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26/04/2016 11:55:00

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.

Bearded Dragon

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.

General Pointers

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.

 


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21/04/2016 11:55:00

Blue Tongued Skink

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.

Blue Tongued skink

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.

3. Substrates

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.

4. Food

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.

5. Water

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.

General points

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.


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13/04/2016 11:00:00

Pet Profile: Leopard Gecko

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 gecko

How to keep you Leopard Gecko

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.

How big are Leopard geckos

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.

Looking after and keeping your Leopard Gecko clean

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.

Feeding your Leopard Gecko

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.

 


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04/04/2016 11:36:00

Popular Pet Lizards

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

Iguana

Leopard Gecko

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.

 

Carolina Anole

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.

 


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23/03/2016 09:35:00

Traveling with your dog

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?

Dog with head out of a car window

Take a Trial Run

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.

Securing Your Dog

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.

What to Take with You

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.

Taking a Break

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.


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07/03/2016 09:50:00

  • There are some house plants that are harmful to cats.
  • Micro chipping your cat reduces the risk of you losing your cat.
  • Make sure that you have a scratching post that’s at least 3ft tall, sprinkle with cat nip once or twice a month to keep your cat interested.
  • Cut your cats nails every two to three weeks to keep them blunt so your furniture doesn’t get damaged.
  • When cats scratch they shed their outer nail to reveal fresh claws underneath, so they need to scratch to keep their paws healthy.

Cute cat laying down

  • Cats are relatively low maintenance compared to dogs, so can fit into a busy modern lifestyles. They are much more independent so can be left alone much more easily than dogs.
  • Some cats need more attention that others, which depends on its inherent personality and early experiences, which can make it fearful or confident with people and life in general
  • Cats are carnivores first and foremost. They have an absolute need for some of the nutrients found in meat. It would be unfair and dangerous to the cats health to attempt keeping it as a vegetarian
  • Hunting is normal behavior for cats
  • Un-neutered male cats will mark their territory with strong smelling urine while un-neutered females can come into season every two weeks if they don’t become pregnant.
  • When getting a pedigree cat do your reassure on the breed, and make sure that health comes first, no matter the “look”
  • Cats like to intentionally place themselves right where they know your attention is focused.
  • Before you know it, you will be watching obscure cat videos, especially when you should be doing other things.

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03/03/2016 11:30:00

  • The average life span of a cat is 13 to 17 years, but they can live for over 20
  • Cats come with built in grooming, so they don’t need to have a bath unless they get into something really dirty.
  • Clean your cats eyes with a damp cotton wool pad, gently wipe over eyes to clean away any gunk or debris.
  • To clean your cats ears, place some ear cleaner on a cotton wool pad and gently wipe away any ear wax or debris.

cute ginger and white kitten

  • Cats are relatively clean, but brushing your cat regularly will reduce the amount of hairball incidents you could run into.
  • Be aware of Feline Urological Syndrome. Both male and female cats can develop “lower unitary inflammation” symptoms include frequent trips to the litter tray, pain or difficulty urinating and occasionally blood in the urine.
  • All indoor cats need a litter tray, and they won’t use a messy one. So keep it tidy every day and fully disinfect it once a week. Never use anything scented especially not lemon when cleaning the litter tray.
  • Check your cat for fleas and ticks weekly.
  • Water is the most important nutrient for your cat.
  • Milk will upset your cats’ stomach as most cats are lactose intolerant.
  • Raw meat, avocado, grapes and raisins are harmful to your cat, in fact there are a few foods that can cause your cat harm, so make sure to check it out before you give your cat anything new.

 


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02/03/2016 02:30:00

Catit Magic Blue banishes bad odors!

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.

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More about Catit Magic Blue

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.

Catit Magic Blue Cartridge

Catit Magic Blue Refil Pads


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26/01/2016 10:13:00

Keeping a pet snake

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.

cute snake

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.

