Posts Tagged ‘hamster’

Have Zhu Zhu Pets replaced living breathing pets?

If the sales being reported this Christmas are anything to go by you could be forgiven for thinking so.

The big toy retailers like Walmart and Toys R Us are having trouble keeping shelves stocked over night as the in-demand toys fly off the shelves.

These furry little robots make all the right noises, and move around like cute little hamsters, but are they as much fun as the real thing?

There is certainly not the responsibility attached to owning a robot, and the cost of feeding them will be much lower, not to mention vet bills. So there are many pluses with families in a recession.

But I can’t help but think that we are missing out on teaching our children some valuable life lessons with these new and improved pets.

What do you think?

Read more about Zhu Zhu Pets.


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Who do you call?
Who do you call when you want go out for evening, or when you want to go on holiday and can’t take your pets with you?
The Pet Sitter.

Trusting your pet with a stranger is not something you should take lightly.

Before turning to a stranger you might:

  1. Ask your friends and neighbours who they use for sitting their pets. They may have a trustworthy sitter who’s name they can pass on to you (of course they may not want to if you vacation together!)
  2. You might ask your vet or other animal professional that you deal with if they of know anyone.

If you cannot source a pet sitter from among your immediate contacts then there are some simple precautions that you need to take, these include:

  1. Look for an agency or person who advertises through traditional sources, this way you are not likely to get a “fly by nighter” who is not concerned about their reputation.
  2. Interview your potential sitters before hiring them. Have them come to your place or take your pets to met them so you can see how they interact. It is important that they are a good match and first reactions can often indicate any problems that might occur in your absence.
  3. Do not be afraid to ask for references and DO follow up on the references they give you.
  4. There are a number of questions that you can ask about their background and experience:
    • How long have you been pet sitting?
    • Do you have animals of your own?
    • What kind of animals have you had experience with?
    • How many animals are you currently sitting?
    • Do you have other pets you are currently sitting?
    • What services/schedule do you provide for the animals you are sitting?
    • Are you able to administer any special diet, medication, or other requirement of my pet?

After the meeting (and any time your pet has been in care) assess your pets reactions. Look for signs of fear, anger, or other out-of-the-ordinary behavior that might suggest improper treatment. Consider your own feelings; did the sitter leave you feeling comfortable and thinking this is a person you could work with?

One final suggestion is that you do not base your decisions on pet sitters solely on price. Do not try and beat your sitter down on price. A pet sitter is worth paying a professional wage, and should deliver a professional service. You should expect no less for your pets.

Consider this:

If you have a love of animals and some spare time – you might like to offer your services as a pet sitter.

This highly respected job offers great opportunities to make some extra income doing what you enjoy.

You would also be helping other pet owners take a well earned break.

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There are many choices for a companion.

Should you get a furry one, a feathery one, a scaly one, a hairy one, a fluffy one, a wooly one, a prickly one.

Then once you have settled on a particular species you have to ask yourself if you should get a big one, a small one, a female, a male, an old one, a young one, a spotted one, a long haired one, or maybe two.

Choosing a pet is not something you should take lightly. They are a major responsibility.

Some Things To Consider:

  • How much room do you have at home? Is there room for a Great Dane to exercise or is your home more suited to a Budgie.
  • How much time do you have to exercise and care for your pet? A goldfish, for example, will not require as many hours a day as a Labrador.
  • How long are you prepared to look after a pet? A dog can live 15 years or more, so if you were thinking that you might go back to work after the kids move out you might still have a dog at home.
  • Is there a possibility that you might be moving into the city, or into a home, before you pet dies? You might be required to abandon your pet – is that something you are prepared for?
  • Is your pet the right choice if you could have children in the near future? An Anaconda or Pit Bull may not be the best choice (I know Pit Bull supporters may disagree).
  • Do you or your loved ones have allergies? It is no good turning up with a surprise feline only to find your partner is allergic.
  • Can you afford your choice of pet? Can you afford to stable and maintain a horse or will a hamster meet your budget needs. There are many costs that may not be obvious to a first time animal owner, so I would suggest talking to someone who owns the animal of choice (preferably a breeder or someone experienced).

A Pet You Probably Should NOT Choose (unless you have no time, no budget, and no room at home)


I made myself a snowball

As perfect as could be.

I thought I’d keep it as a pet

And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas

And a pillow for its head.

Then last night it ran away,

But first it wet the bed.

Shel Silverstein (1932-1999)

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Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye (1904-2004)

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