Old MacDonald Had A …Garden?

As well as traditional cats and dogs, some people are taking on farm animals as pets. The increasing popularity of livestock in our back gardens is a rewarding hobby, but proceed with caution! Farm animals do not have the same legal status as cats and dogs. Read up before you commit.

Pig Rookes Pets

Chickens, Geese and Ducks

Chickens, geese and ducks are great for fresh eggs. For the best eggs they’ll need insoluble grit such as calcium-rich oyster-shell to aid digestion, otherwise, you’ll get soft eggshells.

Chickens forage all day, so wood shavings and loose straw should be placed on their shelter’s flooring, especially if it’s wet outside. Ducks need to forage around water, whereas geese forage on dry land, so it’s important to have enough space and the right environment. Geese also make good ‘guard dogs’ as they are loud and aggressive towards strangers.
Our feathered friends require a good diet, fresh water, and a warm dry shelter that is secure against fox raids. They are flock animals, so it’s best to keep a pair together.


Cute and intelligent pigs, such as Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, make unusual pets. Look out for strict movement and disease regulations though.
Pigs need exercise to keep their feet healthy and to prevent obesity, but you’ll need a licence to walk them on a lead! They sunburn easily and don’t fare well in sudden temperature changes, so a suitable shelter must be provided.
Pigs enjoy a varied diet, but it’s illegal to feed them kitchen scraps. Enrich their environment with old tyres and hard plastic balls. Pigs are intelligent and need stimulation.

Goats and sheep

Contrary to popular belief, goats and sheep won’t eat anything, so you’ll need a good supply of grass, hay and supplements. Be aware that they will eat a lot of shop-bought fodder in the winter. Provide a mineral salt lick and lots of fresh water too.
They are herd animals and ought to be kept as a pair, but remember that they often breed twins and male goats are smelly at mating time! A big outdoor space and secure fencing are a must for these powerful animals.

We’ve kept transport and ploughing horses since the beginning of time, but they still make rewarding pets in the motoring age. Whatever their size, horses need dry open space to graze, and a diet supplemented with fodder such as hay, particularly when it’s cold. Be sure to monitor fruit intake, as it ferments and leads to fatal illness.

Keeping farm animals as pets is hugely rewarding and good fun, but research into their care and the law. Good luck, and remember to consider your neighbours. A cockerel crow at sunrise is only romantic in the movies!

All animals are welcome to enter the Face of Rooke’s Competition 2017 to be in with a chance of winning a 12-month EXCLUSIVE discount card for Rooke’s Pet Products and have your pet be the face of the store for the next year! You can enter here!

Face of Rookes 2017 is here!

The Face of Rookes competition is back!


Last year, Winston the hedgehog stole our hearts and won your the vote, becoming Face of Rookes 2016.

Now it’s your furry friend’s turn – grab a camera, snap some photos of your pet, and enter them into the competition!

Your pet will have a chance to become the face of all our promotional material for the entire year AND there’s an excellent bonus if you win… an EXCLUSIVE 12 Month Rookes Discount Card!

We’re looking for pets of all shapes and sizes (we don’t discriminate), so go ahead and enter your pet here: http://buff.ly/2sqOhAU

No time to lose – we’re accepting entries until August 7th at 4pm!

Good luck!

World Environment Day – June 5th.

It’s World Environment Day today!


Reconnecting you to nature

On 5 June, go outside and show us that you’re #WithNature. Breathe in the beauty and remember that by keeping our planet healthy, we keep ourselves healthy too.

How can you get involved?

Picture all the places that matter and join the global album!

Share a photo or video of your favorite place in nature using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature and share why it’s special to you!


Rabbit Awareness Week –

Rabbit Awareness Week is coming up!


Each year the RAW (Rabbit Awareness Week) campaign focuses on one of the 5 welfare needs for rabbits: diet, environment, behaviour, company and health. Burgess Pet Care launched the campaign 11 years ago, with the support of partners and charities encouraging vets and retailers to raise awareness about rabbit welfare by educating their clients/customers.

The hope is that with the information being provided about rabbit welfare, you will be able to have happier and healthier rabbits as a result! During RAW some veterinary practices may offer a FREE rabbit health check.

This gives you an opportunity to take your pets along and have a veterinary professional give them the once over – almost like a MOT! Even if you think your rabbits are perfectly fine, it’s worth doing as you will get all kinds of useful advice on rabbit care and welfare.

Vets are also encouraging owners to ensure that their pet rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and RHD, which are two particularly nasty diseases that cause a lot of suffering to rabbits, and which can often be fatal.


