Author Archives: njpadmin

Treating your cat this Valentine’s Day: Homemade treats for your feline companion

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the ones we love the most in life, whether they’re our partners, our friends, or even our pets. Cats make loyal and loving companions, so if you’re looking for a way to show your favourite feline just how much you care, this Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to treat them to something special. And there’s no better way to show you care than by putting the effort into making a gift with your own two hands.

Looking for some inspiration? The feline experts Catit are here to share three of the best treats you can make for your cat at home, as well as the purrfect shop-bought accompaniments to these homemade gifts.

Salmon heart-shaped biscuits

Giving your cat a tasty treat in the shape of the universal symbol for love is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with them. As well as containing one of the most popular fishes with felines, these salmon biscuits are incredibly easy to make. Plus, you can even freeze excess dough for up to three months for future batches!

You only need three ingredients for these tasty feline treats: 140g of undrained canned salmon, 120g of flour (wholewheat or regular), and half a beaten egg. Then simply do the following to whip up these treats:

  1. Use a food processor to finely chop the salmon.
  2. Add the chopped salmon to a food mixer with half a beaten egg and the flour, stirring until it turns into dough. You can add a little extra water if it becomes too dry, and extra flour if it becomes too wet.
  3. Roll the dough out until it is about a quarter of an inch thick, and use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to make your biscuits (to keep them small, use a cookie cutter no more than an inch big). This should make around 60 small biscuits, which will be plenty for your pet.
  4. Place the sheets on a tray lined with baking paper and cook at 175°C for twenty minutes.
  5. Leave the treats to stand and cool before giving your cat a taste.

You can store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks, which should give your pet plenty of time to enjoy them. If you want to share the love, you can even gift your loved one’s cats with a small bag of biscuits too!

Tuna cake

Sweet treats like chocolates and desserts are a staple of Valentine’s Day for humans. Cats tend to not have a sweet tooth, but this doesn’t mean they can’t join you while enjoying a dessert of their own with this tuna cake. While this may not sound appetising to us humans, rest assured that your cat is bound to love it!

To make this “dessert” for your cat, follow the steps below:

  1. Boil and thoroughly mash around 50g of sweet potato and leave it to cool. Keep it plain and avoid using any seasoning to prevent your pet from developing an upset stomach.
  2. Mix the sweet potato well with half a tin of drained tuna and a teaspoon of plain flour.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a round cookie-cutter and allow it to set in the fridge for about quarter of an hour before giving it to your cat.

Plain boiled sweet potato is completely safe for a cat to eat, but only in small portions at a time. For this reason, it’s best to split up this dessert in three portions to be enjoyed by your cat over the course of three days. Or if you’d rather, simply amend the quantities to make a smaller portion without leftovers.

A fancy meal

Just like us humans enjoy fine dining on this romantic day, your cat will no doubt appreciate getting treated to a fancy homemade meal. Of course, there’s no need to provide your pet with a five course Michelin Star level experience — simply giving them something a little different will be enough to impress them!

This can be a great way to treat your pet, and you can even give them the same meal as you! Try to give them a source of protein and some different types of vegetable in the dish. Cats love chicken, so boiled chicken breast with the skin removed could be a good option for your pet. But there are plenty of other types of meat and fish you could try, such as turkey, salmon, and sardines, so just choose the one your cat loves the most. You’ll find plenty of choice for veggies too, as it’s safe for cats to eat boiled and chopped carrots, peas, broccoli, green beans, pumpkin and more.  

The perfect accompaniments for your homemade treats

A homemade edible treat is sure to go down well with your cat this Valentine’s Day. But if you have a busy schedule and you don’t have the time, or you want to gift them with a little something extra, there are plenty of great shop-bought presents to choose for your pet, such as:

  • A heart shaped cat food bowl, to serve them their Valentine’s Day dinner in style.
  • A bow tie collar to help them look the part while enjoying their special meal.
  • A new toy for playing with on the day — just make sure to let their food digest before getting them too hyperactive!
  • Some catnip to keep them entertained.

