What You Should Know About Pet Education

Most people love animals above all else. It does not matter if it is a dog, a cat or a rabbit. Some people also like animals that you cannot keep in your home or garden. These include lions, penguins or zebras. However, if you decide for a common pet, should not disregard the education

From education to dressage 

You can visit a dog school with your dog. There he learns how to behave properly, runs well behaved on a leash and even the basic commands such as sitting, sitting, or staying internalized. But what about animals that you admire in movies, for example? All these animals had to go to an animal school. Especially when it comes to animals that shoot big Hollywood films or are seen more often in series. Without an animal school it would not be possible to make a film with a camel or a lion. The animal schools are run by professional animal trainers guided and the animals learn there what they have to do. Of course, the animal trainers have to work with a lot of patience and time – another way would be unthinkable. Of course, there are also animals that learn their exercises very quickly and other animals need a little longer. In some schools, animals are not only trained for filming and television, but some schools also offer pet training for private individuals. 

Little tricks for clever four-legged friends 

If the cat or the bunny has a confident character and the ride is not too far, then you can treat yourself to such a day with your pet. Maybe at the end of the day the cat can give paws or open the front door. However, you should not ask too much of your pet, just of animals that are reluctant to leave their environment, you should consider the training out of the house again. But with a few treats, time and patience, you may be able to teach your pet some tricks and feats even without schooling animals. 

How to Care for Pygmy Pigs

Among the list of adorably small creatures, the teacup pig (also known as miniature, dwarf, and even micro pigs) has taken the hearts of most Americans. It’s small size, potbelly, round head, tiny legs, and perky ears make teacup pigs trendier than their larger counterparts.  
 
Adopting a miniature pig is a long-term commitment and perfect for anyone looking for a friend who will stay with you for around 15 to 20 years. They are intelligent creatures and were originally bread for research due to their intelligence.  

How Do You Care for Teacup Pigs? 

The very first step in caring for a teacup pig is making sure that you are allowed to in the state or county you live in. Some counties still consider these creatures as livestock only and this can lead to neighborly complaints about livestock that is “unauthorized.” 
 
The second and equally important step is to make sure that you are aware that miniature pigs do not stay “miniature” forever. These pigs can grow to be over 50 pounds in weight, about the size of a medium dog.  
 
Since teacup pigs are very intelligent, you can treat them as you would a pet dog at times. Use positive reinforcement to train your teacup pig, rewarding with treats when tasks are completed correctly.  

Living with a Pig

Get ready for messy! You can train your pig to use a litter box/area, however, as they grow in size cleaning that area may become more and more difficult.  
 
Again, similar to having a pet dog, exercise is essential for any teacup pig so make sure to offer plenty of time to stretch those muscles. After walks and playtimes, be sure to provide lots and lots of blankets. These miniature pigs love to dig under layers of blankets and sleep cozily so make sure to have blankets everywhere your pig likes to go. 

How to Care for Miniature Horses

Caring for an animal requires proper attention, dedication, and love. Having an animal is gaining a new best friend, so why not give them the best care! Miniature horses are relatively easy to care for, and they are quite cheaper than regular horses. Here’s how you can take proper care of your little mini. 

Housing 

Your little mini horse likes to roam and enjoy the sunshine, but also needs some shelter and shade to protect them from elements. A 3 sided shed is great for your horse; this way, they are covered and protected. Your mini can also adapt to a regular barn, make sure to adjust their food and water. Your horse will need enough space to play and breathe freely. A ¼ acre is the minimum you should have for your mini.  

Feeding Your Horse 

The proper diet for your mini should include grass and hay. If your horse exercises regularly and has access to a decent amount of green pasture, you will not need to add hay into the diet. Your horse usually eats up to 2% of their body weight and can eat about 1lb. of grains a day. You can even throw corn, barley, wheat, and oats into the mix. Giving your mini too much hay could cause them to become overweight, and too much grains can cause constipation.  

Grooming 

Before grooming, you need to make sure your mini is secure, so they can’t bolt during grooming. Make sure to never approach your horse from behind because their kicks are quite powerful, and always stand to the side, make sure they hear you when approaching.  

Companions 

Your miniature horse needs a companion! They thrive better and stay happier when they have a friend to play with and run with. Most people have more than one mini, but they also make friends well with donkeys, sheep, dogs, or goats.  
 
Caring for your horse is a lot of work and rewarding at the same time. Your horse will be happy and healthy, and will thank you. 

How to Care for Miniature Donkeys

Among the top of the list of the most cute and affectionate animals is the miniature donkey. This adorably small animal is perfect in almost every way and can make an excellent companion to any child or family in need of a bit of care.  
 
Miniature donkeys are also extremely loyal and make for a great long-term friend, similar to a pet dog.  

How to Care for Miniature Donkeys? 

