Do you know what it takes to properly care for a pet rabbit?

Rabbits are cute and cuddly and make great pets! If you’re thinking of making a family decision to adopt or purchase a pet rabbit, it’s important to know how to properly care for one first.

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly is involved in caring for these adorable little creatures!

What is the best way to handle my rabbit?

When picking up your rabbit, support their forequarters with one hand and their hindquarters with the other. This method of handling your pet is the safest for them and will prevent any injury to the rabbit.

You want your rabbit looking their best, so brush him or her regularly with a soft brush. Brushing your pet on a consistent basis will keep his coat nice and shiny and healthy.

You’ll also want to make sure you keep up with clipping your pet’s nails. Consult your veterinarian for tips on doing this safely and effectively.

What do I feed a rabbit?

The key ingredient in any rabbit’s diet is fresh hay and this should be readily available for them to chomp on at all times. If your rabbit is younger, they need alfalfa included in their diets.  As they grow older, you can switch the alfalfa up and feed them timothy, grass and oat hays instead since they no longer need to higher protein and sugar content found in alfalfa.

Include pellets and fresh vegetables, such as celery, broccoli leaves and basil in your rabbit’s diet as well. You can switch up the vegetables every other day too! Who doesn’t like a little variety?

Where should my rabbit live?

Rabbits may be small, but they require a lot of room for housing and exercise. If they are kept in a cage, be sure the cage has enough room to allow them to move around freely and easily. Make sure the cage is located indoors. Rabbits are like any other animal and like a cozy area to call their own. To make their habits as comfy as possible, put down plenty of straw, hay or wood shavings – and make sure to change it regularly!

It’s also a good idea to set up a dog exercise pen to put your rabbit in for several hours a day so they can get the exercise they need. Make sure the pen is high enough to keep a rabbit safely inside – especially if they are a jumper! Keep your eye on them when they are in this area so they don’t get into any trouble!

How often do I need to clean my rabbit’s habitat?

Rabbit’s can be messy! You’ll need to be prepared to give your pet’s cage and play areas a thorough cleaning at least once a week. This includes changing out all bedding, shavings and hay and giving the cage a complete wipe down.

We hope these tips will help you be the best possible rabbit owner you can be!

Want more rabbit care tips? Watch our YouTube video with Dave Wilson, Director of Shelter Health & Wellness on litter training your pet rabbit.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Local Heroes Inside Story: The Art Of Aquaponics

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen our share of incredible stories through the new Local Heroes blog. From DIY houses to acts of compassion, we’ve received over 325 user stories!

In this week’s LH Inside Story, we head to Calgary, AB where our newest Local Hero is a bright, enthusiastic Environmental Sciences graduate named Kelsey Morin. A few years ago, Kelsey began researching the art of aquaponics; a living food farm ecosystem that combines the fields of aquaculture (or fish farming) and hydroponics (a method of growing plants through water-based nutrient systems). Aquaponics works by raising fish to provide fertilizer for plants and vegetables through a closed-loop system. Aquaponics is increasingly being seen as a way to help address social and environmental issues through the promotion of ‘grow your own food’. In fact, there are now commercial operations across the globe looking to adapt hydroponics on a mass scale as a form of community farming.

Aquaponics_1When Kelsey first started to set up her systems, she turned to Kijiji’s pet accessories section to find the necessary aquarium equipment  – large used fish tanks. Starting at 50-gallons and up, Kelsey converts the tanks into sustainable food farms that grow everything from herbs and peas to carrots and squash. Projects such as these are then handed over to schools and community groups for educational programs – for example, one is currently managed by a local Boys and Girls Club.

Kelsey’s latest project involves a large 110-gallon tank she picked up from Kijiji, which will be used to build an aquaponics system for Forest Lawn High School in Calgary. Once it’s complete, the project will be used by three school programs for further study.

Aquaponics_2

When she’s not actively on Kijiji purchasing tanks and creating new systems, Kelsey dedicates her time to running the city’s only aquaponics collective where she advises other young leaders looking to enact positive change in their community.  Sounds like a Local Hero to us!

Have you used Kijiji to help change your community? Submit your story here!

Do It Yourself: A Raised Garden Bed!

DIY Raised garden bedIf you’re itching to start a garden project for the spring, why not try building a raised garden bed? Not only is it a manageable Do It Yourself project, but it’s also practical and offers several advantages.

Most gardeners started building raised gardens as a way to avoid battling with pre-existing poor soil conditions in their yard. Building your own allows you to choose what soil and ingredients to use to help make your garden grow anything from vegetables and herbs to perennials and shrubs. Raised garden beds have also been lauded for warming up more quickly in the spring, allowing you to work the soil and plant earlier, and drain better because the soil isn’t as tightly compacted.
More and more people are also adding raised garden beds to their outdoor landscape because its aesthetic value. It also helps keep children and pets away because of the defined space and is easier to maintain than a conventional garden after the initial year of creating it. Convinced yet? Here’s how to add a raised garden bed to your backyard oasis.

Materials
First, you’ll need to decide what kind of material you want to use to create the bed. Wood is usually the easiest and cheapest to use, but you can just as easily create a stone structure that can give your backyard more of a cottage-like feel. The best part about using stone, boulders or large cobble is they don’t need to be mortared in place if the wall is 12 inches or less. You can stack rocks and push them up against one another to create a border.

