When it comes to pets, many Americans prefer cats or dogs. But there are kind souls out there who enjoy the company of smaller animals as well. If you just bought a pet rabbit home from the pet shop, you’ve hopefully made a long-term friend, but you will also need to make sure you are responsible when it comes to its care. If you have never owned a rabbit before, you may not know where to begin. Here are a few tips to get you started. A Vet Visit Is Still Important It’s not just cats and dogs that need regular check ups from a veterinarian. Smaller animals, including rabbits, need certain vaccines as well. Keep in mind that if you have multiple bunnies living together, you may also want to make sure that they are properly spayed or neutered. Rabbits are cute, but you may no longer think so when you have a dozen of them hopping all over your house. Don’t Leave Them All by Themselves Rabbits are inherently social creatures. It is a good idea to buy more than one rabbit at the pet shop, preferably two from the same litter. A rabbit that is suddenly removed from other rabbits can actually feel a bit emotional and traumatized. Just be sure that your multiple bunnies are playing nicely with each other so no one gets hurt. Hay There You’re probably used to buying cans or bags of dog or cat food at the local shop for your four legged friends. But rabbits have a very different kind of diet that you should read up on. If you are not sure where to begin, you can’t go wrong with a little hay. Hay keeps a rabbit’s stomach from developing health problems, and it can also help keep their teeth, which never really stop growing, from getting out of hand and causing dental problems. Owning a rabbit is a little bit of a different experience than more common house pets, such as cats or dogs. But you still need to get it to the vet for regular check ups and allow it to socialize with others, especially other rabbits. Be aware that rabbits can be picky about what they eat, but you can’t go wrong with some good quality hay. If you have any questions, ask the local vet or animal hospital, such as Hawthorne Animal Health Care, for...

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If you own a cat, then you know that felines are extremely curious creatures. This curiosity can lead to serious injuries, especially if you let your cat roam around your yard. When an injury is caused by a vehicle or another animal, then a bone break or laceration is likely. You will need to seek out care from an emergency veterinarian to set and sterilize the injury. There are several things you definitely should not do before your cat is seen by a professional. Try Not to Clean the Wound If you see your cat in a great deal of pain after a bone break or laceration injury, then you may feel like cleaning the wound to keep infections to a minimum. Unfortunately, this will not reduce the pain, and you will likely injure your cat further by using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the area. Both of these products can actually kill and damage healthy cells around the wound. The disinfectants can dehydrate tissues too, especially when wounds are deep.   Not only will hydrogen peroxide and alcohol cause damage, but they sting when they are applied. Your cat may then become startled and run away. This can cause extensive damage to a bone that is already broken. Apply Pressure Instead The emergency veterinarian will use a safe and mild antiseptic or soap to clean your cat’s wound. This means that you do not need to do any cleaning yourself. You should try to control bleeding though, and the best way to do this is to apply pressure to the injury with a clean cloth or a piece of gauze. Apply pressure for several minutes. Do not remove the gauze afterwards. Place a clean cloth over the area to help soak up blood. If your cat does not allow you to place pressure on the injury, then lay a cloth on the area to help the wound stop bleeding. Do Not Brace the Break If your cat has a broken leg, then you may try to brace the extremity like a human’s. First aid care for humans, however, does not translate well to animals. Injured animals can become very frightened, and your cat will likely bite or scratch if you try to lift the broken leg to brace it. Your cat can then become further injured. It is best to move your cat as little as possible as well, because he or she may be in shock. When an animal is in shock, the body uses its energy to keep oxygen moving throughout the body. This can be difficult if your cat feels stressed.   Animal bones are also much smaller than...

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