Just like full-sized donkeys and horses, miniature donkeys need lots of clean water, hay, a fenced area to graze, and plenty of grain to nibble on. They also need to be visited by a vet and be regularly vaccinated. 
 
Since these unbearably sweet animals are loyal, they prefer a social context where they have constant companionship. Typically, if you are going to get one miniature donkeys, you should get another or already have one. Friendships between the two animals will support them in best caring for one another and showing affection towards you.  

Hay vs Grass 

Your donkey deserves the best to be thriving at their fullest potential and living comfortably. As seasons change you must be mindful of the food source that you are providing your companion. During the dry winter months, good quality hay should be given to your donkey. However, if the spring and summer seasons bring beautifully rich pastures, allow your donkey the freedom to feed on deliciously nourishing grass.  

Minerals 

Similar to humans, donkeys require essential trace minerals to supplement their diets. 12-12 mineral should be provided to your donkeys at all times, so they eat it when they need it. Granular minerals tend to be best for donkeys and a salt block can also be implemented to assist with mineral intake.  
 
Similar to any pet or animal companion, the right care is needed and is very well deserved, especially towards this beautifully small and happy creature. 

Proper Nutrition for Dogs

Many a dog owner will have noticed that her four-legged friend eats almost everything. Particularly interesting is the food, which lies with master or mistress on the plate and also the leftovers in the trash can find a grateful customer, if not paid attention. But the dog is not omnivorous. The ancestors of the dog, the wolves, are grouped into the group of carnivores. This does not mean that the wolf only eats meat. On the one hand he eats his prey animals completely, so with skin and hair, on the other hand, he complements his diet with berries, grasses, herbs and roots. This is how the wolf covers its nutritional needs. This nutrient requirement also has the domestic dog, whose genetic pole differs only slightly from that of a wolf. 

Species-appropriate food for domestic dogs 

In principle, it would be the most natural form, if the dog can hunt himself from time to time to a rabbit or a chicken. He is then full for days, no longer takes up food. On the one hand, this is not feasible for many dog owners, and moreover, live animal feeding is not permitted in Germany for animal welfare reasons. Of course, the dog would eat the animals if they are already slaughtered. Again, the mess in the garden or in the apartment would be enormous. Therefore, food is now produced that contains all the nutrients that the whole prey animal, together with its stomach contents, yields. In such industrially produced food, the vitamins and minerals are included, moreover, this food should consist mainly of meat. 

The meat content of dog food 

The meat content needs, as already mentioned, not 100%. A share of about 70% is completely sufficient. In these 70%, however, the internal organs of the animals should be included. These are often listed as “animal by-products” and are viewed critically by many dog owners. Of course, this may mean that many parts have been processed apart from the muscle meat, but it also indicates that the whole animal has been processed. The dog owners should be more critical in the cereal share be. Although a dog needs carbohydrates, its pancreas is not designed to consume 50% or more of its food. The proportion of grain should therefore ideally be 20-30%. A small amount of fruits or vegetables completes the menu. 

How to Care for Hedgehogs

While they do not seem to crave human affection like a dog an are higher maintenance, hedgehogs have endured as pets due to their tiny size, ranging between 5″-8″ long, and inherent cuteness. While hedgehogs are none too keen on giving cuddles, they will tolerate light handling. The average age of a hedgehog is six years. 

Legality  

While most municipalities within the United States allow hedgehogs as pets, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine and Pennsylvania either ban them as pets or demand a permit for someone to have one. A handful of Canadian municipalities have also banned hedgehogs as pets, as has Scandinavia. 

 Activity Cycle 

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, which means they are only awake at night. 

 Diet 

While outdated nature texts claim that hedgehogs only ate bugs, the truth is that they are omnivorous. While this means that wild hedgehogs will feast on insects, they will also seek to devour amphibians, berries, carrion, eggs, the roots of grasses, mushrooms and fruit. 

Housing 

Hedgehogs need to work out regularly, this means that enclosed hedgehogs should have access to an open wheel to run around in. It is also a great idea, if you can manage it, to let them run around in your home. Allowing your hedgehog free range of the house allows it to approach some level of the far-ranging travel habits of its wild ancestors. Any cage that holds a hedgehog will need to be cleaned on a daily basis due to how messy these little creatures can be. 

Acceptable Temperature Range 

Between (75-86°F) with plenty of room to dig and forage for food, making it difficult for urban hedgehog owners to fully satisfy their pet’s needs. If things are too hot, the hedgehog may suffer heat stroke; if things are too cold, the hedgehog will enter torpor. 

Cultivating a Safe Home for Pets

Pets are the favorite roommates for many. Accordingly, the welfare of the little ones is important to them. Since a dwelling does not correspond to the natural environment of animals, some measures are often necessary to provide them with a habitat in which they can develop, but in which they are also safe from life-threatening dangers. Depending on the animal, very different measures are possible, if only because each animal moves differently in space. While most animals have to be protected from dangers on the ground, birds, for example, still have potential dangers at the height that one must try to eliminate. 

