Fancy hats and a "cake" make a birthday purr-fect. For hat, make a paper cone, and then stitch on a pom-pom and add a thin elastic cord for a chin strap. For collar, attach Velcro dots to the ends of pom-pom fringe. Turn out canned food for a cake. Pom-pom fringe, in 3/8 inches, $2.59 per yd., mjtrim.com. Pom-poms, 1/2 to 2 inches, $10.24 per 8-oz. pack, by Darice, from createforless.com.
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My hamster looks bored in his cage. He's 2 years old -- should I introduce a new hamster in his cage to keep him company?
On a hamster's report card, the teacher always checks "does not play well with peers," as hamsters are solitary animals and prefer to live alone. Remember that hamsters are nocturnal animals, so they sleep all day and are active at night -- your "hammie" may not be as sedentary as you think. You are probably not watching him at his most active times.
I have hamsters and ferrets, and they can get stinky. How often should I bathe my little pets?
The animals only get stinky when they're kept in stinky cages, so the cleaner you keep the cages, the cleaner your ferrets and hamsters will be. Pet stores do sell shampoos that work well on both these kinds of pets; however, don't bathe them too often. It will dry out their skin and coats.
Wash your pocket pets once a week, and be sure the water is tepid to slightly cool -- most animals don't like very warm water. After the baths, remember to keep your hamster in a very warm place until he or she is completely dry. They chill very easily when wet.
If you take your pet on vacation this summer, add a tag like this one to her collar. That way, if she strays, people will be able to reach you.
Print your contact information on card stock. Using a 2-inch circular craft punch or scissors, cut out card stock and 2 pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf liner. Sandwich paper between pieces of liner. Punch a hole for a key ring to attach to a collar.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Transform a canvas tote into a "doggie bag." A U-shape cutout lets your small pooch enjoy the scenery. To make it, use sharp fabric shears to cut a dip into the side of the tote. The depth and width of the U shape will depend on the size of your dog's head, but be sure to leave at least half an inch between the opening and the bag's handles. Cut cotton webbing long enough to cover the U shape. Fold webbing over the raw edge, and use a sturdy needle to hand-stitch it to the opening.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Dogs can't seem to resist the urge to stick their head out the window of a moving car, but allowing them to do so can lead to injuries. Dirt and debris can fly right into a dog's eye and cause serious damage.
The best idea is to crack the window enough for your pet to enjoy the sights and scents of the outside, but without their being able to face directly into the wind.
One other option is to outfit your dog with goggles specially made for canines (available at pet stores). They may look comical, but they keep the eyes safe.
Get more information on Doggles.
SourceMartha Stewart Living Television
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