea collars come in two primary types, with one designed to deal with adult fleas, as another is made to deal with adult fleas, flea larvae and eggs.

Flea collars are known to effectively deal with fleas on a cat’s neck and head, while their results are varied when talking about fleas on a cat’s body. Also, certain cats tend to have allergic reactions with flea collars, and opting for alternative flea control methods is advisable for them.

Do well in remembering the three popular types of cat collars mentioned here when out getting a collar for your cat.

Each type has its upsides and its benefits, and getting the right one won’t just make you feel good about your purchase, but also would make your cat feel good about wearing a cat collar.

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Kids and Pets - Things to Consider before getting a Pet Dog

Kids love to have pets and some parents often consider getting their kids a pet dog as a companion and as a friend who they can play with. However, others are still hesitant about getting a pet dog since it’s a huge responsibility for any family. Family members not only have to take care of the dog, but they also have to know how to handle it properly. Here are some things to consider when taking care of pet dogs around kids.
Is the child old enough?

Parents need to make sure that their child is old enough to understand what the dog is and how to take care of it. If the child is still a toddler, it’s best not to expose or leave them alone with the dog. Younger children might end up pulling or pushing the dog, hurting them. The dog might also become aggressive and hurt the child. Parents need to supervise their children with the dog, even if they completely trust their pet. The best age for a child to have a pet dog is about around 8 years old or older. By this time, they can understand what they can and cannot do around the dog.

Health issues

As a rule of thumb, kids who suffer from allergies and asthma should not be exposed to dogs. The dog’s fur and dander might trigger respiratory problems.

On the flipside, some dogs also help heal. Many therapy dogs have help children with disabilities cope better. Dogs have also helped many children with cancer get better.

When it comes to pets and children, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a pediatrician. Parents should consult their doctors before getting a pet dog to assure that they won’t get sick because of their pet.

Their responsibility in taking care of their pets

Children should be more responsible before they are given pets. Parents usually assign their child to take care of their pets, such as making sure that it is fed, give it baths and more. Some parents who love their dogs very much also teach their kids about how to nurse their pets. Families who have dogs with degenerative myelopathy will need to understand how to take a little more care of the dog.

Are you ready to help them cope with separation?
Kids are very emotional. They value even the smallest things, especially in relationships with their pets. In cases where the dog becomes ill and passes on, kids might feel devastated and depressed. Slow progressing illnesses, like degenerative myelopathy, might need parents to make a decision to put the dog to sleep because of ethical reasons, and some kids do not really understand this concept yet. Parents have to be prepared in answering their children questions and helping them through the tough time.

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Commonly Encountered Medical Problems Experienced by Dogs

As faithful companions, dogs have proven themselves to be worthy, living up to the label of being “man’s best friend”.

As such, many dog owners reciprocate a dog’s loyal devotion by going only for the best when it comes to the needs and even wants any dog could possibly have.

Trips to the vet, though not always appreciated by dogs, stand to be a basic “treat” given by dog owners to their pooches, ensuring that loyal buddies remain healthy and free from medical ailments, and as common these “treats” are, there are actually common ailments experienced by dogs, at times cured only with trips to the vet.

Here are two of the most commonly encountered medical problems experienced by dogs.

Ear Infection – as a health problem, ear infections in dogs is considered to be normal, often the result of allergic reactions from external home environment factors.

Also caused by yeast infestation/infections, bacterial growth, hair growth (deep in-ear-canal) issues, and ear mites, dog ear infections are relatively easy to treat, but complications related to ear infections are also known to prevail.

Frequent head tilting/head shaking, ear-area scratching, and ear odor are common tall-tale signs of an ear infection case in a dog, along with a dog’s inability to balance themselves, out-of-the-normal eye movements, persistent skin redness and swelling.

A thorough ear cleaning procedure typically resolves a dog ear infection case, while more compounded or complex cases may require surgery (particularly when head shaking/scratching has led to the rupturing of internal blood vessels).

