Benefits of pet ownership and children – Buying for the school holidays?

The schools are nearing the end of the summer term and parents are starting to think ahead to the 6 week summer holidays. Here at Not Just Pets we believe that it is a great time to think about buying a pet! Let us look at the advantages of getting a pet at this time of the year and also give you other information to think about.

Advantages of getting a pet for children at this time of year

Plenty of time to enjoy new pet – With six week off school the children will have plenty of time to play with and bond with their new pet. Without the busy mornings and homework filled afternoons.

Holiday research project – For older children this can be a good project for your child to research and read up on the pet they wish to adopt. You will be confident that they are committed to the pet if they take their time and do a good job.

Time to bond and set up a routine – Owning a pet requires a routine of feeding, grooming, playing and health checking. This all needs to be done to make sure your pet stays healthy and happy. The holidays will give enough time to be able to work out what and when things need doing without worries of other deadlines and projects. This will ease the pressure of your pet settling in.

Outside play, exercise and physical activity – Children with pets benefit from extra outdoor play and exercise. With longer daylight hours and nicer weather children will be outdoors playing with their pet. It depends on your type of pet of course!

A great way to introduce responsibility – Owning a pet is a great way to introduce children to responsibility. Even when the parent remains the main care giver for the animal you can give children age appropriate tasks to help care for the pet. Young children can help pour out water and food at dinner time. Older children can help groom and tidy their pets environment. Teens and young adults may be mature enough to be the main carer for some pets such as reptiles and small animals.

Owning animals also offers an experience of life and death. We don’t like to think about it but sometimes the worst happens and this can teach children about bereavement.

Pets can help with our children’s learning – Some children feel more confident tackling their homework when they have a pet to help. Reading aloud to a pet can give children confidence in their reading. I remember talking German to my pet cat when studying for my GCSE’s. He did a great job of listening!

Aids bonding among siblings – It has been suggested that siblings who take care of a pet together get along and form a strong bond. This will result in less falling out and bickering – music to any parents ears I am sure!

Also for children who do not have siblings owning a pet can help them learn about relationships, emotions and teach them about socialising.

Things to think about 

Will you be on holiday during the six week break? – Summer is the time of year most families go away on their holidays. Here at Not Just Pets we offer a pet boarding service! So why not book in your pet for a holiday as well? They will be kept in a safe environment, fed and watered everyday (our Bath store is open 7 days a week), given exercise, will be played with and given a health check to ensure they are happy and healthy. If your pet requires any additional care, just give the store a call and we will be happy to sort anything out and book your pets in.

Commitment and responsibility remains with the parents – When buying a pet for your children we always remind parents that the commitment and responsibility will always rest on their shoulders. No matter how much they begged, researched, pleaded for their pet, even the most responsible child can lose interest. When buying a pet make sure it is one that all the family will enjoy and love to take care of.

Make sure the pet is suitable for your lifestyle – Do you have the time, money, space and ability to take care of the pet? Pets need to be kept in a suitable environment and usually the bigger the better is required for their well being.  We would suggest looking into pet insurance to protect the investment of having a pet as vets bills can be costly and sometimes unexpected.

Not Just Pets has knowledgeable, experienced and well trained staff that will be able to help you choose the right pet for you and your family. We welcome people to come in and visit the animals we have in store and see which animal they think would suit them. Give the staff all the information you have about your family, lifestyle, budget and needs and they will be happy to pair you up with a new pet. The staff are happy to answer any question you have about the animals and will arrange a set-up to ensure you have everything you need before you leave for home.

Here at Not Just Pets want to make sure you have the best animal to take home. The first step of this is making sure we have healthy, happy animals here in store to choose from. We get our animals from reputable breeders that we know keep their animals in a safe and happy environment. As well as this we also take in rescue animals that are in need of a new home. We will always be able to tell you where an animal originates from and their story.


We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Keeping pets safe this summer

Summer has finally arrived here in Bath and we have been having some fantastic weather recently. This got all the staff thinking of different ways we keep cool and how we can help animals keep safe, happy and cool during summer.

