Many species of bird migrate seasonally, usually along a flyway. In many cases, the flyway is defined by natural water barriers such as oceans, rivers, and seas. Bird migration has been going on for a very long time. Many ancient cultures noted this phenomenon and even recorded it. The same patterns continue to date, although the birds now suffer because of the destruction of their stopover sites and wintering habitats.
This phenomenon happens for many reasons. Birds primarily move because of the availability of food, and this is normally influenced by changes in seasons.
Which Birds Migrate?
Not all birds migrate. In fact, some sedentary birds can never move more than a kilometer from their birthplace.
That being said, about 40 percent of the world’s bird species migrate regularly. That equals around 4,000 bird species.
The best known migrant species are the northern land types such as the swallow and the birds of prey.
These migrate from Europe to Africa during winter. As you would expect, regions such as Canada, Europe, and the USA have higher proportions of migrant birds compared to tropical regions. This is because the birds need to escape winter in these regions. In this season, predator birds such as insect eaters have to migrate in search of food.
Birds that migrate to Europe include:
- turtle doves
- yellow wagtails
- Bohemian waxwings
- Boreal chickadees
- Purple Finches
- Common redpolls
- Northern shrikes
- Varied thrushes
- Snowy owls
Why Do Birds Migrate?
Birds migrate for many reasons. As noted, their primary motivation is the availability of food. For certain species, food is hard to get in winter, meaning they have to find warmer places to stay if they have to survive. On the other hand, some species have to stay in cold places since they will be able to find food easier in this specific weather. Usually, the birds fly back to their original homes after the season.
In some cases, birds will even migrate in large masses once their food reserves in one place are depleted. For example, if they move to a warm place and the population ends up growing too large for the available food, the birds will move to a neighboring place. This phenomenon occurs once in every 2 to 10 years.
Migration can also be simply influenced by the harsh weather. Some birds cannot survive comfortably in extreme winters and as such, have to find more temperate regions.
Changes in day length also influence migration. Breeding birds prefer regions with longer days since they have more time to feed their offspring.
Species such as the shelduck migrate in order to molt. All birds shed their feathers every year. However, birds such as shelducks lose all their feathers and are completely unable to fly till they grow back. For this reason, they migrate to places that are perceived to be safer.
Bird migration is also influenced by changes in the quality of seed crops. Those that eat these crops move as soon as the trees start to give poor products.
How Do Birds Migrate?
Birds generally migrate north and south. Bird watchers have discovered patterns in their migration. One notable migration pattern involves the birds moving northwards to temperate or Arctic summer, mainly for breeding purposes. In the southern hemisphere, the birds fly southwards to temperate regions for the same reason.
Not all bird species migrate north, south, east or, west. Some simply migrate up and down or vertically. For example, in winter, the birds may move to lower areas in search of more tolerable climate and food. One species known to migrate vertically is the snow bunting.
Some birds are referred to as passage migrants. This means they will stop over at a specific place for a few weeks, then carry on with their journey. The birds usually do this because they need to rest and get re-energized.
The migration of birds usually starts in a broad front, and this later develops into a narrower route. These routes are referred to as flyways and are commonly defined by water bodies and other natural barriers. Birds don’t usually fly over large water bodies. Instead, they choose to fly just along the river or ocean. The flyways may also be influenced by wind patterns.
Migration routes and wintering grounds are determined traditionally and, in many species, the knowledge appears to be genetically determined. In species such as the white stork, the eldest member of the flock leads the birds during migration. Younger members of the flock take these opportunities to learn the migration routes. Some bird species have not been around for long enough to have their own learned migration routes. Most of these follow genetically determined routes during migration.
Almost all birds move in flocks and a formation. For example, geese usually fly in a V formation. Flightless birds such as penguins also migrate in flocks, although they swim instead of flying.
Some birds choose to travel in the night, probably as a way of conserving energy and staying safe from predators. These are referred to as nocturnal migrants. To maintain the pattern of the formation and prevent collisions, these birds make use of nocturnal flight calls.
Equine assisted therapy is an alternative therapy often employed in the treatment of mental health issues, including addiction and anxiety, as well as physical health disabilities. It covers a variety of treatments and is used by many different types of medical professionals, including psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and more. Equine assisted therapy is not a new concept and it has very ancient roots. As with any alternative therapy, it often raises concerns among professionals who believe it should not take the place of more evidence-based treatments.
What is the history and origins of equine therapy?