You may also be interested in gifting them with a more practical gift, for both your sake and theirs. Something like a water fountain can make sure your pet never goes thirsty while you’re out of the house, plus it can be fun for them to investigate when they first come across it!

“Valentine’s Day isn’t just about showing the love to our significant others anymore, as many of us now use it as an opportunity to show all our loved ones how much we care. These homemade recipes require just a few ingredients and are simple to make, so even those pushed for time can turn their hand at making them if they wish.

“Of course, one of the best gifts you can give your cat this Valentine’s Day is simply spending time with them. So, make sure to carve out some time in the day to show your feline companion some love and appreciation. Whether it’s by having a fancy meal with them, playing with their new (and old) toys together, or simply snuggling up on the sofa, it’s sure to show your pet just how much you care.”

  • Paul Trott, UK Marketing Manager at Catit

About the brand:

Catit’s mission is to provide practical, easy to use, and convenient products that meet the needs of fussy felines. Catit have developed original, award-winning products that satisfy a feline’s exacting standards, including drinking fountains, litter accessories, and their smart feeders that were recently featured on The Gadget Show. Catit also offer a selection of delicious and nutritious food products for your cat to enjoy, including the popular Creamy treat range.

For more information, please visit:

Not Just Pets sells a wide range of Catit products in both our shops in Frome and Larkhall (Bath) including wet and dry food, treats, toys, carriers and furniture. Pop in and have a chat about this fabulous range – and if you can’t see it in the shop, just ask and we can order it in. Watch the website for some new Catit additions, coming soon!

Call us on 01373 462068 and follow us on Facebook and Instagram too!

Seaside Snaps and Beach Beauties! In honour of #NationalDogDay

This month we invited our customers to have “holiday pics” taken in our #Frome store in honour of #NationalDogDay – how? We put up a beach backdrop and invited customers in with their dogs to take a frolic on the “beach” and get their seaside snap.

The result was fabulous – we have made a video of all the lovely doggies who took part and have a collage up in store of all the photos. Below we share some of those photos with you for your delight.

For the full album, head over to our Facebook page to check out the Seaside Snaps album here

Some owners were happy to have a lazy lounge on the beach too with their dogs and others let their pooches pose in the limelight.
Billy looking cool in his sunnies
Poppy’s owner was feeling the heat, so donned a hat!

We had 34 lovely doggies take part and they were all amazing!

Ursa sports a sunny lei

Our own Ursa took part – she loves the beach and couldn’t resist. She also picked a prop to use!

Uncle Bryn on the Beach, being an absolute angel.

One of the cutest candidates was certainly Uncle Bryn who was an absolute star on the day! Everyone loves Uncle Bryn.

Our HUGE thanks again to everyone who took part. As this hot weather continues, please remember to make sure your pet is kept cool and hydrated. We have plenty of cooling products in store and if you need advice about any of our products, just call us at the store (number below).

Checkout the cool and cute “Seaside Snaps” video here.

Don’t forget we also have a website at and please join us by following our Facebook page at We also have a sister store at Larkhall – and a Facebook page at

Visit us in person in Frome at 1 Market Place, Frome, BA11 1AG, Tel: 01373 462068

or 3 Lambridge Buildings, Larkhall, Bath, BA1 6RS, Tel: 01225 447216

Elisa’s Menagerie!

We are running a little series about our Not Just Pets Team and their pets. Last month we featured Wendy in our Frome shop and this time up is Elisa, who works in our Larkhall shop in Bath, who has been with us since 2004 – you can find info about her on our recent NextDoor post. Elisa has had a wealth of pets and has also worked with some larger animals too – so she has shared pictures for us and a little about each one. Enjoy!

The first photo is of Jack, Elisa’s current pet cat. Jack is 10 years old and is a rescue. He was originally with a friend who got him from Cats Protection but she realized after a while she was allergic to him, so Elisa took him on – and she calls him her funny little furball.

