Our dogs bring us massive amounts of joy every day which is why it is so important to ensure that they have a healthy diet. But with so many dog foods out there, how do you know which are the best?
As with humans there is no one food that is the best option for all dogs. Ultimately as a dog owner it is important to understand what type of food is going to be most suitable; you may even have to try a number of different types and brands before finding a dog food that keeps your pooch healthy and happy.
When choosing dog food for your pet it is important to consider the age of your dog and more widely its stage of life. For instance, puppy food typically has much larger amounts of proteins, vitamins, calories and minerals to aid growth and development. Conversely, an adult dog does not require the same nutritional qualities in its food; if they are fed puppy food they can become overweight. Similarly, older dogs may require more easily digestible food.
Basically there are three main varieties of dog food, wet, dry and semi-moist. There is much debate about which is the best option for dogs with many swaying towards dry food. However, as a pet owner it is important to remember that the type of food is heavily dependent upon the dog, providing a variety should also be a consideration.
If you are thinking of switching your dog food then it is advisable to do this slowly, gradually mixing a larger percentage of the new food with the old food over a period of two weeks. By doing this you should reduce the risks of any digestion problems arising from a sudden change in diet.
Hopefully the preceding tips should help you to choose the right food for your pooch.
Reptiles are a popular gift idea because they’re considered low maintenance and quirky. However, they live a relatively long time and require specialist knowledge to care for them so it’s important to make sure you do your research and invest in the right products.
If you are sure that the pet will be wanted, loved and well looked after, you will need to know which reptile is the most appropriate. Each species has different requirements, for example amphibians are less expensive to maintain than lizards, but they have sensitive skin and can’t be handled often, and some snakes will need to be fed defrosted rodents, which not everyone will want to do. Generally leopard geckos, corn snakes and bearded dragons are considered to be excellent for beginners: leopard geckos have calm temperaments, and are a manageable size; corn snakes are very placid and easy to handle; and bearded dragons are robust and seem to positively enjoy the company of people.
Having chosen a suitable species, the right housing and equipment will be needed. You should consider heating, lighting, hiding places and food. We have a large selection of variably sized terrariums and vivariums including Exo Terra, Komodo and Zoomed, as well as other reptile homes. We also stock excellent starter kits which include everything you need for an easy set up: the Exo Terra range has set up kits for leopard geckos, Crested Gecko and bearded dragons, and the Komodo range includes starter kits for spider, scorpion, tortoise and ball python, amongst others.
The Green Anole is the most commonly kept of all the Anolis species. It is indigenous to South America. It is an agile climber and an acute hunter of spiders, grasshoppers and other insects. They are very friendly lizards that enjoy being hand fed, however they do have some specialised care requirements. Males grow up to 8 inches while females seldom exceed 6 inches. While in captivity Green Anole live to around 6 years old. They tolerate being handled, but prefer to perch on a hand or shoulder than being tightly gripped. They are quite fragile and their tails can break easily. It is best to leave a new Anole for a few weeks to become accustomed to their surroundings before being handled.
Green Anole prefer verticle Terrariums due to their climbing nature, a well ventilated one is recommended such as this one from Zoo Med. Vertically orientated vegetate cover is essential, acrylic vines and plastic plants are perfect. Anoles will hide out in tangled vegetation rather than in ground level hinds or caves. Bark substrate such as this from Zoo Med mixed with decaying leaf-litter is the best substrate for Anoles rather than wood shavings or sand.
Green Anoles are sun worshipers and 8 hours of full spectrum UV light is recommended. General temperatures should be around 25-30 oC dipping to 15-20 oC at night, with basking spots of 35 oC. They require shady retreats to thermos regulate. Heat lamps work best as a heating source rather than under tank heaters.
They eat small invertebrates such as crickets, meal worms and roaches. Avoid super worms and king worms. Typically Green Anole lap water from leaves after the rain or the early morning dew. However some pets may drink standing water from a shallow dish, but they do prefer to drink water misted onto leaves. However if you do opt for a shallow water dish place a stick or vine in the water so your Anole can get out easily as they cannot escape from a deep dish and may drown.
There are around 35 species of Iguana, the most common is the Green Iguana which can grow between 5 and 7 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) long from nose to tail. Iguanas are a very common reptile to keep as a pet, however they are also the most commonly seen by vets for illness due to lack of proper care. They have relatively strict feeding and housing requirements. Before getting an Iguana as a pet it is important to do your research.