 
Of course, if the animals have some free access, such as cats, they cannot be saved, of course. But at least you should create the best conditions at home. 

Protection against injury from other household items 

If the animals roam free in the home, it is important to secure freely movable and heavy objects – especially those above head height of the animals. For example, it quickly happens that a cat starts something on the bookshelf that can hit the other. The same is true for small animal cages, here care should be taken that the animals cannot fall from a great height, but also that all components are fixed so that animals do not fall uncontrollably or are killed by part of the cage. 

Find hidden dangers 

While some dangers are obvious, others must first be sought. Before you let the animal run free, therefore, the whole apartment should be inspected, not only where the animal moves, but also in the levels above. Is there anything that could be attractive for her as feed, but contains dangerous ingredients? Generally, you should leave nothing edible open, as animals basically need different food than humans. The negative consequences of wrong food do not have to show up immediately. 

 
For small animals there is also a great risk to life through the house electrics. Here many accidents have become known. Sockets, devices and cables should not be accessible if possible, so that they cannot be nibbled on. Larger networks can be resolved if possible, which today mainly Internet lines. Since many cables are not very decorative anyway, one should think about getting a wireless router into the house and wirelessly connect all Internet-enabled devices. Because on the floor, the cables are unthinkable for animal housemates. 

Hamster Jogging Balls, Galore!

You can still find them: the jogging ball. Also known as hamster ball or race ball, it provides amusement under uninformed and irresponsible hamster owners, in animal welfare circles, however, it is because of obvious disadvantages as animal welfare and harmful to health! 

Often these balls are shown in films (eg in the animated film “Bolt”) – that movies often have nothing to do with reality, everyone should be aware and thus also that hamsters have lost nothing in such balls. But why? 

The hamster has no control over his direction in this ball 

Change of direction, slowing down, avoiding – an impossibility. For obstacles – such as a chair leg – collision is inevitable. And often with serious consequences: The abrupt collision can lead to sprains and fractures, even traumas. Rolling the ball down a staircase – not thinking what the little hamster in the worst case threatens. 

Poor air circulation in the ball 

Hamster balls usually have only very small louvers. For adequate ventilation here is never worried. Through the efforts of the hamster to get out of the bullet, he has to make an effort – with no chance of escape. Due to the accelerated respiration he gets in return hardly any fresh air. This is clearly reflected in the cycle of the small animal. 

Danger by getting stuck  

For adequate ventilation, the slots are too small, but often enough for a toe or a paw. Due to the uncontrolled running in the ball, the paw of the hamster can quickly get caught in such a slot. If this happens, the hamster is in great pain – he suffers! 

Damage to the muscles 

Hamster balls have, in addition to the disadvantages already mentioned, another disadvantage: their size. With a diameter of 12 to 18 centimeters, they are simply far too small for a hamster to walk in WITHOUT a crushed back. If the hamster is regularly and permanently inserted into such an animal tormenting bullet, postural defects such as herniated discs, curvatures and unbearable pain are inevitable. Please note that this can happen even if the impeller is too small!  

Limitations of natural perception 

Due to the plastic, the hamster can neither properly see nor smell and hear its surroundings. The hamster wandering aimlessly around the globe, bumping into objects, etc. may seem “funny” at first glance, but it is not under any circumstances! The hamster is exposed to permanent stress in a running ball, he cannot use his natural senses, cannot determine the direction and all sounds sound different and thus completely foreign. The fact that everything is taken as a foreign, the hamster wants to hide only. As a result, he runs even faster, more often attacks on objects, etc. Everything swings up each other. Appropriate outlet WITHOUT stress definitely looks different! 

The quiet little place is not so quiet  

Hamsters are naturally pure animals. Your village is located in a suitable place where it could interfere with neither the foraging, nor the food supply. Nevertheless, paths and aisles are also marked. Anyone who has watched his hamster has already noticed that they can also release urine while running in the wheel. And this can also be the case in the anti-animal running ball. The hamster runs in his own feces and urine, he pollutes himself and the feces can clog the already too few ventilation slots anyway. 

Basic Rules of Cat Education

Cats are idiosyncratic animals who prefer to act on their own heads rather than fulfill their owner’s wishes. Therefore, one could quickly assume that cat husbandry and education are mutually exclusive. But that is not the case. Of course, a cat is not as easily educated as a dog, but with a few simple tricks, it’s easy to teach the velvet paw a few rules of behavior. 

The most important rule is: consequence! What the cat is not allowed to do, it should not be allowed from the beginning without exceptions. Once the cat has conquered the bed, successfully loses a treat from the table or whistles the claw on the wallpaper with impunity, she will not understand why she suddenly should not do it anymore. It is especially important to be clear about what you want to allow his velvet paw and what not. Because a cat realizes quite quickly whether one means it seriously or only half-heartedly and will react accordingly – or just not. 

