Pet Adoption Friday: Redha and Bruno from Cat Welfare Society

Redha
"Need a study buddy on those late nights? Or a companion on the couch while you surf TV? How about a frisky playmate who's great with a yarn ball? I can be it all! If an adaptable cat is what you need, I could be the furry friend you've been looking for!"

Ms. Redha
Breed: Ginger Moggy
Age: 3 years
Nature: Sweet
Likes: Gentle scratches behind the ears

Care Tip: "My coat is a little rough and dull... how embarrassing! To make it nice and shiny, please feed me cat food full of nutrients twice a day. After all, I'm a woman in a fur coat!"

Bruno
"Do you love your lazy Sundays? Do you spend your weekends chilling at home, surfing the channels or the web? Whether you're into watching Youtube, the News, TLC, Chinese Dramas, Anime, you name it, I'd be happy to keep you company on the sofa. Want to be friends?"

Mr. Bruno
Breed: Light Ginger Moggy
Age: 1.5 years
Nature: Laid-back
Likes: Siestas

Care Tip: "Though I tend to be laid-back most of the time, it's in a cat's makeup to get energetic from time to time; sometimes, at night! But if you play with me before bedtime, we'll both get a good night's sleep!"

"If you can handle two cats, we come best together! If you'd like to be friends, just drop an email to felinefwen@yahoo.com.sg to let us know you're interested! We'll visit the doctor's for a quick check-up, just to make sure we're a-okay, and after that, we're all yours! We can't wait to start our friendship together!"

Going for a Holiday? What about your pet?

By Rekha Nair

The holiday season is here again! In the news recently, a couple was fined $24,000 by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) for bringing their pet dog for a short trip across the Causeway without having the proper license and thereafter stealing it from the AVA quarantine centre. A supposedly short getaway from the city turned out to be quite a hefty ordeal for this couple. If you're a pet owner as well, you would not want to be stuck in the same situation as that pet owner.

Most, if not all countries, would require some form of permit before an animal can enter a country. The number one reason for this is to ensure that animals entering/exiting the country don't carry infectious diseases such as rabies.

If you're moving in/out of Singapore permanently of for an extensive period and wish to bring your pets along with you, you may wish to visit AVA's website to find out how you could apply for the import/export license. Your pet may be required to go through a quarantine period.

If you're merely going on a holiday, it's best you leave your pet back home in the care of some good hands. Here's some suggestions to help you along:

1) Pet Boarding Facilities
In Singapore there are pet boarding and sitting services that are flexible and take your needs into careful consideration. Some even offer customised services such as updates and viewing of your pet on a blog if your travel exceeds 15 days. With plenty of ideas ( "choices" would be more appropriate ), do take your time to look around in advance and even hop on down to these places to get a better assessment as to the kind of conditions your pet will be living in before signing Waggie over.

2) Relatives and Family
It might just be the better idea to ask your family members for a favour, especially if they already know your pet and like him. After all, your pet would take lesser time to get accustomed to familiar people and places plus you'd also feel more rest assured of the kind of care that your pet is receiving as well.

3) Staycation in Singapore
With many pet friendly places here on our little red dot, you might just want to consider a staycation after all. Places like Sentosa Beach, Bishan Park's Dog Park and chill out places like K9 culture are just a few off the charts. Each place allows you to get the down time you've been wanting and the fun your pet's been craving for.

Now that you've got a few options up your sleeve you can begin to plan for that well-deserved getaway you've been craving for while Waggie gets his too. Happy Holidays!

Pet Care Tips: Seasonal Eats for Dogs

As the December festive season approaches and many of us are busy preparing gifts and arranging for year-end dinners, your dog might be feeling a little left out. Involve them in the festivities by adding a twist to its usual meals!

1) Christmas Meat Balls
The main ingredient is minced turkey, chicken or beef. Add the types of vegetables according to your pet's preference. To ensure that your dog gets the most out of this meal, you can use raw meat or slightly cooked meat as they contain higher nutrients that are easier to digest as compared with fully cooked meat. Whip this convenient dish up easily without maxing out on your budget.

