sketchyscenario said: I work at a local pet store and we primarily focus on dog and cat material, but we do also have bird and fish items. We are trained about the biological needs of dogs and cats but not so much birds and fish. As far as nutrition goes, what can you briefly say is healthy for fish and birds to eat? Ingredients such as corn and grains... are those okay for them?? Thanks :)

With fish, the fresher you get the better.  Also you want as many WHOLE ingredients as possible at the top of the ingredients list— so if you look at the backs of pelleted food, you’ll see that some have whole fish/shrimp for the first 4-5 ingredients (foods like New Life Spectrum and Omega One are two of the best).  Some are only going to have “Whole Fish Meal” followed by a wheat of some sort.  Since wheat is the binding agent used to make the pellets/flakes, it’s not very nutritional.  Fish foods that have a better ingredients list will give you longer-lived, healthier and more colorful fish.  :>

With any fish though, it’s best to look up their natural diet and try to emulate it as closely as possible.

When if comes to birds, it differs based on what kind of bird it is.  

I find that the best way to ensure my parakeets get the right amount of nutrition is to go with a seed mix made of primarily dried fruits/veggies, white millet and oat groats combined with a powder supplement called “Harrison’s Bird Mash”.  By coating the seeds in this powder, I ensure they’re getting the vitamins they need as they hull the seed.  Ideally, I would put the keets on a high pellet count food, but mine just will NOT touch the pellets nor will they go for any fresh fruit/veg.

Also— on a note with the fresh fruits/veg for birds, NO AVOCADO.  NOOO AVOCADO.  There’s a very small section of it that’s NOT poisonous to birds so it’s best to avoid it.  Also I don’t like giving them citrusy fruits.

Also NO PEOPLE FOOD.  NOOOO PEOPLE FOOD.  We have the ability to process a higher amount of sugars and sodium than birds do, meaning it’s VERY EASY TO OVERDOSE if you decide to give your birds a taste of what you’re munching on.  I have read multiple horror stories of people losing birds to sodium poisoning after people gave them things like pretzels and saltines.

What you CAN give them that people don’t usually know is boiled UNSEASONED chicken and hardboiled eggs with the shells mixed in, both served at room temperature.  It’s actually really good for them to get a little protein in their diet!

voyagesofthatstarshipenterprise said: I really want to take proper care of my Beta fish so what should I do? I already know he needs a real tank but is there anything else?

Check out my betta care post!  

ghouljump said: Xatu!

i don’t like it | meh | it’s cool | i like it | awesome! | one of my favorites

northern-werewolf said: I don't have an exotic pet, but I had a question about dogs if you are willing to answer. Today, my 6-year old Cavalier King Charles was showing signs that he was hurting: he was panting heavily, his tail was completely tucked, and he went up stairs with great difficulty. He yelps occasionally too. I don't know if this is a rib problem or what? The vet is closed until Monday, but could you help me diagnose how serious this is?

If he’s having pain while moving or doing normal activity it’s pretty serious.  I would see the vet ASAP tomorrow (monday).  Call in today (there’s usually someone there to take calls, make appointments, take care of the animals, etc) and let them know what’s going on.  

It could be something as simple as he has arthritis and it’s just bad that say or something popped out of joint (my dog has floating patellas, so they pop out once in a whole causing pain).

Hopefully it’s nothing too serious!  If your dog is in pain today, I suggest baby asprin or a dog-grad asprin to help alleviate some of it until you can see a vet.

greywaterfox said: Is there any reason for a vet to prescribe a dewormer for an animal they just tested and found to be worm free? I'm a little concerned that the vet I just visited is overtreating, and I'm really not certain I want to keep administering these medicines to my pet as they are only making him feel worse than he already was.

There really isn’t a GOOD reason for a vet to do so— the only reason I could see would be for preventative reasons.

What I would do is seek consultation either via email or phone with another vet and see what their opinion is.  

unbeatablerootbeer said: Can water conditioner go bad? My betta Oscar died today a couple hours after I changed his water, and the only thing I changed from all the other times I've done it was use an older bottle of conditioner. I'm trying to figure out what happened, because I don't see an expiration date on the bottle.

From what I understand it DOES have a shelf life of about a year after breaking the seal.

