Monthly Archives: July 2018
Tips For Bathing Your Cat
Cats normally do not need help getting and staying clean. They are fastidious about their cleanliness and spend much of their day primping and preening. Cats learn from a very young age to stay clean, as the mother always teaches their young the art of bathing. Cat owners rarely need to give their cats a bath, however, there are some situations where you may find it is time to bath kitty. You never know when your cat will get so dirty that they need a little extra help. If your cat is afflicted with skin allergies or has a flea infestation, you might need to bathe your cat. Sick and older cats may have a difficult time keeping clean, too. You will find that your cat probably resists getting a bath, but you can do it if you are prepared.
Get Your Supplies
The best place to bath your cat is in a small, enclosed room. If you have a sink in your laundry room, that would work perfectly. A deep bathroom sink would also do the trick. The idea is to get your cat in a small area to help him or her feel safer during the process. Another idea is to use a baby tub and place it inside your own bathtub. This might cause an aching back on your part, but may be just the thing for your cat.
In addition, you will want to make sure that you have everything you need on hand before you begin. It will be almost impossible to stop what you are doing with a struggling cat to run and get a towel or shampoo. You will need several old towels, mild, non-irritating shampoo such as baby shampoo or pet shampoo, and a cup for rinsing. You might even consider using a turkey-basting tool to reach under the chin, around the neck, and between the legs. In addition, if your cat’s fur is matted, you might want to consider cutting these mats away before beginning.
Get the Bath Ready
When you have gotten all of your supplies where you need them, you will want to prepare the bath. Your cat will not like very hot or very cold water, so lukewarm water works best. Think of the temperature you would use to bath an infant. That is what you need when you wash your cat. Next, fill up the tub or sink. You do not need a lot of water when you bath your cat–just enough to rinse the cat off. It is also a good idea to place a non-skid mat or folded bath towel in the bottom of the sink or tub before you begin filling it with water. This prevents the cat from slipping around on the bottom of the sink or tub.
Ease your Cat into the Water
It is now time for the hard part. You have to get your cat and ease him or her into the water. This may sound easier than it is. Some cats may struggle with you more than others may. Only you know your cat’s personality. The best way to go about doing this is to lower your cat into the water. Do this by placing one hand under the cat’s belly and one hand firmly, but gently on the cat’s back. Lower the cat from its hind legs into the water. If your cat is still struggling, you might want to wrap a towel around your cat to prevent scratches. You might be surprised by your cat’s reaction. Some cats will sit there quietly and let you work. Others will be scared and will try to run from you. You will get wet, but you may think about holding the cat’s body close to your own while bathing so he or she feels more secure. Never raise your voice or move too fast, as this can send your cat into a frenzy.
Begin the Bath
After your cat is somewhat situated in the water, you can begin to bathe. Work quickly, but gently. The best method for bathing your cat is to start with the head and work your way down. Be careful not to get water or shampoo in your cat’s ears or eyes. You will only need a very small amount of shampoo. If you get too much, you will have to rinse longer. If you are treating fleas, then you will want to follow the directions on the flea shampoo at this point. You can use vegetable oil if you need to remove sticky substances from your cat’s fur. Use this sparingly because this will leave an oily residue on your cat’s fur, although it is harmless.
Training Your Cats or Kittens With Positive Reinforcement.
Pets make our home more complete by being there to greet you after a hard day at work or snuggling up to you while you sleep. Cats have been termed the most fickle of creatures; however, they are sweet lovable creatures if you raise them from infancy. Most cats recognize their owners by the sound of their voice, the car they drive, and who spoils them the most. Like dogs, cats can be trained. A cat can be trained to come to your call, to bring their toys when they want to play, as well as more domestic issues such as using a litter box. The key to training a cat or kitten is reinforcement.
Reinforcement starts at any age, but it is typically wise to start out with a kitten. Cats cannot distinguish words, but they are very astute in distinguishing tones of your voice. They will know they have done something wrong just by the tone of voice you use. This is why it is important to use your upset voice when they have done something wrong, otherwise, they will become confused. Let us go back to reinforcement. Reinforcement is either positive or negative. Water is a negative reinforcement for a cat or kitten because they typically despise being wet. Some positive reinforcement can be hugs or fully body petting, treats, or play time.
To train your kitty to come to your call is to repeat their name while they are looking at you. Look them in the eye while you are using a nice tone of voice. Another way to call your cat is to have another sound, like snapping fingers or clicking noises with your tongue. These typically gain the attention of your cat or kitten so they learn to come when you call.
Litter box training is perhaps the easiest part of having a kitty in your life. It is best to keep them confined to one room, the room you will have the litter box in to train them. They will learn by you putting them in the box and allowing them to familiarize themselves with the smell. Cats by nature understand the feel of litter associating it with dirt. You may have to pick them up when they first begin to go if they do not understand the litter box and place them inside. Occasionally a cat does not like the litter you use. They show their displeasure by using the floor. This is a time to try something new. Most female adult cats will train their kittens so it is important they do not leave their mother’s care to quickly. Food works in much the same way. Once you show them where their food bowls are they will continue to go there. Cats are creatures of habit.
Habits are how you will train your kitty to bring you toys. Some cats will simply meow when they want to play and casually bat their toy, however, if you give them positive reinforcement every time they carry a toy mouse or stuffed toy they will continue to bring the toy without the reinforcement of a treat. For an example, my kitty, Spooky, is two. She brings me a stuffed animal every afternoon or evening when she wants to play. She lays it down near the end of my couch and meows until I recognize the good deed and begin to play with her.
Cats are trainable, perhaps not to the degree; a dog is trainable with voice commands, but they you can succeed in training them in some ways. Cats will enliven any home and given a lot of positive reinforcement, they can be just as much fun if not more fun than other pets. Especially when they give you comfort by stepping on to your lap kneading and purring. These moments can take away a bad day at work within a few seconds.
Training Your Pet Parrot
Parrots are wonderful pets. You will quickly find that these birds extremely smart and their ability to learn to make them fun to train. Keep in mind that any animal that shows signs of high intelligence can easily get bored, so your job is to train your pet parrot and spend the time it takes to make your bird into a wonderful pet. It takes time and patience to train a parrot, but with the proper training, your parrot will provide you with many years of friendship.
You can train your parrot when you follow a few steps. Whenever “school is in” for your parrot, it is always best to remove your parrot from his or her cage and train in a small quiet space. Your parrot is more likely to remain attentive and retain information when it is in a new environment. The next thing you will want to do, eliminate all distractions in your home. If your parrot becomes distracted during training, it will not learn well. That means that you need to turn off the radio, television and perhaps even the telephone. Also, remember that parrots are a lot like children. They have short attention spans, so short training sessions are recommended.
In addition, try to plan your parrot’s training time around their schedule, not yours. After mealtime is always, a good time for training because your parrot will be content and will pay attention. Your parrot will also appreciate plenty of praise. Even if you find that you were not very successful, do not let your parrot see your stress levels rise. This makes it an unpleasant experience for your bird and you will have a harder time getting your parrot interested in learning in the future.
When you are ready to teach your parrot a new trick, your pet parrot will respond well to treats and praise. Remember that all animals respond better to praise than punishment. Try to avoid punishing your parrot, even if he or she is acting naughty. Ignoring this behavior is your best bet when training your pet parrot. Parrots do not understand punishment or negative reinforcement. In fact, if you respond to your parrot’s bad behavior, your pet may actually see this as positive attention. Keep in mind that while your parrot will love food treats as rewards, try to accentuate the positive and encourage good behavior with lots of praise and play time. Otherwise, your parrot may only perform the tricks you want them to when some kind of food reward is available.
Repetition is the key to successfully training your pet parrot. Repeating these basic steps repeatedly until your pet “gets” the trick is the best way to train your parrot to perform. This works well for basic commands and advanced tricks. If you have just gotten your pet parrot, start out with very simple tricks, such as teaching your parrot to sit on your finger on command. Find a word for each trick and use it every time you train. Most of all, never force your parrot to train. If you find your parrot is tired or uninterested, then stop and try again another time.
As your parrot learns more command and tricks, you can begin moving your training session closer and closer to the bird’s cage. As they get better at their new skill, they will feel comfortable performing in his or her cage and in the hustle and bustle of your household. Birds learn quickly in most cases, and sometimes just by listening when not in training, which may cause embarrassment to you if they learn something inappropriate.
Training a parrot takes a lot of time and patience. You must love your bird and have a lot of time and dedication to make this partnership worthwhile. With patient training and love, you end up with a fantastic and well-behaved pet that will be with you for a very long time to come.
Understanding Why Cats Fight
If you have a household with multiple cats, you know that cat fights do happen. Even if you cats generally get along, at times, they can still fight. While humans may not completely understand why their kitties are fighting, cats have their reasons for fighting. Some of these reasons are similar to the reasons that humans have disputes. Cats express their discontent with other cats by picking fights. The reasons why cats fight can help you determine how to prevent your cats from fighting in the future.
Fighting for their territory: Many cats fight because of their territory. One of the reasons that cats fight is because they feel like an unwanted cat has invaded their territory, even if it is a cat that has lived with them for a long time. Cats are much more territorial than dogs and the gender of the cat has very little to do with it. Contrary to what many people believe, female cats are sometimes just as territorial as their male counterparts are. If you have two cats in your home, you might notice that one cat hisses and swats at the other whenever he feels his territory has been invaded. This can also happen if you bring a new cat into the home. They are simply defending their territory.
Social ranking: Either male cats frequently threaten and fight with each other for social ranking or despite what you may think; even neutered males may do this. If you have multiple cats, especially more than one male cat, one cat is usually considered the “alpha male” and will be at the top of the cat hierarchy. Two cats might posture their bodies, then begin howling and screaming at one another. If one of the cats walks away or backs down, then the catfight is usually avoided. However, if neither one wants to throw in the towel and surrender, then one cat will attack the other by jumping forward and attempting to bite the neck. The other cat will fall on his back and tries to bite or scratch the attacker with its hind legs. The two cats might go through this several times before walking away. There are usually no injuries sustained in these kinds of fights. You may even notice that kittens or young cats play with one another this way. Most of the time, you will not need to interfere.
Aggression: Cats also fight as a result of some kind of redirected aggression and this is quite common, especially with indoor cats. Your cat might be looking outside the window at another cat or dog crossing the yard. Your cat begins to feel territorial and aggressive at this cat, but since this other cat cannot be reached, he may instead attack the other family cat. Another example is if you are giving your cats treats. One cat may reach the treat first and begin eating. The other one wants a bite, but the cat that is eating may become aggressive over the treat and begin to swipe or yowl and the other cat.
If you find your cats fighting occasionally, you should know that this is common and quite typical of cats. Most of the time, you will be able to tell whether or not your cats are fighting for “blood” or just playing around. The time to stop a fight is when it gets nasty otherwise; allow your cats to work it out themselves. If you feel the need to stop a catfight, then you should do it carefully. Even the most loving cat can bite or scratch you in aggressive passion. To stop a fight, you should make some kind of loud noise, such as a handclap. Since cats are startled by loud noises, they will both stop to see what is making the noise. You can also spray water on them to interfere with the aggressive behavior..
When you find your cats fighting, it is best not to punish the cats for their fight. Cats do not understand punishment and fighting is a natural instinct in cats. The best thing to do is only interfere when necessary. If you find your cats are fighting more than they should, it is time that you find out why. Do they fight over a litter box, a food bowl or a prime window location? Make sure each kitty has his or her own “things” and a place to retreat when they feel overwhelmed by other pets in the house. This will go a long way in preventing real catfights.
What To Do About Litter Box Accidents
There is probably nothing more frustrating to a cat owner than litter box accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat’s inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes for this problem.
Litter Box Woes
One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because their own litter box is dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer that their litter box cleaned out after each use. While this is time-consuming for you, it may be a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.
Another common problem related to the litter box is there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. For example, if you have four cats in your home, and you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter box. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have at least two litter boxes.
In addition, when it comes to litter box accidents, look at the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed box. If you have an older cat, or a young kitten, you cat may have a difficult time getting in and out of a closed top box. Watch your cat carefully when he or she uses the litter box. If you find that, they are having a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box and consider getting a different box. Also, look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be extremely fussy about the smell or texture of the litter. Many people preferred using the scoop away litter; however, many cats will not use this type of litter, because it sticks in the paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that is disagreeable to your cat.
Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box, because of health-related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering around an ailment. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help your cat.
Habit and Your Cat’s Territory
If your cat has been ill or has stopped using the litter box for any of reason, you may find that your cat returns to their old ways out of habit. It is extremely important that when your cat has a litter box accident, that you clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odors that may remain. In addition, your cat may not have stopped using the litter box at all but instead, your cat is marking his or her territory. This is especially common in multi-cat households or when you bring in new pet into the home. This is also more common in males than females. Even male cats that are neutered can mark their territory by spraying urine.
When you determine why your cat is having litter box accidents, you can find a solution. It takes time and patience; however, this is much more preferable than getting rid of your cat.
Keeping Your Pet Safe In The Warm Weather Months
The hot summer months can pose a real threat to pets. Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure that your pet is safe during these warm weather months. Here are some tips to help you and your pet.
Never leave an animal in a car: All pet owners should know the dangers of leaving any pet in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. This especially applies to dog owners. Dogs love riding in the car and it is very tempting to let your dog ride to the grocery store with you. However, pet owners should never leave cats or dogs inside a car during hot weather. Even with the windows open, a car parked in the hot sun can reach sweltering temperatures. Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from severe dehydration. The best rule of thumb is the leave your pet at home in the cool air conditioner during the hot weather. You should also know that if you are a dog owner that allowing your dog a ride the bed of a truck could be very dangerous for a dog at any time of the year. One jolt can send your dog flying out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even putting your dog unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public place can be a recipe for disaster. Be extra careful with your pet during traveling. If you must travel with your dog or cat, secure your pet in the car and leave the air conditioning on at all times. Let your pets take frequent breaks on long trips and give them a chance to get a drink of water.
Be Careful Walking the Dog: There are many areas where the temperatures soar in the warm months. In places where the temperatures reach an all-time high, it is a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. During the summer, temperatures will be at the highest during midday. You should refrain from walking your dog during this time. Not only will you and your dog become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn your dog’s sensitive paws. When you do walk in hot weather, take along the water for your dog and stop frequently to let your dog drink. Your dog will thank you for this.
Practice Proper Pet Grooming: It is always a good idea to keep your pet properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If your dog has very long fur, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather. It is not comfortable for your pet. Also, keep an eye out for pets that have much of their fur trimmed off, such as poodles. Longhaired dogs can quickly overheat in the high temperatures. Poodles and other breeds with shortcuts can get sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs. With long haired dogs, regular brushing also helps remove the winter undercoat and can help your dog better regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Regular clipping of long hair can also help keep your dog cool. Even longhaired cats can benefit from a summer clipping. Longhaired cats are easily overheated, even if they do stay indoors.