To find out which veterinary practices near you are offering the FREE rabbit health checks please visit www.rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk

Local Events:

Whittlesey Veterinary Center: Discounts on Rabbit Neutering and Vaccines

1st May 2017 to 31st May 2017

8:30am – 6:30am

Runs 7 days a week

27 Broad Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1HA – Telephone: 1733685514


Elswood, Briggs and Turner – Kirton: Health check event

5th June 2017 to 30th June 2017

9:00am – 7:00pm

Runs Weekdays only

Each Rabbit will get a FREE health check with a nurse, a ‘rabbit pack’ full of useful tips and info and we will have various offers on rabbit-related items in our dispensary.

Elwood, Briggs & Turner, 36 Boston Road, Kirton, Boston, Lincs, PE20 1DS – Telephone: 01205 722696


May is National Chip Your Pet month!

Over a year ago it became a required by law to Microchip your dog and campaigners are currently working for the same law to become applicable to cats too!

1 in 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime, and 90% of lost pets without microchips are never reunited with their owners.

It’s been long recommended by vets, shelters and pet shops to microchip your pet and we fully encourage all pet owners to do so.

However, we know that you may have some questions so here we’ve answered a few of the most common:


What is a microchip?

A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique code that when scanned can be matched to your details on a central database. Meaning, if your pet gets lost in the UK any vet should be able to trace you very quickly!

Will it be traumatic for my pet?

The microchip is the size of a grain of rice that sits just under the skin, between the shoulder blades – it’s a minor, very quick procedure that will be forgotten about immediately after.

Your pet may experience momentary discomfort, similar to a vaccination but they’ll forgive you as soon as you wave a treat under their nose!

How much does it cost?

Many organisations, such as The Dogs Trust, offer to microchip for free but at your local vets, it should be between £10 – £20. It may also cost to update your details at a later date if you move house, for example.


Preparing for a new kitten!

What’s New Pussy-Cat? Preparing For A New Kitten!

 Kittens Rookes Pets

Nothing beats a cute kitten. With tiny blue eyes and teensy tail like a flag pole, everyone’s in love. But before you go all gooey-eyed let’s be sensible for a moment – there are some preparations to make. You’ll need some specific equipment for that new pussy cat. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling.

  • Before you even think about preparing for your new arrival, is your kitten from a legitimate breeder or a recognised cat charity? There are many ‘kitten farms’ around, and if you buy from one, your kitten is likely to be sickly and inbred.
  • You’ll need specialist kitten food and plenty of it because kittens eat small amounts on a regular basis. It’s preferable to stick with the same food she is already eating, to avoid any upset tummies.
  • Plain fresh water in a shallow bowl should always be on hand. Oh, and as much as she might like milk – don’t be tempted to give her cow’s milk as this can really upset their tiny tummies too. Buy specific kitten milk if you want to treat her.

Sleepy Kitten Rookes Pets

  • A new litter tray is a must. Make it a small one as kittens can tumble into full sized trays and become encrusted with litter (or worse!). Ensure you clean it out regularly and keep it separate from her food area.
  • Book in your kitten’s trip to the vet immediately. She’ll need vaccinations before she can safely go outside. Whilst you’re at it, look into pet insurance too. Vet bills can be costly, and cats are certainly accident-prone. Kittens especially are into everything. Keep her curiosity safe by closing windows, propping open doors, as keeping toilet seats closed.
  • Make sure your kitten has her own space away from loud noises and other pets. A Feliway plug-in or spray, that releases feel good kitty hormones, is a good buy as it can sooth stressed kittens.

Sleepy Kitten Rookes Pets

  • Bring something back from kitten’s home, such as a blanket, that she can sleep on. The big wide world is scary for a kitten without her mum for the first time and her scent will help your kitten to settle in.


  • Don’t forget the toys! Kittens can be destructive, but that’s because they are tiny tigers learning to hunt. Invest in some tingly balls, knitted mice and cat towers to save your furniture and valuables. Make sure they are good quality so no loose fluff can get trapped in her mouth.

Above all – Enjoy. Socialise your kitten so she knows how to play with you. If you stop playing when the claws come out she’ll soon get the message.

Welcome Home Tiddles!

What to bring on your Pet-Friendly Easter Holiday

Going away for the long weekend? Smart move! (Although we’ll miss you at Rookes!)


Traveling with the whole family can be a big feat; just getting everyone into the car at the same time with all the bags is mission impossible (read; last minute loo breaks)

With all that going on, there some vital items that you shouldn’t forget if you’re bringing along your pet, so we’ve made a list for you to help;

Prepare the car:

  • Crates/Carriers/Harnesses; for both your own and your pet’s safety, it’s advised that your pet is secured when you’re driving and won’t make an unexpected visit onto your lap while you’re driving.
  • Deactivate airbags for the seats in which your pet will be in.

