Wednesday, 20 March 2019

5 Things to do before Getting a New Puppy

March 20, 2019 0

Ahhh getting a new puppy.  The best, most exciting thought ever!  Sometimes we get so excited about actually getting the puppy, we forget to plan everything that needs to happen BEFORE the puppy comes home.  Here is everything I have done in the past.

A golden lab panting while looking into the distance

 1.   Get Your Plan Sorted Out!

Usually, when you get a puppy it means that you will have to travel to get him!  We personally drove 3.5 hours and his breeder drove 3.5 hours!  

Essential planning for the day you get your pup - 

  • clean out your car and chose how he is going to travel!  We had a crate in the back seats of my car but we didn't even end up using it!  He quite happily sat in the footwell of the car the whole journey back!  
  • The Address that you need to drive to!  
  • How long it will take you with and without traffic!

2. Puppy-Proof your house!

This is one of the most important things to do!  You will have to make sure there isn't everything that could fall on your pup, nothing that they can chew and if you have carpeted floors then you may want to think about getting wooden floor instead!  We have ripped up my old carpet and now have wooden floorboards that are painted grey!  

3. How to schedule your puppy's life!  

Getting your puppy into a schedule is really important for a lot of reasons!  Getting food, water and out to the toilet at the same time is the secret to less (if any) accidents!  It can also make the puppy more confident and relaxed!  

A puppy crate with lots of dog toys inside and a mat bed

You will need to think about toilet breaks, crate time (I personally wouldn't put my dog in a crate for more than an hour at a time and only around 2-3 times a day), feed times and play times.  

4. Buying A Supply Of Toys, Blankets And Puppy Pads!

So we have gone to pets at home a few times to pick up things for my guinea pigs and go a little crazy with new things for all of my other animals.    

So I have put a list together for the items that I think you need for a new puppy!

1.  A crate

I think crate training while your puppy is small and learning house training.  You also need a crate when you are taking your pup home as sometimes puppies can get car sick.

2.  Puppy toys

Puppies chew A LOT so I think its quite important to buy toys that your puppy can chew!

A white rope dog toys

3.  Collar and Lead

There is nothing better than getting a tiny collar to fit your new puppy (well there probably is).  Remember that your puppy is going to grow a lot so you will have to buy another one in what feels like no time at all. 

a Brown collar with a metal tag

4.  Bed or a Blanket

Now for puppies, I definitely prefer blankets as they are easy to wash in case of accidents! The one I got this time is called VetBed!  Thing blanket controls bacteria, mould, fungi and a lot more!  It also is great for accidents as it is designed to drain and keep your puppy dry and warm! 

A brand new grey vet bed rolled up

5.  Puppy pads and cleaning supplies

  This is an obvious one!  Puppies have accidents and make a mess very often for the first few weeks!  Cleaning supply's, puppy pads and poo bags are essentials for the puppy!

A bag of training puppy pads and a packet of dog poo bags

5.  Check your Current Animal's Health! 

It is SO important to make sure your current animals are happy, healthy and not got any undetected illnesses that they could give the puppy!  

I started by making sure all of my animals were up to date with health checks and vaccines.  I then made sure they were worm free and free of any flees.  


I am not any type of animal expert but instead only an animal lover who wants to share her tips.  Please consult relevant animal specialists and do not only take my advice.

 The Rider's Pets


Monday, 18 March 2019

How to Give Your Guinea Pig a Balanced Diet

March 18, 2019 0

Crude Percentages

The first thing I like to look at is crude percentages.  It is important to make sure the fat percentage is as low as possible.  While looking at hay & nuggets, I would never buy anything that is over 3% crude fat (crude fat is sometimes called crude oil), who wants a fat guinea pig?  No one!  I personally like to find nuggets with 2% or lower fat.  

Next, I look at the crude protein, Guinea pigs don't need a high amount of protein so look for 15-16% of crude protein.  

Lastly, is the fibre which I like to find nuggets with 20%+ of crude fibre.  If you can't find any this high, don't worry too much as the main diet of hay will provide most of the fibre that your guinea pig needs.  

Three guinea pigs eating a stalk on grass

Amount of food

Guinea pigs need to eat mostly hay.  In fact, I try to feed hay for at least 80% of the total diet (which is just as much as they want to eat).  This is SO important because chewing on hay keeps their teeth from getting too long.  

I like to feed my guinea pigs around 10% of their diet in nuggets.  Nuggets are great for giving your guinea pigs the vitamins and minerals that they need and they avoid selective eating.  However, you do need to find good quality food as some nuggets are high in fat or don't provide the correct crude percentages.  
If you cannot find a good brand of nuggets you can mix multiple different brands together and calculate the percentages of your new mix to make sure they are correct.  

Example of how to calculate your mixes of nuggets.  

Brand 1 - 

Crude protein 14% 

Crude fibre 20%

Crude Fat 4%

Brand 2 - 

Crude protein 18%

Crude Fibre 14%

Crude Fat 2%

Brand 3 - 

Crude protein 14%

Crude fibre 26%  

Crude fat 3%

Your Mix - 

Crude Protein 15.3%

Crude Fibre 20%

Crude Fat 3%

So, brand 1 has too much fat and a lower protein and brand 2 has too much protein.  Adding these two brands together sorts the fat and protein out but makes the fibre too low so we add brand 3 to get the fibre back up.  

To work out the new percentage of the mix, you add the percentage numbers together and then divide by the number of brands you are using.  

So here is how I worked out the new mix's protein - 

14 + 18 + 14= 46

46/ 3 = 15.3% Crude Protein

A tan and white guinea pig standing in the grass

Fruit and Veg

Lastly, we have fresh fruit and veg.  I like to give around 10% of the guinea pig's diet in fruit in veg.  Getting even more into the diet, I feed about 8-9% of leafy greens healthy veg and only 1-2% Fruit or less healthy veg.  

You can find a chart online for which fruit and vegetable guinea pigs can have and how often they can eat them.  I choose an array of different veg and 1 type of fruit.  

You can choose whatever you think is best but here is a quick example of what you could feed your guinea pig for a week.  

Monday - 

Romaine lettuce 
Baby corn 

Tuesday - 

Yellow Sweet Pepper

Wednesday - 


Thursday - 

Green Sweet Pepper 

Friday - 

Romaine lettuce 

Saturday - 

Green Beans 
Red Sweet Pepper 

Sunday - 

Sweet Snap Peas
Six small guinea pigs eating vegetables on a straw bed


I am not any type of animal expert but instead only an animal lover who wants to share her tips.  Please consult relevant animal specialists and do not only take my advice.

 The Rider's Pets



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