The Story of Tori, the disabled doggie who brings joy to others

Not Just Pets was privileged to play host to a delightful visitor from Michigan in the USA this week – Tori, the disabled service dog.


Tori’s owner Jana says:

“I got Tori when she was 6 months old from a rescue group in Texas. She has degenerative disc disease and ruptured a disc in Oct 2009 and had surgery at Michigan State University Vet Clinic, she ruptured another one in Feb 2010 and had another surgery. The second one she didn’t recover from and could not walk or stand. We got her a custom wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels and it rehabilitated her so she can now walk and stand but continues to use the wheelchair because she has one weak back leg that drags. The vet suggested I get her certified as a therapy dog in 2011 so I did and she LOVES it. She’s an amazing little dog.

She is the sweetest, most comical dog. I can’t travel without her, we are very bonded. She loves her therapy work too and works magic with children.”

Tori travels with Jana to nursing homes, schools and anywhere where she can bring help and therapy to those who need it. People are drawn to her and Tori brought a smile to all the customers and visitors at Not Just Pets on St James Parade in Bath on Friday – and also managed to raise funds for Blind Dog Rescue UK with a small raffle – with prizes brought all the way from America.


You can follow Not Just Pets on Twitter @NotJustPets

on Facebook at

on Pinterest here  or find us at

8-9 St James Parade, Bath BA1 1UL   Tel: 01225 461461 E: [email protected]

Not Just Pets wins TWO Industry Awards!


Wow oh wow! What a fabulous week we have had. We are delighted to tell everyone that Not Just Pets has just been named as PetQuip UK Independent Pet Retailer of the Year 2013! Isn’t that fantastic? The awards were given at a dinner at PATS Harrogate (Pet and Aquatic Trade Show) and were sponsored by Westland, Petface, Group55 and PATS with the media partner being Pet Business World. We were commended for devotion to customers, knowledge, creativity and work within the community. We have worked hard during the past year to forge links with our local community and support local animal charities as well as promoting the cause of the independent retailer. We were completely gobsmacked to win this award and we are obviously over the moon, especially as the calibre of other entries was so high, such as Scampers and Dobbies.


Not only that we have just discovered that we have won the overall award for National Pet Month for our events during National Pet Month this year. The judges felt that our events did the best to further the aims of NPM and to promote responsible pet ownership. It means so much to have all the hard work of the team at Not Just Pets rewarded in this way. Everyone at Not Just Pets worked really hard this year to think of new ways to get our community involved with events for National Pet Month (including dressing as Jedi for May the 4th), and we had fantastic support from so many different people, from our local vet, local rescue centres (Bath Cats and Dogs and Bath Bunny Rescue), our fabulous suppliers, local pet portrait artists, animal experts/trainers and of course our wonderful customers. We raised over £1300 for local animal charities and did a grand job of promoting responsible pet ownership – and we had fun doing it!

We feel that these awards really show that hard work does pay off and that it is important to keep evolving and adapting to move forwards in our industry. We try to listen to our customers and get involved in our local communities with events, through social media, supporting local animal rescue centres etc. We are very keen to promote responsible pet ownership and to keep driving trade to the independent retailer. We were in prestigious company at the PetQuip awards and are delighted too for all the awards given to our partners and suppliers in the industry such as Peregrine Livefoods, Beaphar, Collarways, Canagan, Natures Menu, Burgess, James & Steel and Marriage’s Feeds.


We had a busy weekend as we were judges for some of the product awards and there were so many fabulous products in the showcase. It was a real treat to see so many British products on offer and also so many strides being made for the independent retail trade by suppliers offering good quality, unique products.

We shall soon be working with Pure pet foods and their fabulous dehydrated dog food – which is made in a human grade factory so it really is good enough to eat. Plus we shall be stocking the new Beaphar Calming spot on – a great alternative to other calming products especially for pets on the move. We already stock the Natures Menu range and we were delighted to see some fabulous new products in their Country Hunter range (don’t say that one too quickly!) We also really liked the new Soopa treat range – good enough for us to eat again although not recommended for owners, more for dogs (a little chewy). These come in yummy flavours like Papaya, Coconut and Sweet Potato. We shall be stocking these soon.

