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Small Animals

A rabbit and a guinea pig

A small animal is fun to keep and makes a superb companion for children and adults alike.


Grooming Salon Prices

We cater for dogs, cats and small furries!

grooming prices

All prices include a health & weight check along with eyes and ears clean and nail trim. If your pet is not being cut, the wash dry & brush includes a general tidy up. All grooming prices are based on weight of dog. Estimates given are subject to change upon arrival after weight & coat checks.

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Grooming Salon

Did you know we have a grooming salon on our shop’s first floor?

Launched in August 2015, our grooming salon is run by a qualified City & Guilds groomer, so your V.I.Pet will be in capable hands!

We offer a range of options, from our delightful puppy pack to a full wash, dry, cut and brush. If your V.I.Pet isn’t quite ready for their next groom, we also offer nail trimming, ears & eyes cleaning and anal gland checking.

Our options can be tailored to you and your V.I.Pets needs, if just want a dry cut, ask and we will do our best to accommodate!

Our salon is not just for dogs, we welcome cats and small furries too! Please ask in-store for more details.

For dogs, logo-howndwe are proud to introduce our main salon brand of Hownd shampoo. Hownd is a natural pet care brand; all of their shampoos contain essential oils, are PH-balanced and contain conditioners, so you don’t need a separate conditioner! As well as being gentle anleaping bunnyd amazing to smell, Hownd is also certified by Cruelty Free International, as none of its products or ingredients are tested on animals! We stock the shampoos and body mists in-store to keep your poochie fresh between visits as well!

If your dog needs a whitening bath, we also offer Animology white wash shampoo as an option in our salon.

we love referrals

New customers currently get 10% off their first groom and existing customers can benefit with our referral scheme. If you a refer a friend, you get 10% off your next groom and you can refer as many people as you want! Just get the referred person to quote your name when they bring in their furry friend!



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Two adorable rabbitsRabbits are tame and friendly animals and are a very good pet for older children. Traditionally rabbits are kept in a hutch outdoors, but are becoming increasingly popular as house pets. Being sociable animals and enjoying the company of other rabbits, it is nice to keep two or more. However, if you plan to keep more than one rabbit, it is a good idea to have them neutered.



For rabbits living outdoors, you should provide a hutch which is sturdy and waterproof. Place it in a sheltered position or in a shed, at least 25cm off the floor. This prevents rising damp and problems with vermin.
For indoor rabbits, it is important for them to have as large a cage as possible in which they can comfortably stand on their hind legs. These are similar to hamster cages, but a lot larger. Keep the cage in a cool room out of direct sunlight.

At PAWS we stock a variety of rabbit runs for outdoor use. A rabbit run provides your pet with a change of scenery and the chance to run around on the grass. Remember to keep your rabbit run in a sheltered spot and out of the heat of the sun on warmer days.


TOP TIP: Indoor rabbits can be house trained as they often naturally use the same spot for toileting. This means they can be kept clean and trained to use a litter tray. A small litter tray can also be added to the hutch for outdoor rabbits.

A deluxe rabbit hutchBedding

The floor of a hutch or cage should have a covering of wood shavings. The sleeping area of the hutch should also have a large amount of hay or straw in which the rabbit can lie down. PAWS stocks everything you need to make your rabbit’s home as comfy as possible!
The hutch or cage needs regular cleaning. Rabbits go to the toilet regularly and you will need to clean out this area daily. Once a week, you should give your rabbit cage or hutch a thorough clean with a pet friendly disinfectant and replace shavings and bedding with a fresh supply.


TOP TIP: Outdoor rabbits need to be protected from the elements. A hutch cover, blanket or old piece of carpet adds extra protection on a cold winter’s night!




A rabbit feedingPAWS stocks food that will maintain a healthy diet for your rabbit – a mix of grains, flakes and pellets. We recommend Excel Rabbit nuggets. These are good for the digestion, and the hardness of the nugget keeps the rabbit’s teeth worn down. These are available for the different age stages of your rabbit from junior, adult, to senior and are also available in a ‘light’ version.

