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Guest Post – Christmas is a time for giving – but is it a time for giving pets?

Christmas is a time for giving – but is it a time for giving pets?

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Christmas is a great time for buying the people you love something they’ll love. 

And often pets can top the list of the most ‘wanted pressie.  However, although your chosen pet may be super appealing at the time, you need to make sure that after Christmas the glamour doesn’t wear off.

Sadly, the number of exotic pets being dumped is on the increase and the RSPCA have recently seen a significant increase in the number of exotics they’ve had to rescue. 

So what are the kind of things you should consider before you make that purchase? ExoticDirect explain what you need to think about. 

Housing

1. What kind of housing will your pet need?  If it’s a lizard you may well need a heat lamp, a UV lamp, a thermometer, hide and suitable substrate. The vivarium will also need to be big enough to accommodate your growing pet.   You’ll also need to ensure there is a temperature gradient within the vivarium, to replicate the lizard’s natural environment.

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2. If you’re purchasing a tortoise, you’ll need to provide lighting and heating, UV lighting, a thermometer and suitable substrate.  You’ll also need to buy a tortoise table, or a vivarium. It’s essential that you provide the correct husbandry for your lizard or tortoise otherwise it could lead to significant health problems.  

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3. A bird will need a suitable sized cage, plenty of toys and suitable food.  Your home itself should be safe and secure, so that when your parrot is out of his cage, he can’t injure himself or escape outside.

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4. Small mammals will require a suitable sized cage, a ‘run’ and suitable food. 

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Food

1. Lizards: These pets love their live food! Are you prepared to pick out locusts and meal worms for your lizardIf not, these pets might not be quite right for you! 

You should ensure you know where you can buy good quality food from.  Poor quality live food can lead to such issues as parasites – where the parasite lives inside the live food, and is then transferred to your lizard when eaten.  You should also ensure your provide plenty of calcium in your lizards diet to prevent metabolic bone disease. 

2. Parrots also have specific food requirements.  You can offer fresh food and pellets; fresh food with a seed based diet or an alternation of both with fresh food added daily. 

3. Tortoises often eat herbage. A mixed weed diet is best for a Mediterranean tortoise, avoiding harmful weeds such as buttercups.  Dandelions are particularly good for tortoises. You can also feed your tortoise vegetables. Like with lizards, you should provide plenty of calcium in your tortoises diet to prevent metabolic bone disease. 

4. Small Mammals:  If you’re purchasing a Guinea Pig or Rabbit you’ll need to provide plenty of hay and/or grass. This is because their teeth continually grow, and chewing hay helps to grind down their teeth.  Dental issues are extremely common in Guinea Pigs and Rabbits, and can lead to a lot of pain for them, and a huge vet bill for you.  Hay also helps to maintain a heathy digestion.  

Guinea Pigs also need lots of vitamin C in their diet. This is because like us, their bodies don’t naturally produce it – they can only get it from their diet. Without lots of vitamin C, they can develop Scurvy – which isn’t nice!

Vet fees

1. With the best care in the world, exotic pets can and do get ill.  Vet fees can often quickly escalate. Especially if youpet is referred from a normal ‘cat and dog’ treating vet, to an exotic vet.

2. You should consider getting insurance in order to cover unexpected vet bills.  

House proofing

Does your house need to be house proofed?  And where will you keep the enclosure?  

Vivarium’s can be large, and you may need to move a room around in order to accommodate it.

Parrots have very specific environment requirements.  They have a very sensitive respiratory system, and common household scents can be toxic for birds.  The fumes from burnt Teflon (found on non stick cooking equipment) can be fatal.  Additionally, you need to ensure that there are no items in the house that can cause your parrot to get injured or choke.  Finally, you need to ensure safety – windows and door should be kept closed if your parrot is out of his cage.  

Going on holiday?

You’ll need to think about who’ll care for your pet if you go away.  Will your neighbour or friend be happy to care your lizard, giving him live food regularly?  

Will your parrot be happy with you going away? Parrots are very intelligent and emotional birds, and become very attached to their owners.  If you’re going away on holiday, its likely that your parrot could become very distressed in your absence.  This could lead to significant health issues – such as feather plucking.

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Will your friends and family be scared of your pet?