Watch for Insects: Insects can be bothersome to your pet during the warm, summer months. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are the highest. Mosquitoes are also out during this time of year. It is always a good idea to make sure your dog and cat are getting their monthly flea and tick preventative. Your dog also needs to stay current on heartworm preventative, as mosquito bites can cause heartworms. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee or wasp stings.
Outdoor safety: Summer is often when people spend a lot of times outdoors. Whether it is working in the yard, visiting the lake or swimming in the pool, you need to take extra caution when your pets are with you outside. If you mow your yard or put chemicals on the grass, be sure your pets are indoors and away from the dangers. Also, if your dog enjoys the water, keep a close eye on your pet. Most pets can swim instinctively, but it is always a good idea to watch. If you enjoy taking your dog out boating, you can buy life preserver vests for your dog to wear. You can never be too safe when it comes to your beloved furry friend.
Picking The Right Food For Your Pet
Pets are wonderful creatures to share our lives with, and they need just as much care as humans. All pets need to be fed properly, though we always have the question of what that might be. There are individuals who give their pet’s human food, while others strictly give pet food. We will concentrate on dogs, cats, and rabbits for proper feeding.
How many times have you heard that rabbits like their vegetables? This is true. Most rabbits need a steady diet of rabbit food that includes lettuce and carrots. Most of the time we raise our rabbits on pellets, however, this may not be fibrous enough and can cause obesity. A steady diet of hay, vegetables, and pellets will lead to a healthy rabbit.
Is it wise to feed your dog human food? Most dogs are related to the wolf family a very carnivorous bunch, which means they need to have meat in their diet. This does not mean that human food is the correct food for them. It is best to find a dog food product where the first ingredient is meat. Make sure it is real meat and not some processed substitute. Feeding your dog human food is a bad idea because it can be too greasy for them and block their arteries. Dogs have very sensitive digestive tracks so they are susceptible to diarrhea and upset stomachs if you change their food. It is best to find a dog food you prefer and that is healthy for them. You also want to keep them on the same food. Changing food can cause problems. If you feel you need to change food, you should slowly integrate the new food with the old until you have fully replaced the old. This should take two weeks or a little more. Dogs when full grown should be fed once a day at the same time.
Cats are great hunters if you let them explore the outdoor world. They will often find mice, birds, and other animals to gain protein. Like a dog, your cat needs a consistent diet. You should find a cat food that has the proper amounts of protein. Cats can also have a very sensitive digestive system. Finding the right food may be difficult and take a few tries. If they have a smelly litter box, you will need to change their food. This is a sure sign they are not receiving a proper diet. When you change their food you will want to integrate it slowly over two weeks. Cats also need the vitamins from milk, though our processed milk can be too rich for them, they do sell milk for cats in the pet stores. Another idea is occasionally giving them a small piece of cheese to help with their dietary needs, however, you should try and find the pet food that fits all of their needs. The grass is also available for indoor cats and may be needed to get rid of hairballs. Cats eat grass when they have an upset stomach. The grass will allow the cats to rid themselves of the problem and can help them cough up hairballs.
Picking the right food for your pet will often mean not feeding them human food, but checking the ingredients of pet food found in the stores. You want to keep your pet just as healthy as you would want to keep yourself. Proper nutrition for any animal is important to have your pet around for many years. Some types of pets are more susceptible to disease, like dogs with heart problems, but they can be monitored through proper care.
Rabbit Care and Tips
Pets complete a home for single people and families. Children often desire pets more than adults do as they think animals are cute and fun to have. Adults, of course, know the work required. Like any pet, rabbits need care. They need to go to the vet, get feed daily, and have their domain cleaned. When you decide to purchase a rabbit, you will need to know exactly what is required of you.
Before we get into your rabbits’ needs, you will want to know a few of the species available. Most common are cottontails, dwarf, and lop-eared rabbits for pets. The dwarf rabbit is small and best kept indoors, while the cottontails are not as sensitive to the weather and can be housed outside in moderate climates. The lop-eared rabbits like the cottontails grow to be a good size and have long floppy ears. The type of rabbit you wish to have for a pet will in part decide on the care.
First, like cats and dogs, rabbits require shots from the vet to keep them in good health. People carry diseases that can harm animals if we do not wash before and after we handle our pet. Rabbits can be susceptible to worms and other dietary parasites so it is important to take your rabbit for its vet visit when needed. Speak with a vet about your rabbit’s care and any questions you may have before you complete your purchase.
Rabbits eat pellets, hay and vegetables. Most rabbits like to munch on carrots or lettuce. You want to feed your rabbit every day to ensure they are receiving the proper amount of food. Unlike cats that eat when they are hungry, a rabbit can overeat and become overweight. Some commercial feeds for rabbits contain nuts; however, these are typically not good, as they are high in fiber. You can feed your rabbit fruit as a treat, but you should not do so daily.
Housing for a rabbit can be in your home or if you wish to keep them outside a wooden cage will work. Most outside cages are designed to let the waste fall through so they are not sitting on it or laying on it. The cage should be built large enough to house an adult rabbit with bedding spread out to make a nice little home. They should be given plenty of water and have it changed out daily. Having a backyard for your pet rabbit is a great idea. They can roam for a little exercise, which all pets need.
You will want to clean their cages out at least once a week or more depending on how messy or smelly it becomes. Your rabbit needs a clean environment just like you to eliminate the possibilities of disease. An important factor in having a long living rabbit is their environment. Most rabbits live 5 to 10 years.
Rabbits with their fuzzy cottontails or floppy ears are just some of the cutest pets you can own. They are a medium maintenance pet with proper feeding and environment care you can have your rabbit for years. Your children will enjoy showing off their pet rabbit to all their friends and beg you to take him to show and tell. Pets are needed to complete a family and provide enjoyment for everyone.
Reptilian Pets: The Snake Every Boys Dream Pet
Most girls and moms have an adverse reaction to having a snake or any other dangerous animal as a pet, however, with proper care and the correct selection, even those with aversions can become quite fascinated by the snake as a pet. The key is to do a lot of research when buying a snake. Most pet shops will sell the harmless snakes and teach you how to feed them. If you always wanted a snake as a pet when you were a boy, you might choose something a little more exotic. Tips to finding the right snake for you or your child can come in handy when you are faced with the task.
First, you will want to research snakes in general. You have your garden-variety snake that is very common and not dangerous. Then there are pythons, kings, and boa constrictor snakes. Keep in mind if this is for a child you probably want a harmless snake that will not grow to large. The larger snakes mentioned above take more care and larger aquariums and are not suited for smaller children.
The species of snake you chose will have a special diet. Most species have different diets. You may have seen a pet snake in the pet store eating mice while other snakes do not. It is important to choose a snake you can provide proper food for at all times. You also do not want to keep a wild snake, as they tend to carry diseases and stress with the change in environment. It is best to shop at a trustworthy pet shop or snake breeder.
Most king snakes and gopher snakes tend to eat mice and need to have plenty of water to drink. You may have a little pond in your aquarium with tree branches, rocks, and dirt for your snake. Like food, most snakes require a special environment. You will want to research that snake before choosing the environmental accessories. Snakes are often tropical in nature so they require heat as well as moderate temperatures in the evening. You have heard of the desert being cold at night. Snakes are proliferating in the desert areas and rainforests. Being able to provide the proper environment will ensure a long life for your new pet.
Touching on food again you also need to have a feeding schedule. Some snakes do not have to eat every day. In fact, gopher snakes will not eat every day. If you are getting a pet snake for you child you will want to make sure they understand the feeding schedule. Most young adults can handle having a pet snake while little children will need you to take care of the snake.
Handling the snake is also important. The more a snake is used to human contact the more contact the more domicile they tend to be. This means those that are dangerous can be held given proper training and handling. I recommend staying away from these snakes when you first have a pet snake. It is important to take small steps when you have a pet snake to get used to their special needs.
Snakes can make great pets if you take proper care of them. Many young boys and even girls are fascinated with snakes. They have pretty colors and just the lure of a little danger can add to the interest. Make sure you are prepared for the requirements needed from you to have a pet snake before giving in to a child’s demand.
Teaching Kids And Pets To Co-Exist Peacefully
It is possible for children and pets to coexist in the same household, peacefully. Many people mistakenly think that as soon as they start having children that their pet needs to head to the local shelter. They fear that the cat or dog will not get along with the new child and it will result in biting or scratching. This is not always the case and if you take the time to introduce your pets to your children properly, your kids and pets can live in harmony.
One of the biggest concerns that new parents have when it comes to pets in the home is how it will react to a baby. Many of the old wives tales such as cats sucking the breath out of babies simply are not true. In fact, many cats and dogs readily accept a new child into the home and become fiercely loyal and protective over the baby.
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you should introduce your pet to your new baby. Of course, these introductions need supervision. Allow your cat or dog time to sniff your child at his or her own pace. Make the introduction pleasant for your cat or dog. In most cases, your cat or dog will not give your baby a second thought. Allow your pet to adjust to the new situation on his or her own terms. When a baby comes to the house, it is an adjustment for everybody.
The other thing that you might want to consider doing when you bring a baby into the home is to make sure that your cat or dog is properly groomed. This includes trimming your dog or cat nails. Your dog may want to put a paw on your baby. If his or her nails are long and sharp, your dog may accidentally scratch your infant. While you can never eliminate pet hair from your home if your dog or cat clipped and brushed it will certainly help your home stay a little cleaner. Many new parents also worry about allergies. The fact is, many studies have shown that children who are exposed to pets from a very young age, actually have fewer pet allergies than children who are not exposed to pets.
Another good idea is to make sure that your pets do not have access to your baby’s room during naptime or at night without supervision. While your pet probably means no harm to your child, pets are naturally curious. A cat may jump into your infant crib, or in large dogs could easily a knock bassinet or cradle over. You should always supervise your pet when it is around your new baby at all times. Most of all, you should try to make sure that you are still spending quality time with your pet when possible. This especially pertains to dogs, which are used to playing in the backyard and going for walks.
As your child grows, you need to begin teaching your child proper pet etiquette. If your dog or cat has learned to respect your child, then your child also needs to learn to respect your pet. Teach your child from a young age that they should never pull or yank a cat or dog’s tail or ears. Your child can learn proper pet etiquette even at a very young age. You will also want to teach your child to respect your pet’s space. This includes making sure that your child understands that he or she should never wake a sleeping pet. This could cause your pet to become startled and could result in biting or scratching.
In addition, you will want to make sure that your child understands to stay out of your pet’s food, water, and litter box. Your child will be naturally curious, so it is always best to give your pet some private space away from your child.
There are many things you can do to make sure that children and pets coexist peacefully. Your children and pets need to learn to respect each other from the very beginning. There is no reason to get rid of your cat or dog just because you have a child in the home.
The Advantages Of The Microchip For Your Pets
Every pet owner wants to keep his or her beloved cat or dog as safe as possible. You do everything you can do make sure your pet is well cared for and healthy. If you have an indoor pet, you may not think that keeping identification tags is important, but it is. What if your fuzzy feline accidentally slips out of the door at night and you search to no avail? What do you do, especially if your dog or cat has no identification? Placing a collar with an identification tag is important, but collars sometimes become lost. When you consider the fact that many animal shelters only keep dogs and cats for seven days, you want to make sure that your pet is properly identified. That is where the microchip comes in handy. The microchip is the newest way to identify lost pets and helps ensure that your lost pooch or feline finds his or her way back home.
The technology of the microchip has become so popular that most animal clinics and animal shelters have the ability to scan a cat or dog for microchip identification. If you opt for the microchip, you should know that it is a painless procedure for your pet. Your vet will insert a tiny microchip about the size of a grain of rice directly under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. The microchip is usually placed behind the neck. The microchip contains a special digital number that has been entered on a national microchip database. That information will give the person your contact information. When you pet is lost, a veterinarian or animal shelter can use a special scanner to retrieve the microchip information. It is that easy.
Pet owners love the idea of the microchip because it is permanent. You cannot remove the microchip and unlike a collar or tags, it cannot be lost or destroyed. This is one of the best features of the pet microchip, especially for cats. If you place a collar on a cat, more than likely it will be a breakaway collar. If your cat climbs a tree or is caught on something, the collar breaks off. If your cat does not have a microchip, it will be very difficult to identify your cat if it is found.
There are a few important things to remember about pet microchips. First, if your pet gets lost, you should never just sit back and wait for a call, even if your pet has a microchip. Not all veterinarians and shelters are equipped with this technology. You need to take the time to call around and place “lost pet” flyers around your neighborhood. In addition, you need to make sure you take the time to update your contact information should you move. It does little to no good to have your pet implanted with the microchip if the information on the national database is incorrect. Your veterinarian can give you information on how to update this information.
It is important to get your pet implanted with the microchip at a young age. Puppies can have the microchip at age six weeks. Even small breeds of dogs can handle this procedure. Kittens can also undergo this procedure at six weeks. The insertion of the microchip is not painful and feels like a regular vaccination shot. You can have your pet implanted with the microchip at your veterinarian office and can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for this service.
The Importance of Pet Vaccinations
When you were a child you had to have vaccinations at certain points in your life such as measles, tetanus, and other shots. This is important for your pets as well. We will specifically look at dog vaccinations, as they are a very common pet to have. Keep in mind during some of these shots are required for cats as well.
Dogs need to have vaccinations to guard against disease. When your dog is a puppy they will need a distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and corona combination between six to eight, nine to eleven, twelve to fourteen, and sixteen to seventeen weeks. They will also need these shots again every twelve months. The next vaccination is a bordetella administered at fourteen weeks and every six months. Rabies must be given at sixteen weeks and again every twelve to thirty- six months.
Vaccinations protect your dog and other pets from human diseases as well as other problems that could arise. Make sure you visit your pet on a regular schedule. A few more vaccinations are the giardia at fourteen and seventeen weeks, with a yearly dose. Lyme is another type administered at fourteen and seventeen weeks as well as yearly.
Occasionally state regulations will require a different administering chart. It is best to speak with your vet to gain the proper knowledge for your breed of dog as well as the correct vaccinations. Dogs are “man’s best friend” and thus it is important to give proper care that includes treatments.
Other care besides vaccinations can be proper baths, toenail clipping, and feeding your dog properly. Most health problems arise in a dog that is either genetically susceptible or environmentally exposed to human food. Human food because of its greasy qualities can block a dog’s artery. So proper nutrition is often found in dog food or cooking meals for your pet per vet guidelines if your dog has health issues.
