Beemat and Birdmat planted and ready to go.

Beemat and Birdmat planted on April 18th. I got home from work to find Henry had dug over the garden, dug in the compost, prepared the soil, laid the mats, covered them with compost and watered them in. So that’s all the hard work done. All I have to do now is water them and wait for nature to take its course.

Birdmat Beemat

I’ll be posting as the plants begin to show through and grow and we can see if the manufacturer’s claims about germination rates for the Birdmat and Beemat are true. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some shots of the birds and the bees feeding when the plants are mature.

 

Richard Angell

Does your lamp fitting need replacing?

Reptile lamps (heat and light, not UVB) are normally incandescent, filament bulbs. Halogen are becoming a bit more popular but are still quite pricey so the traditional heat lamp remains the top seller. They produce light, with heat as a waste product (because they are inefficient at producing light – hence the move to energy efficient lamps in the home). Due to the way they work, heating a thin metal filament in an inert gas to prevent burning, they have a relatively short life span, somewhere in the hundreds of hours. Poor care during transport, couriers throwing boxes around for example, can reduce this life further. However one thing that is almost guaranteed to shorten the life, right down to a few seconds in some cases, is a poorly connected or maintained lamp fitting.

ceramic lamp fitting

Lamp fittings usually come with the advice something along the lines of “must be fitted by a qualified electrician”. This is often viewed as a covering strategy by the manufacturer. If there is a problem and damage is caused they will always ask for proof that it was fitted correctly. However it is actually essential that fittings are installed by someone who knows what they are doing. In extreme cases, when fitted incorrectly it can lead to electric shock (and potentially death!) or fire. In less extreme cases a poorly connected fitting will result in shortening the lifespan of the bulbs.

Apart from knowing which wire goes to which terminal, a good electrician will also know that the terminal will have a hole for fitting the wire that is bigger than the diamenter of most wires used. This extra space needs to be filled with as much of the wire as possible, so the ends of most will need to be properly trimmed of insulation and doubled over to fill the space (and the trimming of the insulation needs to be done properly or the wire can be weakened). It is normally at this point that problems occur with a lot of fittings. Any looseness, gaps or weakness in the wire or pulling pressure on the terminals will result in a poor connection. What can happen then is electricity will “jump” across any tiny gaps or heat up the connection or wire at  points of stress. This can lead to heating and cooling of the connection when the lamp is switched on and off, which can make the situation even worse over time. Fittings can become very hot and if the terminal becomes too loose, can start to spark. Once this happens the voltage generated when the spark occurs is enough to blow any bulb instantly.

We obviously sell lots of bulbs and occasionally one will blow before its time. However when this happens repeatedly it is nearly always down to faulty fittings or pulling out a plug without turning off the switch first (ever noticed the spark when you do this? That’s a very high voltage pushing the electricity across the gap created by pulling the plug away from the terminals and this shortens the life of the bulb.)

So if you find that you are going through more bulbs than you think you should, have a serious think about replacing the the fitting (you may be able to see discolouration, even burning, on the terminals). It will save you money in the long run and possibly even your house! It’s worth checking them from time to time anyway, especially if you have an animal that can get to the cable and put strain on it.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Exo Terra waterfall? Want to improve it?

Exo Terra waterfall in small to large. They work with a small pump that sits in the base of the assembly and pumps water to the top through a small hose that then runs down the face of the waterfall into the reservoir at the bottom where the pump sits. The medium and large versions aslo have a small reservoir half way down to take an optional fogger.

A few problems we have found using these Exo Terra waterfalls in our display vivs. include the reservoir running low through evaporation and the pump being very intolerant of running dry (they burn out quite quickly if the go dry), blockage of the pump from substrate or dead crickets etc. and the just awkwardness of the assembly to clean out leading to the water being left a little too long and going off. It really is just too much work to do every couple of days, especially if you have the Exo Terra waterfall in amongst a complex display viv.

Exo Terra Waterfall

 

A cheap, easy to install improvement can be made that drastically reduces the amount of cleaning required, improves the amount of water flow (the Exo Terra waterfall pump itself generates quite a low flow) without causing splashing all over the viv. and improves the quality of the water.

