Pet Shop Gloucester Advice Notice – Product recall for Komodo reptile products

Pet shop Gloucester advice notice

We have been notified by our suppliers that there has been a product recall on several Komodo electrical products. We have NOT stocked any of these products in our pet shop Gloucester, so OUR customers need not be concerned but if you have bought any Komodo products elsewhere you need to view the following links to see if your items are effected. You should then go back to where you bought the items and ask for a replacement.

Komodo converter plug Customer Notice

Komodo Product Recall details

Please contact us at our pet shop Gloucester if you require further clarification.

The Angell Pets Team.

Pet shop Gloucester SALE

Pet shop Gloucester SALE of up to 50% on selected lines whilst stocks last.

We have the following on offer in our pet shop Gloucester but only whilst stocks last. The SALE is to make way for new stock and we expect to sell out very soon at these prices so get into the shop quickly to make sure you get your bargain.

  • Pet shop Gloucester Royal Canin offers. Royal Canin dog and cat food at up to 50% OFF. Examples are Royal Canin German Shepherd junior 12kg for ONLY £32.99 (£20 OFF), Royal Canin Cat Sterilised 7+ £6.40 (HALF PRICE) and many more.pet shop gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester James Wellbeloved offers. James Wellbeloved dog and cat at up to 50% OFF. Examples are James Wellbeloved puppy 2kg (all flavours) £4.50 (or less for some flavours) thats HALF PRICE. James Wellbeloved  adult dog fish 7.5kg for £13.99, HALF PRICE and James Wellbeloved cat adult duck 225g at 99p, thats LESS than HALF PRICE, plus more.Pet shop Gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester dog toy offers. All GI dog toys at HALF PRICE. All K9 Commando latex dog toys at HALF PRICE.Pet shop Gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester puppy wee wee training maid at LESS than HALF PRICE only £19.99 (£48.99 elsewhere on the internet).Pet shop gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester dog treat offer. All Feelwells treats at HALF PRICE.Pet shop Gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester small glass vivarium offer. We have two small glass vivaria on offer at £35 and £39 each. One top opening (Komodo), one top and front opening (Lucky Reptile).Pet shop gloucester
  • Pet shop Gloucester deals. We have loads of other offers and package deals in store waiting for you but only whilst stocks last.

Since starting to write this pet shop Gloucester post these items have been selling very quickly so get in quick! Don’t forget to register for your 10% discount first

The Angell Pets Team

Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

Pet Shop Gloucester advice series – Leopard Gecko care sheet

The leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is one of the most popular lizards around (along with the bearded dragon). There are reasons for this. Mainly it is because they are very easy to look after, are generally quite hardy, are easy to get hold of, don’t require too big of an enclosure or too much equipment (it was believed) and now come in a vast array of colour morphs. This basic care sheet will tell you all you need to know to keep a leopard gecko healthy and active for its entire life. It will cover breeding in general but not the genetics of the various morphs available. That subject is quite complex and unless you are really into the subject (i.e. a bit of a geek) it’s a little too boring for this type of publication.

It is important to know something of an animals natural environment if you are to know how to care for it properly. If you were to try caring for a chile rose tarantula in the same way that you care for a goliath birdeater it would not last very long as they come from very different habitats to which they are adapted.

Leopard geckos originally come from arid regions of Afganistan and Pakistan. Whilst all the specimens you are likely to come across in the UK are captive bred and so a bit more tolerant of varied conditions, you still want to mimic nature as much as possible. So a dry vivarium with a suitable mainly dry substrate is obviously best. However there are times when this will need to be varied and we will cover this later.

They are nocturnal lizards, reaching a length of between 6.5cm (hatchling) to 27.5cm (large adult). Originally they were spotted lizards (hence the name) but now come in a range of colours and patterns. Unlike a lot of other geckos they do not have lamellae pads on their toes so cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces but do have small claws that enable them to grip; so they can climb some not so steep rough surfaces (rocks, wood, polystyrene backgrounds). They have a thin, translucent but very tough skin covered in lots of small bumps. The tail of a healthy leopard gecko is very thick at the base tapering gradually to a point. This is where the gecko stores its fat reserves. The tail can be shed as a defence response (the tail stays wiggling on the floor, distracting the predator – or owner – whilst the gecko runs off) and will regrow but as the animal has just shed its reserves it’s only done as a last resort; so they are not so ready do do this as some other species of gecko (like the crested for instance). Like other reptiles leopards geckos shed their outer layer of skin periodically (depending on how fast they are growing). They usually eat the skin. Two theories exist as to why and probably both are true. One is that they do it to hide their presence from predators (no scent or visual signs of their presence) and the other is to recycle precious minerals. As said, both have merit, all that is important is that it is normal for them to do it. Like all modern reptiles, leopard geckos are ectothermic. They rely entirely on their environment to regulate their body temperature; they are essentially the same temperature as their surroundings, moving from one area to another to warm up or cool down. It is essential they are able to replicate this natural behaviour in captivity to remain healthy.

