Hamsters for Autistic Children

autism hamsterA Russian dwarf hamster has probably been the best partner for H, a boy with autism. She has brought out the best in him and helped him in terms of emotional and social development than what any other person had already tried to do but with little success.

The hamster had also persuaded the boy to join his PE lessons. For H, a star chart for his hamster is just appropriate. The connection between effort and reward has suddenly “clicked” his mind and pursued him to do things in which he could gain rewards.

Source: Why buying a hamster for a child with autism was a genius idea

A Brief Introduction to Guinea Pigs

guinea pigsGuinea pigs are short, stocky rodent often kept as pet. They have large heads, small ears, short legs, and a small, plump body. These small, furry animals were domesticated by South American people in the 1950’s.

An adult guinea pig is about 6 to 10 inches long and weighs about two to three pounds. Guinea pigs are not really pigs, they are rodents. Guinea pigs in the wilds usually live in small group of between 10 to 15 animals.

Unlike guinea pigs that are bred by people, most of them live in their natural surroundings have long, coarse, brown or gray fur.

Source: Guinea Pig

Girl Has Life-long Love for Guinea Pigs

guinea pigsWhen Monique Davenport was five years old, she received her first guinea pig. What started as a pet turned into a life-long love to help the furry critters find their homes. The Elanora resident now runs Cavy Angels Guinea Pig Rescue and now aims to find homes for approximately 250 guinea pigs.

The woman takes in unwanted or stray guinea pigs and tries to find them new homes. She has already given homes to over 600 of these furry creatures. The process then cycles back since guinea pigs breed fast as they can give birth between 55 to 72 days.

The guinea pigs are given to the rescue directly, handed down by the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League, or by local vets.

Source: Guinea pig girl to the rescue

Siberian Hamsters: A Good Subject For Seasonal Timekeeping

siberian hamsterA new research that will be published this week in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study involves Siberian Hamsters, and their seasonal characteristics, and how their distinct personalities can affect humans.

For instance, these hamsters breed only in the late spring and early summer, when the days are longest. This is for them to prevent giving birth in resource-scarce winter months. The study mainly focuses on decreasing DNA methylation, a methyl group. This will shut down the hamster’s reproductive competency because of the decreased DNA methylation.

Source: Siberian hamsters show what helps make seasonal clocks tick

Understanding Hamsters

hamstersPeople tend to look at those cute bundles of joy called hamsters upon entering a pet store. However, this would often lead to a lot of questions being asked by interested parties, Alyssa Landau, columnist from The Friday Flyer, explains.

There are three major types of hamsters, the columnist states. The first are Syrian hamsters, which is also called the golden hamsters. The second are the Roborovskii hamsters, which is the smallest of three types. Lastly, there are the Chinese hamsters, which are normally aggressive but will calm down once tamed.

Caring for different types of hamsters have similarities but still have their differences. In the end, it is always important to ask questions and do proper research prior to purchasing the cute bundles of fur.

Source: All About Pets: Hamsters

Researchers Unlock Information About The Dio3 Gene

hamstersSiberian hamsters are able to control their urge to reproduce during the winter season. Research shows that these creatures have a genetic switch that triggers when to start producing offspring, reports Jyoti Madhusoodanan of Inside Science.

The correct term for this ability is called epigenetic control. However, is this type of hamsters, they rely on their melatonin levels to know what season it is, due to its relation to short and long days.

Dio3 is the specific gene that causes a hamster’s reproductive organs to increase and decrease in size during these periods. Scientists have also uncovered that this is a way the animals save energy during the winter.

Source: Shorter Days Flip Genetic Switch To Halt Hamster Mating

Things To Consider When Taking Care Of A Domesticated Rat

rat-petRats make ideal pets for people who are fond of delicate, small creatures. It is important to take note that home or domesticated rats are called Rattus Norwegicus, while wild rats are of the Rattus Rattus species, reports Phyllis O’Beollain of Examiner.com.

Rats are nocturnal by nature but can also adapt to an individual’s sleeping schedule. Keeping the cage clean should be prioritized, as the small creatures prefer a clean living area. Contrary to popular belief, rodents are sociable animals. It is recommended to purchase rats in pairs for companionship.

These tiny creatures require around 1 hour of time outside the cage for interaction and engagement. Because rats like to explore their surroundings, it is a good idea to get rid of harmful plants, toxic material and exposed wires around the room.

Children under the age of ten may not make good owners for rats. They are prone to mishandling the small creature, and may crush their internal organs and bones. Kids are also prone to diseases that rats are known to transmit such as Salmonella. Lastly, this type of rodent should not be carried by the tail, which can cause their bones to be exposed (degloving).

Source: Is a pet rat suitable for you and your family?

Guinea Pig Shines At The Real London Show

guinea-pig-medalCheekygirl, a charismatic guinea pig, placed second in the Supreme Pets category at a popular event called the Real London Show. The show attracts mice, hamsters and guinea pigs from around the globe, reports Emma Streatfield of the Daily Echo.

The guinea pig placed first in the Best Juvenile Exhibitors’ Pet category as well. Ben Cook, Cheekygirl’s owner, regularly competes in competitions with his pet. The boy mentioned that the rodent’s cheerful personality helped win the award.

Two years ago, Ben stumbled upon the guinea pig after a previous owner abandoned it. The Cook family is known for taking care of such pets (they have a total of 35) and openly accepted Cheekygirl as one of their own.

Source: Ben Cook takes abandoned guinea pig to triumph on international stage

Hamster Drives A Truck On Rough Terrain

HamsterCan a hamster drive a large truck on the side of a mountain without falling off the side of the cliff? Volvo conducted a test to see if this was possible.

A makeshift hamster wheel is attached to the steering wheel of the truck. An individual sits in the driver’s seat and uses a carrot to guide the truck in the right direction.

The ride starts off choppy, as the truck weaves left and right. Rough roads and the glaring sun increases the difficulty level of the task. About halfway through the course, the truck veers dangerously close to the edge, knocking over a few large rocks into the body of water.

With the crew watching from a distance, the truck eventually makes it to the finish line unharmed from the ordeal.

Cat Plays With Bunny

Cat and bunnyAnimals don’t just stick to their own kind. There have been a number of odd pairs such as horses and dogs, and bears and wolves.

Recently a cat has let its guard down and shown its playful side to a bunny. The small rabbit doesn’t seem to mind, as it slowly munches away on a bowl of treats. A clear message that the bunny is sending is that now is not the time for games.

The feline eventually gives in, after several failed attempts in trying to get the other animal’s attention.