Considering a pet bunny? Rabbits are friendly, entertaining and can be housetrained. Those traits make them good companions, but they have some special needs. Here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association: Bunny newbies should stick to a single rabbit. Choose one who is alert and active with a full, shiny coat. Have males neutered to prevent urine marking and females spayed to prevent unwanted litters. Rabbits don’t enjoy being held close or carried around and can injure themselves in the struggle to get away. Rabbits require regular grooming, especially if they have long fur. Without appropriate toys and supervision, rabbits may chew dangerous or inappropriate items, such as electrical cords or expensive furniture. Rabbits should live indoors and with good care can live as long as 15 years.
If your dog’s nickname is Sir Barks-a-lot, take steps to teach him when it’s OK to bark and when he should hold his tongue. When you want him to stop barking, give a cue for him to do something else, such as “down” (some dogs don’t like to bark when their belly is on the floor) or “come.” Whichever you choose, praise and reward your dog for responding and for being quiet.
A fine-tooth comb is your best friend if you’re not sure your dog or cat has fleas. Run it through your pet’s fur, starting at the head and moving toward the tail. If your pet is harboring any of the nasty little bloodsuckers, they’ll be trapped in the comb’s narrow teeth. Check most carefully at the neck and the rear end, both areas where fleas are often found. If you find one, know that there are lots more that you don’t see. Ask your veterinarian about an oral or topical preventive to protect your pet. — Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker
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