Reptile Boarding

Our Reptile Boarding facility here at Angell Pets has grown rapidly in popularity since being launched a couple of years ago.

reptile boarding

Most of our customers, lucky enough to go on holiday each year, are returning to book their animals in each time and new people are hearing about our reptile boarding service and using us for the first time. Peak times are now booked up months in advance. For example Easter and August this year were both virtually fully booked two months in advance.

small animal boarding

We have some space this summer left in July and September with a few odd days only in August for reptile boarding. We do have a little space left for birds and small animals but not much.

reptile boarding

Hermann’s tortoise

If you wish to take advantage of our excellent reptile boarding rates and have your animals looked after by top qualified staff please do book now to avoid disappointment.

Contact us on 01452 501882 to reserve space.

The Angell Pets Team

Hog Island Boa Care Sheet

Hog Island boas are an island variety of common boa. The two main differences are size and colouration. Hog Island boas are naturally hypomelanistic (low in black pigment). This allows the other colours to stand out more, giving a lovely muted pattern of light browns and pinks to orange and even blue. Adult female common boas may reach 12 feet but it is very rare for a Hog Island boa to get above 6 feet and males generally reach 4 feet. Common boas would make great first snakes if it were not for their adult size. The smaller size of the Hog Island boa makes it a great alternative to the often fussy royal python as a choice of first snake. This Hog Island boa care sheet sets out the basics for you.

hog island boa

Housing

Obviously the other “advantage” the Hog Island boa has over the larger commons is that being smaller, they require less space, allowing for a smaller enclosure. The old rule of thumb, length of vivarium plus depth of vivarium equals length of snake shows a three foot vivarium large enough for all but the largest specimens and a four foot enough for even a large female. So for someone wanting a boa but without the space (or the funds) to house a large common, the Hog Island boa makes an obvious choice.

As to keeping a smaller Hog Island boa in a small box until it is bigger and more confident. Can you? Well, yes you can. Do you have to? Well, no you don’t. If you want to house a young Hog Island boa in the vivarium that will last into adulthood and beyond, that is fine. Just ensure there are plenty of places for it to hide away in different areas of the viv.

Heating

The Hog Island boa comes from the tropical Cayos Cachinos Islands off the coast of Honduras. So they need heat and a reasonable level of humidity (although not wet). Around 29C at the hot end and a humidity level of around 60% is fine. I prefer heating with a ceramic heat emitter and this must have a cage around it to prevent contact with the snake and consequent burns. Due to the smaller size of the Hog Island boa you could use a heat mat (mounted on the end wall of the viv. to prevent thermal blocking). Which ever you use, a thermostat to control the temperature is essential. Over heating will damage a snake much more quickly than under heating. Of the two methods of heating mentioned, heat mats and on/off thermostats are cheaper, whilst ceramics and pulse proportional thermostats give a finer level of control.

hog island boa

Lighting

The Hog Island boa generally does not require specialist lighting but why have a snake in a vivarium and then not be able to see it? I find the best modern solution to be LED lighting. Most are neat, quite stylish, don’t generate heat so don’t need to be guarded, can come in a variety of colours (some will automatically change from day to night lighting if you want to be flash), are low voltage inside the viv, are energy efficient, last the lifetime of the snake so don’t require regular replacement of blown lamps…As you can see I am quite sold on them. However properly guarded incandescent lamps can be used (but take the heat generated into consideration) and fluorescent tubes work well but will need to be replaced occasionally.

hog island boa

Substrate

I prefer bark chips (orchid bark) for a Hog Island boa. The dark colour sets off the snake well and this substrate works well as a holder of moisture, helping to maintain some humidity. Other substrates can be used, aspen, lignocel, beech chip, cage carpet etc. Humidity can be maintained by positioning of the water bowl – at the hot end increases humidity as the water evaporates. Water should be changed daily anyway so it will not be there long enough for it all to disappear. In the end the choice of substrate is yours, most cost around the same so that shouldn’t be a factor. Whatever you want for your Hog Island boa.

Decor

As with most snakes, a hide of some description is a must so the Hog Island boa has somewhere to go when it feels the need to be secure. More than one is better, so the snake can choose the temperature of the hide it wants to use. A hide is also a good place to put some damp moss for localised increase of humidity when shedding. Some form of branch is good (environmental or habitat enrichment to get all professional) to allow climbing behaviour. Aside from these it’s your viv. so it’s your choice. Silk plants are an attractive addition to a vivarium (real plants work too but you may spend more time looking after them than the Hog Island boa) and of course a skull always looks good with a snake coming out the eye socket. No? Just me then.

