Beat the Monday Blues: Cat and Dog Get Along ‘Well’

Cats and dogs can get along but they can have their moments! If you got up to a rough start this morning, why not take a break and watch this pair of "siblings" have some fun? Well, at least it's fun for one of them!

If you caught an interesting pet video recently, don't be shy. Share with us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group or send us a tweet on Twitter.

New beginnings: Yup, that’s my Albert...

Meet Albert, the pup who has taken a special place in Ms Mary-Anne Lee's heart. Today's "New Beginnings" tells the story of a puppy rescued from the streets and found a loving family to call home.

(If you're keen to share your story or personal experience of adopting animals, do send us a message on Facebook! )

Albert is my first dog. My family has had many dogs over the years - we're dog people - but Albert's the first dog who was really mine. He came into my life as one of a litter of pups taken in from the street by Pets Villa, and had another home for a few months before he came to mine. Though he isn't allowed to sleep in the house with me (grandma's orders!) and though I work irregular and long hours, he knows he's my dog, too.

Hi I'm Albert. Nice to meet you. (:

There are three other dogs in the family, but they're... shared dogs. They greet everyone equally. They belong to the entire tribe, and they know that. But Albert is different. There are little discreet things he does that shows he understands he belongs to just one person. Though he wags his tail at the family, he reserves a little part of his big doggy heart just for me.

Albert and Happy, one of the family dogs, catching a much needed snooze after a long day out!

Whenever I get home for the night, he's there waiting. He has a friend, Happy, a little tri-coloured Jack Russell Terrier who was also adopted, who is always at the front when it comes to seeking attention. Albert hangs back until Happy is done being excited, then he comes up. Sometimes he paws me to remind me to pet him. Other times he looks at me and sits down, his tail wagging ever so fiercely. Pet me, his eyes say. Or better yet, hug me! Our favourite way to connect is him setting his front paws on my lap while I'm seated, and looking me in the eye.

You taking a picture of me? Don't la..I'm camera shy!

Albert is a big dog, at 25kg. He is tall and lean and intimidating to people and other dogs who aren't used to big dogs. But he is also gentle and lovely (when he's not snapping at people he doesn't like), and he loves being hugged. He is mild mannered and polite and somewhat aloof when it comes to other dogs. He likes hanging out on his own, even when there's a party going on in the dog run.

Now, where could the ball be...

Albert isn't anything special when you look at him. He's a tri-coloured local dog, a mutt mixed beyond mixed, and he's very low energy. He spends a lot of his time lounging around the house, waiting for scraps or barking at noises in the front yard from the kitchen at the back of the house. Big as he is, he's afraid of thunder, afraid of the smell of joss paper burning, and afraid of the rain. If he were a street dog still, he'd never survive. If he were a person, he'd be a wallflower. But when you look beyond him, it's very different.

That was a good lunch! Slurppp!

Somewhere in that deep spotty thinly furred chest is a dog, very much loved, who loves in return.

Mary-Anne is a freelance writer who have been volunteering with an animal welfare organisation for 3 years.

Pet Adoption Friday: Benji and Lindsey from Noah’s Ark CARES

Benji

Benji was saved from the streets when he was 2 months old. He was found all alone with no siblings or mother. He was very timid and would scream every time he was touched. Now he is a big and confident boy who needs a loving home! He may be big in size but he is very gentle and affectionate. Benji is now with a good fosterer and he has learnt how to walk well on a leash, paper-trained and he sleeps with cats too!

Name: Benji
Gender: Male
Breed: Local-crossed
Age: 9 months old
HDB Approved: Not HDB-approved
Microchipped: Yes
Sterilized: No

Lindsey

This very sweet and affectionate 3-month old pup was found wandering in the east side of Singapore alone by a kind couple who picked her up as she is very friendly. After some time, we found out that she was let out of her home by accident and she got lost. Being such a small-sized puppy, she was very lucky to be picked up quite immediately without getting into any accidents or trouble. Lindsey was not returned to the previous home as the environment was not the best for her and also because she is not HDB-approved. Please find this sweet one a home, she will melt your heart.