The second rule is: Praise much, do little punishment. Does the cat have a desired behavior?You may praise her once more often. Unwanted behavior can be punished with acoustic signals such as a loud “no” or with direct stimuli such as blowing on or – in the case of special bullying – spraying with the water bottle. It is important that the punishment happens immediately after the unwanted behavior, otherwise the cat does not understand it. Under no circumstances may violence be used! However, anyone who punishes immediately with every little thing, risks the punishment wears off and is ignored by the cat at some point. That’s why you should rather define a few rules for yourself and enforce consistently, as wanting to enforce too many things at once. 

Also, do not forget to offer the cat alternatives. Natural cat behavior such as scratching, jumping, climbing and playing wildly cannot be put off. Therefore, it is important to know the natural behavior of the cat and give her opportunities to live it out. The scratching of objects cannot be weaned off a cat, for example. But you can teach her to scratch her scratching post and not the sofa. Of course, the alternative should not only be attractive to humans, but also to the cat. With a small scratching post in the farthest corner of the corridor, the cat is more difficult to keep from scratching the sofa than, for example, with a large scratching post in the middle of the living room. 

Boredom in the Hamster Cage

Unfortunately, it often happens that hamsters (but also hamsters in general) start to behave in a strange way. What may look cute or clumsy at first glance may, at second glance, be a behavioral disorder. 

A behavioral disorder can have many different faces. For example, if the hamster looks very apathetic, shows no interest in life all around, if he runs constantly in a circle, very little eats (Caution: this could be a disease!) Or gnawing at the cage. 

The latter may well be a term for some hamster owners. However, many people are unaware that this is really a behavioral disorder behind it or is currently approaching. It’s also not that you could not “stop” the hamster again. On the contrary. 

Just inexperienced hamster owners mean that the hamster might itch on their teeth, hunger or want to get out of the cage. The assumption that the little guy wants to get out of his cage is not that wrong. 

Unfortunately, it is still possible to buy cages that are too small. These standard cages of 30 cm in length and 15 cm in width are animal cruelty! Dwarf hamsters are animals that go looking for food at night, thereby covering long distances and thereby satisfying their enormous urge to move. With a cage of the size 30 x 15 cm this should hardly be possible! 

That all hamster species in a malposition, such. B. a small cage (minimum size hamster 100 x 50 x 50 cm, middle hamsters 120 x 60 x 50 cm) develop a kind of behavioral disorder is not surprising. 

It also plays a big role in how varied the cage has been designed. If the dwarf hamster does not find different things in it like hiding places, climbing facilities, sand baths, wooden houses and nagging possibilities, his life in a limited cage quickly becomes boring. Especially if he has no other way to an outlet in the apartment or a secure area. 

A loving and responsible hamster owner should therefore pay attention to the following things: 

  1. Provide the hamster with a sufficiently high amount of scattered litter in which he can dig at least 10cm deep and create aisles. Generally speaking, the deeper the better! 
  2. To offer him sufficient and diverse hiding places such as a wooden house, roots, grass nests, tunnels and corridors. 
  3. Also, the cage should be regularly “spiced up”. Simply by changing the setup. Then the ways to and from the bird feeder are completely different than before. That provides variety! 
  4. Also, the furnishings should be replaced regularly. On the one hand, that sometimes a new smell comes back into the cage, on the other hand, because it makes the hamster much fun to explore new furnishing items. 
  5. Spout is the nuts and bolts. The cage can be designed so lovingly and varied, but against daily spill something can not keep up. The spout should in any case be escape-proof and hazard-free and never take place without supervision! 
  6. Of course, great attention is also on the furnishings of the spout: hiding, climbing and digging possibilities must not be missed here either. 
  7. In addition, a species-appropriate and balanced diet plays a major role. Only when the hamster gets healthy nutrients, it also takes a big part in everything that happens around it, is alert and alert. A real little nose. 
  8. And of course not to forget: to take care of the hamster. Talk to him, feed him by hand, watch him (also to recognize early diseases, for example). 

Many of these points are very simple and easy to implement. In the interest of his rodent, therefore, one should do everything to make life in captivity as species-appropriate, varied and unique as possible! 

Of course, these points regarding the care, the spout and feeding should be decided BEFORE buying the hamster. Because even a small animal like the hamster costs a lot of time and also brings a lot of effort with it. 

In order to spare a hamster a behavioral disorder, it is important to be responsive to its needs and to fulfill them as much as possible. So the little guy definitely spends a great hamster life with his human. 

How to Deal with a Biting Hamster

You are so happy when you bring a small hamster home, that you would like to observe and touch it all day long. But beware: this is exactly the wrong approach! 