Iguanas become very large as they mature, so don’t get drawn in by the very cute baby you see in the store! They can become less easy to tame as they mature and can become aggressive. They have razor-sharp teeth and claws. That being said, with careful and committed owners, proper care and handling iguana make great pets. The Iguana originate from central and south America, they are herbivorous and eat jungle leaves, fruits and flowers in the wild. They will usually seek temperatures of above 30 oC. Iguanas are not social creatures; putting two together may end up in serious injury or even death.
A good starting size for a young Iguana is this one from vivexotic, or this one from Zoo Med. The best substrate is artificial grass, newspaper or even indoor-outdoors carpet as it is easy to clean. Avoid gravel, soil and sand as it could be eaten and cause potentially fatal intestinal impact. There needs to be plenty of hiding spaces for your Iguana to feel secure. Humidity needs to be maintained by misting the area at least once a day or providing a humidifier such as this one from Repti-fogger. Fresh water needs to be provided and many Iguanas appreciate a daily soak in the bath or sink.
Like all reptiles, Iguanas need heat. Under cage heating pads are the best way forwards, and overhead basking spots are essential. Temperatures should be around 35 – 40 oC and available for 10-14 hours per day. The Terrarium also needs UV lighting for vitamin D.
Large adult Iguanas may only need to be fed 2-3 times a week while juveniles should be fed daily. Iguana food is available but should only make up 70% of the diet, supplemented with plants, half of which should be dark leafy greens such as kale, dandelion greens, Lettice and carrot tops. At least 3 types of greens should be given. The rest of the plant material can be made up of items such as: green beans, broccoli, squash, tomatoes and fruits such as: melon, mango, berries and bananas. In general the more varied the diet the better.
The bearded dragon is the common term used to refer to the Pogona genus of lizards. They call the arid woodland of Australia home and can be often found in trees and bushes. The most popular species kept as pets are pogona vitticeps, the Central Bearded Dragon. They are simple to look after, easy to handle and have plenty of character. Bearded Dragons are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day. They can live for up to 10 years and can grow up to 60cm (including their tails), males tend to be larger than females.
Choosing a Bearded Dragon
When looking for a breaded dragon there are numerous pointers you should look out for. The first to understand is that you want to find a bearded dragon that is full of life and healthy. Sores, burns or parasitic marks can be signs of poor health, as can build up around the eyes and other orifices. Tails and toes may be removed but as long as there is no infection, this is a fairly common occurrence. Dragons should be a minimum of 6 weeks old. They are happy to be kept on their own. Mature males kept together will fight whereas females may live peacefully together. a male kept with one or more female will form a natural social group, although breeding is inevitable. Dragons “head bob’ to each other as a form of communication, along with waving one of their front legs.
Giving your Dragon a Home
Although a smaller tank will be suitable for adolescent dragons, a terrarium of suitable size should be purchased to allow your dragon to grow. As they are from the hot dry desert of central Australia it is also important to ensure that your dragon has enough heat and light, ensuring that the light is directly shone into the tank so that sufficient UV rays are provided. They need a basking spot lamp such as this one from Exo Terra, this should be kept at one end of the enclosure and the temperature should be around 35 oC and at the cooler end temperature should be around 20-25 oC. at night temperature should not drop bellow 15 oC. They also need the right levels of Ultra Violet (UV) light, otherwise they will not absorb enough calcium which will form deformities. Lights should be controlled by a timer and be kept on for 10-12 hours a day.
The choice of substrate is debatable, there are arguments for and against the use of sand (with many claiming that sand can cause impaction, intestinal problems) and others claiming reptile carpet is a better option. As an owner it is about finding a substrate that you and your dragon can be happy with.
Feeding you Dragon
Bearded Dragons are omnivores and as such you need to provide them with both plants and animals to eat. As your dragon grows it is important to recognise that younger animals require a different diet from adults. Youngsters need a higher percentage of protein than adults; they also require high levels of calcium. To get this protein crickets, silkworms and hornworms are all fairly suitable although removing uneaten prey food is always a good idea. Plants which are high in calcium are a good choice and could include fruits such as mangos or figs and other greens such as dandelion greens and cactus leaves. Lettuce should be avoided and as a rule rhubarb and avocado are also worth skipping. Be careful of pesticides and always wash any foodstuffs you are feeding your dragon. You can also purchase Bearded Dragon food It is also important to ensure that your dragon has enough water, making sure that it is fresh each day and the receptacle is disinfected at least once a week.