Feeding

Apart from an Amazon Tree Boa I had once (there is always one), every boa I have had has been a good feeder. The Hog Island boa is no exception. I have heard that they can go off their food if they feel insecure but if you have the correct set up in your vivarium this is not going to happen. Mice for smaller specimens is fine but I would get onto rats as soon as possible as larger ones are going to need larger food and there is a possibility it could get habituated to mice. Not the Hog Island boa examples I have had though. They eat anything (well not really anything but you get the point). As with any snake, don’t feed too large a mouse or rat though. There are a lot of risks associated with this, from refusing food to regurgitating later to damage to the insides of the snake from sharp rat claws etc. It’s just not worth risking it for no perceivable benefit to the snake. I feed once a week on smaller food up to once every two weeks for larger. The snake will let you know. Oh and I always use tongs for feeding. A nice smell of rat coupled with a nice warm hand can result in a snake striking at the wrong thing. A Hog Island boa is no exception to this potential confusion.

Handling

The Hog Island boa is quite a docile snake and certainly doesn’t seem to mind being handled (I can’t speak snake so I wouldn’t like to say they enjoy it). As with all snakes, the more secure they feel the less likely to try to escape, strike etc. The more points of contact on its body, the more secure the snake will feel. Always approach a snake from behind, never from in front of its head. The Hog Island boa has a lot of very highly tuned sensors (nostrils, eyes, tongue and Jacobson’s organ and heat pits) Continue reading

May Offers from Angell Pets Gloucester Pet Shop

Our May offers are now available on line in our webstore or in our Gloucester pet shop

Harringtons Dog Food Lamb & Rice 15kg

harringtons dog food

 

Harringtons Dog Food Turkey & Veg 15kg

Catsan Hygiene Litter 10L ONLY £3.99 RRP £6.26

catsan

Russel Rabbit Tasy Nuggets 2kg ONLY £1.99 RRP £3.99

russel rabbit

Lick N Chew Strips ONLY £1.99 RRP £2.99

Chicken Strips

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Healthy Heart Strips

Beautiful Coat Strips

Combat Stress Strips

Flexible Joints Strips

Pointer Salmon Burgers 500g ONLY £1.49 RRP £1.99

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Pointer Liver Squares 500g ONLY £1.49 RRP £1.89

Mikki Nail Clipper Large ONLY £6.99 RRP £11.99

pet shops in gloucester

Winalot Shapes 2kg ONLY £2.69 RRP £3.49

winalot shapes

Ancol Ergo Univeral Slicker Brush

dog grooming

Small ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.55

Medium ONLY £3.49 RRP £5.70

Large ONLY £4.25 RRP £6.90

FIPROtech Spot On Medium Dog 3 Treatment ONLY £8.99 RRP £12.00

flea treatment

Meowing Heads Purr Nickety 250g ONLY £2.85 RRP £4.19

meowing heads

Omega Tasty Dog Original 15kg ONLY £14.99 RRP £22.99

omega tasty

Omega Tasty Dog Chicken 15kg ONLY £14.99 RRP £22.99

omega tasty

Pedigree Dog Pouches 4 x 100g Sachets ONLY 95p RRP £1.29

pedigree pouches

Chicken & Beef

Chicken & Lamb

Puppy

Senior

Aquarian Goldfish Flake 25g ONLY £2.39 RRP £2.89

aquarian goldfish

Green – Um Lawn Burn Control 100 Tablets ONLY £6.99 RRP £10.99

green um

Visit our on line webstore or in person at Angell Pets in our Gloucester pet shop for more offers.

The Angell Pets Team

Grain Free Dog and Cat Food – New varieties added

Grain free dog and cat foods are fast becoming the most popular way to feed cats and dogs in the UK amongst owners who want the best for their pets. Angell Pets excellent range of APL pet foods has now been extended to include more grain free varieties of premium dog and cat food at great value prices.

grain free

 

Dogs are carnivores but most dog food on the market still contains at least some grain. The cheaper the food, generally the more grain it contains, to the point that some foods contain much more grain than meat. Whilst this would be good news for a human it is bad news for a dog. The grain is only there in most cases to provide a cheap filler to keep the price of the food down, not to benefit the dog. With some of the really bad foods, there is so little meat protein present that the grain (in this case wheat, the least desirable grain to use) is actually providing the bulk of the quoted protein content of the food (wheat gluten is a vegetable protein). Grain free dog and cat food on the other hand naturally contains more meat as virtually all the quoted protein content has to come from this source.

