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Spring Fever – Fun Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding Planning

Spring has sprung, and love is in the air.  Most of us have that special pet in our lives, but some of us are lucky enough to have a special someone else in our lives.  Perhaps you both got your pet together, and now you are ready to take that next step with regards to your future.  Don’t let your pet miss out on being a part of your forever and ever.


The Proposal


Proposal image referenced from Huffingtonpost.com, and can be found here.

There are honestly so many ideas that you could come up with to include your pet with your proposal.   Get creative and jot some ideas down, and see what works best for you.  A few suggestions would be to get a name tag engraved with “Will You Marry Me” or, teach your pet to balance a ring on their head. The fact of the matter is, you know your pet best.  Have fun with it, and them!









Engagement Photos, Save the Dates, and Invitations

Resourced from theknot.com

Engagement photo referenced from theknot.com, and can be found here.


I love the idea of pets being in engagement photo’s, just remember that pets can be unpredictable.  In the event that you hire a photographer, be sure to give them a heads up so that they are also prepared.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to bring some extra treats with you the day of the photoshoot.  Invitations are another great way to include your pet.  Sites such as Shutterfly make creating your own invitations and save the dates a breeze!





Resourced from Brides.com

Wedding image referenced from Huffingtonpost.com, and can be found here.

There is nothing like man’s best friend being the best man, flower girl, ring bearer, or maid of honor! Your pet can have any role at your wedding.  Be sure to check with the venue that they are pet friendly.  If you plan on including your pet, do your homework and check out sites such as BringFido.com for a list of pet friendly attractions.  Receptions can become pretty hectic, and maybe even scary for some pets.  Do not assume that your drunk uncle is keeping an eye out on your pet, hire a pet sitter!









The Reception

Resourced from Topweddingsites.com

Image referenced from Topweddingsites.com, and can be found here.

The ceremony is over, and now your pet sitter is keeping an eye on your furbaby. Time to get the party started!  Do not feel bad if your pet can’t be a physical part of the festivities. Have your guests find their seat at a table marked with your pets picture!  There are a lot of cute ways you can include your pet in your decor, such as name place cards, centerpieces, cake toppers, table favors, and so much more!  We understand that some pets may have crossed over the rainbow bridge, but they are forever in your hearts.  Include your beloved pet with a beautiful pet memorial, guest book, or let your guests know that money from the dollar dance will be donated to your favorite rescue in memory of your pet.   It’s your day, make it special.






Have you included your pet in your wedding?  Please share how in the comments below!  We would love to see pictures too.  Please feel free to post your pictures to our Facebook page!









My Funny Farms Christmas List

We have a trio of guest bloggers today! With all of the hub bub of the holidays, my two adorable cats and my rat wanted to make sure that they weren’t left out from all of the excitement. They’re telling me that they deserve to be on the nice list, and I guess they do 🙂  They asked if they could share their Christmas lists with all of you, and I’m just not one to disappoint.

Sushi McHoneybadger


Mommy and daddy tell me everyday that they should have just named me Nermal, because I just love being cute!  Puck even tried to mail me to Abu Dhabi once. I don’t need more than what I already have, but mommy insisted I make a list anyway.  I really love sitting on the bed and watching all the birds and squirrels in the yard, so a nice new kitty sill would be a dream!  Sometimes I do get in trouble for clawing up the furniture, so I wouldn’t mind trying a new scratching post. Lastly, I love the refreshing taste of ice cold water.  Sometimes mommy finds me in the sink in the morning licking the faucet.  If I get a water fountain for Christmas, I’m sure it would get plenty of use 🙂





Well, I’m no longer the newest member of the clan, but I get along with everyone wonderfully!  I stay in my cage during the day, but when mom and dad get home I like to sit on their

11124701_10204378083952891_1761663797_nshoulders while they watch television, or cook dinner.  I know that mom and dad can’t keep an eye on me all of the time, so for Christmas I would like to ask Santa for a playpen.  I can be out of my cage for longer periods of time, and stay out of trouble!  I do love to explore but I can’t really do that on my own, so I am hoping that Santa also brings me a runabout ball this year, so that I can go on an adventure!  I can’t get enough of the Yogies yogurt drops either.  I think if Santa brought me a stocking full of those, I would just squeal with excitement!





