Everything You Need to Know About a Cockatiel

An adult gray Cockatiel in front of white background.

Owning a cockatiel is a pleasant experience.

Some of the best pets give us endless joy, laughs, and good times. In your search for a new companion friend, might we suggest looking into the cockatiel? These animals are quirky and lots of fun to be around, especially if you are a bird lover. Before you run out to the store to pick one up, here are a few things that you need to know about this wonderful bird.

They Talk!

Cockatiels are more closely related to cockatoos than parrots. However, they carry the distinctive trait of being able to mimic human speech. They are a bit shy when it comes to talking, so be patient. You have a better chance of hearing one talk if you bring home a male cockatiel. They are more lively than their female counterpart.

The Difference Between a Male and Female Cockatiel

You’ll notice that these are beautiful birds. Most cockatiels have feathers with a rich gray color. If you want to spot the difference between a male and female, then you have to look at the face. Males tend to have brighter yellow and orange colors on their face. With female cockatiels, the colors are less apparent and more muted by the gray colors.

Taking Care of This Bird

You and your companion pet will have to take the time the get to know one another. At first, they will be a little wary of you and their new surroundings. Take the time to gain its trust. Interact with it positively, feed it treats, and then try to pet and touch your cockatiel.

You will also want to spot the signs of sickness. Cockatiels like to move around, eat, play, and talk. If you notice that their behavior patterns have changed or they just seem down, it might be time to take them to a vet.

Are you ready to see these exotic birds live and in person? Then come down to the Pet Shop. We have a large selection of birds. Find out if we have the right cockatiel for you.

Bringing Home a Pet Bird: What You Need to Know

Colorful parrot bird sitting on the perch, which makes for a wonderful pet bird.

Looking for a pet bird to bring home? Here’s what you need to know.

Does anything look more majestic than a bird flapping its wings through the air? We didn’t think so. Birds are fascinating creatures and having them as pets can be a wonderful journey. However, like any other animal, a pet bird is a responsibility. So, here are a few things to keep in mind as you take care of your brand-new pet bird.

Know Your Bird, Know It’s Species

Taking care of a bird is not as simple as just bringing it home. It’s important to know what kind of friend you are bringing home with you. Whatever feathery little friend you have your eye on, be sure to ask the pet store owner about its species. Inquire about food, temperature, and personality traits. You are not just bringing a pet home but you’re introducing a friend into your life. Be prepared.

Already Own a Pet Bird? Consider a Few Things

If you already own a pet bird and want to get another one, we can’t blame you. Birds are fantastic creatures. On the other hand, you have to once again consider its species. While some birds get along just fine, other do not. Some can be aggressive or possibly dangerous towards others. Do some research and figure out if the two need separate cages.

Buying a Cage

Along with the purchase of a new pet comes its living area. For most pets, this comes in the form of a cage. You have to remember; a bird will end up spending most of its life in its cage. That cage needs to be comfortable, safe, and most of all, it needs to keep them happy.

That means that they need enough room to fly around in, especially bigger birds. You also have to think about the bars on the bird’s cage. If they are too close together then your feathered friend can potentially get caught in it and hurt themselves. Last but not least, if you find two birds that are friendly with each other, then buy a cage big enough for two.

Why Do Frogs Make Great Pets?

A curious red eyed tree frog hiding in green background leafs. Frogs like these are typically found in Central America.

Always smiling, always happy. Frogs make great pets!

They are slimy and wet, green and colorful, and believe it or not they will hop their way right into your heart. That right, we’re talking about frogs. Pet frogs make excellent companions. You’ll be fascinated by everything this amphibian brings to your life.

Frogs Are Inexpensive

While there is always a cost that comes with bringing a new pet into your home, frogs are relatively affordable. Yes, you will have to buy them a habitat. Terrariums work best. However, these chill pets are low maintenance. They eat less than other animals, including small pets like hamsters and gerbils. Even better, most frog food is cheap as well, lasting you a long time.

Quirky Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe Them

Frogs are kind of funny. You’ll have the time of your life observing this pet’s everyday activities. They move at their own speed and hop onto the weirdest places. They are also adorable in their own quirky way. Most frog owners love looking at their big eyes and are fascinated by the mystery of what they are going to do next.

