Everything you need to look after a pet rat.


Forget cats and dogs, rats make fantastic pets!

Rats are clean, sociable, smart, low maintenance and have great personalities. We really can’t recommend them enough.

But if you want to get a pet rat there are some basic things you’ll need, in order to care for your little buddy and make sure they have a long, happy and healthy life.


You will need a good rat cage.

Rats like a lot of space. They are naturally very active animals that love to run up and down, scabbling and climbing their way over obstacles. The very minimum sized cage you should look for is 50cm cubed for one rat getting bigger the more rats you have.

A wire cage with a solid bottom is perhaps the best. A wire cage provides better ventilation than a glass cage, allowing you rat to breath freely. While a solid floor prevents your furry friend getting trapped and hurting themselves.

The wire should be spaced about 1cm apart, remember that if a rat can fit his read through a space, they can fit their whole body! So make sure the wire is suitably spaced.


You will also need a house for your rats to sleep in.

Rats are very sensitive to light, so a nice safe nest box that blocks out as much light as is possible is very important for a healthy, happy pet.


Some quality dust-free bedding for the cage.

There are a range of bedding options available for pet rats. Paper and straw pellet beddings are very common and work perfectly for rats. Inexpensive and very absorbent, pellets make for the perfect bedding.

Giving rats sheets of cardboard will give them the opportunity to make their own bedding, your rat will have a great time shredding and arranging cardboard and creating a cosy nest.

Paper, straw and cardboard beddings are obviously very absorbent, any spilt water or the rats waste will cause these litters to clump together. Make sure you remove soiled bedding on a regular basis to avoid your rat getting sick.

The only common bedding type that should really be avoided is shredded paper bedding. the ink from newspaper and other waste paper can be poisonous to rats and should be avoided. Even if doesn’t make your rat sick, the ink can rub off on to your rat and stain them.


A good rat food.

Rats are true omnivores which means they need a little more nutritional verity than a lot of pets. Rats can only produce a few of the vitamins and minerals they need to survive, and so have to get everything the need from what, in the wild, would be a varied diet.

The best way to ensure that your rat gets the right nutritional content is to invest in a high-quality rat pellet. The best rat foods are specially formulated with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to make sure that your pet gets everything they need to stay healthy over the course of their life.

Small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables can be added as a treat, but make sure you include this in your rats total daily food intake rather than as a supplement. We don’t want your rat getting chubby!


A water bottle to let them quench their thirst.

An ad lib supply of fresh clean water is vital to your rat’s health. A water bottle is the best option. An open bowl gives a rat the opportunity to contaminate their water supply or flip the bowl and get their cage wet.

If you still want to go with a bowl, make sure it’s not too big as your rat will have trouble drinking from it.


Some toys and accessories to brighten up their days.

Rats are very intelligent creatures that love challenges, exploration, and puzzles. Every rat is different, so testing out different combinations of toys will help you find out what your rat likes.

So what kind of toys are available? Platforms, ladders, ropes and tunnels will take care of your rats love of exploration, as well as providing new ways to challenge them. Some rats also like a running wheel, but some rats will never touch one.

They really do have unique personalities and getting to know yours is one of the best things about having a rat. Try a combination of these toys and see which ones they like. Mixing it up occasionally and introducing something new, will give you rat more stimulation and help to keep them happy.

Toys made from rope or wood will provide more stimulation to keep your rat happy, as well as giving them something to chew on.


A carry case for emergency vet trips.

You will need a strong, sturdy, well ventilated carry case to transport your rat around.

The first thing to note is that rat carriers should be small enough that your rat feels safe and secure. Rats are likely to get worried and stressed in a large space, they can feel like there is nowhere safe to retreat and hide from any new threat that might come along.

There are generally three main types of pet carrier, plastic, metal and carboard.

A plastic rat carrier is generally better than metal or cardboard.

Rats are born to dig and will easily scratch and bite their way through a carboard carrier when they become scared. Plastic is durable enough that your rat won’t be able to escape but is also superior to metal because plastic is less likely to damage your rats’ teeth.

There is a fourth type of carrier, the soft sided. Soft sided carriers can be more comfortable for long journeys, but make sure to find one sturdy enough four your rat.



Dog theft: how to protect your dog from being stolen.

The pandemic has seen many people finding comfort in a furry little friend, and while a dog is the perfect companion in difficult times, the high demand for puppies has led to a disturbing rise in dog theft. In fact the UK charity DogLost has reported a 170% increase in dog theft from 2019.

Losing a dog can be a devastating experience and many people will go to extreme lengths to avoid the pain. The BBC recently reported on a couple that offered a staggering £20,000 reward for the safe return of their dog, the sum total of their life savings.

To avoid ending up in a situation like this it is important to understand why people steal dogs, so that you don’t end up unwittingly supporting the crime, and we will make some simple suggestions so you hopefully will never end up losing your dog.


Why are dogs being stolen.



Having a dog stolen is a devastating experience and many owners will offer no questions asked rewards for the safe return of their dog, the dog thief can simply pretend to be the one who found your dog and collect the reward.