Grain Free

Angell Pets have sold high quality, high meat content, grain free foods for years. These provide the optimum diet for your dog. Angell Pets has been able to provide a grain free product of our own (APL grain free range) for some time and we are pleased to add new varieties to our own APL Grain Free, high meat content dog and cat foods. The range so far includes APL Grain Free Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry, APL Grain Free Salmon, Trout, Sweet Potato and Asparagus,  APL  Pork, Sweet Potato and Apple, APL  Lamb, Mint and Sweet Potato,  APL  Duck, Orange and Sweet Potato and APL Puppy Chicken, Sweet Potato, Carrots and Peas. Whilst we make no claim the ingredients are as fresh as say Orijen, we are satisfied that the meat content is now sufficiently high to offer this as a cheaper alternative to premium ranges such as Acana, Orijen and Canagan. In our view Orijen remains the best bagged dog food on the market but at this price ours is now a viable alternative and works out cheaper per day to feed.

We also now do a grain free range of dog and high meat content cat treats to compliment the grain free food.

APL GRAIN FREE FOOD IS NOW AVAIALBLE IN STORE OR ON LINE IN 2KG AND 12 KG BAGS and 2kg bags of grain free cat food. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE SHOP, DROP US A LINE OR POP IN A VISIT US AT ANGELL PETS.

Exo Terra Approved Supplier

Exo Terra, along with all the other Hagen brands such as Fluval, Marina, Glo, VivExotic etc. was starting to suffer from poor after sales support from some of the on line sellers of their products. The brand recently took the decision to regain control over who could sell their products to ensure buyers could be confident the seller knew what they were selling, could give advice where needed and provided after sales support and of course, actually held their products in stock.

Angell Pets have been through Hagen’s (Exo Terra parent brand) rigorous approval process and have obtained approved supplier status. This is because we stock the products, have access through a number of routes to replacement stock, have qualified staff that are able to give advice both on the products and the animals associated with them and are able (and willing!) to give after sales support to customers that use our on line web store and our “real” shop in Gloucester.

You can tell if a supplier is approved and therefore able to sell and support Exo Terra products because they will display the logo. If this logo is not displayed, don’t buy from that “supplier” as the products have not come through the official channels.

exo terra

The Exo Terra range is a well known and respected brand within the hobby and is constantly being reviewed, updated and improved. This is why we are proud to be listed as approved Exo Terra (and other Hagen brands) stockists.

Exo Terra

If you wish to buy an Exo Terra product you can go on line to our web store and order that way, call us on 01452 501882 or drop by the shop in Gloucester. If you have any questions regarding Exo Terra products or keeping any animal do feel free to contact us by any of the above means or using the contact form on this site.

exo terra

 

The Exo Terra range is quite large (the full Hagen brands range absolutely huge!) and we do not claim to have every product in stock at all times. Those we do not currently have are only a few days away at most however so if you need an Exo Terra product that you cannot see on our web site just call us and we will order it in for you.

 

Don’t forget, local Exo Terra customers also benefit from Angell Pets’ FREE LOCAL DELIVERY service on all purchases.

The Angell Pets Team

 

Pet Shop Gloucester tips on general snake handling

Pet Shop Gloucester tips. Just a brief post on 5 top tips on handling NON VENOMOUS snakes from your favourite Gloucester pet shop.

  • If your snake has just fed, DON’T HANDLE IT. Handling a snake after it has just fed can be at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous. Snakes swallow their food whole and rely on strong stomach acids to break it down. Whilst this happens relatively quickly, for the first 24 – 48 hours the snake has a large, hard object in a small, confined space. In the wild they would lay up during this period and allow the acids to do their work. Handling causes the snake to move around and this puts pressure on its stomach (or in the case of inexperienced handlers they may actually squeeze the area). This action can make the snake regurgitate the meal (if it hasn’t already as a threat response), bringing up the very strong stomach acid with it, which can cause damage. Even worse, if the snake doesn’t regurgitate and the meal is still undigested other internal organs can be damaged by the pressure, if handled roughly (or dropped). Then of course there is the risk to you. Even a docile snake may strike when it has just been fed or is digesting its meal. It knows you shouldn’t be picking it up even if you don’t.
  • pet shop gloucester reptile boarding

    One Of Our Reptile Boarders Being Fed

For more advice on feeding snakes come and see us in our pet shop Gloucester.