Before choosing your snake:

  • Understand the full adult size your snake will reach. Some snakes can grow to huge sizes although sensible pet snakes will normally reach a maximum length of around 6-7 feet. Depending upon the species, the size of your snake cage should be a minimum of two thirds the overall length of the snake, so that it can stretch out suitably.
  • Different species of snakes will have different temperaments. Some species are more prone to biting than others and subsequently don’t make the best pets. Ideally you should research the species beforehand to make understand its behavioural characteristics.
  • If you have a weak stomach then snakes are unlikely to be great for you. Snakes eat prey, albeit typically frozen and thawed, but they will still require you to feed one animal to another. For some this is appealing, although unless you are willing to see nature in action, a snake may not be right for you.
  • If you are just starting out keeping snakes then it is worth looking at species that are fairly hardy in captivity. Some snakes are remarkably difficult to keep healthy, although others can thrive at the right temperature with a clean cage, fresh water and the proper diet.

So if you have understood these considerations and feel a snake is right for you, what species should you be considering?

  • Corn Snakes – Great for beginners, visually appealing and relatively easy to keep.
  • Gopher Snakes – Not as colourful but can become extremely tame with regular handling.
  • Ball Pythons – A little harder to feed and can live in excess of 25 years.
  • Garter Snakes – Smaller in size although once again a good variety of colours.
  • King Snakes – Numerous varieties and do well in captivity.

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.


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19/12/2015 11:55:00

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.

 

Rotatak Hamster cage
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.

Step 1: Getting Started

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.

Step 2: Modules

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.

Step 3: Accessories

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.

Why are Rotastak Hamster Cages Popular?

  • They are flexible and allow you to create a home for your hamster that is only limited by your imagination.
  • They are easy to assemble, clicking together in seconds so that you can get creating as soon as possible.
  • They are available in a huge range of colours and themes allowing you to personalise your hamster’s home.
  • They are transparent so that you can see your hamster as often as possible.

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.

How Creative are You?

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.

Why not show us your Rotastak creations today?


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03/12/2015 04:54:00

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.

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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?

  • Firstly try and ensure that your dog is standing still and upright with its head up before starting the measuring; if you have a particularly boisterous pet then it may be advisable to enlist some help in holding the dog still.
  • Secondly, with the dog standing still, take the measurement from the nape of the neck, along the back to the base of the tail using a cloth tape measure. Following the line of the spine should give you the length of coat you will require.

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.


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24/11/2015 01:47:00

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.

605040Accidents 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.


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13/11/2015 11:43:00

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.

pond in winter

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.


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03/11/2015 11:25:00

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.

under-blanket-dog

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.


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08/10/2015 11:01:00

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.

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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:

  • Start acclimatising your dog to the outdoors now before the harsh weather really kicks in. His or her coat and body will adapt to seasonal temperature changes more easily, thickening to withstand the colder weather.
  • If your dog is outside during the day make sure they have somewhere they can escape the cold and rain. Our Petmate Kennel Dog Igloo insulates dogs and helps regulate their temperature.
  • Small and older dogs can really benefit from  or other dog clothing such as sweaters to add an extra layer of insulation around them while they are outside.
  • As I mentioned before, keeping your dog dry is a must. Waterproof rain coats are a simple, lightweight and stylish solution.

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07/10/2015 11:37:00

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.

Pearl goldfish

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.

Tips for Choosing a Pearlscale

  • When looking to buy pearlscale goldfish you should always choose individuals that are active in the tank and also maintain a healthy horizontal balance.
  • The body should be short, round and compact, breeders aim for fish that have a body depth of two thirds of the body length.
  • A fish of around 5.5cm (2.25 inches) is suitable.
  • Look for bright, healthy colouration and also fully developed dome-shaped pearls all over the fish.
  • Fins should be well formed and complete with a slightly rounded appearance.

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.


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25/09/2015 03:13:00

Keeping Chickens

Keeping chickens is becoming increasingly popular as many people realise the benefits of embracing the good life, at least in a small way. But keeping chickens does require some serious thought as like any animal, they will need an investment of time. But if you are thinking about keeping poultry, we’ve put down some of the most commonly cited considerations below.

Two cute chicks

First it important to realise that chickens come in all shapes, sizes and breeds and if you have sufficient outdoor space can be great fun to keep. They do not require a daily walk and as long as they are corralled into bed at night, are relatively easy to keep.

Hens, Cockerels or a Mixture?

Whilst chickens will typically appreciate the male company of a cockerel, they will also live pretty happily if it is just hens. Most hens will lay eggs without a cockerel and if you live in a residential area, for the sake of your neighbours it can be better not to have one.