Horses have long been used in a therapeutic capacity, and therapy using horses can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about using horseback riding as a therapy for those with incurable diseases. In the modern age, 17th century medical writers discussed using equine therapy for conditions such as gout, depression and various disorders of the nervous system. As early as 1946, a poliomyelitis outbreak in Scandinavia was partially treated with equine therapy.
The current form of equine therapy began in the 1960s when countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria began to add it as an additional therapy within the confines of regular physical therapy. The treatment was supervised by a physiotherapist and included a horse specifically trained for the task and its handler. The therapist gave directions to the handler in guiding the horse’s movement.
Late in the 1980s, Canadian and American therapists would bring the treatment back to North America after traveling to Germany to learn how it was used and devised. It received formal recognition in the United States in 1992 when the American Hippotherapy Association was conceived.
Riding horses as a therapy received further modern validation when Denmark’s Liz Hartel used the discipline to win Olympic silver in 1952 in dressage, despite being paralyzed from polio. At the same time, Germany was also using it to treat other orthopedic issues like scoliosis. The 1960s saw therapeutic riding centers open throughout North America. With these centers also came the formation of two groups: the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and the Community Association of Riding for the Disabled. As of 2011, the former group is now known as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.
Do therapy horses need any specific training?
Therapy horses receive specific training and have a number of desired traits. Horses selected for training should have three distinct gaits, physical soundness, a gentle temperament, ability to tolerate lots of attention, a calm demeanor and a height somewhere between 14 and 16 hands. Breed usually doesn’t matter, though Quarter Horses in particular often have the desired characteristics of therapy horses. Conversely, a more high-strung breed like the Arabian may not be a good choice, but horse personalities vary widely, even within a specific breed.
Once a good therapy horse candidate is identified, it is exposed to the type of work it will be used in during therapy classes. The horses are taught to walk calmly behind the handler’s shoulder and use body language cues to speed up or slow down. Horses are also exposed to a variety of noises, including music, enthusiastic people and toys. Such situations are introduced slowly to therapy horses in training along with much positive reinforcement. Once the horse has shown itself to react calmly and without fear to a range of stimuli used in therapeutic riding classes, then it can be used in a real therapy situation.
How effective is equine therapy?
The effectiveness of equine therapy is widely debated depending on what it’s used for. Scientific literature often cites inadequate data for the usefulness of equine therapy for people with orthopedic issues, or even mental health issues. Many reviews of the discipline argue that the quality of research for its effectiveness is poor, though they also conclude that the treatment doesn’t do any harm either.
Communicating with horses requires much patience and sensitivity. Horses are known to reflect the moods of people they interact with, which requires patients to go outside of themselves to better respond to the horse.
What other animals are used in therapy?
Horses aren’t the only animals used in this type of therapy. Dogs, cats, birds and even reptiles can be used in a therapeutic environment. Dogs are still the most popular animal used in a therapy situation. Dogs are natural companion animals and many breeds take well to this type of training. Both large and small breeds of dogs may be used as therapy animals.
Cats are probably the second most commonly used animal, but do not have the range of uses like dogs do. Cats may be found in nursing homes especially as they can wander about freely and lay with patients. One recent example of a therapy cat is with Thula the Maine Coon cat who helped a six-year old girl with severe autism become less withdrawn and more social.
Bird are fairly common as well, and especially parrots. Not only can parrots be taught to speak, but they are known for showing high levels of empathy. Smaller animals like reptiles, hamsters and rabbits can be used to improve concentration, attention and motor skills. Taking care of any kind of animal requires a certain amount of focus and affection.
Is it a myth?
Yes, it is a myth that dogs see only in black and white, but they don’t have quite the color vision of human beings. A dog relies on its sense of smell to give it the most information about the world. When a person takes their dog for a walk and the dog sniffs at eveyrthing, it is getting about as much information as a human would from reading the morning paper. A dog’s sense of smell must be as astonishing to humans as human vision would be astonishing to a dog.
Still, a dog’s eyes are very much like a human’s. It is a sphere made up of a cornea, vitreous chamber, lens, pupil and a retina at the very back of the eye. The retina is filled with structures called rods and cones. Cones allow the dog to see colors and bright light while rods allow the dog to see in low light.
Since humans and dogs are both predators and work in groups, their eyes are positioned in the front of the head, but some dog’s eyes are a bit more widespread. This gives them a wider field of vision as well as good depth perception. This helps the dog focus on potential prey and helps it see where the pack/tribe members are.
Dogs can see in the dark three times as well as a human because they have more rods than cones in their retinas.