It is important to provide your rabbit with a good supply of hay to nibble on as they enjoy grazing and it helps with their digestion. Rabbits also enjoy fresh food such as kale, greens, broccoli, carrots and apples, but give these in moderation and always wash them beforehand. Your rabbit should always have access to fresh, clean water and this is best done by providing a gravity-fed bottle.



TOP TIP: A gnawing block, kept in the rabbit hutch or cage will help to keep your rabbit’s teeth from growing too long.



Boy holding a rabbitYou need to use both hands to pick up your pet rabbit properly, with one hand taking the majority of weight under the bottom. If rabbits don’t feel secure when you pick them up, they can get jumpy, so keep them close to your body whenever handling.

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Guinea Pigs

A Guinea PigGuinea pigs make good companions for children and adults alike. They are active, social animals and can be great fun to keep.

Also known as Cavies, guinea pigs originate from Peru in South America. There are three main breeds of guinea pigs, and each has a different style coat.

The most common breed of guinea pig is the English. It is smooth-coated, with short fur that has a glossy shine. The Abyssinian guinea pig has fluffy fur all over the body, while the Peruvian breed has long hair with a silky feel to it.




Traditionally, guinea pigs are kept in a hutch outdoors. This hutch needs to be as large as possible in order to give the guinea pig plenty of room to run around. Make sure you purchase a sturdy hutch and keep it raised at least 25cm off the ground in order to protect the guinea pig from predators and to keep the base of the hutch dry. If you decide to keep your guinea pig indoors, you need to keep it in a cage similar to those used to house hamsters, only much larger. Keep the guinea pig’s cage in a cool room, out of direct sunlight and draughts.


Tip Never house a guinea pig with a rabbit, as there is the risk that the guinea pig will be bullied and injured



You will need to purchase wood shavings to put down on the floor of the cage to form an absorbent layer. Hay and straw will also help to keep your guinea pig warm at night. Keep the cage as clean as possible by removing soiled bedding and replacing it when needed. Clean out the hutch or cage completely on a weekly basis.


Tip: Never use fluffy bedding in a guinea pig’s hutch or cage as this can get wrapped around the guinea pig’s legs and cause injury



A pair of guinea pigsYou should feed your guinea pig food in either pellet form or as muesli. Pellets contain the same nutrients as muesli, but as guinea pigs tend to pick out the bits that they like from muesli, a pellet can be better to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

At PAWS we recommend Excel Guinea Pig nuggets. These are good for the digestion and the hardness of the nugget keeps the guinea pig’s teeth worn down. These nuggets also contain vitamin C – an essential supplement to a guinea pig’s diet, since it cannot generate this on its own, and will become ill without it.

You can feed your guinea pig with small quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and apples. Remember to have hay readily available for your guinea pig at all times, as this provides it with an essential source of vitamin C and fibre.

Make sure your guinea pig always has access to food and water. Water should be changed daily and can be provided in a gravity-fed bottle.


Tip: Avoid feeding your guinea gig potato and lettuce, as these can cause diarrhoea.



Use both hands to gently but firmly grasp your guinea pig around its shoulders. Lift it up and support the bottom with your other hand. Hold your pet close to your body, or sit down and place it on your lap so that it feels secure.

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A HamsterThere are 20 different breeds of hamster. The most common is the Syrian Hamster, also known as the golden hamster. Dwarf hamsters (Russian, Chinese and Roborovski) are also popular and are much smaller in stature.



  • Hamsters need exercise and so require as big a cage as possible.
  • A hamster cage must have a place for your pet to rest, hide, play, exercise and feed.
  • Keep the cage indoors, out of direct sunlight and draughts.



  • A good, absorbent floor covering inside the cage is essential. PAWS recommends Carefresh or Back 2 Nature as these are highly absorbent and good at reducing odour.
  • Use soft paper and woolly bedding for nesting material.
  • Clean the cage out completely every week
  • Do not place hay or straw in a hamster’s cage – these tough strands can hurt hamster’s cheek pouches.
  • Never use shredded newspapers or magazines as bedding for your hamster as the ink used in the printing process is toxic.



  • At PAWS we recommend Amos Hamster Mix, which is available from the shop.
  • Supplement a hamster’s diet with occasional, small amounts of fruit and vegetables. Too much of this can give your pet an upset stomach.
  • Remove uneaten food from the cage.
  • Provide clean, fresh drinking water daily from a gravity-fed bottle.