  • If your snake is shedding, DON’T HANDLE IT. It’s not so much that it dangerous for the snake (although it may lead to incomplete shedding) but with its eyes clouded over it can’t see. Would you be in good mood if you suddenly had one of your senses taken away? The snake still has other, very accurate senses, so it can and will tag you.

For more advice on problem shedding come and see us in our pet shop Gloucester.

  • So assuming your snake is not shedding and has not been fed within the last 48 hours the most important things is to BE CONFIDENT. Most people who keep snakes will tell you the snake can sense it if you’re nervous. I don’t think they have any ability to sense nerves in you at all, however they can pick up on your body language. If you go in with a hesitant hand, that’s shaking or moving in then pulling back etc. the poor old snake doesn’t know what is going on. When they are unsure of a situation they naturally get defensive and may well strike. I can and have, on several occasions, demonstrated this in the shop where I can simulate a nervous owner and get even a cornsnake to strike or conversely, be confident with a rather nippy kingsnake and not get tagged. In fact someone once brought such a kingsnake into the shop, complete with viv. (as they couldn’t get the snake out, it was so aggressive). The snake was hissing and striking at the glass. I opened the viv. picked the snake straight up and it was quite calm. The owner then hesitantly took the snake off me and promptly got bitten on the neck. Which takes us to the next point.

For more advice or demonstrations on snake handling come and see us in our pet shop Gloucester.

  • Keep the snake away from your face. If a snake does bite it should only be able, at worst, to get your hand. If it gets anywhere else, guess what? That was your fault. Staring up close into the face of a snake is a bad idea. Snakes are carnivores, their senses for the most part are binocular and forward facing in order to judge direction, distance and to strike accurately. This means they are particularly sensitive to anything immediately in front of them that moves. If you wave your hand about in front of your snakes head, or worse your nose (especially if it’s as big as mine) you are much more likely to get tagged. Also all reptiles can carry salmonella. Letting a snake touch your face near your mouth (i.e. kissing it!!) is really a bad idea.

For more advice on being bitten by snakes (especially if the snake won’t let go !!) call us at our pet shop Gloucester.

  • Wash your hands afterwards. As stated, snakes can carry salmonella. This bacterium is quite likely to be found on the snakes skin. They poop in the viv and move around – it will transfer bacteria onto its skin. You will be letting the snake run through your hands, you will touch it near its cloaca (vent) where the poop comes out so you will get bacteria on your hands. If you don’t wash your hands immediately you will be transferring bacteria everywhere you touch. Salmonella is a dangerous infection, potentially fatal in infants, the elderly and immune suppressed individuals. If you are fit and healthy you will survive but you will never want to get it again. I have had the disease. It is unpleasant, debilitating, incredibly painful and will take some time to recover from. All you have to do to avoid getting it, or giving it to your family, is wash your hands, preferably with an anti bacterial hand wash. We sell them, so you have no excuse. Also some snakes carry diseases that can be passed onto other snakes, the one that springs to mind is IBD (inclusion body disease) that can infect boids (pythons and boas). It is highly contagious and always fatal to the snake. Always disinfect when moving from one boid viv. to another or any other enclosure for that matter. Cross contamination by the owner is the commonest vector for the spread of mites, for example. An alcohol hand wash will kill any eggs on your skin (it dehydrates them) as well as any bacteria and the mechanical action also helps lift dirt that is harbouring other pathogens.

For more advice on reptile hygiene contact us at our pet shop Gloucester 

I hope these tips are of use. If you have any more questions or need more advanced help with anything just get in touch with our pet shop Gloucester and we will try to help.

Fire Salamander Care Sheet

Fire salamander is a name given to a group of related species of salamander of the genus Salamandra from across Europe (excluding the fringes such as Britain and Ireland) and North Africa round to the Levant. The fire salamander is a terrestrial amphibian that only really goes to water to breed, spending most of its relatively long adult life rooting around in damp leaf litter looking for prey. They rarely come out during the day (unless it has recently rained or they are breeding) and actively avoid higher temperatures by burrowing into the litter or under logs if it gets too warm. In warmer climates they become inactive during hot months and in cooler climates they do the same in colder months.

fire salamander

The fire salamander lays eggs (timing dependant on species and location) directly in to water that hatch immediately as they are deposited into the larval form, which is completely aquatic although the stage at which the larvae emerge at varies widely (some species emerge as the adult “metamorph”). Normally larvae are about an inch long and metamorphose into the adult form when they have roughly doubled in size. The adult fire salamander reaches between 5 and 12 inches in size.