Before and after you handle your reptile or are entering their tank it is vital that you wash your hands thoroughly, reptiles are highly susceptible to infections and this can also reduce the chances of you contracting salmonella (a rare occurrence). It is also important to disinfect the tank regularly as well as all of the other surfaces to prevent the build up of bacteria. Finally, you should have a qualified vet close by to ensure that if there are problems, you can find the expertise needed to treat your pet easily.
Your bearded dragon will provide years of pleasure is treated correctly; in order to make the life of your dragon enjoyable however you will have to dedicate considerable time, energy and money. With enough dedication and commitment it is possible to have long living reptile pets that are healthy and full of life.
Skinks come in many varieties and types, differing in size and colour dramatically. Arguably the most popular type of skink is the eastern or common blue tongued skink which can grow to around 12-20 (30-50cm) inches and can live for a whopping 10-20 years.
Skinks are characterised by the small legs and almost snake like appearance. In the wild they often live on the forest floor and because of their short legs, aren’t as quick as other lizards, relatively speaking. Fortunately they are one of the more laid back and docile types of lizard, and can subsequently be handled, allowing owners to build a significant bond with their pet.
1. Housing and Habitat
As skinks can grow to be quite large it is important to ensure they are provided with adequate housing and space. Normally an adult skin will require an enclosure measuring around 4 by 2 foot, such as this one from Vivexotic, although this should be viewed as a minimum, height is less of an issue due to the skink’s physique. Within their enclosure it can be advisable to provide you skink with plenty of room to hide such as logs and also the opportunity to burrow.
2. Heating and Light
Temperatures of between 24-29°C (75-85°F) are ideal and should be provided by a mixture of under tank heating, such as a heat pad and also a basking light. Naturally measuring the temperature around the tank is needed to ensure you are providing the right range of temperatures. As well as the basking light a UV light should also be provided and left on for around 10-12 hours per day, aim to keep the humidity between 25%-50% and it can be good to provide them with a moist area for shedding.
As skinks like to burrow from time to time then a loose substrate is a good option. Sand is not suitable although aspen wood shavings, bark or hemp can be used as they are loose and also absorbent. Care should be taken to ensure your skink is not eating the wood substrate as this can be detrimental to their health.
Skinks are omnivores and as such should have a varied diet filled with many nutritious foods which ensure they are receiving sufficient vitamins and minerals, it may even be worth bolstering the diet with supplements for this purpose. Many keepers recommend a ratio of around one third meat to two-thirds vegetables in the diet. Meats such as diced chicken or beef are good, although seafood is not suitable. The usual live foods such as crickets, mealworms and silkworms can be used but due to their low nutritional content are more of an activity for the skink rather than part of their diet. In terms of fruit and vegetables spring greens, dandelion leaves, mangoes and squashes are good, citrus fruits, spinach, mushrooms and lettuce should be avoided.
As with many lizards it can be prudent to provide a water dish for drinking but also bathing. Skinks enjoy bathing and this can be a beneficial addition to the enclosure. However water dishes require frequent cleaning to prevent the build up of harmful bacteria as skinks have been known to defecate in water.
Skinks’ nails will normally grow quite quickly and will need to be cut from time to time. Calcium deficiency can cause MBD or Metabolic Bone Disease although this can be avoided with effective supplementation and diet.
Skinks are highly rewarding pets if you are willing to devote time to them. They live for a considerable amount of time so can be considered a true investment of effort. As long as you understand the adult size of your pet and also the length of its life you should be well prepared to build a bond with your skink for the years to come.
Leopard Geckos are very easy to look after making them the perfect reptile for anyone new to reptile acre. They are incredible docile creatures and are known for their beautiful mottles skin. Leopard geckos can like for 20 years or more and don’t need as much space as other lizards. They mainly live on the ground, although they can climb their abilities are limited. They are nocturnal and become most active when the vivarium lights are turned off in the evenings.
Leopard geckos originally come from hot dry areas of India and like to have lots of hiding places to rest when the lights are on. Heat is very important to have in the vivarium and can be provided by a heat rock or heat mat. A heat mat should cover less than 50% of the floor area so your gecko can choose where it feels most comfortable. Some areas of the vivarium should have a temperature of 30oC with cooler areas dropping to 20oC at night.