They also have large pupils and a membrane called a tapetum lucidum beneath their retina, which enhances their ability to see in low light. Cats also have a tapetum lucidum, which we shall see. This membrane is why the eyes of both cats and dogs glow in the dark.
What colors do dogs see in?
Because dogs have more rods that cones in their retinas, they don’t see colors that well. They also have only two types of cones where humans have three. Dogs can probably see shades of blue, greens and yellows, but what humans experience as reds and oranges may elude them.
How do dogs see compared to people?
The three types of cones that humans have are sensitive to blue, red and green, and the two cones in dogs are sensitive to blue and a color between green and red, whatever it is. Dogs can’t focus as well on close items as human beings and would be considered quite nearsighted if they were human. Most dogs have about 20/75 vision, which is fairly bad! They don’t discriminate between shades of colors well either. A forest full of beautiful autumnal trees is a blurry, dull light green to a dog.
However, dogs have an advantage when it comes to motion detection. This is because of their better night vision and their ability to sense even the smallest prey moving in the duff. A drawback of their large pupils is that an image is sharp only in the center of the dog’s field of vision while everything to the side is fuzzy. This is an acceptable situation when a dog is running down a prey animal or a ball. Dogs can also see much farther than humans, especially if the object is moving. In one test, dogs were able to see a moving figure a half a mile away, and a stationery figure a little over a third of a mile away. Dogs are also better able to see flickering lights. When a person sits down to watch TV with their pooch or sneaks them into a movie theater the dog sees the film frame by very fast frame, while human eyes are tricked into thinking the film is one continuous experience. This flicker fusion frequency, as it is called, is another thing that helps the dog find small prey at night.
How do dogs see compared to cats?
The dog and cat eye are comparable in that they both have a nictitating membrane and a tapetum lucidum. The nictitating membrane is a transparent eyelid that keeps the animal’s eye clear as it hunts at night. It is also called the haw and allows the animal to keep its eyes open while it is hunting. Most dog owners don’t notice this third eyelid until the dog gets an infection called cherry eye. Cats and dogs also experience the same limited range of colors.
Dog eyes also have a fovea, which is a pit in the center of retina that is full of cones. Instead of a fovea, a cat has a structure called a visual streak, which isn’t a pit or a point but a streak that is found across their retina. This makes them better able to detect movement in their peripheral vision.
But no one should feel sorry for cats and dogs because their vision isn’t as color-filled or sharp as a human’s. Their other senses, such as touch, taste and especially smell are much more acute than human’s, and tell them everything they need to know about the world.
Dried, Fresh, or Sprays
This powerful herb has been modified into a wide variety of forms. You can buy catnip dry or fresh, and you can also buy catnip-infused toys, balls, bubbles, and spritz bottles. Dried catnip is one of the most commonly used versions of this cat treat since it has a longer lifespan. However, fresh catnip is also a trendy go-to product since the plant itself can be grown from home or bought in the store. Fresh catnip is also the most surefire way to see if your feline is sensitive to the herb. Catnip sprays and other unique products generally have less of an effect than dried or fresh forms, the substance of which is easily released into the environment and even more easily identified by the scrupulous scent-tracking abilities of cats.
Contains a Special Chemical
Of course, the big question is this: Why are cats so obsessed with this specific herb? It’s somewhat relieving to know that the source of this fascination is rooted in the nature of the plant itself and not the byproduct of a commercialized formula or dangerous chemical. This strange fascination is nothing new. After all, it is practically implied in the plant’s Latin name. It all boils down to chemistry. The oil within the stems and leaves of the Nepeta cataria plant contains a special chemical called nepetalactone. As it turns out, this chemical has some pretty powerful effects on cats, and it can act as either an aggressive stimulant or a soothing balm. When the cat sniffs the plant (in whatever form it is presented, but usually the leaf itself), a ten-minute period of feline bliss ensues — not unlike the “high” a person experiences in the presence of certain drugs or other concentrated substances.
A Different Experience
However, the reaction often varies. Some cats will experience soothing relaxation while others will be rolling on the floor or picking up a spritely game of incessant licking and nibbling. Upon the termination of this brief period of intense pleasure, the cat will not be able to experience the sensation again until two hours have lapsed.
Use in Moderation
Are There Other Herbs Cats Love?
