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Paying keen heed

Vague assumptions regarding pets often creates confusion, taking us away from the factual picture

Paying keen heed

What causes pet birds to bite?

All pet birds have a tendency to bite. They don't like being touched. A bird may bite when it is tired, stressed, bored, injured, or otherwise ill. A common reason for biting is fear and/or distrust of humans. The bird may recognize some people specially those tht feed. Others are strangers and it bites out of self defence. Another reason is that many birds tend to bite when they are feeling playful or are over-stimulated.

What is the difference between cow milk and buffalo milk?

They are different animals. O the milk is different. Buffalo milk contains higher total solids than cow milk. This makes it thicker and creamier. Buffalo milk has more fat and more calories than cow milk. It can be preserved for a longer time than cow milk.

Can smoking affect my pet?

Yes, smoking does affect your pet. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds. Dogs with long noses are at an even greater risk of developing certain nasal and sinus cancers as they expose more tissue to the carcinogens when they inhale. Cats exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma(a type of oral cancer commonly found in humans who smoke tobacco) because the carcinogens in tobacco smoke can settle on a cat's fur and be ingested when the cat grooms itself. Pets can also have strong reactions to smoke particles in the air. Just like humans, pets can develop respiratory infections, lung inflammation and asthma when exposed to secondhand smoke.

A pigeon has given birth to a few squabs in my balcony. What can I do?

If the babies have already hatched, then the only thing you can do is wait for them to grow up and fly away. The time between when they hatch from the egg to when they fly away from their nest is usually less than 4 weeks. Once they leave, the babies don't come back to the nest again. Pigeons are very location-specific when it comes to their nest site. Moving the nest over even a few feet can cause the parents to abandon the nest along with the newborns.

My cats eat dog food. Is it harmful?

Dog food is not inherently harmful for cats. In an emergency where there is no cat food, it is okay to feed your cat dog food. However, dog food is deficient in many nutrients and minerals that are essential for cats. Nutrients such as vitamin A, taurine, protein etc are essential in a cat's diet. These are absent in canned / dry dog food or are not present in adequate amounts. So, it is not advisable to feed your cat dog food on a regular basis and definitely not as an exclusive diet.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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