When Elisa was a young girl at home, she had a dog called Shreddie. Very cute!

Elisa’s first pet rat was given to her in1996 by the college where she studied Animal Care – he was getting old and she fell in love and wanted to look after him. She named him Jack. Elisa has had many rats since!

Elisa’s very first pets when she left home were Arthur and George. Can you tell what they were?

When Elisa first moved to Bath her first cat is the black one here, called Smudge. The friend lying close was Elisa’s daughter’s cat, Katie.

Next we have Froggy who Lis said used to croak instead of meowing and the cat on the right is Ollie (also known as Smelly Cat – he had an ongoing ear problem!)

Next up is Clarence as he had a wonky eye and the pic below shows Fizzgig (aka Fuzzball) Elisa’s oldest cat who lived to a grand old age of 22. The rabbit next to Fizzgig is Jazzman who used to follow Fizzgig around the garden.

In 2010, Elisa had a pet rabbit she named Flopsy Mopsy.

Elisa has always loved horses and she bought Rover from a local riding stables in Weston in Bath, which sadly is no longer there. Rover looks very handsome, don’t you think?

She has also had polecat ferrets – meet Peter!

Elisa even had a duck at one point, but the neighbours complained about the noise so here it is being packed up to go to a local wildlife park – Elisa was not happy!

From here we move on to a few more unusual pets – Colin the Corn Snake, also a rescue, who lived in our pet shop for many years. One year he went missing – for a few weeks! – and we found him snuggled up on one of the high hot water pipes. We have lost pics of Elisa with Colin, but here he is styling himself as a belt on my trousers during one of our open days. He lived to a good old age of 16.

Elisa has also owned Sally the Salamander and Lucy, a stripey mouse.

And now to bigger animals – in 1983 Elisa’s first job on a YOP scheme was in the reptile house at Bristol Zoo, which included the care of giant tortoises and coati mundi plus 2-toed sloths. Also, she got to work with the wolves. How exciting is that?

Here is a picture of a sloth and baby before they went on show at the zoo

Also meerkats – here again before they went on show

Elisa was even famous for a day in the Evening Post in July of 1983.

Elisa also worked as a reptile keeper and an ape keeper at Bristol Zoo. Here she shows us Jeremiah, the baby lowland gorilla who had to be taken away from his mum as she wasn’t looking after him. This is way back in 1984 and Elisa looked after Jeremiah – and also Cain, the baby Orangutan who also needed hand-feeding and company. So much cuteness here!

Elisa’s first snake was Sid – a common boa constrictor, again in 1984. Sid was a stowaway and came from RAF Lyneham and Elisa got to take him home to care for him.

But here are the bigger reptiles she cared for – having a cuddle here with a reticulated python who was about 15ft long!

Elisa has also had responsibility in our shops since 2004 for so many species of animal. Here are some of them;

  • many other reptiles, including snakes, skinks, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, chameleons, uromastyx and more.
  • Mantids, millipedes, cockroaches, giant land snails, stick insects and all our bugs and not forgetting spiders of all kinds – although to let you into a secret, Elisa is actually arachnophobic!
  • She has also looked after all our cold water and tropical fish in the past and has a vast knowledge about those too. We have even had axolotls and piranha in the past to take care of as rescues!
  • In the shops we have had in Bath she was responsible for all the small animals including hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchilla, degus and jirds
  • In our big old shop we used to have aviaries for birds including budgies, cockatiels, finches, even parrots occasionally and yes, she looked after those too.

So, when we say Elisa knows a little about animals.. well, you can see for yourself, she really does! I am sure there are many missing from the above lists too. Elisa is an asset to our business and is fabulous with the human species too.

We hope you have enjoyed this little insight to Elisa’s crazy menagerie over the years. Do give us any comments below, we would love to hear from you. You can also join us on our Facebook pages at @Not Just Pets Frome and Not Just Pets Larkhall and our Instagram page @NotJustPets. You can also email us at or telephone us on 01373 462068. And please don’t forget our website where you can find many lovely things to purchase for your pet at

Keeping your pets safe this winter!