Now, you may be wondering if there are other herbs that are attractive to cats in this way. After all, there is a chance that some cats will not have any kind of reaction to this one plant. Fortunately, there are other options. Some cats may have the catnip reaction described above in the presence of other mint herbs, honeysuckle, thyme, and the valerian herb. However, beware that cat thyme carries with it a pungent and rather unpleasant odor, and the plant itself takes a while to grow. But it may be well worth this little bit of stench and time since this plant is known to have a profound effect of peaceful contentment on felines. For unusually feisty or rambunctious kitties, this could be a magic bullet.
The valerian herb can have just the opposite effect. This herb is known for its strong sleep-inducing effect on humans, but just the opposite is achieved on our furry pets. This herb can propel the cat into vigorous exercise, providing an unlikely motivation method for lazy, chubby kitties. Not unlike a diet plan that includes yummy foods, cats often crave this stuff, so it’s not too bad for a catnip alternative — or a cunning way to get your pet off the couch.
As you have probably noticed, there are many unique herbs and plants that can have a vast array of effects on cats. Although catnip is often unrivaled in its poignant scent and powerful feline influence, there are many other alternatives that your cat (and you) will love.
There are Dogs Shelters and Rescues
One of the primary reasons that you should avoid purchasing a dog from a puppy mill is that there are already too many dogs that you can find at dog shelters and via rescue groups that are treated humanely and will provide you with confidence that you’re adopting a dog that’s in good health and needs an owner. Purebred dogs can be found in these shelters and rescue centers, allowing you to find exactly what you’re searching for without needing to resort to a puppy mill.
You Might Get a Sick Puppy
When you wish to purchase or adopt a dog, you’re obviously going to be looking for one that’s healthy or at least has received adequate vet care. In most puppy mills, vet care is seen as an afterthought due to the rapidity at which these mills try to breed the animals that they bring in without putting much thought on actually caring for these dogs. Because of the lack of vet care that these dogs receive, you have a high potential to get a sick puppy, especially if the puppy mill has been in existence for a lengthy period of time.
The longer that a single puppy mill is breeding dogs, the more likely it is that future generations of puppies bred in these mills suffer from certain hereditary or congenital conditions. The reason that this occurs is because the majority of mill owners do not attempt to identify if some of their dogs are sick, which means that sick dogs will continue to breed with other dogs, heightening the chances that the puppy you obtain from one of these mills has some kind of disease.
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Disorders within the musculoskeletal system
Due to the lack of vet care provided to these dpgs, there’s also a chance that the one you purchase from a puppy mill has some form of disease. These diseases can include everything from infections in the upper respiratory system, pneumonia, ticks, fleas, diarrhea, and mange. When you adopt or purchase a puppy from a rescue group or shelter, it’s highly unlikely that they will have any type of disease or disorder, allowing you to avoid the many issues and expenses that can occur when the puppy is already sick.
Cruel Living Conditions
Along with the lack of vet care provided to the dogs kept at puppy mills, the living conditions in these mills are typically awful and can be very cruel to the dogs that are made to live and breed there. Although a small number of puppy mills are inspected and have generally decent living conditions, the majority do not. Dogs are usually kept in very crowded conditions alongside other dogs at the mill. These conditions are dirty and unsanitary, while the dogs kept inside these mills do not receive any kind of treats or toys.
Most dogs will not be provided with enough food and water and usually go without standard grooming techniques or even exercise. When a dog is placed into a puppy mill, they are typically kept in a steel cage, sometimes with other dogs. These cages are often dangerous for dogs as the rough flooring can cause the development of injuries in the legs and paws of the dog. The dogs bred at puppy mills are also kept from socializing in a normal manner, which means that they can have behavioral issues once they have been purchased and taken to a home.
Breeding Females Treated Poorly
One of the more horrifying aspects of puppy mills is that breeding females are almost always treated very poorly, wherein they are bred as often as possible. Since the majority of puppy mills are focused on boosting their profits, this means that breeding females are given hardly any time to recover before being bred again. When these female dogs no longer have the strength necessary to continue breeding, they are usually killed. In many cases, records aren’t kept, which means that the owners of the puppy mill have no idea how many times that a female dog has produced litters.
Are There Reputable Breeders?
If you feel as though you simply must go through a breeder in order to obtain a specific breed of dog, it’s important that you at least purchase a dog at a reputable breeder. If you’ve never gone through this process before, it may seem difficult to know where to start when trying to find a breeder that treats their dogs well. First of all, never purchase a dog online, as the majority come from a puppy mill. You want to see where the dog comes from, which should clue you in to how the dog has been treated.