I’m the newest addition to the Ries household, and I am still just a baby.  I certainly don’t act like a baby!  I have so much energy to expense during the day and at night, that I can hardly sit still!  That’s why I need a toy that’s going to keep my attention, something like the Petlinks Mystery Motion Cat Toy.  This toy is sure to keep me on the edge of my seat, well…until sister walks by then I have to mess with her (of course).  I know it may be asking for a lot, but I love to climb so much!  If I promise to be good, I would really enjoy a new Kitty’scape Deluxe Playscape. I can climb and play on this for hours!



There you have it folks!  I’m hoping that my pets gave you some inspiration for that special pet in your life this Christmas.  If you have any questions about some of the products mentioned, please leave them in the comment field below.  Happy Holidays!

What Healthy Guinea Pigs Should Be Eating

Hi Pet Blog Readers!

It’s finally Friday, but before we get to the weekend we have a guest blog from Richard. He has written an informative post detailing what your pet guinea pig needs for a healthy diet. Your furry friend has important dietary needs and you are the one to help them fill those needs! If you have any questions or comments please let us know, they are always welcome! Have a great weekend!



GuineaPigA guinea pig’s diet is fairly simple. In the beginning, owners just need to follow some guidelines and test out different treats when their pet first arrives. The diet of the guinea pig should be made up of fresh fruits, vegetables, commercialized pellets and timothy hay.

Fruits & Veggies

A proper diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, but in moderation. If you give your guinea pig too much, they will probably have diarrhea, which is potentially very dangerous to your pet’s health if it persists.

Try out different types of fruits or veggies to see which your pet likes the most. After you’ve found a few, stick to those in their diet. Some I would highly recommend include: apples, kale, spinach, carrots, blueberries, peaches and tangerines. It’s okay to switch out a few every now and then, but always research first to see if they can actually eat it.

Here are some foods that you need to keep away from your pig: iceberg lettuce, corn, potatoes, chocolate, “human treats” and raw beans. Don’t just stick to this list alone, there are many other foods they should avoid. Remember to always do your research first.

Timothy Hay241888

Probably the most popular Cavy food, Timothy hay should make up the majority of your guinea pig’s diet. Yes, you heard right. Your pet can eat the same Timothy hay that is recommended as bedding for guinea pig cages.

Now, if you plan on using Timothy hay for your bedding as well, I would get a hayrack to clear up any confusion for your pet. You want to separate hay that is used as bedding from hay that is used for eating. Make it clear to them by putting treats or pellets inside the hayrack mixed-in with the hay. That way, they’ll know food belongs in that rack.

In the previous section, I mentioned that too many fruits or vegetables could cause diarrhea. If that happens, simply increase your pig’s intake of Timothy hay and it should go away. This is because this type of hay helps with digestion.

Commercial Food Pellets

When looking into food pellets at your local pet store, find a product that is 20% protein and 16% fiber. Also, make sure to look for Vitamin C in these products.

Guinea pigs need Vitamin C because, like humans, they can’t produce any themselves. A lack of vitamin will surely lead to health problems in the future. If you can’t find pellets with any, just buy them tablets and feed them about 10mg per day.

Do not feed them multi-vitamins, as excess in the other vitamins can potentially be dangerous to them.

When to Feed Them

When you first start feeding your guinea pig, pick a time that is convenient for you. You want to get them in the habit of eating food at a certain hour of the day. These critters depend on a set schedule and will often make some sort of commotion if that schedule is broken. Try your best to not be more than an hour early or late when it comes to their diet schedule.

* * *

Just follow these simple guidelines and you’ll have a diet plan designed for a healthy piggy. I also want to note that these diet plan tips can be applied to all guinea pig breeds. And remember, when in doubt, research to see if your pet is allowed to eat it. The last thing you’d want is to poison your new friend.

Richard James has been caring for guinea pigs for over 15 years. He is the author of the care guide, “Guinea Pig Care Made Easy,” which has helped many owners raise a healthy pet. He currently owns 3 guinea pigs: 2 Silkies and 1 Peruvian. Check out his website for more valuable information about caring for Guinea Pigs.

