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FORAGING 101

FORAGING:
Foraging is an enrichment technique that combines many of the elements Robin discussed, including dietary tactile and visual. It replaces an important activity generally lost in captivity. In the wild, a bird will spend 80 percent of its time traveling to seek food. So if all we do is give our birds food in a bowl, it’s no fun! Foraging works to get them to do something. It is time consuming and it reduces boredom. It also serves to redirect unwanted behaviors to positive and nondestructive ones.

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PET POISON PREVENTION TIPS

With many common household items toxic to pets, it’s important that pet owners educate themselves to ensure they keep unsafe items out of paw’s reach.

It can happen to even the best pet owners—you turn around for one moment (or accidentally leave medication or chocolate on the counter) and your pet ingests a potentially harmful or fatal pet poison.

As owners, it is vital that you stay up-to-date on the most common pet poisons and educate your self on the importance of pet-poison proofing their homes. [Read more…]

BEAUTY OF THE BETTA

Big fish in a small pond – or little fish in a small container?

The Siamese fighting fish, or betta, is a vibrantly-colored fish often seen swimming solo in brandy sniffers and ornamental vases in both the office and home. But do these small, aesthetically-pleasing fish bowls provide a healthy environment for the fish? Is the popular betta bachelor in need of a companion or is it better off living alone? Read on and learn more about this graceful, multi-hued fish.

History

The betta was first discovered in Southeast Asia. Making its home in rice paddies, drainage ditches and the warm flood plains of the region, the betta became accustomed to frequent storm flooding and devastating droughts. The cyclic, drastic changes in its environment helped the fish to adapt – becoming a true labyrinth fish. A labyrinth fish has the unique ability to breathe oxygen directly from the air and also take in oxygen from its gills. As a result, bettas and other labyrinth fish can survive for short periods of time out of water and if needed, can inhale the air around them (provided they stay moist.) This also explains why a betta can sustain itself in stagnant, oxygen-deficient water. Although bettas can tolerate small spaces and poor water quality, they do best in small aquariums (at least two gallons) with regular water changes. The preferred water temperature for a betta is 76-82 degrees F.

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