Companionship is crucial for birds’ well-being. If you have a single bird, adopt a companion of the same or similar species. Before introducing a new bird, take him or her to your local vet for a checkup. If the newcomer is healthy and free of diseases, put his or her cage inside or next to the larger cage or aviary so that the birds can see each other without coming into direct contact with one another. Watch to see how the birds get along for at least one week. If they seem friendly to each other, allow the birds to visit—supervised—using separate play stands. Once you are confident that the birds pose no threat to one another, open the door of the small cage. The newcomer will come out when he or she feels comfortable enough.
Explore the Great Indoors
Cats may sometimes act cocky and independent, but they are as defenseless as toddlers in the concrete jungle. Cats allowed to roam outside unattended may be attacked by dogs, stolen by dogfighters to use as bait or poisoned by neighbours who don’t like them digging in the flowerbeds or climbing on their cars. Cats who roam outside are also exposed to deadly diseases like feline AIDS and feline leukemia, for which there is no cure.
Cats can adapt nicely to life indoors if they get plenty of playtime and other ways to exercise their agile minds. From paper bags and rolled up balls of paper to motorized mice and laser pointers, toys perk up even the laziest feline.
Indoors or Out?
Dogs are pack animals—they depend on you for love and protection, so keep them inside, take them for walks, and make them a part of your family.
Dogs left unattended in their own yards, even for a few minutes, have been stolen, poisoned, and beaten. They can suffer from stress and loneliness, heatstroke in the summer, and frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration in the winter.
Because of the danger and cruelty that it poses, several communities have banned the chaining of dogs. Chained dogs kill as many children as do firearms, and they kill more than falls from trees, playground equipment, and fireworks accidents put together.
Rabbits cannot tolerate extreme heat and must be provided with shelter from the cold. They prefer to live indoors, where they can participate in their caretaker’s everyday life, but before you let your new friend into your home, there are a few things you need to do to ensure his or her safety and happiness. Bunnies are natural chewers and they love to play, so be sure to provide plenty of toys. Untreated wood; straw; wire cat-balls; keys; paper towel rolls; and hard, plastic baby toys work well, but even with all these fun toys to play with, bunnies are drawn to electrical and phone wires, books, baseboard molding, door jams, and plants.
You’ll need to cover or redirect wires and move the rest of these items up and out of the way before bringing your bunny home.
Rats and mice
Rats and mice are social but territorial animals. A lone, caged rat or mouse will languish, but two or more crowded together without adequate space may fight. A large aquarium or a wire enclosure of equivalent size is a minimum requirement for two animals, and you should never mix males and females or different species.
Depending on the variety, snakes can live for decades and grow to lengths in excess of 3 metres. They require a large tank, frequent checkups, and care by a vet who specializes in reptiles. Fresh water and a spotless environment must be provided at all times. Most are carnivorous. They are susceptible to a variety of parasites as well as diseases, respiratory and digestive disorders, and mouth rot. Strictly controlled daytime and nighttime temperatures and the careful application of pesticides are required in order to guard against mite infestations.
Also includes Iguanas and Geckos.