Monthly Archives March 2012

What to get for the exotic pet that has everything…

Those of us who love our pets have all been in this situation at one point or another: it’s the holidays, and we’re buying gifts for family members. Your exotic pet – bird, guinea pig, rabbit, reptile, sugar glider, whatever – is just as much a family member as his or her human counterparts, and you want to have a special gift for him or her. You’ve already purchased all kinds of treats, and there is already a pile of all kinds of toys already in the cage. So what do you get? After a trip last week to one of the largest pet product expos in the world – the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida – held by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), I have some great ideas.

While the majority of products exhibited at the Expo are for dogs and cats, there were some hidden treasures there, as well, for birds and exotic pets. As a bird and exotic animal veterinarian who doesn’t treat cats or dogs, I had the exciting job at the Expo of scoping out some of the latest and greatest new products for birds and exotics and reporting on them for the APPA. Here are some of the hottest:

For birds:

Does your bird love fruit and grains and isn’t that fond of straight pellets? Then you might want to check out the latest nutritionally complete food from Lafebers – Fruit Delight AvicakesTM – that combines the delicious taste of fruit and grains with the nutrition of pellets. This yummy new food will be available in stores later this month. And if your bird travels, he/she can travel in style in theWingabagoTM, the sleek, all-plastic and stainless steel carrier by Playful Parrot. This fashionable carrier has both a wooden and a rope perch, a choice of a stainless steel grid or an all-acrylic door, stainless steel food cups, a place to hang a toy, and a cozy cover. What more could a bird ask for?

For small mammals (rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents):

When it comes to nutrition in a form that small mammals love, Oxbow leads the way. While their traditional pelleted foods are well-loved by many bunnies and guinea pigs around the world, now they have a new line – the Natural Science Line – of extra palatable pellets for adult rabbits and guinea pigs that is made from a mixture of low calcium timothy, orchard, and oat hays, plus rosemary and thyme for tastiness and pre-biotics to promote gastrointestinal health. They also have nutritional supplements to support digestive, joint, urinary, and immune system health and a new multi-vitamin for pets with chronic health issues.

And not to leave out our smaller rodent friends, the Absorption Corp. has come out with a new bedding – Hide ‘n Seek Nestables – made from thin shreds of paper that are perfect for nesting and burrowing. Completely digestible since it’s made of paper, this bedding is non-toxic, low dust, and comes in a variety of colors that will stimulate any pet.

For ferrets:

Ferret owners know that ferrets love to roll around in piles of everything and anything and squeeze into the tiniest of spaces. Now they can safely with the novel new toy from Marshall Pet – the Pop-N-PlayTM – ball pit for ferrets, a nylon box containing colorful plastic balls that are too big to eat but great to roll around in. Connect 2 ball pits with their Super Thru-wayTM tube, and your ferrets will have hours of fun, racing back and forth.

For reptiles:

If you have a turtle who loves to chase his food, let him get some exercise as he pokes at the Floating Turtle FeederTM by Zoo Med. This plastic, fish-shaped bright yellow feeder floats at the top of the tank and slowly releases pellets as the turtle bumps it. This unique toy/feeder promotes interactive feeding and will keep your turtle’s full attention as he gets a meal.

Turtles aren’t the only ones who will have fun eating. Insect-eating lizards will also be entertained as they catch mealworms dropping from the new Interactive MealwormTM Feeder by Zoo Med. This cup-like feeder suction cups to the tank wall and once filled with mealworms, drops them one by one out of slits in the cup to the pet below. Lizards will love the anticipation of catching a worm, rather than just eating it off the cage floor.

And not to leave the snakes and other rodent-eating reptiles out, now Reptile Industries has come out with Mice to GoTM, individually wrapped, frozen rodents, from the smallest of pinkies and fuzzies to the largest of rats. They come in packs of multiple rodents. Each one is tastefully presented in a separate box so that even the most squeamish owner will not be offended.

Finally, for any reptile that soaks, you can’t miss with the GroovyJacuzziTM from Fluker Laboratories. This solid plastic pool has a lip around the edge so that it can be buried and hidden in the cage floor bedding for a natural look. What a more stylish way could you imagine to take a quick soak?

For all species:

Bio Bubble Pets just introduced their cool-looking, dome-shaped, clear acrylic habitats that can serve as aquariums, terrariums, or small mammal habits. All have a carbon fresh pad on the bottom that absorbs moisture and odor and can be left in place for up to 2 weeks. Each habitat can be personalized according to species. For small rodents, the habitat has 2 levels and a wheel for exercise; for reptiles, it can be filled with natural-looking rock and plants. Best of all, for fish, the aquarium has a bellows-like structure underneath the dome that enables you to change the water without ever having to take the fish out. The habitat comes in 2 sizes – the smaller Wonder BubbleTM and the larger Bio BubbleTM.

So whatever type of pet you have, with these new products, you’ll be sure to please!