Name: Lindsey
Gender: Female
Breed: Local-crossed
Age: 3 months old
HDB Approved: Not HDB-approved
Microchipped: No
Sterilized: No
Others: Gets along with cats

For more information, please send an SMS to Ms Madeline Chia at 9270 8612.

Do also check out Noah's Ark CARES blog and their official Facebook page.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: "Nom-noms" for your "Chin-chins"

When it comes to food, it is always important to choose those that are nutritious and are healthy for our pets. Today, let us serve you with the types of food that are suitable for your chinchilla.

Veggies
Let's look at the vegetables that you can give:

1) Carrot
2) Celery
3) Potato
4) Pumpkin

The quantity that you can give to your chinchillas are a teaspoon of any of these vegetables a day.

And here are the ones that are unsuitable and should not be fed to them:

1) Asparagus
2) Broccoli
3) Cabbage
4) Lettuce

If you are not too sure, you may wish to seek advice from a pet nutritionist.

Fresh hay is the way!
Provide an unlimited supply of hay as it is essential in maintaining good dental health and digestive system.

Avoid Muesli-like type of food
As far as possible, do not feed muesli-like food to your chinchillas as they tend to leave out the bits that they do not like. These are actually the ones with fibre! If they miss out on these, it means they lack fibre. Also, do not give seeds and nuts to your chinchillas as they are high in fat content.

I'm good now gimme my treat!
Treats are wonderful to give as a reward for your chinchilla's good behavious. There are natural treats available from pet shops that chinchillas may will enjoy. Avoid sugary treats, such as ones made with honey, as these can cause teeth problems, stomach upsets and obesity.You may also give fruits like apples, blueberries, grapes and raisins as treats. But remember to give them in small amounts as fruits also contain high sugar.

Water
Provide a continuous supply of fresh clean drinking water from a drinking bottle. Change the water daily.

Important note:
When introducing new foods to your chinchilla, always do it gradually. Any sudden change in the diet can affect your chinchillas digestive system and they may fall ill.

Adapted from: PDSA and RSPCA
Photos from: Flickr and Broadfeed

For more Pet Care Tips, check out the entire collection here.

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Beat the Monday Blues: The Amazing Guinea Pigs!

With time, commitment and lots (and lots and lots!) of patience, you can train your Guinea Pigs to follow simple commands. Let’s watch how an owner trains her lovely Guinea Pigs – Spunky and Ocha to perform some tricks!

The secret is to always keep your Guinea Pig’s treats in handy. After practising a few times with food, try it again but this time without the use of treats! Training is a good way for owners and pets to bond. Let’s pledge to be a more responsible pet owner!

Need more than one video to perk you up? Check out the full collection of our Beat The Monday Blues video right here!

If you caught an interesting pet video recently, don't be shy. Share with us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group or send us a tweet on Twitter.

Pet Adoption Friday: Betty and Kimi from Humane Society Singapore

With time, commitment and lots (and lots and lots!) of patience, you can train your Guinea Pigs to follow simple commands. Let's watch how an owner trains her lovely Guinea Pigs - Spunky and Ocha to perform some tricks!

The secret is to always keep your Guinea Pig's treats in handy. After practising a few times with food, try it again but this time without the use of treats! Training is a good way for owners and pets to bond. Let's pledge to be a more responsible pet owner!

If you caught an interesting pet video recently, don't be shy. Share with us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group or send us a tweet on Twitter.

Pre-Event Highlights: Go Green! with YEC and Whampoa Gardens RC 16th Anniversary Celebration cum Flea Market

Get ready as AVA will be part of TWO amazing events this Sunday!

Event #1

Venue: Garden Plaza, Bukit Panjang Plaza
Date: Sunday, 21 April 2013
Time: 11.00am to 2.00pm

Enjoy the morning greenery at Bukit Panjang Plaza for the Go Green! with YEC event! Learn what it takes to live with Animals and our Community through our Mix and Match game, Jigsaw and Giant board game!

Programme highlights include talks, performances and an eco-art display! In conjunction with the event theme, we strongly encourage you to leave your vehicles at home and take the public transport.

Tickets are available at Senja-Cashew CC at just $2 and you will get a goodie bag and redeem a free popcorn. For more details, please call 6219 4561.