When a hamster moves in at home, it’s especially important to set up the cage in advance so you do not have to spend a lot of time at home and the hamster has to wait in its transport box for it to be done. Especially the stay in this unknown box, the new smells and noises cause him great discomfort, he stands by the move under stress. 

If the hamster is placed in his cage at home, the most important rule is to leave him alone. There should be no loud noises or fast movements around it, as well as the first five to seven days should not try to take him on the hand, without the hamster climbs alone on the hand. 

What happens if you want to forcibly take the hamster up without first being able to get used to your human being without building trust and having no certainty that hopefully nothing bad will happen to him? His first reaction will be an attempt to escape, but if he does not succeed, the little guy will try to defend himself with all his resources and powers: And best of all with his gnawed teeth, which can hurt a lot if you bite correctly! 

So what’s the best way to teach your hamster from the beginning that he does not need to be afraid of you? 

As mentioned above, it is therefore not only useful, but also necessary to let the little guy on his first day in the new home first his peace. So he can look around without pressure in the new cage, pursue the new, interesting smells dig the first tunnel in the new, high-strewn litter. The hamster gets to know his new environment without stress, can sniff and smell the bars without any danger, and there would be something to admire outside the cage. It should also be ensured that a second animal, such as a dog or a cat, is not in the same room with the hamster and is generally never left alone with him. Both should always be in separate rooms without supervision! 

Nevertheless, the little hamster needs daily fresh food and water. If you give him that, then speak to him in a calm voice so he can meet you. In addition to the food and the water you should do nothing again and respect his indulgence phase of five to seven days. Only then can you slowly start to lure him with treats or place your hand in the middle of the cage so he can explore it. If the hamster accepts your hand, then you can try to lure it with a treat on your hand (without moving your hand or raising it, that would only scare it). 

The better the little rascal gets used to you, the better you can dare to try something new to attract him. 

Small tip: If you want to pick it up, then you should not reach for it with one hand from above and put the hand first around his back and then around his stomach, but with two hands he would take it into a kind of “cave”. In that case, he does not associate that with an aerial attack, such as when a bird tries to grab it. 

If you follow these easy rules and the time to settle in, it will not be difficult to get the hamster hand-tamed in a short time – without frightening him. 

However, if you have overlooked this or are handling the hamster too quickly and rudely, then it is quite possible that he will fight back with his teeth and let you know that he does not like it or is very afraid. Do not blame him because he’s a little guy after all and you’re a big person he does not know what to think about. If he tweaks, then be careful that you do not drop the hamster out of sheer fright then! That can possibly end badly. 

If a hamster has been living with you for some time and is still biting and / or resisting, then you can start again from the beginning with the approach. Leave him alone for a few days, just give him food and fresh water. Approach it very carefully and speak calmly with it. Keep in mind, however, that it may take a little longer for the hamster to have confidence in you, as he has known for some time that he is not afraid to get out of the cage. 

But not always a hamster-human relationship succeeds – unfortunately. Some hamsters never become tame, always remain loners and are always afraid of their human being. But you should not be angry with them. Each hamster is an individual and has – just like us – his own head. 

Nevertheless, I think that you do not bring a hamster home in the first place to cuddle or cuddle with him. A hamster, like almost every pet, has actually been a wild animal that has been “adapted” by breeding to humans or humans. His proximity to humans is not in its original nature. This is why it is not only necessary to make the cage suitable for the species and big enough, but also to accept its peculiarities. 

Individual Cat Education

Every cat is an individual and just as individual is their education. Those who master the basic rules of cat education know that not every cat responds equally well to every educational method. For example, in the reward of desired behavior: Although a treat is a much sought-after reward for most cats, some cats are happy about a petting or just a little encouragement much more. 

This is similar with the punishment of unwanted behavior: A sensitive cat can be very scared by loud calls at unwanted behavior, while the boor cat in the same household even ignored the water pistol. In both cases, the punishment does not achieve the desired goal, but the opposite: The frightened shy cat closes for fear of any further educational methods and the lout hangover is becoming increasingly resistant to such. It is therefore not only important to reward and punish at the right time, but to tailor the methods to the particular cat. But sometimes that means you have to go other ways than punishment and reward. 

So, before you lose your patience, it sometimes helps to clear away fragile things and try again a few months later. If the cat still jumps on the table after months of unsuccessful attempts at education, double sided tape can help in the short term to spoil the cat. And if no attempt at education is so fruitful, one should also think about what causes the unwanted behavior of the cat could have. 

Some cats hope for more attention through misconduct. Any punishment would satisfy the cat’s desire, which is why in this case it will achieve exactly the opposite. Here it helps to ignore misconduct and otherwise exploit the cat. For example, with intelligence games or clicker training. At the latter, some cats even have so much fun that they can eventually make so many dogs in terms of tricks and obedience competition and thus prove: If you know how, let cats educate and even sometimes very happy! 