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

Dog In Snow
Keep your pets safe in Winter

The cold weather can be tough on all of us but it is especially tough on our furry friends. As pet owners, it is important to take extra care of our pets during the winter months.

Here are some tips on how to keep your pets safe during the chilly weather.


Paw Protection

Pawz dog boots

Additionally, keep the hair on your dog’s paws groomed to stop snow, ice, salt, and sand from adhering to it, tangling, or causing irritation to their paw pads. Every time you enter from outdoors, give your dog’s paws a warm water wash if they are braving the cold barefoot. Sand and salt can get between your toes and irritate their skin (or burn, in the case of salt). If their paw pads are chapped or dry, put some paw balm on them. You can apply some paw balm before starting your walk to add an extra layer of protection. Please note, however, that after your walk, you will need to wash the balm off their paws to get rid of any remaining particles. Alternatively, get your dog some boots, such as the fabulous PAWZ™ dog boots and ensure paws are fully protected.

Fur coats

Keep your dog’s coat well-groomed as a thick, healthy coat will help keep your dog keep warm in wintry weather. Trims are necessary to maintain the condition of your dog’s coat, but you do not want to cut it too short. Dogs with long hair require a lot of fluff to stay warm. Additionally, dogs with double or triple coats, such as Huskies, Malamutes, and Pomeranians, should not be shaved. Their outer coats assist them in controlling their body temperature. They are insulated by their inner coats.

Sore Noses

Even while a dog’s nose does not often get special attention during regular grooming routines, it should in the winter. The dry air can damage their skin and nails and their nose is experiencing the same effects. Your dog may feel uncomfortable and may even lose their sense of smell if their nose is dry and cracked. To help with this, use a nose balm (you can combine a nose and paw balm for this) to keep their nose soft and wet all winter long.

Provide Proper Shelter

One of the most important things you can do for your dog in the winter is to provide them with a warm, comfortable place to sleep. If your dog spends any time outdoors, make sure they have a snug, dry spot to curl up in when they are not active. A heated dog bed or mat can be a lifesaver for older dogs or breeds that are particularly sensitive to the cold.

Bring Your Dog In From The Cold

When the temperature begins to fall, bring your dog inside. Just like humans, dogs can become hypothermic if they are exposed to the cold for an extended period of time. Your dog will not be able to go outside if it is too chilly for you. Bring them inside and make sure they have a cosy, warm bed free from draughts.

Keep Your Cats Warm

A few more cosy spots around the house for your cat to snuggle up in will be much appreciated. Igloo beds are great for winter because they let your cat get cosy and hide … or a cardboard box with a towel to lie on will do.

Litter Trays/Boxes

Even if your cat regularly relieves itself outside, it is a good idea to have a litter tray  inside so they will not feel obligated to go outside in inclement weather or when they cannot make a little hole for themselves in the frozen ground. If you have multiple cats, make sure there is a tray for each cat plus one!

Keep Them Active

Just like us, pets can get cabin fever when they are cooped up indoors all winter. Make sure to give your dog plenty of opportunities to run and play, even if it is just in the backyard. If you can brave the cold for a walk or run, even better! Just be sure to bundle up your pup in a warm coat or sweater if it is particularly cold outside. 

For your cat, get them some new toys and make sure you play with them frequently. Since dawn and dusk are peak hunting hours, try to play with your cat during those times.

Stay Visible And Keep Walks Shorter

If you must walk your dog at night, take extra safety measures. To ensure you are both visible to walkers and drivers, LED collars, hi-vis leads and coats  can be excellent options for your dog.  Take a good torch to illuminate the route and after dark, keep your dog on a lead to avoid hidden dangers and to keep them safe.

Also keep your walks shorter if walking in towns to avoid chemical/salt damage to paws.

