share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: Quiet Your Bird


Quiet Your BirdScreaming and screeching can be a problem with many pet birds and a deterrent to keeping a feathered friend as a pet.

However, there are several techniques that can be used to help quiet your pet bird.

First of all, just know that birds are naturally noisy creatures. They need to be loud to communicate with their flock. Sometimes, they’ll screech at sunrise or sunset or if the room has filled with people. Sometimes they scream or screech because they are ill or not feeling well. Fear, a change in environment or a change in caregiver can also make your pet bird screech.

As a bird owner, your goal should not be to eliminate bird noises but to reduce them to a more tolerable level. Yelling back at your bird, hitting the bird or the cage, leaving him isolated, spraying her with water, or withholding food will not help control your pet’s screaming, but it will serve to only increase the stress on the bird and make the screaming worse.

When your bird stays quiet, a reward, like a toy, a treat or something he loves, is the best motivator. Speak to your bird in a quiet voice and have a regular command or prompt, like a soft shushing noise, to indicate that he should quiet down.

If the bird is screaming when he’s left alone, provide a radio or other soft background noise for comfort and distraction.

Be consistent with your rewards and training, and it will pay off in a quieter, calmer bird.



Family Matters: Exercise for your Cat


Exercise for your CatWhile cats have the reputation for napping, the truth of the matter is really that they need a good amount of exercise.

Exercise for your cat improves muscle tone and decreases appetite, but it also helps increase their life span.

You probably don’t want to walk your cat on a leash (although they can be trained to do so), so you have to get creative with other ways to keep your cat moving.

Provide a tower for your cat to climb. Jumping up onto it or down from it, or climbing up, keeps your cat active.

Play with him. Rolling a ball back and forth across the floor and letting him chase it, or throwing a favorite toy for him to pounce upon, are fun for both you and your cat.

Play with a flashlight or laser pointer. Your cat will have fun chasing the light (don’t point it into his eyes!).

Drag a small toy by a string and have your cat chase after it.



Family Matters: Age Appropriate Birds


Age Appropriate BirdsSome birds are great companions for older adults, and some birds are tailor-made for kids.

If you are bringing a bird into a household with small children, some experts recommend a canary or finch as being the best bird for kids.

Why is their song a little sweeter?

Well, they don’t desire a ton of human contact, so they’re better for kids who aren’t adept at handling a bird. Canaries have a sweet voice, which children tend to like. Canaries can be kept by themselves, but you’ll need to buy a finch in a pair, so he has a friend.

Another kid-friendly bird is a cockatiel, which are not hyper and whistle well. These birds don’t like staying caged for long, so an older child might be better-suited to taking him out and playing with him.

Parakeets are great for older children, too, because they have a sophisticated vocabulary, and they are not too large. Plus, they don’t mind a smaller cage, which is well-suited for a child’s room.

The Pionus, a type of parrot, is another good choice. They are sweet, friendly and rarely bite.

Finally, a Meyers parrot is a quiet, calm variety of parrot. They don’t bite often, and they can form a loving relationship with a lot of different people.



Family Matters: Homemade Dog Treats


Homemade Dog TreatsI love making treats for my pup.

Now, let me just say first that dogs don’t NEED food as treats. This is a human emotion that we impose upon them. They are just as happy with extra playtime and cuddling. (Maybe humans should be, too). If you do give them treats, homemade ones are fun for you and your pet (check with your vet before giving your pet any human food).

Peanut Butter-Banana Frozen Treats

Ingredients:
2 over-ripe bananas
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions:
In a bowl, mash bananas until smooth. Whisk in remaining ingredients, and stir until well-combined. Pour mixture into ice cube molds, and freeze. Let your pup enjoy!



Family Matters: Feeding Your Rabbit


Feeding Your RabbitWe went to the state fair recently and spent some time walking around the rabbit exhibit. There are so many breeds and types of rabbit, each seemingly cuter than the next.

Rabbits make good small pets. They can live either inside or outside, and they don’t require a lot of exercise. They certainly don’t make much noise. You can even litter-train them.

One of the best things about bunnies as pets is that they can eat so much human food. No Doritos, mind you, but a bunny should be able to eat small portions of the following things:

  • Arugula
  • Beet greens
  • Bok choy
  • Carrot greens
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Dandelion greens
  • Green peppers
  • Romaine lettuce (NO iceberg: they can’t digest it)
  • Mint
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Radicchio
  • Swiss chard
  • Cauliflower
  • And SMALL amounts of: Kale, broccoli, carrots and collards


Family Matters: Handle With Care


Handle With CareCats aren’t called man’s best friend. That title is reserved for dogs.

Cats get a bad rep sometimes, as being more aloof and standoffish than other types of pets. Training your cat to be friendly is a great way to forge a fabulous bond with your feline friend.

