Fat dog? Your Responsibilty!

It seems a bit harsh but I am afraid it is true in all but a very few cases. Wild animals have the ability to respond to changes in their environment. If they feel cold, they will move to a more sheltered or warmer spot, if they are afraid, they will run away, if they are thirsty they will find water and if they are hungry, find food. Each species evolves and adapts to eat a particular type of food and retains this ability to respond to changes in and around it. It has response-ability. Put an animal in a captive environment and you have removed this ability to respond. Now if it is thirsty it can only drink if you provide the water. It can only eat if you provide the food. You have taken on its response-ability. If you are not a responsible pet owner then it’s the animal that suffers the consequences.

So a dog can only eat the food you provide. It will however retain its natural instinct to eat whatever it can, whenever it can, as in the wild it does not know when it will find another meal. The expression to “wolf it down” comes from the ability of a wolf to eat huge amounts of food in one sitting (then to spend days resting with a distended stomach whilst it digests its massive intake of food or regurgitates some for its pups and other pack members). If the owner presents the dog with too much food or inappropriate food, the dog cannot be blamed for eating it. It will not stop when it has had sufficient, it will keep going until it cannot fit more in and will usually still eat treats if you, the leader of its pack offers it some. Offer a dog poisonous food such as chocolate or grapes/sultanas etc. and it will eat it, to its own detriment because you gave it to him.

healthy dogs

So you are in control of your dogs food intake. Yes they will scavenge things you would rather they did not but in the house and garden you control that. If the dog eats the Sunday joint off the side then I’m afraid it’s your fault for leaving it exposed. If the dog eats some Christmas cake and ends up at the vets. (at best) then, well you guessed it. What a lot of people don’t realise is that some foods that are suitable for humans are not suitable for dogs. Chocolate, grapes, avocados are all poisonous to dogs.I was explaining this to a customer once and a lady interrupted and told us that her granny had fed her dog a bit of her chocolate every day for years and the dog was fine. I explained that my mother in law is in her 80s and has smoked 20 cigarettes a day her whole adult life and is still going strong, I wouldn’t however, recommend it as a lifestyle choice. Some foods are just poisonous to dogs, it’s a question of the dose and the individual dog but they are poisonous.

So you have a dog and you don’t feed it human foods, You go to the supermarket and get dog food and dog treats so you have done your bit and if the dog gets fat now it’s not your fault is it. Wrong. Firstly, do you follow the feeding guidelines on the food? Are you reducing this amount if you give the dog a treat? Do you even know what is in the food you pick off the supermarket shelf? If you did you would probably realise you are giving your dog chicken feed.

There are rules for the terms used on dog (and cat) food packaging. If it says “fresh” chicken, then that is what was used to make the food, fresh chicken meat. If it says chicken then its still chicken but it may have been previously frozen of dried for storage. If it says chicken (or poultry) meal then that is the rest of the carcass, after the meat has been removed, ground up into a bone and cartilage meal (a necessary part of the food, it’s where the glucosamine, condroitin and calicum are found). If it says meat and animal derivitives then you might want to reconsider using this food. This term is for what is left when you have taken away the meat and the bones, ie not a lot! You will find that for foods that list this, the first ingredient on the ingredients list is nearly always cereal, or wheat, or maize. The protein content of the food will not come from meat as there is too little in the food but from wheat and maize gluten. In other words it is a bag of cereal with a bit of nondescript meat product mixed in – chicken feed, not dog food.

The other thing about these foods is that whilst they don’t have a lot, if any, meat they do have a lot of carbohydrate. The one thing that is guaranteed to make a dog put on weight and get fat is carbohydrate. A dog needs very little of this, if any. It gets its energy from fat and protein. High levels of carbohydrate get converted straight to fat deposits. Some of the worst foods even have added sugar, totally wrong. It is not added to improve pallatability, dogs have far fewer taste buds than us and don’t taste much, it’s all smell. It is there because a lot of these foods are made from waste products from the human food processing industry, which already have sugar added and we know what a problem we have with high sugar content childrens’ cereals. Where do you think the waste from this industry goes? Who owns the leading supermarket brands of dog food? Do they also own the largest supermarket brands of childrens’ cereals? Hmmm. Would you feed your child meat paste sandwiches and cake every meal for the rest of its life? No of course not but people are feeding this to dogs all the time and this is usually where the problem is.

If you feed your dog the correct, appropriate food and treats, follow the feeding guidelines and obviously give it plenty of exercise, you can be confident that you will have a healthy and fit dog that will live longer than a dog fed on supermarket food. However you will also probably have to deal with people telling you your dog is skinny. It isn’t but we are all so used to seeing overweight dogs that when we see one that is as it should be we think it looks thin. It is just perception. Most (around 90%) of dogs are overweight. A lot are obese, we just don’t notice any more. Unfortunately as with humans, being overweight greatly reduces the dog’s life expectancy and introduces a host of other conditions that make its later life uncomfortable and expensive..