Chicken Feed

There are a number of different chicken feeds available although most chickens will be suited to a diet of corn grains, grit or pellets. You may even want to consider leftover vegetables or fruit, although not exclusively. Remember Seapets have a wide range of chicken food available.

Eggs

One of the reasons many people keep chickens is for the eggs and with some breeds laying up to 300 eggs per year it is likely you will have plenty to cook with. It’s common that your hens will take breaks from laying however, especially if they are moulting they will stop laying. Remember that the frequency of eggs is hugely affected by the breed.

How many?

The number of chickens you keep is largely dependent upon key factors. These include not only how many eggs you would like, but also the amount of space you have and how much spare time you will be able to devote to their upkeep.

Chicken Housing

Chickens are kept in chicken coups and runs. These should be fox proof to keep your chickens safe from predators and if you are thinking of buying one, make sure it is easy to clean and maintain, with features and openings that make it easy to get to the perches. Chicken coups range from the larger Harvey’s Chicken Hotel to the smaller Cool Pets Henriettas Chicken Run, both available from Seapets.

Keeping Chickens Healthy

Diet plays an important part in the health of your chickens although equally you may want to consider chicken disinfectants to ensure the coup is kept clean. There are also a number of vitamin tonics and sprays for everything from stopping self plucking to treating wounds. A full range of chicken treatments is available at Seapets.

Hopefully with this information you will be a little more clued up as to what you need to consider before keeping chickens. If you think you are ready to realise the benefits of poultry farming, our Chicken Supplies section has everything you need to get started.


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14/08/2015 12:57:00

Freshwater shrimps could be ideal for your Aquarium

In many aquariums freshwater shrimp can be welcome additions, enhancing the overall environment and helping to keep it clean. There are however a number a different shrimp species to consider, particularly if they are to live as part of a wide aquatic community. Shrimp generally range in size from 1 inch to 4 inches, depending upon the species and in general it is not advisable to keep them with aggressive, predatory fish.

fresh water shrimp

 

Popular species of shrimp include amano, cherry red and ghost (or grass) shrimps.  These are all relatively hardy, can live in a range of water conditions and temperatures and are generally a good choice if you have never kept shrimp before.

The benefits of keeping shrimp:

  • Predominantly scavengers, some species of shrimp can help you to keep the algae levels down.
  • Shrimp will mop up any uneaten food, dead fish and other detritus as they scavenge for food.
  • Because they scavenge much of the waste they can help to keep levels of ammonia and nitrate low.
  • Because of their size and scavenging nature it is possible to add numerous shrimp without upsetting the habitat drastically.
  • Whilst they do breed, in a community tank any larvae are typically mopped up fairly quickly by the fish. Unlike snails which seem to just breed and breed.
  • They’re entertaining; the way they move, eat and bounce around your aquarium can even make them a major point of interest.

Like many different animals with an exoskeleton shrimps will actually moult their shells from time to time as this allows them to grow as their shells become too small. This is normal and nothing to worry about but it is worth bearing in mind that straight after moulting, they are highly vulnerable due to the fact that their shell has not yet hardened. As such you may need to provide them with somewhere to hide during this vulnerable stage as they could be eaten by the fish.

If you are interested in adding shrimp to your aquarium or keeping a shrimp only tank, why not get in touch.


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16/07/2015 02:31:00

Looking after your pet in the heat

Whilst we may have not had the best of summers there has been, and there is still potential for hot weather over the next few months. Whilst many of us rejoice when the sun comes out it is just as important to take care of your pet when it gets warm. Below is some advice you may want to consider so that your pet can enjoy the warm weather as much as you do.

hot dog

 

No parking

It should be etched in the mind of every pet owner but leaving your animal in the car on a hot day should definitely be avoided. Even with the windows open cars can quickly become ovens which can make your pet overheat. In extreme cases this can even lead to the death of your pet so it is better to be safe than sorry and not leave your animal in the car.

Mad dogs & Englishmen

Everyone knows that it is only mad dogs and Englishmen that go out in the midday sun but as a responsible pet owner you should try to avoid exercising your animal during the periods of extreme heat. If you are taking the dog for a walk for example, try to do this early in the morning or later at night when the temperature is cooler.

