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I Love Hamsters

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One of my reasons to love hamsters is that I am allergic to any other furry animal that could conceivably live in my house. However, there are plenty of positive reasons to love hamsters.
 
On Instagram I count hamsters, who have their own accounts among my followers. I follow quite a few of these accounts myself, even when some of the hamsters are no longer with us, due to short life expectancy ( average two years).
 
Despite this, their accounts continue with photos and videos of recently lost pets.  I had my own hamster as a child and over the years four more hamsters have followed, due to the presence of my children and grandchildren requiring a pet.
 
These male hamsters have all been great, full of cuteness and personality, engendering strong protective responses due to their delicacy and small size. There are warnings on forums of female hamsters having a strong odour that some owners find difficult to cope with. I’ve never seen this mentioned on Instagram, so presumably it’s not always too bad or love conquers all!
 
It would be a mistake to think that because a hamster is small that the pet doesn’t require a big cage. Our cage measures 77x47x36cm. a good size rectangle. I like bars too, so that the hamster can climb and have close contact with human carers and not be enclosed behind a plastic screen.
Mac eating cake
If treated right, Syrian hamsters love and respond to the humans who look after them, but will not accept sharing their home with another hamster, so no need to feel bad about not providing them with a flatmate.
 
I don’t have any stories of daring escapes, because in the past, I secured the catches on the cages with Blu tack, just to make doubly sure of fortress like security! Incidentally I don’t like using the word “cage” when this enclosure should be maintained as a comfortable home.
 
The hamster will appreciate a daily spot check of the corner he uses to wee in and several inches of natural paper fibre bedding for nesting and floor covering. We use Premium Small Animal White bedding .   Birdseed is safe for hamsters to eat and will save you removing the bits that picky hamsters, won’t eat in commercial hamster food mixes. 
 
So, to sum up my reasons for loving hamsters are, that they are cute and friendly, happy once they trust you, to nap on you for hours, so great stress relievers. This article is dedicated to the memory of Hammy 1 and Hammy 2, Harry and a hamster called Mac, who have all crossed the rainbow bridge to Hamster Heaven.  Owners like to think that their hamsters who have passed are running free at last.
Mac the hamster

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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Ben & Jerry have launched an ice cream for dogs

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Now your dog doesn’t have to look at you with envy while your are eating your ice cream and you don’t have to feel guilty. Ben & Jerry have launched two flavours for their new line of ice cream for dogs:Pontch’s Mix and Rosie’s Batch, both names after two employees dogs.

Ben & Jerry  started in 1978 founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield allows dogs in the office and therefore they play a big role in this company. 

Pontch’s Mix has peanut butter and pretzel while Rosie’s Batch has pumpkin and mini cookies.  As dogs are lactose intolerant these ice cream don’t contain dairy products but use sunflower butter which is easily digested by our canine friends.  The recipes were created with the help of vets and experts in dogs nutrition. 

Unfortunately for the time being these dogs treats are only available in the US but hopefully they might come to delight British dogs soon.

 

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Pet prices soar in isolation need for companionship

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We are a nation of pet lovers and dogs and cats are by far the most popular of pets. During the Covid pandemic people who were having to think twice about the responsibility of a puppy or kitten have decided to take the plunge as they are working from home and feel they have the time to dedicate to a new family member. During this isolating time, people are turning to pets to help relieve stress and anxiety, as well as a way to stay active, a walk is so much more pleasurable with a dog than alone and if you are motivated to run or jog there are many breeds of dog that will happily join you.

People now feel they have the time and effort  to put into training a dog, However this sudden need for companionship in a mad lone;y world has meant that the price of puppies has more than doubled during lockdown with dogs costing almost £1,900 on average.Prices for puppies have skyrocketed during lockdown, with some now more than four times higher than usual. Popular breeds have seen even sharper price increases, and puppies are often selling for £3,000 or more, according to a leading online marketplace.

Certain breeds have become hugely popular and demand has outstripped supply leading to its own set of concerns for animal charities. 

These welfare charities such as the dogs trust  RSPCA  and Blue Cross  have warned high prices could encourage “puppy farming”, smuggling or dog theft.

Unscrupulous  unlicensed breeders have seen an opportunity for  cashing in on the surging demand for popular puppies at this time, without any concern for health or welfare.

While there are many responsible breeders who care hugely for their animals, unfortunately with this huge demand now taking place there are plenty who are just looking to tug on the heartstrings and exploit the situation, it’s creating a lucrative market for cruel puppy smugglers.high prices will encourage the illegal importation of puppies or heavily pregnant dogs from smuggling hotspots in eastern or central Europe.

These poor animals are smuggled into the country in the most horrendous conditions and arrive weak, terribly ill and have suffered significant trauma in the process creating  more problems for a potential owner with a mentally scarred puppy. Unfortunately this trade is a booming concern at the moment and the deterrents need to be reviewed with tougher penalties for smuggling pups to deter  this dreadful practise. Only a handful of cases have ever been prosecuted and you can get a longer sentence for smuggling cigarettes than you can for smuggling puppies.

There are genuine fears that we are heading for an animal welfare crisis as people return to work away from the home in the future.. With the  RSPCA issuing a warning that they fear huge abandonments when people get back to work or realise they can no longer afford to keep or make time for their new pet.It may be that the economic situation   means that some people may find they can’t afford to look after a dog any more when the future so uncertain.

Behaviours of the dogs may mean they are no longer a pleasure to have in the home as these puppies will have grown up with people at home all the time when  that comes to an end and dogs become bored or anxious because they’re used to people being there and disruptive and bad behaviour will likely begin.

The Dogs Trust is concerned there will be up to 40,000 dogs abandoned in the coming months as a result of people buying puppies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The costa involved in a pet have risen dramatically too with insurance going up significantly and even more than doubling in many cases due to the basic cost of buying and vets having to hike their prices to meet government demands and regulations

 

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and a long term commitment. Whether prices will fall again as the country begins to return to ‘ normal’ remains to be seen.

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Christmas

Dog in Scotland eats Christmas dinner

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Curious news from Scotland, a chi apso dog, a breed of Tibetan dogs named Bubba, has eaten the whole turkey that was to be eaten at Christmas by the family.

Bubba walked into the kitchen on Christmas Eve and quietly ate the bird, which had been wrapped in tinfoil and left under a tea towel on the counter.

The dog then collapsed to the ground, unable to move after such a large meal. # A photo of Bubba lying on his side has been shared thousands of times on social media.

The photograph was posted on Twitter by owner David Barrett, who lives in Prestwick, Scotland and hasn’t eaten turkey this Christmas. Bubba might not eat one ever again though. 

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