pet care guide
At Pets Fayre not only do we supply a variety of small animals as well as food and accessories but as animal lovers ourselves we're keen to share tips and advice with you on caring for pets.
Accommodation & Environment: The ideal environment for your pet dog is inside the house, dogs are a domesticated species, bred over thousands of years after all. Your dog should be provided with a comfortable bed, preferably in the corner of your kitchen, and 24 hour access to water.
Feeding: There are a huge variety of dog food options available on the market today from the household name supermarket brands to more specialist, veterinarian approved mixes. To keep your dog in good health it's important to feed your dog on quality, balanced food which contains appropriate levels of protein, vitamins and fats.
Health & Hygiene: All dogs should be vaccinated for highly dangerous diseases such as parvovirus and kennel cough. Other common dog health problems include ear infections and dental issues and even regularly groomed dogs can become host to fleas. Always take your dog for a check up if it shows symptoms of illness or unusual behaviours.
Exercise: Your dog's exercise needs will vary depending on size and breed however all dog's should get a minimum of two walks per day and opportunities for vigorous exercise.
Accommodation & Environment: Many owners allow their cat the freedom to come and go and enjoy the great outdoors. Others prefer to restrict their cat to living inside the home. It's beneficial for a cat to be able to express it's natural behaviors and instincts out in the natural world however there are risks associated with outdoor cats and in very built up areas it may be safer to keep your cat indoors.
Feeding: High quality dry cat food is the best way to ensure that your cat's nutritional needs are met and contrary to popular opinion milk is not a good choice for an adult cat. A fully grown cat needs two meals a day. Unlike with dogs it's usually ok to leave food available throughout the day however this should be changed if your cat becomes overweight.
Health & Hygiene: It's absolutely crucial that your car is vaccinated against cat flu, feline enteritis and feline leukaemia. Regular grooming is advisable, especially for long haired cats however regular baths are not as a cat is more than capable of keeping itself clean and bathing can be distressing.
Exercise: Outdoor cats have no shortage of exercise chasing prey and patrolling their territory. In the case of indoor cats however it's particularly important to provide stimulating toys and scratching posts to allow your cat to keep it's paws in good condition.
rabbits and guinea pigs
Accommodation & Environment: Both rabbits and guinea pigs are as happy living indoors as they are outside. Both should be kept in a predator proof hutch which is weatherproof and sheltered from direct sunlight. They should also have a separate sleeping area where they can escape for some peace and quiet. While rabbits and guinea pigs have similar requirements they shouldn't be kept together.
Feeding: Both guinea pigs and rabbits should eat a diet which consists predominantly of hay in addition to some fresh vegetables and nuggets which contain essential nutrients. We do not recommend muesli mixes as they encourage selective feeding.
Health & Hygiene: Rabbits and guinea pigs should both be alert and lively when in good health. Check for bright eyes and a healthy looking coat. Regular grooming is a must, particularly for longer haired varieties. Grooming also provides an opportunity to check for any unusual symptoms such as scaly patches on rabbits or swollen, sore feet (bumblefoot) in the case of guinea pigs.
Exercise: Rabbits and guinea pigs should both be given ample space to move around inside the hutch with an outdoor run which they can access for grazing. Rabbits enjoy toys and apple wood or willow chews. Guinea pigs are less curious but may also enjoy exploring tubes and cardboard boxes.
Accommodation & Environment: Small rodents such as hamsters and rats are best kept in a large wire case, preferably with a plastic base. Smaller rodents such as dwarf hamsters may be better kept in an aquarium with a ventilated lid. Choose dust extracted bedding and avoid fluffy substances which might stick in your pets digestive system.
Feeding: Rodent mixes are ideal for the majority of your pets dietary needs. This can be supplemented with pieces of fresh fruit and vegetable however hamsters have a tendency to store food which should be cleared out before it can begin to rot.
Health & Hygiene: The front teeth of rodents grow continuously so it's essential that your pet has the opportunity to gnaw them down. Rodent treats along with wooden toys can assist with this.