They can grow between 20 and 25cm, so they do not need vast amounts of space a vivarium like this one is perfect. Leopard Geckos are happy living on their own. Adult males will fight when placed together, so if you are thinking about more than one then females are happy living together with or without a single male.
Once a leopard gecko gets to know its owner they don’t mind being handled. They rarely bit or scratch, but will struggle when they are frightened. Hold your but around the shoulders gently but firmly, when they are lifted your other hand should be supporting their body.
Leopard gecko droppings are small and dry and should be removed once they are notices. They do not produce urine, so their homes do not need to be cleaned as often as other small animals. Although it is a good idea to empty and disinfect their homes regularly: around once a month.
Leopard Geckos only eat insects so they are easy to feed. However try to give them a varied diet of crickets, small locusts, meal worms and wax worms, however wax worms should be given in moderation. All insects should be in a good condition and fed well in advance of being given to your gecko. Once a week dust the insects with a good quality vitamin supplement. Feed in the evenings when your gecko is most active. Mealworms should be placed in a dish to stop them from escaping. Providing a small bowl of calcium powder can also be beneficial to your gecko. Adults should be fed every two to three days and juveniles every other day. Make sure not to put new food in the vivarium when there is still some left from the previous feeding. Fresh water should always be available.
With millions of reptiles being kept as pets here in the UK they are rapidly becoming one of the nation’s most loved types of pet. Whilst they may not be the cuddliest of animals, reptiles and particularly lizards provide joy to millions. With so many types of lizard available however, choosing one can be difficult, which is why we’re presenting the 5 most popular pet lizards
There are a wide variety of different geckos available although the distinctive colouration and pattern of the leopard gecko make it a popular pet. Geckos are relatively small meaning that a decent size terrarium can typically house a pair. Their easygoing nature makes them fun to handle and their diet should be made up of insects. As nocturnal animals, geckos are pretty inactive during the day, which can mean you pets are most active when you have gone to bed.
The Blue Tongued Skink
The blue tongued skink is certainly an interesting looking beast and like the bearded dragon can grow to the fairly large size of 60cm or more. These skinks are quite docile animals, like the bearded dragon, meaning that regular handling is possible. Blue tongued skins can live for 20 years so buying one is certainly a lengthy investment of time and money.
The Bearded Dragon
Much less scary than the name implies, the Bearded Dragon is still one of the most popular pet lizards available. The Bearded Dragon can grow to around 60 cm and as such you will need a fairly large terrarium when housing one. The bearded dragon can however be expensive to keep and because of its mixed, omnivore diet (both insects and vegetables), can be troublesome to look after for more inexperienced reptile owner.
The Green Iguana
There are numerous types of iguana that make good pets, with the green iguana arguably the most popular. Iguanas can grow to considerable lengths, so it is important to have a terrarium that will hold them comfortably. Green Iguanas are herbivores and eat their greens, taking the hassle of raising live feed away from the owner.
These anoles are relatively small at around 15cm; they should however be kept in groups with a solitary male and 2 or 3 accompanying females, meaning that your terrarium size should be similar to that for housing 2 geckos. Anoles are not the keenest of lizards to be handled and one of the more low maintenance options on the list.
These 5 lizards are just some of the popular varieties available on the market. If you are interested in keeping a lizard remember that our staff offers advice and guidance on a range of reptile related issues.
Whether you are taking your dog to the vets or taking a road trip to a holiday destination somewhere in the UK, making sure that you are prepared to travel with your dog is vital. Naturally taking your dog with you to fun and interesting places as the weather improves is a priority for many dog owners but this summer, what can you do to make your dogs travelling as enjoyable as possible?
If it is your dog’s first time being in the car it is important to get them used to it. This can be performed by getting your dog into the car and leaving it stationary with the doors and boot open. You may want to start the engine so that they can get used to the noise and sensation. During this time give your dog praise, treat it and get it to relax in the car so that it associates the vehicle as a calm and enjoyable place to be. End on your dog getting used to the vehicle before you head off anywhere. With your dog starting to accept your car you can then take it on a short journey before heading off on a full road trip up country.
Just like it is important for humans to be secure when they travel it is also important that you secure your dog in the car just in case there is an accident. In fact in some countries it is actually a legal requirement to secure your dog as in an accident they can become a dangerous projectile just like any other object in the car.