2) Pumpkin Cookies
Ingredients include raw oats, brown rice, pumpkin, whole wheat, flax meal and eggs. These cookies would be something for your dog to look forward to as it would satisfy your doggie's sweet tooth! Including rice in this treat allows your dog to get more protein and is a good source of energy.

3) Christmas Cake
The key ingredient to making this cake would be wheat free flour and scoops of papaya and sweet potato. This is something that your dog would love since it's not something that is served every day. Health wise, this is a good choice because papaya and sweet potatoes are packed with beneficial nutrients and anti-oxidants. If you want to go up a notch, you can even decorate the cake with some frosting made from cream cheese.

4) Bacon Bones
If your pup has been exceptionally well-behaved all year round this would be a great reward for it. The wow ingredient would be bacon - fatty bacon to be exact. Mix it up with wheat free flour and parsley, pureed spinach or peanut butter for a healthier treat and bake. Parsley is a natural breath freshener, spinach has necessary nutrients and peanut butter is an all-natural source of protein.

Now you're ready to create goodies for your furry friend. As with all foods, make sure your pet eats everything in moderation and gets enough necessary vitamins. Happy holidays in advance!

Resources: Battersea, My Itchy Dog, Just A Pinch, The Kitchen

Images: Good to Know, Comfy Belly, Allergy Best Buy, Step By Step,

Beat the Monday Blues: All In The Name of Love

by Rekha Nair

Maybe you were busy rushing out some emails or preparing for that major presentation when your lovable cat or dog decides to jump up onto the table and spill coffee all over your notes. You might have felt that the whole world was against you at that moment. Don't worry, here's Simon and his cat to prove to you that you're not alone.

All pets need your time, love and attention. Set aside time to play and bond with them regularly; after all that's the least you could do for a pet whose world revolves around you.

Be part of the community. Join us at A Pet is For Life and follow us on Twitter.

New Beginnings: Cavy Superstars

It was love at first sight for Mr Ang Yuchen when he came across Arizona and Traci Lovestarr, a mother and daughter guinea pig pair, at SPCA. In our latest "New Beginnings", Yuchen shares more about the cavy superstars of his life.

Who's a pretty cavy?

Q: Have you always been a pet owner?

Ang Yuchen (AYC): Yup! Over the years I've been the proud owner of chickens (a looong time ago), dogs and all other sorts of aquatic critters. Cavies have been the latest addition to my little menagerie.

Q: What made you decide to adopt your cavies?

AYC: I read how cavies are very responsive to gentle caring owners, and was almost decided on having a pair.

Love at first sight at SPCA

One day, during my visit to SPCA, I saw a sweet daughter n' mom pair of cavies happily rooting through newspapers in their cage and my heart instantly went out to them. Still, I gave myself a week to see if I actually just wanted them on impulse. The next week I came back and they were STILL there. I immediately brought the two sweet cavies home! They are now named Arizona and Traci Lovestarr.

Arizona, the daughter, is a superstar through and through. She is photogenic, readily lets people handle her (gently!) and will let off a plaintive wheek when she's frightened or lost so that people will be compelled to go to comfort her!

However, it's rewarding seeing Arizona dash around and popcorn (jumping and twisting in midair) when she's happy.

On the other hand, Traci (the mother) is not as attention seeking, but she is just as loving. Snuggling with her on my lap and while stroking her fur helps me shed off worries and tensions.

Arizona (left) with Traci (right)

Q: What was your family's reaction to keeping cavies?

AYC: My family was initially leery of the two 'rats' as they called them, but they slowly warmed up to them. Especially my mom, who now cannot help but give them treats when they wheek out loudly as she walks past their cage. It's almost as if my cavies have trained my mom and not the other way around!

Nom nom nom

Q: What have you learnt from keeping your superstar cavies?

AYC: Cavies do generate quite some mess, and aren't that easily toilet trained. As such my cavy-palace is meshed and all the poo and pee is collected on the bottom which is cleared daily.

Cage bottom covered in fleece for easy cleaning

They're also finicky eaters and they need a diet consisting of hay, pellets, some fresh vegetables, and occasional Vitamin C supplements (cavies, like humans, cannot produce their own vitamin C) to stay healthy.

They are also active creatures, so every other day, I will make a big enclosure and give them an hour or two of floor time for them to dash around and explore!