Breeders who are responsible will never sell a dog to someone that they have never met in person, as they aim to make sure that the dog is being provided with a home that will take care of them. Also make sure to ask to see the dog’s mother to make sure that they are healthy and are being treated well. Don’t hesitate to ask the breeder questions, as a readiness to answer these questions indicates that the breeder is reputable. A great place to find reputable breeders is at dog shows.
- Select a crate that is of the correct size for your puppy. Your puppy should be able to stand up and turn around inside the crate. You may want to purchase a crate that will accommodate the size that your puppy will be as an adult. Many people choose to purchase a smaller crate in the beginning and then upgrade to a larger one later on. There are different types of crates available. Determine if you are planning on using the crate long-term or just for training. This will dictate the type of crate that you purchase.
- Introduce your puppy to the crate in a place where you spend a lot of time. Put comfortable bedding material inside the crate. You want to create a welcoming environment that your puppy can explore. Either remove the door or secure it in the open position. If your puppy if hesitant to enter the crate, try putting a treat inside or their favorite toy. Be positive when encouraging your puppy into the crate. Don’t force your puppy into the crate. You want your puppy to associate the crate with good things. Allow your puppy to go in and out as they choose. The point of this exercise is to familiarize your puppy with their new den.
- Serve your puppy their meals in the crate. This allows them to associate the crate with a place of safety and somewhere that they want to spend some time. Leave the door open in the beginning. As your puppy becomes more comfortable with the crate, try closing the door. Once they have finished eating, allow them to come out. With each meal that they have in the crate, leave the door closed for a few minutes longer. If your puppy starts to whine, don’t open the door immediately. Train them that they have to stop whining to be let out. If you let them out every time that they whine, you are teaching your puppy that whining is the key to the door being opened.
- Once your puppy is comfortable with the crate, try putting them in it when it is not meal time. Teach them the command to go to their kennel or even their bed. Give them a treat when they willing enter the crate. Give them excessive praise as you close the door. Sit near the crate for about ten minutes without saying anything. Your puppy may whine in the beginning. Once they have calmed down, leave the room. You only want to be gone for five minutes the first time. Come back into the room and sit next to the crate for a few minutes. Let your puppy out of the crate once they have stopped whining. Repeat this process until your puppy is able to stay in the crate calmly for thirty minutes without you being in the room. In the beginning, only leave your puppy in the crate for short intervals of time.
- Once your puppy has mastered the ability to stay in the crate for thirty minutes, it is safe to leave them in the crate while you are out of the house. Use the same training method each time. Let your puppy know that you are leaving and then go. Don’t draw out this process. Make sure that your puppy will not be left alone for more than a couple of hours. They are still young and can only hold it for so long. You can now start to crate train your puppy at night. Move their crate near your bed and put them in it at night. This is so you can get up with your puppy at night to let them relieve themselves. Once they are sleeping through the night, you can move the crate to another location if you wish.
A crate should never be used for punishment. This will cause your puppy to associate their crate with negative emotions. Another thing to remember is that your puppy may be whining because they need to relieve themselves. Say the phrase that they associate with going outside. If they get excited, take them outside. Crate training will take time and patience.
Health concerns aside, the longer a cat relieves itself indoors away from its litter box, the more ingrained the behavior becomes. To protect both the cat and its owner’s property and belongings, this behavior should be investigated quickly and thoroughly. Below are some tips to help you and your feline friend resolve its litter box issues.
While you would prefer a text message, your pets occasionally use their urine as a means of communication. Abnormal urination or defecation in cats and dogs can be a way of relieving or expressing stress. It also can be a way of marking territory perimeters. Domestic cats have territories that are comprised of surprisingly small amounts of area, even ones that go out of doors. As a result, they’re very attuned to changes in their environment. You may not be happy if another member of the household makes changes to a furniture arrangement, invites unexpected guests, or moves your belongings without warning. You might be really unhappy if that member unexpectedly adopted another family member without your permission or knowledge.
So as you ponder your cat’s litter box issues, ask yourself:
- Have you made any recent or notable changes to the interior of your home?
- Have you had recent workers or house guests?
- Has the cat’s litter box been moved to another part of the house?
- Have you recently adopted another pet, such as a cat or a dog?
- Have you recently lost a household member, perhaps to illness or death?
- Have you recently moved?