To avoid all the problems associated with a poor diet, feed your dog on proper food. We sell frozen meat, bones and vegetable mixes. A raw food diet is probably the best, it is certainly the most natural. However we all live busy lives and I know for sure that I would forget to defrost the food in time, be in a rush during preparation etc. For this reason I do not use this option (although they do get it occasionally). Instead I feed a good quality, grain free, high meat content kibble. Obviously meat is expensive these days and the higher the meat content of a food, the higher the price of a bag. However the amount fed is lower, so cost balances out somewhat. Also as a side benefit the dog will poop less and the poops will be of a better consistency and easier to deal with. This alone is often reason enough to change food.

grain free dog food
Alfie

Alfie, the Jack Russel in the photo would cost 32 pence per day on APL grain free turkey. 32p a day! That is it. He doesn’t need anything extra. If he has a treat then he has less food that day. My dog, Venus (below) would cost £1.20 a day. She is a staffie/lurcher cross, weighing 31kg. If you can’t afford 32p a day to feed a Jack Russel it would be better not to have one, rather than buy supermarket food and own a little barrel. In any case it would still probably work out the same or more for supermarket food anyway. As for wet food, unless you have been advised by a vet. for very specific reasons then forget it. You are just buying a tin of water (check the packaging, most wet foods are 70-80% water, sometimes disguised by terms such as “aqua” or “moisture”) with poor quality ingredients That’s why people used to add mixer, which is just wheat biscuit. I worked it out for my cousin once, for his dalmations which he fed on the cheapest tinned dog food I was able to source for him. It still worked out cheaper per day to switch to the most expensive, highest quality grain free, high meat content (85%) dry dog food we stock,. Unfortunately, even though I worked it all out for him, listed all the benefits and showed him how much he would save, he could not see past the price of the bag of Orijen, versus the price of one tin of Breederpack wet food. Ho Hum.

Venus at 13-14 years old

So how do you know if your dog is overweight? Sadly if you don’t already know then it probably is. But as a rule of thumb it goes like this. Looking from the side you should see a definite difference between the chest and abdomen areas on the underside of the dog. The line should swoop down from the neck, around the chest, rise up significantly to the abdomen and back down where it meets the back legs. you should be just able to see the outline of the vertebrae above the hips. Just, they should not be protruding. Looking from above the sides should curve in behind the chest and flare out again at the hip and you should be able to see the outline of the ribs under the flesh (obviously this is more difficult on long and wire haired dogs). Observe the outline, not see ribs poking out, the difference is obvious. Now these rules are general, a greyhound has a much more pronounced line on the underside than a labrador but it still holds true. If you look at your dog and its chest line to abdomen look straight or from above has no “waist”, your dog is fat and could do with losing a few pounds. This is not anything to do with looks. It is just that a healthy, fit dog is going to live longer and have fewer issues as it ages than a poorly fed, over weight one. It is not a judgement. Yes you are responsible for it but that in a way is a good thing. It just means you are able to do something about it. Don’t feel bad or “judged” because it is the case, there are that many over weight dogs around it has become the norm and we have become inured to it.

grain free dog food
Alfies waist line from above

Where I come form the phrase “fit as a butchers dog” is much used. There is a reason for the phrase existing. The butchers dog was getting the right diet whilst the rest were eating the scraps we throw away. Now we just allow others to put the scraps in bags and sell it back to us in supermarkets.

The Angell Pets Team

Waterlife Tropical And Coldwater Treatments

Waterlife have been producing treatments for tropical, coldwater, marine and pond water for over 50 years. They produce a range of chemicals to condition the water to produce the ideal conditions for keeping fish of all types and treatments for a wide range of common and not so common fish diseases.

Waterlife
waterlife buffer

Water for keeping fish needs to be treated to remove chlorine and chloramines (if tap water is used), adjust and buffer pH and provide ammonia and nitrite reducing bacteria. We have been using Waterlife pH Buffers in our tanks since we have stocked fish. This ensures that the water going in after a partial water change is the same pH as the water taken out and also helps resist changes in pH over time. This reduces the stress on the fish and so helps keeps some of the commoner diseases at bay. Many diseases can be present in the water but unable to penetrate the fish’s defences when healthy. However if the fish becomes stressed these defences can break down, allowing disease to take hold.

water life tap water safe

Dechlorinator is essential in all cases when using tap water. Chlorine is added at the treatment works to kill bacteria and keep the water safe in the distribution system (part of my job for twelve years back in the day). Free chlorine may dissipate if the water is left for 24 hours or more but the chloramines (chlorine combined with other compounds in the water) will not. Both are toxic to fish and damage the mucus membranes. If it does not kill the fish outright itself, it will make them more susceptible to disease. Waterlife’s Tap Water Safe is one of the most concentrated dechlorinators on the market, so offers excellent value for money. Some of the brands I have seen sold in supermarkets for example require 2.5 times as much product per litre of water to have the same effect.