We are moving things around at the Bath Pet Shop with some changes coming soon – including a new Pet Boutique instore. Do let us know if there is anything particular you would like us to stock.

Please share our stories and join in the discussion on Facebook and Twitter @NotJustPets – and don’t forget to check our Pinterest boards too.


Not Just Pets is based in Bath, Larkhall and Frome with the main store at 8-9 St James Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL and a website at You can follow us Facebook at and on Twitter at @NotJustPets


Not Just Pets raises funds for Bunny Rehoming in Bath


Just a short blog this week to let you know about a fabulous rabbit rehoming service in Bath, run by Michelle Addison. We got to know Michelle when she attended one of our Open Days at Larkhall in April and since then we have been working with Michelle to help her with her mission to rehome Bath’s abandoned bunnies.


Last Saturday we held a huge Cake Sale and Raffle for Bath Bunny Rescue which was supported by many fabulous businesses in Bath including The Society Café, Green Rocket Café,Indulgence Café, Coffee @ Camden, Roman Candles and the Pig Guide among others. There were some wonderful prizes donated from the likes of Heather’s Pet Care, who gave free dogwalking sessions and photo shoot sessions, Smallprint Silver Fingerprint Jewellery in Bath who gave jewellery prizes, Highcroft Vets in Whitchurch who gave a £25 voucher and this was one of the amazing cake prizes, thanks to Indulgence Café in Bath. (photo thanks to @ThePigGuide) 

We just wanted to thank all those involved and especially our lovely customers for buying all the raffle tickets and yummy cakes. We raised around £200 and the money will go towards vaccinating and neutering the rabbits so that they can find new forever homes as quickly as possible. If you have any questions you can join Michelle on Facebook at Bath Bunny Rescue or on Twitter @BunnyRehoming or via her website at

Don’t forget we have veterinary appointments every Thursday and Friday with David Tweedle, our Resident Vet from Nature’s Veterinary – telephone 01225 461461 for details. We now offer Pet Passports, boosters, nail clipping, microchipping, anal glands, flea and worm checks and health checks.

You can follow us at, on Facebook at, on Twitter @NotJustPets or email us at [email protected] Or pop in or ring us on 01225 461461. 8-9 St James Parade, Bath. Come on in, you’ll be welcome 🙂

Exciting News at Not Just Pets! Plus – it’s hot, hot, hot! – and choosing a first pet for your child

Hello Everyone!

So sorry we missed our June blog – life got a little crazy at Not Just Pets and as it got hotter outside, we seemed to have even more to do.

First – exciting news! We are delighted to say that have teamed up with Nature’s Veterinary in Bath and David Tweedle is our new resident vet in our Bath store. We are starting out by offering a couple of surgeries a week, on Thursdays and Fridays between 1pm and 2.30pm and we hope to expand on this soon. Here is a list of what we will be offering:

  • Microchipping and Registration: £10
  • Nail Clipping:  £10
  • Health Check: £25
  • Dog Annual Booster: £35
  • Cat Annual Booster: £35
  • Puppy/Kitten Pack: £65 (includes first and second vaccinations, worming, flea treatment and microchipping)
  • Anal Glands: £20
  • Full Pet Passport: £90 (includes microchipping and rabies vaccination)

You can book either by telephoning on 01225 461461, online via email at [email protected] or via our website at – or send us a message via Facebook or Twitter @NotJustPets

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot!

It really is hot at the moment, and getting hotter and the middle of July looks set to be a scorcher. Please remember to keep your dogs cool, give plenty of water and never, ever leave them in a car in this weather, even with the window open. Please share the “Don’t Cook your Dog” message and sign up to the campaign.

Also, please remember that they have sensitive paw pads and walking on concrete pavements, tarmac and similar surfaces can really damage their paws. Here is a Facebook link from which shows the damage which can be done to a dog’s paws from walking on hot surfaces: 71599dedc4c1f7bffe03884ec97a37f7    

Sorry if you find that picture distressing, but it does highlight the problem. We have help on hand though – we sell PawZ, a fantastic product which can help with just this situation, as well as a myriad of others including post-infection protection, ice, salt, allergies etc. These dog boots are so easy to put on, dogs seem to love them and they are totally waterproof, reusable and and disposable and come in a pack of 12! Fantastic value, for all size of dog.