To order

Sometimes dogs are stolen to fulfil a particular request, whether it is for a breeder or a private owner who can’t wait to get their hands on a specific breed of dog.


Demand for puppies has increased enormously during the lock down which has seen the average price of a pedigree dog increase from £500 to £2000! This combined with the fact that the lockdown is making other forms of crime harder, breeding puppies has become a lucrative alternative.

Selling on

As we’ve noted demand for puppies has increased dramatically during lock down. Many dogs that are stolen are simply sold on through various sites such as Facebook, and Gumtree.

Dog fighting

Perhaps the saddest reason is that sometimes dogs are stolen to act as ‘bait dogs’ to train fighting dogs.


How to stop it.


Don’t let your dog out of your sight!

It might sound obvious, but your dog is more vulnerable to being stolen if they move out of your line of sight. Be wary of letting your dog round bends, or into bushes, they are far more likely to be taken if the thief can’t see the dogs owner. 16% of dogs are stolen when out for an ordinary walk, so varying your route might also help protect your pooch.

Secure your garden

Taking care of holes in fences might prevent your dog escaping, but raising the height of your fence or hedge will deter thieves from gaining access to your garden and stealing your dog. AS many as 50% of dogs are taken from gardens, so if you only do one thing to protect your pet this should be it.

Don’t leave your dog outside of the shop

This leaves your dog very vulnerable to being stolen as once out of sight a potential opportunity is created, with 7% of dog thefts occurring in this way. Bystanders provide little protection, as they don’t know who the dog belongs to.


This might sound obvious but neutering your dog means that it won’t be stolen for breeding purposes. Taking away one of the reasons dogs are stolen will help protect your dog t=from theft.


A microchip that is registered with a pet database, and whose information is kept up to date will help your dog be returned to you as easily as possible, should the worst happen.

Make sure your dog walker is legitimate

When looking for a dog walker, reach out to friends and family and try and get recommendations. While a dog walker might not be out to steal your dog themselves, not all dog walkers and created equal, some might now be quite as careful with your pooch as you’d like.

Make sure your dog is well trained

A well-trained dog that will return when called and won’t stray too far, will give a potential thief far fewer opportunities to steal your dog, than an untrained or poorly trained dog. Make sure you sign your dog up for a good puppy school and get on top of their behaviour.

Look out for info on local dog walking groups

Joining a good walking group can be very useful for finding out about dog thefts in your area, as well as providing a network of people who can keep an eye out for your dog if it has been taken.

Be careful where you buy your dog from

Carefully selecting who you buy your dog from can help decrease the demand for stolen puppies. Research your seller, make sure they have a good reputation to reduce the likelihood of illegal activity. Or even better try and get your dog from a rescue centre, not only will you be a super-hero, rescuing an unwanted puppy, but you will also further reduce the demand for stolen dogs.

When your dog is alone, make sure he’s out of sight

19% of dogs are taken from breaking into homes and 5% are taken from cars. When you leave your dog at home try to make sure they are not visible from the street and try to avoid leaving them alone in the car altogether. Making simple changes like this can remove the chance for opportunistic thieves do steal your dog.


Statistics from: http://www.pettheft.org.uk/press.php

Rats: Little heroes that make great pets!

When we think of heroic animals, what do we picture? A noble lion, posing a top his pride rock? A dog rescuing Timmy from a well? An egal, soaring majestically though the air? You probably aren’t picturing the small, brown, humble rat, more often maligned for their association with sewers and disease, but perhaps you should be.

Recently a five-year-old rat named Magawa was awarded a prestigious gold medal for his work detecting land mines, potentially saving many, many people from the risk of horrific injury and even death.

A real-life hero, Magawa was trained by a Belgian charity called Apopo to sniff out land mines. Working in Cambodia he has found 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions, making a 141.000 square meters of land safe, the equivalent of 200 football pitches.

At an online ceremony to celebrate Magawa’s achievement, Jan McLoughlin the director of the charity said, “Magawa’s work directly saves and changes the lives of men, women and children who are impacted by these land mines. Every discovery he makes reduces the risk of injury or death for local people.”

All this heroic behaviour has got us here at farmandpet.co.uk, thinking about what great pets these intelligent, cuddly animals make. Rats are so different to their often negative image as dirty, sneaky thieves, lets take a closer look and see if we can’t rehabilitate the humble rats image.

Here are 7 reasons you might want to keep one of these heroes as a pet.

  1. Rats are very intelligent

When not making the world safe democracy, these intelligent animals can be trained to do tricks, such as coming when called or use a litter tray (making rats very clean animals, despite their image, but more on that later!).

In fact some experts think that rats may be more intelligent that dogs, displaying far better problem solving skills.

  1. Rats like a good giggle

If you tickle a rat just right, they are known to chuckle in response. Find that perfect spot and the rat will emit a joyful outburst of ultrasonic squeaks! While this is too high for humans to hear, you will be rewarded with a frolicking behaviour, scientists call ‘joy jumps’.

  1. Rats make friends

Rats are very social animals that form lifelong bonds with each other and their humans. A rat can recognise its human by sight or even by the sound of their voice. Once that trust has been established a rat will love being held and happily spend time on peoples shoulders and laps playing and cuddling.