So here are our top tips for keeping pets cool this summer

  • Place frozen water bottles on top of their cage and this will act like air conditioning as the cooler air will sink into the cage as heat rises.
  • Give them frozen fruit and veg to eat
  •  Pea bobbing! – Place frozen peas in a water bowl – Fun at the same time!
  • Ice pads are available to buy to help keep your pets environment cool.
  • keep them out of direct sunlight – move their cage or shade the room by drawing the curtains
  • Keep them hydrated – always have drinking water available
  • keep damp towels in their sleeping area to help keep them cool.
  • Do not ever leave your pet in a car for any length of time!
  • Do not leave your pet in the conservatory! – Like a green house it can get very hot
  • Travel bowls and bottles are a great way to give a drink when out and about
  • Billy+Margot Iced treats for dogs are a tasty way for dogs to keep cool! In fabulous flavours too!
  • Put rubber or rope toys in cold water and then freeze them giving a soothing chew toy
  • Reptiles can also over heat – you can use special reptile enclosure fans to ensure the enclosure has a cooler end for your pets to cool off in.

If you need to travel with your pets we suggest 

  • Use a windscreen  shade to keep them  cool and out of sunlight whilst in the car
  • Use a pet guard on the window so there can be a breeze without the risk of your pet escaping
  • Travel non spill bowls are great for travelling and keeping hydrated.
Why is there so much fuss about keeping dogs cool? Dogs do not regulate their body temperature the same way we humans do. They pant and have sweat glands in their paws and their noses, but not a lot of body heat is lost that way. So if a dog gets hot quickly, like being in a hot stuffy car, they have no way to cool down.  This is why we support the RSPCA campaign Dogs die in hot cars!
On our Facebook page we are running a photograph competition! Win a prize and your pet will have pride of place as our cover star on our Facebook page! The theme is What does your pet do to keep cool? Here are some examples of what Luna loves to do!

She loves to paddle in the sea and chase the waves

She loves the Billy+Margot doggie iced treats!

She likes to explore the rivers and streams!

We look forward to seeing your entries on our Facebook page (or tweet us!)

Let us know any of your keeping cool tips!


We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Rabbit Awareness Week 2014


Rabbit Awareness Week (10th – 18th May) is a nationwide event that aims to make the public aware of the welfare needs of rabbits.

Rabbits make very rewarding pets as they are intelligent, fun and inquisitive. However, they do live up to 10 years plus and are a long term commitment. We want to make sure that your decision to choose a rabbit as your pet is the right one.

Rabbit awareness week is an annual campaign that Not Just Pets supports. We take it as an opportunity to educate local owners and potential owners on how to take care of their pets properly.  We aim to raise awareness of caring for rabbits as well as raising funds and promote local charities.

In order for an animal to thrive and be happy there are five main areas that need to be met. These areas are Diet, Environment, Behaviour, Company and Health.

Whether you are an existing owner or plan to be one there is a wealth of knowledge to be found during Rabbit Awareness Week.

In store we are holding an open day in conjunction with Bath Bunny rescue. There will be a fabulous raffle and cake sale to raise essential funds for the charity. Here is the star cake from the last cake sale!

The date for your diary is Saturday 10th May. We will be holding the Open day at our Bath store 8-9 St James Parade.

Our staff will be on hand to guide you through any rabbit purchases you may need help with and Michelle from Bath Bunny Rescue will be in store to answer your questions and to chat about all things rabbit.

Michelle will also be bringing in some rabbits with her so please come and visit them for a cuddle!

Rabbit themed incentives and promotions will be available so come and get a treat or learn something new during Rabbit Awareness Week!



We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

On Facebook:( and Twitter: ( and  Pinterest: (

We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Pet emergency – Part 1 – Dogs and chocolate what is safe?

This weeks blog is part of our Pet Emergency series that will offer advice and information around what life is like living with animals and what to do when there is an emergency.

This is Part 1 which will explain why dogs can not eat chocolate and what to do if your dog eats some by accident.

The Not Just Pets Blog post is for information only. It should not replace veterinary advice. If it is an emergency and your pet is ill please ring a vet immediately. 

What is in chocolate that is so bad for dogs?

Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is similar to caffeine. This is what is poisonous to dogs. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine, white chocolate the least and dark chocolate the most.

In 25 grams of white chocolate there is minimal amount, in milk chocolate 44-64mg, in dark chocolate 390-450mg and in dry cocoa powder 800mg.

