What Makes A Better Pet: A Fish or A Ferret?

You want a pet but not something like a cat or dog. You want something more exotic. There are many choices but today we are going to look at the fish and the ferret.

A Fish

There are many types of exotic fish. Some are fresh water and some are salt water. Either way, you are going to need a tank big enough for your fish. A good pet store will no longer allow you to put a fish in a small bowl. I found it amazing how much water a single fish needs. And what if you get more than one? You also have to make sure you put the right type of rocks in the bottom. And then there are the plants that help to oxygenate the water. You have to make sure you get the right types for your fish. Of course there are also the chests and other things for the bottom of the fish tank. But remember, you will have to change the water on a regular basis so the more things that are in your tank, the more things you are going to have to remove. Then there is the food for your fish. Make sure you get the right type for your fish. The best way to get everything right is to go to a quality pet store like Petco or PetSmart. They can also help you to pick out your fish. Some fish do not get along well with others so you need to be careful. If you are only getting one, this will obviously not be a problem. Make sure you have everything you need for your fish before you leave the store. Also make sure you know how to care for your new pet. It would be a shame to spend all of that money only to have your fish die.

A Ferret

There are only two types of ferrets: male and female. Choose one. You will need a cage big enough for your ferret to sleep, eat, eliminate, and play. Ferrets like to sleep curled up inside something or in a sling (hammock). There is special ferret food but they will also need greens. And ferrets love to play. Make sure you buy toys made for ferrets. You will also be taking your ferret out to play with you. Make sure you learn how to handle your ferret safely. Ferrets have teeth and may bite you if you do not know how to handle it safely. Again, going to a good pet store like Petco or PetSmart is your best bet for learning about ferrets. Ferrets are social animals and often want a companion. That may be you or another ferret. Be careful if you get a male ferret and a female ferret – you will have little ones on the way. You could keep them in separate cages except for play time.

So both exotic fish and ferrets cost money and require a lot of care. It is your choice.

What Makes A Better House Plant: A Cactus Or A Jade?

You want something green in your house. What type of plant is best for you? Let us look at two.

A Cactus

This kind of plant needs little care. If you are not someone who wants to do a lot regarding your “green” thing, this may be the plant for you. If you are not good with a schedule, this is definitely the plant for you. If you forget to water a cactus, it will be fine, for a while. It does need water at least twice a month or it will die. Yes, cactuses do die. It does not need special food, something many house plants need. If you want a cactus with a little more “wow” get one that flowers. A cactus does not need a lot of sun nor does it mind if it is in the shade. A dark room would not be the best place for it though. It does need some light. A cactus does not do well in extreme temperatures, especially cold. But a temperate climate like that of your house should be just fine. Cactuses come in many varieties: small, large, smooth, prickly, non-flowering, flowering. Some people choose to have cactus gardens with several different types of cacti. The care is the same for all of them. A little water, a little light, and a little care.

A Jade

This kind of plant needs a lot more care. You need to be good with schedules. It will need water once a week, preferably on the same day each week. It will need plant food on a monthly basis, preferably at the same time each month. You feed the plant when you water it. So, basically, every four weeks you will be feeding and watering the jade. It will also need to be groomed. This means taking the dead leaves or stems off the plant. This is only done when such things exist. Your jade needs light. Not necessarily sun but a well-lit room during the day. If you buy a small jade, do not expect it to stay small. Jades can grow to be quite large so you will need to repot it from time to time to make sure the roots have enough room to grow. Do not be surprised if some of the roots come above the soil to form shoots. This is normal. You can also split your jade into different plants and pots but this will require more care on your part because now you will have more than one plant to care for each week. Of course, you could give the newly potted plants to friends as gifts. But make sure they are going to good homes and the new owner knows how to take care of the jade.

So, if you want something that will be green but cause little trouble on your part, go with the cactus. If you want to try out your green thumb and put some work into it, try a jade or another plant that requires more care.

Tree House or Swing Set?

Now that you can buy ready-made tree houses for your yard, you, as a parent, may be trying to figure out which is better for your child or children. For argument’s sake, we are going to be talking about the deluxe swing set, one that has several different types of swings, a swinging bar or rings, a slide, and a jungle gym. That way the tree house and the swing set are comparable in price.

So, let’s look at this. What is your back yard like? Is it full of trees that would make sense for a tree house or is it sparse in vegetation that would make it more suitable for a swing set? If you don’t have a tree, a tree house doesn’t make much sense but is not out of the question. If you have any low-hanging trees, a swing set might not be a good idea, unless you can put it someplace that would not interfere with the trees. You also have to think about your grass. A tree house is not going to have much impact on your grass. But a swing set may turn your grass into dirt, from where the kids are running around to play on it. If this is something you don’t want, then a swing set is probably not a good idea.