Taking Care Of Ageing Joints

Older pets may develop tight joints and arthritis, and occasionally colder temperatures can make these conditions much worse. Take meticulous care of your senior pet’s joints, especially during the winter. Check out our range of foods and products to help your pet’s ageing joints. Good foods like Nature’s Way and Canagan senior/mature contain many joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Ice-Covered Ponds

When going for walks in the cold, use extreme caution. Excited dogs may be drawn to frozen ponds and lakes but they can easily slip through the ice (or drag you into it) and get seriously hurt in the chilly water. Keep your dog on a lead to ensure their safety.

Watch For Signs Of Hypothermia Or Frostbite

Dogs can get hypothermia or frostbite just like humans, so it is important to be aware of the signs. If your dog is shivering uncontrollably, has blue lips or gums, has difficulty walking or seems lethargic, they may be suffering from hypothermia. If your dog starts to show any of these signs, bring them inside immediately and warm them up slowly.

Frostbite occurs when the skin and tissue freezes. It most often affects the extremities, like the ears, tail, and paws. If you notice your dog’s skin is pale or bluish in colour or if they seem to be in pain, they may have frostbite. If you suspect your dog has frostbite, warm the affected area gently with warm water.

If you suspect either frostbite or hypothermia, call your vet immediately.

Be Careful With Chemicals

Anti-freeze and de-icer are used in car radiators and to stop cars icing up in winter but they are incredibly toxic for animals and can kill them. Anti-freeze and other chemicals can be tempting for dogs to lick so be sure to keep any chemicals out of reach and clean up any spills immediately. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect that your pet has consumed something toxic.

If you do use antifreeze in your car, be extra careful to use a pet-safe variety – the PDSA has good advice here on which products to use.

Check Under The Bonnet

In cold and wet weather, cats frequently find refuge under cars. Some even climb into the hood to be close to a warm engine. Before starting your automobile, always check inside to see if a furry someone has climbed inside or rap on the bonnet.

Dangerous Plants

Holly, Ivy, and Poinsettia, popular holiday plants, are poisonous to pets if they consume them. Move them out of reach or put them in a room your pet does not have access to or err on the side of caution and use artificial plants to beautify your home.

Caring for our smaller furry friends

Small animals we keep as pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets, are quite sensitive to the cold and temperature fluctuations. Even though a sharp drop in temperature can be jarring, there are a few things you can do to support them.

Bring Them In

If your pets are used to living outside, consider moving them inside or into a sheltered place, such as a shed or car-free garage, where they will be safe from the elements. However, keep in mind that they also require light, so make sure they have a window.

Steer Clear Of Draughts

If you are unable to bring small animals that are accustomed to living outdoors, inside, you should prepare their habitat by covering open fronts to shield them from the elements and insulating the sides of the home with newspaper or carpet and making sure they have plenty of bedding to snuggle into. Make sure that tiny animals, such as mice or hamsters are kept indoors and away from draughts of chilly air. You might need to relocate their enclosure away from windows and towards a warmer area of the house.


Just like us, our pets may require a bit more care throughout the winter. Whether you have a dog, cat or a smaller pet, it is critical that they stay secure, warm and active as the weather begins to cool. It can be challenging for both us and our pets to adjust when the days become shorter and the temperatures drop and we go into the winter but with a little extra care and attention to them, you can safely get through winter.

You can buy all the things you need to keep your pet safe in our stores in Frome and Larkhall and many items are online on our website. If you cannot find what you need on there – please ring us and we will be happy to help! Wishing you all a happy and safe winter season.

Follow us on Facebook at and Instagram and Twitter at @NotJustPets – we would love to see pics of your pets in winter!
Not Just Pets, 1 Market Place, Frome, BA11 1AG. Tel: 01373 462068

Keep Cool and Carry On – some tips on keeping your dog cool this summer

The next few days are going to be really hot. Dogs are very vulnerable to canine heat stroke and not all pups are sensible about keeping cool. Dogs regulate heat with panting and can only sweat through small glands in their paws and noses and often this isn’t enough to keep their body temperature in the right zone. To prevent heatstroke and other heat-related issues with your dog, here are some tips to help keep your dog cool.