They’ll Stick With You

If there is one thing that you should not confuse a frog with, it’s other small pets like fish. While you won’t be getting your frog to do any tricks, they offer a bit more interaction. It’s fun to hold them in the hands, watch them crawl around, and pet them from time to time.

Another advantage that these pets have over most aquatic pets is their life span. The general life span of most frogs last 5 to 10 years and some even live to be 20 years old! If you feed them well, keep them happy in their terrariums, and take great care of them, they will return the favor by sticking with you for a long, long time.

A Guide for a First-Time Rabbit Owner

A little girl, who is a rabbit owner, kissing her brown rabbit.

Every first-time rabbit owner needs a little guidance.

Was it the fluffy tail? How about their cute little paws? Perhaps it was their energetic personality that caught your eyes. Whatever it was, you are now the proud owner of an adorable rabbit. Your new furry friend is going to need some proper love and care. However, as a first-time rabbit owner, where do you start?

Start by Making Them Feel at Home

Rabbits make great house pets. However, as with any pets, you have to ease them into their new environment. Keeping your rabbit comfortable is not as hard as you would think. It starts with the cage.

For rabbits, cages are their bedrooms. So, you have to be sure that they have enough room move and lay in them. A good cage is about four feet wide, two feet deep, and two feet tall. You can go a little bigger if you want to spoil them.

The bottom of their cage should be lined with some form of flat surface and hay. If you have a wire bottom cage, line it with wood planks. A flat surface prevents them from getting their feet caught in the bottom and the hay is comfortable enough to sleep on.

A Rabbit Owner Needs to Keep Their Pet Safe

Rabbits like to move around outside of their cage. They are fast moving and energetic creatures, so it’s to be expected. You are going to want to keep them safe from their own curiosity. If you want to know where they are at all times, then use a gate so you can know where they are at all times.

Rabbit-proof the areas of your home where you let them play. That means keeping small objects, dangerous chemicals, and other hazards away from them. If you have electronics with wires, buy cord protectors to prevent them from chewing on them.

Give Your Rabbit Space to Do Their Business

Everybody has to go at some time. If you have had your pet for a few days, then you’ll notice that they like to do their business in one spot of their cage. Don’t let them sit in their own filth. Clean it out occasionally. If you need to easier, buy a small litter box (filled with hay) and place it in that same spot. This should keep them comfortable and happy.

What Is a Degu?

An Octodon Degu eating basil leaves.

A degu will make your life exciting. These little known pets are cute, fun, and lovable.

This cute and tiny pet that’s part of the rodent family can make a great companion animal. Here’s the scoop on some things you should know before you bring a degu home.

You May Be Making a 9-Year Commitment

On average, a degu will live 6 to 8 years in captivity, and 9 years is considered the maximum. Since many people do not know what a degu is or how to care for one, finding a new owner for your pet may be tough, so if you don’t plan on having a pet for more than a few years, you may want to go with something like a hobby rat, which has a lifespan of about 3 years.

A Degu Likes Things Clean

Don’t be fooled by the fact it is a rodent. Your degu won’t be able to clean its own messes, but it will certainly be happier if you do so. All it takes is a pet-friendly disinfectant to clean the cage on a weekly basis, and your pet will be happier and healthier.

This Is a Social Animal

If you do not intend to spend hours every day with your degu, you should get more than one. If you bond with this pet when it is young, it will become very attached to you.

They Are Awake During the Day

A frequent complaint about rodents as pets is that most of them are nocturnal. Degus are an exception. A nice thing about a diurnal pet (awake during the day) is that you can keep the cage in a sleeping area without worrying about being regularly disturbed by something that is up all night. Plus, you get to spend more time with your pet when you are both awake.

Diet and Exercise

Your degu will need a special diet and plenty of exercise in order to be healthy and live a full life. In addition to having a wheel in the cage, you can play with your degu. Just watch the tail because it may come off if grabbed. While this won’t harm your pet too badly, it will result in stress and could affect its health over time.

In short, degus are fun pets that can become a friend for many years.

Enjoying Some Recreation With Your Pet Ferret

Close up of one pet ferret laying down on a couch, while the other is inside a glass jar.