The next question, and maybe the most important question, is what kind of activity level do you want your child or children to have? With a tree house, there will be some kind of stairs or cargo net to get up into the house and a pole or slide to get out of it. These do not offer a lot of activity for your child or children. A swing set, on the other hand, has swings that strengthen your child’s legs, a bar or rings that strengthen your child’s arms, a jungle gym that strengthens all their muscles, plus they’ll be running around it which gets their heart rate up which is good for their body. If you want your child or children to be ready to go to bed at night because they have spent all of their energy, then the answer is obvious: the swing set.

Another question is what does your child like to do? Is your child the active type where a swing set would be a good choice? Or is your child more into exploring and making plans where a tree house would make better sense? If your child likes to go off on his or her own and have a place to call his own, a tree house makes perfect sense. There your child can be alone or invite friends, or even you, to join him. Your child can make a club house out of it and have passwords for entrance.

Only you can make the choice of which is better for your child or children but you could ask them what they want. You may be surprised.

To Spay or Not To Spay?

If you have a puppy or kitten, you may be wondering whether to have your pet spayed or not. So let’s look at some facts.

If you have a puppy that you have decided to breed, then you obviously want to wait to have your pet spayed. Your puppy will go into its first heat at about six months. You will need to be prepared with diapers. Yes, diapers … they make special ones for dogs. Otherwise, your carpets and upholstery could be destroyed. You also want to make sure you keep your dog leashed while she is in heat and not take her to a dog park where any male dog could impregnate her. You want a specific dog to impregnate her and maybe not during her first heat. After she has been bred however many times you want to breed her, it is best to get her spayed. Spaying has been shown to elongate the life of your pet.

If you have a puppy that you do not intend to breed, you should get her spayed as soon as possible. Even if you keep her on a leash, you do not want to go through heats with her. They can be messy. Also, spaying will elongate the life of your pet and ward off many diseases.

If you have a kitten, I suggest getting her spayed as soon as possible. She will have her first heat at 3 months old and can be impregnated many times over after that, which means a lot of kittens for you. There are already enough cats in this world without homes. Just as spaying your dog elongates their life and wards off many diseases, the same is true for cats. Some people do breed their cats, and if that is what you want to do, just make sure you do not let your kitten or cat run loose at any time, where it can be impregnated by any male cat. Because if you want to breed your cat, I’m guessing you want a purebred not a mixed breed. Purebreds can be sold for money. Mixed breeds often have to be given away and you never know what kind of home they are going to. Once you’re done breeding your cat, get it spayed to help elongate its life.

If you are worried that you cannot afford to get your pet spayed, there are many clinics and pet stores that do it for a reduced cost and there is a spay and neuter day each year where the services are often offered for free or at a very low cost. Check with your local Humane Society or Pet Shelter for vets in your area that offer reduced-cost spaying.

Spaying has been proven to ward off diseases in your pet and to elongate their life. It is an easy procedure that often makes your pet more agreeable and docile. So, in the long run, I think it is best to have your pet spayed.

To Walk or Jog?

Both walking and jogging are good for your heart health and can burn unwanted calories. The question is, what’s best for you?

Walking can be done in many different forms. There’s the slow walk which people who are elderly or cannot walk faster will do. This type of walk is still good for your heart and does burn calories, just not as many. There’s the faster walk that many people do that is better for your heart and burns more calories. You can wear weights on your ankles and/or wrists or carry weights in your hands to add to the burn. The more you move your arms when you walk, the more calories you will burn and the more your heart will have to work. There is also the interval walk which can be done in many different ways. Some people will walk for a specified time and then do lunges or marching or knee lifts or leg lifts or maybe even some jogging for a while before returning to walking. These intervals change the way you burn calories and it also changes the way your heart has to work. Walking up and down hills or mountains will also change the way your heart works and the number of calories you burn.

Walking is good for people with joint problems and feet problems as it is less intensive. You can buy a good pair of walking shoes for $30-40. The best kind of walking shoes have a rocking sole which makes your legs work harder and keeps your back straighter. These types of shoes can be bought for $60-75. Looking for sales is the best thing to do when buying walking shoes. You can get some really good deals. But make sure you are still getting a shoe that is made for walking and that is good quality. You don’t need any special clothing for walking. Some shorts and a shirt are fine though many people do invest in walking clothes. You want something that is going to wick the sweat away from your body, keeping you cool. Cotton is the best product unless you go to higher end products. Make sure to wear socks with your shoes to keep from getting blisters.