waterlife bacterlife

Adding Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria, in the form of Waterlife’s Bacterlife to the water increases the ecosystem’s response rate to increasing ammonia from fish waste. Nitrogenous waste, generated from the metabolism of protein in the food and exuded into the water as ammonia by the fish, is highly toxic to fish and again if it doesn’t kill the fish outright makes them susceptible to disease organisms. In a river or lake it dissipates and is dealt with by the surrounding environment and ecosystems. In a fish tank it cannot go anywhere and over time the concentrations rise to dangerous levels. Waterlife’s Bacterlife contains different strains of these bacteria which will work at a wider range of pH readings helping to ensure highly toxic ammonia is broken down to less toxic compounds quickly. These helpful bacteria will colonise your filter and gravel and continue to work for you all the time the fish are producing bacteria. It is worth noting that their effectiveness deteriorates with falling temperature. Below 10 degrees celcius they pretty much stop working altogether. This is why you should stop feeding high protein fish food to pond fish during the winter.

waterlife stayclear

Occassionally aquarium water may become “murky” for want of a better term. There are a variety of reasons for this. Usually and rather obviously it is a sign of poor water quality and the cause must be addressed. Excessive nutrients can cause algal or bacterial “blooms” in the water. Treatment with Watersafe’s Bacterlife will help reduce the availability of nutients and coupled with regular water changes will help keep the water clear but Stayclear contains a coagulant that encourages suspended particles to bind together into heavier particles that then drop to the bottom of the tank for removal during the next water change (using a gravel cleaner).

waterlife whitespot and fungus

Should water quality deteriorate, or the fish become stressed for any other reason (such as the addition of new tank mates) then disease may ensue. One of the commonest diseases seen in ornamental fish is white spot (Ich infection – a free swimming single celled organism that, after infection produces white spots (surprise!) often described as looking like a coating of sugar grains over the fishes body). Fortunately the treatment for white spot is also one of the most effective. However a mistake often made is to cease treatment once the symptoms are no longer present. This will only lead to reinfection as the treatment is only effective against the free swimming form of the organism and so the treatment must be completed to ensure the whole life cycle has been disrupted.
Fungus appears as white cotton wool like growths on affected areas. The fungal infection can be present of its own accord but is commonly a secondary infection, following opening of wounds by a bacterial pathogen.

Two other fairly common diseases seen in aquarium fish are fin rot (columnaris bacteria infection) and ulcers (sores caused by other types of bacteria). Fin rot manifests as fraying fins and/or tail which can lead to complete loss of appendages and death. If caught early though it does respond well to treatment. Ulcers are pits in the skin of the fish with raised, inflamed edges, often bright red in colour, although sometimes without and actual pit forming. However these infections nearly always indicate that there is a water quality issue of some kind and this will need sorting before the treatment can become truly effective. There is little point adding treatment for disease to an aquarium with toxic water. It may improve some symptoms but they will only come back. It’s a bit like trying to give first aid to a burns victim while his clothes are still on fire. Our own best defense to infection is our skin. When this barrier is damaged we are vulnerable to infections. A fish is covered by a mucus layer that does the same job of keeping out pathogens. It is this mucus layer that weakens or disappears when the fish is stressed by poor conditions. Waterlife’s Fin Rot & Ulcers contains a compound that will effectively treat both condition as well as a host of other bacterial infections from other gram negative bacteria.

So for “everyday treatment” of aquarium water and easy, effective treatment of the commonest diseases, should something go wrong, we stock the full range of Waterlife treatments. Waterlife also produce a further range of treatments for less common diseases and pests, such as “hole in the head disease”, flukes, fish lice, leeches , anchor worm and the list goes on! They all provide an excellent common disease chart which we keep copies of in store and have an easy to follow page on their website.

So for quality, support and value for money you can’t really do much better than Waterlife’s range of water treatments for aquarium and pond fish. This is why we have been gradually switching over to these products on our shelves, rather than the less concentrated and often less effective supermarket brands. Water quality can be tested at home quite easily, using a number of different strips and kits and we would strongly recommend investing in the best you can afford to avoid or at least get early warning of problems so you can deal with them appropriately.

The Angell Pets Team

No Price Increase On Most Livefood Items

As with all businesses, decisions have to be regularly made on pricing of products. Costs are increasing all the time; cost of raw materials, cost of energy, cost of utilities, cost of transport, cost of wages. Unlike some large businesses such as supermarkets (who can often dictate to the supplier what price they are willing to pay and even charge suppliers for the privilidge of stocking their products) we have to pay the prices our suppliers demand. We can sometimes negotiate discounts for products we sell in volume and we belong to various wholesaler schemes that provide promotional offers. These discounts and offers we pass directly on to our customers, members of our emailing list, followers of our Facebook page and this blog will be familiar with our regular monthly offers and discounts. However price increases happen every year, often more frequently with some suppliers, and we have to make decisions on how to handle the increases.