The enclosure.

It is often recommended that young (hatchling) geckos should be housed in small enclosures so they don’t feel stressed, can easily find food and feel safe and secure. As far as I know no scientific work has ever been done to support this assertion. It is certainly true as a breeder that young geckos CAN safely be housed in this way but I don’t think it is necessary. As long as the gecko has somewhere to hide, it will feel secure. I don’t know if you have ever been to the area of Afganistan that leopard geckos come from but it’s pretty big and it’s not divided up into small convenient boxes. It is perfectly acceptable to house your young gecko in the enclosure you intend for it as an adult, as long as you provide plenty of places for it to hide away in different areas of the vivarium. We have been keeping and breeding leopard geckos for years and we have never lost a single hatchling or noticed any abnormal behaviour from young lizards kept in larger enclosures (not that any of ours are that large). Also, in the wild, leopard geckos are relatively communal (communal, not social) and can be found together in small groups. In captivity this is also true. So in a larger enclosure you can house several young geckos together until sexual maturity is reached and then a small group of females with the possible addition of one male (only one, add two and you will have one dead gecko) will also be OK. An 18″ x 15″ enclosure is big enough for an adult leopard gecko or a pair. However a larger enclosure will allow for a more intersting looking habitat and allow the addition of further individuals. I like a 30″x18″ for a pair or small group. Too small an enclosure and it will be difficult to generate the temperature gradient necessary to ensure adequate temperature regulation.

Glass or wood? The choice really is yours. Both work well but both also have their advantages and disadvantages. Glass enables you to make a fantastic display tank that can be seen from multiple angles. However it also loses heat more easily so may require larger wattage heating equipment to maintain temperature and be more susceptible to external temperature change (drafts etc.). Wood is a good insulator so will require relatively smaller wattage equipment. However you will want a thermostat to prevent overheating and they tend to be less well ventilated than mesh topped glass vivs. We have used both with equal success and actually don’t have a preference. If your house is cold I would go for wood though. There are plastic vivs available as well, I just don’t think they are very attractive myself.

Heating

You need to heat the viv. By far the easiest way is to install a heat mat. The ones we sell conveniently come with double sided adhesive sheet already fitted so are easy to stick to the side or bottom of the viv. Either is OK but if you do stick it to the floor be careful not to put anything heavy or sharp on top, you may damage the heat mat and cause a hot spot that could burn the viv. or anything else in there. You don’t actually need a basking spot lamp but you may wish to put something in to light up the interior. If you do put one in make sure it is at the same end as the heat mat. You are trying to produce a hot end and a cold end to allow the gecko to thermoregulate by moving from one end to the other. The temperature you are trying to achieve is 29 to 31 C during the day (light on) to 22 to 25 C at night (light off) at the hot end with a decent drop across to the cold end. You should really have a thermostat to ensure the viv. does not overheat. I would use a mat stat and only have a small power basking lamp to achieve this. You could have a lower wattage mat and a stronger bulb and use a dimming thermostat on the bulb. it would give a finer level of control but dimming stats are twice the price of mat stats (on/off stats), so you pays your money and you takes your choice. I use a mat stat but then I’m notoriously tight and don’t have a basking spot anyway. Do use a thermometer at either end of the enclosure to check you are maintaining the correct temperature gradient (31C at the hot end 22C at the cold end during the day). Thermostat settings are a guide. The thermometers will tell you what the temperature actually is. Adjust the thermostat accordingly. If you can stretch to it, invest in a surface reading infra red thermometer. Just point at a surface in the enclosure and it will tell you what the temperature is right there. Much more accurate and removes the need to have intrusive dials or probes in your naturalistic viv. I think they are great but then I have a lot of vivs (and fish tanks) to check the temperature of.

Lighting

It has long been thought that leopard geckos, being nocturnal, do not need UV light. Diurnal lizards need UV to produce vitamin D3 in their skin. Vitamin D3 is involved with calcium assimilation and without it the lizard cannot get enough calcium from its diet (most insects are low in calcium) and get bone disease. Actually leopard geckos do need UV as well but it has been discovered that they have evolved into very efficient UV gathering devices. In the wild when they are laid up during the day in a burrow, or under a rock they actually lay in an area that is exposed to very low levels of UV or sometimes come out for just a few minutes. Their skin however is exceptionally good at absorbing this UV (11 times more efficient than a bearded dragon). They only have to come out for a few brief minutes to get enough to survive. In captivity it is best to use a low level UV source (2%) or ensure your gecko is exposed to some UV daily. That said many breeders have never used UV lighting. It may be that the animals are getting enough exposure from extraneous sources. I wouldn’t take a chance, especially if breeding. We use an 8W 2% tube. Do be careful of over exposure, especially with albinos. DO NOT use high intensity UV lighting.

Substrate

This is the “stuff” that goes on the floor of your vivarium. I have heard every horror story there is to hear about this subject. Most of what is talked about is actually just peoples’ opinions, not necessarily fact. “You should never use that” normally means “I don’t use that and I must be right because I am god’s gift, so you shouldn’t either”. We have used a variety of different substrates and have our favourites and others we wouldn’t use again (and some we have never used, either because we have had no need or personally didn’t want to take a chance). I’ll list some here, you can make your own informed decision.

Nothing at all. Who said you had to put anything down? Advantages – cheap, easy to clean (just wipe daily with viv. cleaner). Disadvantages – not natural, gecko can’t dig around, won’t be able to grip if in a glass viv. (could lead to lax muscles), not particularly attractive, nothing to soak up fluids. I’ve never tried as I like natural looking vivs.

Newspaper or paper towel. Same advantages as above except probably easier to keep clean (no need to wipe daily) but most of the disadvantages as well (except I think it’s even uglier). When I started keeping reptiles everyone used this and I can still remember the distinctive smell of the local reptile shop. Not my favourite but nothing to stop you.

Play sand. Advantages – cheap, easy to get hold of, can look attractive when new. Disadvantages – very fine so easy for the gecko to accidentally ingest. Sand is made of silica which is indigestible. Impaction (caused by eating indigestible material that then “impacts” in the lower gut) can occur and this is fatal. It can also get rather smelly if not changed regularly. I have never used it as I didn’t want to take a risk and do not recommend anyone else does either.

Calci sand. This is made from calcium not silica. Calcium does dissolve in the gut in small quantities. Advantages – comes in a range of colours, can be a calcium source. Disadvantages – leopard geckos will deliberately ingest calcium if they are not getting enough from their diet (your fault if they’re not, more on that later). If they ingest too much, it won’t all dissolve leading to impaction.

Beech chips. Advantages – cheapish, attractive in a utilitarian sort of way, well suited to an arid environment. Disadvantages – can be ingested and cause impaction (avoid this by using the largest grade), smaller crickets can hide among the pieces (they will eventually get the little monsters though), not natural (important to me but does not have to be important to you).

Orchid bark. Advantages – cheapish, attractive. Disadvantages – better suited to a more humid environment, would look natural for a crested gecko but not a leopard gecko, crickets can hide in the coarser grades.

Naturalistic substrates (normally clay based gritty, sterile dirt such as Lucky Reptile desert bedding). My favourite so I openly admit I am biased. Advantages – as natural looking as you can get, gecko can burrow if it is deep enough, can be used to construct hides (by adding water and moulding and allowing to dry into shape), I have never had a problem with impaction. Disadvantages – not as cheap as alternatives although it is not that expensive, can insulate the heat mat if too deep so you may want to mount this on the side of the viv. and like other “sand” it gets in the runners of the viv. doors and makes a nasty scratching sound, so keep the runners clear. Our geckos seem to like this the best. By that I mean they display more natural behaviour, especially during breeding. When on other substrates the female just laid her eggs in her hide or in a corner. On desert bedding she piled some into her water bowl to make is damp, dug into the pile, laid the eggs and covered them up. It makes no difference in the end, all eggs are removed and incubated but it was nice to see the behaviour. Our bearded dragons did the same.

Feeding

Leopard geckos are insectivores (although they will eat baby mice as well). In the wild leopard geckos get most of their minerals (for example calcium) from their food and/or particles of soil that stick to their food. However the insects themselves are generally low in calcium and high in phosphorus (it is the ratio of the difference that is important). Obviously when the gecko eats the insect it is also eating its contents (i.e. whatever is in its guts) and it is this that gives most of the minerals and vitamins. It is essential you replicate this. Fortunately it is easy to do. Just feed your live food (crickets, meal or morio worms, locusts, waxworms etc.) on a good proprietary bug grub and some fresh veg (carrot etc.) prior to feeding to your gecko. This “gut loads” the insect and significantly increases the calcium content (by up to 20 times). When young you should also “dust” the crickets with calcium dust at every feed, although you can reduce this when older (unless producing eggs). You should also dust once or twice a week with a vitamin powder. Don’t over do this, as too much of some vitamins has been shown to cause problems. Once a week is fine. Basically all you have to do is put the insects in a container with some powder and give them a shake up. This will coat them in the powder and then you can feed them to you gecko. DON’T over feed. Putting too many crickets (especially the quite carnivorous black crickets) into the viv. means that the excess that do not get eaten will run off and hide and come out when the gecko is asleep and have a little nibble. Also if they are adults they will “sing” all night and you will get it in the neck from your partner – trust me.

Feed young geckos every day, adults will be fine every other day. The tail is the give away. If the tail is too thin you are under feeding. Also the gecko will constantly be on the prowl. If you have a gecko with a very fat tail that is really lazy and doesn’t seem to do much and doesn’t seem to show any interest in food then you’ve probably stuffed it to the gunnels.

Breeding.

Pet shop gloucester

Albert’s baby

To breed leopard geckos (assuming you have the correct set up) you will obviously need a male and at least one female. You can only really tell what sex they are when they are over about 8 months old. It is possible to tell as hatchlings but it is very difficult and requires some extra equipment and a lot of patience and experience. I won’t sex them until sexual dimorphism becomes apparent to the naked eye, it is too easy to make a mistake. Male, adult leopard geckos tend to be bigger with a broader head but the tell tale sign is the pre anal pores near the vent. Both males and females have them but in the males they are much more apparent, appearing as a dark v shape just above the vent (sexually mature males excrete a waxy substance from here). You will also be able to see hemipenal bulges under the vent at the base of the tail in the male. Basically if it has the right appendages (hidden in a sheath) then its a boy! If you don’t know what appendage I am talking about, you should not be breeding geckos. Leopard geckos reach sexual maturity at 8 months but shouldn’t be bred until at least 12 months old due to increased risk of problems with egg production and laying.

If you introduce a male and female sexually mature pair of geckos for the first time they will most likely breed at any time of year but not necessarily. When we first introduced our male to our female he certainly tried it on but she just picked him up by the scruff of the neck (if leopard geckos can be said to have a scruff) and threw him across the viv. They didn’t breed for 6 months. Most geckos will normally breed from January to September, you may need to lower the temperature for about 8 weeks prior to the season to start the process but we never have. You will be able to see when she is gravid. She will look fat and you will be able to see the eggs developing at the base of her abdomen. If using desert bedding as a substrate you will probably just have to look out for a mound of substrate, the eggs (usually two) will be in there. If not, you will need a hide or tub with some egg laying substrate in and a restricted entrance for her to crawl through to lay. A lot of people use vermiculite as an incubating medium. I don’t like it, I prefer moss. I have used both and have lost far fewer eggs with moss. If you have to move the eggs from one container to another (I use cricket tubs) for incubation make sure you do not turn them. Place them in the same orientation as you found them.

You may want to remove the male after you find the female is gravid to give her a break after she lays, otherwise he will just mate again and she may not have recovered enough to produce viable eggs.

Place the incubation tub in your incubator. I am not going to discuss incubators here, there are too many methods. Most I have seen work well. We have gone all up market with a digitally controlled expensive incubator. It does not produce better results, our old homemade  “on bricks above a water bath” version worked just as well. It is however a damn site easier! If you are using moss in cricket tubs with the lid on you have very little to do other than check the temperature and make sure the moss isn’t drying out (ours didn’t at all this time round).

Leopard geckos do display temperature dependent sexual determination. Basically the incubation range is 24.5 C to 32.5 C. the lower end of the range produces more females the higher end more males. This temperature variation will also produce a variation in incubation period. The lower end may take up to 70 days to hatch and the upper end only 45. This is not a hard and fast rule though. Out last two batches were incubated in the same incubator at the same time and the ones that were laid first hatched second; go figure. Make sure the temperature never goes above 34 C or the eggs will die.

Depending on what temperature you are incubating at, start checking the eggs a couple of times a day about a week before you expect them to hatch. Just before hatching the egg will collapse and you will see slits along the egg caused by the egg tooth of the hatchling gecko. It will probably take a few hours to emerge and will do so in stages. Most hatch fine but some still have the egg yolk attached. These need to be left to absorb the yolk sack in peace. When hatched, remove the gecko to their hatchling home.

They will shed, eat the skin and then not actually eat small crickets for about 4 or five days. Then they get more and more voracious. Start dusting the crickets straight away. They grow rapidly and like kids, need the calcium.

Phantom pregnancy

For a start, I know it’s not pregnant, it’s gravid but it doesn’t scan as well. Reptiles can spontaneously lay infertile eggs. Our corn snake started doing this after 9 years. Leopard geckos are no exception. If you are absolutely sure she hasn’t been mated and can see eggs developing then they will not be fertile. Give her what she needs to lay the eggs and then remove them for disposal. Make sure you give her extra food and calcium whilst she is gravid as the yolk, white and shell will still all develop and take it out of her. Once she has laid she should settle back down. Make sure she does lay as geckos can become egg bound.

For further advice on leopard gecko care call us, contact us on Facebook or drop by the shop.

 

Richard Angell

 

 

Moving house? Then so is your pet. What you need to know.

Moving house is reckoned to be one of the most stressful things an average person has to do. It can also be quite stressful for your pets but you can reduce the sress (for them and you) with a few simple tips.

  • “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is an old cliched saying but no less true for all that. Make sure you have any equipment (suitable carriers, packing material etc.) ready before the big day. Hunting around at the last minute will raise your sress levels through the roof and your animal will suffer the consequences of you rushing, using less than ideal travel boxes or even forgetting the poor thing altogether (it does happen). So make sure you have considered what you are going to use to transport your pet and timing the move of the animal with the move of its enclosure. There’s not a lot of point  turning up at your new house with bags of tropical fish when the tank is still with the moving company and won’t be there until tommorrow!
  • Use a suitable container to move your animal. Often people think they need to get the largest container they can. This is often the wrong thing to do. During the move the animal will just rattle around in a large box and get injured. A small container with suitable packing material (a small animal carrier filled with shredded paper for a hamster for instance) is much more desirable. Remember that animals chew things so if you are moving any distance then a cardboard carrier is not enough, it won’t survive the journey.pet shop gloucester pet carriers
  • Make sure you know where in your new house or garden the animal’s enclosure is going to go. It can have a large effect on the wellbeing of your pet. Our rabbits are on a well sheltered patio with walls on three sides and a dwarf wall on the fourth. If we moved I doubt the new area would be as sheltered which would mean we would have to reconsider our housing of the animals over the coldest winter periods. Would you have somewhere to put them in your new house?
  • Don’t trust the animals to the movers. They are best transported with you, secured in place in your car. You can control the movement, security and environment to ensure they are safe and well at the end of the journey.

So you’ve moved and you need to set up your pet in their new home. My advice is do this first, before you start unpacking everything else. You want the animal in its transport box for as little time as possible. The exception to this is the dog and cat. These are best not under foot whilst you are unpacking so if you can get someone to look after them for a couple of days it would be better, or alternatively use a good boarding establishment. Then you can get on and unpack in peace and not in pieces, after you’ve tripped over the dog for the fourth time or worse, left the door open and the dog is out.

Obviously use the move as an opportuntiy to completely clean any enclosures you have and start your pet’s life in your new home in a nice clean enclosure. It is also easier to move an empty cage.

Right, so some specific advice on certain animals.

  • Dogs. Easy yes? Just put on the lead, jump in the car and go. Well if, like me, you rarely take the dogs in the car, you are probably not prepared. Dogs should be secured. A travel cage is ideal or you could use a travel harness or an adaptor for you existing harness to strap the dog to the car’s seatbelt restraints.pet shop gloucester travel harness If you have an accident on the way the dog could kill you if not restrained (the car will stop suddenly, the dog won’t). I’ll assume you have unpacked everything before the dog arrives at the new house (see above). It is all going to be very new and exiting for him/her. The more old possesions around the more quickly settled the dog will be. If you can and the garden is secure, leave the back door open and let them explore. Exitable dogs in a new environment like to pee to mark their new territory, better outside than in. Do double check your new garden for security though, it’s surprising what they can get out of. However dogs are not “free to roam” animals, cats are.
  • Cats. The biggest problem with a cat if you let it outside, is they may go missing. Cats are territorial animals. They are famous for marking their territories and defending them. If you just let your cat out into another cat’s territory the other cat is going to see it off. This may mean it trying to return to its old territory. When my sister moved a few years ago it wasn’t very far. Her cat repeatedly went back to the old house, not because it was being fed there, the new owners were not cat lovers, but because this was her territory and there were other cats in the area of the new house. Keep your cat in for a couple of weeks. Try to force other cats away from your garden and immediate area around your house. This can be done by using special products that overpower the marking scent of cats.pet shop gloucester, cat repellant They will try to battle the new smell but will eventually realise they are losing. To a cat the strongest smell wins the war so once they know they have lost to the product they move on. The territory is then free for your cat to move into.
  • Small mammals. Small mammal = small travel box. You don’t want your pet rat sliding around bashing himself against the side of a large container as your husband/wife gets used to the brakes on your car for instance (yes, that is from experience). It is best, when you have rehoused them at the other end to leave them alone for 24 hours, as you would when you first get one, to settle in to the new environment. Trailers are best avoided, the exhaust fumes from your car pumped into the trailer, well obvious really.
  • Birds. The main thing with birds is that you are quite probably going to want to decorate your new house. Fumes and birds don’t mix. Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems. I have had customers who have lost birds inexplicably then when we have gone through everything with them have realised that the landlord had contractors painting the exterior windows and they had them open because it was summer. They found the smell inconvenient at the time, the birds found it fatal. So if you are decorating, find somewhere else to house the bird (and NOT in the kitchen – teflon non stick pans give off toxic fumes). The same is true for fish by the way – most chemical products tell you they are toxic to aquatic environments, they don’t make it clear this can include the fumes.
  • Reptiles. Probably one of the easiest animals to move. They can be transported in a suitably sized plastic tub or box (polystyrene outer if you are moving far, to steady the temperature). Their vivariums are generally well insulated and will already have the correct equipment to control heat, light and humidity (I would hope!). One thing to think about however is the change in the general environment in the new house and how this is effecting the conditions in the vivarium. I have a bull snake in my bedroom. I do not have a thermostat controlling the heat source. However I have had this snake in this location and this viv. for 9 years and know that the temperature remains very stable throughought the year (because of my wifes intolerance of any variation – windows wide open all summer and heating on for the rest of the year!!) and it never gets too hot in the viv., even in the height of summer (it is nowhere near a window and is one of the coolest rooms in the house). If I were to  move the viv. to another location I could not guarantee this and would have to invest in a thermostat to prevent overheating. Keep a check on conditions when you move in and as the weather changes, it will probalby effect the conditions inside the vivarium and change them from what you are used to.
  • Invertebrates. The same is true for most invertebrates (insects, spiders etc.). On top of this they do not travel well. They can become dissicated very easily if it is particularly hot or become chilled if it is cold. You need to manage this by transorting them in a controlled environment (your car), in a container where the humidity and temperature are not going to vary too much and making sure the new location does not adversley effect them. If they do get cold they will become inactive. It is very important that you do not rewarm them too quickly. Just leave them at normal room tepmperature to warm up slowly. If you put them under a heat source the rapid change in temperature could stress and kill them quite quickly.pet shop gloucester, spiderling pot
  • Fish. One of the most difficult to move. You need to plan this carefully. pet shop gloucester, tankAt the last minute bag up the fish. Get some fish transport bags from us in our pet shop Gloucester and part fill them with water from your tank. Net the fish and place them in the bags – no more than half a dozen per bag is good. Blow into the bag (not too close, you want clean air going in, not your exhalations!) Twist the tops and secure with a ruber band. Place the fish bags in a polystyrene box with a lid. Then bag up as much of your tank water as you can so you don’t have to use too much fresh water at the other end to refill it.The less change in water quality the better. Bagging the water rather than trying to transport it in large tanks or containers does two things. It reduces the risk of a large loss of water should a container get damaged and makes the load a lot more stable. Large amounts of water in a container will move around alot. In the case of large tanks enough to destabilise a car. Bagging up baffles to water so less movement occurs going round corners. Put the water bags in a polystyrene box as well – not too many per box, a litre of water weighs at least 1kg. You can get polystyrene boxes from us, our fish and frozen reptile food is delivered in them. Leave the tank gravel wet and if possible submerge the filter to keep it wet. At the other end, get the tank located, water in the tank (top up with a little fresh but don’t worry about having the tank full yet). Get everything plugged in and running and then check the temperature. If you got it right this should still be OK. If you haven’t travelled far you may want to leave it to clear a bit before putting the fish in but if you have had the fish in bags for any length of time you want to get them in the tank. Put the fish bags in the tank water for 10 – 15 minutes to equalise the temperature (not necessary if you measure the temperature and it is the same). Then net the fish out of the bags into the tank. Do not tip the fish bag water into the tank – it will contain too much fish waste (ammonia) and you don’t want to overload your tank after the natural disposal system (bacteria) has been disturbed. When the tank has settled down you can top it up with fresh water. Remember that “tap” water is not the same at every tap. Some (like Birmingham) is naturally very soft upper river valley water, some (like Coventry) is semi hard lowland river water and some (like parts of Gloucestershire) is very hard, underground water. So you could be moving from one extreme to another and this will effect your fish, hense the need for gradual change of water conditions and saving as much of your old water as possible.

So there you go, a few things to think about when you move house with your animals. If you want any specific advice on this subject or any other give us a call or pop into the shop. We will be happy to help where we can (I’ve never kept ostritches so I can’t really help there. That said I do know someone who has, so I could probably find out).

Pet Shop Gloucester tips – how to select an animal

Pet shop Gloucester tips series – how to select an animal and more importantly, where to buy from.

Since the most important thing is to select where to buy we will deal with this first. Get this right and selecting and individual animal becomes easier.

There is a lot of rubbish out there about where is the best place to buy an animal. The one we hear the most at our pet shop Gloucester is “from a breeder”. On the face of it this seems like a good idea, we are breeders ourselves, however there are a lot of people out there that could call themselves breeders. I think, following all the press coverage and national campaigns, most people would no longer consider buying a puppy from a Welsh puppy farm. These establishments are renowned for the attrocious conditions the animals are kept in, terrible in breeding and sick puppies. They are breeders though. So clearly bold, over simplified statements are a waste of time.

To select where to buy you need to consider a few basic points and this will guide you

  • Can you view the animal. If not, do not buy it. There are a host of “private” breeders and sellers on the internet and social media. I strongly suggest you do not buy from them. Not all, but most, are chancers that “rescue” animals (i.e. get their stock for free from anyone giving stuff away – and you have to ask why is it being given away?) who then resell it onto unsuspecting customers. I get these people trying to sell their animals to me all the time but we do not buy from these sources. There is generally something wrong with it, or it is very old or the animal is not being kept in the correct conditions. Only buy an animal you have seen before you have parted with your cash and make sure you see it in the enclosure it is being kept in. We also get these people coming to us for advice on how to look after the animals they are breeding or trying to get us to cure them of a host of illnesses. They should be able to do this themselves or be speaking to a vet.
  • Is the person selling the animal qualified to give you advice (and ask to see the qualification). It is our view that no one should be selling animals unless they are formerly qualified in the care of that animal and so are able to give the correct advice. Again, this rules out most online sellers but interestingly most breeders as well. Anyone can set up as a breeder of animals without any training, qualifications, experience or specialist equipment. You have to have a licence to own a pet shop and to get a licence you have to have a minimum qualification.
  • Is the animal being kept in the right conditions. Some animals have specific requirements. For example a bearded dragon needs high heat, thermostatic heat control to prevent overheating and fairly high intensity ultraviolet light. If they do not have this they will be getting ill and could get disorders that will materialise later (such as metabolic bone disease). Do they have space and are the enclosures clean. Again a dirty cage can harbour all sorts of nasties that can cause problems later.
  • Does the seller provide a health check before handing over the animal. If not, why not? Do they know how to or have they something to hide? Can they explain what they are checking for? If they can’t then you know they didn’t properly check the animal when they got it themselves.
  • Are you given advice on how to look after the animal? If not you have to assume it is because the seller doesn’t know how to look after the animal in the first place so shouldn’t be selling it. A seller must give you all the advice you need to correctly care for the animal you have selected. That is their responsibility. Following their advice is your responsibility. If the advice is not there you cannot follow it and may be leaving yourself open to charges of neglect or abuse through ignorance.

So places to avoid are online sellers, pet shop chains (supermarkets), newspaper classifieds, unregistered breeders etc. Places to consider are independent pet shops such as our pet shop Gloucester with specialist knowledge (this is not all independents by the way) and registered breeders. There are some private sellers with a lot of knowledge and genuine reasons for needing to sell but identifying these from the charlatans is nigh on impossible for the novice and remember, commercial trading without a licence is illegal.