Posing like the superstars they are

Pet Adoption Friday: Donut and Vera from Animal Lovers League

by Rekha Nair

Donut

Name: Donut
Age: 2 months' old
Sex: Male
Breed: Local Cross

Donut is a sweet little pup who is looking for a forever home. He's a calm and affectionate pup who'll worm his way into your heart with those big adorable eyes. Donut will be grateful if you are able to take him in and watch him grow into a handsome boy.

Vera

Name: Vera
Age: 2 months' old
Sex: Female
Breed: Local Cross

Vera the pup is not as shy and quiet. In fact, she's known to be a friendly, smart and affectionate puppy. Open up your heart and your home and you'll get yourself an intelligent best friend who'll keep you company for a long time.

Donut and Vera can be adopted separately. If you wish to adopt any of these pups, do drop Animal Lovers League a call at 9693 2850.

Pet Care Tips: 5 Interesting Facts About Fishes

by Rekha Nair

There's more to a fish than meets the eye. We've compiled a list of five things we reckon you never knew about fresh water fishes.

1) Small aquariums are better than fish bowls
The Betta fish (also known as the Siamese fighting fish) thrives better in bigger tanks. Ideally the tank should be able to hold at least 3 liters of water so as to emulate their natural environments where they come from (paddy fields, drains).

2) They have ears
Fish hear and feel vibrations moving through the water. Though they don't have ear openings on the outside of their bodies, they do have ears. In fact, their ears pick up sound so well that fishes can hear a worm wiggling at the bottom of a lake. So if you don't want to startle your fish, refrain from shouting or speaking loudly when you're near the surface of the water.

3) Goldfishes don't have stomachs
Yes you read it right. Goldfishes don't have a stomach, that's why they produce so much waste in such short amounts of time. Therefore instead of feeding your goldfish huge chunks of food twice a day break down their meals into small frequent ones instead. Also make sure you're feeding them food that's easily digestible.

4) Suckerfishes can live up to 15 years
The suckerfish is one friendly tank cleaning fish. Quiet by nature, they do not successfully breed in aquariums. When in captivity, the suckerfish can live up to about 10 to 15 years. If you want to keep them happy try not to introduce another suckerfish into the aquarium because they might get territorial.

5) Guppies eat their own babies
Guppies are exceptionally fast breeders and can cause over population in your tank really fast. If you have intentions of saving the young guppies, you'll need to remove them from the adults so that they won't be eaten.

So the next time you visit the aquarium or fish farms, you can take a closer look at those fishes and learn something more about them. Don't be fooled by their looks, fishes seem to hold more secrets than we could ever imagine.

Resources: Animal Planet, Betta Fish Zidan, Guppy Fish Care, Paw Nation, The Gold Fish Tank

Images: Wallpapers

Beat the Monday Blues: Cheat sheet for chin owners!

By Rekha Nair

Ever wondered if there's something you're missing out on when it comes to taking care of your chinchilla? Fret not as we've got the answers all wrapped up for you in this video!

Although shy at first, chinchillas value your companionship and affection greatly. Now that you've got the answers, take some time to bond with your chinchilla and you'll be scoring an 'A' with your chin. All the best!

Be part of the community. Join us at A Pet is For Life and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Adoption Friday: Gucci and Prada from Action for Singapore Dogs

Gucci

Prada

Names: Gucci & Prada
Age: 2.5 months old
Gender: Male

Gucci and Prada are offsprings of a stray dog in a Tuas factory. These cute and chubby pups are extremely playful, cuddly and affectionate and are looking for a home with owners that could entertain and give them a lot of tender loving care.

If you wish to adopt these lovely puppies or know more about them, please contact ASD at 6100 2737 or send an email to info@asdsingapore.com.

Do visit ASD's website and Facebook page for more information.

Also, become a member of our Facebook group and stay updated on all the latest happenings via Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: 4 DIY Play Ideas for Birds

by Rekha Nair

Birds are playful and curious creatures, with a constant need to check out their surroundings. They can get bored easily, and thus you need to vary the toys. Bird toys don't have to be complicated, and often the simplest ones are the best. Having toys that are interactive can help reduce or prevent behavioural problems. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Bird Kabob aka Paper Plate Shredders

Get a stack of paper plates and cut them into quarters. Stack the quarters up once you're done and drill a hole through the middle of the stack. Insert a long piece of string through the stack and knot the end of it (knot has to be bigger than the hole). You can hang this up and watch as your bird shreds away!

