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How to Take Care of a Pet Rabbit

How to Raise a Bunny at Home

Rabbits can make excellent companions for those who put in the time and effort to understand their needs and care. Although many individuals may see rabbits as a great “starter pet,” they require a significant amount of attention and energy, along with a specific diet and medical care. Before adding a pet bunny to your family, it’s essential to understand what rabbits need, how to take care of a pet rabbit, and how to raise a bunny at home. These lovable and curious animals can live up to 10 years. Rabbits tend to bond with their owners, so providing a quality habitat is essential for them to be able to live a happy and healthy life.

Creating Your Bunny’s Habitat

Unlike their wild relatives, pet rabbits cannot live outdoors. Domestic rabbits can’t handle extreme temperatures, especially during the summer or winter months. In addition, pet rabbits are targets for all sorts of predators if they’re left outside unattended (even when housed in a large enclosed cage).

Bunnies will chew on just about anything, which means it’s crucial to bunny-proof your home to keep your furry friend safe, as well as to reduce the risk of damage to your belongings. Electrical cords need to be out of reach, power outlets covered, and any harmful plants must be out of reach. These include aloe, Lily of the Valley, and other various plant bulbs that can be dangerous if consumed by your pet bunny. Want to keep your rabbit extra safe? Block off certain areas of the house using baby gates as a ‘just in case’.

You can let your bunny have free roam of your house, or you can opt for a large cage. A good rule of thumb is that the cage should be a minimum of five times the length of your bunny when they’re fully stretched out. Rabbits are active creatures and need ample space to be able to move freely. The surface of the cage should be solid, including the floor portion. For bedding, opt for something that will keep your pet safe, as well as comfortable within the enclosure. Since bunnies like to chew, you must use a material that will be non-toxic. Paper, pellets, hay, and aspen shreds are all quality options for your furry friend. However, even if you have a cage for your rabbit, your pet bunny will still need plenty of time outside of their cage to roam around, stretch their legs, and play.

Bunnies will often go to the bathroom in the same general area. Due to this, pet bunnies can often be potty-trained. Place a litter box in one corner of their cage and a few throughout your home to give your pet plenty of options to do their business.

Care and Feeding Your Pet Rabbits

Pet rabbits also need a well-rounded diet to stay happy and healthy. Your furry friend should have access to timothy hay-based pellets, timothy hay, and plenty of fresh, clean water. Opt for a sipper bottle or a bowl of water. If you go with a sipper bottle, make sure your bunny knows how to use it, and that you clean it often so it doesn’t get clogged. If you go with a water bowl, put the water in a heavy shallow bowl to avoid it getting tipped over.

The most important food in a rabbit’s diet is hay! Here’s why: A rabbit’s teeth grow continuously throughout their life, and If they’re not eating about 80% hay then their teeth can grow too long. This can cause abscesses and dental problems, which sometimes are not fixable.

Vegetables also play an important role in a bunny’s overall health. For a balanced diet, you should give your pet bunny plenty of leafy, darker greens, including cilantro, parsley, romaine, arugula, and other greens. Rabbits also enjoy sweet treats, including apples, pears, strawberries, plums, blueberries, and more. Extra-sugary fruits should only be given to your furry friend sparingly, including fruits such as bananas and grapes.

Bunny Medical Care

Just like any other pet, bunnies need regular medical care and annual check-ups to make sure they are healthy. However, not all veterinarian clinics will treat pet bunnies. To find the right vet for your furry friend, search for an “exotic” veterinarian. The exotic designation simply means that they treat a variety of nontraditional pets, including bunnies, guinea pigs, snakes, and more. At AZPetVet, we have several doctors throughout our family of animal hospitals who partner with our clients to care for their exotic pets.

A pet bunny can be an excellent addition to any family. However, just because a rabbit may be smaller than many cats and dogs doesn’t mean that they’re more low-maintenance or need less attention. Pet bunnies still require a lot of work and love. If you’re ready, willing, and able to give them the kind of home and life that they deserve, then you will have a fun, loyal, and curious companion that will love you right back.

Several AZPetVet locations offer a range of services for exotics and pocket pets. Visit this link to find one near you!

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

 

Know the History and What Were Beagles Bred For

A Brief History of Beagles: From Hunters to Family Dogs

With big floppy ears and the signature multi-colored coat — Beagles are just as fun-
loving and sweet as they appear! If you are looking to welcome a new pup into your
family, a Beagle could be an excellent choice. This breed is loving, curious, and
extremely loyal — you’ll never have a dull day with a Beagle in your home.
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What Were Beagles Bred For?

With a short yet sturdy body, this breed is built to be the ultimate hunting
companion. Due to their keen sense of smell, Beagles were originally bred as hound
dogs for hunting small game. Interestingly, the pups were being bred for specific
hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United
States to hunt rabbits.

