Illustrated Articles

Care & Wellness

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into the needs of different bird species. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The African grey parrot, originally from central Africa, is a highly intelligent bird, now commonly bred in captivity as a pet. This elegant medium-sized bird is entirely grey with a strikingly red, short blunt tail.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The colorful Amazon parrot (Amazona sp.) is one of the most common of all the pet parrots kept in captivity. They originate from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the adjacent islands of the West Indies.

  • Many reptile owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including reptiles, need at least annual checkups. A number of reptile veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year. Depending upon the species of reptile, the testing performed, and the temperament of your pet, some of these tests may require short-acting sedatives or gas anesthesia to minimize an animal’s stress level. Every visit starts with a thorough physical examination, during which your veterinarian will record your pet's weight, general appearance, and activity level. Your veterinarian will also ask you about your pet’s recent history and evaluate its diet. Just as your own regular medical visit includes blood testing, so does a checkup for a reptile. Microscopic examination of the feces allows detection of internal parasites. Using X-rays, your veterinarian can examine your pet's body for abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of body organs, screen for masses such as tumors, look for abnormal fluid accumulation, and check the bones and joints.

  • Many owners of small mammals are surprised to learn that all pets need at least an annual checkup. Exotic pet veterinarians typically recommend check-ups at least once a year for young, healthy pets and twice a year for geriatric animals. During a check-up your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing, including blood testing, fecal analysis, microbiological testing, and radiography. While most of diagnostic tests can be performed on awake animals, depending on the species and temperament of the pet, some exotic pet veterinarians recommend performing these tests under short-acting gas anesthesia.

  • Bathing is very important to the proper maintenance of feathers. To have healthy feathers and skin, birds should get wet. Bathing encourages birds to preen or groom their feathers. It keeps feathers free of dirt and helps preserve their wonderful, natural luster.

  • Most wild birds are naturally very active during the day and normally sit on a huge variety of perches of varying diameters and textures in their environments. This variety of surfaces, along with ordinary preening and grooming behavior, wears down their nails so that they don't overgrow. Unfortunately, in captivity, birds typically have smooth surfaced perches, all of the same diameter resulting in decreased wear of nails and nail overgrowth.

  • Bearded dragons are popular, well-known lizards currently considered one of the best pet lizards. The minimum cage size for a juvenile lizard is a 20-gallon aquarium, depending on the size of the bearded dragon. Substrate, or bedding material, should be easy to clean out and non-toxic to lizards if they accidentally eat it. Large rocks, easy enough to climb on or around, in the cage also allow for basking and provide a more interesting, natural environment.

  • Bearded dragons are popular, well-known lizards, currently considered one of the best pet lizards. This lizard is omnivorous, eating both plant- and animal- based foods. They are highly social, friendly, animated, curious, docile and gentle animals that are easy to tame and are very responsive to their owners. Within 48 hours of your purchase, your bearded dragon should be examined by a veterinarian familiar with reptiles.