  1. They are perfect for flats or people without much space

They don’t need taking for long walks, they don’t make a lot of noise, they don’t need much space and they sleep for as much as 15 hours a day. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect pet for people with limited space and an active social life, we don’t know what does.

  1. They have great personalities

Rats are real individuals, some rats are sociable, some are laid back, some are adventurous, some are lazy. One of the absolute best things about having a rat for a pet is getting to know the little guy. Rats have great personalities and seeing their character evolve and develop over time is a lot of fun.

  1. They are very clean

As we mentioned, rats are very clean animals, meticulously cleaning themselves several times a day rats groom themselves more than cats. In fact there are so clean they are far less likely to transmit virus’ or parasites than cats or dogs.

Rats can even be trained to use the litter trey, keeping their little home happy and clean.

  1. Rats are heroes!

As well as being trained to detect landmines rats are heroes in other ways too. Their tremendous empathy allows rats to recognise emotions on other rats faces and if a fellow rat is in pain or scared, they will work to get that rat out of danger. Rat’s never leave another rat behind!














How to pick the perfect pet carrier

At some point in your pets life, you’ll have to transport them somewhere. Whether for a holiday, moving to a new house or just a yearly visit to the vet, a safe secure, comfortable pet carrier is an essential purchase for any pet owner.

Finding the right carrier can, however, be difficult.

It might seem like a large carrier is best because it gives the pet more room to stretch out, and a soft carrier might seem like it would provide extra comfort. But a large carrier can seem daunting to a small animal, as they can feel like there is nowhere to hide in the large space. Similarly, a soft carrier might seem like it provides more comfort, but a soft carrier is vulnerable to knocks and may not be waterproof.

These problems are just the beginning.

A pet owner also has to consider how hard is to get the pet in, or out of the carrier? Is the viewing window the right size? How heavy is the carrier, and so on.

Here at farmandpet.co.uk we’ve created a handy guide to help you navigate the huge range of pet carriers currently on the market.

What are you going to use the carrier for?

The first thing to consider is what you’re using the carrier for. Your circumstances and when and where you use the carrier will have a huge impact on which is right for you.

For a single use over a short distance, you may get away with a cardboard carrier, however if you travel a lot, or are taking a long journey a hard case might be better.

Another thing to consider is your transportation situation. A carboard carrier is very light which is good for carrying, but soft and easily broken which is not ideal if you don’t have a car. A hard carrier is secure but heavy, but heavy, and so perhaps not perfect for carrying. In this case you may want to go for a soft sided carrier.

A lot of picking the right carrier is going to come down to your individual situation. So lets take a look at the types of carrier and their advantages and disadvantages.

Cardboard Carrier

You might well come across a cardboard carrier when you first buy your pet. Pet shops and rescue centres often give customers cardboard carries to take their new pet home.

While they are useful for a single, short-term use, cardboard boxes are probably not the best carriers for regular, permanent use.


Cardboard carriers are light weight and inexpensive. Making them a useful option for people on a budget who only intend to move their pet once.


Cardboard will not be able to stand up to a pets scratching. After a couple of uses you may find that your pet has opened up holes in the carrier in an attempt to escape.

Cardboard carriers are also not good with liquids. Urine, spilled water, or other liquids will weaken the cardboard, and it is not possible to adequately clean them off for future use. Similarly in the rain a cardboard carrier will become soft and spongy and can offer a quick escape.

Soft sided carrier

Soft-sided carrier. These types of carriers are usually made of nylon, and they are lightweight and easy to use. Some things to keep in mind about soft-sided cat carriers are.


Soft sided carrier are much easier to clean than cardboard, and due to their hardier build are suitable for repeat use.

Soft sided Carriers are a lot lighter and easier to carry than solid sided carriers making them a good choice for people who use public transport or don’t want to be lugging around anything too heavy, while still being reasonably sturdy.


While a lot hardier, this popular style of carrier is perhaps best for calm pets who are used to travelling. The nylon mesh while sturdy, can still be torn by a particularly determined, or distressed pet.

Another disadvantage is that the soft sides do render your pet slightly more vulnerable to knocks and bumps.

What to look for

One of the most important things to look for in a soft-sided pet carrier is that it the right size for your pet. The animal should be able to stand and turn around, but there shouldn’t be so much space that they get thrown around during a car journey.

Cats in particular prefer small, cosy spaces, that make them feel safe and secure.

If you’re expecting to take your pet on longer journeys it’s worth checking if there is room for a little food or drink, in case the little guys get thirsty of hungry

One of the most important things to look for in a soft pet carrier is that it doesn’t sag in the middle. Most soft carriers have a light frame to prevent sagging, but it is a good idea to test the carriers effectiveness so that your pet has a nice solid floor to walk around on, and is comfortable to lie on.

 Hard pet carriers

Hard-sided carrier are usually made of solid, hard plastic, which makes the very durable and provides excellent protection for your pet.


As they are made of plastic, hard carriers are the easiest type of carrier to clean. Liquids wont soak in to any fabric and fur wont stick either. A quick wipe will take care of most problems.