Bunny Proofing Your Backyard: Keeping Pet Rabbits Safe Outdoors

Please welcome guest blogger Tabitha Strepthorne.  For our perusal, she has an informative article about letting your rabbit roam in your backyard.  While exploring your backyard and garden can be a great source of fun and exercise, there are opportunities for your rabbit to get into harm’s way.  She has some helpful tips and advice you can use to make sure your furry friend stays safe while still having a great time.  If you have any questions, comments or your own ideas for bunny fun, please let Tabitha and us know in the comments section below.  Have a great weekend!



Whether you have a Netherland dwarf or an English Giant it is important to make sure that your pet rabbit gets the exercise he or she needs. Large, spacious hutches are great for keeping your rabbit in shape, and there are outside hutches available for sunny days. There are even rabbit harnesses that you can put onto the rabbit so that you can take your bunny for walks!

However from personal experience, some bunnies may not like the feel of the harness and they will chew through it.  Often outside hutches can seem cramped. So what to do?Rabbit

Why not make the entire garden your bunny’s exercise yard? If you have a colourful, green garden with a few nice patches of grass, it may be worth looking into bunny-proofing your garden. Unfortunately if you have a pond, chances are no amount of ‘bunny proofing’ will make it safe for your rabbit to run around the garden.


Fences and Gates

Bunnies are a lot like babies. If you take your eyes off them for a minute, somehow they will find their way into the strangest cubby holes, nooks and crannies. This is why it is important to ensure that any fences are fully staked into the ground, and that any gates have a rubber lining or a low hanging base to make sure that the rabbit doesn’t crawl underneath the gate and get out of the garden.

If you have decking it is important to board up any entrances to the decking, as if your bunny is at all adventurous they will try to find a way underneath. Beneath the decking is a great place for rabbits as it is dark and shady – perfect for the summer!


Harmful Plants

Most rabbits have an innate sense of danger and will be able to sniff out any potentially harmful plants. However rabbits have strong taste buds and can be curious, particularly young rabbits, so on occasion things can take a turn for the worse.

Certain plants are incredibly harmful to rabbits, so it is important to look these up online to make sure that your bunny is safe. A few examples of common plants that can be poisonous to rabbits are oak leaves, poppies and buttercups although a little bit of digging online will harbour a more complete list of poisonous plants.


Bedding and Water

Bunnies can get nervous too! If you have a small garden and a young bunny, try placing some of its bedding in a corner of the garden. The bunny will gravitate towards the bedding as a source of familiarity and comfort, and as it gets more used to the feel of the garden the rabbit will then start exploring more and more of the garden.

The most important thing is ensuring that your bunny feels safe and secure while running around the garden. Make sure to put a bowl of water out for your bunny in a shaded area as they will become dehydrated. Weigh the bowl down with a few stones so that your bunny doesn’t knock the water over by running past it or jumping over it.


It is important to remember that nothing is foolproof! Although your bunny will be able to run and play it is crucial that you supervise them to ensure that you can take any action needed if your bunny starts getting into trouble or starts acting out. Like a small child, stay close to your bunny and be aware! With a safely bunny-proofed garden your rabbit can hop and run around to their hearts content!


Carbon Monoxide and Pets

white dog sleepingDo you ever consider the dangers of carbon monoxide to pets? One of our Facebook fans recently shared with us a tragic story of 12 pet birds lost to carbon monoxide poisoning. The heartbreaking tale also involved the family dog who, after some time has made a full recovery. This blog post is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning not just for people, but for the pets we keep as well. Most cases of carbon monoxide toxicity in pets occur, sadly, due to human error, and the results can be devastating.  A dog left in an enclosed garage with a running automobile, for example, can be exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide in about ten minutes. But animals may also exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide when they are trapped in a building that is on fire, or when a slow leak from a heating system amongst other causes. It’s important to make yourself familiar with easy ways to prevent exposure, as well as a course of action should evacuation or medical attention be necessary.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, non-irritating gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon fuels. It is potentially toxic and may even cause death. Carbon monoxide may be produced by unventilated kerosene or propane heaters, gasoline engines, automobile exhaust, or fumes from carbon-based fuel heating systems. When inhaled, Carbon Monoxide gas is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, combining with hemoglobin and rapidly reducing oxygen delivery to the body,leading to decreased oxygen to the brain and heart. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide leads to hypoxemia (critically low blood oxygen levels) and eventually death.