But for the popularity’s sake here’s some advice on how to construct a contained garden bed with wood. Use a naturally rot-resistance wood like cedar or redwood and avoid woods preserved with toxins, as they might leak into the soil.

The planning and designing stage
Choose a place in your yard that will get at least eight hours of sun in the day and is relatively flat. Draw out how big you want your garden, making sure you keep in mind that you’ll want the middle of the raised bed accessible. If you’re not sure, the Farmer’s Almanac suggests starting with a 4 X 4 foot square, which is the distance most people can reach the middle from both sides.

Construction
After buying your lumber, rake and level the ground so the raised bed lies flat and get ready to begin construction.
As a basic model, you’ll want to purchase four wooden stakes or four corner post to support your structure. Drive the posts into the ground leaving a part of it above ground so you can attach the walls to it. You’ll also want to make sure the posts are level before screwing the wooded walls to it. Knowing the frame is level will ensure water drains evenly from it.

For each wall, you can either use two 2 x 4 wooden panels and stack them on top of one another. Take into consideration how deep you want your raised bed to be as well. A minimum of six inches should be left up to 12 inches to allow your plants roots to grow.Finally, lay some damp newspapers and cardboard at the bottom of your raised bed before putting soil in. This will keep weeds and grass at bay.

Fill ‘er up
Create a nutrient-rich environment for your plants by making a mix of top soil, compost and other organic material like manure as the base of your new raised garden. Consult with a nursery for the best mixture if you’re unsure. Rake and level the soil and get ready to plant or sow some seeds.

Maintenance
Raised beds tend to dry out more quickly so it might be a good idea to put some mulch down. Otherwise, raised beds required little maintenance besides the usual watering.

Staying Safe & Ethical When Searching for a New Pet

Spring is always a popular time for adding new pets to the family. How can you ensure that the process goes smoothly?

One of the most important things to remember when shopping for a pet online is to make sure to meet the animal in person before making any commitments. This includes inspecting the conditions that the animal has been raised in, and meeting the animals parents. Ask the owner or breeder to visit them at their home to see these conditions. Reputable breeders should have no issue showing off their kennels and where the animals reside. If there are more than 3 dog breeds being raised in the same location, be aware that it may be a puppy mill, and the animal may not be in the best of health (and you may be supporting an unethical breeding operation). If you do suspect that this is the case, alert your local SPCA or humane society.

Be aware of Canadian laws, and the laws of your province and municipality when it comes to pet ownership. Selling or buying exotic animals, such as monkeys, many types of turtles, or tiger cubs is illegal and could land you in serious trouble. Similarly, selling or buying native species to keep as pets is prohibited – so as cute as that raccoon, skunk, or squirrel may be, leave them in their natural habitat!

staying safe while searching for a pet on Kijiji

To avoid scams…

Never send or wire money to sellers (or anyone), no matter how good the deal sounds or how adorable that puppy is! Reputable breeders and rescue organizations won’t ask you to wire money – this is a common hallmark of a fraud attempt.

If you are posting a “Wanted” ad describing the type of pet you are looking for and sharing your phone number, familiarize yourself with SMS scams and reply scams. These are a favorite target of scammers.

Be wary of any pet ad with photos that appear generic. Fraud attempts often use images from Google. If you aren’t sure, ask for more photos of the animal you are interested in.

Remember, Kijiji is only intended for local, face to face transactions. If the animal is not living at a local address, make sure you are willing to go inspect the conditions, meet the animal, and transport your new pet back home. Transactions that involve shipping open up the likelihood of fraud.

Certain types of animals are much more common in fraud attempts. If you come across low priced English Bulldogs, Yorkies, Maltese, Chihuahuas, or Huskies, keep your guard up as these breeds are a favorite target. Fraud involving cats is less common, but Bengals and Sphynx cats are used in scams. Exotic animals and birds are also used by fraudsters, with African Grey Parrots, Macaws, and Cockatoos being the most common.

Remember, you can browse pet ads posted by shelters on Kijiji – don’t forget about the animals in your area waiting for their forever home when searching for a new pet.

Local Heroes Inside Story: The Kijiji House

Over the past few weeks we’ve introduced you to the exciting improvements we’ve made to our Kijiji Local Heroes blog, and today we’re highlighting one of our most popular DIY project submissions on Local Heroes as saluted by you. Welcome to The Kijiji House.

Just west of London, ON in Strathroy-Caradoc, a massive 7,800 sq ft house has been slowly rising from the picturesque countryside. What once was a pet project by Dave and his family to build a modest retirement cottage; quickly ballooned into blueprints detailing a seven bedroom sprawling home.

Kijiji House_1

What’s truly unique about this project however, is that Dave has chosen to source almost every material for the house from Kijiji.  For example, when it was decided that cut stone would accent the outside of the house, the family found it nearby through Kijiji Kitchener with the only stipulation that they would need to remove it themselves.

But it doesn’t stop there. Everything about the house from the roughly 6000 feet of hardwood that forms the frame and structure for the house; to seven patio doors, rejected windows, and steel roof were all found through Kijiji. Even more exciting for Dave was that he was also able a number of his interior furnishes through the site. Over the period of several months, Dave found the ‘Kijiji House’s’ two kitchens, three baths, and even the front entrance.

Kijiji House_2

The house will be finished this spring or summer, and we can’t to see the final product.  Recycling is definitely hero-worthy!

If Dave can do it, why can’t you? Get started and share your own Kijiji Local Heroes story with us today!