2) Edible Goodies

String small pieces of fresh fruit, vegetables or even unsalted no butter popcorn together on varying lengths of thread and hang them on the cage. Watch as they fly around to get their treats.

3) Swings

You can use a short thin cylindrical item like a branch or a bundle of chopsticks as the perch. Tie two pieces of string onto the sides and attach them to the sides of the cage and you're done.

4) Hidden Food

Use paper to cover up the food bowl. Intelligent as they are, birds know that food is in there but have to figure out how to get to it by pecking through the paper. Alternatively, you can also put some cut fruits in a toilet paper roll and then cover up the ends with paper. Birds can smell the fruits and will then think of ways to get to them.

Now you have 4 new ideas to make your pet look forward to play time with you!

Resource: Community Gala

Images from: Houston Pet Talk, Northern Parrots, Bird Channel and Pets Mart

For more news and information, join our A Pet is For Life Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Beat the Monday Blues: Here’s an ingenious idea for you!

By Rekha Nair

You've just splurged your money on all sorts of toys for your darling feline yet you can't help but wonder if there could just be other inexpensive ways to excite your cat. Watch this video because we have an idea just for you!

Chase your kitty's boredom and your money woes away by introducing kitty to new toys that are cost-efficient and yet fun.

Remember that playtime is good for pet bonding!

Be part of the community. Join us at A Pet is For Life and follow us on Twitter.

New Beginnings: The Beginning

Remember Mr Michael Kwok and his wife, who are not your typical pet owners? We shared their lovely story in our previous "New Beginnings". This time round, Michael writes how his "pet adoption" story started.

The pooch that started it all, Handy

Our "pet adoption" story started on 8 November 1997, when a three-month old mongrel puppy named Handy adopted us as his family.

That morning, when my then-girlfriend (who is now my wife) visited SPCA, the dogs up for adoption were very excited and eager for our attention. All except for Handy. He was sitting at the end of his cage, looking intently at us, as though he was the one choosing who he wanted for his owner. However, the moment we entered his cage, he started tugging at our shoe laces. We knew that he had chosen us.

With Handy, we could always count on him to be eagerly waiting for our return from work. And whenever we shared our problems with him, he would sit there listening with a look of understanding in his light-brown eyes. Unfortunately, in mid-2010, Handy was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer.

Affectionate Handy

Despite several operations to remove the tumours, the cancer kept coming back. Being the fighter he was, Handy remained strong, determined to overcome the disease. He never stopped doing his "job" of taking care of the family. He made sure he kept us safe when we took him out for walks and he was always ready for a game of fetch.

As the cancer continued to ravage his body, Handy gradually lost weight but never his zest for life. Only after 15 long years, on 8 September 2012, Handy took a well-deserved rest. We paid $95 to adopt Handy from the SPCA, but we received so much more from him than money can buy in return.

Small Giant

Apart from Handy and Snowy, our adopted Maltese (you can read up on Snowy here), we also adopted a Dachshund named Giant.

We took Giant in when his owner had to leave for an overseas job posting. Giant was the exact opposite of Snowy. While Snowy was calm and behaved just like a little princess, Giant was boisterous and excitable, often tugging at Snowy's ears and tail to elicit a reaction from her. Snowy would respond by chasing him around the sofa. Giant was also always up to some form of mischief and once tore up the entire sofa when he was left alone for just an hour. The sofa was replaced and Giant was forgiven.

In 2007, Giant fell when jumping from the sofa and ruptured five discs on his lower spine. He underwent an eight-hour operation but was unable to regain mobility in his lower limbs. Not willing to give up on him, we purchased a K-9 Kart to support his hind legs so that he could move about in our house.

Over the years, my wife and I have taken in and rescued kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs and even a budgie. We choose to adopt our pets because we want to give homeless animals a second chance at life and to provide them with a loving home that they deserve.

