Animal Exchange (301) 424-PETS  
Small Mammals
Fish & Herptiles
Dog & Cat Supplies
Annual Store Events
Tip Sheets

Store Hours:
Mon., Thurs 10-8
Wed., Fri., Sat 10-6
Sun 11-3
Closed Tuesdays

(301) 424-7387

July 3, 2015

Rockville Science Cafes

Filed under: Science Cafes,Store News — admin @ 2:39 pm

This Summer will have a presentation on Space Exploration on July 21 and on August 18 the topic is Rain Gardens. Cafes are held at Branded ’72 on East Gude Drive so you can come before the 7 PM start, get a lovely  meal with beverage of your choice and settle in for an always informative presentation. There are always seats still available at 6:30 but often it is standing room only by 7 so come early.

Summer Specials

Filed under: Bird Care,Seasonal,Store News — admin @ 2:29 pm

This Summer I have finally admitted that I have too many Antique Bird Cages. They fascinate me with their craftsmanship, materials and design but not with their size. In fact it’s amazing that birds actually lived as long as they did in them. So they will be occasionally available at the store, some with the marvelous heavily weighted brass stands that they  hang on. They are beautiful  historic treasures that are great with an artificial bird, plants or even just empty. Stop by and see them.

June 2, 2015

Are you an inventor?

Filed under: Small Animals,Store News — admin @ 10:30 am

Some of our customers are. The bird toys we sell include toys that are designed and built by more than 3 inventors who we mentored as they satisfied the needs of their pets. In the near future, we will be offering a Roborski Hamster Playground that not only was designed by a young lady with her father’s help but is being manufactured by a major pet industry supplier. How great is that? Are you next?

Why do birds eat so much?

Filed under: Bird Care,Seasonal,Store News,Uncategorized,Wild birds — admin @ 10:21 am

This question has come up a lot recently and for right now the answers are:

#1 It’s breeding season and if you are feeding a family it requires more groceries.

#2 Day length is still increasing so even your single pet bird is seeing the food for a longer period and eating more.

#3 Birds body temperature is higher than ours, about 104 degrees and so they always eat more in proportion to body weight. It takes fuel to maintain 104!

So what do we do if the Vet. says our bird is a perch potato and needs more exercise?

#1 Move the food farther away. If you have a tall cage, put the food in one of our blue and tan ceramic bowls on the floor of the cage – not directly under the perch.

#2 Feed lower calorie foods like kale and carrots in the morning from the regular food bowl.

#3 Do not feed on playpens. Encourage them to play instead with rotating toys. We have some great new toys in right now.

#4 Hide favorite foods in foraging toys that make the bird work for those nuts.

#5 Share your summer salads with the bird.

March 31, 2015

April Science Cafe

Filed under: Science Cafes,Store News — admin @ 8:59 am

April 21 is the day when we will host Dr Linda Rayor from Cornell University at the next Rockville Science Cafe. The topic is Spiders!!!

Dr Rayor studies social spiders in Australia and taught a wonderful Summer school course that I was fortunate to attend . If you have a pet spider please call the store if you would like to bring it to the program that evening. It is sure to be an excellent presentation.

Pink Chicks

Filed under: Bird Care,Store News,Uncategorized — admin @ 8:52 am

They are not dyed but they are and will stay a beautiful pastel pink color. They are the rosy mutation of the Bourkes Parakeet. These little guys that we are just finishing hand feeding will be ready to go to new homes right after Easter and are very different than most parrot family birds. They have a lovely sweet voice, are very gentle and have even been kept with other species like canaries successfully. If you are on our newsletter mailing list, you can see a lovely photo of them there.

March 7, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:17 pm

Will the snow ever be gone? Well the birds think Spring is coming and that is because the day length is increasing. Even though it was 12 degrees on my front porch this morning, I could hear the Spring songs of the song sparrow and the cardinal. While our pet birds are inside, if there is a window they know too. We have had eggs appear in the finch cage and even parakeet although there is no nest in sight.

Easter is coming but we do not sell Easter Bunnies. When we have a bunny go home with you it is an 8-12 year commitment to a great companion animal, a year round rabbit. The bunnies here now are from a Lionhead breeder so they are fluffier than most. Ask us to take one out when you are here.

March 14, 2015 is the real Pi Day  3.1415…… If you are reading this before then, join us for a night of comedy with Tim Lee, a PhD ecologist from California who is performing at F Scott Fitzgerald theater here in Rockville. If you can’t be here, you can still enjoy some of his hilarious interpretations of science by seeing his videos on you Tube.

The next Rockville Science Cafe which is normally on the 3rd Tuesday of the month has been moved to March 24 rather than compete with a live band at Branded ’72 on St Patricks Day. Dr Valentina Aquila will be speaking about how Volcanoes are effecting Climate.  April’s Cafe will be on April 21 and features Dr Linda Rayor from Cornell University who will lead a discussion on Spiders. Join us for these FREE Cafes. The store can tell you what’s up next for each month.

January 28, 2015

Vote NO on Bill 5014

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:21 am

Montgomery County is deciding on a Bill that would eliminate ones choices in how they acquire a companion dog or cat. Here is my testimony:

Chairman Leventhal and distinguished members of the Montgomery County Council:

My name is Ruth Hanessian. I reside at 303 Highland Ave in Rockville and operate a retail pet store at 605 Hungerford Drive where for the last 35 years we have provided locally raised companion animals.

I am opposed to Bill 5014.