Hard sided carriers provide the most protection for your pet. Most bumps or reasonably heavy object falling on the carrier should bounce off without hurting the carriers occupant.

The solid sides and door makes a solid sided carrier incredibly secure. A pet would have a hard time breaking out of a hard sided carrier, even if they are distressed and panicking.


Hard sided carriers are the heaviest form of pet carrier, so are perhaps not the best for travelling long distances on foot.

Being solid also makes the carrier slightly harder to store, as they have no give. You can’t squish the carrier in to a smaller space for storage.

What to look for

A good sturdy handle is essential to cope with the weight of the carrier. Make sure the handle is heavy duty and well attached so it doesn’t break off when transporting your pet.

As with the soft sided carrier, sizing the hard-sided carrier is essential. Being able to, stand, lie down and turn around, without being dwarfed by the space will make your pet much happier when being transported.

A little space for food and water is also a good idea for longer journeys.


There are many more things to consider when buying a pet carrier, but many will only become apparent when you consider you own circumstances, but hopefully this has given you a starting point to navigate your way to the perfect pet carrier.

The Perfect Pet Carrier and Litter Trey

At some point in a pets life, they’re going to have to be transported somewhere. Whether it’s for a holiday, moving house, or just a yearly visit to the vet; a safe secure, comfortable pet carrier is an essential purchase for any pet owner.

Finding the right carrier can, however, be difficult.

It might seem like a large carrier is best because it gives the pet more room to stretch out, and a soft carrier might seem like it would provide extra comfort. But a large carrier can seem daunting to a small animal, as they can feel like there is nowhere to hide in the large space. Similarly a soft carrier might seem like it provides more comfort, but a soft carrier is vulnerable to knocks and may not be waterproof.

These problems are just the beginning.

A pet owner also has to consider how hard it is to get the pet in or out of the carrier, is the viewing window the right size, how heavy is the carrier, and so on.

Here at farmandpet.co.uk we have partnered with a company that we feel provides the perfect pet carrier for small animals.

The Marchioro Range

Marchioro is family run business that has specialised in pet and garden plastics since 1957. Working with experts from several different countries, Marchioro has developed an innovative, exclusive pet line that we are happy to bring to you at affordable prices.

Marchioro’s commitment to animal care and welfare is reflected in their attention to detail and the high standards to which, every product is manufactured. Marchioro use high quality raw materials combined with state of the art injection and rotation moulding technology to create products manufactured to the very highest standard.

With such a staunch commitment to quality it is no wonder that Marchioro products have received many awards and are available in over 60 countries.

With a range of features making it the perfect plastic carrier for pets including cats and small dogs, the Marchioro Pet Carriers are a simple yet attractive carrier ideal for transporting your pets.

A tough, non-brittle carrier for pets, the Marchioro Pet Carrier’s will not splinter or harm your animal, for safe transporting at all times. Featuring a top handle for carrying, the Marchioro Skipper range is convenient, easy to use and ideal for travelling, trips to the vets and more.

A great quality, long lasting carrier, the Marchioro Skipper range of pet carrier also features vent slats in the sides for visibility and comfort, a secure wire door so your pet cannot escape and a plastic locking key for easy assembly and disassembly when in and out of use. This makes for easy and convenient storage too.

Farmandpet.co.uk is proud to offer the Marchioro Skipper 1F and 2F.

Marchioro Skipper 1F

Marchioro Skipper 1F is a well made, economical carrier ideal for small animals around 7-22 pounds.

The Marchioro F1 skipper features:

A strong, durable construction that won’t wear and break over the life of your pet.

The small pet carrier is easy to put together and take apart for compact storage when the carrier isn’t in use

A large metal door makes it easy to get your pet into the carrier while preventing them from getting out.

Ergonomic care for easy, comfortable carrying.

Side latches and additional security pins keep the carrier securely locked.

The Marchioro F1 is suitable for pets 7-22 pounds.

The metal doors are shock resistant.

Measures 19″L x 12.25″W x 12.25″H.


Marchioro Skipper 2F

The Marchioro Skipper 2F is ideal for slightly larger small pets, weighing between 9-33 pounds. It has all the same features as the F1 but is suitable for slightly larger animals.

Standard metal door can be opened from either side

Ergonomic handle for easy carrying

Side latches and extra security pins keep the carrier securely locked

Suitable for pets 9-33 pounds

Measures 21.75″L x 14.25″W x 13″H


In addition to the pet carrier Marchioro have applied their knowledge of plastics to produce a litter trey of outstanding quality.

Marchioro Bill Hooded Litter Pan

Keep your kitty litter where it belongs with the Marchioro Bill Hooded Litter Pan. This durable plastic pan features a high back and enclosed hood to provide total control of your cat’s litter. Designed for simple efficiency, the Bill is easy to disassemble, clean, and transport.

The Marchioror Bill hooded litter pan features:

Enclosed litter pan prevents litter mess and spillage

Simple to disassemble for easy cleaning

The door will help keep odours inside.

Convenient carry handle makes transportation easy

Measures 19.75″L x 15.75″W x 16.5″H


What is Alabama Rot, and what should i do about it?

