Sunday, May 1, 2011

Smarty Sunday: All Different Pets!

Hi everyone, its me, Sammy-Joe, here to share some more smartness with you on this great Sunday! 
Today Mama read this article about a friendly pet wallaby who got loose in Arizona. Of course, the first thing Mama said was, "I want a pet wallaby!" We Googled it and found out that, yes, wallabies are available as pets! We also found a bunch of other... um... unusual pets people can have.


I wanted to share this with you in fun, but first, I just wanted to remind everyone. Any time you get any pet, you should do you research first to learn about all the things the pet will need, and you should decide if this is really the best pet for you. Once you get a pet, there's no turning back! We don't want to hear about someone having to open a shelter for all of the unwanted wallabies that have been tossed out of their homes in a few years when people decide they're not exciting anymore! So please... if you do decide to get one of these pets... do a lot of thinking and preparing beforehand. (I'm not talking to my regular readers, who I know are very responsible pet owners! But you never know who will do a Google search, and find this blog entry, so I just wanted to do my part and tell people. DON'T DUMP YOUR PETS... whether they are dogs, cats, bunnies, or wallabies!


A lot of kids have guinea pigs as pets. What if your guinea pig weighed 150 pounds? If you have a 150 pound guinea pig, it is probably actually a capybara. They are the largest members of the rodent family. We found this information on Paw-talk: "Capybara can make captivating pets, but you should definitely have them neutered. Males can become aggressive, territorial and frustrated. If you do have one, neutering should take place between 6-9 months of age. They are intelligent and can be trained to do various tricks, such as sit, beg, and more. They are affectionate and very clean animals. If gotten young, you can train your capybara to walk on a leash. I would suggest a harness type lead, such as used for pot belly pigs. They are slow and deliberate movers though, so don't expect to work miracles. You won't be taking your pet capybara out jogging with you!

An enclosure for a capybara should be strong enough to prevent escape, they are known to be diggers. They should have a shelter ( large dog house, etc. ), mounds of grass and hay, and a tub of water to play in. A large child's pool would do nicely.

Capybara will eat most anything ! Seeds, fruits, vegetables, grass, hay, etc. You can also feed rabbit chow etc. as a supplement to their diet of hay and vegetables. They are rodents, and do NEED non toxic items to chew, such as willow or birch branches."

We also found a pet blog by a capybara's "owner." So be sure to check out the blog called Capybara Madness!


You've probably heard of people owning potbellied pigs and pygmy goats (both of which, by the way, are frequently abandoned after would-be owners decide the work isn't worth the fun) so you probably won't be surprised to know that some people like to have pet sheep! Sheep are said to be gentle and smar... as long as they are females or neutered males and do not have horns. (I don't know... do some come without horns, or does someone remove the horns, or what???) Smaller breeds of sheep, like babydoll sheep and mini-shetland sheep, could even live in your house with you. (Sure, a big sheep could live in your house too. But it might knock stuff over!) Look, we even found a pet blogger with sheep! 


When Mama was younger, before I was even born, she lived in a town that had the odd problem of foxes walking around in public. Mama learned that the foxes were not really dangerous. They wouldn't chase you, that is... but if you cornered one, it would probably bite you, just like any scared animal would! Mama enjoyed seeing the foxes around town. She was sad to later find out that one of the baby foxes ha rabies. :(  So she was excited to see that it is now possible to have a domesticated, pet fox... if you have $6,000 to order one from Russia. The reason it costs so much is mostly because they have to transport the fox to the USA all the way from Russia, which also involves a lot of paperwork. If you do have that kind of money, you could order a fox from this farm in Russia. The website says that these specially-bred, tame foxes are friendly to humans and other pets, can be litter box trained, and will curl up in your bed just like a cat or dog if you let them! (OMG now Mama wants a fox!) Oh yeah... for anyone out there who is getting a wise idea about owning a fox for less than $6,000... it is not legal or moral, and it is a bad idea, to take any animal out of nature and try to keep it as a pet. Don't do it!  (Should I tell you this... we just found a directory of Fennec fox breeders in the USA.) As always, DO YOUR RESEARCH before buying any pet! 