Not so much of an issue if you’re opting for a cute rabbit or guinea pig. But if you’re choosing a parrot or a lizard, visitors could become nervous.  A rogue parrot flying around thehouse can be scary.  And lizards, although adorable and fascinating, could make some people nervous if not kept in their vivarium.  

All pets love a bit of love, time and attention.  

1. Lizards: If you already own one of these, you’ll know how much time they can take up.  If its not showing them affection, its ensuring their housing is at the right temperature, their food requirements are met, and that they are clean, and free from any sign of illness.

2. Parrots:  These are probably one of the most demanding pets emotionally.  African Grey’s for example can have the mental age of a 5 year old child.  Parrots can get bored, distressed, excited, and attach to their owner.  They are often a full time job in themselves, as they require a lot of stimulation.  

3. Small mammals:  In the case of rabbits a hutch is just not a large enough space for the pet to roam. You should ensure that your rabbit is let out of his cage for a large part of his day – a ‘run is a great place for this.  Before you buy your rabbit, think about how you’re going to provide him with enough exercise. 

Finally, once you’ve done all your research, you’ll be armed with the right information to provide your new pet with a loving home. 

Fact: Did you know that nearly 55% of exotic pet owners were surprised at the level of care required for their pet? (Based on a study conducted by ExoticDirect in their 2014 “Fur Free Doesn’t Mean Care Free” report).  You can download the article here:  https://www.exoticdirect.co.uk/news/fur-free-doesnt-mean-carefree-report

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Here at Not Just Pets we endorse responsible pet ownership and advise all our customers on the best possible set ups and we sell all the products listed in the article. This guest blog regarding responsible pet ownership of exotic pets fits with the Not Just Pet ethos of being they’re not just pets, they’re family!

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at bathpets@aol.com or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

 

Christmas Gift Guide For Pets and their Owners

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With just a few days over 5 weeks to go until the big day we are feeling festive and getting into the Christmas spirit at Not Just Pets. We are stocked to the brim with festive treats and our Christmas Gift Shop is open and full of ideas.

If you need some inspiration for buying gifts for pets and their owners then you have come to the right place. We have a fabulous range of gifts, stockings, outfits and accessories this year so everyone can join in the festive fun no matter what their species!

Dogs, cats and small animals can join you in the festive count down with these fabulous advent calendars. Each day they can have a small treat that is made especially for them. Make sure you are ready for the first of December.

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If you have a good boy or girl then they need to be rewarded on Christmas morning with a stocking. We have a fantastic range of stockings for cats, dogs and small animals. Each containing treats and toys that will help them join in the festive fun of Christmas morning.

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Christmas dinner time! We have in store the Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Dinner tins for dogs and trays for cats . We also have the beautifully presented Christmas treats for cats and dogs that would make a lovely gift. The dog treats are in a red post box with a snowy Christmas scene and the cat treats are in a festive cracker shape with some carol singing cats.

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We have a lovely range of outfits and accessories to help your pet look the part this festive season. With the best range of Christmas jumpers, reindeer antlers, Santa hats and elf costumes your pets will be the best dressed this Christmas.

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luna christmas jumper

Now with all the gifts and outfits taken care of the Christmas treats and snacks are next. While you are tucking into the box of chocolates you no longer have to feel guilty for not sharing as we have a great range of dog safe chocolates and treats.

Festive treatsWe hope this gift guide has given you some ideas and inspiration. Remember that if you do not know what to get we also sell gift vouchers that can be used in our stores on any products. Do you follow us on Facebook or Twitter? Look out for Christmas related promotions and competitions and join in with the festive fun.

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at bathpets@aol.com or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Call us naive, but we like to think that no-one would willingly leave their dog to suffer in a hot car. Yet we still hear horror stories every year about dogs dying after developing heatstroke from being left in a vehicle on a hot day.

Perhaps people think it won’t happen to their dog or that they’re only nipping into the shop for a few minutes. Or maybe they think that because they’ve parked in the shade or left a window slightly open, then that’s OK. But it’s not.

The infographic below from Ignitionline is a timely reminder of just how dangerous the hot weather can be for dogs. The primary reason for this is that dogs have a hard time regulating their body temperature and keeping cool – they can only really sweat through their paws, and so if they’re put in a really hot environment, they struggle to cool down.

And that’s when heatstroke kicks in – in literally only a few minutes if it’s particularly warm – so keep your eye out for symptoms such as heavy panting, lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting and collapsing.