Sometimes a litter box problem can be as simple as the litter box itself. A surprising number of cat owners seem to think that cat litter boxes are “one size fits all”. But a cat that has outgrown its litter box may be peeing outside of its box because it simply has no room to normally and comfortably relieve itself. Cats reach their adult sizes at wildly varying rates, but in general, if there isn’t a couple of inches between kitty’s posterior and the litter box wall, then the litter box is too small.
Changing litter brands or buying a new litter box can be deal breakers for a cat when it comes to using a litter box. And how often is that litter getting changed? Cats don’t like dirty litter either, and if they find it in their boxes on too regular a basis, they’ll stop using the box altogether.
Humans aren’t the only ones who develop bladder issues as they enter old age. And just as with humans, the reasons for “accidents” are often the same. They can be caused by:
- Kidney infections
If you’ve eliminated behavioral issues and aging as a reason for litter box accidents, then (sorry, kitty) it’s time for a trip to the vet. Sudden incontinence can be a red flag for a number of serious medical conditions in domestic cats, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder scarring
- Bladder stones
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney infections
- Kidney stones
- Feline diabetes
- Feline leukemia
Other unusual “bathroom” behavior like “dribbling” urine across rooms or non food related diarrhea may be disease related.
When It’s Directly Related To The Box Or Litter
Waste should be removed from boxes on a daily basis. Boxes should be washed and litter completely replaced every two to three weeks. Kittens, indoor cats, and ill ones may need box cleanings twice daily. For cats in love with a particular box, you may have to tolerate it until the cat literally wears it out. Sorry, but if kitty loves that stinky and non clumping litter, you might just have to grin and bear it. Once you and kitty have agreed on a location, try to move its box as little as possible. And in multiple cat households, each “sibling” should have his or her own box.
When It’s Caused By Stress
It can help to resolve “stressor” (new people, pets, locations, or territory changes) issues by avoiding, limiting, or introducing them as slowly as possible. Some very distraught cats are soothed by confining them alone along with dishes and litter box to a small room until the stressor is removed or slowly introduced.
When It’s Caused By A Medical Or Aging Issue
In both cases, medical attention should be sought as quickly as possible. Even in non serious medical or age related situations, rapid intervention can keep cats comfortable and avoid escalating medical problems.
Cleaning Up After An Incontinent Cat
Is it revenge? Is it because the pet thinks your shag carpet resembles your lawn? Whether it’s dog,cat, or rabbit, smelly “accidents” seem to happen more often on textiles than on bare floors. In order to remove both odor and cat urine from them:
- Blot urine with dry paper towels
- Apply a enzyme containing cleaner, such as laundry detergent
- Combine one part vinegar with two parts water, and scrub solution into soiled area
- Allow area to fully dry
If urine is being cleaned from a hard surface, disinfect after washing.
To Avoid Repeat Performances
If you have proven methods for getting a cat to stop peeing outside of its litter box, please share those with our readers
- It’s a big responsibility
- The inhumane shipping and handling practices
- They need a lot of space to be happy
- Captivity can lead to mental health problems
- A parrot needs a mate to be happy
- They are very messy creatures
- They live for a very long time
1: The Responsibility of Owning a Parrot
Parrots are a huge responsibility. They require even more care than other pets like cats and dogs. They are more complex creatures than dogs or cats too. Scientists have explained that parrots have the emotional maturity of 4 year old human children. They feel emotions and have emotional demands that people don’t often understand. Since we humans don’t understand their emotional needs, we’re not able to meet them, which makes for parrots with emotional problems.
2: Inhumane Treatment and Shipping
The wild bird trade is worth billions of dollars, and the people who poach birds from the wild don’t do so humanely. Many birds are traumatized or killed during the process. They’re ripped from their homes, mates and flock with little regard for their emotional well-being. Birds fly together, share their homes and raise their young together. When one bird is taken, the life of that bird changes as well as the entire flock that had been living together.
3: Parrots Need a Lot of Space
Birds that are already caged can’t be released into the wild, but they are not getting the space they need to thrive. Birds are meant to fly long distances, and they will never have enough space in the home even if they are not caged at all times. While cages in the home don’t provide nearly enough space for the bird, that’s also true of aviaries in places like a zoo. The wild is the only place where they’d have enough natural space to live. They spend much of their time flying around looking for food or to enjoy the act of flight. It can be devastating to leave that behind.
4: Being Confined Creates Emotional Problems
Humans don’t always properly understand the emotional needs of a parrot. They’re complex creatures on par with humans and monkeys. They can become bored, upset, depressed or sad. If they are without a mate, they could have bonded with the owner. When they see an owner touching or hugging someone else, they feel betrayal, sadness and anger as a human would. This can lead to screaming and agitation. Birds that are bored or upset can pluck their feathers. Emotions can lead to serious mental illness in birds.
