Thursday, 20 November 2014

What to Feed Your Pet Macaw?

Macaws are exotic animals native to Central and South America where they thrive in the bountiful rain forests. Macaws are beautiful, intelligent and colorful large birds which are highly developed socially and make great pets if taken proper care of. Obviously a macaw eats a variety of different foods in its natural habitat so its diet must be adjusted according to its nutritional needs. Here a few simple guidelines to help you plan a suitable diet for your beloved pet macaw.

Bird seed

It is a common misconception that birds need only birds seeds to stay healthy and fit. This is not true because commonly manufactured bird seed mixes sold at US pet stores are deficient in vital minerals and vitamins. Moreover, they are high in fat content that is not required by these birds. In fact it may lead to obesity and diseases caused by deficiency of important nutrients. Seeds should be considered as treats for macaws and given sparingly to prevent the pet getting addicted to them. Birds are quite stubborn when it comes to their food preferences so if a malnourished macaw is adamant about only eating bird seed, it will take a lot of hard work and patience to adjust its dietary habits.

Fresh fruits

A wild macaw’s daily diet consists largely of fresh fruits and plant material that is ideal for the fulfillment of all its nutritional needs. Care must be taken to ensure that there are no residual pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers left on the fruits and vegetables. Such chemicals harm living creatures through the process of bioaccumulation. The higher up the food chain such chemicals go the greater the risk of damage to vital organ systems becomes. Avocado is considered toxic by some reporters. Up to 25 % of a macaw’s diet should comprise of vegetables and fruits containing essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Good choices include apples, coconut, cucumber, figs, grapes, berries, potatoes, citrus fruits, etc. Chopping up these healthy foods into smaller pieces for your pet bird is recommended for convenient consumption.


There is a great range of pellets in many different colors, flavors and ingredients available in the bird supplies section supermarkets online like where comparison shopping is also offered. Pellets are specifically developed as the perfect diet to meet all your pet bird’s dietary requirements. These are highly recommended and should make up to 80% of your macaw’s daily diet. These include important nutrients that are low in calories and have amazing benefits for your macaw’s nourishment including boosting immunity.

Fresh water needs to be provided daily to keep your macaw fresh and hydrated. Grit or gravel is often not essential for a macaw and may even cause problems. High calorie processed human foods should never be offered to a macaw. To avoid chances of development of health related issues, a healthy diet must be promoted to satisfy your macaw’s hunger and nutritional requirements.  

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What are Gerbil Health Problems?

Gerbils are really cute furry little creatures that make great pets because of their gentle affectionate nature, small size and daylight activity. These make excellent pets for beginners because they are not high maintenance. However, they are not suitable for very young children as they are sensitive and fragile. They require careful handling and the formation of a strong bond with their owner. Gerbils are quite hardy and do not require a lot of medical care costs. As with the case of every animal, they do have weaknesses so gerbil owners should be aware of the ailments their pet may develop. This article lists the common health problems gerbils are susceptible towards.

Respiratory Problems

Gerbils might have trouble breathing normally if they develop respiratory illnesses. Symptoms include excessive coughing, labored breathing and a peculiar clicking sound.  This is a contagious disease so keep your other gerbils away to avoid spreading the illness among them.

Scent Gland Tumor

The scent gland is a bare oval patch on the underside of an adult gerbil and runs along the midline of the body. Females do not normally use it for marking their territories but males use it often especially if there are many adult males living together. Symptoms of a scent gland tumor include irritation, excessive grooming or scratching, rough patches and bleeding. Females are less susceptible to them and elderly gerbils are at higher risk of developing them. A certified vet needs to examine the animal in case any of these signs are apparent. A surgery is performed to remove the tumor with hardly any risks or after effects.

Tail Damage

Gerbils are delicate little creatures and require care by a responsible individual who understand its sensitivity, habits and preferences. Never hold a gerbil by its tail because this will definitely hurt it as the tail is very much part of the rest of its body.


A substandard diet or inadequate hygiene considerations may lead to digestive problems like diarrhea. It is very important to scrub the cage clean every week with warm water and recommended soap along with a safe antiseptic spray. The vet should be consulted in cases of diarrhea so that proper medication may be prescribed. A large variety of pet meds are available online through comparison shopping sites like


Parasitic creatures like mites may attach themselves to your pet gerbil and live off their host’s fluids. It is important to get quality anti-mite medication recommended by a vet to remedy this problem. It should be powerful and effective but safe to use.

Dental problems

Gerbils are nibblers so they love to gnaw on everything! The trick is to provide them safe wood chips or branches which have not been treated with any sort of chemicals or pesticides. This will prevent overgrowth of your gerbil’s teeth and keep it satisfied and healthy. Any symptoms related to oral care must be reported to a vet immediately.


 It is very important to provide a stress free environment to your pet gerbil. It does not tolerate the presence of other rodent species readily. Larger carnivorous pets must be kept away from the gerbil at all times. It must have its private cozy little home where it can roam around under supervision and live happily. It is important to care for your gerbil properly at all times.


Elderly gerbils may get strokes so be very attentive to their needs and behavior. Strokes may result in paralysis. A vet should be consulted for appropriate treatment and care. Gerbils recover quite well from strokes if taken good care of.

Gerbils are very sweet pets and keeping them is very rewarding and simple. Rodent supplies for gerbils are easily available at US pet stores and online petsupermarket websites.