Requirements for Airline Pet Carriers

One of the most popular advantages of pygmy pets is the ability to travel with your little bundle of joy almost anywhere you want. Or at least anywhere that is pet-friendly. And when it comes to these flexible travel benefits, probably none are more important than the ability to fly on planes and specifically in the cabin of the plane. But this travel privilege is far from guaranteed, especially if you’re not prepared. These are the requirements for airline pet carriers that you should know about.

 

Rules pertaining to approved types of carriers for dogs, cats, birds, and ferrets flying in the aircraft cabin or as cargo were formed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and have generally been accepted by most airlines in the world.

 

Pets flying in the airline cabin

Generally, on flights lasting 6 hours or less, most airlines will allow passengers to travel with a pet in the airline cabin (this rule of thumb is obsolete when traveling to the UK). Policies concerning pet travel differ from airline to airline, but typically most airlines allow 1-2 pets per passenger. The number of pets allowed on each flight can also differ on airlines, so it is recommended that you call the airline you will be traveling on and make sure there is room for your pet onboard before booking your flight. Your pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. The carrier must also have a water proof bottom to make certain that nothing leaks from the carrier.

 

We recommend going to our airline policy page to review the information regarding pet travel regulations for specific airlines. Additional information concerning pet travel can also be found at the website of the airline you will be traveling on.

 

Pets flying on an aircraft as cargo

Majority airlines that fly larger aircraft (with the exception of commuter planes) will transport live animals as cargo, and have made a particular set of rules for the way they are handled.

 

Depending on the temperature of your travel destination, you may or may not be required to have an airline acclimation certificate. An acclimation certificate is a certificate in which a veterinarian certifies that the animal being shipped is able to adapt to temperatures of 45 F and below.

 

Pets traveling in the cargo compartment of a plane must be transported in a pet cargo crate that has been approved by the International Air Transport Association. Please see the IATA website for the regulations concerning pet travel as cargo http://www.iata.org/.

Pygmy Spotlight: Dwarf Dog Breeds

A quick Internet search for “dwarf dog breeds” will not result in any single dwarf breed. Unlike miniature horses, donkeys, goats, and pigs, there is not one particular breed of dog who is more susceptible to dwarfism than other. Rather, there are dozens of dogs with varying types of dwarfism—adopting a pygmy dog is as normal as, well, adopting a dog! Dwarfism in these animals is often characterized by long bodies and short legs—most dogs that exhibit these physical traits are, indeed, pygmy dogs. If you can’t think of any, here’s a quick list to boost your brainstorming.

 

Dachshund: Dachshunds are the epitome of small dogs with short legs. Selectively bred, this breed was originally intended to flush out badgers. Their short legs allowed them to crawl into underground dens. All Dachshund variations are achondroplastic, meaning they have a form of short-limbed dwarfism.

 

Corgi: Corgis were originally bred as cattle herders. People selectively bred the dogs to reduce their leg length which worked to prevent them from getting kicked by the cattle. While these breeds are rarely seen herding cattle these days, their pygmy history has made them one of the cutest dogs around.

 

Pug: Pugs have shortened legs and a shortened muzzle. This is the result of two separate types of dwarfism. The breed was brought to Europe from China in the 16th and 17th centuries, where breeders continued to strategically breed the dog to improve its aesthetic appearance.

 

Bulldogs: While relatively large, bulldogs are true dwarf breeds. They have flattened, frog-like hindquarters and a shortened muzzle—tell-tale signs of two types of dwarfism (achondroplasia, specifically).

 

Dandie Dinmont Terrier: Hailing from Scotland, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was bred to hunt badgers and otters, similar to the Dachshund. Their long bodies and tiny legs make them cute, fun-sized companions.

 

Basset Hound: The Basset Hound is considered to be the dwarfed version of a Bloodhound. Smaller than the latter, this scent hound is a French breed. In fact, its dwarfism is in the name: Basset comes from the French word “bas,” meaning “low.”

Pygmy Spotlight: Pygmy Cats

Dwarf cats are nothing new; since the mid-twentieth century, cat breeds with embedded dwarfism have been developed for commercial sale. However, the rise of popular photo-sharing platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) has led to an increased awareness of these impossibly cute animals. Dwarf cats are domestic felines which have the condition of dwarfism due to a genetic mutation.

 

Unlike cats who are simply undersized, dwarf cats—known affectionately as Munchkin cats—display symptoms of osteochondrodysplasia, a genetic disorder of bone and cartilage. Put simply, these little guys have noticeably short legs. Therefore, small cats who may be marketed as dwarfs or Munchkins, such as Toy and Teacup Persians, are not truly dwarfs.

 

The Munchkin is the original breed of dwarf cat; the International Cat Association (TICA) gave recognition to the breed in 1994, along with a Persian-Munchkin hybrid known as the Minuet. However, unlike TICA, most cat registries and pet associations do not recognize any dwarf cat as a legitimate breed. The animals are therefore excluded from most major pet shows and contests. In any case, the cats are largely an American phenomenon and not widely popular outside of the United States.