5: A Parrot Needs a Mate
Birds are often better when they have a mate, but only if they get to choose that mate for themselves. It can’t be a forced situation. This can be tough for owners who might buy another bird hoping for a match that neither bird feels. It would be like your parents setting you up on a blind date that has to turn into marriage. It’s unlikely to go well. When you add more birds to the home, you’re also adding more responsibility. The birds will have to be entertained and mentally stimulated to ensure that they’re not losing their minds from depression and boredom.
6: They Are Messy Creatures
When they’re in the wild, they will take a piece of fruit from a tree, eat a few bites and drop the rest to the ground. Food is abundant to them, and they will take a new piece instead of finishing the first down to the core. The seeds of the fruit littering the forest floor is how new plants and trees are created. Parrots will do the same in the home, so it’ll be littered with half-eaten items. They will preen and clean themselves for hours per day too. This translates to a ton of fine dust and feathers all over the home. Between sweeping and dusting, owners spend hours keeping the home clean each day. It’s not something many potential owners know about owning a parrot.
7: They Live a Very Long Time
Most people buy a parrot on a whim with no idea what they’ll do as they get older. Parrots live to be around 90 years old. They might have to be passed down to a younger generation when the owner passes away, but that doesn’t always work. Parrots are a huge amount of work, and not everyone wants to experience the ownership of a pet parrot. There are plenty of birds that are abandoned each year. They feel the loss more keenly than other animals too.
Parrots feel all the emotions of a small toddler, which can be tough when the bird with a human mentality is caged for its entire life. Birds who are bred and raised in captivity still need constant mental stimulation, or they can become so bored that they start exhibiting nervous gestures and mannerisms. They can peck people, pluck their own feathers, scream constantly or pace incessantly.
For those with service dogs, these dogs must be available to them at all times. This includes when they go out to various public facilities and stores. All facilities are required to allow service dogs, regardless of the type of business. This includes restaurants and medical facilities, as these dogs are necessary for the disabled person to function in their daily lives.
Is there an official certification or recognized governing body?
No, there is not an official certification or recognized governing body for the certification of service dogs. It is not required by federal law to have a dog service certified. It is also not required to have a dog trained by a specific trainer or company. As long as the dog is trained to perform its task and is able to behave in a public setting, they are permitted to be in any area the disabled person is in.
There is no current requirement to have a service dog certified due to the further complications it could bring to a disabled person. It is believed that a disabled person faces enough challenges in their daily life that a required certification could bring undo hardships to those with a disability that requires a service dog. They could be limited in their ability to perform their daily tasks due to a lengthy registration process, as well as open them up to more questions and complications when taking their service dog to various facilities.
What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?
Service animals perform a specific task for the disabled person. Emotional support animals provide comfort being with a person. Emotional support animals are not given the same protection to be in public areas. Some state and local governments do allow people to take emotional support animals into public areas, however, they are not federally required to do so. There are requirements, however, that allow emotional support animals to be allowed in homes, even no pet rental units. They are also allowed on planes and other travel accommodations, as well as hotels and other lodgings.
Where can you take a service animal?
You can take a service animal anywhere. This includes any public area, school, restaurant, grocery store, and even medical facilities, such as hospitals. However, the handler is responsible for all care and supervision of the service animal. The only limitation is when there are two service animals and the facility cannot safely accommodate both. For example, a small restaurant may limit the guest to one service animal, only if, only one dog can safely sit under the table and the other would have to remain in the walkway. Even hospitals are required to allow service animals for patients as long as the dog is cared for during the stay.
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
The staff is not allowed to ask any questions pertaining to the disability, nor are they allowed to request documentation or a demonstration of that task.
Can I get my dog certified if I do not have a disability?
No. Service dogs are specifically for those with a disability. They provide a specific task to help lessen the burden of their disability on their daily activities. Although it is possible to get the certification at some less than legitimate sites, it would require lying about such disability and fraudulently taking advantage of laws established to protect the disabled.
Does abusing the system harm those that truly need a service animal?
Yes. First and foremost, these service animals provide a method for disabled people to do things they would otherwise be unable to do. The laws surrounding service animals were put into effect to minimize the complications a disabled person faces on a daily basis. By abusing the system, it dismisses the fact that those in need of service dogs have a legitimate disability that those abusing the system do not have. It can often feel like they and their disability are not taken seriously.
