Month: March 2019

Bipolar Disorder – Pets Can Be Good for Your Mental Health

Many people who suffer with bipolar disorder have seen the advantages of sharing their life with their pets. At times when they have been discouraged and the idea of talking or relating with another human being seemed like such a difficult challenge, the unconditional love and companionship of their pet has been a great comfort.

And while this in itself is a great benefit for animal lovers who suffer with bipolar disorder, there is still another great aspect of having a beloved pet in their life. During these lows of depression when a person with bipolar disorder has had thoughts of giving up, many times it has actually been their pet who has provided them the desire to continue on and work through the tough situation until they are again ready for some human interaction.

So what if you don’t have pets and can’t get one right at this time? A solution might be to research your local animal shelter or humane society and learn about becoming a volunteer. These places are hurting for good volunteers and would really appreciate your help. This would be a win/win situation. You could get some time with some of the animals, and maybe even find one you are compatible with and adopt it. And the shelter or humane society gets some much needed volunteer work.

With either a pet you already own or a new pet you have adopted, there are many things that need to be done to make sure that the animal is well taken care. Things like making sure they have food and are fed daily, litter boxes kept clean and full of new litter, combing or brushing your pet. You get the picture. This is a great way to keep your mind off of your depression and focused on meeting the needs of your pet. Not I’m not saying that your feelings should be ignored, not at all. I’m just saying that sometimes the feeling of “being needed” by another living thing can be therapeutic.

If you do decide to do some volunteer work at one of the pet related places mentioned earlier, you will undoubtedly meet new people. People with the same interests as you….animals! Most animal lovers are usually pretty good people. And this would open the way for you to not only meet new people but you’d be helping out a great cause. This could be all it takes for someone who might be depressed or shy to slowly edge into building friendships and begin interacting with others again.… Read More

Who Is That Charming Little Creature In My Chinchilla Cage?

Considering all of the unique critters on the planet, which ones are the warmest, cutest, furriest, cuddliest, most entertaining and affectionate pets of all?  Well, I suppose if you ask ten different pet owners, you’ll likely get ten different answers. For me, it’s hard to beat the incredible little critter from high up in the Andes Mountains of South America, the chinchilla. And, that’s especially true of the adorable chinchilla baby. Chinchillas as pets were imported, or more likely smuggled into North America nearly a century ago, these adorable dynamos have evolved into one of the world’s most cherished pets.

The name chinchilla means “little chincha”, a name associated with the Chincha people of Peru, a group who relied heavily upon the once abundant rodent populations for both food and fur. Unfortunately, the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century ushered in the eventual demise of the larger king chinchilla and the subsequent endangerment of the remainder of the entire wild species, as the chinchilla fur trade offered an irresistible opportunity for wealth.

Thankfully, that group of a dozen or so chinnies, who were discreetly transported to California at the turn of the century, are given credit, by some experts, as having propagated the entire population of North American chinchillas. Sadly, the numbers left behind in South America have struggled for survival and while they may be protected as an endangered species, the populations appear to lack the necessary growth to offer any substantial hope for the immediate future.

The coolest thing about the species, which happens to be the softest and thickest fur of any animal on the planet, is also the one thing that’s contributed to its near extinction. The demands of the fur market, for this high priced pelt, inspired an inexhaustible army of trappers eagerly waging war against the harmless and defenseless ‘little chinchas’. The pursuit of profit, it would seem, has no room for conscience. And, although the demand for all types of fur has diminished worldwide, it’s unlikely that any organized efforts, with regard to any type of wide scale chinchilla rescue, will ever return the number of wild chinchillas to their pre-conquistador levels of the 1600s.

Here in the United States the chinchilla pet industry has evolved into a stable and profitable enterprise, with breeders and pet stores alike, supplying the needs of a demanding base of enthusiastic and loving chinnie owners.

A few chinchilla facts reveal that this little animal weighs in at somewhere between two and three pounds, and appears to be a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel. Reaching a full-grown length of about 12 inches, the typical chinchilla is relatively easy to care for, demanding only reasonably sized chinchilla cages or enclosure and sufficient room to run about in a daily program of physical exercise. Specialized needs include the relatively inexpensive chinchilla wheel, a few chinchilla toys, and the chinchilla bath, more commonly known as chinchilla sand. The required diet, while somewhat specialized, is rather … Read More