Alabama Rot

Alabama Rot

If you have a dog you may want to avoid muddy areas for a little while. Alabama Rot or CRBV is a disease that causes blood clots to form that can cause ulcer like sores and cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys and skin

Alabama Rot, or CRBV, was first detected amongst greyhounds in Alabama in the 1980s. After a short lived flare up, the number of cases declined and no clinical research was carried out. As a result the cause of Alabama Rot is unknown and can only be diagnosed as collection of clinical symptoms.

Alabama Rot first appeared in  the UK in 2012 has seen the number of cases rise from 19 cases in  2016 to 40 in 2017, with 29 cases already identified this year.

While the chances of contracting Alabama Rot are extremely low, the disease has a very high mortality rate.

Preventing Alabama Rot

The cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown. In contrast to the cases of Alabama Rot that presented in Greyhounds in the US, the UK version doesn’t seem to target a specific breed, age, weight or sex of dog.

Some dogs who live in close proximity have become infected, however it is not clear whether they were infected by each other or whether they simply share and environment and lifestyle.

There is some suggestion that Alabama Rot can be picked up on a dogs legs and paws after muddy walks. It is advised to avoid walking through muddy areas and wash your dog thoroughly after walks and regularly check for symptoms.

The vetsforpets website is currently tracking the Alabama Rot and they have created an interactive map to show areas where cases have been reported, which can be found here.

There have so far been no examples of a human contracting the disease.

Symptoms of Alabama Rot

The first symptom of Alabama Rot is the development of sores that typically form around the elbow and or knee of a dog and have no obvious cause. These sores have will appear as small ulcer like swellings that are red and open.

Within two to seven days the dog will begin vomiting and show signs of kidney failure including reduced appetite and unusual tiredness.

Without treatment, Alabama Rot can lead to a rampant fever and eventually death.

Treating Alabama Rot

These symptoms are not limited to Alabama Rot, but if symptoms begin to manifest the dog should be taken to the vet, who will determine what’s wrong and may offer a course of antibiotics.


While the chances of a dog catching Alabama Rot are extremely low, take reasonable precautions such as avoiding muddy areas, cleaning a pet, and checking regularly for symptoms as the disease has a very high mortality rate.


How to avoid a dog bite and avoid an aggressive dog.

A recent study by Liverpool University has suggested that anxious people are more likely to be bitten by dogs and that dog bites are more common than is often thought.

A sample of 700 people were rated for their emotional stability on a scale of one to seven and then questioned about whether or not they’d been bitten. The researchers found that for every point of increased anxiety on the scale there was a 23% increase in the chance of being bitten.

Of the people interview around one fourth reported having been bitten by a dog, with a third of those bitten requiring medical treatment. Which suggests that the number of dog bites might be significantly higher than official statistics suggest. With men being more likely to be bitten.

Given these findings it is worth learning the proper way to approach a dog as being comfortable and confident with the animal will make it easier to make friends.

How to approach a dog

Caroline Kisco of the Kennel Club notes that “How dogs react to people is often determined by how people themselves react to dogs, so it is important that people recognise the best ways to interact with dogs and that owners always keep their pets under control and consider that not everyone may feel comfortable being around dogs or know how to interact with them.”

Knowing the correct way can help reduce anxiety and help a person approach a dog with confidence reducing the likely hood of being bitten.


  1. The first thing to do is speak to the dog’s owner and make sure that it’s okay to approach their dog. If a dog is alone it is best not to approach it at all.
  2. Move toward the dog from the side instead of coming at it head on. This is how one dog greets another. Coming at a dog straight on can be interpreted as aggressive behaviour and will draw aggression in turn.
  3. Speak calmly and quietly. Try to adopt a relaxed manner with the dog, yawning, smiling and blinking slowly are all good ways to achieve this. Try to avoid starring at the dog, this can also be interpreted as aggressive behaviour.
  4. Don’t rush up to a strange dog and stand over them. Dogs can find this frightening. Try to let the dog come to you.
  5. Try to squat by the dog instead of towering over them. Let the dog sniff you, then stroke the shoulder or chest. Don’t reach over the dog this can result in anxiety for the animal.
  6. Finally never make a dog feel trapped. Don’t back it in to a corner or put your face too close to the dogs face filling its vision
  7. A dog’s body language will give you clues to how it is feeling. If the dog arches its body, tucks its tail between its legs, licks its lips, looks away or growls, the dog may feel uncomfortable and its best to back off.


How to train a dog


While it is important to help people find the best ways to approach a dog it is important to remember that it is our responsibility as dog owners to control our pet’s behaviour. It is not reasonable to expect every person a dog meets to have the knowledge and experience to correctly interact with a dog.

As Ksico notes “It is important that all dogs are properly trained and socialised from an early age to reduce the risk of bad behaviour, including biting.” It can be tempting when we get our adorable little ball of fluff and puppy eyes home to let it do whatever it wants, but if we want a happy well behaved dog follow these suggestions:

Firstly Dogs need training from the moment you bring your puppy home. Puppies are constantly learning from the moment they meet their new owner. Creating a fun loving environment with consistent rules will help a puppy learn its place in the world.