Event #2

Venue: Blk 113 Whampoa Road
Date: Sunday, 21 April 2013
Time: 3pm to 7pm

To celebrate Whampoa Gardens RC 16th Anniversary, AVA will be part of this celebration at Blk 113 Whampoa Road! Aside from playing our exciting games, pick up wonderful tips on Responsible Pet Ownership from our friendly staff.

At about 4pm, we will be conducting a talk focusing on Animals & Our Community and how we can create a pleasant environment for both pet owners and non-pet owners alike.

And, if you like shopping, there will also be a flea market. You can come as early as 9am as the flea market will last all the way till 5pm.

You can get your tickets at $3 each inclusive of dinner, a chance to win in the lucky draw and a goodie bag. For more details, you may contact Ms Eileen from Whampoa Gardens at 6356 3115 (RC) or 6254 7060 (CC).

Two great events for a beautiful Sunday with the family! See you there!

Be part of our awesome community on Facebook at "A Pet is For Life" and follow us on Twitter!

Wednesday Surprise!: My Boi and Me

It is already mid-week and that means the weekend is well on its way!

Time to take a break with today's special feature. We bring you a musical number taken off the movie "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" The video features the main character, Sharpay, and her lovable Yorkshire Terrier dog, Boi, auditioning for a role in a new Broadway production.

Isn't it cute? This shows that if you put your heart and soul into training your pet, over time, they may be able to marvel you with amazing tricks - just like Boi! But of course, even if you aren't training your pet for stardom, training is a must for all dogs, whether you do it at home or bring your pet to doggie school!

Be sure to check out the movie with the family! You can rent it from the National Library Board? Details here.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Our RPO Exhibits’ Next Pit Stop: Punggol 21 Community Club!

After spending four weeks in the Northern side of Singapore, our RPO exhibits are ready to take on the North-eastern side of the island - Punggol!

Venue: Punggol 21 Community Club (80 Punggol Field #01-01) - 2 minute walk from Coral Edge LRT Station
Time: From 9.00am to 10.00pm daily

Come and learn the fun way through these interactive exhibits!

Snap alongside the exhibits and tag us your photos on our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group!

Don't miss out on the photos from our exhibits' last home at The Jelutung CC!

Beat The Monday Blues: Real-life Tom and Jerry (without the feud!)

We believe that most of you are quite familiar with the popular animated series, Tom and Jerry - where each episode shows the never-ending chase between a cat and a mouse. Today, we have Huan (although it would be nice if he was named Tom) and Jerry. Unlike the cartoon characters who are arch nemesis, this cat and mouse duo are the best of friends! So before you start your day, take a minute to watch the video and be amazed by this remarkable friendship!

For the latest news and updates, join us at "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

New Beginnings: Her Meowjesty

Her Meowjesty, Coco Bay, isn't just any cat. She's a kitty with plenty of cattitude, silly quirks and her very own Facebook Page! Her minion, Ms Adeline Tan, shares more about this sassy kitty in today's "New Beginnings".

Years ago, I was smitten by the first Corgi I've encountered at a friend's party. Since then, I've always thought that I'll own a Corgi in the future. However, when my husband and I settled down, we decided to adopt a cat because cats were more independent, which suited our busy lifestyles.

Before we brought Coco Bay (the kitten we adopted) home, we pet-proofed our house (e.g. installing pet screens at the balcony door, meshing up the windows, etc) and researched on food, litter, medical needs and all things cat-related. We believed that we were well prepared to welcome Coco Bay home.

Boy, were we wrong.

The first day we had Coco, we found fleas on her. At 5 weeks old, she was too young for flea medication. We scrambled to get a flea comb and flea shampoo and ended up picking the little bugs off her one by one.

Coco's right eye all swollen.

On her third day with us, Coco's right eye swelled shut. She was also running a fever and had a runny nose. It turned out that her right eye was inflamed, probably the result of a scratch she received when she was playing with her siblings. We had to clean her eye frequently and apply medicine to it twice daily. As Coco refused to eat during this period, we had to force-feed her milk formula and medication from a tiny syringe. It took more than 2 months for Coco's health to improve and her eye to recover.

Not impressed with the cone.

Looking back, caring for Coco bonded us closer. She now fits in with us like she has always meant to be part of the family. Living with Coco has also allowed us to discover her little quirks that make her so uniquely Coco Bay.