You may start out as a walker and turn to jogging or just go straight into jogging. Jogging definitely makes your heart work harder and burns calories, though not that much more than walking. Jogging is hard on your joints, especially your knees. So, if you have knee problems, jogging is not going to be a good choice for you. There are special shoes for running, just as there are for walking. I suggest you buy a pair. Many people also invest in jogging or running clothes though it is not necessary. Again, cotton works great at wicking away the moisture from your body, keeping you cool. Always wear socks with your shoes to keep from getting blisters.

So, which is best for you? Only you can make that decision.

To Neuter or Not To Neuter?

You have a puppy or kitten and you are trying to decide whether or not to neuter him. Let us look at your options.

Puppy/Dog

If you are planning on breeding your dog, then obviously you will not want to neuter him right away. Keep your dog on a leash as it can breed with any dog while it is not neutered and there are enough unwanted puppies and dogs. If you take your un-neutered dog to a dog park, keep an eye on him so that he does not try to breed with another dog. If your un-neutered dog “humps” your leg or your friends’ legs, scold him. Train him that that is unacceptable behavior. It is quite the unwanted behavior. Once you have bred your dog however many times you want to, please get your dog neutered so that it cannot breed with other dogs.

If you are not planning on breeding your dog, you should get it neutered as soon as possible. Neutering is a simple procedure and does not make your dog less of a male. It will stop some aggressive behavior and it also protects your dog from many diseases, including some cancers, and elongates the life of your dog. So, it actually is one of the best things you can do for your puppy/dog.

Kitten/Cat

Most people do not breed their cats but if you decide to, then obviously you won’t be neutering your kitten right away. But do not let your kitten or cat run wild while it is un-neutered as it will breed with any cat and there are enough unwanted kittens and cats. Do your best to keep it indoors until it is neutered. Once you have bred your cat as many times as you want to, get him neutered. Then, if you want, you can let him run wild.

If you are not planning on breeding your kitten, get him neutered as soon as possible. Neutering is a simple and safe procedure and can protect your cat from many diseases, including some cancers, as well as elongating his life. So, it is actually one of the best things you can do for your kitten/cat.

Neutering your animal does not have to cost a fortune. There are many spay/neuter clinics as well as vets that offer reduced prices for the procedure. To get a list of reduced priced services in your area, contact your local Humane Society or a shelter. There is also a spay/neuter month during which time vets that do not normally offer reduced prices, will offer them. Of course, you may not want to wait for that month to come along and you do not have to thanks to the kindness of other vets.

Prescriptions or Natural Remedies?

So, you are sick or you have a medical condition. Do you take what your doctor prescribes or do you try natural remedies, also known as homeopathic medicine?

What is your condition?

If you have a cold or the flu, trying natural remedies is fine and probably better than taking prescribed medications such as antibiotics because your body will become resistant to antibiotics which is not a good thing when you really need them.

If you have a lower respiratory infection, you can try natural remedies but since it can turn into pneumonia, you want to be careful and seek a doctor’s attention if needed.

If you have slightly high blood pressure, you might want to try natural remedies to see if you can control it. If you have exceedingly high blood pressure, I would go with the prescription.

If you have high cholesterol, try natural remedies like eating oatmeal. If you cannot control your cholesterol, then it is time for a prescription.

If you have HIV or AIDS, you will want to take the prescriptions that are available. You may want to try natural remedies, too, as long as they do not contraindicate with your medications.

If you have depression, try natural remedies first, like walking or talking with someone.

Depression has been proven to be a chemical disorder of the brain, so you may get to a point where a prescription is needed. That does not mean you have to stop your natural remedies. The two in combination are probably your best bet.

If you have cancer, prescriptions are the way to go. Unfortunately, you may get to the point where they are ineffective or have too many dissatisfying side effects. Then try natural remedies.
So what is a prescription?

A prescription is anything that is prescribed or ordered by your doctor. It is usually a medication or a treatment but it can also be a service or an over-the-counter product. Your doctor may prescribe counseling, for example. It is not a suggestion but an order. Or your doctor may prescribe a hand and wrist glove, to help with arthritis, that you can buy over-the-counter. Again, it is not a suggestion but an order.

So what is a natural remedy?

A natural remedy is anything that is “natural” and remedies the situation. It is not always a cure. It may just make the problem more bearable.