Shady characters

If you are going to be spending an extended period of time out and about on hot days then you should make sure your pet has somewhere in the shade where they can sit. Too much exposure to the sun can lead to heat exhaustion and in some breeds even sunburn.

Water of life

It is essential to have plenty of water so that your pet can take a drink when they need to. Just as we become thirsty on hot days, so does your pet so be prepared and take enough supplies with you. For those heading out on adventures, we have a great range of travel products including the RAC Travel Dog Water Bottle, the Pet Gear Travel Food and Water Case and the Road Refresher Pet Non Spill Travel Bowl. Cats in particularly like running, well oxygenated water as the weather heats up which is why a Cat Water Fountain can be a great addition to your home this summer.

Summer Fashion

Whilst it may be tempting to closely shave a pet as the temperature increases, this should typically be avoided. A hair cut can be a good idea but their fur is often a part of their natural insulation. It is best to keep your pet well groomed and brushed, avoiding matting and tangling so that the air can circulate throughout their fur effectively.

Keep an eye out

Ultimately as a sensible pet owner your priority should be to ensure your pet can enjoy the warm weather whilst avoiding the risks. Look out for the warning signs such as excessive panting or salivation in dogs or in other animals staggering, general weakness or confusion. This could be signs of exhaustion or sunstroke.

By being careful and making sure you are prepared for the hot weather you and your pet will be able to enjoy the summer. As long as your pet has the opportunity to keep cool, always has plenty to drink and is prepped for higher temperatures you should be able to cope with everything the British summer has to throw at you.


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11/07/2015 04:21:00

Keeping pet rats

For many people, having rats in their home is a disturbing thought, but as pets they bring joy to thousands of owners worldwide. Pet rats have the potential to be affectionate animals with high levels of intelligence as long as they are given the care and stimulus to develop, but are they right for you?

cute rat

 

Are Rats Right for Me?

There are number of factors you need to consider before plunging in and buying a pair of rats (rats should be bought in pairs). Firstly you must be able to afford a cage, accessories and of course the vet bills. More importantly however, you must be able to spare the time to give the rats some attention, handle them and allow them to leave their cage and explore the outside world. You will also need to clean their cage regularly, at the very least every week.

You should also consider whether anyone in your home has allergies as this could cause problems in the future and also that if you do let your rats roam your home, then you will need to ‘rat proof’ it. Finally you will need to find someone that can look after your rats if you need to go away or take a holiday. If you can safely say you can do all the above, pet rats might just be perfect for you.

Rat Facts

  • On average a rat will live for 2-3 years.
  • Rats are nocturnal and most active during the night.
  • Rats will grow to around 9-11 inches, with a tail of around 8 inches.
  • Male rats are bucks, female rats are does.

What will I need to keep pet rats?

As mentioned previously rats are social creatures and should be bought in single sex pairs as a minimum. As such you will need a large cage like the Rat Cage Mary from Furplast. These cages have solid floors so that the rats don’t hurt their feet and the larger, Jenny cage has multiple levels and ramps, ideal for rats that love to explore.

As well as the cage you may also want to consider suitable bedding materials such as hemp, cloth and paper (not pine or cedar shavings as these can cause respiratory problems). Naturally you will need a food bowl, water bottle and of course rat food, which should be readily available for the rats.

As intelligent and active animals you also should be giving your rats plenty of stimulation so it is always advisable to get some toys and treats that will keep their minds and bodies entertained when you can’t be there to play with them. This could be a Rope Bridge, a rat hammock or treats like Vitakraft Rat Donuts or rat snacks like those from Naturals.

Rat Care Checklist

  • Spend as much time as possible with your rats as you will build a bond and they will be more active, friendly and healthy.
  • Vary diet so that your rats do not become bored over time and only treat them occasionally to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Clean their cage on a regular basis, once or twice a week is fine although you may also want to spot clean often. When cleaning avoid harsh chemicals as this can harm the rats’ respiratory system.
  • Keep your rats at a comfortable temperature, neither allowing them to get too hot or cold.
  • Look out for sneezing and troubled breathing in your rat as this could be a sign of relatively common respiratory disease.

Ultimately if you can devote enough time to caring for your pet rats they will be a rewarding and entertaining pet to keep. This commitment combined with the right cage, accessories and foods will allow you to keep healthy, happy rats for the years to come.


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