Fortunately there are a number of options if you want to secure your dog during car journeys, you may want to consider dog seatbelts and harnesses which are ideal for small to medium size dogs. For larger dogs and for larger cars something like a dog crate is ideal and can be placed in the boot. Finally if you want to ensure your dog is given a little freedom in the boot of your car you can fit a dog guard which can be bought for a remarkable number of car makes and models.
Packing to ensure your dog has everything it needs so it is advisable to pack your dog’s food, bedding and bowls for wherever you are going. You may even want to take some toys, or treats for the journey. Naturally you will need your dog’s lead and collar and use them every time you let you dog out at motorway services.
Even if the window is open it is important if that you take a break from driving and allow your dog to stretch its legs at regularly intervals. You should also take plenty of water with you and ensure that each time you stop your dog has a drink. When stopping at services you should never leave your dog alone in the car, particularly if it’s hot.
By taking your time on journeys, having the right accessories so that your dog is safe during the journey and by making frequent stops it is possible to have great fun with your dog on the road, meaning you can take it with you on family holidays and days out.
The main complaint from cat owners for years has been the bad smell of the litter tray. The amount of ammonia found in cat urine has been a constant issue as it leaves unhealthy toxins in the air and a harsh smell.
But not for much longer, a new product is hitting the UK market with full force.
Catit Magic Blue absorbs and retains up to 80% of ammonia, which is great for purifying the air in and around the litter tray, whilst reducing the foul odours and the risk of ammonia affecting those around you.
The Magic Blue cartridge is a reusable plastic holder that fits inside your litter tray. The cartridge comes with a cat proof lock and comes with a handy docking station.
The pads are non-toxic, compact and light weight. Just two pads will last an entire month in a magic blue cartridge. Each magic blue filter pad is sealed in a protective foil pouch for optimal performance.
Undoubtedly pet snakes aren’t for everyone, but for some people snakes are fascinating animals. Snake keepers actually stand by the fact that snakes become friendly and tame, particularly when they are handled regularly. But if you are planning of getting a pet snake, it is important to considering the following.
Firstly and probably most importantly you need to understand that owning a snake is a long term investment. Many species of snake can live up to 20 years. It is also important to understand that snakes can fit through tiny holes, so an escape-proof tank is essential.
So if you have understood these considerations and feel a snake is right for you, what species should you be considering?
If you are ready to start your snake keeping journey, Seapets can not only supply pet snakes but we also have arrange of great starter sets Komodo Advanced Adult Corn Snake Starter Kit. You can also find a full range of reptile terrariums and accessories on the Seapets website.
Rotastak hamster cages are an extremely popular form of housing and along with Critter Trail, Ferplast and Habitrail is one of the leading brands when it comes to hamster habitation. For those that aren’t aware, Rotastak hamster cages utilise modules that can be fixed to each other so that you can modify and extend your hamster’s world with new and interesting add-ons or accessories.
This variety and flexibility makes it possible to build a home for your hamster that is only limited by your imagination, ensuring that your pet has a fun place to exercise and will always be stimulated to explore.
There are numerous Rotastak Hamster Cages available from Seapets, from the Starter Deluxe Cage, to the larger Rotastak Creepy Castle. Your choice is likely to be determined by your budget and personal preference, whether you like a specific theme like space or want a Rotastak Pink Palace for your hamster.
Once you have your basic cage set up and ready for your hamster you may also want to consider a number of additional modules such as the Rotastak Attic Bedroom or a tunnel kit which will increase the amount of space in which your hamster has to play. For making connections there are a huge range of adaptors, u-bends, end caps and cross roads so you can make an entire world for your hamster to explore.
There is a huge range of accessories available for your Rotastak featuring anything from the Spaghetti Junction Tube Kit which adds a bit more running space for your hamster to practical accessories such as anti-gnaw rings, wall and floor plugs and the ubiquitous hamster wheel. Of course, once you have full accessorized you can also add to your Rotastak world with other bases from the same themed range.
If you are thinking of getting a hamster why not take a look at the Rotastak cages available from Seapets? We have a huge selection and discounts on a number of different Rotastak homes.
With a world of possibilities at your fingertips there is massive potential to create a totally unique home for your hamster using Rotastak homes, modules and accessories. This is why we’re handing over the creativity to you, we’d love to see your hamster’s home and you can show us and everyone else by following us on Facebook and simply posting your pictures to our wall.