Ear infections, generally, are painful for dogs, and in offering the best for pooches, trips to the vet facilitate the administration of professional remedies in resolving problematic doggy ears.

Worms – internal parasites such as hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms are common to be found in dogs, but its commonness doesn’t mean that it is a condition which can just be ignored.

Typically, the presence of worms is defined by diarrhea (with signs of blood), appetite loss/change of frequency, weight loss, and poor coat quality (either rough, dry or both). “Scooting”, where a dog frequently rubs his/her buttock regions, is often heralded to be a sure-fire sign that one’s dog has worms.

In finding a cure to resolve doggy worm problems, a trip to the vet remains to be the best option since properly diagnosing what type of worm and what treatment options to undertake are more defined to get rid of worms in dogs.

Trips to the vet negates the risks of guesswork, heading on a more straightforward solution in resolving the presence of worms.

If your dog happens to exhibit signs of an ear infection and/or the presence of worms, visiting your vet as soon as possible lessens the potential spread and complication of conditions.

After all, only the best is what a dog owner can give to his/her loyal best buddy.

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How often should you wash your dog?

“Should” in the question “How often should you wash your dog?” implies the necessity of washing dogs, not one which touches up on the optional bathing time frame periods for dogs or for unexpected situations such as a dog falling into a puddle of mud.

But as defined as the answer the question asks for is implied, there isn’t really a defined and direct answer to it, save perhaps taking considerations over a dog’s fur type, general activities and current climatic conditions.

Dogs with wiry and coarse fur, such as Schnauzers and Terriers, can be ideally bathed once every 4 to 6 weeks, ensuring that coats are kept healthy and free from external rubbish, which can nestle deep into their fur.

Dogs with thick coats, such as Cocker Spaniels and Pekingese breeds, will require bathing sessions at least once every 4 to 8 weeks, with the frequency dependent on climatic conditions.

Dogs which don’t shed a lot or short haired dogs, can be washed at leased once every 6 to 8 weeks, again depending on climatic conditions.

Ideally, getting to know your dog’s specific quirks and kinks with water helps in assessing the frequency and need of bathing, since there are actually dogs who don’ t do well with dealing with water.

Medical issues such as allergies should also be considered, and should your dog be frequently suffering from them, bathing them more often is often advised by most vets.

Bottom line, finding out how often your should give your dog a bath falls within an average of at least once a month, but in ensuring your dog’s cleanliness and general well disposition, it still is advisable to consult with 
your vet, since not all dogs are the same. 

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Picking the Perfect Hamster

Hamsters are a favorite among kids and adults. Their cute little faces, hairy coats, and playful character are usually the reason why they are one of the most popular pets. But before getting a hamster, I have here some helpful tips in choosing the perfect hamster for you.
1. Know their breed. The most common hamsters are the Syrian hamsters and Campbell’s Russian Dwarf hamsters. The Syrian hamsters are the biggest pet hamsters, solitary, easier to handle and are friendlier; Syrian hamsters are also ideal for first timers and beginners. Dwarf hamsters on the other hand, are smaller, and can live in pairs or in groups; first time hamster owners may find them hard to handle because of their size and are more sensitive.

2. Choose a young hamster. Hamsters don’t live that long, so it is better to choose a young one so that you can spend more time with it. Also, young hamsters are easier to tame than the older ones.

3. Choose the most active hamster. Now, that you know what breed you want, make sure that you choose the most active hamster. Hamsters are nocturnal, so to choose a hamster, wake them up. The most playful and the most curious hamster is most likely the most active and healthiest among them.

4. Know the gender. It is important to know the gender of the hamster you are getting. If you are planning to get two dwarf hamsters and is planning to breed them, make sure that you have a male and a female.

5. Check the eyes. The eyes are a good indicator of their overall health. Choose a hamster that has clear eyes, widely opened and are free of any discharge.