Dogs also require a lot of attention and exercise. Breeds such as the Huskies or golden retrievers require special care. Huskies are bred as working dogs. They need to have a lot of exercises as well as play time with their owners. Golden retrievers are social animals, will feel lonely, and rejected if left alone for too long. Other breeds though social may not react in the same manners of the latter two. Other breeds can be content with a large yard and runner as long as they can play and eat.
Part of owning a pet, especially a dog is to provide it with love and attention just like you need. Proper care is very important on a day-to-day basis like having a routine feeding time or visiting the vet for the proper vaccinations. Vaccinations can determine the longevity of your dog just like a proper diet and exercise. While your vet has spent a lot of time, going to school for the proper care of animals it is always a great idea to be knowledgeable about your pets care. Vaccinations, when not administered properly, can harm the animal. I would stay away from ordering medications and vaccinations online if you are not familiar with the products and how to give them to your dog, this may cause some medical problems. Any pet deserves the care we would give ourselves and with today’s world, we are finding better ways to make going to a vet easier.
The Toys Cats Will Love
Do you walk through the pet store, see the many toys available for your cat, and wonder if the expense will be worth it? Cats can be fickle creatures, but a good time can be found with almost any toy. Cats are like children they go through stages and sometimes need age-appropriate toys and can get bored very easily. Some suggestions for toys include the cat towers, stuffed mice, small amounts of catnip, stuffed animals, ribbons, and plastic balls.
From an early age, kittens learn to pick up things in their mouths. It is an instinct, just like using their claws. When a cat plays, they like to grab and bit their toys. Let us look at the toys listed above. A cat tower is a great way to teach you cat where it is appropriate to climb. It will keep them off the blinds or curtains while giving them hours of fun. There are many styles of cat towers from the two-story towers to the ones rising to the ceiling. The answer to your question is, the more levels they have the more fun and enjoyment they will receive out of a cat tower. A cat will use the tower for play as well as sleep. They like to bat at ropes and other items dangling off the tower as well as going through little tunnels up to the next level. If you have two cats you will have fun watching them give chase to the top often trying to knock the other off. A cat tower can be practical because they will scratch at it rather than your couch.
Stuffed mice are also important to any kitty’s playtime. Not all mice are the same; most cats prefer the small leather mice with the multi-colored fur and long tails. These mice come in twelve packs or three packs and believe me if they are anything like my kitty they will tear them apart. Cloth mice are typically second during playtime. If you find your kitty to be uninterested in mice you might want to check the type of mouse you have bought them.
Catnip toys are very popular. Catnip will cause your cat to be more rowdy, which can be a plus because they wear down faster. Catnip before bedtime is a great way to get your cat to sleep for quite a while and leave you to slumber. Catnip should be given out sparingly. You do not want to give your cat catnip every day because it can have adverse effects to their behavior. They can start to depend on it and have mood swings.
I have found the best toy may just be your old stuffed animal lying around the house. My kitty, Spooky, will bring me a stuffed animal when she is ready to play and she has stuffed animals in her toy basket. There is nothing more amusing than watching my kitty brings me a stuffed animal bigger than she is and proceeds to toss it in the air and pounce. Cats like the feel of certain things in their mouths that is why they chew on paper, plastic and even your blankets. The feel of the material in their mouths allows them to clean their teeth or when they are teething help reduce the pain. The stuffed animal can work in much the same way and keep them away from harmful products.
To answer my above question you do not have to go to great expense to entertain your cat, however, when you spend a little on toys you keep your kitty from getting bored. You may even decide to hide a few toys and reintroduce them after a few months to keep from purchasing new ones all the time. Just make sure it is not the favorite toy of your pet or they may find other ways to entertain themselves that you do not find amusing.
Dangerous Dog Treats: What To Know Before You Treat Your Pup
What pooch does not love getting a treat or two now and then? Dog owners also love giving their dog’s treats. If you have a dog, then you have a good idea of what your dog likes to nibble on. There are so many treats available these days and they all come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies. For every great dog treat, there are those on the market that are not so good. These treats can harm your pet by being lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines. This can cause choking or worse. If you love treating your canine friend, then you will want to be aware of those treats that can be potentially harmful. Even with treats that are not usually dangerous, you need to supervise your dog when they eat.
Greenies: Most dogs really enjoy these treats. They are advertised as treats that help clean your dog’s teeth. However, you need to be aware that “greenies” can cause choking. This is because dogs eat these very quickly causes large chunks to lodge in the throat. Young puppies should not eat this treat and dogs that are prone to “scarfing” food. If your dog eats these treats, be aware of potential vomiting, bloody stools, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has eaten this treat, seek medical attention.
Rawhide Chews: What dog does not love snacking on these chewy treats? Rawhides are good because it cleans your dog’s teeth and keeps your dog occupied. However, rawhides are dangerous, as well. Some rawhides that originate outside of the United States may actually be preserved with arsenic-based chemicals that will be ingested by your doggie when he or she chews. For this reason, make certain that any rawhide treats you purchase is processed in the United States where this preservative is forbidden. If you cannot tell where a treat originated do not buy it! In addition, you still need to watch your dog when she is munching on rawhides to help prevent choking. Make sure you buy rawhides that are the right size for your dog, too. A small dog needs the smaller sized rawhide treats.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a terrible thing to allow dogs to eat. Of course, sometimes dogs get into candy and cake without your knowledge. Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, so you need to be aware of your dog sneaking chocolate nibbles, especially around the holidays. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine. This acts in the canine about the same way caffeine acts in the human. A little will make the doggie hyperactive, but a huge dose may be fatal. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you need to look for vomiting, shallow breathing, and irregular heartbeat. A visit to the emergency vet unusually results.
Bones: It seems that it is the right of every dog to be able to crunch on a real bone from time to time. Dogs love bones of all types. However, some bones can be dangerous. Both chicken and turkey bones are especially dangerous because they are brittle. When your dog chews on them, they can easily splinter and cause choking. Some pork and beef bones can also cause the same problem. Veterinarians agree that one of the safest bones you can give your dog is a shinbone. If you must give your dog a bone, make sure you supervise your pooch and if he or she shows signs of bleeding, then you should call your vet immediately for some advice.
This is not to say that you cannot give your dog an occasional treat. That is one of the fun parts of owning a dog. You do need to watch your dog and make sure that your dog is safe when snacking. Always pay attention to what kind of treat you give your dog in case of a recall.
Domestic Cat Breeds
Have you always wanted a cat, but heard some breeds make better pets than others? Maybe you have always wanted a cat, but do not know anything about them? There are plenty of ways to learn about cats and what breeds fit your personality. The choice can come from having an indoor, outdoor or indoor and outdoor cat. The tough and smart survive in the out of doors. Small cats are often praying for birds and other wildlife and should be kept indoors. Tomcats, a mixed breed, are great at surviving outdoors and mousers. So let us look at a few breeds of cats and then you will be able to choose which one may be right for your lifestyle.
Siamese: The Siamese cat can be a fickle creature. They often require a lot of attention when they determine it is necessary. They tend to meow quite a bit and can tear up a home if left alone for too long. These are the downsides. Siamese can be great pets, especially when raised from infancy. They are often white with brown ears and blue eyes. You may recognize them from Lady and the Tramp. Those two were a little mean and not the typical portrayal of a Siamese. Siamese is generally very affectionate. They are also one of the most intelligent of the cat species. They tend to be very social, which is why they meow or “talk” a lot. A sign of attention is usually a very vocal meow much like a babies cry. Siamese typically bond to one person very strongly and are territorial of that person.
Persian: The Persian cat breed is one of the oldest cats around. They are longhaired cats with beautiful shiny coats. They are very soft and friendly; however, they are prone to health problems such as allergies. The Persian does not always play as much as other breeds, but they do enjoy a bit of fun for exercise especially in a social situation. They love to have other cats around to play with as well as have a lap available when they are in need of a lap. Persians are a variety of colors from solid black, white or a mix of white and browns around the face. A popular Persian is the Himalayan.
Manx: The Manx is known for its stubby tail, or having no tail. The downside to Manx cats is the lack of tail. Often a Manx can suffer from worms and other parasites due to improper cleaning and not having the protection of a tail. This does not mean you should discount the Manx as a breed. The Manx breed is extremely intelligent and playful. They are a lot like dogs in the play area because they can fetch when you through toys and bring them back to you. They are very social animals and depend on human care. They don’t like to be left alone for too long, so it is wise to have other cats to play with when you are gone during the day. The best home for a Manx is one filled with children.
These are just three of the more popular breeds of cats. There are over a dozen cat breeds to choose from and finding the one to fit your lifestyle is important. Cats are very social and intelligent, but some breeds can be loners. Most often, a cat chooses when the time is right and what type of attention they want at the time. The phrase “you do not own a cat it owns you” is very true.
Fascinating and Novel Pets: The Turtle
Do you remember reading children’s books with turtles as the main pet? Children adore turtles as pets. They are very interesting creatures and there are many species. When you decide to have a turtle for a pet, you will need to know the exact species for the proper care. Let us look at some turtle species you can own. There are two types of turtles, the terrestrial and the aquatic. This means the first type of turtle spends more time on the land, while the aquatic turtle needs to have a great deal of water.
Box and mud turtles are the terrestrial turtles. They require land to hibernate during the winter and sun on during the day. Most terrestrial turtles need 12 hours of sunlight, which can be provided by a UV lamp. Turtles are very susceptible to temperature changes often living in 80 degrees during the day and 70 degrees during the night. Terrestrial turtles also need water not only to drink but also to swim around in.
Aquatic turtles are sliders and painted turtles. Sliders typically live in swampy areas or near lakes with a lot of mud. They tend to basic in the sun during the day as well as swim to cool off. The painted turtle like the slider is mostly aquatic so they spend more time in the water than out sunning themselves. The painted turtle is the most complicate turtle to take care of because they require special care.
Once you have decided on the type of turtle you wish to have you will then know what size tank you need. Most turtles require a 40-gallon tank or larger to have room for land and water. You will want to have plants in the tank, but make sure they are not poisonous to your turtle because they will eat them. Your pet shop should be able to tell you the right type of plants to have. Wood chips and bark are not a good idea, not only do they harbor bacteria and molds, but the turtle can eat them. A turtle does not have a large digestive tract and therefore wood chips often cause blockages. Certain turtles can even have small rocks to burrow under along with the dirt.
Some proper food for turtles is often lettuce, goldfish, special feed sticks, berries, and insects depending on the species of turtle you own. Water is very important to your turtle. You never want to give them tap water to drink. It is also best to give them natural spring water or non- chlorinated water for swimming in. Chlorine and other chemicals of tap water can cause bacteria in their digestive systems.
Turtles can make great pets if you know a little about their habitat needs. Turtles are wondrous creatures that you can find in most warm climates walking along the roads or basking in the sun, so what better way than to give your child a great pet than to own a turtle. Keep in mind that turtles are sensitive and you will not want to handle them a lot. They do need to hibernate to live a longer life requiring you to keep the turtle somewhere little children cannot disturb them during the fall period. Turtles are both fascinating and novel pets for children.
Ferrets A Friendly Playful Pet
Ferrets, often considered a rare pet to own. Most individuals choose dogs, cats, birds, or fish to complete their family, however, a select few turn to the ferret for its social, playful, curious qualities. Ferrets love to play and explore not only with others and their owners but also on their own. For this reason, you need to know a few things on how to take care of a ferret.
First, you will want to ferret-proof your home before you introduce them as pets. They will crawl into walls, furniture, and anywhere they can get their little bodies. It is much like childproofing a home for a baby. You will want to make sure all of the dangers are eliminated when you allow them out of their cages for playtime.
Ferrets are also biters. The kits, baby ferrets, tend to bite more. You can eliminate the problem or tone it down with frequent handling. It is a sign of their behavior as mock fighting or sparring. The younger ferrets tend to bite more when they are teething and do not mean any harm. For this reason, you will want to handle the ferret or ferrets as often as possible to help reduce the biting behavior. Often those who do not take the time or patience to train their ferret end up leaving the animal in its cage and thus it has a shorter lifespan. Please make sure you are up to the task of training a ferret before bringing one into your home. Trained properly they can be as great a pet as cats or dogs.
A ferret’s lifespan is usually six to ten years, however, proper care and feeding can lead to a little longer life. Ferrets are carnivores so they require a high protein diet. Most owners decide to feed their ferret’s mice, rats, rabbit, and other raw meats such as chicken. Stores carried other types of ferret food that many owners choose over the live food. Carefully reading the label will tell you if it has the proper high protein diet. Most kitten food can be used for example because it is designed to be high protein and fat for growing cats.
While playing is an important part of your ferret’s life so is sleep. Most ferrets spend fourteen to eighteen hours a day sleeping. Part of sleeping is to rejuvenate them from the active play life they have. They love to explore and to play with toys. Many pet stores have toys for ferrets, or you might have something around the house that your ferret will find appealing.
The type of cage is important. Ferrets tend to be very smart so you will need a cage they can get plenty of air, but small enough bars they cannot break away. You will also want to clean the cage once or twice a week depending upon the number of ferrets you have, how dirty the cage looks. They are also burrows so some type of bedding is required.
Ferrets are little balls of fur that love to play and interact with humans and each other. While there are some special concessions you need to make to have a ferret the results are worth it. Proper training as a kit will give you even more joy when they reach adulthood.
Getting Your Pet Through An Animal Rescue Group
Animal rescue organizations or groups offer you a great place to get your next family pet. These groups are all different, but they do have common goals. These groups work hard to locate a permanent loving home for unwanted or misplaced cats and dogs. Many of these rescue groups rely on volunteers and donations to care for these pets while they are between homes.
When you begin looking for a rescue group to work with, you will find that most of these groups do rely on their hard-working volunteers and support from the local community to operate. You will also find a wide variety of animals available through these rescue groups. Many of these groups handle all types of animals and you will find kittens, puppies, and even older pets available for adoption. You might be surprised to learn that some groups even offer exotic pets such as reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, and even guinea pigs.
As you begin looking at pets available through rescue groups, keep in mind some of these animals have had very hard lives. You may find a dog that was abused by its owner. You may find a female cat that has just given birth. Their owners have relinquished many of the animals offered by rescue groups because they are moving or can no longer care for them. In addition, some of these groups take animals that live in kill shelters or as strays living on the streets. Some programs also offer spay and neuter release program for feral cats.