We have other ways to keep your dog cool – including Billy + Margot’s iced treats, which are a HUGE hit this summer. Our dog, Luna, loves them. Here’s a short video of her enjoying them – just give a small amount each time, only £2.99 a pot and they get a nutritious, cooling treat.

Gluten-free and dairy-free, just frozen nutritious fruit – they come in three flavours, Strawberry + Apple, Apple, Banana + Carrot and Honey + Banana. These iced treats are  buy Gabapentin for dogs online uk 100% vegetarian  and made only from human ingredients (yes you can try them yourself, they are yummy!) You can buy a handy cool-bag too to transport them.

Ever wonder why your cat won’t drink its water from a bowl? Some cats are particularly fussy about this. Here’s a link to the Cats Protection LearnOnline page which might answer your questions.

The African wildcat

Having their head down to drink is a vulnerable position so cats prefer a wide, reflective surface so they can see if anything is coming up behind them.

African wildcats prefer a fresh, moving water source to a stagnant pool.

African wildcats will drink at an alternative location to sites of eating and toileting to avoid contamination from gut contents of prey, or own faeces.

As desert animals, they have evolved efficient kidneys and don’t need to drink a large amount.

Their prey contains about 90% water, similar to wet cat food.

Finally, we would like to put up a link to a website from one of our American cousins, which discusses the merits of buying a first pet for a child – which one to choose and why. We liked this little article so we are posting a link to it here and printing it below (changing the word ‘kids’ to ‘children’ for the benefit of our English readers. We hope you like it.

10 of the Best Pets for Families with Young Children

At some point in your life as a parent, you will be besieged by bargaining, pleading and begging for the addition of a family pet. While your first reaction may be to change the subject or issue a flat-out denial, the truth is that caring for a pet can be a rich and rewarding experience for your children. They’ll learn compassion and responsibility, as well as the rewarding feeling of caring for another living being. That being said, not all pets are ideal for families with young children. These ten animals, however, tend to be a great fit with young families.

Fish – Unless you opt for a massive saltwater tank filled with exotic specimens, fish can be an ideal first pet for youngsters. They require daily maintenance that will keep children interested, but not so much care that little ones become overwhelmed. They’re also virtually guaranteed not to scratch or bite.
Guinea Pigs – There’s a reason why these furry friends find their way into so many schools as elementary school class pets; they’re great with children and fun to interact with. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to place an exercise wheel in their cages like those commonly found in hamster cages, as running on them can cause leg and joint damage in these unique critters.
Rats – Throw away your preconceptions about rats long enough to truly research them, and you may be surprised to find that they’re one of the pets best suited to life with a young family. Sociable and gentle, rats are relatively easy to care for and don’t mind being handled.
Small Dogs – While many parents think that larger breeds like Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the best bet for households with children, their size alone can be intimidating to small children. Instead, consider a smaller breed with enough energy to play for hours that’s not so big that children are frightened.
Ants – The battle to keep them out of your kitchen seems overwhelming, so at first blush, the last thing you’d want to add to your family is a box full of ants. They’re actually fascinating creatures to watch, very inexpensive to keep and only likely to escape if children deliberately let them out of their habitat.
Sea Monkeys – Few pets offer children the opportunity to watch something come to life, but the brine shrimp commonly referred to as sea monkeys do just that. Like ant farms, their habitats are inexpensive to maintain and provide children with hours of observational fun without requiring extensive upkeep.
Birds – As long as they’re chosen for temperament rather than showy color, certain types of bird make great pets for children. Their cheery chirping brings a smile to little faces, but their cages do require adult assistance for cleaning and maintenance.
Gerbils – While gerbils require less maintenance than cats or dogs, they do need lots of attention and affection to thrive. They’re very unlikely to hurt children, but little hands can cause the gerbil injury if they get too rough. Be sure to have a long talk about gentleness with your little ones before introducing a gerbil to the family, then enjoy the fun!
Hamsters – Similar to gerbils in some ways, hamsters are another fun and cuddly member of the rodent family that make great pets for children. It’s not a great idea to keep the cage in kids’ bedrooms, however, as these naturally nocturnal critters can make just enough noise to disrupt children’s sleep if they’re in the same room at night.
Leopard Geckos – There’s something about reptiles that appeals to children, but not all are safe for children. Iguanas, for instance, have razor sharp teeth that they won’t hesitate to plunge into an offending hand if they feel the urge. They also can carry salmonella. Leopard geckos, however, do tolerate handling and will only reach about eight inches in length, making them more manageable for families with children.