Since she was a kitten, Coco would fall asleep once we flip her over, thus earning her the nickname of "Flip"n"Sleep". This habit of hers makes it really easy for us to attend to her wounded eye or clip her claws. Her fastest record was falling asleep 12 seconds after a friend flipped her over to cuddle!

Some things don't change.

She is also addicted to dairy products. Show her yoghurt or cream cheese and she'll start worshipping you. (Note: Most cats are lactose intolerant though!)

Coco also likes carrying around a little doggie soft toy that she has had since she was a kitten. She will usually carry it like how a mother cat carries her kitten and when she wants our attention, she will drop it outside our room door or at our feet. It's like her way of telling us, "Here's my doggie. Play with me?"

Play with meeee?

Miss Bay is a very quiet cat. She hardly meows unless she really wants something ("Clean my litter box!" "Fresh water please!" "Moar food!"). She shuns squeaky toys and bell balls, preferring boxes, wooden spools, rubber bands and bits of string. Despite her numerous toys, she likes playing with bits of kitty litter, which she will dribble around the house with gusto. She also cannot resist walking into plastic bags or making herself comfortable on top of one since these bags make soft but satisfying rustles at her slightest movement.

Kitty takeaway, anyone?

Coco is not a very 'sticky' cat but she insists on hanging around us in close proximity, often sleeping on a chair beside us while we work, following us around the house or waiting outside the bathroom door when we take a shower. (She also insists on lounging under the laundry like it's her own personal camping tent.) She was recently promoted to "Supervisor Bay" and now spends her time monitoring us while we vacuum, mop, iron and cook.

Supervisor Bay at work

As my Mister and I both like taking photographs, we created a Facebook page for Coco as it is the easiest way to share the joys of our fur ball with family, friends and anyone else. (It helps that Coco is quite a cooperative poser.) Knowing that Coco's pictures are able to bring a smile to people's faces makes us happy.

BFF forever ok?

As much as I still like Corgis, I don't regret adopting Coco - this little fur ball of catittude that is now an inseparable part of my life.

About Coco Bay's parents:

Nicky Bay is a gamer developer and macrophotography enthusiast. He shoots insects, mostly spiders and photos can be found on sgmacro.blogspot.com or flickr.com/photos/nickadel

Adeline Tan is marketer, closet geek, softcore gamer and Her Meowjesty's official treat dispenser.

Pet Adoption Friday: Yaya from House Rabbit Society Singapore

Name: Yaya
Sex: Female
Age: About 2 years old
Breed: Local mix
Health Condition: Good
Sterilised: Yes
Litter-trained: Yes

Yaya is a shy girl who takes some time to warm up to you. She is a gentle and neat girl who will make a good companion to someone who enjoys a quiet lifestyle and will like to spend time to bond with her.

If you wish to adopt the lovely Yaya, send in your email to info@hrss.net.

For more information, visit www.hrss.net and 'Like' their Facebook page.

Do also join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: How to build a home for your Gerbil?

Picture your gerbil as a gallant explorer with a sturdy pair of hind legs and a powerful set of incisors. Their natural abilities include digging, jumping and chewing. So, their living space has to be able to accommodate these attributes.

As gerbils are social animals, it is strongly recommended to raise a pair or more. When buying a pair or more, it is recommended to buy them from the same group.

An aquarium of adequate size and height will be perfect for them as it enhances their safety, prevents them from escaping and scores in neatness as compared to wire cages and plastic modular houses.

Let us consider each housing option in relation to our gerbils' behaviours.

A) Digging

In the wild, they construct complicated, interconnected tunnels and holes that offer cover, screening from predators, provide space for food storage, and a haven to raise their kids.

Wire cages do not have deep bottoms to contain enough bedding for gerbils to dig, and the open sides results in the bedding being pushed out of the cage.

Whereas, a huge aquarium has solid sides which allows for plenty of bedding for digging while keeping the surroundings neat. Suggested bedding choices are aspen and corncob. These should fill up to one third of the tank. If water is spilled or the bedding, the bedding has to be changed in order to avoid moulds from growing. As gerbils are active in the day, they need light to experience the day and night cycles. With an aquarium placed near a window, light is allowed to enter. (But not direct sunlight!)