Rescue groups do a good job of screening animals before adopting them out to new homes. They also screen potential pet owners. If you find a pet offered through a pet rescue group, you will be asked to sign a contract saying that you agree to care for the pet long term. You will also be asked several questions about your home, your children and other pets you may have. This is not to be nosey—it is simply to help match an owner with the right pet. If the animal suffers from a medical condition, such as diabetes, the new owners know this up front before adopting. Having the animal’s health history at the time of adoption helps the animal find a permanent home.
You can gain a lot of personal satisfaction by adopting your next pet through an animal rescue organization. You know you have done something to help and your new pet will show its appreciation. If you are interested in adopting through one of the many rescue organization, it is easy to find one in your area. Your vet can give you the contact information for organizations near you. Most of the time, these pets are kept in private homes (foster homes) until they are adopted. This gives the animal time to be socialized with other pets, children and time to get used to living in a home. Sometimes, animal rescue groups will bring their animals that need homes to pet stores or other locations for interested people to see and meet the animals on certain weekends.
When you choose a pet in a rescue program, be prepared to go through an interview and application process. The organization wants to know these pets will be well cared for the long term. You will probably be asked about other pets you may have, the age of your children, the size of your yard and your thoughts on a cat with claws if you are looking at a cat. This is to help match the pet with the right owner. Adoption fees vary by each organization, but you can expect to pay $100-$200 for a rescued animal. These groups do not make a profit. These fees cover the cost of the animal while it was in the care of the organization. This adoption fee usually covers vaccinations, medical exams, spaying, and neutering.
Getting your next pet through an animal rescue organization is a responsible way to get your next family member. You can also find many volunteer opportunities through these organizations.
Hamsters Fuzzy Balls Of Fun
As a child, most of us grew up with hamsters or friends who had hamsters. Even our children are fascinated with the small fuzzy creatures. There are many types of hamsters, dwarf, Syrian, Russian, Chinese, and hybrid. The hamster is a burrower so they prefer to have lots of bedding to hide under as well as tubes to create little nests in. The most difficult aspect of hamsters is telling if they are female or male and being wrong. Who has bought two hamsters thinking they were the same gender and ending up with ten hamsters? I certainly have.
A lot of biologists and geneticists use hamsters and other rodents to show genetic possibilities. In genetics, we often discuss the genome and how genes are dispersed in relation to eye color, hair color, and other traits. When you have hamsters as pets you are seeing this first hand. I had one gold hamster and one white hamster. When they bred I ended up with several color traits from gold, white, black, white and black to many more. Half the fun for kids is seeing the baby hamsters grow up with different colors. It can be a great science project for school as well as having a wonderful pet.
Hamsters are relatively easy to take care of. You can feed them hamster food, vegetables, and little hamster treats to give them a good life. The bedding should be changed weekly or twice a week depending upon how many hamsters you have. The downside to hamsters is their short lives. Most live only a year or two making it difficult on the younger children.
There are lots of hamster accessories from tubes to wheels. Hamsters like other pets need to have exercise, so giving them wheels to run on or having a hamster ball to run around the house it is good for them. The tubing and cages come in a variety of colors to add to a child’s fun. You can create straight pathways to other larger home areas or curve them around to reenter the same cage. Most of the caging is plastic and your hamster will try to chew or claw there way free. You will want to monitor their activity when you clean the cage to make sure they are not producing a hole. Some hamster owners go with a metal wire cage with tiny slits to avoid the chewing escape. Your preference will determine the type of accessories you purchase.
Handling hamsters should be kept to a minimum and you should always wash your hand before and after. Hamsters can have a tendency to bite if they are not handled at least once a day or if they become scared. Be cautious with little children.
Hamsters are a lot of fun for all ages whether you have a budding scientist or just want an easy pet your child can care for. You will want to make sure you feed your hamster properly by not overfeeding them while maintaining proper exercise. When your hamsters procreate, you will want to separate out the mother and children from the rest of the crew. A cautionary note before concluding this article: Dwarf hamsters are very susceptible to infections with cedar chips because it can tear holes in their tiny mouths.
Helpful Hermit Crab Basics
Hermit crabs are fun pets to care for in your home. They used to be reserved for souvenirs from seaside vacations, but now they can be bought almost anywhere. They make wonderful starter pets for kids. They make a great alternative to the more traditional gerbils or hamsters, and they have a much longer lifespan than goldfish! Contrary to what you might expect if you are new to hermit crabs, it is possible to play with them, and they do have little personalities of their own. Do you think hermit crabs may make a great pet for you? Here are some helpful hints to get you started.
Before you get your crab, you need to get the basic equipment and supplies in place. First, they will need an aquarium for their house. Forget those teeny, tiny cages you see at the shops by the beach; hermit crabs really need a ten-gallon aquarium to be comfortable. If you are getting more than one crab, obviously you will be a bigger aquarium. A pet shop will be able to advise you on the best size for the number of crabs you will be housing. Make sure the aquarium has a snug fitting lid so your little friends do not make a run for it! Place a heating pad under the tank to keep your crabs feeling nice and tropical.
You will need something to cover the floor of the tank, as well. Three to four inches of sand works best, but you can also use crushed coral or reptile fiber bedding. If you use something other than sand, it is still a good idea to cover a portion of the floor with sand, so the crabs will have somewhere comfortable to go when they molt.
Now that you have the house and the flooring covered, you will need to get two shallow water dishes and a food dish. Shallow shells work well for this job. In one water dish, you should keep fresh water, and in the other, keep salt water, made with a marine aquarium salt solution. The dishes need to be shallow enough for the crabs to crawl into. A natural sea sponge is a nice addition to the freshwater dish, your crab will love to pinch it, and it will help keep the humidity levels up the aquarium.
The last thing you will need to gussy up your hermit crab home is some decorative wood pieces for the crabs to climb on. Coral and coconut shells also make great additions that your crab will love to play with.
Once you get your crab, to feed it, you will need to get some commercial hermit crab food. You can supplement that food with small pieces of fruit, meat, cereal, or fish. Additionally, make sure your crab gets crushed eggshells or oyster shells to boost their calcium level; it is important to keep their fragile skeletons strong. Cuttlebone is another option for this purpose.
To care for your crab, clean their water and food dishes daily, and spot the clean the tank when necessary. You will want to provide plenty of extra shells, in increasingly larger sizes, so your crab can change homes as they grow. Shells with wide openings are best. When your crab molts, remove the skin they have shed as soon as possible.
One optional, but a useful accessory to get is a tank thermometer and humidity-measuring tool. Your hermit crab will be most comfortable when the temperature is kept around 72°F – 80°F and the humidity level is between 70% and 80%.
With these helpful hints, you are ready to get your hermit crab. All that is left to do now is come up with a name for your new pet!
Indoors Or Outdoors: What is Best For Your Pet
Before you take on the responsibility of owning a cat or dog, you need to take the time to consider the living arrangements for your pet. Many people adopt pets with the idea that they will be raising an outdoor animal. How many people in your neighborhood keep their dogs or cat’s outdoors at all times? The fact of the matter is, outside is not a safe place for a cat or a dog. When you adopt a pet, you need to make sure that you are ready to allow your pet into your home.
Pets Love Being Outside
It is true that cats and dogs both will love being outside, it is their natural environment. Cats delight in chasing birds, climbing trees, and hiding in shrubs. Dogs adore barking at the neighbors, chasing squirrels, and digging. However, there are many dangers to keeping your pet outside at all times. Dogs tend to get more outside time in cats. Owners take their dogs out for walks, and in some cases allow their dogs, unsupervised access to the backyard from time to time. Cats are usually either indoor pets or outdoor pets.
It is more common nowadays, for owners to keep their cats indoors as they begin to realize the dangers of allowing their cat to live outdoors at all time. It is highly recommended that you keep your cats and dogs inside. For cats, you can help them explore their natural instincts inside by giving them plenty of places to run and play inside your home. Buy your cat a good scratching post with a high perch and install a window seat so they can gaze at the birds outdoors.
Dangers of Outside
The number one danger to your pets when they go outside is other animals. You never know when your dog or cat will encounter a stray or strange cat or dog from down the street. You know that your pet is properly vaccinated, but you do not know that the health condition of other animals outside. In addition, if your dog or cat gets into a fight with another animal. Your pet can be seriously injured or harmed. Unless you supervise your pet at all times when they are outside, you never know when your cat or dog will encounter a strange animal.
Other dangers of allowing your pet to live outside are cars and other people. A cat darting across the street late at night is a recipe for disaster. What if your dog gets loose from your yard and encounters a child? How will your dog react? You hope that your dog will be good and stay friendly. However, what happens if the child begins to taunt or tease your dog or poke a stick at him? If your dog bites or scratches another person, chances are, you will be responsible for your pet’s actions. Many pet owners have found themselves in a serious situation when their dog or cat has acted aggressively when outdoors.
When your cat or dog stays indoors, you can also help control fleas, ticks, and the exposure to heartworms. This is not to say that you should not treat an indoor pet for these problems. All dogs, whether the event indoors or outdoors, should be on a monthly heartworm preventative. Both cats and dogs should also be treated with monthly preventative. It is important to remember though, if your cat or dog lives outdoors, you will have many more problems when it comes to fleas and ticks.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should keep your dog or cat indoors. Pets that are indoor pets live longer and healthier lives than pets that live outside. This includes all pets, once you make them an indoor animal; you need to protect them from anything that might happen if they get outdoors, they now depend on you to provide a home for them.
What is a Pet
A pet or companion animal is an animal kept primarily for a person’s company, protection, or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock, or laboratory animal. Popular pets are often noted for their attractive appearances, intelligence, and relatable personalities.
Two of the most popular pets are dogs and cats. Other animals commonly kept include: rabbits, ferrets, pigs; rodents, such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as parrots, passerines, and fowl; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and snakes; aquatic pets, such as fish, freshwater and saltwater snails, and frogs; and arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs. Small pets may be grouped together as pocket pets, while the equine and bovine group include the largest companion animals.
Pets provide their owners (or “guardians”) both physical and emotional benefits. Walking a dog can provide both the human and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction. Pets can give companionship to people who are living alone or elderly adults who do not have adequate social interaction with other people. There is a medically approved class of therapy animals, mostly dogs or cats, that are brought to visit confined humans, such as children in hospitals or elders in nursing homes. Pet therapy utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive or emotional goals with patients.
Some scholars, ethicists and animal rights organizations have raised concerns over keeping pets because of the lack of autonomy and objectification of nonhuman animals.
Can Feral Cats Be Tamed
Feral cats are different from stray cats. Stray cats are usually the product of a person’s irresponsibility. Irresponsibility could be defined in two ways when it comes to strays: dumping a cat to fend for itself and/or neglecting to spay and neuter their cats. Stray cats can be timid but are often easily tamed. Feral cats are cats that were probably born to wild parents and are wild themselves. Feral cats have had no human interaction and are very difficult to tame.
Because feral cats are difficult to tame, thus making them undesirable indoor pets, there are many rescue organizations that are dedicated to the trapping and spaying and neutering of feral cat colonies. Many times, these organizations trap the cats, have them spayed and neutered and then release them near where they were originally found. Then, they dedicate themselves to providing food to these colonies.
Feral cats are everywhere. You can find feral cats in rural or farm areas, abandoned buildings and even parks and alleyways. You might catch a glimpse of them, but chances are that you would not be able to catch them easily. After all, they have not been around humans so any contact would make them shy away from you. If you have feral cats in your neighborhood, you may wonder whether these animals can be kept as pets.
Taming a feral cat can be a difficult proposition simply because they are not accustomed to humans. Depending on the level of their interactions with humans, some cats might be classified as semi-feral, total feral or even a converted feral cat. Depending on what your cat is classified dictates your potential success in socializing it. In addition, it takes a lot of time, love and patience to tame these cats.
If you find a cat that is has been feral for years, chances are that there is little to no chance of socializing it. With no human contact at all, these cats are overly independent and would never depend on a human for food or companionship. You might have better success with a cat that is semi-feral. In these instances, they have had some limited human contact. A converted feral cat would probably have the best chance at a normal life as someone’s pet. These cats were once domesticated, meaning that they probably started life as a pet and then was abandoned. The converted feral cat will more than likely eventually respond to human interactions such as love and affection.
If you want to attempt to tame a feral cat, remember that it can be hard work reaching out to the feral cat and getting them to trust you after being on their own. Sometimes, your efforts will not pay off for months, especially with older cats. If your attempts are a success, the rewards are well worth it because a strong bond can develop and loyalty and love is the reward.
If you believe you have the time and the love to attempt to tame a feral, there are some things to remember. First, these cats see you as an intruder and are very likely to spit, hiss, bite and claw. This is a normal response as they are defending themselves against a perceived predator – you. If they manage to get in a few bites or scratches, you should apply first aid immediately. After you have successfully trapped a feral cat, your very first step is to get it to the vet for spay or neuter and to check for any diseases it may carry. This is a necessary step and an absolute must if you have other pets in the house. After you have arrived home with your cat, you need to let it adjust to you and the surroundings by giving it a small, safe place to stay. Allow the cat to stay in a small bathroom or laundry room, where it does not feel overwhelmed. You will need to take time every day to spend time with the cat and allow the cat to adjust to you.
Remember, not all feral cats can be socialized; however, with love and patience, your time and efforts may be worthwhile.
Caring For Your Diabetic Cat
If your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be afraid of what the future holds for your beloved pet. The good news is that cats can live long, healthy lives after being diagnosed with diabetes. The trick is that you, as a pet owner, must be dedicated to caring for your cat during his or her illness. Diabetes is not a death sentence for pets. Here is some information to help you understand what you need to do to help your diabetic cat.
Regular Medical Care: After your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative that you visit your veterinarian on a regular basis. Your cat will need regular checkups to check the blood sugar levels and to make sure that he or she is receiving the right amount of insulin. When your cat goes in for a check-up, the vet will ask that you do not feed your cat twelve hours part to the checkup. While your cat is at the checkup, your veterinarian will draw blood and check blood sugar levels. People that have diabetes are able to check their blood sugar at home. However, this is not possible with cats unless you buy a glucose monitoring system. You will probably ask that you bring your cat in every three months for this type of checkup.
Getting your Cat Insulin: When your cat has diabetes, it is your responsibility to make sure that your cat receives the proper dose of insulin twice a day. The amount of insulin that your cat will need will vary according to your cat’s individual condition. Most cats will receive between three and five units of insulin to times per day. It is important that you establish a routine for your cat. Your cat needs to receive insulin 12 hours apart. Most people that have diabetic cats will give their cat an insulin shot at the same time every morning and at the same time every evening.
It is not difficult to learn to give your cat insulin injections. Your veterinarian will walk you through the process, and then you can repeat this at home. Usually, your veterinarian will recommend that you give your cat injections between the shoulder blades in the scruff of the neck. With patience and practice, your cat will barely feel the injections. In fact, most diabetic cats know when it is time to get their injection and they may actually remind you by meowing.