Most species of fire salamander inhabit lowland forests and woodland although some species prefer higher forests and some are alpine. There are also some species of fire salamander that can inhabit quite arid regions such as the Levant.

The fire salamander has quite a large territory for such a relatively small animal and males will defend this territory during breeding season so as large an enclosure as possible is best to allow natural behaviour.

Housing

The fires salamander actively hunts its prey through the forest floor litter. A large enclosure will allow this behaviour in captivity. A minimum of 45cmx45cm for the smaller species is OK but larger is better. Glass enclosures work best due to the high humidity but wood (melamine) could be used if very well sealed (the surface as well as the edges). The fire salamander hides away during the day so lots of hiding places (logs, cork bark etc.) will be appreciated.

Substrate

The fire salamander is generally a forest animal and a substrate to mimic this works best. We use a mixture of coir, bark chips, leaf litter and moss to create a varied forest floor effect. Others use more utilitarian set ups, particularly some breeders and if the animals are breeding then hey ho, who am I to argue. I just prefer a natural looking set up for display. A completely natural set up with drainage media, bio active substrate, detrivores in the soil to dispose of waste and plants to use the nutrients produced would also work very well although I find I end up focussing more attention (and expense) trying to look after the plants than the fire salamander!

Heating

The fire salamander does not like temperatures much above 20C. Some alpine species in particular will not tolerate higher temperatures and must be kept below this. All species should be kept no higher than the low 20s with a night time drop of up to 10C. So in a modern, well insulated house it is unlikely that extra heating is going to be necessary. If you have a particularly cold house (for instance a wife that has the heating off and the window open when it’s minus 4C outside) then a small heat mat may be necessary but if this is the case a thermostat is an essential.

Lighting

The fire salamander is nocturnal. Specialist lighting is not required. A day night cycle is beneficial but in a glass vivarium natural light will provide this. Of course in a display vivarium lighting can make all the difference to the look and modern LED lighting works well here. Units that switch between white daytime lighting and blue night time lighting work well and look good. Of course if you go for a bioactive set up with real plants then you will need lighting to stimulate plant growth.

Feeding

The fire salamander actively hunts and eats invertebrates such as worms, insects, spiders etc. The key is variety. Offer a range of foods including crickets. calci worms, wax worms, meal worms etc. Gut loading the live food is always a good idea but supplement powders should not be necessary if the diet is varied. A diet of just crickets for example is bad idea and supplement powders would then be necessary. Regular misting of the enclosure to maintain humidity (they require high humidity, especially in the substrate but not “wet”) will also provide all the free water the fire salamander needs. A water dish is only necessary for breeding. If you put one in at any other time they are unlikely to use it.

For smaller or newly metamorphosed adult fire salamander smaller prey items will be more appropriate, such as fruit fly, smaller calci worms, white worms etc. For a larval fire salamander a range of aquatic foods are available such as daphnia, bloodworm, white worm etc. Most are available live or frozen.

So the fire salamander makes a fairly easy to care for, low cost animal to keep. However as with all animals remember you are taking on responsibility for its care for the rest of its life which in the case of some species of fire salamander can be up to 30 years in captivity.

Angell Pets March Bargains

It’s the 1st of March and this months offers are on the shelves. All offers are available in store and on line and all qualify for loyalty points and FREE LOCAL DELIVERY. As usual we have compared the prices (where possible) to other stores and supermarkets for you.

burns pup mini

 

Burns Puppy Original Chicken and Burns Puppy Mini 6kg ONLY £15.99 (save over £5).