B) Chewing

As with all rodents, their teeth must be grinded habitually as their front teeth grow continuously throughout their life; however, as a domestic pet, their food may not provide the sufficient grinding, so nibbling is a common practice for them.

Gerbils are such adamant chewers that they can break down a plastic habitat. Grinded plastic pieces can cause health and safety hazards when ingested. Gerbils may also gnaw so vigorously on the wire bars that sores start appearing on their noses.

The glass sides of an aquarium, however, are durable.

C) Escapee

They are curious. Their petite size and strong back legs helps them to jump and dig. Thus they are professional "jail"-breakers.

Wire cages haves holes which Gerbils tend to squeeze through (gerbils can fit through openings as tiny as half an inch), and plastic houses are prone to damage from gnawing.

An aquarium prevents escapes so long as it is covered with a fitting wire mesh, and the lid at the top is fully secured.

If your gerbil manages escape, here are some tips to recover them!

1) Remove other pets (if any)

2) Start looking for your gerbil from top-to-bottom

Begin with the room which your gerbil resides in and then the room closest to it. Once you are sure that you have looked thoroughly in a room, close the door and cover the gap under the door using books or newspapers. Doing this reduces the chances of your missing gerbil from sneaking back into the rooms which you have already searched!

3) Lure it out

Use some treats to attract your gerbil towards you if you see it. Also, have your gerbil's nest box in hand!

4) Catch it!

If you see your gerbil, do not make any sudden movements or sounds as it will cause it to be shocked and to run for cover.

Silently, creep in little by little and maybe even use a calming voice as you move towards it. You can also place your gerbil's nest box nearby and put some treats in there. Your gerbil might just choose to clamber in!

D) Privacy

Gerbils are very aware of any disturbances and of possible predators such as the family dog or cat. Hence, aquariums are particularly suited for gerbil owners with young children or pets as their solid sides prevents fingers or paws from entering. As gerbils rely on their sense of smell to identify other members in their group and will defend their territory, under no circumstances should a new gerbil be introduced to an established group.

If you are convinced that aquariums are best suited for your pet, let's move on to see what to look out for in an aquarium.

Size: The rule of thumb is that bigger is better. Consider not only the size but also the shape-a long aquarium is preferable to a tall aquarium with unused height.

As gerbils are very communal, you can keep two or more inside one aquarium but remember to provide a bigger aquarium for groups larger than two.

The American Gerbil Society offers these guidelines for the ratio of gerbils to aquarium size:

Two gerbils: 10-gallon aquarium
Three gerbils: 15-gallon aquarium
Four or five gerbils: 20-gallon aquarium
Six gerbils: ;30-gallon aquarium

Others: Well-fitting cover with sturdy wire mesh

So, keep in mind that gerbils are experts in breaking out and plan for their home accordingly!

Adapted from: The Humane Society of The United States, The American Gerbil Society and Loving Your Pet

Beat the Monday Blues: The incredible Misa Minnie!

Meet 21-week-old Yorkie puppy, Misa Minnie. She's really smart puppy who enjoys practicing tricks with her owner. Her repertoire of tricks include the high five and the adorable wave. Don't just take our word for it. Shake those blues away with today's featured video!

Have a great week everybody!

Pet Adoption Friday: Mischka from Cat Welfare Society

Name: Mischka
Gender: Female
Age: 4 Months Old
Breed: Domestic Short Hair
Colour: Tabby
Good with other cats: Yes
Health: Good

She's a four month old tabby who is equally affectionate and independent. She loves investigating things, but will happily pad over to you for some sayings. She has a long straight tail with a little kink at the end. Also seems to be the kitten with the strongest immune system amongst her siblings.

If you wish to adopt Mischka, please send in an SMS to Thenuga at 9107 0185 with Mishcka's name, and note that the following apply:
1. Screening
2. House visit - the gate and windows must be meshed and the cat kept strictly indoors
3. Adoption contract
4. Sterilisation deposit of $80 - will be fully refunded once proof that the kitten has been sterilised is shown.

Do visit Cat Welfare Society's Facebook page and website for more details.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter!

Pre-Event Highlights: "Our Environment, We Care" Block Party!