100-150mg of theobromine per Kg of bodyweight is toxic to dogs. So if a regular sized dog weighing 30kg eats 1kg of milk chocolate it is enough for a fatal toxic reaction.

How does it harm your dog?

Theobromine will affect your dog’s heart, central nervous system and its kidneys, depending on how much the dog has eaten compared to its body weight.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?

When a dog has eaten some chocolate depending on how much they have eaten and their body weight you can expect these symptoms.

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • restlessness
  • breathing difficulties
  • muscle tension
  • increased heart rate
  • seizure

These can start from 4 hours up to 24 hours after consumption. The sooner you get to see a vet the better the outcome for your dog

What should you do if your dog eats chocolate by mistake?

Contact your vet straight away and they will be available to advise you of what to do. They will offer treatment which will be induced vomiting to avoid the chocolate being ingested. If it is too late for that then the vet may offer medication to control the dog’s heart rate and blood pressure.

Case study Lola the staffie 

Lola is a one year old staffie, her owner Siobhan adopted her from the local shelter. The family knows that Lola likes to scavenge for food and so no tasty tidbits are ever left out and about for Lola to help herself to. Siobhan has two children who have been taught not to give Lola anything extra to eat.

Last Sunday was Easter Sunday and the children had their Easter egg. Siobhan’s oldest child put her egg down on the table for a second and Lola had scoffed it! This could have happened to anyone that owns a dog; with all the extra treats and excitement going on during a family event sometimes thing can go wrong. Dogs seem to know how tasty chocolate is and will take any open opportunity to get it!

Knowing chocolate is not good for dogs Siobhan rang the vets and was able to take Lola in to be seen. They made her vomit so she didn’t ingest the chocolate as the amount she had eaten would have done some serious damage if not killed Lola. Lola was back home that evening with her family safe and sound.

If Siobhan didn’t know the dangers of chocolate she may not have called the vet straight away. Most pet owners do not call the vet until their pet is showing signs that they are ill. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning may not show up until 4-24 hours later when it may be too late for your vet to take action.

What if I like to give my dog a treat?

The information here is to let you the pet owner be aware of why certain things are not recommended for pets. If you enjoy giving your pet a tasty treat or you get those puppy dog eyes looking at you when you are eating your favourite snack, don’t be tempted to give a little taste as there are some alternatives! At Not Just Pets we stock a variety of treats that are suitable for dogs including doggie chocolate bars!

Our staff are on hand to guide you through all the different treats available. From biscuits and chocolate drops to pigs’ ears! There is something for every dog and pocket.

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon: remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

On Facebook:( and Twitter: ( and  Pinterest: (

We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

The Story of Tori, the disabled doggie who brings joy to others

Not Just Pets was privileged to play host to a delightful visitor from Michigan in the USA this week – Tori, the disabled service dog.


Tori’s owner Jana says:

“I got Tori when she was 6 months old from a rescue group in Texas. She has degenerative disc disease and ruptured a disc in Oct 2009 and had surgery at Michigan State University Vet Clinic, she ruptured another one in Feb 2010 and had another surgery. The second one she didn’t recover from and could not walk or stand. We got her a custom wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels and it rehabilitated her so she can now walk and stand but continues to use the wheelchair because she has one weak back leg that drags. The vet suggested I get her certified as a therapy dog in 2011 so I did and she LOVES it. She’s an amazing little dog.

She is the sweetest, most comical dog. I can’t travel without her, we are very bonded. She loves her therapy work too and works magic with children.”

Tori travels with Jana to nursing homes, schools and anywhere where she can bring help and therapy to those who need it. People are drawn to her and Tori brought a smile to all the customers and visitors at Not Just Pets on St James Parade in Bath on Friday – and also managed to raise funds for Blind Dog Rescue UK with a small raffle – with prizes brought all the way from America.


You can follow Not Just Pets on Twitter @NotJustPets

on Facebook at

on Pinterest here  or find us at

8-9 St James Parade, Bath BA1 1UL   Tel: 01225 461461 E:

Not Just Pets Open Days for National Pet Month Who’s coming to Bath in May?


Open day Saturday 4th May at Not Just Pets, 8-9 St James Parade, Bath!!

Help us to celebrate National Pet Month and the theme of Your Pets and You: Companions for Life

Come and learn about all the different pets people keep, how to look after them and why they make such good companions.