Pets At Home “Exclusive” on line price £21.89.

burns pup orig

Whiskas Complete With Chicken 7kg ONLY £12.49 (Save £4)

 

felix mixed

Felix Mixed Variety 12x400g Tins ONLY £6.49 (Less than 55p per can)

 

aatu

AATU Dog 80/20 Chicken 1.5kg ONLY £9.99 (Save 1/3)

Pets At Home Price £14.99

BM wormer

Bob Martin All In One Wormer For Dogs 2 tablets ONLY £5.99 (Save £2)

Morrisons price £7.00

chuck a longa

Chuck ‘A’ Longer ONLY £2.99 (Save 39%)

tetra goldfish

Tetra Goldfish Complete Food 52g ONLY £2.69 (Save 34%)

PamPurredPets price £4.90

burgess adult

burgess kitten

burgess mature

Burgess Cat Food Kitten and Adult 1.5kg and Mature 1.4kg ONLY £2.99 (Save over £1.50)

whimzee variety

Whimzees Variety Box Small, Medium and Large ONLY £9.99 (Save 49%)

Pets At Home price £15.99

russel junior

Russel Rabbit Junior Baby Bunny Mix 2.5kg ONLY £2.49 (Half Price)

ped beef

ped chick

Pedigree Dog Complete Beef/Chicken 15kg ONLY £16.99 (Save over £10)

ASDA price £25.38

winalot mixed

Winalot Mixed Variety 12 x 400g Tins Only £5.99 (Save over £1.50)

 

kong marathon bone

Kong Marathon Bone Small ONLY £6.99 (Save £4.00)

kong marathon chew

Kong Marathon Replacement Chew Small 2 Pack Only £3.49 (Save 30%)

 

Pets At Home price £5.00

simple solution

Simple Solutions Stain and Odour Remover 750ml ONLY £4.49 (Save £2)

Pets At Home Price £8.00

 

The Angell Pets Team

 

 

 

Iguana Care Sheet

Iguana. The very first thing to consider when buying an iguana is its adult size. The commonest species, Iguana iguana gets very large. Females around 5 feet, males 6 to 7. Even though a lot of this is tail they are still a large and bulky lizard. Eventually they are going to need a very large enclosure (small room size) so don’t get one if you can’t accommodate this amount of space. If you are sure you can then read on.

red iguana

The next thing is longevity. 12 to 15 years is the norm, 20 years is possible in captivity. So the room you have decided to set aside for the iguana when it reaches adult size needs to remain a “spare room” for that length of time. One of the commonest things we hear is “Do you want my” boa, python, monitor lizard, even bearded dragon. “We’ve a baby on the way and we need the room now”. Things change, who knows what they are going to be doing five years from now, let alone 20. You need to factor your responsibility to your animal into your plans. If you have the space and a contingency if things should change then read on.

An adult iguana is a large animal with powerful jaws, claws and a long tail, which it can use as a very effective whip in defence. Regular short periods of handling when young, so the iguana gains confidence in its owner, will stop it getting truly aggressive but you need to be confident in yourself in handling a large animal. If you have never owned a lizard before (they are very fast as well, especially as youngsters) then think about getting something a little easier first to gain experience. OK, you’re confident you have the space, can accommodate the iguana in any changes that may occur and are sure you can handle such a large beast, what do you have to do to look after it?

Firstly source your iguana. Get a captive bred one. They are generally more docile, do better in captivity, don’t come with a full load of parasites and you will not be contributing to environmental damage. If you buy one on line or on social media from someone who just needs to “get rid” then how confident are you going to be that such an unwanted iguana has been properly looked after. Of course this is true of any animal, not just an iguana. I have seen corn snakes that have been kept in shoe boxes under the bed and just chucked a mouse every few weeks when the “owner” has remembered, bearded dragons with MBD because the UVB lamp has never been changed since they got the lizard, so called breeders who don’t even have the necessary equipment for the babies so just try to sell them off as quickly as possible so they don’t have to get any and so on and so on. Make sure you are using a reliable source, that has a premises you can visit and see the iguana as they are being kept and have the knowledge and experience to give you the advice you need and importantly, with a written  iguana livestock policy. If the seller cannot give you the information you require, don’t buy from them as they cannot have been looking after the iguana properly themselves and you could be buying a problem. If there is a problem, how likely is it you can return the iguana? We want to see you too. We don’t sell our animals on line as we feel we have a responsibility to the iguana not to be selling it to someone who cannot look after it. Buy from someone who knows and who cares.