Handle them with care. Cats don’t like to roughhouse like dogs often do. Touch, hold and pet your cat gently from an early age. They will be more responsive, loving and touching if they feel you can be trusted to treat them gently.

Your cat can be taught to come when you call him. Use a gentle voice to repeat their name, and reward them with a small treat when they respond to their name and to your command.

Be affectionate with your cat, and keep him close to you, whether that’s letting him sit on your lap while you watch TV, letting him take a nap beside you or letting him walk over you when you’re sitting at your desk. You may want to wrap him in a soft blanket and cuddle him close to you as well. Take care when you’re picking him up, as that interaction will set the stage for how much he lets you cuddle.



Family Matters: A Rabbit In Winter


A Rabbit In WinterPet rabbits love to live outside, and they can withstand moderately cold weather with their layer of soft fluffy fur and extra fat.

However, it’s still important to winterize your rabbit’s hutch if he’ll be outside as temperatures drop.

First, make sure it’s in good repair with no leaks where no water can seep in and no major cracks.  You don’t want it to get damp. Make sure it’s water-tight.

Make sure your rabbit hutch is raised off the ground. If the hutch doesn’t have legs, place a brick under each corner. That will allow air to circulate and alleviate any dampness. If you experience excessive rain or flooding, make sure to move the hutch indoors or raise it well above the level of the water.

Reduce draftiness by covering mesh doors with a plastic panel. Look for panels designed for greenhouses as they still allow the hutch to be ventilated without letting gusts come in. At night, you can cover the hutch with a tarp or blanket, making sure to let an area away from the wind be exposed to keep air flowing.

Make sure your rabbit’s bed is warm and dry. His bed will be a box inside the hutch, offering him further protection from the elements. Use newspaper or straw for insulation in the hutch and in his bedding.  He will burrow into it. A heating pad, turned to low, might also be a good option for your rabbit.



Family Matters: Must Love Dogs


Must Love DogsWhen you have to go out of town, as is inevitable for one reason or another, you have to make a decision about your pet: Do you board them, or do you find a pet sitter to come to your house?

I’ve tried both. While I’ve boarded my dog at fabulous places where he was well taken care of and well loved, he didn’t like it one single bit. He expressed his displeasure by refusing to leave the house again after he came home. He didn’t even want to go out in the backyard, lest we sneak him off into the car.

So, when I went out of town last week, I hired a pet sitter to come to the house.

Ideally, this person should be licensed and bonded, unless it’s your sister or best friend who you can hold accountable should anything go wrong.

The pet sitter should meet your pup before the assigned time of care. Ours came to the house twice a few days before I was scheduled to leave.

She met my dog and gave him a treat. We walked through his routine, and she asked me 8,943 questions about him, all the while petting him and loving on him before she was scheduled to actually take over.

I knew he’d be in good hands.

As a super duper bonus, she texted me pictures of my pup every evening when she came over.

Look for all these things in a good pet sitter. Make sure it’s someone you trust and someone who not only likes your pup, but he likes her as well. While being home alone is never great, at least a good pet sitter makes it a little more bearable and even fun.



Family Matters: Keeping the Fluff Off


Keeping the Fluff OffBirds can get overweight, just like humans can. In fact, it’s pretty easy for that to happen, as food is the most oftenly used reward, in place of things like exercise or toys.

You should establish good eating habits immediately with your newly weaned bird, so you won’t have to undo bad habits in the future.

Don’t use food as a reward. Instead, while you’re training them, use a favorite toy or outside (the cage) time as an incentive.

Pelleted foods are more carefully controlled and parceled out than seeds. They’re less messy, too. “Treats” can be melons or apples.

Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise outside his cage. Even if his wings are clipped, he can hop around in a larger space. Some birds even like to go on walks through the house.

Making sure your pet has a good diet and plenty of exercise makes for a happier, healthier bird.



Family Matters: Grooming


GroomingYes, cats groom themselves, but they could use some help from their human friends to stay in tip-top shape.

We see cats licking their fur to stay clean. They do a pretty good job of it, but you can also help them.

Cats don’t really need a bath. If they do, use room temperature water, and place an oven rack in your sink or bathtub. The cat will cling to that instead of to your arm.

Brush your cat regularly. They’ll probably love the feeling of being groomed with a medium-bristle brush. Don’t brush against the grain of their hair, though. That will probably ruffle some proverbial feathers.

Regular brushing keeps their skin healthy, prevents matting, and reduces shedding and hairballs.

You also need to trim their nails, no matter how many scratching posts (or table legs) you have available for them.

If your cat has fleas, it might be a good time to see your vet or professional groomer to take care of the issue.



Page 2 of 1412345678910...Last »
Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

Mi Blog Hispano

De Todo un Poco
Subscribe via RSS