Montgomery County deserves choices. We are a county filled with intelligent animal lovers. We have always encouraged adoption of dogs from shelters and if you cannot find an animal there, many of our customers went to Potomac Kennels or other retail sources where various breeds of puppies were offered and comparisons could be made. If legitimate retail options, which are licensed, inspected, and collect sales tax, are eliminated, citizens wanting a puppy will increasingly move to unregulated sources (backyard breeders, unidentified lineage (shelters), and older animals with uncertain history (rescues). While these all have many potentially successful dogs, they are not right for everyone.

A “NO PETS ALLOWED” 6th floor apartment in the Bronx meant a very late start for this pet lover when dogs were concerned, but let me share my dogs with you:

My first dog, when I was 23, came from a “rescue”—a home with dogs and cats in every corner & on every surface. “Hoarder” would have been a better description of the lady. I was thrilled to have “saved” Cinder when in reality I simply condemned more animals to a life of misery. Cinder came with tapeworms, among other things.

Skipper, my Yorkie, belonged to a neighbor and when she gave him to me at one year it became clear he was not house broken! He came from the same model house as mine. With the same corners to pee on, one year of house breaking followed!

Jodi, a beautiful Irish Setter came from the Montgomery County Humane Society. When she joined the family we had a large fenced yard in Gaithersburg. With a divorce impending, a fenced yard in Rockville with a very tiny house with unusually low ceilings was my only option for a new home for the two of us.

Foxie was the best! A Poodle, Chihuahua, Terrier, he was the first puppy I ever had. He and his litter mates were offered to me for sale by a Potomac lady who had been surprised by their arrival. Jodi had recently died of bloat so while I did not sell puppies, they came by the store on the way to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and Foxie stayed with me for 15 wonderful years. He was my first puppy albeit probably not yet eight weeks old.

Because of all the dogs that visited my store while they were shopping, many breeds proved unappealing to me but a Schipperke was fascinating. My vet gave me the name of a local breeder but visiting her house did not impress me. So I talked to an excellent puppy store that many of my customers did business with—Potomac Kennels. Sueanne called me when she had a Schipperke puppy come in and Spot, the most beautiful black bundle of energy, came to live with me. A minor medical issue was handled by Potomac Kennels and Spot’s AKC paperwork arrived as promised.

So one of my four dogs benefitted the County with sales tax, three did not! One supported a family owned small business of excellence because by the time Spot came to live with me, my small business was providing enough income for me to pay up front for the dog that in the long run cost me the least.

Too many animals today are being purchased on the internet from distant sources that have great web pages. My experience has been that a visit to these locations confirms it is not what it appeared to be. My College classmate was entranced by one Cockapoo breeder until she visited. Her puppy ultimately came from Virginia, two hours south of here.

Shelters are actually importing (300,000 one year) puppies from Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and recently a group destined for the meat market in Korea. It’s hard to believe these are appropriate sources for families with expectations on size and behavior for their new family member.

Montgomery County euthanizes very few adoptable animals. About 25 years ago I reviewed all 12,000 animals passing through the shelter in one year. There were less than 150 dogs that were euthanized that year that might possibly have been adoptable. The last time I checked figures, we were DOWN to 7,000 a year.

Today Potomac Kennels is gone, victim to the high cost of doing business in Montgomery County and the huge amount of effort necessary to operate a facility with live animals properly. Let me also point out that a retail store PAYS for their inventory and then has the same expenses for veterinary care as anyone with live animals. Our veterinary relationship and our business are crucial for the wellbeing of our pets. Sueanne’s vet checked each one of the puppies she purchased from Legal Commercial Breeding Facilities that were also licensed, inspected, and had their own veterinary relationships prior to providing puppies after eight weeks of age—the legal age for sale here. Many were the nights she was not home with her three daughters because puppies were arriving. Thank goodness for her outstanding and supportive husband!

Bill 5014 is an example of legislation that sounds kind and helpful while the result will be to decrease responsible choosing of what everyone wants to be a successful family experience for both pet and people.

Please vote NO on Bill 5014.

December 27, 2014


Filed under: Seasonal,Store News,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:40 am


—Help even more of you become successful Bird Breeders.

—Provide the best food, supplies and advice so all your pets live a long and wonderful life.

—Continue to respect your time by opening ( and closing ) on time.

—Expand the videos on the YouTube Animal Exchange channel. What would you like us to do?

—Succeed in explaining to bird owners why wing feather trimming is so important before their pet bird flies off or hurts itself. See our video for how to or make an appointment for us to trim.

—Share your life ( and food) with a great companion,  but no chocolate for dogs, no avocado for bird, and common sense with amounts. My Parrot let loves chicken.

—Enjoy all  Companion Animals  and the people who love and care for them.

November 24, 2014

Holidays Are Here

Filed under: Seasonal,Store News,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:43 am

With Thanksgiving upon us this week, I want to thank you for your love of animals. The comments of our customers constantly remind us that pets are truly a blessing and we have been instrumental in assuring that the equipment and care they have leads to a long and successful life.

Holidays are the time to share the bounty with your animals. The small animals are thrilled with a handful of fresh Oxbow Hay every day. We work hard to always have the biggest and best Spray Millet for the birds but any Hamster would also love it. Whole Life Freeze Dried Treats are American Made with the highest quality meats available. In addition to being good, they are simple to crumble so you get multiple rewards from each piece. Ask us for help with any pets  and take advantage of our 35 years experience.


« Previous PageNext Page »