Category Archives: natural

My Bird Hates Me Again


So my bird hates me again. Every year around this time just before spring is here Stan’s hormones kick into angry bird mode and my beautiful loving little Quaker turns into a mad little biting machine.

If you have birds you will know exactly what I am talking about, his whole demeanour changes, there is a look in his eyes a certain way that he moves, he is reluctant to come out of his cage, very vocal, there may be beak clicking or tail wagging, but if you miss all those signs you won’t be able to miss the excruciating bite that is no doubt heading your way.

Much like the self absorbed teenager, a parrot too becomes self absorbed and defensive around this time of year. Try not to be too hard on yourself or take it too personally.

So what can you do to snap you bird out of this phase? well nothing really, you just have to ride it out. Thankfully this uncharacteristic mood change does not last long and just when you think there is no light at the end of the tunnel that you have lost the love of your beloved friend for ever then suddenly he is back often sweeter than ever, calling out to you to come and play, giving you kisses, singing and talking happily again.

Unfortunately for me Stan’s transformation from loving bird to angry bird is only just commencing but I know that before long angry bird will be no more than a distant memory, and my beautiful boy will love me again.


What to do with your pets when you go on holidays

It is a big honour to be asked to look after someone’s pets it means that they really trust you, it is also however an enormous responsibility. For that period of time that the owners are away you become their beloved pets caregiver.

I love looking after my friends pets but there is always an enormous sigh of relief heaved once my friends are back home and I have delivered their beloved pet safely back to them.

A lot of people don’t have friends or family to leave the care of their pets to when they go on leave so these people tend to use places like dog kennels or cattery’s but there are other options too that can provide better alternatives.

Animal shelters like Animal Aid offer a pet minding service at a reduced fee, the benefit of this option is that you can use it for longer extended periods time and it will not cost you a fortune. Also most animal shelters are run by volunteers, people who genuinely have a deep love of animals so you know that your pet will be in good hands.

Most Vets offer pet minding services although their rates are considerably high so this would not really be your most cost effective option. On the plus side though in the event that your pet does become ill the vet would be on hand to treat them.

There are many organisations such as Top Dog pet minders that actually look after your pets in their own home. They provide a more personal touch where your pets get to be part of someone else family for a little while. These services are very popular as prices are quite reasonable.

And finally House Carers not only offer people who will care for your pets but they will also housesit for you as well. House carers are all over the world and in most cases the service is free as you are providing them with accommodation in return for them looking after your pet and home.

I’m sure there are many more options available but the best option by far is taking your pet with you on your holiday, unfortunately though this is not always possible.



Preparing your pets for the arrival of a baby


There seems to be a bit of a baby boom happening at work at the moment. It certainly is an exciting time. It’s almost enough to make me clucky, I say almost because three children are more than enough for me.

What I am being asked more and more though is how my colleagues can prepare their pets for the arrival of the baby.

Pregnancy is an exciting and somewhat scary time, there are many different emotions that parents to be are feeling and experiencing, your pets will undoubtedly pick up on these feelings and nervous energy. You might notice that they may become a bit more subdued or clingy, following you around more so than normal. They may want to snuggle up with you more. They may even begin marking their territory by piddling inside the house.

It is important that in all the excitement your pets are not overlooked. There are lots of things you can do to get your fur kids ready for the arrival of your baby. You should begin desensitising your pet as early as possible. There are many CD’s on the market with baby sounds like crying, cooing, screaming , try playing the CD at different times throughout the day to get your pet especially your dog, familiar to baby sounds this will save you a lot of grief later on when you are trying to get baby to settle, the last thing you want is your dog barking every time the baby cries.

Babies need a lot of stuff they need their own furniture, clothes, nappies, shampoo, wipes, toys well you get the picture. As you acquire things your baby will need make sure you let your pet see and smell these things. But this is also the time to establish your boundaries. If you do not want your cat to sleep in the baby’s cot when your baby arrives, do not let the cat sleep in it or even jump into the cot before the baby arrives. Close the door of the nursery, put netting over the cot or bassinet, make a loud noise to startle the cat If they look like they’re about to jump into the cot, I have even heard of pieces of sticky tape laid inside the cot as being used as a deterrent.

Life with a new baby can be very unpredictable, it will help if you gradually prepare your pet for a less consistent schedule, try varying meal times or walk times .

Afternoon naps are a great way of recharging your battery, start taking occasional afternoon naps this will go a long way in preparing your pet for the change of lifestyle that is coming.

Now is also a good time to think about enlisting the help of a professional dog walker. You may not have the time or the energy in the first few months for walking your dog. A dog walker could be a big help, not only will your dog be happier if it has had a good walk but you too will feel less guilty.

There are kits you can buy to help you with preparing your pet for the arrival of your baby, the most popular kit at the moment is ‘Pregnant paws preparation kit’ which you can buy over the Internet for about $40. The kit includes such things a CD, Bunny Rug, Baby products, and Information /tip sheet.