1. Walk early or late

If you need to walk your dog, try going for an early morning or late evening walk to avoid the heat of the day. If you can, choose woodland walks or somewhere with water so your dog can cool off with a paddle or swim. Ursa LOVES water – but she also loves to shake vigorously after! Watch out!

Watch out for the post dip shake!

2. Protect those paws!

Please remember our roads and pavements get so hot so quickly in summer. Avoid pavement walking if you can but if you can only walk in urban areas, before you walk, place your hand on the pavement and if it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s paws. This can cause serious damage to your pet. You can protect paws with Pawz boots or similar, but better to stick to cooler surfaces, or stay home!

3. Cool spots

Make sure your dog has cool spots to lie in, whether indoors or out. Find or create shade (damp towels over the crate are great) and use a cool mat or damp towels on the ground so they can be super chilled.

If you’re short on time or travelling the gel cooling beds are perfect. We sell various cool mats in our stores.

4. Water and water play
Most dogs love to cool off in water, although not all. Yesterday we showed you our sprinkler mats which are perfect for dogs to play in and cool off. You can buy doggie paddling pools or create your own with enough water just to step in and out of for a cooling paddle.

If your dog doesn’t like this idea, using a wet towel or flannel on the legs and body will help – or if they like the hose, a quick gentle hose down. These will all help keep your pooch cool.

Drinking water: please keep a good eye on your dog’s water bowl and maybe pop a couple more bowls (or ice cream tubs) around to remind him/her to drink. Ursa loves to drink from our bird bath! You can even pop in an ice cube to keep the drinking water cool, just make sure it is fresh and clean.

5. Cool coats

A cooling coat is an easy way of keeping your dog cool, especially if you have to go out. We sell a range of cooling coats in different sizes and colours. All you need to do is wet the coat and wring out excess water, then pop it on your dog. As the heat of the day slowly evaporates the moisture from the coat, excess heat is drawn from the dog’s body, leaving them cooler, even in high temperatures.

6. Restrict play

You don’t want your dog to overheat by over-exercising, but they will often want to play, regardless of the temperature. Reduce the temptation by hiding favourite throw toys away for the day. If you have playful dogs that live together, consider separating them so that they don’t excite eachother.

7. Doggie iced treats

There are plenty of safe, delicious doggie iced treats and dairy-free doggy ice creams on the market and we sell Frozzy’s and Billy+Margot iced treats. You can also make your own at home or freeze their kibble (maybe with a layer of wet food underneath and add water).

8. Cool toys

Why not freeze a stuffed Kong or their favourite chew toy? Better still, freeze them in water in an ice cream tub and give them a puzzle to solve while they try to retrieve their frozen toy treat. We also sell special Cool Toys, perfect and safe for the freezer.

9. Grooming

Grooming/brushing your dog every day will help keep him/her cool as it removes any insulating dead hair caught in their fur.  If your dog is a breed which can be clipped, then having a regular trim at the groomers will also help. Ask the fab folk at  @Millionhairs for any further advice on your dog breed’s need.

10. Doggie air-con

This is a great idea from our friends at @Yumove. Do you have a fan and a freezer?  Freeze a large container of water – maybe a large ice cream tub- then set up the fan so that it blows over the ice and sends cool air towards your dog’s bed. To ensure that your dog doesn’t knock the fan, pop it on a high surface and angle downwards to keep everyone safe. Brilliant idea! 

Keep cool and carry on, everyone!


Please also remember NEVER to leave your dog in a car in hot weather, it takes just a few minutes for them to overheat and less than 15 minutes to die. Just a 2° increase in body temperature is enough for heat stroke to kick in. See this graphic from @vets-now.

Follow us on Facebook at and Instagram and Twitter at @NotJustPets – we would love to see pics of your pets keeping cool!

Not Just Pets, 1 Market Place, Frome, BA11 1AG. Tel: 01373 462068