Where we can, we always look first to absorb cost increases into our business. There are a number of ways this can be done and we always exhaust all of these methods first. However, once these are exhausted we have no option but to pass on some of the increase to our customers. We never want to do it but some times it is unavoidable. It is only ever done as a response to genuine increases in cost to our business and in response to justifiable increases by our suppliers. In some cases, where we have felt supplier increases have not been justified and an element of unfair market manipulation has been at work, we have stopped stocking that suppliers products, rather than colaborate in overcharging our customers.

livefood

We have recently been informed of what we consider to be a justifiable increase in cost by our livefood supplier. The cost to us for livefood has not increased for a number of years, in fact it actually went down due to improved volume discount a few years ago, a reduction we passed on in full in our own pricing. However the suppliers costs have been steadily increasing over this period. Like us they have done a number of things to avoid passing on these increases but are now at a point where they can no longer do this. Some of their cost figures are eyewatering. They have absorbed increases in production costs over the last decade of a whopping 42%, without passing any of this on. This feat has been acheived by efficiencies, market growth (higher sales volumes) etc.. Unfortunately with the recent increase in the National Minimum Wage and other increases in feed and energy costs they are forced to increase their prices to us. Whilst most of the increases on their high volume items are relatively small (2.3% for prepacked locusts for example), some of the more exotic, small volume items are quite large (10% for dubia roaches).

livefood

So, what do we do? Just pass on the increases to our customers so it remains viable for us to sell these products but lose customers? Absorb the costs and keep our prices the same but go out of business because we no longer have money to pay our own costs (rent, energy, utilities, insurances , suppliers , etc, etc.). In the end our only sensible option is to anaylse each product range in turn and come up with a compromise.

livefood

From the end of May then, there will be a new pricelist for livefood and I am pleased to announce that the higher volume items such as crickets and locusts will not be increasing in price at all. They will be staying at £1.99 a tub. However some of the lower volume sellers will have to go up a little. For example dubia roaches will increase to £2.75, although lobster roaches will remain at £2.49.

livefood

It is never a good thing to increase prices but we do feel that these supplier increases are justified this time round and that our livefood quality remains the best around. We do not just receive it from our supplier, stick it on the shelf and hope it sells before it dies. We look after our livefood, feeding every couple of days (yes it is very fiddly and time consuming but worth it), cleaning out old food and any dead insects, keeping numbers in tubs up by recombining tubs where necessary and controlling temperature to ensure the food is in the best condition possible for your reptile, spider or whatever. Also we do have our loyalty scheme. This means participating customers get an additonal 2.5% off everything they buy when their poiints accumulate. So we are confident we still offer the best value for money on livefood.

So apologies for the small increases in price of some products but remember NO INCREASE in price of locusts, crickets, mealworms, morioworms and waxworms..

Exo Terra Mini Wide Glass Terrarium Offer

We have two Exo Terra Mini Wide (30cm x30cm x 30cm) glass terrariums on offer as part of complet set up deals. These versatile small terratriums make ideal enclosure for a range of animals including spiders and other invertebrates, small frogs and small geckos (such as our Kotschys geckos).

exo terra small wide

The RRP for these enclosures is £68.99. Our normal price is £59.99 but we have them on offer at £29.99, when purchase as part of a complete set up deal. This could be a set up for any suitable animal held in stock, such as an Asian jungle scorpion, Brazilian black taratula, Ghana speckled millipede, blue legged Mantella frog or Kotschys gecko or any other appropriate animal that we sell.

As an example of price, a set up for an Asian jungle scorpion would total £60, including the Exo Terra terrarium, a heat mat, substrate, hide, water bowl and of course the scorpion. A Kotchys gecko set up would be £125, including the enclosure, canopy, UVB lamp, heat mat, substrate, water bowl, hide and gecko.

As the Exo Terra mini wide enclosures are made of glass, we cannot send them by courier and we do not courier any animals in any case. These set up deals are only available for collection from our Hucclecote store.