Every child should grow up with a pet! A bit of planning now will go a long way to ensuring that babies arrival will be a happy time for not just you but your fur kids as well.



Cats and vomit..


I don’t need to tell you, especially those of you who have cats or have had cats, how amazing these creatures are, they are not only super intelligent, wonderfully affectionate and fiercely independent but they also possess an uncanny knack, a physic power if you like, for just knowing when something is wrong and will be by your side to help you through whatever trial or tribulation you may be going through.

My Balinese cat DT, is more human than cat, he is my constant shadow, he has an opinion about everything and makes sure I hear it loudly. Despite his larger size he really is a scaredy cat so is not really a people person. He is what you would call a one person cat although I must say he has mellowed somewhat with age and is now a little more tolerant and not quite as standoffish of other people.

He is a constant source of joy for me though, but DT does have one flaw, he has a sensitive stomach and will quite often bring up his dinner, saliva or this disgusting browny sludgy substance. Yuk. Often this will be at the worst possible time, 3am in the morning whilst he’s sleeping on my bed, right before guest are about to arrive all over the kitchen bench that he has jumped up on when I wasn’t looking, I could go on but you get the picture.

So before I go running off to the vet to hand over my $80 or so I thought I’d do some research of my own and see what I can find. It turns out that there are many reasons why DT may be vomiting, some are a bit more scary than others.

The reasons why cats vomit can range anything from food allergies, poor diet, lactose intolerance, enzyme deficiency, hair balls, eating their food too fast and even poisoning.

For my cat I suspect food allergy to be the culprit. Over the past three weeks or so I have started introducing fresh meat into DT’s diet and I must admit that I have seen a noticeable difference and not just with the vomiting. To test my theory last week I started feeding DT a commercial brand of cat food at his dinner time feed. For breakfast he would have the fresh meat and then for dinner a satchel of a well known brand of cat food.

As I suspected by the third day the vomiting was back. 2am in the morning I’m changing the bedcovers and cursing beneath my breath that I should have trusted my instincts. So DT is back on the fresh meat, all prepackaged commercial cat food banned from this house, and touch wood so far so good.



Getting a pet? Have you done your homework?


If you are thinking about getting a pet for your family the three most important things to consider are:

1. Your Time or commitment factor- how much time do you really have to devote to this animal?

2. Size, how much room do you have- do you have a large yard, or do you live in a unit or apartment.

3. Price how much money can you afford to spend on your pet. It’s not just the initial price of purchase but also the ongoing costs of care such as food, medical bill etc.

Once you have answered these three questions you can then move onto the fun part which is actually choosing your pet . Cat, dog, rabbit, bird, fish, skink, hermit crab, frog, alpaca the list is endless .

I know that baby animals are so adorable but there is a lo to be said about rescuing an animal in need, more often then not these pets turn out to be the best ones. So before you rush off to the pet shops or breeders why not have a look through the animal shelters first or the even trading post, you just never know what you might find, your new best friend could be there waiting eagerly for you.

If you would like some information on a particular animal or alternatively if there is anything you would like to know any problems you may be having with an existing pet and would like some helpful solutions let me know and I will try my best to find the easiest, most environmentally friendly solution I can.



Natural Remedies for Dogs with Allergies

Natural remedies for Dogs with Allergies

A lady at work recently shared with me her story of her poor dog that was suffering from an allergic reaction to some chemicals that they had sprayed around the outside of their home as a barrier to creepy crawlies. As a result her dog had broken out in a severe rash all over its body and was in terrible discomfort.
It got me thinking about all the people who have pets /dogs that do suffer with allergies especially around spring and summer time.
In fact I barely know of anyone whose pet has not suffered some form of allergy whether that be licking/ chewing its feet, red spots on its tummy, itchy ears, or some other reason for scratching.
Allergies can cause extreme discomfort in our pets and in some cases even pain. With Vet bills being so high, I have decided to do some research into cheaper more environmentally and pocket friendly solutions to help our beloved pets overcome these allergies.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Put some apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and then spray it directly onto dogs skin. This will relieve any itchiness and redness. – Dilute Vinegar with equal parts of water if the skin is already broken. If your dog is suffering from itchy ears or ear infection then a few drops of apple cider into your dog’s ear will help to relieve this.

Baking Soda – mix baking soda and water and spray onto your dog to relieve itchy skin (this is especially effective for insect bites) – Baking soda can also be added to bath water.

Asprin Solution – Dissolve two aspirin tablets in one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. In a second cup dunk a tea bag in warm water. Mix the two solutions and allow to cool. Use cotton ball to apply the mixture to the skin.

Oat meal – either mixed in the bath water, or made into a paste by mixing half part of water with half part of oatmeal and apply to skin, leave for about 10 mins and rinse off.

All these methods are safe, easy to prepare and easy to administer, and hopefully they will give your beloved pet some relief this season.