6. Check the coat. The coat of a healthy hamster is smooth and free of any breaks.

7. Check the bottom. Make sure that the hamster has dry bottom. Wet bottom means the hamster has diarrhea and is unhealthy.

For suggestions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave a message below.

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Food options for Kittens

Though not exactly as challenging when picking out baby food items, finding the right food option for kittens holds its own challenging degrees, dependent mostly on what is more convenient for kitten masters or what is most beneficial for kittens.

Once already weaned from the milk of mama cats, kittens will have to eventually go solid with food products, leaving many questioning which is better: canned or dry food?

Here are some points worthy of mention, in helping resolve the match between canned VS dry food.
Canned VS Dry - Taking Variables and Factors into Consideration

Convenience stands to be a highlight sported by dry kitten food items, since its serving requires the use of a feeding dish and a method of easily pouring certain amounts into it for a kitten’s consumption. With canned kitten food products, the same method of serving is still applied, but the shelf-life factor of canned kitten food products isn’t as long when compared to their dry counterparts.

In this regard, dry food items for kittens stand to be more practical for “kitten parents”, and their use also extends as a method of getting kittens accustomed to dry cat food products as meal staples when they grow up.

However, studies suggest that cats do tend to live longer and fuller lives with canned food varieties, which leaves “kitten parents” in a rut between convenience and what is better for kittens/cats.

A balance between the two can be considered as an ideal, with opting for canned food items as a primary staple then going dry food items to be served as treats or snacks for cats.

Understanding Kittens and their needs

Kittens can’t be considered as “small” or “miniature” versions of cats. They are growing babies, and as such they would need all the nutritional supplements they can get from food items.

Requiring more vitamins, minerals and protein sources compared to adult cats, opting for food items rich in protein helps kittens develop stronger muscles and healthier body tissues, as minerals and calcium sources helps develop stronger teeth and bones.

You can start kittens with dry kitten food items made for kittens, but as he/she grows, gradually alternating between dry and canned foods is a good idea, in establishing the staple canned food and for-snack dry food setup in cat dietary menus and habits.

Here’s hoping your role as “kitten parent” is one which brings your kitten to a full, well-lived kitty life.

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Some of the Rarest Dog Breeds

Almost everyone knows what the most popular dog breeds are.

From German Shepherds to Dobermans, the world is well acquainted with them through various mediums, from comics to TV, books to feature film presentations.

But what about the rarest of dog breeds?

If you’ve ever wondered what they are, here are some of the rarest dog breeds in the world. Though the chances of them being as popular as German Shepherds are not all that big, the fact that you, by reading this, would know about them is a start in heralding their existence.
The Chinook – the breed known as Chinook follows after an actual sled dog named Chinook, and is rare in the sense that it was once nearly at risk of going extinct.

In 1963, the Chinook breed’s population went on a rapid decline, but its population was revitalized by dog lovers in 1981, who took the initiative in restoring the breed from 11 remaining breedable subjects.

Though no longer kept as sled/working dogs, Chinook’s are popular as house dogs, occasionally lugging sleds from time to time.

The Stabyhoun – described as a combination pointer and retriever, the dog is famed as a gundog, with an estimated 100 dogs present in the United States today.

The Netherlands considers this breed as a National Treasure, with the Dutch Dog Registry regularly monitoring population figures and breeding statistics related to the breed.

The Otterhound – the Otterhound was quite popular as a hunting dog, a part of the hound breed with a history which dates back to 1100.

As the breed’s name would imply, they were the usual companions of otter hunters, but when the hunting of otters was banned in England in the 1970’s, there numbers changed significantly.

In the United States, reports estimate an Otterhound population of 350.

The Azawakh – primarily an African breed, the Azawakh’s physical attributes liken it to a greyhound, only leaner, even stretched out.

A companion when gazelle hunting in Africa, there are Azawakh’s present in the United States, with estimates somewhere between 100 to 200 of them being around.

Far be it for this list to be complete, these are simply some of the rarest dog breeds around, with numbers well below the healthy population figures of their more famous cousins.

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