The Five Star Angell Pets Team

Gloucester Pet Shop April Offers

Angell Pets monthly offers are now available in our Gloucester pet shop and on line in our web store. These offers are always popular and our wholesaler may well run out of the more popular stock lines so it is worth grabbing a bargain whilst you can. There are a lot of small mammal offer this month, food and treats. There were also two other dog food offers this month but the quality of those products is so poor that we won’t stock them, so we have left them off this list. Just because we can stock supermarket brands for less than the supermarkets doesn’t mean we will. If we feel that using a product is not in the best interest of the animal it would be hypocritical of us to encourage owners to buy it.

gloucester pet shop

Pet Head Dirty Talk Shampoo 475ml ONLY £7.99 RRP £9.99

gloucester dog groomer

Pet Head Puppy Fun Shampoo 475ml ONLY £7.99 RRP £9.99

dog groomer

Pet Head Feeling Flaky Shampoo 475ml ONLY £7.99 RRP £9.99

dog accessories

Mikki Nail Clipper Large ONLY £6.99 RRP £13.99

gloucester pet shop

Felix Pouch Mixed Selection In Jelly 40 x 100g ONLY £8.99 RRP £12.49

gloucester pet store

Dreamies Beef 60g ONLY £1 RRP £1.56

cat treats

Dreamies Chicken 60g ONLY £1 RRP £1.56

cat treats

Dreamies Salmon 60g ONLY £1 RRP £1.56

dog treats

Pedigree Markies Dog Biscuits With Marrowbone 12.5kg ONLY £32.99 RRP £41.70

dog treats

Pedigree Markies Mini Dog Biscuits With Marrowbone 12.5kg ONLY £32.99 RRP £41.70

dog toys

Good Boy latex Face Ball Single ONLY 99p RRP £2.09

pond supplies

Tetra Pond Sticks 100g ONLY £2.69 RRP £4.05

angell pets

Vitakraft Kracker Guinea Pig Sticks (2 Pack) Honey & Spelt ONLY £1.99 RRP 2.75

gloucester pet shop

Vitakraft Kracker Guinea Pig Sticks (2 Pack) Fruit & Flakes ONLY £1.99 RRP £2.75

pet shop gloucester

Vitakraft Kracker Rabbit Sticks (2 Pack) Wildberry & Elderberry ONLY £1.99 RRP £2.75

gloucester pet shop

Vitakraft Kracker Rabbit Sticks (2 Pack) Popcorn & Honey ONLY £1.99 RRP £2.75

angel pet

Burgess Excel Rabbit Adult 4kg ONLY £6.89 RRP £8.72

angellpetco

Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Adult 4kg ONLY £8.99 RRP £11.65

angellpetco

Wagg Cookies Peanut Butter & Chicken 125g 2 For £1.50 RRP £1.15 Each
(In store or telephone orders ONLY)

angell pets

Wagg Cookies Peanut Butter & Banana 125g 2 For £1.50 RRP £1.15 Each (In store or telephone orders ONLY)

gloucester pet shop

Selective Rabbit 10kg ONLY £22.99 RRP £28.99

glouester pet shop

Selective Guinea Pig 10kg ONLY £22.99 RRP £29.99

travel harness

Ancol Travel Harness Black Small ONLY £9.99 RRP £15.70

Ancol Travel Harness Black Medium ONLY £10.99 RRP £17.06

Ancol Travel Harness Black Large ONLY £11.99 £18.74

Gloucester pet shop

Arden Grange Puppy/Junior Sensitive Grain Free 2kg ONLY £9.99 RRP £12.20

So we look forward to seeing you in our Gloucester pet shop soon. You can of course order on line or over the telephone for collection in store or courier delivery.

The 5 Star Angell Pets Gloucester Pet Shop Team

Angell Pets New Year Offers

2019 is upon us and we have some great offers to start the year. Our regular prices usually beat our competitors anyway but with our monthly offers you can save even more. We’ve included a price comparison where possible to show you how much.

nature diet

Nature Diet Feel Good Chicken, Chicken and Lamb, Chicken and Turkey 390g only 85p each saving 55p on RRP. Pets At Home price £1.39 (our normal, non offer price is only £1.35).

felix

Felix Multi Variety Pouches in Jelly 96 x 100g pouches for only £19.99 saving £8 on RRP Couldn’t find these packs locally but the cheapest I could see was two packs of 40 pouches for £20 in ASDA. You get an extra 16 pouches with our offer.

burns

Burns “Free From” Range Duck and Potato 12kg only £39.99 saving an incredible £17.50 on RRP. Couldn’t find this anywhere to compare the price. However you could save even more by switching to APL Duck and Potato which is only £36.99 normal price.

iams dog

Iams Vitality Adult Large Breed 12kg only £22.99 saving £9 on RRP. Pets At Home price £30.99

Bonio original

Bonio Original 12.5kg only £25.99 saving over £10 on RRP. Can’t find this locally.

whimzee

Whimzees Variety Box only £9.99 saving over £9.50 on RRP, nearly 50%. Pets At Home price £15.99.

sanicat

Sanicat Classic cat litter 30L only £8.99 saving £3 on RRP.  One of our most popular brands but I can’t find this locally.

tropical flake

King British Tropical Fish Food 55g only £3.75 saving 30%. Jolleys price £5.39.

flea clear

Bob Martin Clear For Cats 3 pack only £9.99 saving over £3 on RRP. Jolleys price £11.50.