 

The fact that cat dwarfism is an American phenomenon points to a larger issue within the community. The ethics of Munchkin cat selective breeding are hotly debated, and many countries prohibit the animals in order to dissuade the unnecessary cruelty caused during the breeding process. As a result, the Federation Internationale Feline prohibits breeds based on dwarfism, specifically mentioning the Munchkin as an example of unacceptable manipulation of genetic disease. Furthermore, the animals are banned under the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and have been strongly condemned in Cat World, a popular British magazine.

 

If you are interested in adopting a Munchkin cat, do not go to a breeder. Instead, keep a close eye on your nearby shelters; these animals are popular, and the genetic mutations occur with relative frequency in the wild. With a bit of luck and patience, you can have a pygmy cat of your own without supporting the inhumane industry that created them.

 

Are You in Generation Z? Don’t Get a Pygmy Pet

Let us rephrase: think twice before getting a pygmy pet.

 

Pygmy pets are touted as the cuter, more endearing versions of our favorite animals. From cats and dogs to donkeys and goats, these animals are visible on every social media platform. Pygmy pet parents take pride in their tiny friends, and they want to spread the love by upselling the idea of adopting one of these little guys.

 

For younger Millennials and Generation Z—really, anybody who is just starting out, financially insecure, and/or living in a small apartment with or without roommates—a pygmy pet might seem like an excellent alternative to, well, a normal-sized pet. You have a smaller living space and a smaller income, so it makes sense to get a smaller pet, right? Unfortunately, and as many young people discover shortly after adoption, this is not the case.

 

While pygmy pets might be smaller than the average pig, dog, goat, donkey, horse, &c., they require the same amount of care and the same amount of spending. In fact, most pygmy animals will require slightly more from you than a regular-sized animal; these small animals often develop a dependency on their parents, and their genetic backgrounds, which have resulted in their tiny size, may also come with a variety of genetic disorders. While there is no quantitative data to support these claims, the idea alone should make you re-think your decision.

 

The only way in which a pygmy animal is easier to handle is in size. They’re smaller animals, so they need less space. For some pygmy pets, such as hedgehogs, dogs, and cats, this is true; they can live comfortably in a small apartment without feeling too anxious. Other pygmy animals, however, require quite a bit of space, especially goats, donkeys, and pigs. Just because your pygmy pig weighed ten pounds when you adopted him doesn’t mean he’ll stay that size forever, and most of these animals need specialized habitats in order to thrive.

 

So, if you think adopting a pygmy animal will be easier than adopting a regular pet, think again. You’ll need the same amount of time, money, and resources to care for these tiny animals.

 

Pygmy Spotlight: Miniature Donkey

If you can have a miniature horse as a pet, a miniature donkey is within the realm of possibility, right? These unbearably cute animals measure just 9 hands or less in height (36 inches) when fully grown, making them the perfectly-sized miniature companion. The animals are great with children, intelligent, and remarkably affectionate.

 

In the early and mid-twentieth century, donkeys became popular pets in the United States. Miniature donkeys date back to around 1930, when Robert Green, a New Yorker, imported seven donkeys of the small, indigenous Sardinian breed to the United States. Though never considered “miniature” in Sardinia, the animals came to be known as Miniature or Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys within a few years of breeding in the United States. A breed registry was opened in 1958 by Bea Langfeld, the first professional breeder of miniature donkeys in America; in 1987, the registry was absorbed by the American Donkey and Mule Society.

 

Miniature donkeys have needs similar to their full-sized cousins. They need plenty of hay, grain, fresh water, and access to a fenced pasture with dry shelter. The require regular vaccines and should have their hooves trimmed every few months. Additionally, these are not solitary animals, often requiring the companionship of another miniature donkey. If you have the time and resources necessary to care for these four-legged friends, the payoff can be life-changing. However, if you are unsure about your ability to care for a miniature donkey, it is best to leave it to a professional.

 

Nearly all miniature donkeys have a black or brown cross extending down its back, reaching from the neck to the lower back. These tiny animals weight just fifteen pounds at birth and are capable of light work. Though donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, this behavior emerges as the result of good memories; if something hurts or scares the animal, it will be remembered. In reality, donkeys—both full-sized and miniature—are incredibly loyal and affectionate. They can live to be over 35 years old, making them life-long companions.

Navigating the World with Your Pygmy Emotional Support Animal

Emotional support animals provide aid to individuals with psychiatric, physical, or intellectual disabilities that may interfere with their ability to navigate the world. In order to obtain an emotional support animal and necessary documentation, you must have an official Emotional Support Animal Letter written by a licensed mental health professional—a psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, or psychologist. Typical qualifying conditions include, but are not limited to: PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic disorder/panic attacks, mood disorders, personality disorders, social anxiety disorder, fear/phobias, and seasonal affective disorder.