Before you commit to bringing a pet into your home, it’s important that you ensure that you’re well-versed in the care the animal will require and aware of the fact that pet ownership is a commitment that should be taken very seriously. In addition to flooding the market with adult animals that aren’t likely to find homes, changing your mind after lengthy ownership can be hurtful to children that have grown attached to their animal friends.

We now have a Pinterest account and we have begun with two boards featuring customers’ pets – Beautiful Bunnies and Customers’ Cats. Do pop over and take a look 🙂

Please let us know if you like our articles and any constructive feedback you have is very much welcomed. You can follow us on Twitter at @NotJustPets, on Facebook at or contact us by email at [email protected] or via our website at

Thank you for reading! 🙂

A very successful National Pet Month at Not Just Pets – thanks to all of you!


Not Just Pets celebrated National Pet Month in style with three fabulous open days at each of the stores – at Larkhall on 20th April, at Frome on 27th April and in the main Bath store on 4th May.

All three events were very slightly different but they all emphasised the theme of National Pet Month which this year was “Your Pets and You; Companions for Life” and promoted responsible pet ownership, the ethos of National Pet Month. The events were a huge success and really well-attended with visitors coming from the local area and further afield. The weather was kind on all three days which helped the days go with a real swing!

The Larkhall event raised funds for Bath Cats and Dogs Home, Greyhound Rescue West of England and for Bunny Rehoming in Bath. There was plenty of animal handling (including ferrets), experts on hand to advise on dog behaviour and small animal rescue, offers on good quality foods and nutrition advice and a local pet portrait artist. Total fundraising on the day came to £187.57 with special help from Claverton, the mascot from Bath Cats and Dogs Home.


The Frome event almost took over the Kingsway precinct in Frome with activities from demonstrations and parades by dog handlers from the Frome K9 dog training school, to a huge stall from Cats Protection, nutrition advice from good quality food suppliers, personal encounters with Boo the European Eagle Owl, lots of competitions including a “guess the breed” competition from the local vet – plus he was on hand to answer questions. There were meet and greet sessions and handling with rescue greyhounds, bunnies, rats and more, face painting, a fabulous raffle and local pet portrait artist too. Funds were raised for the local small animal rescue centre CottonTails and for Greyhound Rescue West of England. The total raised on the day was £494.59 and £17.50 of merchandise sold by GRWE on the day.

The Bath event took a slightly different format. There were talks being given every half hour on all the different types of companion pet from hamsters at 11am to fish at 4pm with lizards, small furries, spiders, snakes, dogs and cats in between. In total eleven different talks with some amazing animals on hand, all given by either staff of Not Just Pets in Bath or visiting experts. The staff were dressed as Jedi instructors as it was May the 4th (May the Fourth Be With You!) The talks covered all aspects of the different pets people keep, how to look after them and why they make such good companions. Nutrition advisers, animal behaviour experts and a local pet portrait artist all supported the day too.

This event also raised funds and awareness for Bath Cats and Dogs Home  and for the local Cats Protection in Bath and the small animal rescue centre. The total raised was £104.78 instore plus much more in BCDH buckets – totals to be announced soon. There was a pet photo competition which was a big hit and was won by this handsome fellow called Koda, with a cute Westie and another cute German Shepherd as runners up. We had sixteen entries which all raised funds for Bath Cats and Dogs Home and over 100 votes instore and likes on Facebook.

The three events were fun, educational and did much to promote the National Pet Month ethos and this year’s theme of pet companionship. Not Just Pets would like to thank all those who supported the event, whether by attending and giving a talk or advice, by helping with promotion or oganisation, by sharing their invaluable knowledge and to the wonderful customers who turned up and took part and donated on the day.



Pictures from the event are on Facebook here for Larkhall:

here for Frome:

and here for Bath:

You can follow Not Just Pets on Facebook at or on Twitter at @NotJustPets

Email on [email protected] or telephone on 01225 461461

Not Just Pets, 8-9 St James Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL