We have a very special offer on Acana dog treats whilst stocks last. These high protien, grain free treats form part of a healthy diet for the most discerning of dogs.
Acana High Protein Dog Treats come in 100g bags and usually retail at £3.49. We have them on offer at 99p a bag. This offer is limited to what we have in stock and is on a first come first served basis. The offer is available in store, on line in our webstore or as a telephone order. FREE local delivery is available on all orders over £10 but these orders must be placed over the telephone.
So grab a few bags whilst they are still available. As with all our offers this will be very popular and stocks of Acana high protien dog treats will not last long at this price.
We have stocked Natures MenuRaw Feed for a number of years. In our opinion “Raw is Best”, closely followed by grain free kibble for those without the time and sadly in my case, memory to defrost food daily. The domestic dog’s closest relative is the wolf, not the chicken, so food containing wheat and maize should be avoided (most supermarket brands). It is put in for the manufacturers’ benefit, not the dogs (a filler that keeps costs down) and if the packaging mentions “meat and animal derivitives”, well, best put it in the bin, it is not meat as you know it.
This week we took delivery of a further two raw food freezers and moved our old freezers out the back, effectively doubling our stock holding of frozen dog, reptile and fish food. The new freezers are also display types so it is easier to see what we have in stock (and for us to find it!).
Our reasons for investing in new new equipment are mainly because, as more and more people see the benefits of feeding their dog a more natural diet, our sales of our ranges of raw and grain free foods continues to grow at pace and we just need the extra storage to keep up with demand. It also allows us to expand the raw feed ranges even further in the future.
If your dog has issues around food senitivity, either skin or digestive and it is more common than you may think, do pop in for some advice from our trained staff. It is amazing how many itchy skin, recuring ear infections, paw licking and loose stool problems are down to feeding food filled with wheat and maize. Just hink how much you can save in vets bill for repeated visits and how much more comfortable you dog will be.
We also have some FREE Natures Menu Raw Feed freezer bags for the next few customers that purchase from our new Natures Menu Raw Feed freeezers.
The largest of the 70 or so species/sub species of the Phelsuma genus. This fascinating bright green, usually red spotted, arboreal gecko comes originally from the north area of Madagascar. As the name suggests this is a diurnal (active by day) lizard. It feeds mainly on insects, smaller vertebrates and some nectar. The Madagascan Giant Day Gecko hunts through the branches and leaves and has the lamellar pads on their toes that make geckos (some) famous for being able to climb vertical surfaces and even hang up side down from leaves and ceilings. In captivity they have no problem running round the glass sides of a suitable vivarium. Anyone considering a bioactive set up would do well to consider the day geckos. I had this set up myself with a breeding pair of Giant Day Geckos (Phelsuma grandis) and it looked the business.
The Madagascan Gian Day Gecko is arboreal so height is as important as floor space. The larger the enclosure the better but as a minimum 60cm long by 60cm high. They can grow up to 30cm (male) although not always. Females are usually a couple of inches smaller. As already stated, they are very agile. They can also be very fast and will shoot out through an open vivarium door if you’re not careful. If they do then you are left chasing a very quick lizard around your walls and ceiling, at my age not that easy. They are known for being escape artists, you have been warned.
If using a wooden vivarium you will need to ensure it is well sealed. These are tropical/sub tropical lizards and the humidity will blow the panels if not properly sealed. I prefer glass for these and similar animals because they are better suited to to the humidity and for spraying the plants and gecko with water. Also, unless you are using some sort of tray liner, wood or more properly melamine) is not suitable for a bio active setups. There are at least four readily available brands of glass vivarium/terrarium currently in the UK (and we have accounts with all of them) and a host of custom builders.
Madagascan Day Geckos are tropical/sub tropical lizards so some form of heating is essential to the continued health of the lizard. Which ever form of heating is used, a temperature gradient across the vivarium will allow the gecko to thermoregulate. Nearly all reptiles are poikilothermic. That is their internal body temperature varies with the temperature of their surroundings (unlike us homeotherms who maintain a stable internal body temperature). They need a hot end (30-32C in the basking area) and a cold end (24-25C) with a gradient in between so they can position themselves to warm up and cool down as required. There are a variety of heating products on the market that can achieve this but I will just outline one method here (with variation depending on budget) as it is the one I tend to use.
A heat mat, mounted to the side of the vivarium to give background heat. This can be left on day and night and connected to a thermostat to switch it off if temperatures get too high (more likely in the day time – why will be clear in a second). A second heat (and light) source, at the same end as the heat mat, mounted above the mesh of the vivarium lid, in the form of a basking lamp. This gives a “hot spot” for the gecko to bask in when it wants to warm up and if a UVA lamp is used it also helps stimulate natural behaviour and colour in the lizard. This lamp is only on during the day giving a day/night difference in temperatures.
Alternatively you could put the basking lamp on a dimmer stat. (dims it down if it gets to hot by reducing the voltage applied to the lamp, which has the added benefit of prolonging lamp life) and have a smaller mat on all the time for background heat. The second method gives finer control but a dimmer stat. is twice the cost of a mat stat. so… As long as the Madagascan Day Gecko is protected from over temperature, either will work fine. If using a wooden vivarium, all heat sources would need to be on a thermostat of some description as wood is a good insulator and will keep the heat in. Glass vivariums usually have mesh lids. Heat rises and escapes so the chances of dangerously high temperatures is much reduced.
Only house one male in an enclosure as males will fight. If housing a male and female together ensure you have a large enclosure with plenty of furniture to ensure the female can avoid the male when she wants. Constant attention form the male will at best cause distress and at worst physical injury.
Most of the food you are going to feed to your Madagascan Giant Day gecko is going to have a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio, namely live insects. This imbalance can be corrected by supplementing the diet with calcium in one form or another. However unless the correct levels of UVB light are supplied then this dietary calcium remains unavailable to the gecko. Animals (us included) use light in the UVB range of the spectrum to synthesize vitamin D3 in the skin. Vitamin D3 is used to metabolize calcium in the diet (and as we are all aware with the COVID pandemic, by the immune system). No vitamin D3, no calcium absorbed from food. The body then goes on the hunt for calcium as it is required by the nervous system and it will start to rob it from the only source left to it, the bones. This leads to a horrible, debilitating disorder called “metabolic bone disease”. The bones start to go thin and even bendy. Mild cases can be reversed but severe cases, even when conditions are corrected, will leave the gecko with deformed limbs and joints. It is painful, crippling and can be fatal and it is totally avoidable with the right UVB lighting. It is even worse in young, growing geckos as obviously they need more calcium to actively grow bones. A Madagascan Giant Day gecko is diurnal, so it is out in the partial sun all day. It is generally classed as a Ferguson zone 3 reptile which means it needs a UVI (UV index) range of 1.0 – 2.6 (Maximum UVI: 2.9 – 7.4 in basking zone).
Don’t worry too much about the technical details of this but the type of UVB lamp you use will depend on the set up of your vivarium and the positioning of the lamp. Not only are there differing strengths of UVB lamp (5%, 10% etc.) but different types, T8 tubes, T5 tubes, compact, mercury vapour, metal hallide. The important thing is that the gecko gets enough UVB light during the day. Unless you possess an expensive UVI meter to check the levels you can only go on a basic understanding of what you are buying.
If the lamp is going to be very close to the basking spot or area where the gecko spends most of the time then a 5% compact will work. If it is going to be a little further then a 10% would be better. If you wish to use a more spread out source then go for a tube. T5 tubes kick out more UVB than T8 tubes but are more expensive. Mercury vapour and metal hallide are probably too strong for this set up and generate a lot of heat, unless of course they are mounted much further away from the lizard. UVB does not travel far from the lamp and the level decays over distance. The stronger the lamp the further it will reach so Mercury vapour are better for ground dwelling species like tortoises or more specialized set ups (such as very large enclosures or rooms). If in any doubt speak to your local reptile shop. In the UK, as part of the license conditions (and you have to have a license to sell animals commercially here) all shops must have a UVI meter and record readings daily. They will know exactly what lamp you need for your set up. Note that ALL UVB lamps will need to be replaced annually. It may still light up but it will no longer be giving out sufficient UVB.
I mentioned UVA with reference to basking lamps in the heating section. UVA stimulates natural behavior and brings out colour. It does not facilitate vitamin D3 synthesis so a UVA lamp alone is not sufficient. They are different wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. It may surprise you how many times, when asked what UV lamp they have, customers just have a basking lamp and when it is pointed out that that is mainly for heat and doesn’t provide UVB they tell me “it says UV on the box”.
What about UVC? Well that is the part of the spectrum responsible for skin damage and cancer. No lamps sold for reptiles as UVA or UVB generate any UVC.
All forms of lighting used should be on for around 12 hours a day and off at night to give a day/night cycle that will encourage natural behaviour and benefit the wellbeing of the Madagascan Day Gecko.
Feeding and Watering
I have already alluded to the diet of the Madagascan Giant Day Gecko. In the wild they eat insects, some vertebrates that are much smaller than themselves and nectar. This diet can be easily recreated in captivity. There is a a much wider range of commercially produced live insects on the market now than when I started keeping reptiles getting on for 50 (cough) years ago. I would recommend varying the diet. Don’t just feed one type of insect. They will take whatever they can get in the wild so swapping the food around a bit is good for them. Not only does it just provide a variety from a behavioral aspect but the insects themselves have different nutritional benefits. I am not going into detail of the different fat, protein, calcium, phosphorous etc. levels of all the available insects here, just vary what is presented and you will be OK. Also gut loading the insect before feeding to the gecko significantly boosts the nutritional content. The lizard eats the whole thing, including whatever the the insect has just eaten (so watch what plants you use that the insects might nibble on!). Just feed some carrot to small to medium small crickets for proof, they almost glow orange! Feeding veg. such as carrot, kale, lettuce, basil etc. will not only boost the vitamins and minerals available to the gecko but will also keep the insects alive. DO NOT let the veg. spoil though. This will wipe out the livefood pretty quickly. They will get sweaty and smelly and you have just wasted a couple of quid. Feed very small amounts frequently (should be all gone in a couple of hours or so) rather than a large chunk for the week.
For the nectar content of the diet there are commercially available powders that you just add water to and present in some sort of small container. Always make these up in small amounts daily and do not allow to spoil. They can also be used to gut load the insects. There also jelly pots available and the geckos seem to like these too.
I never bother with vertebrates. If you want you can try presenting a defrosted pinkie. The diet ours receive is well balanced enough to make this a bit pointless. Remember, in the UK it is illegal to feed live vertebrates to another animal (except under strictly defined circumstances that are not relevant here).
You can present water in a small bowl and the gecko will drink from it. However I prefer to spray the leaves of any fake or real plants at least daily and allow the gecko to drink from that. If you do use a bowl/dish or something flasher like a water fall set, make sure you keep the water fresh. In a warm environment with insects and gecko poop falling in it will get very nasty, very quickly.
People write books about this subject alone so I am only going to cover the basics. I tend to categorize set ups into three types.
Standard or basic. A suitable substrate on the floor, something that helps maintain a bit of humididity like Cresty Life or Coir mixed with bark chips. Your set up, your choice. Some people don’t use any substrate and just wipe the base daily. Fair enough, bit too boring and too much work for me but I guess it works if you spray more frequently. Fake plants both to spray for the Madagascan Day Gecko to drink from and to provide cover (plastic and silk are available, although I prefer silk as I think they look more “real”). A small container for the mixed food and away you go.
Does the job but it will need the substrate cleaning regularly. You can prolong the life by spot cleaning the gecko poop but I challenge any one to find the cricket faeces! After a couple of months it will start to pong a bit and you will start to get fungus growing which will be detrimental to health.
Standard set up but with added detrivores.
Detrivores are small invertebrates (at least in this case) that, well eat detritus. There are several species available that devour the faeces and break it down into nutrients available to plants. If you are using a standard set up with fake plants, you will still have to periodically clean out the substrate but much less frequently.
Bio Active Set Up
To do this properly I strongly recommend using a drainage layer. You can do it without but it is much more difficult to maintain the correct soil moisture content. Too dry and your plants will not thrive, too wet and you could lose the lot very quickly. Plus the soil could go anoxic, which apart from being unhealthy for the lizard, absolutely stinks.
On the bottom you place a reasonable layer of drainage material, usually clay balls. Over this you place a porous membrane or fleece layer to keep the substrate out of the drainage media. On top of this you place your substrate. For good plant growth use a quality forest media with added plant nutrients. I often put a watering tube through the substrate and membrane into the drainage media so water can be added directly to the media for the plants to access when they have established roots but you don’t have to. Add in your detrivores. I use different species (and different sized) woodlice, springtails (an even smaller species of isopod) and in the past have also used white worms (tiny, threadlike detrivores). These should thrive in the substrate and breakdown all the waste so bacteria can have a go and produce nutrients for your plants. Add plants suitable for the environment. There are so many available I am not going to this subject at all here but you want a variety of different heights. These can be planted directly into the substrate if it is deep enough. If you really want lush plant growth you may have to invest in a specialist lamp specifically for them. There are a number of brands making LED lamps for plant growth in vivariums and they all seem to work well. Your vivarium set up will dictate the size and power required. Spray a couple of times a day (more than you would in a basic set up, you are watering the plants too) and that’s it. OK, not really. You will become a bit of an indoor gardener but the gecko is going to love it and you don’t have to clean it out, just clean the water marks off the glass occasionally. Using rainwater reduces the amount of water marks generated and makes them easier to clean off – no mineral deposits.
This is often overlooked by new owners. By taking on any animal you are taking on a commitment to being responsible for that animal’s welfare for the entirety of its life. In the case of a Madagascan Giant Day Gecko this is usually around 8-12 years although there are reports of up to 20 years. If you can’t plan for this and budget for replacing equipment as it reaches the end of its life or fails then please don’t buy an animal at all. If you can then you have many years of observing these fascinating animals interacting with the forest you have created in your living rom.
As part of the governments relaxing of lock down measures and attempts to prevent a second spike in corona virus infections, face masks will have to be worn in shops from Friday 24/07/20. In response to this latest change in regulations we have updated our corona virus proceedures.
All customers will have to wear a mask to come in the shop from Friday until further notice. We appreciate that some people are exempt. However we have no way of checking if someone is in one of the exempt categories or not, so this is a very difficult situation for staff to manage. To keep it fair to everyone and to avoid any argument, only customers wearing masks will be able to come inside the shop. Exempt customers will be served at the door or can use our FREE home delivery service as most exempt customers (not all) are more at risk from the virus anyway and staying home would be safer for them. We have posted the following note on the door for anyone who does not receive a message before hand, although it has been widely reported in the media anyway.
The wearing of masks does reduce the risk of spreading the virus so it also allows us to let more customer groups in the store at a time (currently limited to one customer group). However we will still be limiting the total number of customers in at any one time, at our discretion. Due to this we are still not allowing general members of the public in to just look at animals with no intention of making a purchase.
In the last few weeks, as lock down measures have been eased and more people are out and about we have had too many non customers being abusive and aggressive to staff. We have been told to F off by an actual customer when he was asked to wait until the lady at the counter had left before coming in, had abuse hurled at staff when people have come in to kill time and have not been allowed to look at the animals as we have had genuine customers outside waiting, had grown men push past staff and shove their face next to them whilst they were feeding the reptiles, just to get a better look and then storm out when asked to maintain a safe distance. The list is getting longer every day. We have always had a zero tolerance policy to abuse of staff and anyone behaving in this manner will be leaving immediately. The virus has not gone away and in order to stay open we must follow government guidelines no matter what the public thinks of its efficacy or even what we think ourselves. It is a difficult situation for retail staff to find themselves in and we will not be engaging in arguments as to whether or not a mask is necessary. Staff do not have to wear masks under the regulations but to make genuine customers more comfortable and to head off the “why should I when you’re not” comments from the non customers; we will be wearing masks as well when customers are present.
Thank you in advance for your understanding as we all try to come to terms with the change in requirements.
July’s offers are now avaialble in store and on line. A bit late this month but better late than never. All offers avaiable whilst stocks last until the end of July 2020 and FREE local delivery available on all orders over £10.
We are often asked “where do you get your livestock from?” The truth is that the answer is not straight forward. We stock a very wide range of livestock and there is not a single suplier in the country that supplies a fraction of that range. Some animals we breed ourselves, although not many now due to ill health over the last few years, some come from local breeders that we have used for a number of years, some come from “breeder collectives”, groups of breeders who pool excess stock to sell to pet shops, some come from larger suppliers (again, suppliers we have used for years and can trust). There are also some sources we do not use. Rodent farms (we have visited one of these and wouldn’t use them on ethical grounds), accidental litters resulting from people buying mis-gendered pets from a well known pet supermarket (high risk of sibling mating), random people cold calling and trying to sell us animals (possibly stolen). We visit our suppliers homes or business premises to make sure we are happy with the conditions the animals are being bred/housed in first.
One Sunday in June we took the opportunity afforded by the slight easing of lockdown measures and a beautiful summers day to visit George and his partner Claire for a barbeque in their garden and to collect two crested geckos, bred in their collection at the college they work at. Whilst there I took the opportunity to take a few photos to show what one of our suppliers facilities looks like. This college teaches a variety of equine, agricultural, horticultural and animal courses. As well as taking classes, George is tasked with looking after the collection of animals kept on the college, including developing their environments.
The existing aviaries are stocked with a variety of small birds, including Zebra finches supplied by Angell Pets. There are also large new aviaries currently being developed with different levels of plant growth. The corona virus pandemic has put a hold on populating these as there are currently no students on site but when things return to normal new birds will be sourced for these.
Meerkat enclosure, ferrets, rabbits, aviary.
Where the old aviaries are sited there is also a large compound of other enclosures housing Meerkats, ferrets, chinchillas, guinea pigs (some supplied by Angell Pets for breeding), rabbits, tortoises and others.
Mice and hamsters
Inside the building is a rodent room with rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, degus, chipmunks etc. Another room houses the aquatics section with cold water and tropical fish (some supplied by Angell Pets – angelfish and sydontis and some from which we have had supplies – swordtails and guppies) and terrapins (although these are to go outside into an adapted pond enclosure soon).
African bull frog
Brazilian Milk frogs
Grey tree frog
Skinks, geckos etc.
Beardie, cornsnake, cresties etc.
In the reptile room are frogs (including a huge African bull frog, grey tree frogs and Brazilian milk frogs – supplied by Angell Pets), salamanders and musk turtles (tank and turtles supplied by Angell Pets). Also there is a large enclosure for a common boa, corn snakes, royal pythons, bearded dragons, a water dragon (supplied by Angell Pets), leopard geckos (some supplied by Angell Pets), crested geckos (breeding colony) and skinks. In a separate room, all to itself is an adult male green iguana.
Cattle sheds, stables etc.
Goats and alpacas
Pony and donkey paddocks
Back outside at the rear and sides of the buildings and enclosures are several paddocks. One contains the old duck pond (where the terrapins are going to go) with some ducks still to be transferred down the site to the new, larger pond. Next door are the chickens, where my old hens spent their final days when I became to ill to look after them. Behind are some of the pigs. Further back are the goats and alpacas and further back still are the sheep and llamas. coming back round to the other side of the compound are the donkeys and a pony. There are more livestock in the agricultural department, where the stables, milking sheds and farrowing pens including cattle and horses. We have visited these facilities before but my legs weren’t up to it this time. It’s a big site!
Inside the new aviaries
Somewhere to sit amongst the birds
Small selection of plants
Hot house (where some of our succulents come from)
Hot house flowers
Topiary in need of some students
Empty plots due to Covid
The walkway home
Down towards the entrance is the horticultural department, new aviaries and large duck pond. Some impressive growing tunnels and planting areas, not at their best at the moment due to the lack of activity on site with the lock down but still looking good in the bright sunshine. This is where some of the plants we have on sale in our shop for bio-active set ups come from, including those in the leopard gecko set up on our counter.
As well as the crested geckos we have already sourced from George, when the guinea pigs start breeding we will be having their excess stock. If the leopard geckos breed again we will also have these. Once the aviaries are up and running properly I am sure the birds will start breeding and we will also source some of our birds from here too. The purpose of the collection is to teach animal handling, husbandry and welfare not to breed animals commercially. However in discharging these duties there will be excess animals produced and I am sure having seen the excellent conditions the animals are kept in and the time, effort and indeed money that is spent on their welfare, they are a good fit with our mission statement of promoting ethical and responsible pet care.
The crested geckos mentioned are now on sale in our shop as are zebra finches from the same cohort as those supplied by us for the aviaries. Incidentally we also supplied the original birds for the aviaries at Hartpury college just after George finished his degree there, from memory they had cockatiels, budgies, Java sparrows, zebra finch, Japanese quail and Chinese painted quail.
We are in the process of developing new aviaries and animal enclosures in our Hucclecote store so I am sure our relationship with this excellent supplier will continue to grow.
We are well into the lockdown and hopefully coming out the other side. The Gloucester pet shop has remained open throughout and obviously we always have our webstore. This months offers are available in the shop (one customer group at a time), for telephone order and collection in store, free local delivery to Gloucester and Cheltenham, for a small delivery charge to Stroud and the Forest of Dean and normal courier charges UK wide.
Fortunately we have been able to keep our Gloucester pet shop open throughout the lock down period. We have done this by monitoring government advice, customer behaviours and expectations and especially the needs of those in our community particularly at risk from the virus. As the situation has evolved we have adjusted our opening times, provided new services and restricted non essential sales.
At the weekend the situation changed again and in view of this and changes to the products we can offer (livestock), the associated welfare needs of this livestock and changes in our customers’ behaviours, we have made further adjustments to our opening hours to cope.
A few weeks ago we reduced our opening hours to 2pm closing. This was to enable us to do FREE local delivery. A lot of our customers could not or would rather not come to us during the peak of the pandemic. We had also stopped selling animals (non essential) and actually had very few left in stock. Feeding, watering, cleaning, health checking and monitoring of the livestock is actually what takes up most of the time in the business. We were therefor able to close to do the deliveries because of the time saved by not having a lot of livestock in. As I posted below, this has now changed and we are selling animals again and so we need this time back.
Also many of our customers now feel more able to come to us and actually prefer it because they can browse the shop better than they can the website. Quite a lot like the excuse to get out after weeks of being shut in. It helps them that they can do this safely because of the control measures we already had in place in our Gloucester pet shop in the period prior to lock down. These measures, allowing social distancing remain in place. This has reduced the demand for FREE local delivery, enabling us to reduce the time spent on this service. It is still available to those requiring it but we will be starting the deliveries later in the day. In order to ensure we can still get to all the customers that really do still need us to deliver we have increased the minimum order from £5 to £10. This is to hopefully reduce the amount of deliveries further (we were delivering to some very local customers who weren’t self isolating every other day with orders a couple of pence over the minimum each time).
With the reduced time for the deliveries we have also introduced a delivery schedule, to avoid delivering to opposite ends of the patch on the same night and wasting most of the available time in one long journey. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes if any of this causes our customers any issues.
The new schedule for FREE local delivery from our Gloucester pet shop is below along with a couple of sensible conditions.
Property must be sack truck assessible. We will leave the order at the front door of the main property, telephone the contact number given (or knock, or both) and wait until someone collects the package. We will make only one delivery attempt. If you are not in, or do not answer, the order can be collected from our shop from the following working day onward. If you can do orders to collect please do so as delivery numbers will be limited for the time being. Click and collect is available on our web store but FREE local delivery orders MUST be done by telephone on 01452 501882 and paid for in advance by card. Sorry, no cash on delivery. Cash purchases can only be done in store.
Minimum order £10 Orders must be in by 3pm for same day delivery.
Throughout the lock down we have had an embargo on the sale of animals from our store as non-essential items. No one should have been leaving home for any reason that was not essential. Food for your pet is essential, as are a number of other items, bedding, hygiene products, medicines, toys (essential for the well being of your pet) etc. A new pet was not essential, so unless it was to replace a deceased partner of a social species, or you were in the store buying your normal supplies anyway we had stopped selling animals. We knew this embargo was coming in advance so we stopped restocking with animals before the lock down happened so for the most part we didn’t have any in stock anyway.
The government has now moved to a new phase. The emphasis is moving away from “stay at home” although you should still do this if at all possible, and focusing more on responsible social distancing whilst trying to gradually return society back to normal, over time and with very strict monitoring of the results of any changes. We feel that in line with this change we are now in a position to start offering our livestock for sale again.
This is not a case of everything returning to normal. We already have a social distancing policy in place at our Gloucester pet shop. Only one customer group in the shop at any time, queuing kept to a minimum outside the shop with customers keeping at least 2m apart. Staff maintaining 2m from customers at all times. Click and collect ordering available by telephone and on line in our web store and FREE local delivery for telephone orders. We will be keeping all these procedures in place and this will have an impact on the returning sale of animals.
In normal times we actively encourage prospective owners to interact with their new pet (hold where appropriate), prior to purchase. Under the corona virus restrictions we cannot return to this at present as it would break the social distancing rules. You may ask to look at an animal in its enclosure and where possible staff will try to place the animal in a carrier for you to look at, both of these can be done whilst maintaining 2m between staff and customers but I’m afraid that is the limit of interaction before purchase. You will not be able to hold or inspect the animal further. Our staff will do all the normal pre-sale inspections and of course our livestock policy (the most generous we have found) remains in place to offer you protection.
This is the only way we feel we can return to selling animals whilst maintaining protection for our staff and customers. Please note that this service is available to customers only. We still have a policy of no browsing the animals. We have wide variety of livestock and it attracts a lot of casual visitors. During normal times this is not an issue (unless the “free zoo” visitors get in the way of genuine customers or, as happens from time to time, are disruptive – in which case they are asked to leave). However during the pandemic they represent an unnecessary risk to staff and customers and would also be preventing genuine customers from entering the premises. So for now the “Free Zoo” remains closed. We have had a couple of instances where members of the public have become abusive and/or aggressive with staff when asked to leave if they are not making a purchase and just want to “look at the animals”. Fortunately the number of these instances have been very few but they should not have happened at all. We have a zero tolerance policy toward abuse of staff and will remove from the shop anyone who decides that the middle of the worst crisis to hit the country since the war is a good time to start trying to throw their weight around. As I say it’s rare and we appreciate the rest of our community who understand the need for these restrictive practices at this time.
We update our livestock list on this website daily (or when it changes) and our web store also has all our livestock displayed with prices. All animal sales remain in store only. We do not sell animals to anyone we have not met and chatted to, about the care and welfare of the animal, first.
Finally, customers often have to have a think before making the decision whether to buy that particular animal. Quite right too, you should never rush into purchasing a particular pet. We would ask however that whilst making the decision you leave the store if it is going to take a few minutes as we cannot allow anyone else in at the same time as you so there could be a queue outside.
Difficult times call for difficult measures and we know none of this is exactly an ideal “customer experience” so we thank you all in advance for your understanding as we try to remain in business whilst protecting ourselves and our families as well as you and yours.
May has started well, nice weather and at least the hope of an end in sight for the lockdown. Fingers crossed. We now have our monthly offers for May available in store, for telephone orders and online. Please remember to call us at the store on 01452 501882 if you require FREE local delivery. You can order on line for courier delivery or to collect in store but you need to call us for FREE delivery to Gloucester and Cheltenham. We can also do delivery to nearby areas like Stroud and the Forest for a small charge (£5).
As always our monthly offers can prove very popular and can sell out in store or at the wholesalers quite quickly so do order early to avoid disappointment. Also the FREE local delivery is getting busier so please get orders in early for same day delivery. We are at the point where we may have to defer late orders until the next available slot.