With the cold weather on its way and the increasing frequency of blustery gales, torrential rains and even snow and sleet, taking the dog for a walk can seem a daunting task. Whilst we can put on another layer, wrap up warm with hats, scarves and gloves our canine comrades have no such protection, just the same coat they wear all year round.
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to find your pooch a new dog coat, ensuring that your four legged friend can stay dry, cosy and comfortable whatever the weather. No matter what you need for your dog, whether it is a fashionable little number showing off you and your dog’s personal style, a shower proof light coat for the occasional downpour or an all weather number perfect for sleet, snow and the occasional blizzard there are a number of measurement tips that are essential when choosing dog coats.
So how exactly do you measure a dog for a new coat?
Whether you have a Chihuahua, Scottie, Labrador or Great Dane this method of measurement should be enough for a general fit dog coat and allow you to order one online that fits perfectly. Whether you’re looking for high visibility dog coats, all weather dog coats or even specialist greyhound dog coats the massive range of products available to order online from Seapets is the perfect solution to keeping your pooch warm, comfortable and snug this winter.
With 8 million dogs in the UK needing a daily walk, Road Safety Week* is the perfect time to remind owners that they need to be seen to be safe. In dark wintry conditions, even sensible dog owners can be in danger: dogs can easily come off their leash or disappear from sight – and many owners will put themselves at risk to save them. Add to this the fact that 1 in 5 drivers admit to having knocked over a dog or cat*, and this is an extremely vulnerable group of pedestrians.
Accidents can be avoided if dogs and walkers are clearly visible. Dogs should be dressed in a high-vis jacket, such as the Cosipet Safety Dog Coat, a flashing collar tag and be led on a reflective leash to alert drivers to their presence and protect their owners. It’s even possible to share safety accessories, for example the Safety Halo by Ancol pulses light through a glowing tube and can be worn around your pup’s neck or strapped to your arm to ensure you’re both seen from a long distance.
It’s also really important to remember that almost 1 million cats are involved in road traffic accidents every year in the UK. Even though it’s unlikely that people will come to physical harm in these instances, there will be hundreds of thousands of families devastated by the loss of a family cat. Again, many of these accidents can be avoided simply by fitting cats with reflective collars, such as Johnson’s Reflective Flea Collar.
As the temperature drops and the nights draw in it is important to ensure that your garden pond is adequately prepared for the coming months. Naturally, maintaining your pond is an all year round job requiring a range of different pond supplies and equipment, there are however some specific tasks you can carry out that will help you to prepare the pond for the cold weather ahead.
Maintaining your pond plants is vital; it is advisable to remove any dead or dying plants that are in, around or overhanging the pond. This is because the debris from these plants can cause pollution and also clog the pond filter. For the same reason it is advisable to remove any leaves that have fallen into the pond on a regular basis, if the problem is consistently bad then perhaps some pond netting could be the solution.
As autumn turns into winter this is the perfect time of year to have your pond equipment, pond pumps and filters serviced for the months ahead. This can be done professionally although equally you can clean the filter and pump yourself, ensuring that they are both in good working order. It can also be worth making a partial water change as rotting vegetation and plants in the water can lead to the build up of toxins within the pond.
For those with fish, autumn is the time to start reducing the amount of pond food you give to the fish. Once the temperature drops consistently below 7 degrees you may not even have to feed the fish at all as they enter a state of semi-hibernation. It can also be worth turning down the pump as fish move to the deeper, warmer areas of the pond; a pump on full power will simply disturb this warm area.
Finally, and it is more of a point for the depths of winter, is to ensure that your pond is not allowed to freeze over, this can be extremely dangerous for your fish as it can lead to a build up of toxic gases within the water and also lead to a reduction in the amount of oxygen. A 2 or 3 inch hole should suffice depending upon the size of the pond and a great way to ensure this hole can be maintained is to use an empty plastic bottle standing upright at the surface. Once the pond is frozen over this bottle can then be filled with hot water to melt the surrounding ice and create a hole without disturbing the fish.
Preparing your pond for winter is an important part of being a pond owner. Thankfully at Seapets we have all of the pond supplies and equipment you need to see your pond through to the spring so you can start enjoying your tranquil garden once again.
For pet owners, Guy Fawkes can be an anxious time as they worry about the safety and well-being of their animals. The barrage of unpredictable loud explosions frightens pets and can cause panic attacks, depression and phobias and many pets go missing.