Some of the other rescued animals

Pet Adoption Friday: Meet the adoptees at the RPO Roadshow 2013!

All- Weekend Activities

ADOPTION DRIVE

If you are ready to take on the responsibilities to welcome a new member into the family, why not consider adoption? Join us at our adoption drive at Changi City Point this weekend and meet the lovely animals whose sole wish is to find a permanent loving home! There will be dogs, cats and rabbits from the following Animal Welfare Groups:

Action for Singapore Dogs
Agency for Animal Welfare
Animal Lovers League
Causes for Animals Singapore
Cat Welfare Society
House Rabbits Society Singapore
Humane Society (Singapore)

...here's a sneak preview of the pets from...

Agency for Animal Welfare (AAW)

Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS)

Mumu

Ariel

Cat Welfare Society (CWS)

Nimbus

...and many more!

The pets you have just seen will be at the Roadshow along with their friends (who's a bit camera shy which explains why they're not here)! These lovely pets are all looking for forever homes!

If you have missed out on our feature articles with all the details regarding the roadshow, check them out here:

Pet Care Tips Special: PCT at the RPO Roadshow 2013!
RPO Roadshow 2013: Activities Galore!

Invite your friends to join us at the event. Visit the event's official Facebook page.

For the latest news and information, be part of the A Pet is For Life group and follow us on Twitter.

RPO Roadshow 2013: Activities Galore!

We are just two days away from the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Roadshow 2013 and are excited to share with you the array of activities that will be happening over the two days! We promise that there's something for everybody!

.. calling all those who are young or consider yourself young at heart! ...

@ The Children's Playground

Bring your juniors down and let them have fun with our range of activities that will keep them wanting more! Release that inner child in you as you too can be part of the excitement!

Saturday, 9 November: 5pm - 5.30pm
Sunday, 10 November: 5.30pm - 6pm
Fun with nature by National Parks Board (NParks)

Here's your chance to learn about our natural heritage, biodiversity, and make some craftwork related to interesting animals that can be found in our Singapore forests (e.g. crabs, frogs and butterflies)!

Saturday, 9 November: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Sunday, 10 November: 1pm - 2pm
Pet responsibility starts from young by Awesome Pawsome

Educational outreach to children on responsible dog ownership through fun interactive doggie-related activities. Sponsored prizes will be given out to children.

Saturday, 9 November: 3.30pm - 5pm, 6.30pm - 7pm
Sunday, 10 November: 3pm - 4.30pm, 7pm - 8pm

Storytelling and station games: Tom & His Adopted Cat by Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Cat Welfare Society (CWS)

Sit in for a little storytelling session brought to you by students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in collaboration with AVA and Cat Welfare Society. From scooping up kitty's 'poop' to learning how to mesh the gate, learn what it takes to be a considerate cat owner!

... calling all dog owners and lovers ....

We are just two days away from the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Roadshow 2013 and are excited to share with you the array of activities that will be happening over the two days! We promise that there's something for everybody!

@ The Grandstand (Stage)

Gain insights into the world of our tail-wagging friends with these exciting programmes!

Saturday, 9 November: 5pm - 5.30pm
Dispelling the myths of our street dogs by Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS)

Street dogs can be loving and beautiful animals too! This talk will discuss some of the typical myths about street dogs!

Sunday, 10 November: 2.30pm - 3pm
Fun way to bond with your dog by Awesome Pawsome

Building a bond with man's best friend through training will make the whole experience fun and enjoyable!

Exciting Fringe Activities for All!

There will be activities such as colouring, cookie-decoration, sand art and balloon sculpting for the little ones! Catch them at the following times and venues:

Children's Playground

Colouring Cookie-Decoration Sand Art
Sat, 9 Nov: 1.30am - 8pm

Sun, 11.30am - 8pm

Sat, 9 Nov: 7pm - 8pm

Sun, 10 Nov: 2pm - 3pm, 4.30pm - 5.30pm

Sat, 9 Nov: 2.30pm - 3.30pm

Sun, 10 Nov: 6pm - 7pm

Grandstand (stage)

Balloon Sculpting
Sat, 9 Nov: 6pm - 7pm

Sun, 10 Nov: 11.30am - 12.30pm, 4.30pm - 5.30pm

PASSPORT ACTIVITY

Bring home a goodie bag just by taking part in our passport activity!