Potty training a puppy through positive reinforcement will help to establish a positive relationship with a puppy, helping to learn his role and the role of their owner.

The first 16 weeks of a dog’s life are the best time for them to learn to socialise. Through interaction with other dogs a puppy will learn not to bite too hard or be too boisterous, as well as learning tolerance and patience.

Socialisation with people is equally important. Carrying around a few treats that can be given to strangers to give to the dog, can help the dog associate strangers with good experiences, making them less likely to respond aggressively.

Teaching a dog that it is not okay to bite from an early age is very important. An owner must establish their place as the leader of the pack to help a puppy understand its place in the world.

Finally, a dog must have plenty of exercise. A bored dog with a lot of excess energy is far more likely to engage in aggressive inappropriate behaviour

While this list is a good starting place, there many excellent training schools that can help give a puppy the best possible start in life.


While the number of dog bites is still very low in the UK, there are things we can do both as pet owners and fans of pets to reduce the likelihood of a dog bite occurring. Properly training a dog, and learning the correct way to interact can reduce the chances of a dog bite, and create calm happy pets.


The Neolait range of nutritional bolus

The bolus is an increasingly attractive option for farmers hoping to increase the health and profitability of their animals. A bolus is a practical, cost effective way to mineralise a herd. A single application can provide for an animals requirements for a long period of time, and because each animal receives a bolus a farmer can rest assure that each animal receives the right amount of trace elements while saving time and eliminating waste.

Trusted by 30,000 farmers in France every year and available in 68 countries, Neolait has been a force in agriculture for 70 years. Neolait’s commitment to scientifically developed agricultural products has seen them produce creative, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of animals and the viability of farming.

Dietevit Tonic

Despite being essential during the first few hours of a calf’s life, a calf is born with just enough vitamin A and E to survive. By supplementing the nutritional intake of dry cows with Dietevit Tonic the calf will receive a high quality colostrum rich in vitamins and minerals.

Dietevit Tonic contains:

Selenium – Selenium increases a calf’s levels of immunoglobulins which helps strengthen the effect of a vaccination programme, as well as helping with old cell detoxification.

Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps stimulate immunity and protection of cells.

Vitamin A – Multiplication of mammary tissue (regeneration) can be stimulated with vitamin A.

Zinc – Zinc is for multiplication and mammary tissue resistance and well as playing a role in general immunity.

Dairy cows receive 2 boluses at drying off or 5-8 weeks before calving.

Suckling cows and heifers receive 2 boluses 5-8 weeks before calving.

Dietevit Tonic provides secure constant release of trace elements for 5-8 weeks


Perfect for grazing and forage fed small ruminants, breeding, and milking ewes and goats, Bolutech Ovixcell from Neolait is trace element bolus designed to reduce the risk of nutritional imbalances in grazing and forage fed animals.

Ovixcell is scientifically designed to make up for shortfalls in the trace element and vitamin content of feed for sheep and goats. By optimising the nutritional content available to an animal, Ovixcell has been shown to have benefits for sheep and goats at a range of developmental states.

Ovixcell contains:

Zinc – Zinc helps to improve fecundity and fertility.

Cobalt – A cobalt deficiency can cause lethargy, a reduced appetite, as well as poor wool, size and condition.

Iodine – A lack of iodine has been linked to goitre in lambs, perinatal mortality, low birth weights and poor fecundity.

Selenium/vitamin E – Selenium and vitamin E have been show to help prevent white muscle disease and infant mortality.

Vitamin A – Vitamin A helps with steroidogenesis and embryo survival.

Ovixcell is for sheep and goats weighing more than 45 kg. 1 bolus at grazing will supply a secure controlled release of trace elements for 120 days.


Hypocalcaemia is believed to effect between 7 and 8% of milking cattle and costs farmers money. The cost of treating an animal with Hypocalcaemia and is related illnesses is significant, but when the reduced fertility and risk of culling is taken into account the cost really begins to add up

Bolutech Flash from Neolait is a simple, secure, inexpensive solution for protecting cattle from hypocalcaemia. By providing a an additional 66g of calcium derived from two different sources, Flash gives cattle a boost that helps to protect against the effects of a low calcium diet.

Hypocalcimia can cause a range of medical problems in cows, from low tonicity and feed intake to increased risk of mastitis, metritis and ketosis, in some cases cattle can develop milk fever, and low calcium can in even result in death.

A bolus applications has many advantages over other ways of increasing calcium intake:

There is no risk of bad swallowing

No waste compared to oral drenching

Inexpensive when compared with a specialist feed ration.

A bolus is a good alternative or even compliment to calcium injections.

When combined with Bolutech Activ and reflex, Flash create a perfect nutritional supplement regime for dairy cows.


Ovifresh is a trace mineral bolus from Neolait designed to increase outcomes during lambing. Formulated with organic trace elements and minerals ideal for helping to increase outcomes during reproduction. A single application of Ovifresh makes for a simple cost effective solution to nutritional short falls in an animals diet.

The carefully balanced nutritional profile of Ovifresh helps to improve antioxidant activity, helps the cyclicity and expression of oestrus, and is adapted to oestrus synchronisation programmes.