We replace the Exo Terra waterfall pump with a Superfish Aqua 50 filter pump. It is larger overall but still fits neatly into the reservoir or the Exo Terra water fall. It has a higher flow rate than the Exo Terra waterfall pump and has an very efficient cartridge filter. This will clean out and solids from the water in the Exo Terra waterfall and will allow nitrosomonas and  nitrobacter bacteria to grow in the filter membrane which will remove ammonia and nitrate (products of biological breakdown of waste) and keep the water clean and fresh for much longer, reducing the frequency of cleaning and improving the quality of the water available to your reptile to drink (we typically use them with chameleons, tokays, etc.). The pump in the Superfish Aqua 50 also has a higher tolerance to running dry than the Exo Terra waterfall pump (although this still is not to be recommended) and has an easy to change and inexpensive cartridge filter.

exo terra waterfall replacement pump

 

If you have and Exo Terra waterfall it is well worth giving this small improvement a go. Save yourself some work and improve the environment of your animal for very little cost.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Ferret kits now in stock

pet shop gloucester ferretFerret kits from our own Angell Pets breeding stock are now in store. I went over to our breeding centre last night and collected hob and jill kits which are now safely housed in store.

I also brought back Vinny (grandad) to house at home. What a journey that was. He is in full breeding condition and not the best passenger to have in the van (aircon off – windows fully open – he stinks!)

Anyway we have seven hobs ferrets and five jills available for sale. We will be working on the last stages of hand taming and litter training over the next couple of days.

Prices are the same as last year, £25 for a hob and £30 for a jill ferret. This is below trade price (to buy them in from one of our suppliers would cost me £40 each!!!). Our ferrets are always extremely popular and as we have not had the best of breeding seasons so far this year these little beauties will not be around for long. So if you have been waitng for one of our ferrets get in quick. We currently have polecat, silver mitt, sandy mitt and albinos.

Before considering buying a ferret please factor in the cost of neutering. Male ferrets smell very strongly in breeding condition and are at risk of prostate problems. Females MUST be mated to take them out of season (or be given expensive jill jabs) or they will get very ill or die. We recommend all ferrets bought from us are neutered and vaccinated for canine distemper..

 

The Angell Pets Team

Livefood protein and fruit jelly pots

Livefood jellies to prolong the life of the insects. These convenient jelly pots can be fed to livefood or directly to reptiles. Either way your lizard is getting the full benefit of these nutritious feeding solutions.

Livefood at pet shop Gloucester

The pots can be used with the single or double holders to mount inside a glass vivarium to feed geckos or inside livefood keepers, Alternatively just invert the egg carton in a box of livefood and they fit snugly and provide an excellent food and water source greatly extending the life of the insects.

The pots sell for 99p each or 50p each when purchased with a box of livefood and come in five different flavours. The protein gel pot is best for keeping livefood alive over an extended period and will allow them to grow.

Just ask at the till when you next purchase your livefood.

The Angell Pets Team.

Discount UVB tubes

Discount UVB 5% and 6% tubes until the end of April. We have discounted all makes of UV tube for forest type reptiles by 10%. Arcadia,Zoo Med, Exo Terra and Trixie. As an example a Trixie 6% UVB 25W (30″) was £15.62, now ONLY £14.06.

Discount UVB lamps

 

These discount UVB tubes are suitable for chameleons, day geckos, green lizards etc. Any reptile requiring UV light but not at the intensity of the desert species.

This offer is whilst stocks last and ends on Tuesday 30th April, so grab them whilst they are there. Remember UVB tubes only give out UV for between 6-9months and then need to be replaced. The tube will still be working but will no longer be giving out light in the correct UV spectrum.

Get a discount UVB tube now on offer for when you need to change yours.

The Angell Pets Team

Pet Shop Gloucester loyalty scheme change

Pet shop Gloucester loyalty scheme is coming to an end. Well actually it’s not ending but it is changing. Our current system relies on a printed card being stamped in store and on our customers remembering to bring it or us stamping the card of pet shop Gloucester customers we deliver to. The cards (and vouchers) are also expensive to print and time consuming to use.

pet shop gloucester

So we are replacing it with an electronic system. This system uses a card that is scanned in at each visit. However the bar code is recorded on the system so points can be easily added over the telephone or on line (more on our new online store in a later blog). If you forget your card in store we can still add the points if you are registered. You can even buy gift vouchers direct from the system in store or (in the near future) on line.

The system will also automatically print a voucher once enough points have accrued or give a code for on line redemption. It can also track your spend so allows us to tailor your rewards to the things you normally buy in our pet shop Gloucester. It even tells us when we need to order more stock because you should be in for your regular purchase. Flash huh! It is costing a small fortune but I think the benefits to our customers and to us (with much better stock control, targeted offers, online shopping and, later, integration with other channels and smart phone shopping) means our pet shop Gloucester has to move forward.

The old scheme will continue to run at our pet shop Gloucester whilst the system is installed and old cards will continue to be honoured until it is up an running. Any outstanding points can be transferred.