Stocking the Right Supplies: It is important that you have the right supplies on hand to help treat your diabetic cat. You will need a vial of insulin as prescribed by your veterinarian, syringes and alcohol swabs. It is always a good idea to order your insulin when you are about half empty. It may take a couple days for your veterinarian to order your insulin. Your veterinarian might also recommend getting your diabetic cat vitamin supplements and seating him or a special prescription diet such as Science Diet W/D. You must be able to see your cat immediately after he or she receives their injection. It is also a good idea to have some numbers to your veterinarian into at least two 24-hour emergency vet clinics available with you at all times just in case your cat needs help.
Many people who owned diabetic cats worried about the costs that this condition incurs. It certainly does cost money to take care of a diabetic cat. A vial of insulin will cost you approximately $85 and will last you about two months. A box of 100 Syringes will cost about $30 and will last you 50 days, as you should use a new syringe for each injection. Prescription food will cost you about $40 for a 20-pound bag. However, it is important to remember that your cat is a part of your family. Most pet owners do not hesitate to spend this kind of money on their pets.
Patience and Love: Above of all when you have a diabetic cat, you need a lot of patience and a lot of love. It is not always easy to care for the sick and ailing cat. However, with the right care, you can expect your diabetic cat to have many more years of happy life.
Cavy Care: Is A Guinea Pig Right For You
If you are thinking about getting a pet for your home, you might want to consider a guinea pig. Guinea pigs, also called cavies, are lovable furry little critters that will bring you a lot of joy. In addition, guinea pigs can be a perfect first pet for children because they are easy to care for and more cuddly than a hamster and or fish. Here is some more information to help you determine whether a guinea pig is the right pet for you.
If you are thinking about getting a pet for your home, you may a first consider a dog or cat. These animals are perfect for homes if you have a lot of time to dedicate to owning a pet. Dogs and cats need a lot of attention and a lot of space. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are just as cute as dog, cats, and they do not require near as much space or care. Many people love the idea of guinea pigs as first pets for children because they live a lot longer than hamsters or gerbils. In fact, a well-cared-for guinea pig can live up to eight or nine years. Once you own a guinea pig, you will be hooked by these cute, sweet-natured critters.
When you go to the store to get a guinea pig, it is always a good idea to look at them carefully and choose them by their personality. Each guinea pig has his or her own personality. Some are more reserved in nature, while others are more outgoing. If you are choosing a guinea pig for your child, you want to make sure that your guinea pig can tolerate being held and petted. Guinea pigs are not known to be aggressive or to bite, but your child will have no fun with a shy guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are also should social animals, and they enjoy the company of other guinea pigs. If you are planning to get a guinea pig, you might want to consider getting two guinea pigs at the same time. Male guinea pigs get along quite well with each other when you get them when they are babies. Male guinea pigs will fight with each other. If you introduce them after they are grown. Female guinea pigs can also get along well with each other. It is not recommended that you get a male and a female unless you want to breed guinea pigs.
When looking at guinea pig cages, you need to find one that will allow enough room for movement and play. Guinea pigs like to stay hidden when they sleep, so make sure that your cage has a place where they can hide. A plastic or wooden structure inside the cage is always a good idea. You will also want to add some sort of betting to the bottom of your guinea pig cage for easy cleanup. Cedar chips are not recommended. You also want to include a large water bottle for your guinea pig. If you have, two guinea pigs consider getting two water bottles. Guinea pigs love to drink water, so make sure that you give them plenty of fresh water every day.
Some experts recommend adding vitamin C drops to their water. This works well for some guinea pigs. However, some guinea pigs do not like the taste and will not drink the water. If you do decide to add vitamin C drops to their water, make sure they are staying hydrated throughout the day. If you choose not to include vitamin C drops with their water. You can supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Guinea pigs love fresh vegetables and fruits of all kinds. Just make sure that you are not overfeeding your guinea pigs and use fruits and vegetables as treats. As far as food is concerned, you will want to feed your guinea pigs specially formulated guinea pig pellets available at pet stores. Guinea pigs also needed daily supply of Timothy hay to help aid in digestion.
Guinea pigs are great pets for all types of homes. When you get your guinea pig young, you can work with it to social it. You and your children will enjoy these adorable pets for many years to come.
Choosing The Right Pet For You
Most individuals have an idea just what type of pet they want; however, the maintenance of a pet can cause some concern. Knowing how to choose the correct pet for you may be easy. You may have had several pets as a child and know you need a companion for your own home or you may have always wanted a pet but been told you could not have one. Whatever the case you may need to take into consideration some key points to pet care when deciding what pet is right for you.
First, some pets take more care than others. Dogs are very needy animals. They are very sensitive towards their owners. I am sure most of you have heard of dogs tearing up a house when left alone all day. Dogs can get bored even when they have other dog companions and toys. They need the human interaction. Most dog owners take their dogs out for a walk before work and after work for the exercise and play time. Other owners who work outside will often let their dogs come to work with them to keep them out of trouble. Cats, on the other hand, can amuse themselves and as long as you put your valuables on a shelf, they cannot reach and keep a clean house they will sleep, look out windows, and play with toys while you are away. Fish are another type of pet that is typically low maintenance except for cleaning the fish tank.
Pet care is very important when you own a pet. They need attention from their owners, positive reinforcement, training, and love. Fish are usually excluded from this statement, as they just need food, proper tank maintenance, and a few plants to sustain life, however, the point is proper pet care is required when you own any pet. The decision will be yours to make in choosing what the right pet is for you. Above I mentioned three types of pets and little about their care, now I am going to look at it a little more.
While dogs are high maintenance and require the most training they are also one of the best pets to own. They can alert you to danger, alert you to someone at the door, and give unconditional love back. A dog only asks in return for proper care and a great deal of attention. If you cannot be home all the time, you will want to make sure the dog has a roof over their heads in case of inclement weather, and a huge yard to play in. Some dogs can jump fences so it may be best to have a dog run in the yard so they can move about, but not escape.
Cats, on the other hand, can be high or low maintenance depending on the breed as well as personality. Some cats require hours of people attention while others shirk attention. Some cats belong to a one pet household. They do not like to share their owner’s affections and will become upset if not mean towards the infiltrator. Others need the playmate’s attention to live happily. It will be hard to determine just which type of cat you own when you first buy them as kittens as their personalities are just developing.
Pet care is the most important factor when you are deciding which pet is right for you and your home. You will want to consider all the pet care needs of the animals you are looking at as well as the breed you are looking at to determine if they will have a happy place in your home.
Verily all praises are due to Allah. We praise and glorify him, we seek help from him, we ask of his forgiveness and we tum to him. We seek refuge in him from the evil within us and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides there is no one to mislead him and whomsoever Allah misguides, there is no one to guide him. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, who is one, and he has no partner. I bear witness that Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is his servant and his messenger. May Allah bestow durud (His choicest blessings) upon him and his noble family and companions and those who followed them with excellence.
It gives me great pleasure to present to my brothers a very serious problem not only in Islamic society but in every society, and that is the problem facing the youth in this age. The hearts of the youth are sicken with psychological problems which sometimes makes them uneasy with life and they spend their energies in trying to free themselves from those difficulties and removing that sorrow. The removal of the difficulties will will never take place except with Din (Religion) and character in which there is the strengthening of society and the betterment of this world and the hereafter. With this (religion and character), goodness and blessings will descend and evil and calamities will end.
Countries do prosper except with the help of its citizens and religion does not gain strength except with its followers. When the followers of Islam will stand up for it, Allah will help them no matter how many enemies they have. Allah Ta’ala says:
“O believers, if you help Allah’s cause, he will help you and make your feet firm (against your enemies) and those who disbelieved, woe unto them and their actions are in vain.” [Al-Qur’an 47:7-8]
If Din (religion) cannot be strong except with it’s followers, then it is necessary for us, the followers of Islam and it’s flag-bearers, that we firstly stregthen ourselves so that we may become worthy of leadership and guidance. It is imperative that we learn from the Book of Allah (The Qur’an) and the Sunnah of his Rasul (Messenger) sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which will equip us for speech, action, guiding and inviting. This will enable us to carry the weapons of the guidance of Islam to all those who seek the truth and also to wield it against all those who seek falsehood.
Then it is neccesary for us to put into practice what we have learnt from the Qur’an and Sunnah, on the basis of iman (faith), conviction and sincerity. Our characteristic should not be one of speech only because if speech is not backed up by action, it’s effect will not extend beyond the speaker and this speech will have an opposite elect:
“O believers, why do you say that which you do not do. It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not practice.” [Al-Qur’an 61:2-3]
It is most appropriate for us that we start at the beginning and ponder over our youth and their thoughts and actions, so that we may increase those which are good and correct those who are incorrect because the youth of today are the men of tomorrow and they are the foundation on which a future nation will be built. It is for this reason that the text of the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) has encouraged giving the youth due consideration and directing them to which is good and correct. They are the basis of the ‘Ummah of which it’s future will be built and if their reformation is grounded upon the strong pillars of the Din (Religion) and character, there will be a brilliant future for this ‘Ummah, if Allah wills.
A Glance at the Youth
If we closely exam the the youth, it will be possible for us to conclude that the youth are generally of three types: Rightly guided youth, deviated or perverted youth and youth who are confused (between evil and good).
The first type
Rightly guided youth are: Youth who firmly believe in all the implications of this Kalimah (the shahadatayn). They termly believe in their Din (Religion). Iman (Faith) is beloved to them and they are content and satisfied with their iman. They consider aquiring Imam as a profit and deprivation from it as a big loss.
Youth who worship Allah sincerely. They worship Allah alone who has no partner.
Youth who follow the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam practically in his speech and action because they believe that he is the Messenger of Allah and the leader of all messengers.
Youth who establish salah (prayer) perfectly to the best of their ability, because they believe in the benefit and the religious, worldly and social merit found in prayer and the dangerous consequences of neglecting salah for both the individual and the nation.
Youth who give Zakah in full to those who are deserving of it, because they believe that Zakah fulfils the needs of Islam and it is one of the five Pillars of Islam.
Youth who fast during the month of Ramadhan. They stop themselves from their desires and cravings, whether it is summer or winter because they believe that actions are for the pleasure of Allah. Thus they give preference to that which pleases Allah over that which they desire.
Youth who perform the compulsory duty of Hajj (Pilgrimage) to the sacred house of Allah because they love Allah. Thus they love the house of Allah and they love going to the places of his mercy and forgiveness and collaborating with his Muslim brothers who come to these places.
Youth who believe in Allah who is their creator and the creator of the skies and the each, because they see from amongst the signs of Allah that which leaves no doubt even for a moment whatsoever in the existence and being of Allah. They see in this vast unique universe, in the form and system of the universe, that which clearly indicates towards the existence of it’s creator and His total power and complete wisdom, because it is not possible for this universe to come into existence on it’s own, nor is it possible for it to come into existence coincidentally. The reason for this is that the universe was non-existent before it was brought into existence, and that which is non-existent cannot bring anything into existence, because it itself is non-existent.
It is not possible that the universe came into existence coincidentally because it has a unique well-arranged system, which does not change nor variate from the procedure predestined for it.
“You will never find a change in the system of Allah.” [Al-Qur’an33:62]
“You will never fmd any reversal in the system of Allah.” [Al-Qur’an 35:43]
“You will not see in the creation of the most gracious any disparity, so turn your vision again. Do you see any rupture? Then turn your vision again, a second time, your vision will return to you dull an in a state of fatigue.” [Al-Qur’an 67:3-4]
The fact that this universe has a unique, well-arranged system, prevents it’s existence being coincidental. That which is in existence coincidentally will also have a system which is coincidental, which is likely to change or be disturbed in a short period of time.
Youth who believe in the angels of Allah because Allah has given information regarding them (the angels) in His book the Qur’an and His Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has given information regarding to in the Sunnah (the traditions). The Qur’an and Sunnahexplain their qualities, their worship and their actions to which they rigidly stick to for the goodness of the creation. This clearly points to the existence of the angels.
Youth who believe in the Books of Allah. Allah revealed these books to his Messengers as a source of guidance for the creation towards the straight path. It is not possible for the mind of man to understand the intricacies of worship and social life except with the books of Allah.
Youth who believe in the prophets and Messengers of Allah whom Allah sent to his creation to call them towards good and enjoin them with good and prevent them from evil so that people do not have any proof against Allah after the sending of prophets. The very first Messenger was Nuh ‘alayhis salam and the last messenger was Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Youth who believe in the last day in which people will be resurrected after dying, so they may be compensed for their actions. Whoever does good equal to an atom, will reap it, and whoever does evil equal to an atom, will reap it. This is the cosequence of this world, otherwise what is the benefit of life and what is the wisdom of life if there is no day for the creation in which the doer of good will be compensated for his good, and the perpetrator of evil, punished for his evil?
Youth who believe in the predestination of good and evil. Thus they believe that everything is with the decree of Allah and his divine foreordainment. This is despite their belief in causes and their related effects and that for both good and evil there are means.
Youth who adhere to the advice of Allah, His messengers, His Book, the leaders of the Muslims and the general masses. They interact with Muslims with frankness and openness – the way it is incumbent upon them. They neither mislead, deceive nor conceal anything.
Youth who call towards Allah with deep insight, in accordance to the manner Allah has laid down in His Book.
“Call towards the path of your Sustainer with wisdom and sound advice and debate with them in a manner that is befitting.” [Al-Qur’an 16:125]
Youth who enjoin good and forbid from evil because they believe that in this is the success of the nation.
“You are the best of nations, taken out for the guidance of mankind. You enjoin good and forbid from evil and you have full faith in Allah.” [Al-Qur’an 3:110]
Youth who strive in the changing of evil in the way established by the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Whomsoever from amongst you see an evil he should change it with his hand. If he does not have the power to do this, then he should change it with his tongue. If he does not have the ability to do even this, then he should change it with his heart (by scheming in the eradication of this evil).” [Hadith])
Youth who speak the truth and accept the truth, because truth leads to good and good leads to paradise. A person will continue being truthful and pursue the truth until Allah records him as being a truthful person.
Youth who love good for the general Muslims because they believe in the saying of Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “None from amongst you can be a true believer until he loves for his (Muslim) brother that which he loves for himself.” [Hadith]
A teenager who is cognizant of his responsiblity to Allah and his nation. He strives always for the goodness of his Din (Religion), his nation and homeland, keeping far from egoism and far from giving consideration to his own good at the expense of the good of others.