Housing

As already discussed your are going to need a very large enclosure (up to 12’x6’x6′ for a large adult male iguana) eventually. However a baby iguana is going to look lost in such an enclosure and there are other reasons for starting out in a somewhat smaller vivarium. Firstly it is supposed that a baby iguana can sometimes find it difficult to find the food and water in a large enclosure. Certainly not the ones we have had! Also you wonder how the wild ones get on outside. I think that is maybe truer for animals that have to hunt insects. That said, why take a risk when there are other reasons to start smaller. Catching a nervous baby iguana is not easy in a large space. I am getting on now and bending down is not as easy as it once was. I had to try to catch an iguana in the shop that escaped whilst a customer was viewing it the other day and could only do it once I had in cornered in a smaller space. Much easier to catch an iguana in a smaller vivarium. Also catching them will be quicker and therefore less stressful to the iguana. You are trying to get it used to being handled and not to see you as a threat. Much better they get used to you opening the viv’ and just quickly picking them up than chasing them round a room first.

Heating

The iguana comes from tropical and sub tropical America (mainly central and south). They like it warm and humid. A basking area hot spot of up to 48C dropping to 25 and the coldest end. Heating is best achieved with lamps although some background heating may be required in a larger enclosure. Importantly there must be a temperature gradient with areas for the iguana to sit in so it can move around the enclosure to regulate its body temperature. They do better with heat coming from above. A heat mat on the floor can result in thermal blocking with any larger animal so if using a mat for overnight temperature in a smaller vivarium, have it mounted on the end wall, off the floor so the iguana cannot lay on top of it and overheat. A UVA  basking light for daytime heat and an infra red lamp or ceramic heat emitter for night time heat is ideal, although you do need to ensure the iguana cannot touch the lamp and burn. In the adult enclosure more than one lamp or heat source will be necessary. Only one may heat the animals head but it is 6 feet long so the body would not get any benefit. In other words increase the size of the basking area as the iguana grows. Keeping any animal at such high temperatures is almost impossible without some way of controlling the temperature. Ambient temperature is going to change. A heat source that achieves 45C on a cold winters night is going to be considerably hotter on a hot summers day so a thermostat is essential. Overheating will kill an iguana much quicker than it being kept too cool.

Lighting

An iguana is a diurnal lizards. They are active during the day (they have an organ under the skin on the top of their heads often called a third or parietal eye that detects light and some movement). An iguana will also require UVB lighting. This is not the light provided by the basking spot lamp (unless you use a combined heat and UVB lamp). Normal basking lamps DO NOT provided UVB light although some do provide UVA. UVB is essential for allowing the iguana to manufacture vitamin D3 in its skin. Vitamin D3 is used in the metabolism of calcium from the diet. Without a good source of UVB the iguana cannot get calcium from their food and their bodies will then start to scavenge it from the only source left which is the bones. This leads to metabolic bone disease (MBD) and can be fatal. It is even more likely in a growing iguana as the calcium demand is higher. Of course in the wild they are in full sunlight and you cannot get a better UV source than that (so taking your iguana into the garden on a hot summers day is a good thing – do make sure you don’t have toxic ornamental plants though).

One thing often overlooked is that UVB bulbs and tubes, whilst they may carry on working as a light source, stop giving out UVB after a while (depending on which type). After 6 moths UVB tubes start to deteriorate and after a year are not producing any appreciable UVB light at all. You will need to change tubes at around 9 months usage, so make sure you record when you last changed the lamp. Also UV does not travel very far from the source. Having a lamp on the top of a 6 foot high enclosure and expecting the UVB to reach an iguana on the ground is beyond wishful thinking. You will need to provide a basking area close (around 12 inches) to the UVB lamp to ensure the iguana is getting enough to manufacture vitamin D3. This is OK as iguanas are mostly arboreal and so will spend most of their time on strategically placed branches and ledges.

 

Substrate and decor

Substrate choice is always a subject that creates debate (or in a lot of cases out and out slanging matches). I have my own personal preferences and my own reasons for that choice and you may have yours. As I don’t know your choices and reasons I will give mine instead. Certainly for a smaller enclosure I prefer bark chips (also known as orchid bark). I like it as it looks natural and also as it can help maintain the humidity of the vivarium by retaining some moisture. There is a perceived risk of an iguana accidentally ingesting it and subsequent impaction but I have never known this and by using a large food bowl and disposing of uneaten, spilt food this can be avoided. Sometime I have mixed it with coir (coco fibres) to make it go further and sometimes added a layer of dead leaves or moss for an even more natural look, particularly when going the whole hog and setting up a naturalistic environment complete with detrivores to clean up the poop and waste food. However that’s a subject on its own so I won’t cover it further here. In a large adult iguana enclosure this can get expensive and lots of people use just newspaper. Normally I am not a fan as I don’t like the look of it and the animals cannot get a grip on the surface. However with iguanas they are not going spend enough time out of the branches for that to be a problem. I still don’t like the look though. Some people use straw or alfalfa pellets. Again not my favourite. There is little risk if ingested as, after all, it is just food. However any water spilt on it turns it to mush and it can then smell. Of course you don’t have to use anything in a large enclosure, just have a surface that is easy to wipe clean but do keep it clean!