This is a shout-out to all hip and happening party-lovers!

Venue: Void Deck of Block 130, Bedok North Street 2
Date: Saturday, 6 April 2013
Time: 4pm - 6pm

Head down to Block 130, Bedok North Street 2 for the exciting "Our Environment, We Care!" Block Party! While you have fun, take this chance to learn how you can build a harmonious relationship with your neighbours who are either a pet-owner or a non-pet owner. We will be bringing down our popular Mix and Match game and Jigsaw puzzle! Have a go at it and you will get to bring home attractive goodie bags!

Name The RPO Hero Contest: Have you given your favourite hero a name yet?

If you have not done so, it is time to put on your thinking caps today!

But, we know that some of you may be thinking: "I am not sure how to go about this."

We have decided to give you some sample entries for your reference!

Name:

Rabbi-roo

Tagline that Hero would use to promote RPO (up to 20 words):

Sterilise me to keep me happy!

Personality of RPO hero (up to 100 words):

Rabbi-roo is an affectionate and playful female rabbit. She loves having a fun time playing with her owner.

Background/story of RPO hero (up to 450 words):

Rabbi-roo was bought by her owner, Mary, 2 years ago from a pet shop. At that time, Mary had a very huge house that Rabbi-roo could hop about in. She was very playful and messy as she wasn't sterilised and trained. Despite Mary's effort to train Rabbi-roo on hygiene, Rabbi-roo still bit her owner's telephone cords and furniture. She even relieved/ urinated at different corners of the house. However, Mary still loved her and cleaned, groomed and fed her well. They had a lot of fun together. As Mary had to work in the day, Rabbi-roo would be alone at home and no one would play with it. She felt lonely at times. 3 months later, Mary came home one day with a cage in hand, inside there was a male rabbit. Mary was glad that Rabbi-roo and the new rabbit got along well together and after 1 month, Mary was shocked to see 3 newly born rabbits. Mary then realised that she had not sterilised Rabbi-roo and the male rabbit. She quickly brought both of them to the vet to get them sterilised and put the 3 baby rabbits up for adoption. Mary found it easier to train Rabbi-roo and the male rabbit after they were sterilised. Rabbi-roo learnt to use the litter tray better and did not make a mess of the house.

Name:

Puffy

Tagline that Hero would use to promote RPO (up to 20 words):

Do not abandon me!

Personality of RPO hero (up to 100 words):

Puffy is loving and caring. Though playful at times, he is just an innocent kid who wants to please.

Background/story of RPO hero (up to 450 words):

Puffy lives happily in a family of three which consists of Sheena her Papa and Mama. But, days were not always so bright and cheery. Puffy's previous owners had decided that they were getting too busy with work and cleaning up was too much of a chore for them. So, on one lonely night, Puffy was left beside the rubbish bin located some blocks down his house. The night was a long and bitter one for Puffy. No one came for Puffy even in the morning either. He was becoming sick and hungry. It was only in the evening when Puffy was noticed by Sheena who was on the way home from a camp! She brought him home and thankfully, her Papa and Mama decided to allow Puffy to stay! Puffy's cuteness has made him the apple of the eye in the family. (:

Name:

Cantik

Tagline that Hero would use to promote RPO (up to 20 words):

She is their Hero.

Personality of RPO hero (up to 100 words):

Cantik is an introvert, who enjoys spending time alone. However that does not make her an anti-social or unapproachable pet. She is a fantastic listener and would offer consultation to her friends who need help. She is known as the one who speaks less but does more. She is their Hero.

Background/story of RPO hero (up to 450 words):

Cantik was abandoned when she was 3 years old. Though she had no one to care for her, she always stayed positive and looked for ways to survive. She would never dirty the corridor, create too much noises or do other things that would annoy the people around her. Because of her good nature, the neighbours love her. They feed her every day, and some even helped to groom and clean her up. However, she has yet to find a permanent home. Cantik has lots of friends, most of them also dream that one day someone would take them home and be a considerate pet owner. Whenever someone bought food to Cantik, she would call her friends to join her, ensuring that they never go hungry. Cantik is a big fan of AVA, who tirelessly educate the public on Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO). Together with her best extroverted buddies (a hamster, a rabbit and a dog), they call themselves the RPO Heroes and help AVA to spread the RPO messages.