There are many benefits to both you and your pet ferret enjoying some quality time together.

Ferrets are fun-loving pets, and they will find ways to enjoy themselves, whether it be jumping around, doing a dance, or simply running into stuff. So why not join your pet ferret in the fun, and get in a little bonding time?

The Necessity of Spending Time With Your Pet Ferret

Here are some of the benefits that both you and your ferret will derive from enjoying this quality time together.

  • Ferrets need to be more than just physically stimulated by their recreation. Make them exercise mentally as well. This will keep your pet happy.
  • Recreation has the same effect on both humans and ferrets. Endorphin levels are increased. This is what makes us and our pets feel good after exercise, and it helps to build the bond.
  • If laughter is the best medicine, playing with your ferret will be good for your health. Seeing the antics of these delightful creatures can result in some hearty laughter and an overall good time.

In reality, both you and your ferret will benefit equally from such activity. To plan out activities, remember these two things:

  1. Don’t repeat the same activities every time. Ferrets get bored pretty easy, so be original. You can repeat things your pet seems to enjoy—but not day after day.
  2. You could get some ferret toys at the store, but it can be much more enjoyable coming up with an idea and making some yourself at home. Plenty of things are available in your home that could easily become a game to a ferret, such as something to crawl through, chew on, or toss around.

The primary thing to remember is how smart these little creatures are. It’s not enough to just let them out of the cage for a few hours per day. They need some stimulation. A ferret that becomes destructive is more than likely a really bored ferret. Your interaction can make the difference in whether or not your pet ferret feels a meaningful connection to you and a sense of happiness in your home.

Is a Guinea Pig the Right Companion Pet for You?

Are you looking for a companion pet, but don’t want something to care for like a cat or dog that requires more time? A guinea pig may be just the pet for you.

Why You Will Love Owning a Guinea Pig

  • Health – Of course, any animal can get sick, and guinea pigs are no exception, but as long as they are well fed and don’t get overheated or dehydrated, this is a hardy
  • Easy – Bedding, water, veggies, and some specially formulated supplements are pretty much all your pet will need. Make sure the cage is big enough. Every day, give the guinea pig some attention. Other than that, the only thing to remember is that guinea pigs become fertile at less than one month of age, so don’t keep males and females together unless you want a litter.
  • Kid-Friendly – They are tougher than rabbits and don’t scare as easily as smaller pets like hamsters. Obviously, you need to keep an eye on your child to ensure he or she plays nice, but these are good pets for a school-aged child.
  • Longevity – Guinea pigs live five to seven years and can get into their teens on occasion. That’s a far cry from the two or three years lifespan you will get from rats, gerbils, or hamsters.
  • Personality – Like with other animals, guinea pigs each have their own unique temperament. It is important to interact with your potential pet before bringing it home to ensure that you are getting what you expected.
  • Human-Friendly – Unlike many small pets that are afraid of humans, guinea pigs not only enjoy the company of people, but will become particularly attached to their owner. They make unique sounds of delight like little squeals or purrs, and they may even respond to the sight of you by trying to climb the side of the cage to get closer. If you want a pet that you can actually hold and pet, this is an excellent choice.

The fact is, a guinea pig is a good choice for just about any pet owner. Ease of care makes them a good pet even if you have no experience in caring for an animal.

What to Think About Before Getting a Lizard as a Pet

A number of lizards make great companion pets. Several types of reptiles are becoming more mainstream than ever before, especially the bearded dragon and certain types of geckos. However, you need to think about a few things before you select and bring your first lizard home.

Where Did It Come From?

You want your pet lizard to have been bred in captivity. That means it was not taken from the wild—whether legally or illegally. It’s much easier to care for a captive-bred lizard because they have fewer diseases. It is also good for that species to not have wild populations that have been harvested for pets.

Do You Want to Hold It?

Some lizards are excellent companions that don’t mind being held or even sitting on your lap, shoulder, etc. Other lizards should stay in their habitat with the lid tightly sealed, or they will make a quick getaway. Choose your lizard based on how much you want to be able to handle it.

How Interesting Do You Want Your Lizard to Be?

A lot of lizards pretty much do nothing but sun themselves and sleep except when it is feeding time. If you want an active pet that will provide you with entertainment, you have to choose your reptile wisely. Also, a larger tank will give your pet lizard more room to be active.