A Ovifresh bolus administered 20 days before breeding will slowly and evenly release the trace elements needed to improve ewes fecundity, help the development of the ovulatory follicle and support the regeneration of skin and skin appendages.

Ovifresh contains:

– Zinc: prostaglandines synthesis, epithelium integrity, fertility

– Iodine: fecundity(thyroxyne T3) cycle regularity

– Copper: embryonic mortality

-Vitamine A: Steriodogenesis (progesterone) cycle regularity, embryo survival

– Beta-caroten: progesterone

– Vitamin E/Se : nidatation embryonic mortality,

Antioxidant system

– Superoxyde dismutase (SOD): Copper, zinc, manganese

– Glutathione peroxydase (GSH-pxe): selenium

1 Ovifresh bolus should be administered to ewes and goats over 45kg 17-20 days before insemination

The bolus is an increasingly attractive option for farmers hoping to increase the health and profitability of their animals. A bolus is a practical, cost effective way to mineralise a herd. A single application can provide for an animals requirements for a long period of time, and because each animal receives a bolus a farmer can rest assure that each animal receives the right amount of trace elements while saving time and eliminating waste.



Speciality, Natural, Hypoallergenic, Gourmet Dog and Cat Food


It has been a long acknowledge truth that diet plays a huge role in a persons health. What we eat has been linked to a whole range of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. We are encouraged to cut back on things that are bad for us and favour ingredients that promote good health.

A pets diet is equally important. What cats, dogs and other pets eat can have a dramatic effect on a pets health and wellbeing, and the issue is complicated by the staggering variety in different pets needs. A cat and a dog obviously have different needs, but even with these definitions there are a lot of different needs that can be addressed. A small dog like a pug has such a different size shape and purpose to a sheep dog that its metabolism and other specific needs are bound to be different.

A breed specific food will likely control a pets calorie intake to match the animals natural needs, as well as containing ingredients that help to protect against health problems that particular breeds are susceptible to, a hypoallergenic food will help care for cats and dogs with allergies, and so on.

Speciality foods come in many different verities each specifically deigned to care for a particular pet or a particular problem. Here is a list of some of the most common speciality foods and why you might want buy them.

Breed specific- The terms ‘dog’ or ‘cat’ encompass a huge variety of weights, shapes and metabolisms. A Chihuahua can be as small as a kilo and a half and fifteen centimetres tall, where as a chow can be 30 kilos and fifty six centimetres, a greyhound has a different metabolism to a pug, similarly cats come all sorts of shapes and sizes. If a pug ate food designed for a greyhound it would get fat pretty quickly. A pug might have a natural inclination toward certain illnesses that can be protected against through diet, a greyhound might have different ones. Pet food companies such as Royal Canin offer a wide variety of food designed specifically for different breeds of dogs and cats.

Age- As your cat or dog ages and their bodies change so do their nutritional requirements. As a kitten or a puppy is developing they require a higher concentration of nutrients in order to not only maintain themselves but to also create the capacity for growth. Whereas it is natural that a senior or geriatric pet needs a different nutritional profile to help guard against ailments associated with age. Similarly a young animal requires higher carbohydrate levels to fuel their active lifestyle, whereas an older pet who is far less active would just grow fat. Picking the right food in line with a pet’s age will help your pet by keep your pet healthy and active throughout their life.

Specific health concerns – Companies such as Royal Canin offer a range of products designed to aid in the recovery or managements of specific health problems such as Urinary Health, Diabetes, Digestive Support, Liver Health, Illness and Surgery Recovery Support, Renal Health, Weight Management, and Cardiac Health. These products are designed to use ingredients that specifically help to care for animals with these ailments and are available through your vet or licenced vendor.

General health – As well as the more specific problems that can be helped by diet, there are also a range of products designed for more general health and care of a pet. For example foods that help control the weight of a dog , or a food designed for cats who are fussy eaters, or hypoallergenic food for animals with allergies.

The most common Speciality food type for general health:

Hypo allergenic- Just like people, pets are perfectly capable of developing allergic reactions to certain foods. Allergies can manifest themselves as something as simple as a mild irritation, but at its worst an allergic reaction can be life threatening.

A hypo allergenic food will typically use sources of protein and carbohydrate that an animal hasn’t had a chance to develop allergies to. Often hypo allergenic foods will use duck or venison as a protein source and oats or rice as a carbohydrate source.

Urinary tract health – Urinary tract foods aim to prevent the development of crystals and stones in the urinary tract by controlling the levels of calcium, oxalate, phosphorous and magnesium in a pets system.

Hairball prevention – Because a cat cannot digest its own hair as it grooms itself the fur that it removes builds up in the cats mouth and stomach. This can only be expelled by being bought back up through the mouth. This can often be distressing for cat and owner alike. While not able to completely remove the need for hairballs, hairball prevention foods are designed to be high in fibre, the fibre sticks to the hair helping it move through the
digestive tract instead of being spat back up.