A natural remedy may be something you take, such as a vitamin. It may be something that someone makes in the form of food, such as oatmeal. Or it may be something that you drink, such as Echinacea tea.

A natural remedy can also be something you do. Sleeping, walking, talking, getting more sunlight, or helping others (to get your mind off your problems).

Which do you choose?

Only you can answer that question. You have to look at the severity of your problem. If it is something you think you can handle on your own, try a natural remedy. There are plenty of books on the subject. If it is out of your control, seek the education of your doctor and follow his or her directions.

Photo Album or Scrapbook?

You have taken a lot of pictures to hold on to memories. Now what is the best way to keep those memories safe and even share those memories with others?

Most people use a photo album of some nature. There are many types of photo albums with many different layouts. All of them will keep your pictures safe. Some photo albums have a place under the picture where you can write a comment. These are great for sharing your photo album with others and also to help you remember what you were thinking when that moment in time occurred. You can write about the photo or make a fun quip; anything that you want, but you have limited space. These are the best types of photo albums because they help to bring your photos alive.

Photo albums also do not take much time to put together. You just slip your photos in and you are done. If you are writing something, it may take a little more time, but not much. If you have duplicate photos, you can put more than one photo in each slip usually. Some photo albums even have a place for you to put your negatives.

A scrapbook takes much more time, and is also much more expensive, but you are able to tell a story with your pictures which makes sharing your pictures with someone else a much more enjoyable experience. First you have to pick your topic which is easy if you just went on a trip or celebrated a special occasion with family or friends. Then it is time to go to the craft store or a specialty scrap booking store. I find that a craft store like Michael’s or JoAnn’s is best.

You want to pick out a scrap book that will fit your pictures the best. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. The next thing you want is paper. I find that getting a mixture of colors is best versus the personalized scrap paper. It is easier to make it your own. You can get bright colors, pastel colors, or neutral colors. Think about what you are doing your scrap book on and that will determine what color paper you will want to use. Then it is time to buy pens. I suggest a package of different colored pens with a fine tip point on one end and a brush point on the other end. I would also suggest buying one silver pen and one gold pen. Then you want to buy paper frames for your pictures. You may also want to buy scissors with different cutting edges and special punch outs.

Once you have your supplies, you are ready to put your scrap book together. You do not need to buy a book that tells you how to do it. Make it from your heart. Each photo you use should have special meaning. You can use as many layers as you want and write as much or as little as you want. When you are done, you will have something you can treasure forever.

Comedy or Drama?

It is Saturday night. Do you rent a comedy or drama? Well, let us look at some situations.

You are a single guy, a bachelor we may say. I am guessing you are going to opt for the comedy. You want something to lift your spirits. Being alone on a Saturday night is not much fun for anyone. You will want something with a little adventure, nothing that borders on the family type.

You are a guy on your first date. You want to impress your girl. You will want to get a drama. It shows that you are not afraid of being intimate. Do not go for a tear jerker; that is not what you want. You want something that has couples in it, shadowing what you are doing. Your girl will appreciate you for it.

You are a married couple who just got through some bad times. Get the comedy. Add some levity to your situation. Get something with couples and singles, something having to do with relationships. Maybe you will get some tips.

You are a girl or woman getting over a break up. Get the drama – get a tear-jerker. Tears have been shown to release chemicals in the brain that help you to think more clearly. Maybe you will be able to see your situation in a different light.

You are some gals getting together for a girls’ night out. Go for the drama, something about women. You will be able to relate to it and it may bring on some interesting conversation after the movie is over.

You are some guys getting together for a guys’ night out. Get a comedy. Something that is a bit rank. You will have a lot of laughs and bond in your hysteria.

You are some kids getting together for a sleep over. Get the comedy. Get something that has kids in it so that you will be able to relate to it. It does not have to be family-oriented but should not be something rank. Enjoy the laughs and share your favorite parts after the movie and laugh some more.

You are an elderly couple looking for memories. Get the drama, something that is set in a different time. You will be transported to another time that shares the same difficulties that you may have experienced in your life. Compare notes after the movie about how you would have handled the situation or share memories of times that you have been through.

You are a young couple looking for a good time. Get the comedy – something about relationships. Enjoy how the couples get through their situations and maybe learn a tip or two for your future.

You are a single woman looking for answers to your relationship problems. Get the drama – something with couples in it. Maybe you will find your answers in the movie. If nothing else, you will clear your mind with a good cry.

No matter what your situation, a comedy offers levity and a drama offers a new look on your problems.