How Much Will It Cost?

The type of lizard will determine the initial cost of the animal itself, and will dictate the size tank needed as well as the kind of food. These factors can result in a significant variance in costs, so know your budget and choose your lizard accordingly. Also, make sure that there is a vet nearby who can care for your pet since many vets know very little about reptiles, or at least have little-to-no experience with them.

Your Pet’s Needs

Finally, you need to learn what your pet’s needs will be. From habitat to diet, every lizard is a little different. Make sure you have the time to commit to necessary tasks like tank cleaning. Plus, remember that some lizards live for decades, so you are making a long-term commitment.

Sugar Gliders: An Excellent Companion

When choosing a small pet, there are many considerations. How much time and attention can you give to your new pet? What can you afford to spend on the initial setup of a home for your pet, as well as the continuing care such as food? Since a companion pet is meant for those who will spend time daily with their new household member, sugar gliders are an excellent choice.

What are Sugar Gliders?

Good question! Sugar gliders are marsupials. That means that an infant sugar glider spends the majority of its time in its mother’s pouch. Yes, sugar gliders are actually related to kangaroos. However, sugar gliders are very small. You might even say they’re pocket-sized. Why is that? Sugar gliders feel comfortable inside a pouch, and often literally become a “pocket pet” content to stay close to you as long as you allow.

What Kind of Habitat Should I Provide?

Sugar gliders love to climb. An important feature of a sugar glider habitat is that it should be tall, perhaps even higher vertically than horizontally. While an adult glider may only be 6 inches in length (plus a 6-inch tail), the larger the habitat, the better. The glider part of the name comes from the flap of skin that stretches from their wrists to their ankles. Sugar gliders can walk and climb, and they will only glide if they have room to do so.

What Else Should I Know?

Sugar gliders are extremely social. If you can’t spend time with your pet every day, we definitely recommend getting more than one. Since sugar gliders reproduce rapidly, choose them of the same gender unless you plan on becoming a breeder.

A happy sugar glider will live 10-15 years, even in captivity. Keep in mind also that sugar gliders are nocturnal. You may want to keep the habitat in another room if you’re worried they’ll keep you up at night. It also means that you can usually keep them in a shirt pocket during the day. They will likely sleep unless they get hungry or you wake them up by taking them out of the pocket.

Sugar gliders are small pets that are fairly easy to care for. Really, they just like to be loved. If you’re looking for a pocket-sized companion, a sugar glider is a perfect buddy for you!



The Importance of a Pet in the Life of a Child

Some pets are treated like royalty. Owners include them in the family picture on holiday cards. Pets get treated to special toys, clothes, and foods. Some even receive a high standard of medical care at great cost to their owner. Why? It is because pets quickly become a part of the family, especially when children are involved. A pet and child are like candy and sugar, they go together.

How a Pet Can Affect Children

One recent study revealed just how beneficial pets are to kids. In fact, the study showed that an upset child is more likely to seek solace with a family pet than with a sibling. This ten-year study was conducted using children ages 2 through 12 and focused on things such as cognitive, social, and emotional development.

What happens to a child when they experience emotional turmoil? The effects are often detrimental to school work and social development, not to mention health. The stress can be the result of anything from serious illness to parental divorce. Children with positive relationships with family pets also seemed to fare better in these circumstances. Why is this the case?

Children often confide in pets. Since there is no verbal response, the child does not feel judged or pressured to word things, or feel things, a certain way. This allows children to believe that they have an empathetic ear listening to them.

When a child has one such relationship, they often become better at forming other strong relationships. Thus, children with pets frequently fare better socially, even when they suffer from emotional difficulties. Children with conditions that cause chronic social issues, such as autism, often interact better socially than children with no pets.

Many children with pets have an easier time with:

  • Sharing
  • Displaying Compassion
  • Interacting
  • Cooperating

Also, children with pets seem to develop greater self-esteem and experience less stress than other children.

Therefore, it should not be understated how valuable it can be for a pet and child to grow up as companions, especially during their early years. Forming a relationship with a pet prepares a young one for social interactions, and helps children deal with traumatic circumstances that may arise.