History of Beagles

The history of the Beagle is not as precise as some other breeds we have profiled.
While ancient Greek documents place Beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the
breed, as we know it now, was not formally recognized until the 19th century. During
this time, Beagles were very popular in England, and it wasn’t much longer before
the breed became a favorite in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC)
started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884. Today, they are a consistently
popular choice for family dogs, appearing regularly on the AKC’s Top Ten Most
Popular Dog Breeds.

Different Beagle Breeds

While there is technically only one breed of Beagle, there are two different varieties
of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The only feature that
separates the two varieties is their size. One type stands below 13 inches tall while
the other stands between 13 to 15 inches tall. Other than the slight difference in
height, no other physical or personality traits differ between these two varieties of
Beagles. Both types can — and should — weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds.
Since this breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, it’s important
to maintain their activity levels as they age.

Beagles are black, brown, and white in color and are relatively easy to care for in
regards to grooming. A proper brushing once a week will cut down on the amount
of bathing they need unless they are used for hunting. They do, however, need to
have their ears checked frequently to help avoid infections.

Beagle Behavior

Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them the freedom to
wander around. While all dogs should be microchipped, it’s very important for
Beagles because their mischievous behavior can get the best of them. Beagles
follow their noses, so if they escape the yard, they can wander further from
home in pursuit of whatever scent is enticing them. Do your best to get them
outside and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent-up energy and
keep them on their best behavior in the house.

Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at
their best in extremely social settings and typically do not like being left home
alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you
return, which can include chewing shoes and furniture.

Beagles are a smart, curious, and energetic breed that packs a lot of love and
sweetness into a small package. Caution: don’t think there won’t be moments where
you are driven utterly crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember —
purebred Beagles are popular and lucrative “products” for puppy mills. There are
many wonderful Beagle rescue organizations and animal advocates working hard to
prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding. Consider adopting from a local Beagle
rescue.

Signature Siamese Persian Cat Personality Traits

Siamese Persian Cats: From Royalty to Disney Movie Stars & Beyond

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Despite how the Disney movie The Lady and The Tramp may have depicted this breed,
Siamese Persian cats are actually very loving, social, and outgoing. These cats are truly
elegant looking with their sleek bodies and beautiful eyes. They’re known as a natural
breed, having evolved through the ages, first appearing in a Thai manuscript of cat
poems believed to date as far back as the 14th century. Today, the Siamese cat has
contributed key features and personality traits to related breeds such as the Balinese,
the Oriental (the Himalayan division of the Persian), the Tonkinese, and the Havana
Brown.

History of the Siamese Persian Cat

The history of the Siamese Persian cat is just as storied. As one of the oldest breeds of cat,
the Siamese Persian was indigenous to Siam (known today as Thailand) for thousands of
years. It is believed that in the earliest days, Siamese cats were bred and reserved for Thai
royalty. The Siamese breed itself was not introduced to the West until the nineteenth
century. In 1878, the first Siamese Persian cat was introduced to the U.S. by a diplomat
stationed at the consulate in Bangkok, who gifted “Siam” to First Lady Mrs. Rutherford B.
Hayes.

Siamese Persian Cats: The Purrfect Personalities

The Siamese Persian breed’s striking features and loving personalities have seen its
popularity continue to grow in the United States. Along with their beautiful looks,
Siamese Persian cats have a personality that encompasses everything a cat lover would
look for in a feline friend! Being social and extremely vocal is in their nature, and it shows
in their day-to-day activity. They usually enjoy being with people and are known to
follow you around “talking” and “helping” wherever they can! Siamese Persian cats are
also great with children and dogs who like cats.

Caring for a Siamese Persian Cat

Overall, the care for these beautiful cats is straightforward. Siamese Persian cats are
typically indoor cats, so that adds to the ease of keeping them clean. They have short
hair and only require monthly brushing to remove any loose hair. They tend to be very
healthy, but collectively as a breed, they struggle with asthma and congenital heart
defects.

The Siamese Persian loves to stay active, which contributes to their sleek body type. It is
recommended to have plenty of physical activities to keep them busy while you are
away, such as tall climbing trees and plenty of interactive toys. It has also been
mentioned that they love to play fetch if trained to do so!

So, if you are looking for a social and talkative feline to add to your family, the Siamese
Persian could be an excellent breed for you! One note: if your schedule has you away
from home for long periods, cattime.com suggests getting two of them. Many do
not like being alone, and having a friend can keep them preoccupied until you
return.

Meet a few of the BARK-iest Dog Breeds from Bloodhounds to Pinschers

What is the BARK-iest dog breed?

As dogs, barking is undoubtedly part of the job description. However, some breeds of
dogs just can’t help but bark more than others. From a bloodhound bark to a
chihuahua bark, no matter the size, every dog barks. It’s always a good idea to know
in advance whether your eardrums are compatible with your four-legged friend. If
you’ve found this out too late, you could always buy earplugs in bulk packets to hand
out liberally to family, friends, and neighbors. Better yet, the best bet is to nip this
habit in the bud. Take the time to work with your dog to teach them to control this undesirable behavior. Here are some of the barkiest breeds and insights into why
they bark as much as they do.

