Monthly Archives: December 2014

National Visit the Zoo Day


In tribute to all the species kept in zoos and safari parks, enjoy some pictures of species that are wild, unusual, rarely seen (outside of zoos/ safari parks), and protected species/ last of their species.

Not everyone agrees with zoos or safari parks – there can certainly be improvements made; but on the other hand, we all enjoy visiting the zoo or safari park and taking in the exquisite and diverse animal species.

Did You Know? Reindeer


Reindeer are also known as Caribou.
Svalbard Reindeer
Svalbard Reindeer

Males reindeer are known as bulls. Female reindeer are known as cows. Young reindeer are known as calves. Both male and female reindeer have antlers. These are covered in velvet, which is shed annually.

Reindeer live in the Northern parts of North America including Canada and Alaska. They also live in Europe, Russia and Greenland… and of course, the North Pole with Santa!

Red Deer - Santa's Reindeer
Red Deer                                                     Santa’s Reindeer

Santa’s reindeer look like red deer when drawn – tall and slim; with long, slender antlers, a smooth brown coat, and small black hooves. In reality, reindeer are fairly short and stocky; with large, fairly broad antlers (the bigger the better); and wide, flat, split hooves.
The split hooves makes them a two-toed ungulate (such as sheep and camels, unlike horses).
The coats of reindeer vary from brown to grey/ white, and mixtures in between – usually white underneath.
The larger your antlers, the higher your rank within the group. The higher your rank within the group, means first dibs on important things such as food, shelter, and mates.

Different types of reindeer include the woodland caribou, barren-ground caribou, forest reindeer, river caribou, peary caribou, Svalbard reindeer, porcupine caribou, Arctic reindeer,  and Alaskan reindeer.

Porcupine Caribou
Porcupine Caribou

National Day of the Horse


13th December 2014 – National Day of the Horse

Day of the Horse

Today is National Day of the Horse (and pony) – this varied species comes in all heights (hands heigh – hh), weight ranges, colours, shapes, and personalities; with various talents.

Ponies can be any height up to 14.2hh – once the animal is 14.3hh and above it is classed as a horse. There are over 300 different breeds of horses/ponies in the world. Different breeds have been bred for different uses – racing/speed, trotting, dressage, hacking, strength, jumping, size, colour, coat texture, and height are some of the more modern traits bred for. Horses and ponies were often bred for working purposes rather than recreational/ hobby reasons prior to the invention/ mass production of cars and other machinery; such as work in the mines, on the docks, farming, pulling boats, transporting people – on their backs and by pulling carriages, pulling emergency vehicles, and were often used in war.

Find a collection of various horse and pony breeds, for your viewing pleasure, below…
[all photo’s are either my own personal ones or open source images from the internet]

Christmas Foodstuffs NOT for Pets!


With only 21 sleeps until Christmas day; have fun this festive season, but not at the expense of your pet. Ensure you keep them safe and don’t let them get into the Christmas sweets and treats set out for you and your guests! Making sure you know what to keep “out of reach” of your pets is good to bear in mind amidst all the fun and activity.

This should go without saying; whether you consume it or cook with it, and no matter how much you’ve had – under no circumstances do you ever give your pet alcohol of any kind. Whether it’s in the Christmas pudding or straight from the glass/ bottle – just don’t do it. Alcohol can kill your pet (the smaller the quicker). This may sound obvious, but I have witnessed a person after having too much champagne attempting to let a dog share in the drinking… So also (always) keep an eye on your pet and ensure they’re safe around party guests.

Cooked veggies are a no-go for your herbivorous pet. Fresh and raw only. By all means give your little furry pet the carrot peelings/tops or the discarded cabbage leaves – just ensure you know what veggies are suitable for your pet so as too not feed the wrong food even in it’s raw form.

Cooked bones should not be given to your dog or cat – as these can splinter very easily, and get stuck in or cut their throat. Raw bones can be given with supervision, but not if your pet is food possessive or aggressive. Some dogs and cats that aren’t normally food aggressive, can become this way when given raw food/ bones.

As per one of my early posts – garlic, onion, grapes and raisins, and chocolate are all toxic to dogs. These are also toxic to a lot of other animals.
(http://alisanswers.com/index.php/2014/01/29/dangerous-people-food-for-dogs/)

Grapes and raisins (and other kinds of fresh fruit and veg) are suitable to feed to certain species; such as parrots and lizards – always do your research before feeding anything new to your pet. If you want to feed chocolate to your dog, buy doggy chocolate which is safe.

If you feel the need to spoil your pet this Christmas, buy pet safe Christmas treats! Give your pets treats within reason so as to not overfeed! Above all, don’t forget to keep feeding your pet their normal diet throughout this festive season.

 Seek veterinary advice if you are unsure about what foodstuffs will harm your pet, prior to feeding it. If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful then take them to the vet as soon as possible.