Prepare the pet:

  • Check that microchips are up to date and collar tags have your mobile phone number (you can grab a new one instore!)
  • If your pet suffers from travel sickness then check in with your vet before you; they will be able to prescribe something to help.

What to pack:

  • Food (and a can opener if relevant)
  • Treats
  • Drinking water from home; stomachs can be easily upset by a sudden change in water
  • Proof of vaccinations/health record; many pet-friendly places want to see these upon your arrival.
  • Your pet bed
  • Some toys; to keep them entertained on the journey
  • An old towel
  • Plenty of plastic bags for picking up along the way (or take advantage of the BOGOF offer on Bob Martin Spring Poop Scoop bags in store now *April 2017*)
  • Pet Insect Repellant
  • First aid kit

The Rookes Team will be happy to help you find any items you need for your trip, just ask!


Why do Hedgehogs ‘Self-Anoint’?

A unique and curious Hedgehog behaviour is self-anointing, which usually happens when a new taste or smell is discovered.

  Winston Face of Rookes Pets Spalding

What is self-anointing?

Winston Face of Rookes Pets Spalding

Self-Anointing is when a Hedgehog licks or chews a particular object and creates a foamy saliva that they will then leave on various parts of its body.

Why do they do it?

Winston Face of Rookes Pets Spalding

It’s unknown why Hedgehogs do this but it’s believed by some that it’s a kind of ‘smell camouflage’ so they blend in with their environment and others believe it’s simply a smell they like and wish to wear as a kind of perfume!

Male Hedgehogs tend to do this more often than females and you’ll find they might need a bath every so often!

Surprisingly Hedgehogs don’t mark their own scent elsewhere.

Have you seen Winston, the Face of Rookes, exploring a new smell? Watch the video here.

February’s In Store Events

Our in store demos and events are a great way to get to know more about particular products, ask questions and even take advantage of a few special offers.

We have new events being added to the calendar all the time, so please check here  for the latest updates.

Generally – events run from 10am to 4pm, unless otherwise stated.

Please also note that the demos are not within our control and may be cancelled at short notice. Therefore, if you are travelling a distance or making a special trip, we recommend that you give us a call to check before leaving.

Our email newsletter is a great way to be kept up-to-date with the latest events, competitions and special offers, so if you haven’t already – subscribe via our contact page 


Date: Saturday 13th February
Time: 10am – 4pm

Pop in to chat with the Fish4Dogs team and find out about their fantastic dog and cat foods. Their range of super premium natural food and treats for dogs and cats only uses fish, which is naturally rich in Omega 3; a high quality easily digestible protein and it has stronger tastes and aromas that dogs adore!

Royal CaninRoyal Canin

Date: Sunday 14th February
Time: 10am – 4pm

Even the very best food, from a nutritional point of view, is worthless if it is not eaten. Royal Canin study every possible parameter of its kibbles and food to ensure that it is as palatable as possible to the cats and dogs who eat it, looking at everything from raw materials and formulation, to the size, shape, texture and density, not to mention the coating, smell and taste, to find the most appealing formulation for their real customers – the cats and dogs.

symplySymply Pet Foods

Date: 27th February
Time: 10am – 4pm

Symply recipes contain only the finest natural ingredients for the balanced and complete diet your pet needs to stay in top condition. All Symply products are free of artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives and are formulated with wholesome ingredients and natural antioxidants rich in vitamins to enhance the immune system.

Symply will have lots of offers available to you in-store on the day, so why not come in to meet them?

central-german-shepherd-rescue-cgsrCentral German Shepherd Rescue 

Date: Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th February
10am – 4pm

The rescue dedicates itself to promoting humane behaviour towards animals by rescuing German Shepherd (and cross-breed German Shepherd) dogs and puppies and to provide care, treatment and re-homing when appropriate for those unwanted, neglected or in need.

It is a well thought of, fantastic charity. Please pop in to see them, find out about the invaluable work they do and how you may be able to support them in their efforts.

5 ways to propose using your Best Friend

dog ringIt’s the day she’s been dreaming of since childhood; the furry proposal and the diamond ring. Oops, we meant FAIRYTALE proposal… (Or did we?).

When a puppy proposal went viral last month, it got us thinking. Maybe there are other adorable ways to propose using your pooch! After some sniffing around we came up with 5 of the best.

Thinking of proposing this February? Send us your puppy proposals for an extra special Congratulations from Rooke’s!