What are the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Depending upon the concentration and duration of exposure of carbon monoxide, the symptoms may manifest quickly, or gradually over a period of prolonged exposure. Some pets, such as birds, are more sensitive to Carbon Monoxide levels and relatively small exposure may prove detrimental. Acute behavioral and physical symptoms include:

•Labored breathing
•Erratic movements

Pregnant animals, especially those in late gestation, may abort their babies pre term. Examination of your pet’s skin and mucous membranes such as nostrils, ears, genitals may show bright red coloration, though this symptom may not be apparent on most pets.

Consistant exposure to lower levels of carbon monoxide include flu like symptoms like nausea, vomiting, aches, weakness and loss of stamina. Blood acidosis is also a side effect.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Carbon monoxide detectorCarbon monoxide is life-threatening and treatment will require immediate veterinary attention. If you know or suspect that your pet is suffering from carbon monoxide toxicity, the first step is to move your pets away from the source of the carbon monoxide to a place where they can breathe fresh air. As soon as possible, transport them to the vet for oxygen therapy and fluids. The oxygen will remove the carbon monoxide from the blood, bringing your pet’s oxygen levels back to normal. Your vet will also collect blood samples for a complete blood count and biochemistry, as establishing the levels of carbon monoxide, carboxyhemoglobin and acids in the blood will dictate the initial treatment plan and continued treatment. Urinalysis and other applicable body fluid tests may also be performed. In some cases, your veterinarian may perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) to determine if your pet’s heart function has also been affected.

Your vet will instruct you on extended care. Generally, while your pet is recovering from the carbon monoxide poisoning, activity should be limited for several weeks following the exposure. Shorter walks, limited play and exercise, and a little extra TLC will be required until your pet is fully recovered. Observe your pet closely during recovery for residual signs of nervous system issues, and if you see any anomalies, contact your vet as soon as possible.


Obviously, the best course of action is to prevent your pets and the rest of your family from exposure of any detrimental levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense against this elusive killer, and should be installed in various areas of your home. Minimize or prevent exposure to carbon monoxide by ensuring that your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances are serviced annually by a qualified technician. Don’t use generators, charcoal grills or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window where gasses could accumulate in an enclosed area.
And don’t run a vehicle inside a garage attached, even if you leave the door open, and especially if the garage is attached to your house. Provide adequate ventilation for any fuel powered device and be sure to know what to do should an unfortunate exposure to carbon monoxide should occur.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can occur any time of year and is often due to human error. Protect you and your family, including four-footed members through prevention and close attention to potential sources.

White dog sleeping image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Eli Duke

Rabbit Health: How a Misaligned Jaw Almost Killed my Pet Rabbit

Despite being partially blind, Matthew the rabbit is easily one of the liveliest pets in my house. His outgoing personality, penchant for mischief, and insistent foot stomps for attention are both endearing and frustrating. So, when boisterous Matthew huddled in the back of his cage one night and refused to eat or play, we knew something was wrong. When his head suddenly listed to one side and his muscles tensed minutes later, we were terrified that we were losing our little mischief-maker.

Fortunately, Matthew survived. Quick online research confirmed what we already thought; Matthew had suffered a stroke, though minor enough that he regained most of his muscle control. We scheduled a veterinarian appointment and monitored him carefully in the meantime. While he could nibble some of his pellets and try to chew with his right, the left side of his face seemed locked and stiff, and he could not move his lips enough to grasp hay or fully close his right eye.

We figured this was a result of the stroke only, but our veterinarian found a root cause that surprised us. After determining that Matthew’s lips still had circulation and feeling, he used a scope to view Matthew’s back teeth, which are tightly positioned back by the cheeks and almost impossible to examine otherwise.  After this check, our vet informed us that Matthew’s jaw was slightly misaligned, causing one of his back left teeth to wear improperly. This created a sharp, uncomfortable point that discouraged him from using that side correctly for a while. The area underneath this tooth became infected, and the infection’s swelling had likely triggered the stroke. While the movement of his left facial muscles would slowly return, the pain from the tooth and infection was discouraging him from using them. Matthew required a few weeks of antibiotics to overcome the infection, along with some rabbit-safe painkiller and anti-inflammatory to encourage proper use of the pointed tooth.