A teenager who strives for the pleasure of Allah and with the help of Allah in the path of Allah. He strives with sincerity without pride or want of reputation. He strikes with the help of Allah without being conceited and without depending on his own might and power. He strives in the path of Allah for the upliftment of his Din without exceeding the bounds and without laxity. He strives with his tongues, hand and wealth in the manner that the needs of Islam, and the Muslims demand of him.
Youth who have character and Din in them, thus they are of refined character, religion, gentle, liberal, noble-minded. clean-hearted, steadfast, enduring and resolute. They do not waste any opportunity nor do they let compassion overcome intelligence and the need for reformation.
A teenager who is systematic. He works with wisdom and silence despite being firm and excellent in his work. He does not waste any opportunity but instead occupies himself in actions which are beneficial for him and his nation.
Together with this, this teenager safe-guards his Din, character and conduct. Thus he is extremely distant from those qualities which contradict this, like kufr (disbelief), apostasy, inequity, disobedience, lowly character and evil mutual relations.
These types of youth are the pride of a nation and a symbol of it’s prosperity and Din. These are the youth who will obtain the good of this world and the hereafter. They are the youth who we hope that Allah, with his grace, will use to rectify the corruption amongst the Muslims and illuminate the spiritual path of the seekers of truth.
The second type
The second type of teenager is the one who is corrupt in his beliefs, irresponsible in his conduct, himself misled, ingulfed in vice; he does not accept the truth from anyone nor does he refrain from falsehood and he is selfish in his conduct. He is a teenager who is stubborn. He does not yield to the truth nor does he renounce falsehood. He dos not care about his neglect of the rights of man nor the rights of Allah. He is a confused teenager bereft of impartiality in his thinking and in his behaviour. Likewise he lacks balance in all his affairs.
A teenager who is conceited with his own opinion as if truth flows from his tongue. He, in his opinion, is free from mishaps, while others are a source of mistakes and slip-ups as long as they contradict his option.
A teenager who has turnned away from the straight path in his din and the accepted norms of conduct. The evil of his conduct has been made alluring to him. Therefore he regards it as virtuous. Thus he is the greatest of losers in respect of his deeds. These are the ones whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they presumed that they were doing good.
He is an evil omen upon himself and a misfortune for his society, one who is driving his nation towards the lowest stage. He is a barrier between his nation and their respect and munificence, a lethal influence, difficult to treat – except if Allah wishes. Allah has power over everything.
The third type
The third type of teenager is he who is confused and doubtful. He recognises the truth and is content with it. He lives in a guarded society except that the doors of evil have opened up for him from every direction. This has created doubt in his beliefs, deviation in his conduct, weakness in his action, a foray from known practices and an influx of diverse falsehood. Thus he is in eternal thought and inner search. Opposing this influx or movement (of falsehood) is uncertainty. He does not know whether the truth lies in the prevailing idealogies or in the way of his pious predecessors and his safeguarded society. He is thus in doubt – sometimes he accords preference to one side and sometimes the next according to the strength of the influx of these thoughts.
This type of teenager is passive in his life. He is in need of captivating strength which will guide him towards the enclosure of truth and the path of goodness. How easy will this not be Allah prepares for him a person who calls towards good, who is wise, knowledgeable and of good intentions?
These types of teenagers are found in abundance. They obtain a smattering of Islamic education but they acquire much more secular knowlege which conflicts with the basics of Din either in reality or in their presumptions. Thus they are helpless between the 2 cultures. It is possible for them to gain liberation from this helplessness by establishing themselves upon Islamic education and acquiring this education from it’s original sources – the book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah (traditions) of Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at the hands of devoted ‘Ulama (learned men) – and this is not difficult for them.
The Digression of the Youth and their Problems
The reasons for the digression and the difficulties of the youth are many and varied. Man, during the phase of youths is to a large extent in the process of the development of the body, thought processes and the mind, because this is the phase of growth during which he undergoes rapid changes. In this stage it is of extreme importance that the tools of self-control are prepared for him coupled with wise leadership to steer him towards the straight path.
From amongst the important reasons for this retrogression are the following:
1) Idleness: Idleness is a malady which kills thought processes, the mind and the strength of the body, because the body is always in need of movement and work. Thus when the body is idle thoughts become dull and the mind weakens, body movements weaken and devilish insinuations and evil thoughts form on to the heart. Many times an exil intention is create as a result of this suppression which was a direct consequence of idleness. The cure for this problem is that the teenage should strive in the attaining of work which befits him like reading, business or writing which will then become a barrier between him and his idleness. It is necessary that he becomes a stable member of society, working in his society for himself and for others.
2) Alienation and aloofness between the youth and the elderly members of their families or between the youth and others: We see some elders witnessing deviation in their youth but they hesitate, are disconcerted, helpless to strengthen them and dependent from reforming them. The result of this is hatred is for these youth, estrangement from them and a dont-care attitude towards their condition, whether their condition is one of piety or corruption. Sometimes they pass judgement concerning all the youth which translates into a blank impression of the youth in general. This splits the community whereby the youth and their elders begin looking at one another with the eyes of contempt. This is amongst the greatest dangers that can encompass human society. The cure for this problem is that the youth and their elders should make an effort to eradicate this alienation between them and trust everyone because the society together with it’s youth and elders are like one body. When one part of it decays, it leads to the decay of the whole body. It is incumbent upon the elders that they give deep thought to their responsibility concerning the reformation of the youth and dispel this contagious despondency from their hearts, because Allah has power over everything. How may corrupt people did Allah not guide, after which they became beacons of guidance and callers towards reform? It is necessary for the youths to entertain respect, regard for the opinions and acceptance of the guidance of their seniors who experienced the realities of life which these youth have not. When the wisdom of the seniors will meet with the strength of the youth, the society will attain prosperity with the will of Allah.
3) Liason with deviated and corrupt people and befriending them. This has a great effect on the mind, the thinking and ways of the youth. For this reason Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said: “A person is on the Din (Religion) of his companion, so each one of you should take care in the matter of who he befriends.” He sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: “The similitude of an evil companion is like an ironsmith using an oven. Either you will burn your clothes in his company or you will experience an offensive odour.” [Hadith] The sure for this problem is that the teenager should choose for his companionship those who are good and intelligent go that he may benefit from their virtue, reformed ways and intelligence. He should weigh up their condition and reputation before befriending them. If they are people of character, virtue, correct Din and good reputation, then befriend them. If they do not possess these qualities, then it is incumbent to distance oneself from them so that one is not deceived by sweet talk and beautiful outward appearances. This is deception and misguidance. This path is traversed by evil people to allure the simple-minded in order to increase their multitude and conseal their evil condition. A poet has said it most beautifully: Test men when you intend to befriend them, Scrutinize and study their affairs.
4) Reading of destructive periodicals, booklets and magazines which create doubt in the Din of a person and in his beliefs. This draws a person towards the abrogation of virtuous character and lands him in Kufr (disbelief) and vice. This is especially true when the teenager does not possess deep Dini education and acute thinking by means of which he can differentiate between truth and falsehood, benefit and harm The reading of these types of books totally confounds the because they imbibe a false pleasure in the minds and thinking of the youth without reservation. The cure for this problem is that he should keep away from these books and read other books which will plant in his heart the love of Allah and his Rasul sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the reality of iman (belief) and good deeds. No doubt his inner self will entice him greatly towards those books which he loved previously and make him feel discontent with other beneficial woks. This is similar to the position of that person who lights with his inner self to establish the obedience of Allah in his life, but his soul rebels and becomes involved in futility and lies. The most important of beneficial books is the book of Allah and those which the people of knowledge have written by way commentary with correct transmission. In the same way the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then that which the people of knowledge have written by extracting from these two sources or by way of deep understanding.
5) The impression of some youth that Islam is a curtailment of freedom and a repression of strength. Thus they tum away from Islam regarding it as retrogression and a barrier between them and progress. The cure for this problem is that the veil of the reality of Islam be lifted from these youth who are ignorant of it’s reality because of their wrong nations, inadequate knowledge or both. Islam does not restrict freedom but it is a control and a correct chanelling for it, so much so that the freedom of one person does not clash with the freedom of the next person. General freedom leads to chaos and eruption. It is for this reason that the injunctions of Din are called Hudud (limits). If the injunction is one of prohibition Allah says: “They are the limits imposed by Allah, do not approach them.” [Al-Qur’an 2:187] If it is one of consent, Allah Ta’ala says, “These are the limits imposed by Allah, do not transgress them.” [Al-Qur’an 2:229] This is the difference between restriction (which is the impression of some) and control and guidance which the most wise, the All-Knowing Allah has decreed for his servants. There is no basis for this problem because systemisation is a reality in all domains and man by nature is submissive to this systematic reality. He is submissive to the pressure of hunger and thirst and to the system of his food and drink as far as quantity, quality and type is concerned so that he may safeguard his body and it’s health. He is in the same way submissive to the system of his society, holding on to the customs of his city in it’s dwellings, garb and modes of transport. If he does not subject himself to this, he will be considered as being abnormal and he will be treated the way extraordinary people are treated. Life is totally a submission to specified limits so that everything progresses according to it’s intended aim. This subjucation is for the order of society, eg. submission which is necessary for the reformation of society and the prevention of anarchy. In the same way submission to the system of the Shari’ah entails that which is necessary for the reformation of the nation so how can some people be annoyed with it and think of it as being a restriction of freedom? Verily this is a great untruth and a baseless, evil presumption. Islam in the same way is not a suppression of capabilities. It is a wide sphere for all strengths. Islam calls towards reflection so that man contemplates and his mind and thoughts grow. Allah Ta’ala says: “Say O Muhammad, I advise you of one thing only, that you stand up in two’s and singlely and then reflect.” [Al-Qur’an 34:46] and Allah says: “Say O Muhammad, see what is in the heavens and the earth.” [Al-Qur’an 10:101] Islam does not confine itself to calling towards contemplation and deep thought but it denounces those who do not think, observe and contemplate. Allah Ta’ala says: “Have they not considered the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and what things Allah has created?” [Al-Qur’an7:185] Allah Ta’ala says: “Have they not pondered upon themselves? Allah did not create the heavens and the earth and that which is between them, except with truth.” [Al-Qur’an 30:8] And Allah Ta’alasays: “And he who we give old age. We reverse him in creation (making him go back to weakness after strength), do you not ponder?” [Al-Qur’an 36:68]
The order of observing and pondering opens up the power of the mind and thoughts, so how can some people say; that it restricts capabilities? Dreadful is the word they utter; they only speak a lie. Islam has legalized for it’s people all pleasures in which there is no harm for the individual either physically, mentally or spiritually. Islam has authorised the eating and drinking of all pure things: “O believers, eat of the good things from which we have provided you, and render thanks to Allah.” [Al-Qur’an 2:172] Allah Ta’ala says: ”And eat and drink and do not waste. He does not love those who waste.” [Al-Qur’an 7:31] Islam has legalised all clothing to the demands of wisdom and nature: “O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you clothing to conceal your shame, and splendid countenance, but the clothing of piety, that is best.” [Al-Qur’an 7:26] Allah Ta’ala says: “Say O Muhammed, who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the pure things (which He has produced) for sustenance? Say, they are in the life of this world for those who believe, and only for them on the Day of Judgement.” [Al-Qur’an 7:32] He has authorised enjoyment of women by legitimate Nikah (Marriage) – Allah Ta’ala says: “Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one.” [Al-Qur’an 4:3] In the domain of economics, Islam has not suppressed the capabilities of it’s people but legalized for them all business dealings which are just and emanate from mutual happiness. Allah says: “Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury.” [Al-Qur’an 2:276] And He says: “It is he who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse through its tracks and eat of the sustenance which He provides, and He is responsible for the resurrection.” [Al-Qur’an 67:15] And He says, “And when the prayer is finished, then disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allah.” [Al-Qur’an 62:10] After all this, is the impression or saying of some people correct, that Islam suppresses capabilities?
Problems that Recur in the Heart of the Teenager
Misgivings and evil thoughts keep recurring on a dead heart which contradicts Din. It is for this reason that when it was said to Ibn Masud or Ibn ‘Abbas (Radiallahu ‘anhum) that the Jews say that they do not get evil thoughts in their prayers, i.e. they do not experience apprehensions, he replied, “They have spoken the truth, what can Shaytan do with an empty heart?”
If the heart is alive and there is even a bit of iman (faith) in it, then Shaytan attacks it. His attack is devoid of leniency and sluggishness. He throws in the heart such evil thoughts which are detrimental to Din. It is most destructive if the servant accepts these evil thoughts until Shaytan induces him to create doubts in his Lord, Din and beliefs. If he finds in the heart any weakness and frustration, Shaytan overwhelms that heart until he takes it out of the confines of Din. However, if he finds in the heart strength and steadfastness, he devises a contemptible scheme to mislead the servant.
These evil thoughts that Shaytan casts in the him will not harm a person if he practices the therapy mentioned by Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concerning it: Ibn ‘Abbas (Radiallahu ‘anhumanarrates than a person came to Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: “I am having a ce) narrates than a person came to Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: “I am having a certain feeling within myself which being a burning ember is more desirable to me than my uttering it.” Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “All praise are due to Allah who has rejected his scheme i.e. driven away Shaytan’s evil thoughts.” [Hadith]
Some people from the Sahabah (companions) came and said, “O Messenger of Allah, we find within ourselves (such a feeling) which overwhelms each one of us from speaking about it i.e. he feels it imposing to speak about it.” Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked: “Do you also experience it?” The companions replied, “Yes.” Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “That is true faith (iman).” The meaning of having true faith is that evil thoughts and your rejection of them does not harm your iman even a bit but it is a proof that your iman is sincere and has not been affected by any loss..
Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said: “Shaytan (the Devil) comes to one of you and says. Who has created this? Who has created this? until he says : Who has created your Lord? When he reaches this limit, then seek refuge in Allah and in his compassion.” [Hadith]
It is state in another Hadith regarding the same situation. “You should say: I believe in Allah and his messengers.” And in a similar Hadith that Abu Dawud has narrated, Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Say Allah is one, Allah is independent, He does not give birth nor was he given birth to, there blow a little saliva towards the left thrice and seek refuge from the accursed Shaytan.”
Once the Sahaba (radiallahu ‘anhum described this ambition to Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) described this ambition to Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for which he prescribed the cure in four steps:
- The termination of evil thoughts by completely shunning and forgetting them until they do not exist and then occupying oneself away from these thoughts with balanced thinking;
- Seek refuge in Allah from these evil thoughts and from the accursed Shaytan;
- He should say, I believe in Allah and his Messengers; and
- He should say, Allah is one, Allah is independent, He does not give birth nor was he given birth to, there is none comparable to Him, spit to his left side thrice and say, “I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Shaytan.”