Dental health – Dental health foods are simply foods designed to clean a pets teeth as they chew. Dental health foods might also contain ingredients that aim to reduce the build up of tartar. These foods are especially beneficial for pets who won’t sit for their owner to clean their teeth, or for breeds and animals that are susceptible to gum disease.

Joint care – Designed for pets who have trouble getting around, Joint care foods contain ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin which work to rebuild damaged cartilage and reduce inflammation around joints.
As you can see whatever your pet’s specific needs there is likely to be a speciality food to cater for your animal. A speciality food while a little more expensive has the many advantages over a generic food. A carefully selected balanced diet can help to protect a pet’s health and create the right conditions for a long and healthy life

Bird Food, Cages, Stands, Toys, Feeders and Pet Bird Seed


Birds make fantastic pets. From the parrot to the cockatiel, birds are beautiful, friendly and inquisitive, giving so much to a home they deserve to be a far more popular pet. While people often choose a dog or cat as a pet there are many advantages to having a bird.

Intelligence – Birds are incredibly intelligent animals. Birds display impressive cognitive skills such as problem solving, using tools, navigational skills and have even displayed the ability to count from left to right. Certain birds such as parrots can even mimic speech making them great companions.

Sociability – Birds are as affectionate as any cat or dog. Their gentle social natures make them excellent companions. Some pet birds become constant companions to their owners as they go about their chores.

Inexpensive – After the initial setup costs, birds are relatively inexpensive to keep. Birds only need a relatively small amount of feed for their diet, and this can be augmented with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Space – While larger pets such as cats and dogs require room to run and play, a bird doesn’t require a huge amount of space and could happily by kept in a small flat.

What you’ll need

The cage

As it’s where a pet bird will spend most of its time, the most important thing to consider is which cage is best.This will depend on which type of bird will make the cage its home, there are also other important points to consider.


While more space is always better, the owners space may be limited so it is worth considering the minimum amount of space a bird requires to be content

1. The minimum width of a bird cage should be 3 times a birds wing span, if there is more than one bird in the cage, then the space should be three times the combined wingspan.

2. There should be enough space for the birds to turn on their perch without scraping their tail feathers.

3. The cage height should be three times the length of the bird from the top of its head to the tip of its tail. More height is required the more birds in the cage.

4. There should be enough room for the bird to fully extend its wings without touching the sides of the cage

Bar spacing

The orientation and spacing of the bars on a cage are also very important. For small birds such as cockatiels and budgies, the orientation of the bars is unimportant, whereas parrots like to use their beaks and feet to climb and so require horizontal bars.

Another important consideration is how far apart the bars are spaced. If the bars aren’t spaced correctly then the bird can get it’s wing or another body part trapped and injure itself.

Cage Shape

Another thing to consider is the shape of the cage. A circular cage may not be best for a bird as they can feel insecure without corners. Or if you have flighted birds the length of the cage becomes more important than the height. As with all considerations on this list the type of bird will largely dictate the kind of cage it will require. Researching a particular species needs is important when buying a pet bird.

A pet bird will spend the majority of its time standing on its perch so it’s something that needs to be right. There are a range of types of perch available and a mixture of a couple of types is probably best. A mineral perch give the bird somewhere to groom and break its nails where as a rope perch can provide verity and interest to a birds life.

When placing the perches it is important that they don’t impede a birds flight, or movement. A perch also should be directly over the feeder or drinker. Ideally one perch should be next to the feeder, one should be next to the drinker and one elsewhere.


A birds diet is very important. Feeding a bird a balanced diet will help to maintain the birds health, happiness and ensure a long lifespan. Fortunately it has never been easier to feed a bird a high quality diet.

As with cages, the right food will depend on the species of bird. The parrots and the cockatiel are very different shapes and sizes and live in very different environments, and so have different needs. There are five main types of bird dietary classification.

1. Florivore – These birds consume flowers as the main part of their diet. Nuts, berries, roots, bark, seeds, and fruits will make up the diet. Examples of this kind of bird include the red faced parrot, the military macaw and the blue and gold macaw.

2. Nectariovre – Nectarivores love the sugar rich nectar produced by plants as well some insects and seeds. The lorikeet and lory enjoy this kind of diet

3. Frugivore – Fruit eaters who supplement their diets with nuts and seeds, frugivores include the blue throated macaw and the green winged macaw.

4. Omnivores – Omnivores like a little meat in their diet, as well as seeds and fruits these birds enjoy insects and some invertebrates. The sulphur crested cockatoo and red tailed amazon are example of omnivores.

5. Granivore – Granivores such as the budgie or cockatiels enjoy grains and seeds.
No matter whether you have a parrot or a cockatiel there will be a high quality food to meet the nutritional needs of your bird and the species of bird should be considered when designing its diet.

While the type of bird affects the diet, generally speaking a birds diet will consist of a high quality breed specific feed augmented with fresh fruits and vegetables. An insect paste can be bought as a treat. It is important to have variety in a birds diet to prevent boredom.

Whether a bottle or dish is used it is very important that a bird has an adlib supply of fresh clean water. Dehydration can cause major health problems and can occur within a day of not having water.

A cuttle bone is also important as it will provide large amounts of calcium and other trace elements that birds require to be healthy.

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