I’m sorry to hear he passed.  :(

What I would do is, if you still have the water, test it or take it somewhere to test (most chain stores do it for free).  You want to see the chlorine level— it’ll read if there’s ANY amount of it in the water and then you’ll know for sure.

spoopy-pumpkaboos said: hi, in my aquarium we have regular goldfish. i don't really know what kind, but they are the small pudgy type ones (i hope you know what im talking about!) well, we have a problem where they keep on rising up to the surface of the tank even when they don't want to. they struggle to keep down. we asked about it, and the pet store people told us to put their food in water before giving it to them to help stop it. we've been doing that but it doesnt work, what should we do?

That sounds a LOT like swim bladder.

The easiest way to solve that?

Don’t feed them for about 4-5 days.

I know it sounds cruel, but really it helps a LOT.

Next you boil a sweet pea and then take the inner goop and feed your goldfish that.  It acts like a fishie laxative and helps them pass their bowels naturally, releasing pressure and allowing their bloat to subside.  :)

If it’s REALLY bad, even after the pea, you can use epsom salt.  I recommend it as a last resort though, as it’s incredible stressful for fish.


Thought I’d give you guys an update on my newish betta, Houdini. He’s doing really well. His fins have grown some since I got him, and he’s changed colors quite a bit. He wouldn’t sit still though, so these pictures are pretty horrible. Sorry :/

The top picture is his current tank setup. He’s got the 6.6 to himself while Scooter’s fins heal up. The filter is set pretty low, and he doesn’t mind the small current it has. It’s got some live and some plastic plants. He has Java fern, java moss and marimo balls. I also made a carpet out of a marimo ball and it seems to be doing pretty good.

The little butt wouldn’t stop swimming around like a tard so the pictures are pretty blurry. You can see he has a lot more red on his anal fin, though. His tail has gotten more black/gray, and his body has more of a bluish/black color to it now.

He’s still super friendly and always goes right up to the front of the tank whenever I walk into my room. Please ignore the protein scum and bits of food floating around. He was too busy trying to get get my attention to eat his lunch, and as for the protein scum, I was gone for a few days and haven’t done a water change yet. I plan on doing that tomorrow. (Also gotta wash more sand and add it to my cichlid tank. Tomorrow’s gonna be a busy day.)

blakethechao said: I've been thinking about having a pet turtle or toroise, but like, in the future, like 5-8 years from now. What do you recommend I do to prepare?

save up PLENTY of money and DO YOUR RESEARCH.  Also take the time to find and build a relationship with a source that you trust, whether it be a breeder, a chain store, a mom and pop shop or whatever.  A tortoise is a large responsibility, mainly because of the lifespan of the animal.  You have to prepare yourself for it to be your pet for basically your lifetime. 

And it’s not like a dog or a cat either, where it will run around and make cute noises— yes, they’re PRECIOUS creatures, but make sure you want to make that commitment to an animal that isn’t affectionate in the traditional way.

But yeah, set aside enough funds so that you’ll be able to buy everything right off the bat— a cage to comfortably house him/her at their adult size, a suitable diet including fresh fruits and veggies (and possibly frozen mice depending on the species— redfooted tortoises are one that should get a frozen pinky mouse AT LEAST once a month), and the appropriate substrates, decor, large bathing basin they can easily access and exit.

With turtles, same deal.  Land turtles are very similar in care to tortoises, but aquatic turtles require plenty of swimming space, occasional live food, pump, filter, water conditioner, etc.

unbeatablerootbeer said: My betta's fins used to be pretty solid red, but recently I've noticed that they've been turning whiter/more transparent, especially the back fin, from the outside in as time goes on. Is it possible that these are ammonia burns? Should I change his water more often?

Changing the water more often can’t hurt— I would suggest doing a 20-30% water change once a week, depending on the size of your tank.

While you do that, take a sample of your water in to a pet store and have them test it for free— ask them to test for ammonia specifically and see what it’s at.  If it comes back at 0 or you’re not noticing an improvement in color, wait a little while longer. 

My mom’s betta started “losing color” and I had thought it was a variety of things— until someone kindly informed me that he is actually a marbled betta.  These bettas don’t develop their marbling until later in their life.

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