Bring home a goodie bag just by taking part in our passport activity!

See you at the Roadshow (:

Invite your friends to join us at the event. Visit the event's official Facebook page.

For the latest news and information, be part of the A Pet is For Life group and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips Special: PCT at the RPO Roadshow 2013!

In this week's Pet Care Tips, we are doing things a little differently. Here's your chance to gain some really insightful pet care tips for yourself when you come down to our Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Roadshow this weekend, 9 and 10 November 2013 at Changi City Point!

@The Grandstand (Stage)

All Psyched Up!

Saturday, 9 November: 5.00pm - 5.30pm
Sunday, 10 November: 4.00pm - 4.30pm
Rabbit Psychology by House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS)

Learn how to build a healthy and safe relationship with your companion bunny. Great for all rabbit parents to understand your rabbits in a whole new perspective! Find out more about the stories of HRSS' rescued rabbits, and the tough lives they went through prior to being rescued and their roads to recovery.

If I can groom, so can you!

Saturday, 9 November: 3pm - 3.30pm
Basic Grooming by Singapore Kennel Club (SKC)

Watch SKC's groomers at work and learn basic grooming techniques, such as nail clipping, ear cleaning and more that can be done at home. Grooming is an essential part of pet care - it helps lower the risk of your dog getting injuries or contracting skin problems.

Sunday, 10 November: 1pm - 2.30pm
Basic Grooming & Workshop by Pets Enterprises and Traders Association (Singapore) (PETAS)

Let the team of experts show you how grooming can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both dog and owner in this programme.

With great training, comes an even greater dog!

Saturday, 9 November: 4pm - 4.30pm
Obedience Demonstration by Singapore Kennel Club (SKC)

Dogs can be trained to walk on a leash as well as to obey commands. Training a dog can help to strengthen your bond with your dog and increase your understanding of your pet. It can help to keep your dog stay out of trouble too! Come down and learn how patience and repetition can enable your dog to perform commands perfectly!

Now that we have enticed you with some of the programmes where you can pick up useful tips, we hope you can join us for the entire show this weekend at the RPO Roadshow 2013!

We have more programmes in-store. Be sure to stay glued to the page as we bring you more updates!

Beat the Monday Blues: So...who's the boss?

by Rekha Nair

Your dog follows you around the house, obeys your commands and sleeps in its own bed. In short, you have established your position as the boss, right? Well, we bet you will have a change of mind after the next 30 seconds!

Having a smart dog can bring loads of laughter to the house. With training, patience and lots of love, you can also have a smart doggy right in your own home!

Be part of the community. Join us at A Pet is For Life and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Adoption Friday: Toothless and Hiccup from SPCA

by Rekha Nair

Toothless

Hiccup

Names: Toothless & Hiccup
Age: 3 months
Gender: Male

"Toothless and Hiccup hang out in our shelter and these two lovelies would like nothing more than to go to the same home! Toothless is a shy kitten who takes time to warm up to strangers. That's normal for a young kitten. Hiccup is the more outgoing kitten, always ready to take a swipe at flying hands. Curious and growing, they want a family who understands the needs of a young kitten - a family who can dedicate their time to taking good care of them so they blossom into handsome boys."

If you wish to adopt Toothless or Hiccup visit them at SPCA's shelter during their opening hours:

Viewing Hours:

- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - 10.00am to 4.00pm
- Sunday and Public Holidays (PH) - 11.00am to 3.30pm
- Thursday - Closed (unless it is a Public Holiday)
- On the eve of Chinese New Year, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, the shelter, administration office and clinic will close at 12.30pm. The reception will remain open
- As the process of adoption takes at least half an hour, SPCA is unable to process any adoption within 30 minutes to the stated closing time for that day.

Interested parties can also call 6287 5355 ext. 24 (during our opening hours) to check if the animals featured are available for adoption (this is because the animals featured may have been adopted by the time the post is published).

Do visit SPCA's website and 'Like' their page on Facebook!

This information is also available on our A Pet is For Life Facebook group. Do also send us your tweets on Twitter.