House guests are stressful. Did you know they are stressful to your exotic pets too?
Most people are accustomed to cats and dogs but not necessarily snakes, parrots or other exotic pets. Because people are less familiar with them, they can receive a lot more attention than the traditional pet and this attention is not always wanted by your exotic animal.
How to introduce your exotic pet to your guest:
- One person at a time. A crowd can be scary.
- Watch your pet closely for signs of stress or fear.
- Teach the person how to handle your pet properly.
- Don’t be afraid to take your pet back from the person holding them.
Holidays are a big time for guests. But holidays often mean events like big meals or parties. Create a safe space for your exotic pet so they can escape the activity and reduce overstimulation.
- Give them a quiet room to stay in
- Give them comforts appropriate for your pet, like a blanket or heating rock.
- Watch out for stress activities like feather plucking or hiding.
- Be able to adjust for your pet’s mood and needs.
It’s that time of year again, reptile awareness! Ok, you probably didn’t know that, but it is National Reptile Awareness day.
The best way to celebrate is to learn about reptile and take care of your’s if you own any. Going to the Albuquerque Zoo, you can see a lot of great reptiles and learn a lot about what they eat and how they live.
If you have a reptile as a pet, this is a great time to schedule an annual checkup. Reptiles tend not to get regular veterinary checks. This is because they don’t require annual vaccinations. But this does not mean their health is not important. Bringing your snake or lizard into the vet for a quick annual checkup is great to monitor their ongoing health. Your vet can tell you if your lizard is malnourished or if they have parasites. If there are any health concerns, they can help you treat them before they are too late.
Shedding can be a particularly nerve-wracking time for reptile ownership. Sometimes snakes and lizards do have complications and can get infections that require antibiotics. Make sure to turn up the humidity in their enclosure during shedding and if you are concerned about any part of the process, make sure to bring them in for an evaluation. It is also best not to pull off any of the shedding skin. This can cause tears in their healthy skin which can lead to infection.
So love your reptiles and keep them healthy with regular exams. If you are not a snake or lizard owner, then visit the zoo and say hi to all the reptiles in the reptile house.
I love turtles. They are cute and have silly feet. They can pull their heads into their shell. They can swim! Too bad they can also give you salmonella.
A lot of kids want pets. A lot of parents don’t want their kids to have a pet that will require a lot of care, especially if they don’t think their kids will be the primary caretaker. Often times a turtle seems to be a great solution. But you may want to rethink this option, especially if your kids are young.
Small children are far more likely to do funny things like put their turtle in their mouth, or kiss them on the head, or put them in someone else’s mouth, or rub them on someone’s face, or drop them in your coffee…you get the point. Unfortunately for all of us, including the turtle, that can be bad for everyone’s health.
Turtles harbor salmonella and it can be passed on through their saliva or feces. So maybe keeping them out of mouths is the answer? Wrong. Even their water in their bowls can carry the bacteria. So you don’t have to have a turtle latte to be exposed.
Additionally, did we mention that turtles often live for 40 years? That means that long after your kids have packed up and moved out, that turtle you bought when they are 4 is still living with you. So before you buy a turtle, think about if it is a pet your child truly wants and will take care of in the long run, and make sure you buy a bigger one that can live in the back yard.
If you notice vomiting or bloody diarrhea in your child, or yourself, make sure to get to a doctor to make sure you didn’t get salmonella.