We haven't discussed fish as pets yet, so I thought today would be a good time to start! I've always thought Koi Ponds were beautiful, and one day I would love to have one myself. 

As a new Koi pond owner, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of supplies needed to properly maintain your Koi pond. While the importance of the majority of these items cannot be denied, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount needed should be disregarded. Simply knowing the function of each item can help you understand why they are needed.

There are certain items that you need to have on hand at all times. Because your pond is outdoors, emergency situations do occur. Nature is simply unpredictable at times, and you do not want to be caught in a situation where an item is needed, but there is no way to obtain it. 

Filters- Having a working filter is essential for removing unwanted pollutants, and maintaining proper water quality. If you do not have a proper filter, water quality issues can occur, which in turn will cause your fish to have health issues. 

Pump- A pump is essential to the health of your pond. If your water is not moving, there is no way the system can process the water. Moving water can also be from waterfalls, fountains, and other water features, but in no way should completely replace your pump.

Dechlorinator- Tap water contains chemicals that can potentially hurt your fish. When adding new water for any reason, you must add Dechlorinator to eliminate these chemicals.

Test Kits- You will need to have ammonia and nitrite test kits on hand at all times. You will need to perform weekly water tests on your water to ensure proper water quality. Emergency tests may also be needed in the event that you notice any strangeness in your Koi behavior or in the water. 

Pond Salt and Baking Soda- Pond salt and baking soda are used to regulate kH and Nitrate levels in the event that you find a discrepancy. Pay close attention to the amounts you are supposed to add to your pond, which depends on size and the issues that you are currently having. 

Bags- You must have the proper bags on hand to transport Koi. Do not attempt to transport your Koi in trash or regular plastic bags, as they are not designed for this, and may cause damage to your Koi. Unless you remembered to keep the bags you brought your koi home in originally, you will have to make a trip to your local pet store. Make sure to get bags big enough to hold your Koi.

Rubber Bands- You will need quite a few rubber bands for each bag you buy. Make sure that your rubber bands are good quality, as you do not want the pressure from the water to pop the rubber band in the middle of the transport.

Net- You will need to have a net big enough to compete with your Koi. You will never need the net to pull the Koi out of the water with, but you will need it to lead and direct your Koi into the place you want them. Nets can potentially damage your Koi, especially as they get larger.

Paint Bucket- A paint bucket is a better option for catching your Koi, as they cannot hurt your Koi like a net can. Make sure that your bucket is sizable enough to hold your Koi.

Koi Staple Food- Like any other pet, Koi need to be fed daily. Talk with your local pet store or Koi dealer when picking foods for your Koi, as different seasons may dictate the type of food you need to be feeding. Koi have even been known to eat out of their owner's hand!

Koi Treats and Snacks- Like other animals, Koi delight in treats, and will respond in a playful manner to them. Specific Koi treats are available at your local pet store. If you do not mind feeding "human" food to your pets, you may even consider feeding your Koi veggies, fruit, and bread.

I found this great website for more info on starting a Koi pond: 
http://www.koifishschool.com/learn.html check it out!

Hope everyone is having a nice start to the new month of September! Now let's get onto the big issue of the day... Is a cat the right pet for you??

 To decide, you must have an idea what to expect from a cat. You must be familiar about the temperament of cats.

First of all, a domestic cat is a highly intelligent and fiercely independent creature. It can never be placed on a leash the way dogs are. ((Well, you can try but good luck.Lol))  Cats do things they want to do and when they want to do it. They will demand the things they want, such as food and play. And they will also make it clear when they want to be left alone. Thus, the owner of a cat cannot expect his pet to do "work" for him.

Different breeds of cats have different personalities. Some cats are quiet while others like to meow all the time. Can you tolerate a cat who meows almost every hour? Some cats are fussy and choosy about the food you give them while others will eat just about anything. Can you afford the kind of food that your cat prefers? Some cats don't mind being surrounded and petted by strange people while others will wield their claws if they face a person they haven't met before. Does your house accept many strangers or are you alone most of the time? And some cats love to climb and curl on the lap of their masters. But others prefer to be left alone, watching TV or listening to the radio. Are you a cat owner who likes to cuddle all the time?

You will know when your cat is trying to get your attention. It will endlessly meow at you or it will follow you around or it will rub its body against your leg. You will also know if your cat is comfortable or scared by lifting up your cat. If the body is loose, then your cat is relaxed. If the body is tight, then something is scaring the daylights out of it.

Cats like to sharpen their claws. It is their nature, similar to wild cats such as lions, tigers, panthers, and cheetahs. This may irritate the owner, especially if the cat chooses to sharpen its claws on the couch. The owner may consider giving the cat a scratching post. The cat can be taught to scratch its claws on this post.
Cats like to sleep. And the specific personality and breed of the cat will determine where the cat chooses to sleep. Some like to be in secluded places where no one can disturb them. They like to lie in high cupboards and similar places. Other breeds of cats like to sleep in places where everyone is converging. These cats like to be noticed. So they sleep at the center of the foyer, in the middle of the stairs and even on the couch, especially when there are guests.