Exercise: Rodents are lively pets and prone to short bursts of energetic exercise. A hamster wheel is the ideal solution to your pets exercise needs. Some rodents can be allowed to explore indoors however it's important not to let them get too far out of sight.
cage and aviary birds
Accommodation & Environment: A variety of birds can be kept in your outdoor aviary ranging from finches and doves through to more colourful breeds including cockatiels, budgies and lovebirds. It's important to consider the compatibility of different species which will share the enclosure as the wrong combination may result in aggression. Remember to consider the durability of the wood and the size of the netting when building your aviary.
Feeding: Smaller aviary birds such as budgies, chaffinches and canaries should have a basic diet of mixed seed and water. It's important to give your birds a good variation of seed in their mix which should contain milletseed, rapeseed and linseed among other things in varying proportions depending on the breeds you keep. It's also recommended to supplement this basic diet with some fresh fruit and vegetables.
Health & Hygiene: Your aviary is designed to shelter your birds from the worst of the weather. In blocking out the natural elements however it also prevents the natural clearance of food waste and excretions which birds produce. That's why it's important to regularly clean surfaces and inside the aviary and to maintain good airflow throughout.
Exercise: It's important for a birds health and wellbeing that it has ample room to spread its wings and fly within the aviary. Your aviary birds should have enough space to glide between perches.
Fish and aquatics
Accommodation & Environment: There are a number of variables which need to be carefully controlled to give your fish and aquatics a healthy environment. Firstly it's necessary to test the quality of the water which your fish will live in and adjust with solutions from the pet shop depending on the breed. Maintaining oxygen levels and an appropriate temperature are also crucial.
Feeding: Different species of fish and aquatics have a broad range of dietary requirements. The staple diet of most fish should consist of flaked fish food which is formulated for the specific species which you are keeping. Carnivorous fish should be given flies and worms which can be bought in the pet shop. Always be careful not to overfeed your fish however as they are opportunistic feeders and will always eat when food is available.
Health & Hygiene: The most common cause of illness in fish is overfeeding. Firstly due to fish overeating and secondly as any food left in the aquarium will decompose resulting in a polluted and unhealthy environment.
Exercise: Fish and aquatics are evolved to live in large bodies of water so the more room they have available to swim in, the happier and healthier they will be. It's also recommended to provide plants and ornaments for your fish to explore and hide behind.
parrots and exotics
Accommodation & Environment: Parrots and similar exotic birds can be kept comfortably in a cage within the home. It's crucial however that they have room to stretch their wings inside the cage and that they have daily freedom to fly and explore outside of the confines of their cage.
Feeding: Incorrect nutrition is one of the biggest causes of illness in parrots and other exotic birds. Many people think that birds can survive on a simple diet of seed however in reality this is far from sufficient. Specialist pellet mixes which combine seed with vegetables and protein are recommended. This can also be supplemented with morsels of fresh food including fruit and high protein food including well cooked poultry and eggs.
Health & Hygiene: Regular grooming goes a long way to keeping your pet bird healthy and happy. Beak and toenail clipping are especially important as your bird will not experience the natural wear and tear which occurs in their natural environment. Wing clipping is also important for keeping your bird safe while moving around inside an enclosed environment.
Exercise: Parrots and similar exotic species need plenty of time outside their cage when they can express the natural behaviours and inclination to explore. A minimum of four hours a day is recommended.
Accommodation & Environment: Reptiles are cold blooded or ectothermic which means they depends on the environment around them for heat. One of the most crucial aspects of providing a suitable environment for your pet reptile is maintaining a thermal gradient so your pet can regulate it's body temperature.
Feeding: Reptiles and amphibians have a huge range of different dietary needs depending on species. Different species of reptiles require water to be available in different forms for example amphibians absorb most of their water through the skin rather than drinking it.
Health & Hygiene: Reptiles and amphibians cannot be vaccinated against common diseases in the same way that other pets can. Therefore it's extra important to be aware of any unusual symptoms and catch health issues early on. Furthermore reptiles don't express pain in the same way as other animals so it's wise to stay aware of any changes in normal behaviour.
Exercise: Reptiles and amphibians need sufficient room to exhibit their normal behaviour. Species which like to climb should be provided with features such as logs and rocks to explore.
We hope this information has been useful but please do call us or pop in store if you require further details or have any questions.
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Do you have any other pet care questions? Call us today on 01892 533 992 or contact via the form below.