So don’t throw out your pet shop Gloucester card yet, you can still use it to get your vouchers and the old vouchers do not have a use by date so will be honoured in the future.

 

Exciting time ahead for our pet shop Gloucester, so watch this space.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Natures Menu frozen food now in stock

Natures Menu raw foods are now in stock. Natures Menu ready made meals or raw meat packs are now avaiable at competetive prices. Here are a couple of excerpts from the Natures Menu preamble to what the product is and why feeding raw food is good for your animal.

“Natures Menu are proud to be the leading experts in natural and raw dog and cat food. Turning to mother nature for its unrivalled recipes, answers to common well-being issues and a happier, more content pet.
Our range of complete and balanced raw meals for dogs provide a convenient and simple way to feed your dog a healthy raw diet every day.
With over 30 years of knowledge and expertise making raw and natural pet foods Natures Menu can assure the highest level of safety, palatability and nutrition, creating foods that nourish your dog holistically on all levels; mind, body and soul.

Option 1: Feed your pet our complete and balanced raw meals range. We have currently 8 Natures Menu varieties, 4 of those are grain free.

Option 2: You make the raw meals up for yourself at home using a variety of ingredients of Meat, Meaty Bones, Ground Fruit and Vegetables and for some dogs(never cats), a non starchy grain.

Natures Menu

Dogs and cats are hunters and the basis of their teeth structure, jaws, stomach acid ph and whole digestive system is designed specifically to deal with lots of juicy meat and raw bones. Dogs and cats are carnivores who have evolved to eat a meat and bone based diet. Today there is an abundance of dry extruded and other industrially processed petfood on the market. This may be convenient, but is light years away from the food which nature intended dogs and cats to eat. Biology is a science itself and on a biological level your pet’s body is designed and has evolved to, digest raw foods quality proteins rather than processed cooked proteins and grains.
These are some basic natural rules to keeping your pet dog or cat happy and content:

  • A variety of diverse ingredients will supply your pet with an abundance of natural nutrients
  • Fresh meat protein will always be better than processed proteins and where possible, fresh protein should be the main protein source. Protein derived from meat meals or meat and bone meals is a food by product and we recommend where ever possible avoiding heavily processed proteins. Check the packaging on your pet food to see if it includes real fresh meat protein.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables provide an abundance of natural vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which are essential to maintain your pet in the best health. Fresh peas, carrots, swede, sweet potato, apples, blue berries and lots more great ingredients are all used in Natures Menu foods and locally sourced wherever possible.
  • Low starch carbohydrates or single source carbohydrates are much better for your dog’s digestion than highly processed heat treated grains. All of the Natures Menu products are wheat free and wheat gluten free. Parboiled rice is the only grain used instead and many of the Natures Menu products are totally grain free. We believe a small amount of boiled rice with some chicken or other real meat protein, mixed with fresh vegetables and fruits creates a full balanced meal for many dogs with totally balanced nutrition.
  • Dogs and cats thrive on quality foods and deserve more than just a bowl of dry cereal and water each day

The Raw Feeding Way Raw Feeding is also often referred to as B.A.R.F feeding which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods a way of feeding which is fully in tune with what nature intended for your pet. The ‘holistic’ or ‘natural’ pet food sold to us by todays marketing companies is a far cry from what you would expect your dog or cat to search for in the wild. When was the last time you saw a wolf taking a bag of dry pet food back to the lair? Biologically appropriate food has been developed for owners who appreciate that their dog or cat can’t hunt for themselves, as they would in the wild.
Fresh raw meals are the appropriate food for your dog and cat and by bringing them back to nature.  You are feeding a diet that they have naturally evolved to eat. Whilst this diet concept might seem worlds away from the television or media messages pumped out by the big advertising budgets of multi-national petfood companies, that you have come to understand and trust. Do some simple homework and take the time to search for Raw Feeding to learn what’s really best for your dog or cat.
Mother Nature Knows Best At Natures Menu we know what real food really is and a simple check you can do at home with your dog or cat is – take some fresh pieces of meat in one bowl and some processed food in another. Make both bowls available for your dog or cat at feeding time and see which bowl is chosen first. The natural instincts of your dog or cat should always win through. ”

Pop in and see us and give Natures Menu raw a try. Here are our prices.

