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Wolf pup playing at the San Diego Zoo

A playful two-month-old grey wolf pup is spending time in the Children’s Zoo nursery at the San Diego Zoo. The 23-pound pup, named Shadow, is in the process of completing a 30-day quarantine, after which he will live at Wegeforth Bowl and serve as an ambassador for his species. 

Animal care staff members are introducing Shadow to various smells and sights, which will help prepare him for his new role as an animal ambassador. Keepers working with Shadow will give him items such as ficus browse to smell and chew, ice cubes to chase around or cardboard boxes to climb on. The young wolf can also see guests visiting him at the nursery, which keepers say is also beneficial.

“He sees people in the window when they come by to visit; these things are all new and interesting to him. You’ll see him key in on something and really get in tune with it,” said Kim Weibel, senior keeper of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo. “That’s a neat thing with wolves, the way they tune into things; they are very intelligent,” Weibel said.

How to get into your pet head space

I know a lot of pets, especially obscure pets, have difficulty getting into the head space of their species. So here is a list of different activities you can try to help yourself enjoy being the pet that you are. There are a lot of other types of pets out there and some of these activities may repeat, but I am going off of the pet list I made a few months ago. Click here to see the list.

[ * DISCLAIMER: I do not have full knowledge about each of these types of pets, so I am going by research I’ve done and pets that I’ve talked to. Feel free to add your own activities beneath. ]


TIPS FOR ALL PETS:

  • Make noises. Depending on your species, practice barking, mewing, growling, whinnying, purring, etc. If may feel weird and embarrassing at first, but try to do it little by little until you enjoy it. And if you don’t enjoy it, then don’t do it.
  • Wear gear. Whether you can afford a little or a lot, gear will help you feel more like the pet you are.
  • Don’t be embarrassed. I know it’s difficult, especially if you’re just starting off, to do some of these things and act like a pet. But if you enjoy it, then there is no reason to be embarrassed about it. Just start slow and ease yourself into it.
  • Adapt to your own preferences. The list below is not concrete. You do not have to do the things listed just because they are listed for your species. Example: if you’re a lamb and you see something listed for a ferret and enjoy it, then do it.

TIPS FOR SPECIFIC PETS:

  • Bat: eat fruit, wear fangs, wrap yourself in a blanket, enjoy the nighttime
  • Bear: wander around outside, roll around in bed, play with a large ball
  • Big Cat: climb things, pounce on/stalk toys, practice grooming/hygiene
  • Bunny: eat veggies/fruit, cuddle someone/something, hide, color
  • Dragon: go outdoors and collect things, organize collections
  • Fawn: eat veggies/fruit, go to the woods, bounce around, explore
  • Ferret: dig through a pile of blankets, hide other’s items, roll around
  • Fox: play tricks on others, hide in small spaces, go for a run
  • Kitten: wear a collar, play with toys, practice grooming
  • Lamb: enjoy physical attention, get “dolled-up”, eat veggies/fruit
  • Pig: roll around in blankets, minimize movement, enjoy snacks
  • Pony: run/gallop through the woods, chew on veggies/fruit, head gear
  • Puppy: chase a ball, chew a toy bone, wrestle with your own dog
  • Rat: hoard food items, bite/lick others, hide other’s objects for fun
  • Wolf: chew beef jerky, tear at toys, look after others, brush your hair