Confusion Regarding the Issue of Predestination
From those issues which keep recurring and leaves the youth bewildered is the issue of predestination. Belief in predestination is one of the pillars of iman and iman is not complete without it. This belief entails the belief that Allah, Who is Pure, knows what is going to happen and what is predestined for the skies and earth, as Allah says: “Don’t you know that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Indeed, it is all in a record and it is easy for Allah.” [Al-Qur’an22:70]
Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has prevented us from quarrelling and debating in the matter of predestination. Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu ‘anhu) relates that Rasullallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to us while we were debating about predestination. Seeing this he became angry until his blessed face turned red with anger. Then he said: “Did I order you to do this? Is it for this that I was at to you? The nations before you were destroyed when they debated this issue. I take a firm resolution from you that you will not quarrell in this matter.” [Hadith]
Engrossing oneself and quarrelling in the matter of predestination lands a person in a maize from which he does not have the ability to emerge. The path of salvation is that you should aspire to do good and strive in the doing of good as you have been ordered because Allah, who is pure, has granted you intellect and understanding, and sent to you Messengers and revealed with them. Allah Ta’ala says, “So that mankind, after the coming of the Messengers, should have no proof against Allah for Allah is Exalted in Power and Wise.” [Al-Qur’an 4:165]
When Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed his companions that there is no person except that his abode in Jannah (heaven) and Jahannam (hell) has been foreordained, they said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we not depend upon our book (predestinations) and leave the doing of good deeds.” Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “Do good deeds, everything is made easy for what is was created. Those who are from the fortunate people, the actions of fortunate people will be made easy for them, and those who are from the wretched people, for them the actions of the wretched will be made easy.” Then the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited the verse: “He who gives in charity and fears (Allah), and in all sincerity testifies to good, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to ease, but he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient and disbelieves in good, We will indeed make his path to adversity easy.” [Al-Qur’an 92:5-10]
Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered them to do good deeds and did not permit them to depend upon their preordainment because those who are predestined to be from the people of Jannah will not be from amongst them except if they do the actions and deeds of the people of Jannah, and those who are predestined to be from the people of Hell will not be from amongst them except if they do their actions. Action is according to the ability of a person because he himself knows that Allah has given him a choice in the doing of action and predestined it for him. If he wishes, he can either do it or leave it.
If a man makes an intention to travel, then he will travel and if he intends halting, then he will do so. If sees a fire, he will flee from it and if he sees a thing which is beloved to him, he will go forward. Similarly with regards to obedience and sin, a person practices them by his own choice and leaves them by his own choice.
There are two objections according to some people regarding the issue of predestination:
Firstly: Man sees that he does something by his own choice and he leaves all action by his own choice without perceiving any compulsion upon the doing or leaving of an action, so how does this coincide with the belief that everything is with the decree and foreordainment of Allah? The answer to this is that if we contemplate the action and movement of man, we will fmd that it is the result of two things viz. intention i.e. the choice to do something, and ability. If these two things are not found, the action will not occur. Intention and ability are both the creation of Allah, who is Most Pure, because intention is the result of the strength of-the mind and ability is the result of the strength of the body. If Allah so wishes he can snatch away the mind of man and he would be left without any intention or snatch away his ability leaving action impossible for him. When man makes a firm intention to do an action and he executes it, it is our knowledge with conviction that Allah had intended and destined that action, otherwise his intention would have changed or he would have found a barrier between himself and ability to carry out that action. A Bedouin was asked, “How do you recognise Allah?” He replied, “By the breaking of firm intentions and the changing of resolutions.”
The second objection: which recurs according to some people in the matter of-predestination is that man will be punished for his sinful deeds. How can he be punished for it when it is predestined for him and it is not possible for him to escape from something which is predestined for him. How is he rewarded for his obedience when it is predestined for him and it is not possible for him to escape from something which is predestined for him? It is unjust that you make predestination an argument for disobedience while you do not make it an argument for obedience. The second answer is that Allah has negated this argument in the Qur’an and classified it as an ignorant statement. Thus Allah Ta’ala says, “Soon the idolaters will say, if Allah willed we would not have ascribed partners to Allah nor would our fathers have, nor would we have forbidden anything. In the same way their ancestors argued falsely, until they tasted our wrath. Say, have you any (certain) knowledge? If so, produce it before us. You follow nothing but presumption and you only lie.” [Al-Qur’an 6: 148]
Allah Ta’ala has explained that these objectors of predestination, have in their ranks those who were before them, who falsified (the Messengers) the way these people falsify (the Prophets), and they remained firm upon this action of theirs until they toted Allah’s punishment. If their proof was correct, Allah would not have made the taste of His punishment. Then Allah ordered his Nabi to challenge them to prove the correctness of their beliefs and explain to them that they have no proof for this.
The third answer is that preordainment is a hidden secret. Nobody knows about it except Allah until it happens. How can a sinner have knowledge about the txt that Allah has predestined for him sin until he does it? Is it not possible that Allah had ordained for him obedience? So why does he not in place of going towards sin, go towards obedience and say Allah has definitely predestined for me that I obey him?
The fourth answer is that Allah has blessed man by what he has given him of intelligence and understanding, and revealed upon him books and sent to him messengers and outlined to him what is beneficial and what is non-beneficial and blessed him with intention and ability with which he has the power to traverse either path. So why does lis sinner choose the path of harm over the path of benefit?
If this sinner intended going on a journey to another place and he had two roads to choose from: one is easy and peaceful and the other difficult and frightful, he most definitely would traverse the easy, peaceful path and not the difficult, frightful path because of the argument that Allah had predestined it for him. If he traversed the path of difficulty and used the argument that Allah had predestined it for him, people would think of him as being naive and insane. In the same way are the paths of good and evil. Man will traverse the path of good and not deceive himself by traversing the path of evil on the pretext that Allah had predestined it for him. We see that every person has the ability to earn his livelihood. We see that he traverses every path in the gaining of his livelihood. He dos not sit in his house and leave earning, holding on to the excuse of predestination.
Otherwise, what is the difference between striving for the world and striving in the obedience of Allah? Why do you make divine foredainment a proof for yourself upon the leaving out of obedient and you do not make it a proof for the leaving out of worldly action? The clarity of an argument is in it’s place but desires make a person blind and deaf.
Ahadith in Which there is Mention of the Youth
When these words have revolved around the problems of the youth, I would like to mention some Ahadith in which there is a mention of the youth. From amongst them are:
- “Your Lord is pleased with that teenager who is free of youthful passion.” [Narrated by Ahmad]
- “There are seven such persons for whom Allah will provide shade from his shade on that day who there will be no other shade except his. A just ruler, a youth who was nurtured in the obedience of Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the Masjid, two people who love each other only for the pleasure of Allah. They meet for the pleasure of Allah. A man who is enticed by a woman of status and beauty and he says, ‘I fear Allah.’ A man who given charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and tears flow from his eyes (due to the fear of Allah).” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
- “Hasan and Husayn will both be the leaders of the youth of Jannah.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]
- “It will be said to the people of Jannah, for you is youth and you will never grow old.” [Narratted by Muslim]
- “Never does a youngster honour an elderly person because of his old age but Allah appoints somebody who will honour him during his old age.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi with a weak chain of narrators]
- Abu Bakr said to Zayd ibn Habit while ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was beside him (radiallahu ‘anhum): “You are a young, intelligently. We are not suspicious of you and you used to write the revelation for the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so pursue the Qur’an and gather it.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
- Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to a youngster while he was in the throes of death. Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked him, “In what condition do you find yourself?” He said, “I have hope in Allah, O Messenger of Allah and I fear for my sins.” Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “These two things (hope and fear) do not gather in the heart of a servant at a moment like this, but Allah grants him what he hopes for and saves him from that which he fears.” [Narrated by Ibn Majah]
- Bara ibn ‘Azib (radiallahu ‘anhu) said concerning the battle of Hunayn, “No, by Allah, Rasullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not turn away, but even his young companions who were fatigued and ill equiped emerged to fight.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
- Ibn Mas’ud (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates, “We used to fight with Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while we were young.” [Narrated by Ahmad]
- ‘Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates: “There were seventy youth from among the Ansar, who were called qurra’ (reciters), who used to remain in the masjid. When evening approached, they retreated to a corner in Madinah, where they learnt, taught each other and prayed. Their families were under the impression that they were in the Masjid and the people of the Masjid were under the impression that they were with their families, until the crack of dawn. They brought fresh water and gathered firewood which they presented at the room of Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”[Narrated by Ahmad] With this they used to buy food for the Ashab as-Suffah (people of the platform). The people of the platform were those destitutes who migrated to Madinah. They did not have any family in Madinah so they sought refuge at a platform in the Masjid.
- ‘Alqamah who is one of the companions of Ibn Mas’ud (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates, he says, “I was walking with Abdullah by Mina when he met ‘Uthman. ‘Abdullah stood talking with ‘Uthman when he said, ‘O Abu Abdir-Rahman, should we not marry you to a young girl so that she would remind you of some things which have passed during your era.’ Abdullah said: ‘If you say that then surely Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us, ‘O youth. Whoever from amongst you has the means, should marry, because it is more effective in the safeguarding of the gaze and more chaste for the private parts. If one does not have the ability to do this, then he should fast because it is a shield for him (from sins).’ “ [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
- In the tradition concerning Dajjal reported from Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Dajjal will call a person who is in the prime of his youth and strike him with a sword, slicing him into two pieces, like the striking of a target. Then Dajjal will call the youth. The youth will respond, his face being radiant – laughing.” [Narrated by Muslim]
- Malik ibn Huwayrith (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates, “We came to Rasullallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while we were youngsters of similar age. We stayed by him for twenty days and nights. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was merciful and gentle. When he guessed that we longed for our families into difficulty, he questioned us about what we had left behind, so we informed him. Then Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Return to your families, live with them, teach them, invoke them,’ and he mentioned a few other things. ‘Pray the way you see me performing the prayer. When the time of prayer approaches, then one of you should call out the call for prayer (Adhan) and the eldest amongst you should lead the prayer.’ “ [Narrated by Bukhari]
We ask Allah to grant us benefit from this treatise and praises are only for Allah who is the Lord of the Universe. May Allah shower his choicest blessings and peace upon our Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and upon all his family and companions.
(p) Idara Isha’at-e-Diniyat (P) Ltd
Why should you, a young Muslim, be helping to bring your friends closer to Allah?
After all, you’ve got your own struggles to deal with: trying to explain to hostile teachers why you pray, hijab discrimination, standing up in class when the professor attacks Islam, dealing with parents who think you’ve gone nuts because you’re growing a beard, or all the other difficulties faced by a number of practicing Muslim youth? Islam was never meant to be an individualistic faith, reserved for the “chosen few”. Muslims have a duty to spread the din; and practicing Muslim youth, whether beginners, activists or leaders, have a crucial role to play.
“Allah has put them in a position that perhaps no one else is in,” notes Sheema Khan, former Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) advisor for eastern Canada. “They have the means to communicate with their peers, they have an understanding of what they’re going through plus they have the guidance of Islam.”
Who is your childhood friend going to listen to? Who is your childhood friend, who would rather spend Fridays at McDonald’s than the masjid, or your classmate who is Muslim in name and only knows that “Muslims don’t eat pork” going to listen to: the nice Imam of the masjid who would freak out if he saw the way they were dressed and talked or you who may have grown up with them, joked with them, or see them everyday in school?
The answer is obvious: You.
Don’t panic. Here are some tips and advice which can help. These are advices from other Muslims, many of whom have been there and done that:
Tip # 1 : Make Your Intention Sincere
All work we do should ideally be for the sake of Allah. That includes the task of bringing someone closer to Allah. That of course means this should not be connected to arrogance, thinking you’re the teacher and everyone else should be lucky you’ve embarked on a crusade to save them. Guidance is from Allah. Make du’a and make sincere efforts and remember Allah.
Tip # 2 : Practice What You Preach
Not practicing what you preach is wrong and you will lose the confidence of anyone, young or old, once they figure you out. Don’t do it.
Tip # 3 : Use The Qur’an, Sirah of the Prophet and Ahlul-Bayt, peace be upon them
Read and understand those chapters of the Qur’an which talk about how the Prophets presented the message of Islam to their people. Read the Sirah to see especially how the Prophet Muhammad and Ahlul-Bayt, peace be upon them, brought Islam to so many different people, including young people.
As well, talk to Tabligh workers, and check out manuals they may have written, like Yahiya Emerick’s How to Tell Others About Islam.
Tip # 4 : Talk to People as if You Really Don’t Know Them
Don’t assume you know someone just by looking at them. You don’t know that the Muslim girl in your homeroom who walks through the school’s hallways as if they were fashion show catwalks, is not someone you can talk to about Allah because she looks like a snob. Or that the Muslim guy who you’ve never seen at Juma’ah at your university is a “bad Muslim”. Maybe he was never really taught Islam and has no idea what importance Friday prayers have in Islam, especially for Muslim men.
Tip # 5 : Smile
Did you know the Prophet was big on smiling? But many “practicing” Muslims seem to have “their faces on upside down” as one speaker once said-frowning and serious. Smiling, being polite and kind are all part of the manners of the Prophet, which we must exercise in our daily lives. If we want to approach others with Islam, we have to make ourselves approachable. Smiling is key to this.
But note that being approachable does not mean being flirtations with the other gender. There are Islamic rules for how men and women should deal with each other which have to be respected. Tabligh is no excuse to have long and private conversations and meetings with the other sex, for example. Set up a system where someone expressing an interest in Islam is referred to someone of the same sex.
Tip # 6 : Take The Initiative & Hang Out With Them
Take the first step and invite someone you may have spoken to a couple of times to sit at lunch together, to check out a hockey game or invite them over for iftar in Ramadhan.
Also, share difficulties, sorrows and frustrations. Help with homework, be a shoulder to cry on when depression hits, or just plain listen when your friend is upset, discuss common problems and KEEP THEIR SECRETS. There are few things as annoying as a snitch and backstabber. But an important note: if the problem is of a serious nature, (i.e. your friend is thinking of committing suicide or is taking drugs), notify and consult an adult immediately.
Tip # 7 : Show Them Islam is Relevant Today, Right Here, Right Now
Young people may think Islam is too “old fashioned” and not in tune with the modern age.
Prove this wrong. Show how Islam is really about relating to Allah, which any human being can do, anywhere, anytime. Allah is always closer to you than your jugular vein and He hears and knows everything. Encourage friends to ask Allah’s help during tests, exams, and in dealing with problems at home with parents and siblings. Also point out how Islam relates to teenagers: Islam gives you focus and an understanding of who you are and where you are going, which most of “teen culture” does not.
