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Jennifer Holly MacDonald

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Animal Care Myths (plus other features)
by Jennifer Holly MacDonald   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Posted: Friday, September 07, 2001

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Myth and facts

Animal Care Myths

Animals need to have one litter of babies before getting spayed in order to be healthy.

This isn’t true . Spaying a female dog, cat, rabbit, etc., is one of the first things a pet owner must consider if they are thinking of bringing one into the home. The sooner the surgery is performed the better. Early spaying actually prevents certain types of cancers in animals and can also result in a more stable emotional balance in the animal’s character. Having a litter is not recommended for the health of a pet. In fact, it has a negative effect if you as the care giver can’t take care of the babies after they are born.

While it is standard procedure to separate babies from parents at around eight weeks(for dogs and cats) this is only a convenience for pet store owners and people that can’t handle the burdens of caring for so many animals. The young and the parents(usually maternal) do much better when kept together for longer periods of time. Studies have shown that cats and dogs that are allowed to stay in the same family groups, live longer and have less ailments in old age. So if you can’t keep the babies don’t let your pet have a litter. She is much better off being spayed as early as possible.One litter can equal many animals and never assume that it will be easy to find them homes.

There are literally millions of unwanted domestic animals that are suffering because no one willtake care of them. Just because someone thinks that little kitten or puppy (or whatever) is cute as a baby doesn’t mean they will have the resources and discipline to take care of the animal for the long term. Go to your local animal shelter and witness the results of allowing pets that “one litter” that is supposedly going to be good for them.Unless you are absolutely certain you have the resources to take care of the results of your pet’s pregnancy for the lifetimes of the animals involved, get her spayed right away. You will be doing her a big favor in the long run.


Pet Alert!

by Jennifer MacDonald

August 22, 2000

If you have small, caged pets such as hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, gerbils, birds, reptiles, etc., you'll want to know a little bit about the bedding your using. Many experts say materials like sawdust, wood shavings, newspaper, corncobs, grasses, paper or cloth toweling are excellent choices but you must know what's right for the type of animal you have and the design of the cage that it's living in. There is a caution, however, for every type of animal and that is not to use cedar or pine shavings for bedding material. Pet stores sell both of these in massive quantities without warning the consumer of the specific hazards associated with these bedding products. Both cedar and pine contain oils and chemicals(phenols) that give the soft wood parasite repelling properties which is what makes it so attractive as bedding for small pets. The aroma of the phenols in the wood is much stronger than urine which again, makes it attractive to use for small, caged pets. The down side of this is that these same phenols can destroy your pet's liver and respiratory system, especially if they burrow and sleep in the bedding (contact of any sort is destructive, even for humans). The damage is fatal if used for any prolonged period of time.While cedar and pine shavings can be used in pillows or underneath wire mesh where the animaldoesn't come into direct contact with it, it is still best to avoid the use of cedar and pine, for the well-being of your pets.Remember that pet stores will sell cedar and pine bedding with no caution as to the side effects of it's use so be informed before shopping at pet stores and do not use the "expert opinion" of pet store sales people as scientifically viable. It can save you alot of time, money and heartache(from having to nurture a sick or dying pet) if you find out what's best for your pets by consulting a vet, animal health technician or a zoo keeper at the local zoo.



Holiday activity can create alot of hustle and bustle around the home. Please make sure to keep your bird(s) out of the commotion as there are many dangers to birds that many don't consider. It's obvious that birds don't belong in the kitchen with all the hot and sharp things laying around in there but other, less obvious hazards exist for an unsuspecting bird.Fumes from incense, scented candles, cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke, air fresheners, paints and cleaning solvents can cause fatal respiratory disease in many types of birds.Cold drafts from opening doors can cause kidney disease for birds. This is very important to watch out for since placing a bird's cage near doors and windows during the winter months(or unusually cold summers) can affect the bird's health drastically even if you don't notice much of a change in temperature.

Keep your bird in a place where the temperature is consistent at all times and the air is free from artificial scents and fumes.

Web Site: Jenn X MacDonald

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Reviewed by Jennifer Butler
Very interesting. Although our cat was born in our house, and our family has always kept pets, I have learned that we cannot make them happy, and they are often in danger because of our inability to communicate with them. I have decided that it is best to keep a bird feeder with water and a bird house rather than to have pets. Then we are assured that we do not interfere or enter fear in their lives.
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