Look out! Its a stinky, yucky, disgusting skunk! Oh, wait, no, thats somebody's beloved pet! Skunks can be pets but, just like a lot of these unusual pets, they take a lot of work! You have to spend a lot of time bonding with a baby skunk so it learns that humans are friendly, skunk-proof your house, "corner train" your skunk (which means letting it choose a corner to go potty in, and then training it to go in a litter box you've placed in that corner), teaching it to play and not bite, skunk proofing your house, etc. We also read on the SkunkHaven website that, if your skunk bites someone and they go to the doctor, the doctor must report it to the health department, and your skunk might be taken and put to sleep. That would be heartbreaking! I think, if you plan on getting a skunk, you should do a lot of research and planning ahead of time! 


I found a lot of scary information about sugar gliders that would make me tell Mama to never get one! But then I found the North American Sugar Glider Association, and it seemed to dispel a lot of the things I read at the other sites. So, I have no idea what sugar gliders are like! They are either super messy or not messy at all, really noisy or very quiet, bite all the time or rarely bite at all,  and need giant aviaries or normal-sized cages. I have no idea! And I couldn't even find a pet blog about sugar gliders. All the info seems to come from breeders, and they all seem to contradict each other on purpose in order to get you to buy from them. One thing I know for sure is, they are very cute! If anyone out there has one they want to tell us about, we'd love to hear!


And now, for my final Smarty Sunday words. There is a reason why cats like me, and dogs like my sisters, are the most common household pets. We've been domesticated over generations and generations, we love being around humans (as long as we are treated with kindness) and we are pretty simple to care for. When you start getting into rarer pets, you have to be very careful not to bite off more than you can chew! I think, if you have your heart set on getting a rarer pet, you should first find a rescue organization that works with those pets, and spend some time volunteering there. (In fact, that wouldn't be a bad idea for those who want to get a dog or cat, or any other type of animal, either!) That way, you can get some first hand experience on what is involved in caring for the animals, 


I also found this article, on a website called Batworld, that talks about why it is a horrible idea to remove animals from nature and try to keep them as pets. Please read it, if you've had any thoughts of trying to domesticate a wild animal! 
"Try to imagine what this feels like…
Someone takes you captive, you don’t know why. You don’t speak their language and you are powerless to escape. You have no idea what they want of you, and you are terrified. Your captor locks you into a bathroom. This bathroom has a window covered with a shade, but you are not allowed to open it to get fresh air, or even look outside. There is a sink, but only your captor knows how to turn the water on. There is a toilet where you can eliminate, but only your captor decides when it should be flushed. You get the same thing to eat day after day after day after day. When you don’t feel good no one knows how to help, so you suffer in pain. There are no pictures on the walls, no TV, no computer, no phones, and no companions. You have absolutely nothing whatsoever to help you pass the endless days and nights. You are completely alone, and this is where you will spend every single day for the rest of your natural life.
This is what a wild animal feels when we take it into captivity. It has lost all control of its world. As captors, we control everything about that animals’ daily life. What it eats, when it gets fresh water, when its cage is cleaned, whether or not it gets fresh air, has companions, and whether or not it has enrichment to brighten its caged life.
You can see why it is not a good idea to own wild animals as pets. It might make you feel cool, but people who know better (and most of them do) feel that it is a horrible cruelty and they cringe when they see people keeping a wild animal as a pet."
Happy Smarty Sunday, everyone! I hope you feel a little smarter now! 

21 friendly visitors:

Daisy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You are doing such a good job of educating people about responsible pet ownership! Before we got Bert and Ernie the gerbils, my Mommeh read everything she could. She visits a gerbil forum every day, too, where she learns more things about them. I hope Bert and Ernie are happy with us! Gerbils do best in pairs and since they are desert animals, they go potty a lot less than hamsters!

Frankie Furter said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sammy-Joe... EXCELLENT job of putting this most impawtant info out fur reading. THANKS... and I am sure there are some "adoptable/fur sale" animals out there that want to THANK you too. I know they would not want to be taken into a home that is not ready to care fur them pawperly.

Ginger Jasper said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow that isa lot of information on different pets, I dont think there will be many of those over here. Mum thinks foxes are sweet too. Hugs GJ x

Jan's Funny Farm said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh, that was a lot of information and research. Good job. We didn't know it's legal to order a pet fox from Russia. Strange world.

Oskar said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow, it was really exciting reading about all of the wacky pets people can have. Thanks for all the info, I'm sure I'm smarter.

Nubbin wiggles,
oskar

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Great job and wonderful message!

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