If you spot a dog trapped in a hot car, then the first thing you need to do is try and alert the owner, presuming they’re nearby. If not, then you need to phone the police and alert them to the issue. You may then also be tempted to smash the window of the car, although beware this could be classed as criminal damage if the owner doesn’t deem it necessary action.

So just stay aware this summer and keep your eyes peeled for poor pooches trapped in hot cars. And if you’re a dog owner and think it’s OK to leave your dog in the car for just a few minutes, it really isn’t. Just don’t do it.

Dogs Die In Hot Cars

Link to Article & Infographic: https://www.ignitionline.com/dogs-die-in-hot-cars-infographic

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at bathpets@aol.com or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Not Just Pets in Frome does National Pet Month!

Not Just Pets held a fabulous Open Day for National Pet Month in Frome at the beginning of May.

This year’s theme was a focus on the Top 10 Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership, reminding us of how important it is for us to provide the very best levels of care for our pets. To illustrate some of the 10 Top Tips, Not Just Pets invited Frome K9 Dog Training group who gave a wonderful demonstration of of dog training in the street right outside the store. There was a large number of dogs of all different breeds and they really showed how well they have been training their owners!

Greyhound Rescue West of England were also invited and they attended with many of their rescued hounds, raising funds and awareness of greyhound rescue. The lovely ladies from Cats Protection supported the day by manning one of their excellent stalls of goodies for sale where they raised £123 and they gave out lots of information too.

 

Boo the European Eagle Owl was a firm attraction and he has been to every Open Day at the Frome store. Visitors were also treated to an up-close and personal encounter with several snakes provided by customer Gavin Hill.

There was plenty of small animal handling on the day, too and customers and visitors were educated on the needs of these small pets.

The staff also demonstrated how some animals shed their skins and spider and snake skins were on display.

There were quizzes and cakes and offers throughout the day.

Not Just Pets in Frome would like to thank all the staff for their hard work, all the supporters on the day and of course, the wonderful customers who came down to make the day such a success.

In total, £ 216.32 was raised for the two charities.

National Pet Month (NPM) seeks to promote responsible pet ownership and raise valuable funds for animal charities across the UK by encouraging people to hold events just like the one at Not Just Pets.  Michael Bellingham, new chairman of NPM said:“We’re delighted that Not Just Pets held another great event to celebrate our relationship with our pets. They give so much to us – in return we need to look after them responsibly to keep them healthy and happy – follow our Top Ten Tips! We hope everybody involved had a great time in the process.”

Festive fun and Christmas time at Not Just Pets

Christmas is in full swing and with two weeks to go to the big day everyone is on Christmas count down. We have put together some gift ideas for you and your pets and there is plenty in store to choose from.

            

We have a selection of accessories and gift ideas for small animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats and other small animals love accessories and treats. Treat your small animal to Christmas stockings, Christmas hides and Chubes, Reindeer hamster bed and tasty chews and treats.

We have Christmas stockings available for small animals, dogs and cats. These enable your pets to join in with the festive fun in a safe way. These have animal safe chocolate and treats. The cat and dog stockings contain a fun toy and the small animal stocking contains a safe chew toy. There is a range of dog stocking depending on what your dog like. Some dogs prefer treats and some prefer toys!

         

Here is a Christmas collection of toys and treats for your festive feline. A lovely cosy bed, a Yeowww catnip candy cane, a festive collar, tasty cat treats, a stocking stuffed with treats, Christmas toys and Lily’s kitchen Christmas dinner for cats.

The store is overflowing with Christmas gift ideas for dogs. Here is a small selection of what we have available in store.  Choose from a selection of cuddly toys, Christmas themed festive jumpers, cosy beds, tasty chewy treats. Do not forget Lily’s kitchen Doggy Christmas dinner and treats!

We have a great range of festive fashion so your dog can get involved with the fun this Christmas! Santa coats, beards, antlers and hats. Here is Luna wearing a snowman sweater – we have sizes for tiny dogs up to German Shepard sizes and beyond!

      

There is so much more available in store and we look forward to seeing you this Christmas time.

 

You can watch our Christmas video on Youtube – Not Just Pets Christmas 2015

We hope that this has given you some great gift ideas for this Christmas. Let us know what you think! We are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram.

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at bathpets@aol.com or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!