So you’ve decided where to buy from, now how do you select an animal? Most of the following points you will not come across if you have done your job of selecting a seller properly. A good seller would never have a sick or distressed animal on display (if they are licenced it breaches the terms of their licence and action can be taken)..

  • It seems an obvious thing to say but does the animal look healthy? If a rat is sitting hunched up on its own, maybe shivering, then there could be something wrong. Does the rabbit have a runny nose, is the fish swimming upside down. Very importantly for all animals, is their bottom clean or is there evidence of loose stools.
Pet shop Gloucester rats

Who are you?

  • Is the animal clean and well groomed. Most animals keep themselves very clean. If the animal has stopped cleaning itself there is generally a reason for this and it won’t be because it’s a lazy teenager. It indicates an unhappy animal. It is either ill or stressed.
Pet shop Gloucester rabbit

Nice and clean

  • How active is the animal. Please bear in mind that different animals are active at different times but most will become active when disturbed to allow you to view them (with the possible exception of ferrets – some ferrets, Vinny our breeding male for instance, will not wake up if they are in a dead sleep without very  vigorous attempts).
Pet shop Gloucester ferrets

It's been a busy day

  • Is it displaying normal behaviour. Hiding from you in a sleeping area or hide is normal for most animals, so don’t be surprised by that. Pacing the cage for instance is a sign of boredom (does the animal have anything to occupy it?) and is not normal.
  • Is the animal docile? All animals can bite you, some are more likely to than others. Hamsters, when young and suddenly woken up can get a little freaked out for instance and will bite if you just reach in and grab them. You need to allow them to come round and pick them up from underneath (allowing them to walk onto your hand). Others will always carry a high risk of biting you (such as a cobalt blue tarantula or baboon spider) and should not be handled. The seller should be able to advice and demonstrate handling. If the seller says it is safe to handle get them to demonstrate first!
Pet shop Gloucester camel spider

Yes, I bite!

  • We’ve dealt with this elsewhere so I assume by this stage you have already considered it and know which animal you want but it’s worth saying again. Make sure you have the time, space, budget, equipment and information necessary to care for the animal you are selecting properly. It is your responsibility. I had someone come in the shop the other day who had purchased a bearded dragon elsewhere and didn’t have any equipment whatsoever (not even an enclosure) or any idea on how to care for it. I know that animal is going to die but she bought it from one of the sellers previously mentioned who only cares that he got her money.
Pet shop Gloucester bearded dragon

This is for transport, not housing

  • Finally what guarantee do you get. This is a tricky one for reputable sellers. You should be offered a guarantee of some sort but do not expect it to be for too long. It should be able to reflect that the animal did not have any immediate health issues when you bought it but cannot guarantee that the animal will not get ill if you do not look after it properly. Our standard guarantee of health (and behaviour – that’s important) is 7 days. In this time it should become clear if the animal has an illness or behavioural problem. After this time the things you are doing to care for the animal begin to outweigh its original condition. Keep a reptile at the wrong temperature or humidity and it will start to suffer regardless of how healthy it was when you got it. However statements such as “animals must be returned within 24 hours or no refund” are ludicrous. You cannot tell within 24 hours if an animal is ill. They take at least that to settle in to their new environment.

A copy of our pet shop Gloucester animal health checklist and guarantee

Pet shop Gloucester livestock checklist

The Angell Pets team

 

Pet Shop Gloucester success video

Pet shop Gloucester marketing strategy success video.

How our pet shop Gloucester succeeded in a double dip recession.

Pet shop gloucester

Old meets new

We used a superb web marketing company to set up our on line and social media marketing. Following the launch of our strategies our pet shop Gloucester business has grown and continues to grow, month by month. Obviously this success is down to the loyalty of our pet shop Gloucester customers, who seem to like our service and come back again and again. Without them we would not have even survived the recession, let alone grown.

Our pet shop Gloucester marketing is aimed at servicing these customers, keeping them informed where they can get discounts or make savings, when we have new lines or new stock in, where we will be for fun days out etc. etc. and also attracting new customers who are frustrated with the big chain shops, online traders and specialist shops with poor service.

You can click here to see a video interview I gave on how we at our pet shop Gloucester have achieved our success and what we are doing for the future. If we haven’t met – I’m the good looking one.