Natures Menu Freeflow tripe mince 2kg – £4.45

Natures Menu Freeflow chicken mince 2kg – £4

Natures Menu Freeflow lamb mince 2kg – £4.25

Nature Menu tripe 300g – £9.48 pack of 12 or 88p each

Natures Menu tripe and chicken – £9.48 pack of 12 or 88p each

Natures Menu lamb dinner- £9.48 pack of 12 or 88p each

Natures Menu chicken and salmon –  £9.48 pack of 12 or 88p each

Natures Menu banquet nuggets 1kg – £2.95

Natures Menu chicken and trip nuggets 1kg – £2.80

Natures Menu chicken and tripe mince 400g – £10.08 pack of 12 or 90p each

This is our first order of Natures Menu. We will be increasing the Natures menu range with each order as we receive feedback from our customers so watch this space.

Canagan cat food – NEW IN to our pet shop Gloucester

We took delivery at our pet shop Gloucester yesterday of the new Canagan cat food. Inititially we have 375g and 1.5kg bags in stock but will be getting the larger sizes.

pet shop gloucester

Canagan is a biologically appropriate UK sourced food for dogs and now also for cats. It is grain free and has a high meat content, just what cats eat in the wild. Click here to visit their website for more details.

Prices of the new cat food make it a very attractive alternative to the more traditional “premium foods”. These foods have all gone up in price this month as well so the price is even more attractive. 375g bags are only £2.99 and 1.5kg bags are from £11.99 (£12.99 for the salmon). Compare that to Hills which were £13.49 and have just gone up. As it is grain free (cats do not need grain in their diet, it’s just a filler) you feed less as well.

Pop in to our pet shop Gloucester and give it a try or call us and order (free delivery for local customers). Don’t forget to register for your 10% discount on the right first.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Pet shop Gloucester advice series – good hygiene

Pet shop Gloucester advice on avoiding infection from animals through good hygiene.

All animals have the potential to carry organisms (viruses, bacteria, protozoa, multicellular parasites) that can cause disease in humans. The most obvious and common is E.coli bacteria. We carry this ourselves, that’s why you should wash your hands after going to the toilet. Another common one is salmonella, potentially carried by a host of animals including reptiles and birds.

The commonest way of spreading these disease causing organisms is through faecal material (poop), urine, saliva and breath (in the water droplets). So on the face of it owning an animal seems to be a bad thing to do if you want to avoid being ill.

Well you actually stand more chance of being infected by disease from another human than you do from an animal, wild or a pet. How many people do you know who don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet or before preparing food, after blowing their nose, who sneeze, pick their nose, cough and splutter all over the place when they have a cold or worse and every one knows the story about the research into how many individual samples of human urine can be found on bar snacks! I even gave myself food poisoning recently, most likely from blue cheese, although I can’t be sure.

pet shop Gloucester

Humans eh! Dirty, horrible things.

With regard to animals, especially pet animals, the risk can be greatly reduced by ALWAYS following a basic set of rules. It is common sense really when you think about it but it does no harm to reiterate the rules here. You wouldn’t lick a rat’s bottom (I would hope not anyway!) but that is exactly what you are doing if, after handling your pet rat, you bite that little bit of hang nail off or wipe your mouth with the back of your hand.

  • Do not do anything that involves putting your hands near your face whilst handling any pet animal. This includes eating, drinking, smoking, sucking your thumb!
  • Keep your pet’s enclosure clean and dry generally. Remove soiled bedding and use a disinfectant appropriate to the species (household disinfectants can be toxic to animals).
  • Wash you hands IMMEDIATELY after handling you pet or cleaning its enclosure. Also after handling anything your pet touches such as toys, dog beds, scratch posts etc.
  • Do not kiss your pet or hold it close to your face, that’s what humans are for.
  • Cover any cuts, abrasions, sores or scratches with a water proof dressing before handling or cleaning. Also if you pick up any new ones in the process clean these and apply  a suitable dressing.
  • Don’t keep animals in rooms used to prepare food. Never let them walk on food surfaces and don’t wash animal items in sinks used for human food utensils. If you have no choice, always thoroughly disinfect the sink and surrounding work surfaces afterwards and don’t use the same cloths for both.
  • Don’t let animals onto your bed and especially not your pillow.

Follow these rules and you shouldn’t end up as one of the many people with an undiagnosed gastrointestinal infection (24 hour bout of diarrhoea) or one of the very rare cases of rat hantavirus (the only two cases of this flu like disease I know of in the UK were breeders who were in constant contact with rats but clearly didn’t have sufficient infection control).

If you are sensible pets have been shown to reduce disease in humans but if you lick a rat’s bum (figuritively speaking), expect the worst!

Keep visiting for more pet shop Gloucester advice.

The Angell Pets Team