Tip # 8 : Get Them Involved in Volunteer Work with You
If you are already involved in the community, get your friend to help out. Ask them to make a flyer for one of your youth group’s events or brainstorm for ideas about activities to hold this school year. This involvement makes them feel part of the Muslim community and deepens your friendship, since you are now working together on something beneficial for both of you. Make sure you thank them for their contribution.
Tip # 9 : Ask Them 4 Fundamental Questions
As your friendship develops, you will notice the topics you discuss may become more serious. You may be discussing, for instance, future goals and plans. Khan recommends four questions to ask that can steer the topic to Allah and Islam:
- Where am I going in life and what would make me really happy deep down inside?
- What do I believe?
- Who should I be grateful to?
- Did I get to where I am today without the help of anyone?
Tip # 10 : Emphasize Praying 5 Times a Day Before Any Other Aspect of Islam
A person’s main connection with Allah, on a daily basis, is through the prayer five times a day. Don’t emphasize any other aspect of Islam until your friend starts making a real effort to pray five times a day. Emphasize the direct connection one has with Allah in prayer. If they are facing a problem, tell them to pray, and to ask Allah for help in salah and outside this time. When possible, make it a point to pray together during your “hang out time”. If your friend begins to pray, that is the first step to other aspects of Islam like giving up swearing, treating parents with respect or dressing Islamically.
Tip # 11 : Help Instill Confidence In Adults
Adults, like Bart Simpson’s dad Homer, are considered bumbling idiots in the eyes of “teen culture”. Your job as a young Muslim is to help turn the tables on this false and un-Islamic belief. All you have to do is this: when a Muslim adult does something good (i.e. saving someone’s life, donating money to a worthy cause, the Imam gives a good speech, taking good care of his/her family) bring it up in the course of your conversations with your friend and praise the adult in question. Doing this regularly may not only change your friend’s perspective, but could lead to them seeing their own parents in a more respectful way.
Tip # 12 : Support Them Even When They Become More Practicing
Remember, just because a person starts practicing Islam more regularly, this does not mean everything will be okay from this point onwards. There will still be hard times, difficulties. There may be times when your friend may have doubts about his or her newfound practice of Islam. Be there to reassure them.
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With the Name of Allah, and in Him we seek assistance, and the praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah alone, without any associate, and there is nothing comparable to Him. And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and final Messenger.
In the current climate, many brothers and sisters in Britain have become preoccupied with the issue of the coming elections and debating the question of whether Muslims are allowed to vote and which party is most deserving of our vote. In reply, I would like to present the following clarification and advice.
It is clearly evident to any Muslim who possesses a basic understanding of Islam that the greatest and most important aim of Islamic law is the deterrence of evil or the reduction of harm, and the attainment of good or its increase. The establishment of a harmonious and successful way of life depends upon this principle. This is why the Islamic law – that is, the law of Allah – is never contrary to the basic needs of humanity, or establishes anything in contradiction to sound logic.
Subsequently, it is an obligation upon every Muslim to achieve this aim, whether in part or in its totality. However, it is apparent that it is virtually impossible to attain this objective in its absolute sense, in the majority of cases; yet, in spite of this, the Muslims must endeavour to carry out the necessary means that enable them to achieve this objective.
Based on this, it is obligatory for those Muslims living under the shadow of man-made law to take all the necessary steps and means to make the law of Allah , the Creator and the One who sustains, supreme and manifest in all aspects of life. If they are unable to do so, then it becomes obligatory for them to strive to minimise the evil and maximise the good.
In democratic countries which are ruled by man-made law, candidates from the various parties compete to attain power. Some of these parties or candidates are working against the benefit of humanity (i.e. against the law of the Creator), while the policies of others are less detrimental. Therefore, it is obligatory on the Muslims to utilise all means to promote the candidate who will best ensure the welfare of the people according to Islam, the law of their Creator, to be elected to the decision-making posts.
With regard to the upcoming elections in the UK, the Muslims are recommended or even obliged to vote for the party who will be of most benefit on a national and international level, who will increase upon that which is good, or at the least, lessen the extent of the current evil prevalent in the world today. At the same time, the Muslims should exert the utmost effort to oppose those whose policies are against the welfare of humanity.
Allah, the Exalted, says:
“Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety; but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [Al-Qur’an 5:3]
The final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever sees an evil, he should change it by his hands; if he could not do so, then he should change it by his tongue; if he could not do so, then he should do that by his heart, which is the least of faith.” [Muslim]. The Prophet, in this hadith (saying), did not allow the Muslim to remain idle and incapacitated when witnessing injustices while he is able to change them.
It is by the grace of Allah that British Muslims demonstrated a keener interest this year (2004) to participate in the elections, which reflects an improvement in their state, namely a more acute understanding and greater awareness amongst them.
Is it true that voting is an act of kufr (disbelief)?
On the other hand, those who consider such participation to be an act of kufr reached their conclusion based on two factors:
First: The inability to distinguish between establishing a democratic system in which people vote for one of a number of systems, and voting to select the best individual amongst a number of candidates within an already-established system imposed upon them and which they are unable to change within the immediate future. There is no doubt that the first type is an act of kufr, as Allah says:
“Legislation is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him.”[Al-Qur’an 12:41]
And He says:
“And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the kafirun(disbelievers).” [Al-Qur’an 5:44]
Secondly: Not realising that voting for a candidate or party who rules according to man-made law does not necessitate approval or acceptance for his method; this is a crucial point. It is clearly apparent that individuals are sometimes placed in a situation in which they are compelled to make decisions which may normally be deemed unacceptable or which may be far from their liking, due to the fact that it is the best available option open to them. For example, a sick person might be forced to do many things that he dislikes, such as taking particular kinds of medication or treatment, or even giving his consent for one of his limbs to be amputated – not because this is to his liking or acceptable to him, but because he simply does not have any other choice, or since it is by far the best alternative available for him at that time. The shar’iah allowed, or even obliged, the starving person, fearing death to eat un-slaughtered meat in order to preserve his life. No one can argue that he would customarily deem it acceptable or that he inclines towards that. For this reason, we caution our brothers and sisters from hastily passing judgements on such complicated issues based on the apparent situation, without possessing the deep understanding and powers of analysis that they require.
It is also pertinent at this point to remind my brothers and sisters here that we should participate in voting, believing that we are doing so in an attempt to minimise the evil, while at the same time maintaining that the best system is the shar’iah, which is the law of Allah.
Which party deserve our votes?
Finally, to address the most pressing question which remains outstanding: which party deserves our support in order to attain the aforementioned objectives?
The answer to such a question requires a deep and meticulous understanding of the political arena. Consequently, I believe that individuals should avoid involving themselves in this process and rather should entrust this responsibility to the prominent Muslim organisations that have sufficient experience and ability to determine the issue according to the interests of the Muslims.
Meanwhile, such organisations should agree upon a certain policy with regards to voting. For example, they can agree to vote for one or more parties or individuals.
It is upon the remainder of the Muslims therefore to accept and follow the decisions of these organisations. The basis for my statement is that:
- Unity among Muslims is obligatory. Among the many evidences for this is what Allah says in the Qur’an[3:103]:“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an or the guidance of Allah), and be not divided among yourselves … “
And the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, “Adhere to the jama’ah (community), and avoid division, for the Satan is closer to the lone individual and is far from a group. Whoever seeks the expanse of Paradise should stick to the jama’ah.” [at-Tirmidhi]
This unity in light of the current situation is a cohesion based upon ‘strategic decision making’ in order to have the greatest impact for the community of the Muslims. Such a uniform opinion regarding the elections cannot be attained unless the Muslims follow the conclusions, arrived at by the leading, experienced Muslim organisations, as described previously. This is the sole means to avoid disagreement, since the opinion of Muslims in this ijtihad matter differs widely and thus they will be in great opposition to one another. The impact and influence of our vote will be greatly diminished if we fail to vote as one voice, and instead each opts to follow our personal judgement.
- Voting itself is not obligatory or recommended according Islamic law, rather the aim behind it is to achieve the greatest benefit for Muslims or avoiding evil. This cannot be achieved unless the Muslims agree on one voice or one strategy by which they can influence other parties. If this is missing, then they will have no weight and no such influence. So if this is the case, the whole objective in voting is lost and there is then no benefit in participating in voting.
Based on this, I advise my brothers and sisters to forsake their individual opinions in favour of the opinion of the collective.
Before I conclude, I would like to mention some related advice:
- Some Muslims might come to the conclusion that abstention from the electoral process is better for Islam and the Muslims. If this is what an individual believes, then he should not impose his opinion upon other Muslims, by preventing them from voting or insisting that they abandon voting by arguing that it is an act of kufr. This would be tantamount to injustice and oppression.
- Muslims should not turn their mosques into forums for political campaigns. This act may reach the level of prohibition if it leads to disagreement, dispute, and aggression. Allah, the Exalted, forbade the latter when it came to religious matters, so consider then the prohibition of this in anything other than religion. Allah, the Exalted, said:“And be not of al-Mushrikun (disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc.); of those who split up their religion (i.e. who left the true Islamic Monotheism), and became sects.” [Al-Qur’an 30: 31-32]
Once the Muslims have agreed on a particular candidate or party, then they should vote for him without becoming preoccupied with this issue to the extent that they leave their primary obligation in the West as a result, and abandon calling people to Islam and clarifying the widespread misconceptions about the religion, for Allah says:
“And who is better in speech than he who says: ‘My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and invites (men) to Allah’s (Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims.’ “ [Al-Qur’an 41:33]
- Muslims should not rely heavily upon elections and voting to expedite major changes, particularly with respect to foreign policy. The wider political game is beyond the direct influence of political parties or politicians. Muslims are participating endeavouring to minimise the evil, at least in terms of the internal policy.
In closing, I have come to the conclusion that the major Muslim organisation concerned about politics in UK so far is the Muslim Association of Britain. They have done a great service by preparing a list of candidates whom they believe will best represent the interests of Muslims in the event they are elected. For example, they recommend that Muslims in London should vote for the Respect party, led by George Galloway. For those living in the South-East, they recommend that they vote for the Green Party, led by Caroline Lucas. As for the position of the Mayor of London, they advise Muslims to vote for Ken Livingstone. Therefore, we advise our brothers and sisters to visit their website (http://www.mabonline.net/) for more information on which candidates are being forwarded in their respective localities.
We ask Allah to guide us to the right path and to grant victory for law of our Lord, Allah in the UK and in other parts of the world.
The Signs are listed in roughly chronological order, although the order is not necessarily precise, especially for those in the future.
This is a brief summary of the signs; there are many books, articles, cassettes etc. which discuss these in greater detail. May Allah enable us to recognise and heed the Signs, and strengthen us in the times of tribulation.
“Are they waiting for anything except the Hour, to come to them suddenly? But its Signs have already come!” [Al-Qur’an 47:18]
1. Splitting of the Moon.
2. Death of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
3. A form of death which will kill thousands of Muslims – understood to refer to the plague of Amwas during the caliphate of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab.
4. A major fighting in Madinah – understood to refer to the battle of Al-Harrah during the caliphate of Yazid, 63H.
5. The Muslim conquest of Jerusalem.
6. The Muslim conquest of Constantinople.
7. Two large groups of Muslims will fight in war.
8. A war between the Muslims and a reddish people with small eyes, wearing sandals made of hair – understood to refer to the Mongol Tatar invasion of the Islamic lands.
9. A peace agreement between the Muslims and non-Muslims from the Chinese, Mongols, etc.
10. Thirty impostors (dajjal) will appear, each thinking he is a Prophet.
11. Naked, destitute, barefoot shepherds will compete in building tall buildings.
12. The slave-woman will give birth to her master or mistress.
13. A trial (fitnah) which will enter every Arab household.
14. Knowledge will be taken away (by the death of people of knowledge), and ignorance will prevail.
15. Wine (intoxicants, alcohol) will be drunk in great quantities.
16. Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.
17. Earthquakes will increase.
18. Time will pass more quickly.
19. Tribulations (fitan) will prevail.
20. Bloodshed will increase.
21. A man will pass by the grave of another and wish he was in the latter’s place.
22. Trustworthiness will be lost, i.e. when authority is given to those who do not deserve it.
23. People will gather for prayer, but will be unable to find an Imam to lead them.
24. The number of men will decrease, whilst the number of women will increase, until for every man there are 50 women.
25. The Euphrates will reveal a treasure of gold, and many will die fighting over it, each one hoping to be the one who gains the treasure.
26. The Romans (Europeans) will come to a place called A’maq or Wabiq, and an army of the best people will go forth from Madinah to face them.
27. The Muslim conquest of Rome.
28. The Mahdi (guided one) will appear, and be the Imam of the Muslims.
29. Jesus Christ will descend in Damascus, and pray behind the Mahdi.
30. Jesus will break the cross and kill the swine, i.e. destroy the false christianity.
31. The Antichrist (al-masih ad-dajjal, the false christ) will appear, with all his tools of deception, and be an immense trial. He will be followed by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan (present-day Iran).
32. The appearance of Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog), and the associated tribulations.
33. The emergence of the Beast from the Earth, carrying the Staff of Moses and the Seal of Solomon, who will speak to the people, telling them they did not believe with certainty in the Divine Signs.
34. A major war between the Muslims (including Jews and Christians who truly believe in Jesus after his return) led by the Imam Mahdi, and the Jews plus other non-Muslims led by the Antichrist.
35. Jesus will kill the Antichrist at the gate of Ludd (Lod in present-day Israel, site of an airport and a major Israeli military base).
36. A time of great peace and serenity during and after the remaining lifetime of Jesus.
37. Wealth will come so abundant that it will become difficult to find someone to accept charity.
38. Arabia will become a land of gardens and rivers.
39. Society will then decay.
40. The buttocks of the women of the tribe of Daws will again sway in circumambulation (tawaf) around the idol Dhul-Khulsah.
41. A great fire in the Hijaz, seen by the inhabitants of Busra.
42. Three major armies will sink into the earth: one in the east, one in the west, one in Arabia.
43. An Abyssinian leader with thin shins will destroy the Ka’bah.
44. The huge cloud of smoke.
45. The sun will rise from the west (its place of setting).
46. A gentle wind which will take the souls of the believers.
47. There is no-one left on the earth saying, “Allah, Allah” or “There is no god except Allah.”
48. Eventually the Day of Judgment is established upon the worst of the people, who copulate like donkeys in public.
49. The blowing in the Trumpet by the Angel Israfil, upon which everyone will faint except as Allah wills.
50. The second blowing in the Trumpet, upon which everyone will be resurrected.
(s) From a lecture hosted by Cambridge University Islamic Society, Shawwal 1420H / January 2000CE.