Chihuahuas – One of the barkiest breeds out there, chihuahuas are most definitely known for their shrill yip. This behavior is more common than you’d think, however.
Because of their size, chihuahuas are often mistaken as not needing much exercise.
Instead, the breed’s highly enthusiastic demeanor warrants loud barks to release this
pent-up energy.

A result of their territorial nature, chihuahuas also bark to warn others of their presence. So, while these cute and tiny little terrors may let loose with a string of
brain-shattering barks that could raise the dead, the bark often has the most sincere
intentions to protect.

Terriers (except for bull terriers, who are quiet in comparison) – Terrier breeds are dogdom’s kings and queens of barking, with honorable mentions going to Schnauzers and beagles, who, during the contest, were clearly barking up the wrong tree.

Although they might not look the part, terriers were bred to hunt, which is why their barking habits can be attributed to their acute animal instincts. When they’re not
out in the woods sniffing for small game, these pooches are guarding the home.
Even a little noise might trigger these terriers into a barking frenzy. Next time your
terrier barks, try making a distracting noise of your own to get your dog to stop
barking. Reward the silence and repeat.

German Shepherds – The handsome and intelligent policeman of the dog world has
a deep, throaty howl that could scare even the spookiest of monsters. Loyal and
affectionate in nature, German shepherds use this low bark to draw human
attention or to express their anxiety and yearning for their owner to return home.

Bred to herd (and to be heard), German shepherds fulfill their duties by barking
orders at those being herded. Proud of their success, a German shepherd bark also
indicates pride and confidence.

Regular exercise and training can help them learn to control their instinct to bark.

Miniature Schnauzers – Like many of their larger dog-relatives, a miniature
schnauzer is bred as a guard dog. Their bark can be triggered by sounds coming
closer to the home.

One way to get your miniature schnauzer to stop barking is to reduce your
dog’s view of the outside world. This way, they won’t feel so intimidated.

Bloodhounds – A bloodhound’s bark is instantly recognizable. Distinctive and deep,
it’s no wonder why this dog was bred for hunting and search-and-rescue. Not only
do bloodhounds use their bay to sound the alarm, but they also bark when they feel
lonely or anxious. Giving your dog plenty of exercise can help curve this loud habit.

Huskies – While huskies rarely bark, these dogs are quite vocal and will provide
endless rambling commentary about their day. Because huskies were bred as wild
dogs, they are often non-territorial, leaving them feeling like they don’t need to
protect much. Instead, they are passionate about sharing their opinions using
alternative howls and grunts.

Alaskan Malamutes – Similar to their close cousin the husky, the malamute name is
a lie. There is no “mute” in the Alaskan Malamute. They’ll hold entire conversations
with anyone who will listen. Often, their vocalizations are playful and asking for
attention. When an Alaskan Malamute barks, you can be sure there’s something
awry.

Miniature Pinschers – “Min Pins”, as they are affectionately known, are actually
willful little dictators that are determined to bend you to their wishes. A big dog in a

small body, miniature pinschers bark to assert their power…even if they are only 11
pounds.

If pinschers are not active enough, they will bark just to hear themselves bark. It’s
essential to train these dogs early on so that their nuisance barking doesn’t become
a habit.

Great Pyrenees – Bred to guard flocks of sheep and cattle, Pyrenees use their bark
language to express alarm at everything from a light breeze blowing to actual
predators afoot! Unfortunately, it’s all the points in between alerts that will really test
everyone’s patience.

While we’ve poked fun at the topic, no matter what the breed, excessive barking can
be a severe problem, for you and for your neighbors. With a little bit of training and
lots of rigorous exercise, your dog is sure to wag more and bark less.

The American Humane Society: tips to curb excessive barking.

In Celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week

In honor of the 25th Annual Professional Pet Sitters Week, here are a few reasons why you might need to call a professional pet sitter:

  • If you’ve ever had to drop everything to travel at the last minute for work or an emergency
  • If you’ve ever needed someone to take care of your pet while you go on vacation
  • If you’ve ever felt like you can’t travel because you have no one to look after your pet
  • If your pet is older and gets stressed out by change in environment or travel
  • If your pet has health issues and can’t risk exposure to other animals
  • If you get stressed out thinking of leaving your pet in a kennel

Reasons to love professional pet sitters while you’re away for a few days or even longer:

  • No disruption to your pet’s daily routine
  • No stressful environment changes for your pet
  • No calling in favors with family, neighbors or friends
  • No wrestling with pet carriers or potentially stressful car rides
  • Your pet will have regular attention, exercise, and TLC
  • Your pet’s medications and health will be monitored
  • You’ll get regular updates, so less to worry about
  • Your home will look lived in, so less risk of crime

Thanks to all the Professional Pet Sitters!