Finding an Avian Veterinarian

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If you are planning to adopt an Eclectus parrot, you need to have an avian veterinarian lined up before you do so. An avian veterinarian is a veterinarian trained and experienced at caring for birds. Some avian vets specialize in certain birds, and others will care for all breeds.

Unfortunately, a veterinarian can refer to himself as an avian veterinarian, but that doesn’t mean that he is a certified avian veterinarian. Certification can only be obtained through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Just four years ago, in 2004, there were only 102 certified avian veterinarians around the world. Certification requires six years of a large amount of avian practice, as well as a series of examinations.

This doesn’t mean that a non-certified veterinarian cannot care for your Eclectus parrot. You should, however, seek out a veterinarian who is in the process of becoming certified, if at all possible. Since there are so few veterinarians worldwide who have accomplished certification, instead, you should seek out a veterinarian who is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. This organization has more than 3000 members worldwide, and these are veterinarians who are working towards certification. You can contact the AAV to get a listing of the members in your area. You can also ask your breeder for recommendations.

Once you have a list of veterinarians to choose from, you should set up a consultation appointment with each one. Most will charge you their regular office visit rate for this visit, but finding the right veterinarian makes the cost well worth the expense.

You should ask these veterinarians the following questions:

  • How much experience do you have with Eclectus parrots?
  • How much avian experience do you have overall?
  • Do you have any birds as pets yourself?
  • How much do your services cost?
  • What are your regular hours?
  • Do you have after hour emergency care?
  • How often do you recommend that I bring my bird in for a check up?
  • Are you a member of the AAV?
  • Where did you receive your training?
  • Do you make house calls?

With the answers to these questions from each veterinarian that you contact, you should easily be able to make a choice. Write the questions down for each veterinarian, and write down his or her answers so that you can compare them later.

Just because one veterinarian stood out among the others in the initial consultation, you need to pay close attention during the first visit your Eclectus parrot has with the chosen vet. Do you approve of the way that he handles the bird? Does he show genuine interest and concern? Is he rushed? Are the atmosphere and/or the veterinarian causing the bird stress? The chances are that if you liked the veterinarian during the initial consultation, he will do fine with your new bird – just make sure that you have a veterinarian lined up for your birds care.

Cat Tips

In this section you will find lots of helpful and simple tips for owning pet cats.

Cats like and need high spaces

Cats love to be high up so they can see down over the entire area. It makes them feel safe and is a natural instinct for them to seek out these high spots. You need to provide your cat designated areas where they are allowed to be up as high as the room allows. If you have problems with your cat always jumping up onto things you don’t want them to be on top of, then this is usually a sign that you haven’t given them a space of their own. If you simply designate them their own safe area, they will become much happier and less troublesome.

Cat Trees are great for this, and for a smaller option you can install special Cat Shelves made just for cats to climb up and lay on. There are also cat trees that are designed to attach to the back of any door, such as the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber. Another good option that is cheaper than the shelves is a Window Kitty Sill.

How to keep your cat inside a fenced area

If you like to let your cat outside on the porch or backyard, but want to keep the cat from leaving the area, a fence can be constructed with a border around the top. The border will consist of a board facing in, slanted forward at a 45 degree angle, so that when the cat looks up, the border blocks his view above. This will prevent the cat from trying to jump up, as they cannot assess the situation correctly.

Cats are in a playful mood when their tail is erect. When a cat’s tail is sticking straight up, they are in a playful, energetic mood. You should give them some play or they may start to act up. When the cat has had enough play, its tail may start to flap around forcefully- this is a sign they are starting to get a bit annoyed or over-stimulated.

Teaching Dogs Tricks

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Many dog owners want to teach their dogs how to perform a variety of tricks. Teaching dogs tricks not only creates fun for the dog and for the master, but teaching dogs tricks helps to keep the dog’s mind sharp and active. In fact, there are dogs of certain breeds that need to be to be taught a variety of tricks. Otherwise, certain breeds of dogs will become bored. Dog breeds such as the German Shepherd are very intelligent dogs. Breeds such as these need the mental stimulation that comes with teaching them tricks.

There are dog breeds such as the Akita that can largely benefit from teaching them tricks. If these dogs aren’t constantly trained, they will not only become bored and listless, but they can start to turn on their masters. The Akita is one of the hardest breeds of dogs to train and to maintain. Therefore, working with this breed and with other difficult dog breeds requires that the human master has to be able to dedicate constant time towards teaching the dog tricks and in reinforcing obedience.

Most dogs are easy to teach tricks to. In fact, many dogs love being taught tricks. Not only does teaching dogs create fun things to do with the dog, but it also creates exercise for the dog. Most dogs learn best when their teaching sessions include positive reinforcement.

Here are some methods to use for teaching one’s dog a variety of tricks:

Whistle Method

Whistles are very common to use for teaching dogs tricks. Dogs learn to associate the sound of whistles with commands. Dogs are very eager to please, so they will listen for their masters to blow the whistle. Many dogs learn to anticipate the whistle. When they hear the whistle, they will respond as the master commands. The whistle is also very useful as a tool for teaching obedience. Again, dogs learn to anticipate the sound of the whistle, because dogs crave commands and leadership.

Reward Method

The reward method definitely works, when a master is teaching their dog new tricks. Common rewards that are often used are doggie treats, dog food bits, bones, pats and rubs. One type of reward that dogs surprisingly love are cubes of cheese. In fact, many professional trainers use cubes of cheese as rewards in order to train dogs. If an owner uses cheese as a training reward, it’s important for the owner to verify that the type of cheese that they would like to feed the dog is safe for it to eat.

Repetition

The use of repetition is another one of the most common teaching strategies. Masters simply offers various commands to the dog by using repetition. When the dog is trained by the use of repetition, the dog eventually picks up on the new command. Repetition is used in conjunction with other teaching methods such as the reward method in order to teach a dog tricks.

Professional Trainer

Some dog owners feel that teaching a dog tricks is best left to the professionals. Professional dog trainers have a large arsenal of tricks to use in order to make sure that dogs not only learn new tricks, but also that the dog learns lots of simple and advanced tricks.