11.00am –  Learning about hamsters

11.30am –  Learning about lizards

12.00pm –  Learning about dogs with behaviourist Sarah Blackbourn

12.30pm –  Learning about rabbits with a volunteer from Cotton Tails

1.00pm –    Learning about snakes

1.30pm –    Learning about guinea pigs

2.00pm –    Learning about parrots

2.30pm –    Learning about cats with a member of Bath Cats Protection

3.00pm –    Learning about spiders

3.30pm  –   Learning about rats

4.00pm –    Learning about fish

We will also have coffee provided by Starbucks! Cakes, Alice Ladkin, a local artist who specialises in pet portraits will be here, representatives from Bath Cats Protection, Hamster Rescue and Cotton Tails as well as continuing our photo competition!

And we will be Raising money for Bath Cats and Dogs home


Telephone 01225 461461 for details or Email us at

Follow us @NotJustPets on Twitter or on  Facebook at

It’s National Pet Month and we are ready! Open Days coming soon to Bath and Frome!

Yes, it’s that time of year again and we are ready to bring you a selection of fun, family Open Days to promote National Pet Month and responsible pet ownership.

We have changed our offering slightly this year to bring you something different in each store. We have three different events, one at each of our stores for you this year!



At #Larkhall on Sat 20th April we have the following people coming:

  • Gillian Ussher, Pet Portrait artist from Perpetual Portraits – donating a fab raffle prize!!
  • Nicki Marsh, Dog and Pet Sitting
  • Caroline Woodland of GRWE with Syd the lovely greyhound – and possibly more doggies too!
  • Colin Rose, Dog Intuition
  • Bath Cats and Dogs Home
  • Michelle Addison and her bunnies – talking about her work with bunny rescue and giving information
  • Lee and John are bringing their ferrets Baby Gwin and Bonnie
  • Plus: offers on Burgess small animal food and samples, Natures Way offers and home made cakes for sale!

We want more! I hear you cry. Ok then, what about an all-singing, all-dancing full Open Day at our Frome store on Saturday 27th April?


For that we have:

  •  GRWE – Greyhound Rescue West of England coming
  • @Sharon Arnold from FromeK9 with her doggies
  • Boo the European Eagle Owl
  • Garston Vets – The Doctor is In!
  • Cats Protection – the lovely ladies from the Frome group with their table of goodies on sale
  • Natures Way – – meet Mark – special offers on dog food
  • Gillian Ussher, Pet Portrait artist from Perpetual Portraits – donating a fabulous raffle prize too!!
  • RAFFLE!! with some fabulous prizes
  • FACE Painting with Anny
  • Anny’s rats and hamsters
  • goodie bags
  • learn about animals as companions
  • animal handling
  • fancy dress

Wow! Is that enough for you? No? Well how about a series of educational talks and hands-on sessions at our Bath store on Saturday 4th May on the theme of “Your Pet as Your Companion”


We have various lovely people giving talks on:

  • Parrots (a special talk from Catherine Sellars from Pet24
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Spiders (tbc)
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Rats, Hamsters and Gerbils

Plus we have

AND .. in the week up to 4th May a special “SCRUFTS” photo competition for you and your companion pet! Send in your photos now and we will post them on our Facebook page.

So – come along and join in the fun, get educated, win a prize and just learn about how our beloved pets make such great companions with our special National Pet Month open days.

You can contact us at 8-9 St James Parade Bath BA1 1UL, telephone on 01225 461461, on our website at or email us at

You can also follow us here on Twitter or on Facebook


Tricks or Treats and Fireworks! Plus, Dog Ice Cream “as seen on TV”


I refuse to use the “C” word just yet, although we have already taken in our orders of “C” products – but we won’t be displaying them until the end of the month. If anyone wants to stock up early, then you only have to ask! We do have some fabulous dog and cat treat gift bags which we have made up ourselves and they look lovely, are great value and can be given as presents at any time, but especially at Christmas. We are happy to make up bespoke bags too.

Meanwhile, Hallowe’en is almost upon us and we have dressed one of our windows with the theme of Trick or Treat – and by this, we mean what items can you buy to help teach your pet new tricks and what treats can you give as a reward for learning? We have clickers and puzzles and lots of ideas for new tricks you can teach your doggie, plus a huge selection of treats, including the fabulous Hungry Hector and Lily’s Kitchen treats – and the fabulous new venison treats from Billy & Margot.