bags on board

Bags On Board Poo Bag Rolls 120s patterned £3.49 or rainbow 60s only £2.79 saving 30%.  Again I couldn’t find this popular product locally

burgess excel

Burgess Excel 2kg with mint £3.79, new Indoor £1.5kg £3.99, saving 20%, Pets at Home price £5.99.

harringtons grain free

Harringtons Grain Free Chicken and veg and Salmon and veg 40g only £1.00. Pets At Home price £1.59.

whiskas

Whiskas 2-12mths Kitten Pouches 12 x 100g pack only £2.99 saving 25%. ASDA price £3.75.

arden grange mini

Arden Grange Mini Adult 2kg in Chicken or Lamb only £6.99 saving 20%, Pets At Home price £9.49.

pedigree pouch

Pedigree Dog Pouches 40 for the price of 36 only £8.49 saving over £1 on RRP, Pets At Home price £11.29.

So some great savings and your don’t have to drive out to a retail park to get the deals. We have plenty of FREE parking at our Hucclecote shop

The Angell Pets Team

Angell Pets involvement in overseas conservation

We take animal welfare seriously at Angell Pets We follow the top industry standards with our own animals and give our customers the best available advice and information so they can do the same. We also have contributed to animal conservation and welfare at other establishments and around the world. Our staff have worked on a projects locally with the Gloucester Wildlife Trust, across the UK, such as encouraging the re-introduction of otters to Birmingham and for the last few years at various locations around the world.

angell pets conservation

Africa Nature Reserve

George Angell (familiar in the shop to many of our customers) left the UK to help with work on Assumption and Aldabra for SIF (Seychelles Island Federation). Having worked on Rhino conservation in Africa during university, he was keen to get involved as soon as possible. Initially landing on Mahe – the main island in the Seychelles, George worked for a few months on supporting Black Parrot conservation. This work was a long term project, continuing after George left that was recently declared a success. He moved on from Mahe to the main focus of his work on the Seychelles controlled Atolls of Adabra and Assumption. These islands are so remote, even from the Seychelles islands themselves, that travel there is not possible all year round, so George contributed to the Mahe project whilst waiting for transport to be available.

 

angell pets conservation

Mahe

angell pets conservation

Mahe

Aldabra is a world heritage site and as such is an important and therefore protected environment. Invasive species of birds had made it at least as far as Assumption Island (40 km from the coral atoll of Aldabra) and an E.U. funded project was in place to remove these birds before they got to Aldabra (and to check how many may have already have got there and remove them).

George left to assist with the removal of these birds, helping to protect this important and unique habitat. He also did his own research for his dissertation toward his higher degree on the work he will be involved in.

Aldabra and Assumption are extremely remote islands in the middle of the Indian ocean. Situated  1100km south west from the main Seychelles Islands, Assumption is only 11 square kilometres. The only population are the scientists George is joining who go by boat to study Aldabra and support staff who maintain the landing strip. He was not be able to get there until October as travel is not possible from the Seychelles island of Mahe until then.

Below is an extract from the project brief outlining why the work was important and what it was trying to achieve and George’s part in it.

Under the European Commission’s (EC) Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy, the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) is implementing a 4-year project entitled “Mainstreaming the management of invasive alien species to preserve the ecological integrity and enhance the resilience of Seychelles World Heritage Sites” (‘the Action’) which started in February 2011. The overall objective of the Action is to develop and implement a strategic programme applying the ecosystem approach to limit the spread and reduce the impact of invasive alien species (IAS) in Seychelles’ World Heritage Sites (WHS). The Action is being coordinated and implemented by SIF, in partnership with the Seychelles Environment Department (ED) and National Parks Authority (SNPA), and with project associates Islands Development Company (IDC) and Island Conservation Society (ICS).

Under the project’s specific objectives, an eradication of avian IAS from Assumption of the Red-Whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus and the Madagascar Fody, Foudia madagascariensis is underway. Until recently, Aldabra was thought to be the largest island in the world with no introduced avian species but in 2012 both the Assumption introduced species have been observed in the eastern part of Aldabra. These species have long been considered the most severe threat to Aldabra’s avifauna, making their eradication an immediate conservation priority. SIF is therefore running two parallel bird eradications on these adjacent islands. Due to the unexpected invasion on Aldabra , more staff are being recruited to help ensure the success of these eradications.

Georges specific role in this project was as follows.