 

These animals do not need specific training to become an emotional support animal. In fact, these animals are rarely regarded as “service animals”–many modes of transport consider them to be companion animals. As a result, some airlines, trains, and other modes of public transportation may not extend service animal policies to your emotional support pet. If you plan to travel, it is always necessary to check eligibility ahead of time.

Though typically dogs, emotional support animals can be cats or other species. Choosing an emotional support animal can be an exciting experience, but keep potential travel restrictions in mind during your selection process. If certain transportation providers do not consider emotional support animals to provide a service, you should choose a companion who fits the standard requirements for safe pet travel. In most cases, this will allow you to bring an animal along in a carrier; you may have to pay a standard pet fee, but your animal’s size will not prevent him from traveling.

 

To that end, selecting a pygmy pet as an emotional support animal is an excellent option. Their small size allows them to enter most spaces and modes of transportation, but they are able to perform all necessary emotional support functions. Pygmy animals are also known for their friendliness and calm demeanor, which is always helpful in an emotional support animal. However, be sure to select a travel-friendly species, such as a cat or dog. Airlines and trains have strict species and breed restrictions which may interfere with your animal’s ability to travel—even if their pygmy size fits within weight and height limitations. Pygmy rabbits, for example, are popular emotional support animals, but they are banned on most airlines. In checking a transit provider’s pet and service animal policy, you are more able to select an appropriate emotional support animal.

 

Pygmy Spotlight: Babydoll Sheep

Babydoll Sheep can be an excellent addition to any home or farm. Known officially as a Southdown sheep, the breed is a dual-purpose English sheep raised primarily for meet. They are very popular amonst small-scale sheep breeders, farmers, and recreational pet owners; at just 24 inches tall at maturation, these cute, relaxed, and very gentle. Mature ewes can be around 100 pounds with a fleece weight between 8 and 10lbs.

 

In the 18th century, Southdown sheep were known for the finesse and quality of their wool; late in the century, a farmer realized their potential and set out to standardize the breed. By the mid-19th century, these sheep were found in large numbers across England; flocks grazed during the day and slept through the night. In the early 20th century, pedigree recording was established, and by 1911 there were 359 registered Southdown flocks. The first Southdown sheep reached the United States in the early 19th century and was bred throughout the 20th century. To increase the sheep’s likelihood of commercial success, Robert Mock, a breeder, coined the term “Babydoll.”

 

People often choose Babydoll sheep for their gentle personalities; the breed is often very easy to manage. They can happily live in a house and enjoy interacting with humans and animals alike. They can be used in farming as “organic weeders” and are often used in vineyards and orchards; their short stature prevents them from reaching the fruit. They are non-aggressive, curious, and trusting–the perfect addition to your furry family!

The Advantages of Traveling with Pygmy Animals

Pet travel is almost always a complicated process complicated. Your mode of travel will determine the type of animal you are allowed to bring along, but certain animal features can broaden your range of options while decreasing potential cost. Luckily, pygmy pets exemplify some of the most important pet travel traits—size and demeanor. Below, we have unpacked these characteristics to explain why they may be helpful when planning your upcoming trip.

 

  • Size—The most obvious advantage of traveling with a pygmy pet is their size. Necessarily small, these creatures should not an issue fitting into a travel carrier. This is important if your method of travel imposes size, weight, and kennel requirements. Most transit providers require there to be a certain amount of space available for the animal to move around within a container. If the pet is small, you will be able to easily navigate carrier size restrictions while accounting for this extra comfort volume.

Additionally, if your pets are small enough, you may be able to save additional costs. Two pygmy pets, such as hedgehogs, may be able to fit within a single container, saving potentially hundreds of dollars in travel expenses. You will not have to purchase separate carriers, and—if you are flying by air—you will be able to avoid a second pet travel fee. However, you should always check with your transit provider ahead of time; not all airlines and trains allow for this consolidation.

 

  • Personality—Most pygmy animals—especially goats and pigs—are described as having a friendly, personable demeanor. Pet travel success is dependent upon an animal’s ability to withstand stressful situations, and a pygmy animal’s attitude may be conducive to effective transit. However, this should not be taken as permission to travel with any pygmy animal. Though certain species are more likely to develop anxiety than others, you should always assess your individual animal’s ability to travel.

 

Though pygmy pets may be more conducive to transportation, pet parents should understand that the term “pygmy” is not an automatic qualifier for safe animal travel. As we’ve demonstrated, pygmy is often a misnomer—in most cases, it is used to refer to an animal’s size relative to species average, which is often very large. Trying to board an airplane with a 90-pound “pygmy pig” will result in your inability to fly. Similarly, putting your pygmy horse in the backseat of your car is never accessible; his ability to fit within a space has little to do with the safety of a particular travel situation.