While the vet explained that sedating Matthew and physically filing the back tooth was an option, he did not recommend this after such a high health risk as a stroke. He explained that the location and of the tooth and current discomfort made filing without anesthesia impossible, and our safest bet for Matthew was to see if we could get him to use that side again himself. He also recommended purchasing rabbit-safe cardboard tubes to chew. Unlike normal wooden chews, these would be softer and help prevent making the sensitive area sore. If Matthew still could not wear his tooth enough to be comfortable, sedation and filing was still an option, but it would indicate that he would likely need it every couple of months. Placing a sensitive animal such as a rabbit under anesthesia so frequently is in itself risky, and he suggested we wait on that option unless it seemed necessary.

We left the vet’s office both fearful and optimistic, armed with information, medicine, and a powdered probiotic food to maintain Matthew’s digestive system after his time spent with inadequate eating. As his poor muscle control made using a water bottle difficult, we also boosted his fluid intake with feeding syringes. Providing dishes of water was a poor idea for Matthew; with his poor vision and compromised health, he merely kept his distance from the unfamiliar shape.

After a few days, slow improvements began to show. Matthew’s energy was returning, and he no longer sulked in the back of his cage. He began eating his pellets more regularly and could use his water bottle again, and we stopped the supplemented feed soon after he began his first clumsy bites of hay. He could fully blink his left eye, and movement returned to the left side of his face.

As of today, Matthew seems to be recovered and shows no difficulty grasping, chewing, or biting. While there is no way to correct his conformation, the medications assisted him enough to begin wearing the tooth more properly. I’ve seen many different health conditions in rabbits, but I never expected such an unusual cause as a poor jaw alignment jaw to potentially cause something as serious as a stroke. The vet suggested keeping a close watch for any changes in behavior, as infections as he had can be difficult to truly eliminate in rabbits and might eventually reoccur. For now, Matthew is himself again: stomping for attention, digging at the floor, and watching the activity around him with an alert curiosity.



Skunks as Pets

Friendly SkunkThough most people try to avoid encounters with skunks, there are those who actually seek out these black and white mayhem-makers as companion pets, comparing them in personality to cats, dogs, and ferrets. Skunks are rising in popularity due to their intelligence, carefree personalities, and (believe it or not) cleanliness. Pennsylvania and most other states require a permit to keep a captive skunk as a pet. Before deciding to bring a skunk into your family, do your research and be sure you can handle their requirements. Read More »

Bouncing Baby Bunnies – Wild Rabbits in the Spring

We all know that Spring is prime time for many wild animals to bring their babies into the world. We can see new fawns, bear cubs, hatchling birds, and many other new arrivals soon after they make their way into the world. Last year Frank Indiviglio wrote an article on “orphaned” babies in the Spring and what to do (or not do) about them, but one animal that may require a little more info is one of the most common babies found in backyards this time of year…baby rabbits, or “kits”.

People often mistake young rabbits as helpless and abandoned, ususally because their found alone and in the open. Several times each year we have patrons that present us with wild rabbits they come across while mowing the lawn, or that were discovered by the family dog or cat and rescued before becoming a mid-morning snack. While people have the best of intentions, removing the babies from the area where they are found often creates even more of a problem for the little guys. Read More »

Stress-free Homes Improve Health and Behavior of Cats and Rabbits

white rabbitTwo recent studies have highlighted the role that stress and boredom plays in pet behavior and health.  Although carried out on research colonies of cats and rabbits, both contain important lessons for pet owners.  Steps as simple as establishing a routine substantially reduced the pain associated with serious illnesses.

Novelty vs. Routine

Experience has taught me that stress plays a major role in the health of all captive creatures, be they insects or elephants.  While novelty and new experiences may be positives, established routines also have their uses.  Read More »

The Mongolian Gerbil’s Unusual Breeding and Social Behavior

Wild GerbilThe Mongolian Gerbil, Meriones unguiculatus, is a common pet, but its life in the wild is anything but “common”.  In fact, its social structure and breeding habits are among the rodent world’s most unique.  Let’s take a look at what field research has revealed about this most interesting little creature. Read More »

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