Secondly, it can make things more complicated for the disabled person and their service dog to enter various facilities and businesses. If a person abusing the system takes their pet into these establishments and their pet is not trained to behave, it can create complications for the business. This can lead to the business trying to weed out offenders and often causing more complications for the disabled.
It could also create a need to create a real registry for service animals. This can increase costs and accessibility for the disabled to get and utilize a service animal. It can also create more complications and embarrassment at establishments when they are required to go into detail about their disability and service animal.
Service dogs are not a “perk” for the disabled. They are necessary helpers to allow an individual to perform many of the tasks they may not be able to do without the service animal. Many of the things most people take for granted are limited in those with disabilities. A disabled person cannot do many of the things those without disabilities can do. A service dog helps to provide a bridge for them to be more independent and able to enjoy their life.
What Is Declawing a Cat?
The clinical name for declawing a cat is an onychectomy. It is a full-blown operation in which the specialist amputates part of the cat’s bones to cut the claw off from the toes. Unfortunately, that’s the only way that they can get the entire claw off. The full recovery time for the procedure is about two to three weeks, so the procedure is a major one. Many pet owners and organizations do not allow declawing because of how extensive the surgery is. If the procedure were performed on a human being, it would be similar to having his or her finger amputated at the knuckle. For that reason, many people think twice before they order this procedure for their cats. Laser declawing is available as well as traditional declawing, but there is a debate ongoing about whether or not it is a pain-free experience.
How Is Declawing Done?
The first thing that some specialists do before they even begin the process is give the kitty a sedative and anesthetic. This stops the cat from feeling pain while it is going through the declawing procedure. However, when the sedative wears off, the cat may suffer extreme pain if the vet doesn’t provide the owner with some pain management medication.
The specialist uses a tourniquet to stop the blood flow from being excessive. The specialist then quickly pulls each claw bone away from the rest of the paw. When each claw is out, the specialist then uses medical glue to close the cat’s skin. The last step in the procedure is bandaging the kitty up so that it can recover from what just happened. The pet owner then has to try to care for the cat as it heals from such traumatic surgery.
Are Cats Different After the Procedure
There are quite a few issues that can occur in a cat that has been stripped of its claws. Cats have claws to protect themselves, to climb and to hunt. Therefore, a declawing experience can be very traumatic for a cat. It could cause the cat to feel some of the symptoms of depression because it may feel hopeless and lost without that part of its natural body. On the other side of the coin, the cat could become angry once it realizes what happened. Anxiety is something else that could rear its ugly head. Just imagine how a person would feel if he or she woke up with no fingertips. A typist or writer would suddenly have no way to do what that person does instinctually. The cat may take the declawing procedure the same way a person would take a random fingertip amputation.
Physical repercussions may occur because of the declawing, as well. One thing that a few pet owners have reported is increased biting. Cats may increase their biting because of the loss that they feel from not having their claws. Another issue that they may have is the chronic pain because of the severity of the procedure. The pain from it may never cease. Litter box issues may occur, as well. The cat may stop using the litter box because it’s upset, or it may feel pain when it tries to move the litter around in the box.
Is It legal in the US?
Cat declawing is now illegal in a few states. California, for example, has banned the practice, and violators can experience severe punishment and fines. Denver and New York have outlawed the practice, as well. If you are thinking about taking your cat through this procedure, you must find out the regulation not only in your state but in whatever county in which you live.
Are There Safer Alternatives?
You can try a number of alternatives before you go ahead and declaw your cat. One alternative is buying clippers and taking the time to patiently cut your cat’s claws. Your cat will put up a bit of a fight, but it comes from more of a fear of the unknown than actual pain. The process of cutting a cat’s claws down is not painful for the cat at all unless you go too far down. You won’t do that because you’ll have a professional show you how to do it first.
Buying a scratching post for your cat can stop her from scratching the upholstery, but it won’t stop her from her self-defense scratches or her playful cuts. You can find one for less than $20 and then graduate to higher quality posts after your cat rips them to shreds. An other options to deter a cat from scratching furniture is to place double sided tape onto the furniture. A cat may see those sticky spots as not a suitable place to scratch and thus move along. Eventually you may be able to remove the tape if the habit is broken.
Hopefully, you will make the right decision for yourself and your cat. You do have other options besides declawing, and you will probably feel good that you made one of those choices or at least tried them first.
If you have other alternatives and proven methods for dealing with you cat’s claws, please share them with our readers.