Wintertime grooming.

Many people think that keeping a dog’s coat long through the winter keeps it warm.  Unfortunately, this is not true, and many poor animals suffer because of it.   It is in springtime that we see the unfortunate results of these decisions.

Spring brings a “cleaning” motif to our thoughts, and that includes our dogs.  But those long coats that we are cleaning up in spring reveal problems that have festered over the winter.  Matts, hot spots, fungal infections, even open wounds are often hidden by pelted coats that have been left too long between grooming.  These problems can lead to hundreds of dollars in vet bills, and pain for the dog  And those matts prevent us from doing a nice grooming job, and necessitate a shave off.    

Worst of all, the intent of keeping the dog warm by leaving his coat long actually does the opposite.  Long, matted hair traps moisture in against the skin.  Think of it like wearing a winter coat over a wet wool sweater.  Even the best down coat will not keep you warm with that wet sweater against your skin.  That’s how the dog feels. 

A short, well groomed hairstyle lets the skin breath, keeps it dry and warm.  And should you want to put a sweater on, even better, because short hair is less likely to matt from the rubbing of the sweater.

As more and more people learn this truth, the fewer problems we see each spring.  Hopefully we won’t see any pets suffering from this mistaken belief in the next few years.

Betta Care

Bettas evolved in small stagnant pools, and have developed the ability to breathe air. This makes them ideal for bowl living, where lack of water movement makes oxygen scarce. Also, their low activity levels reduce the amount of feeding and cleaning required. Life span - approx. 2.5 years.

Male Bettas are solitary creatures that will fight to the death if two are in close quarters. And females are only tolerated for a short time during spawning, and only if she is ripe, and ready to mate.

They require small feedings daily, we recommend a pellet or two, and if he eats those, possibly a third. Pellet food is available from us at Aardvark Pets 1604 St Marys Rd 256-7705. If being left for a weekend, do not overfeed before leaving. A well cared for betta can last 3 or 4 days easily without food, and overfeeding can pollute the water and kill him.

Water changes should be made regularly, with clean new water being left overnight to de-chlorinate and get to temperature. Tap water is preferred, as it contains a balanced mineral content. DI, RO or distilled water has too few minerals, and spring water is way too hard.

Defrosting Frozen Rodents

Frozen/thawed is the preferred feeding technique for reptiles. F/T rodents cannot bite the pet, they are cheaper, easier to store, and if the animal refuses to feed, you always have the option of going to live.

It is important to properly prepare the F/T prey item for feeding, otherwise the animal may reject the offering. We sell our rodents individually sealed in plastic, making it easier to defrost. Take the frozen rodent, put it in an additional bag with a weight of some sort (small rocks work great) and immerse it in a container of hot tap water. Boiling water or microwaves will cook the rodent, making it unuseable for feeding.

By keeping the rodent dry, you preserve the smell of it. You also avoid contaminating it with chlorine, a smell that hides the rodents odor. Most snakes seek out prey both by smell and heat. By having a warm, dry dead rodent, you maximize the chance your animal will accept the food.

We recommend feeding snakes in a separate enclosure, to prevent them from developing an aggressive feeding response to your hand entering their enclosure. Aardvark Pets, 1604 St. Marys Rd 256-7705

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