As already stated, an iguana needs branches and ledges to climb around on (hence the need for height in their enclosure). Artificial greenery (personally, I prefer silk plants to plastic) works well and looks good. If you are going to use real plants make sure they are not toxic as the iguana will at least try to eat them. Any thing purchased from a garden centre will have been sprayed with pesticide and may also have pesticide in the soil of the pot. Go organic. Whichever you choose, the more the merrier. A young iguana especially will appreciate the hiding spots.

Food

The iguana is a vegetarian, completely. Yes in the wild they are bound to eat the odd insect or slug that is on their food but only by accident. Feeding animal protein in any amount will lead to renal problems as the kidneys are overloaded.

90% of the diet needs to be green fibrous food such as rocket, lettuces, kale, dandelions etc. The other 10% can be made up of squashes, cucumber, grated carrot etc. and small amounts of fruit (ours love a bit of mango). Go easy on the fruit though, as too much can upset the stomach which is not good for the iguana and you are the one that has to clear up the resultant mess. There are also commercially prepared iguana packaged foods available. Whilst I would not advocate feeding these exclusively to an iguana, they make a good “cupboard staple” for those times when, for whatever reason, you just can’t get out to get some fresh food. Our iguana likes tortoise pellets now and then and since these contain calcium and vitamin supplements they make a good occasional treat.

Supplementation of the food with calcium powder and occasionally vitamin powder will ensure a healthy iguana throughout its life.

Whilst small, chop the food up quite finely. They don’t really chew as such and will swallow lumps whole, so keeping the pieces small will only help. Always feed good quality food fresh. Remove any uneaten food before it goes nasty and it is an artificially hot environment, it will go nasty quickly.

Always provide fresh water daily. A bowl large enough for a youngster to get into is good. Regular misting will also help maintain humidity (which helps when shedding skin) and ensure youngsters are getting water to drink. You can adjust humidity further by moving the water bowl. At the cool end there will be less evaporation than in the hot end.

red iguana

With proper care and handling IGUANAS do make good pets. They do seem to get to recognise and interact with their owners and each has its own unique character. Unless you are very experienced though (and if you are you probably wouldn’t be bothering to read this) avoid getting an adult. If it hasn’t been properly looked after it is likely to be aggressive and such a powerful animal is going to do some damage. Always see and handle any animal first, before committing to buy. Above all appreciate you are taking over responsibility for the animal when you buy it and all that entails. If you are not sure you have the space, time and finances don’t.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Angell Pets Christmas 2015 Opening Times

Here we are again, the festive season. Firstly a Merry Christmas to all our loyal customers and to those we have yet to meet. Each year we publish our opening times over the Christmas period as  Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day are the only days in the year when we are closed.

So here are our opening times for this year. Any orders for free local or mainland UK delivery made whilst we are closed will be delivered in the next available delivery slot (also listed).

Can I take this opportunity to ask that if you have any orders to make please do it as early as possible. Although we are open, most of our suppliers are not and although we do order extra stock to see us through we only have so much storage space and can run out before we have had the chance to restock during this busy period.

Christmas Eve – OPEN as usual from 9am – 6pm (FREE local deliveries as per schedule)

Christmas Day – CLOSED (No FREE deliveries)

Boxing Day  – CLOSED 

Sunday 27th – OPEN 10am – 4pm

Monday 28th – OPEN 9am – 5pm (FREE local deliveries as per schedule)

Tuesday 29th – OPEN 9am – 6pm (FREE local deliveries as per schedule)

Wednesday 30th – OPEN 9am – 6pm (FREE local deliveries as per schedule)

Thursday 31st – OPEN 9am – 6pm (FREE local deliveries as per schedule)

New Years Day – CLOSED (No FREE deliveries)

Saturday 2nd Jan – OPEN as usual – business opening times and deliveries all back to normal.

So if we don see you before, have a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

The Angell Pets Team (Richard, Billie, Henry and Albert and also Kim and the absentee temporary? Kiwi, George).