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Lifestyle : Everything Pets Special Report
1HERSA1 C033 The Sydney Morning Herald smh.com.au March 9-10, 2013 33 THE PET FILE Owner: Belinda Norman, 39, Marrickville What is it? Lily is a two-year-old mouse. Where do I get one? We got Lily and another mouse, Pippin, from a breeder we found online. Together, they cost $15. We had a tragedy last month when Pippin died. What does it cost to keep one? Food costs are negligible, and we got an exciting-looking cage that cost $40 to $50. What maintenance is required? You should clean out the cage about once a week. Who does it suit? They're good for kids but an adult will probably have to clean out the cage. Pros and cons? They're no fuss, no bother compared to a cat or a dog. Weighing up the pros of big dogs Larger pets may cost more to feed and maintain but they more than reciprocate that attention, writes Katrina Lobley. Tall boy: Sarah Eves with Boo, her four-year-old Great Dane. Photo: Anna Kucera Great Dane jokes? Sarah Eves has heard them all. "You get the typical, 'Oh look, there's a horse -- do you have a saddle for that?'," says the Petersham owner of Boo, a four- year-old, 60-kilogram Great Dane. "Some Dane owners will go off their nut and say, 'Don't call my dog a horse!' but people saying it don't know I've heard it 50 times. I don't get precious about that one. I know he's big." Everything, it seems, is bigger when your furry friend is a large breed, including the size of the food bills. Eves estimates she spends about $200 a month feeding Boo. His diet includes dog biscuits, chicken wings and canned tuna, salmon and sardines. (The Guinness World Records lists the world's tallest dog as Zeus, a Great Dane from Michigan, US, who stands 1.11 metres from paw to withers.) Andrea Black, of Marrickville, spends more than that feeding her 12-year-old Old English sheepdog Dewey, who is half the weight of Boo. Because of his advanced age, Dewey needs dog biscuits that cost $120 a fortnight. He also snacks on the white meat of three roast chickens a week. For Eves, canine food bills aren't the only thing that's big. "Your flea control is more expensive, your leads, the beds are bigger, you go to the vets and a course of antibiotics is $110," she says. But it's worth it, she says. "Danes have a short lifespan -- they have a nine- to 11-year lifespan, which isalotlessthanalotofotherdogs--but what you get from them in that time makes up for it. They're a beautiful dog to own. They can be a bit un-doglike in some ways. They can be an emotional dog -- they like to be with their people.'' Similarly, sheepdog Dewey prefers to stick close to his owner. "The first thing people say is, "I hope you've got a big yard'," says Black. "I live in a courtyard apartment. As long as he gets two walks a day, he's not going to run around a yard anyway. He wants to be next to you all the time -- if they're touching your leg, they're happy." Eves is keen that Boo is a good ambassador for his breed. "He's a lot stronger than me but it's my responsibility in having a big dog to make sure he's under my control at all times," she says. "When you have a big dog, because they're so noticeable their behaviour is magnified. If a big dog is playing up and pulling its owner, you're going to notice." Everything Pets This week only in 15% off Revolution for Cats and Revolution for Dogs 6-packs* iG5848042AA-090313 Your pet is family So they always deserve the best. Revolution provides essential vet-grade protection for cats and dogs against fleas, heartworm and other nasties. FInd out more at revolution.com.au Copyright © 2013 Zoetis Inc. All rights reserved. This information is intended only for residents of Australia. Zoetis Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 94 156 476 425). 38-42 Wharf Road, West Ryde, NSW, 2114. www.zoetis.com.au *Offer available in PetBarn stores in NSW and ACT, offer ends Friday 15th March 2013. vet-grade protection
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