Speaking of Billy & Margot – did you see Marie on Dragons’ Den last Sunday? Marie managed to get the backing of Deborah Meaden for her wonderful dog iced treats. We sell these dog ice creams and the venison treats and they are wonderful – nutritious, healthy and dogs love them! Here’s a link to a video of our Luna eating her Billy & Margot Strawberry and Apple iced treat 🙂

You might have seen that our other window is all about Fireworks Night.  Some dogs and cats and other small animals get very stressed at this time of year with fireworks and other loud noises with parties and celebrations. Animals also get stressed at times of change, with loud weather, moving house, introducing new animals or people to the home or a new environment. There are many products on the market to help animals with their stress and we sell a range of them, from Thundercoats to herbal remedies, sprays and room diffusers.

Here is a checklist of top tips for cats and for dogs on fireworks night which we hope you find useful:


So, have a fun Hallowe’en and a safe Fireworks night – and remember you can ask us questions via our website, or via our Facebook and Twitter pages – simply email us at

Not Just Pets – in Bath, Larkhall and Frome


Not Just Pets News! The Summer and more..

Well we have had a busy summer here at Not Just Pets with lots going on – I can’t believe it is four months since we updated this blog.


Sadly, early on in the summer we lost Ron Bond, our dear ‘Fish Man’ at our Frome shop to cancer. Ron was dearly loved by staff and customers and held a dear place in all our hearts. He had a unique ability to make people laugh and to make them feel special. You can find out a bit more about Ron here and read our eulogy to him, which was published in the Pet Business World:


So, the busy summer included the Olympics and the Jubilee and we had some glorious sunny days and wonderful events throughout. Our staff all got into the spirit of things and dressed the windows and even themselves to celebrate. We even had our own royal visitor!


We have lots of lovely new products and ranges instore, including the fabulous new PAWZ natural rubber dog boots – the world’s only disposable and reusable, waterproof dog boots! We have all sizes in stock to fit any dog so why not give them a go – we would love your feedback.



Another great new product we have added is Nature’s Way dry dog food, which is a new, hypoallergenic, wheat- and gluten-free diet which is rich in meat, Omega 3 & 6 oils, prebiotics and joint aid supplements. We have Puppy, Chicken & Rice, Fish & Potato, Lamb & Rice and Mature/Light. If you care about your dog’s diet AND your pocket – you will love this new range of food, made by people who are passionate about dog nutrition, in the West Country. All the goodness of nature in one crunch!



At our Bath store we are holding various educational events, including an instore day on Tuesday. We have a Bunny Hunt for the children, Name the Bunny competition, quizzes, goodie bags, samples and leaflets to give out. All our staff are friendly and knowledgeable and are happy to advise on all things rabbit – so come on in and have a chat about your bunny. We would love to see your pictures too – and we will make up a bunny photo gallery.


Get involved with Rabbit Awareness Week here.

You can follow us on Facebook at:                        or on Twitter at:  @NotJustPets or simply email us at or via our website at



… of beardies and bunnies


Just a little update for our #Bath store this week – new harlequin bunnies in as the last ones went out so quickly – these are gorgeous bunnies with fabulous temperaments – so come in and meet them, you’ll be welcome! We also have one last mini lop for sale, a gorgeous wee thing whose brothers and sisters sold almost as soon as they came in – which was very recent – so this li’l fella needs a home now.

We have some fabulous short-haired, multi-coloured guinea pig boys in too – once again, really hand tame and easy first pets.

There are copies of the small animal care sheets on our website – but click here to download a rabbit care sheet or a guinea pig one.


Our reptile section has some new additions! We have taken on a few slightly imperfect, but perfectly healthy bearded dragons. We have one adult beardie – who is around 13-14 months old and has a slightly shortened tail and a couple of missing toes. He is lively, friendly and would make a fabulous first reptile pet. Come into the #Bath shop to see him and handle him if you are thinking of buying him. The two new baby beardies will be ready at the end of October.

We also have leopard geckos in the shop – also great first reptiles.

We are open tomorrow (Sunday) from 11am to 4pm

Follow us on Twitter @NotJustPets or on our Facebook page “NotJustPets”