A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with ten crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas With a Pig

So - Christmas at our house is going to be interesting now that Winston has joined our happy little family!!

Trees - he thinks they are - well - trees...which pigs eat and chew on and scratch against.  So - no large trees that sit on the floor this year - everything will be table top.

Ornaments - they are just toys in his mind so you can't have any within his reach - he will munch them....

Gifts - the pig LOVES paper so wrapped gifts on the floor are out of the question.  He is more obsessed with finding out what is in a bag than the ferrets are - no gift bags in his area either.

Stockings are safe I think - they are high enough that he shouldn't be able to access those....

It will be a bit different but it's so worth it - love that little pig....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Treats for the Critters

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week for those of us in the US - where did 2014 go???

I found this article from the ACPCA with some great reminders for keeping your furries safe on Turkey Day. For us - Emma and the kitties will get a bit of  turkey, Winston will get some veges like sweet potato and green beans, and the ferrets will get offers on several things but likely only Theo will try anything as the little girls are not very adventurous in the food department.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for
our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey
or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic
Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your
pets can enjoy, too.
Talkin’ Turkey
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and
well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain
salmonella bacteria.
Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
No Bread Dough
Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts,
when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and
bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
Don't Let Them Eat Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the
batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that
may lead to food poisoning.
Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as
they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular
diets during the holidays.
A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer
them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with
a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles
of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to
extract their dinner from the toy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pet Product Review: IRIS USA, Inc. Airtight Pet Food Container Combo Kit

Remember the treat box fiasco with Winston while we were out of town at the beginning of the month? We took measures to ensure that Mr. Piglet did not have access to food and treats again.  I ordered three sets of these:

Since Winston uses his snout to push things around we opted not to put the wheels on.  They work just great.  We have one with kitty/ferret food and treats, one for Emma's food and MilkBones and one with Winston's food and treats.  The scoops have lines on the inside that show how much food you are dispensing.

Winston is strong enough to push them around but not tall enough to tip them over or open them - although he is tall enough to  move the handle.  I am also liking how fresh and soft this is keeping Emma's food as well.  All in all a great purchase for us.  Would highly recommend - available on Amazon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

General Updates

In general - I think things at the Zoo are going quite well.

Let's start with the kitties.  They all seems to be feeling pretty good.  Phoebe's allergies seem to be settling down a bit.  Oliver is doing well - he enjoys playing and snoozing with the pig - they are actually quite good friends.  Aggie is going strong - feeling good and hanging out with me most days.  Miss Zoey is going through a pet me phase (as opposed to a touch me and get snarled at phase).  All in all - life in feline land is great!

Emma - the pup is doing well!!  She and Winston play a lot and seem to enjoy each other's company.  The squabble over food some days but for the most part are good friends.  Emma has mellowed a bit on the neurosis side of things since she got a pig companion which is great!.  Her health seems good and she seems like a happy dog.

Ferrets - Theo, Violet and Maddie are all doing just great.  They are playful and full of energy and the three of them are together non stop.  They sleep together quite a bit and are quite playful with each other and with Oliver.  Hubs and I have discussed that this is the fewest number of ferrets we will ever have - it has to be three as I have seen the impact of losing a ferret family member on the group so I would never want to be at a point where we had 2 and then had something happen to one of them so we will stay at 3 or more forever more!

Winston is doing just great.  We are doing just great in the potty training department - only one accident all week long!  He is a pretty chilled out piglet - during the day he entertains himself and plays with Emma and Ollie and doesn't demand my attention while I am working.  Winston is pretty much a full time downstairs pig now - spending the bulk of this days and sleeping down here at night.  I miss having him in our room but I will admit that its much quieter and I love not getting up as early.

The critter Christmas card is done and off to print - I love how it turned out and will share it here next month. Finnegan's last insurance claim got faxed off this week - I hate doing that task when we lose a critter - its so final and depressing....

We have slowly starting to put up Christmas - its very early this year but I needed something to get me out of my Finn funk and I do so love Christmas.  Christmas with a pig is going to be interesting - I will post about our experience so far soon....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Allergies and Hairballs - Having Critters is Glamorous

I have three critters who are seasonal allergy sufferers in our household - Oliver, Phoebe and Theo. This fall has been particularly tough for them and for the humans.  Ollie and Theo have been less impacted than Phoebe.

There are a few things I give the critters to help them with allergies.  The first is colloidal silver.  I put some in their water and it really seems to help them.  The second is probiotics - also in the water - this seems to help them from an immune system perspective.  Lastly - in extreme cases like we had tonight with Phoebe - when they are congested - a drop of Ephrine Nose Drops.  I have only ever used these on the kitties - never on the ferrets and like I said - only in rare cases.  Phoebe was sneezing and wheezing so I put one drop in one nostril and like magic she cleared right up.  She is sleeping away - no worse for the wear and is feeling better.

In addition to sneezers - the kitties are putting on their winter coats as are the ferrets.  This means more hair and more hairballs....ugh.  I gave all the cats and weasels a little shot of hairball meds tonight to keep everything moving through their systems.  The good thing is that the meds usually make things come out the back end rather than the front....if you know what I mean.

Glad that Miss Phoebe is feeling better and that in general my little zoo seems pretty healthy....

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Miscellaneous Snaps

I have lots of snaps that never make it to the blog....some examples.  They are not fantastic pics but some of them aren't bad either.  We will call them November mid month snaps....

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winston Update

My little piglet is growing up!!  Not only is he physically getting bigger but he is changing and maturing in other ways as well.

First - I posted about changing our routine up a bit so that he could sleep downstairs.  He doesn't love being in his pen any longer so we have been letting him sleep downstairs on his own.  He seems to like it and I enjoy getting to sleep in a bit later.  He spends some time upstairs - some with us - some alone so the ferrets have time to burn off some energy but for the most part he is a downstairs pig.

The beauty of having him be a downstairs pig is that he is doing fantastic with his potty training downstairs.  Don't get me wrong - we still have an accident now and then but I would say 95% of the time he is using his potty patch or going outside.  Thank goodness!!!  Upstairs he is not as reliable so I am happy that he is liking downstairs as much as he does.

During the day he is good about entertaining himself - he seeks out your attention when he wants it but isn't super demanding.  He plays with Emma and with the kitties during the day.  I have pretty much restricted him from having much interaction with the ferrets - he is totally unaware of them or your feet or anything else for that matter and he could very easily step on them and injure them.  Believe me - it HURTS - just ask my feet when I am getting his dinner ready.  He is heavy and his hooves are tiny - think cat standing on you X 1000.

All in all I am pleased with the way things are progressing with him.  I could do more tricks with him and we need to work on breaking him of being so pushy when you have treats or other food.  I keep reminding myself - he is just a baby still - only 4.5 months old.....