Local pet supply specialists Seapets are inundated every year with questions from worried pet owners on how they can look after their animals during this time. Managing Director, Jerry Arnold, gives his top tips on how to keep your pet safe and healthy during the firework season:
1. Bring your pet inside at least an hour before dark, and make a comfortable ‘den’ in a warm part of the house away from windows and doors. An animal bed, blanket and favourite toy will help encourage them to sleep there and provide a familiar place to retreat.
2. Remember to close all windows and doors, lock the cat flap and draw the curtains so your pet can’t escape and the noise is reduced. You can also turn on the TV to muffle the sounds.
3. Make your pet sleepy: take your dog for a longer afternoon walk than usual and play games with your cat. You can also feed them a heavier dinner with a natural calming dietary supplement, such as Johnsons Calm Eze tablets to help soothe nerves.*
4. If your pet runs for cover leave them alone – they are just looking for safety. And if they show signs of fear such as excessive barking and meowing or scratching, don’t raise your voice at them as this will only distress them further. Stay composed, act normally and praise them when they are calm.
5. Lastly, remember your small pets. Move animal hutches inside, cover them with blankets while ensuring adequate ventilation and provide extra bedding so they can burrow into it.
Well, it’s reached that time of year when I’ve had to – reluctantly – admit to myself that I need to buy myself a new winter coat. Coming to Seapets in the morning is always something I look forward to, but stepping out of my front door to get here isn’t.
It’s an old wives’ tale that animals are fine in the winter because they have a fur coat, but actually they feel it as much as we do and experience many of the same winter-related problems. Most people are aware that older dogs suffer with arthritis or rheumatism, but did you know that young, healthy dogs suffer too? For example, short -haired and toy dogs will have a particularly hard time in the cold because they lack the insulation to keep them warm, and dogs of all ages and breeds can be susceptible to hypothermia if they get wet. Similarly, if a dog exercises outdoors, its body temperature may drop rapidly when it stops, again making it vulnerable to the cold.
As autumn approaches, taking a few precautions for your dog can prevent illness and keep them fit and healthy. So I’ve put together a few top tips gathered from our staff and customers:
Many people choose to keep goldfish, particularly the more specialist varieties such as jikin goldfish, butterfly-tail goldfish and of course the subject of this blog, the pearlscale goldfish. Pearlscale goldfish (or chinshurin Japanese) are similar to fantails in appearance although their defining features are the circular, protruding scales which resemble pearls.
As a specialist breed of goldfish, pearlscales are less hardy than common goldfish making them more of a challenge to keep. In particular, pearlscale goldfish are often cited as being susceptible to overfeeding, sensitive to pH changes and also vulnerable in excessively cold water. As a result, keeping this type of goldfish requires a little extra care.
Pearlscale goldfish can be a variety of colours including blues, blacks, reds and also whites. The body shape, which resembles an egg, means that the internal organs of this type of fish are compact, one of the reasons why overfeeding this species of goldfish can be a problem. With the correct level of care, pearlscale goldfish can grow to the relatively larger size of 20cm (around 8 inches).
In terms of feeding, pearlscales are omnivorous and subsequently can be fed a variety of different foods. Pellet and flakes of fish food are suitable although many keepers advise that such dry foods should be soaked first to avoid compaction. Some fish keepers also enjoy feeding their pearlscales occasional vegetables and live foods, particularly shelled peas which can help to prevent constipation as well as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia.
Like all goldfish, pearlscales are relatively messy and produce a lot of waste meaning that you have to change the water fairly frequently to maintain a healthy habitat. In terms of water temperatures, severe fluctuations should be avoided and the lowest temperatures shouldn’t go below 12°C (55°F). Similarly, extremes of alkalinity and acidity should also be avoided; a stable pH of between 7.2 and 7.6 should be maintained.
If adding your pearlscale goldfish to a community tank it can be advisable to avoid placing them with the faster goldfish breeds such as Comets or Shubunkins as the difference in speed can cause problems in the long term. If you want to keep other types of goldfish with your pearlscales, bubble-eyes and butterfly-tails both make suitable tank mates.
If you are considering keeping pearlscale goldfish or want to keep another type of fish why not get in touch with us today. We have experts that can help you choose and also set you up with all the equipment and accessories you need to keep a happy, healthy goldfish population.