1. Eradication of all introduced birds from Assumption and Aldabra

2. Improved understanding of avian IAS ecology on Assumption and Aldabra

3. Continued trial of alternative eradication methods for invasive avian species

4. Elimination of the threat of avian invasive species to Aldabra’s ecosystem and outstanding universal values

5. Recommendations for restoration of avian fauna on Assumption

George’ duties also included catching their own food (to quote the organiser – “hope you like fish and rice”) and there were lots of opportunities to see the local marine life (he had invested in prescription scuba goggles). Fortunately he didn’t get to see some of it too closely (sharks, venomous snails, fish etc.) and got to meet the famous Aldabran Giant Tortoise  very up close and personal. Assumption has an air strip that has to be cleared of tortoises before supply planes can land and so they are not all as friendly as those on Aldabra. George can vouch for that having been chased by “Terry” who’s head came up to Georges hip! He also made a trip across the island to an abandoned unfinished hotel where he had to construct barriers across the door ways to try to keep the robber crabs (giant land crabs) out of the gear – they steal everything!

angell pets conservation

Fishing for dinner on Assumption

This, as you can imagine, was a sort after placement and George had to interview and compete to get the post. We were very pleased to be involved in such a globally important project and wish the team still on the islands every success in their continued efforts to protect our environment.

After completing his term on the SIF projects George returned to the UK to complete his  honours degree gaining a first. During this period he worked in the shop at weekends, providing our customers with the benefit of his growing knowledge base.

On completion of his degree he again looked about for conservation work around the world. There were a number of competing projects looked at, from  the Antarctic to the Galapagos. In the end he opted for New Zealand.

angell pets conservation

New Zealand Office

New Zealand is a group of islands with an endemic population of flora and fauna This means the animals and plants of New Zealand are found there and no where else in the world.

angell pets conservation

Walking The Trails

As these species have evolved in isolation, they are vulnerable to the introduction of invasive competing or predatory species from outside the islands. Since man has reached the islands there has been a decline of endemic species, from the now extinct Moa (a large flightless bird, hunted to extinction by the newly arrived Maori people) to the endangered Kiwis and Kakapo (smaller flightless birds, brought close to extinction by predators introduced by European settlers to control the rats and mice they had already accidently introduced from their ships and initial supplies). George was to become involved in the control and/or eradication of some of these invaders, such as the Australian brush tailed Possum, the European stoat, ferret and weasel to name but a few.

angell pets conservation

Time Off

He spent three years working towards the stated aim of New Zealand to become predator free by 2050 (with a couple of months out to train vultures in Spain to fly with tourist on paragliders!) As a falconer, he also captured, trained and released two Autralasian Swamp Harriers during his stay, being amongst a mere handful of people in the world licensed to do this.

angell pets conservation

Vulture

After three years of this work George has returned to the UK where he is using his expertise to train upcoming animal carers, handlers and perhaps future conservationists at a college in Oxford. At the same time he is working for us back in the shop in Hucclecote on Saturdays where our customers can benefit from his knowledge and experience. We are very happy that Angell Pets staff are so involved in the promotion of animal welfare at such a range of levels, from giving advice on dog food to protecting some of the worlds most endangered species in the most hands on way possible.

angell pets conservation

Working Hard

angell pets conservation

Back Working In The Shop

So there it is. Just a little background on just one of the Angell Pets staff members. Perhaps I’ll do another log at some point on the relevant experience of the rest of us one day.

The Angell Pets Team

Impact of FREE Parking on Trade

When we originally opened Angell Pets In 2009 it was in a location with ample FREE parking. This was our first location and so we had no idea how much the provision of this free parking was having on our trade. We knew that we were attracting a wide range of customers. Local foot and cycle traffic from the surrounding estates, customers from other areas of Gloucester and customers from further afield. However what we did not know was how much having the free parking was contributing to this business. When we were forced to move from this location at the end of the lease we found a larger shop close to the city centre but about a 100 yards from a large carpark. This was not free but had lots of spaces.

Moving locations effected our turnover significantly, as we expected it would, reduding it by around 40% in the first month. However, with hard work we were able to drive turnover back up to almost pre move levels over the next 6 months. Then Gloucester City Council, at the behest of the Quays, closed the carpark. The effect was dramatic and overnight. Turnover dropped by over 50% and nothing we could do would drive it back up, including having a FREE local delivery service. We did raise an objection to the closure beforehand but the response from the council was “we have done research and it shows the effect on local business will be negligible”. Well, we did not find a 50% reduction in trade negligible. We made a decision there and then to move again and find a location with free parking. However we were tied into a lease for three years before we could action a break clause so we ran our business on half what we were used to for two and a half years before moving again. We are still feeling the financial fallout from this.

free parking

Our new location in Hucclecote has plenty of FREE parking. It is also within walking distance of large residential areas and in a convenient location for access to customers coming from further afield by car or bus. We have been open here for 6 months now and takings have risen every month, without fail, since we opened. We have had a host of customers returning who used to use us but stopped when the carpark near our last shop was closed plus lots of new local customers and even more from other towns such as Stroud, Cheltenham, Hereford, Ross and Worcester. All have indicated that at least part of the reason for coming was ease of access and free parking.

Before writing this I did some research and worryingly, most of the advice councils use to determine parking policy suggests that providing free parking does not boost trade and that charging for parking does! Most also suggests that providing more spaces does not help and some even suggests that providing more spaces and/or free spaces actually drives people away. Well our findings aren’t based on surveys or questionaires but on real experience and data and I can assure the councils that customers don’t like having parking restricted or being over charged and that they really do appreciate having ample spaces offered to them for free.