Hope this has helped you decide if you are the right person to own a cat!

(( Side note: Check out the new Photos page!! ))
  One of the most crucial and important of decisions a pet-parent makes it that of choosing a great vet. It is the vet who will understand your pet when he/she gets ill and care enough to practice what is now popular as preventive health care.

 Never choose a vet because he/she has a nice smile or a beautiful office or is cheap or the closest (although the closest vet to you COULD be the best vet ever, who knows?). Choose a vet who thinks about your pet the same as you do and always keeps the best interest of the pet ahead of all other considerations. The vet must love all types of animals and must:

-    Be kind and gentle when handling the animal. He/She must not leave diagnosis or check ups to assistants.

-    Have posted certification to practice veterinary care. In Canada they might have a certificate from University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Prince Edward Island, or Atlantic Veterinary College.

-     He/She must always stay ahead of developments in medicine and update his skills and knowledge
constantly. (Look for certificates hanging around the office for the doctor or their staff attending recent workshops or courses pertaining to continuos veterinary training. My awesome vet and her assistants have different papers hanging about the office showing their completion of different training courses they go to on their own time to continue their knowledge in animal care.)

-    The vet must be able to stand by you through thick and thin and give timely advice.

-    The clinic must be very clean and have space for overnight stay with clean kennels, space to run, and staff and sometimes volunteers who love animals.

-    It is ideal if the clinic offers health care plans for your pet.

-    Ask the clinic if they have emergency contact numbers so that you can call if an unforeseen problem occurs in the middle of the night or on a public holiday.

-   Check if the clinic has specialists consulting with them like orthopedic doctors and eye specialists.

As a concerned pet parent you must make a list of questions you need answers to. Spend a little time on researching online opinions on the vet as well, but an in person visit or meet and greet is the best. .

It is essential for you to choose a vet who will work along your side in caring for the pet. He/she must be patient, love the animal, and make time to explain things to you as well as take your opinion of things. After all, no one can know your pet better than you. He/she must be organized and maintain health records in great detail from the day the pet is brought in for the first visit to the day it passes away.

A pet will lead a complete existence only if you, the vet, and trainer work in harmony and side by
side. So, choosing a suitable vet is an important decision that must be done after weighing all the pros and cons.

 Ferrets can sometimes be thought of as a rare
pet to own. Most individuals choose dogs, cats, birds, or fish to complete their family, however some want the ferret for its social, playful, curious qualities! Ferrets love to play and explore not only with others and their owners, but also on their own. (In PAIRS of course. They will be lonely if they don't have a ferret buddy.) For this reason, you need to know a few things about how to take care of a ferret.

First, you will want to ferret proof your home before you introduce them as pets. They will crawl into walls, furniture, and anywhere they can get their little bodies. It is much like childproofing a
home for a baby
. You will want to make sure all of the dangers are eliminated when you allow them out of their cages for playtime.

Ferrets are also biters. The kits, baby ferrets, tend to bite more. You can eliminate the problem
or tone it down with frequent handling. It is a sign of their behavior as mock fighting or sparring. The younger ferrets tend to bite more when they are teething and do not mean any harm. For this reason, you will want to handle the ferrets as often as possible to help reduce the biting behavior. Often
those who do not take the time or patience to train their ferret end up leaving
the animal in its cage and thus it has a shorter lifespan. Please make sure you
are up to the task of training a ferret before brining one into your home.

Trained properly they can be as great a pet (or better) as cats or dogs.

A ferret's lifespan is usually six to ten years, however proper care and feeding can lead
to a little longer life. Ferrets are carnivores so they require a high protein
diet. You can buy great ferret food in pet stores. Carefully reading the label will tell you if
it has the proper high protein diet. Please make sure you are buying a high quality brand of ferret food .

 While play is an important part of your ferret's life, so is sleep. Most ferrets spend
fourteen to eighteen hours a day sleeping. Part of sleeping is to rejuvenate
them from the active play life they have. They love to explore and to play with
Many pet stores have toys for ferrets, or you might have something around
the house that your ferret will find appealing.

The type of cage is important. FERRET NATION or CRITTER NATION cages are the best. (I use the critter nation one for my Rats) Ferrets tend to be very smart so you will need a cage where they can get
plenty of air, but small enough bars they cannot slip through. You will also want
to clean the cage once or twice a week depending upon the number of ferrets you
have, and how dirty the cage looks. Join a ferret related online forum for extra help and tips about this. They are also burrowers so some type of bedding is required. Carefresh animal bedding or large towels would work.

Ferrets are little balls of fur that love to play and interact with humans and each other.  While there are some special concessions you need to make to have a ferret the results are worth it. Proper training as a youngster will give you even more joy when they reach adulthood.

Have a nice day and please donate to help me support my own Vet Bills! I have to keep my babies healthy too.

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