Name:

Jelly

Tagline that Hero would use to promote RPO (up to 20 words):

Socialising is key!

Personality of RPO hero (up to 100 words):

Jelly is a friendly, brave and loyal boy. So, contrary to his name, he does not go jelly when he is threatened by the big kids living down the street. In fact, he will go all out to protect his owner when he smells danger.

Background/story of RPO hero (up to 450 words):

Jelly was adopted as a puppy by the Chan family. As time passed, Jelly began to be protective over the Chan family, or maybe a little over-protective. Whenever there is an animal or a passer-by nearby, he would bark loudly and excessively to alert the Chan family of potential danger. Their neighbours had been bothered by Jelly's behaviour and the Chan family had received numerous phone calls and house visits from the Town Council regarding this. The Chan family had a hard time training him. Thankfully, after putting in some effort to seek help, they managed to enrol Jelly into a dog training school. Initially, he was uncomfortable to be in a new environment but after a few sessions, the dog training school had become his second home and he loved his trainers and the new friends he made there. Soon, Jelly was less territorial. Now, even the neighbours would drop by the Chan family's residence every now and then just to play with Jelly!

Remember, the closing date is 26 April 2013!

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter!

Pet Care Tips: What kind of illnesses does Guinea Pigs have?

It may be a no-brainer that our adorable guinea pigs can fall ill. But, I am pretty sure that there are only a handful of people who knows what these rodents can suffer from.

Here is a list of common diseases that Guinea Pigs can have:

1) Scurvy (Vitamin C Deficiency)

What is it?

Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy which results in exhaustion, underdeveloped bone and teeth, inflamed joints, unwillingness to move, and bleeding gums.

How to counter it?

Guinea pigs that are experiencing these symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian. To avoid scurvy in your pet guinea pig, feed your guinea pigs with a vitamin C enriched diet as their bodies are not capable of producing vitamin C. Fresh fruits like grapes and oranges, vegetables like carrots along with dry pellet food can also be fed. However, take care not to feed your guinea pig with too much fresh food or he might get a stomachache. Pet owners can consider supplements as vitamin C in commercial foods is stable for up to three months only. Vitamin C should be stored in a cool and dark place as it will deteriorate if left in sunlight or prolonged heat.

2) Hair Loss

What is it?

At certain phases of your guinea pig's life cycle, it can experience hair loss, such as during breeding for the females and weaning for the infants. But, their hair will eventually grow back over a period of time. Hair can also be lost from a fungal disease or external parasite infestations.

How to counter it?

If your guinea pig is suspected to have lice, be careful when handling your pet because lice can be transferred from pet to human. Lice is usually treated by a medicated shampoo.

If you suspect your pet to be afflicted with ringworm, exercise high caution as ringworm is not only transferable from one guinea pig to another, but also to human. Ringworm is usually treated by either topical or oral medication.

If your pet is suspected to be infected with mange, be wary. Though mange is treatable, an illness involving hair loss can indicate more problems, either internal or external.

For parasite infestations, such as lice, ringworm and mange, always consult your vet for advice.

The bottom line is, always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pet.

3) Pneumonia

What is it?

Pneumonia, the most common disease in guinea pigs, is caused by the bacteria that inhabits their respiratory tracts. This disease is normally a result of stress, poor diet and care. When a guinea pig catches pneumonia, they may experience difficult breathing or hyperventilation, fluid from eyes and nostrils, laying down, rolling, poor appetite and fatigue.

How to counter it?

If your guinea pig has any signs of pneumonia, bring him to your vet without delay as it is highly fatal. They can be treated by having antibiotic injection and rest.

Hence, when you are considering to get a pet, whether it is a guinea pig, dog or fish, keep in mind that they can fall sick and you should not hesitate to bring him for treatment.

Adapted from: Simple Pet Care

Beat the Monday Blues: Happy April Fools!

Hello everybody! We hope you have enjoyed the long weekend. (:

Trying to prank somebody or maybe, your pet? Here's a couple who have successfully pulled a trick on their pet cat!

Have a fun time plotting pranks on your friends and hopefully, you don't end up being pranked upon!