I would suggest that until councils review the advice they are taking to set parking policy we will continue to see trade driven away from city centres. Great for business like us now though with ample free parking right outside our front door!

 

The Angell Pets Team

Pet Shop Gloucester 10% Off All Small Animal Cages And Hutches

We are giving a discount of 10% on all our small animal cages, hutches and runs whilst current stocks last in our pet shop Gloucester. This includes wire cages, glass enclosures, wooden hutches and rabbit and guinea pig runs.

These discounts are only avaiable in store and are for current stock. Once they are gone they are gone, so make sure you get in quick to grab one of the offers. We have listed a few items below but there are lots more. Visit us in store in our Gloucester pet shop to see the full range.

pet shop gloucester

Orchard Hutch – Normal price £139.99 – only £125.99

pet shop gloucester

All Metal, Triple Height Cage – Normal Price £99.99 – only £89.99

pet shop gloucester

Rydon Hamster Cage Two Tier – Normal Price £25.99 – only £23.39

pet shop gloucester

Critters Choice Glass Enclosure Extra Large – Normal Price £92.99 – only £83.69

pet shop gloucester

Harrisons Sandford Run – Normal Price £49.99 – only £44.99

Angell Pets pet shop Gloucester is now in Hucclecote, with easy access from all local areas and a large FREE carpark. We stock food and accessories for small animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates, fish, poultry, wild birds, cats and dogs, as well as a large range of quality livestock.

July Offers

Angell Pets July offers are now avaiable in store and on line. Some great offers again including flea treatments for dogs and for cats. Which is handy because the little so and sos are going to be breeding and maturing like crazy in this weather!
Tetra Pond Sticks

Tetra Pond Sticks 4L ONLY £7.99 RRP £11.50

GB Chewy Twisters

GB Pawsley Deli Chewy Twisters ONLY £1.75 RRP £2.99

GB Chicken Calcium Bones

GB Pawsley Deli Chicken & Calcium Bones ONLY £1.75 RRP £2.99

GB Chicken Strips

GB Pawsley Deli Chewy Chicken Strips ONLY £1.75 RRP £2.99

4Fleas Kitten

Johnsons 4Fleas Spot On Kitten 2 Treatment ONLY £6.49 RRP £8.19

4Fleas Cat

Johnsons 4Fleas Spot On Cat 2 Treatment ONLY £6.49 RRP £8.19

4Fleas Small Dog

Johnsons 4Fleas Spot On Small Dog 2 Treatment ONLY £6.49 RRP £8.19

4Fleas Puppy

Johnsons 4Fleas Spot On Puppy 2 Treatment ONLY £6.49 RRP £8.19

Burgess Cat Chicken

Burgess Cat Chicken & Duck 10kg ONLY £19.99 RRP £28.61

Burgess Cat Salmon

Burgess Cat Salmon 10kg ONLY £19.99 RRP £28.61

Winalot Pouch

Winalot Pouch Chicken,Lamb & Beef 44 Pack ONLY £6.99 RRP £9.50

Felix AGAIL Fish

Felix AGAIL Ocean Feasts In Jelly 40 Pack ONLY £11.99 RRP £16.00

Felix AGAIL Mixed

Felix AGAIL Mixed Selection In Jelly 40 Pack ONLY £11.99 RRP £16.00

Whiskas 1+ in Gravy

Whiskas 1+ Pouch Poultry In Gravy 12 Pack ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.09

Whiskas Kitten In Gravy

Whiskas 2 – 12 Months Kitten Pouches Poultry In Gravy 12 Pack ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.09

Whiskas 7+ In Gravy

Whiskas 7+ Pouches Poultry In Gravy 12 Pack ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.09

Misfits Twists

Misfits Twists With Beef & Cheese ONLY 99p RRP £1.29

Burns Sensitive Pork

Burns Sensitive Pork 15kg ONLY £41.49 RRP £56.49

Burns Sensitive Duck

Burns Sensitive Duck 15kg ONLY £41.49 RRP £56.49

Kong Wiggi Giraffe

Kong Wiggi Giraffe Large ONLY £3.99 RRP £6.99

Wagg Dental Bites Lamb & Mint, and Chicken & Parsley 2 FOR £1.50 RRP £1.29 Each (Instore Only)

Sanicat Classic Cat Litter

Sanicat Classic Cat Litter 30L ONLY £8.99 RRP 11.99

Barking Heads Golden Years

Barking Heads Golden Years 2kg ONLY £8.99 RRP £12.99

Arden Grange Large Breed

Arden Grange Adult Large Breed 12kg ONLY £29.99 RRP £39.75

We will have more special offers at angell pets throughout the month. Watch this space.

The Angell Pets Team