  • Using your hands, gently scoop your hamster from its cage.
  • Hamsters are nocturnal and you should never wake them up. It makes them very grumpy!
  • Never wake your hamster by picking it up as this will frighten it and may cause it to bite.


Dwarf Hamsters

There are three types of dwarf hamster; Chinese, Russian and Roborovski. These hamsters are different to the Syrian hamster in that they are omnivores and, as such, need a different type of food. You will also need to provide a cage with smaller bars to prevent escape, and you must never feed these hamsters with fruit as they are intolerant to sugar. Visit us at the shop for more information about how to care for this type of hamster.


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A GerbilGerbils are friendly, curious and quick little animals. They make a fascinating pet for both adults and children.

The Mongolian Gerbil is the most common gerbil found in pet shops and is often available in a range of colours. Being that their natural habitat is the desert, gerbils have adapted to conserve water, and are therefore odourless. They are social animals and like to be kept in small, single sex groups or pairs.


  • A Gerbilarium (a large fish tank with a secure mesh type lid) is the best way to house a gerbil.
  • Alternative housing is a large hamster cage, although be wary of this as gerbils are adept at chewing and may chew their way out.
  • Cages should be as large as possible.
  • Provide cardboard tubes and a nest box in which your gerbil will feel secure.
  • A sand bath added to the gerbilarium will allow your gerbil to bathe itself.


TIP: Do not add an exercise wheel to your gerbil’s cage as it may cause injury to your gerbil’s tail



  • Soft wood shavings for burrowing and digging.
  • Provide a house or bedroom for your gerbil, where it can nest and feel warm and secure.
  • Use soft paper or woolly bedding for nesting material.
  • Clean the cage out completely once every week.



  • Gerbils need a diet with a high content of protein which is low in fat and oils.
  • At PAWS we recommend Amos Hamster and Gerbil Mix, which is available in our shop.
  • Supplement your gerbil’s diet with small, occasional amounts of fruit and vegetables. Too much of this can give your gerbil an upset stomach.
  • Provide clean, fresh drinking water daily from a gravity-fed bottle.
  • At PAWS we stock a large variety of gerbil treats and chews. Come and visit us in the shop!



  • Using your hands, gently scoop your gerbil from its cage
  • Never lift your gerbil by its tail
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a ratRats make great family pets. They are intelligent and interactive and become tame when handled correctly.


There are many different colours of rat from white or albino to hooded, Agouti and Cinnamon, as well as the Rex variety of rat which has a curly coat. Rats are social animals and we strongly recommend keeping them in single sex pairs or groups so that they are able to interact.



  • A large cage with separate levels is ideal for your pet rat. Most importantly, it must be escape proof!
  • Rats enjoy a varied environment with branches, tunnels and ropes.
  • Clean out your rat’s cage completely once a week.



  • At PAWS we suggest using an absorbent bedding material such as Carefresh or Back 2 Nature for your rat’s cage.
  • Provide your rat with a nest box full of soft shredded paper.
  • Never use shredded newspapers or magazines in your rat’s cage as the ink used in the printing process is toxic.
  • Never use wood shavings in your rat’s cage as this causes respiratory problems.



  • Rats enjoy a varied diet. We recommend a complete rat mix as the basis of your pet’s diet such as Reggie Rat Complete food.
  • Supplement your rat’s diet with small amounts of fruit and the occasional boiled egg.
  • Rats enjoy gnawing on a mineral block or salt lick. You can buy these from our shop.
  • Provide clean, fresh drinking water daily from a gravity-fed bottle.


TIP: Do not feed your rat rhubarb or avocado, as this can upset your pet’s stomach



  • Stroke your rat and be sure it is facing you.
  • Cup both hands around the rat and pick it up.
  • Concentrate: rats are quick and can jump out of your hands!
  • Never pick up your rat by the tail.
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a white mouseThere are many varieties of fancy mice, with varying markings and coat types, however, the most common mouse is the white mouse with red or black eyes.



  • Escape proof wire mesh cage with plastic or metal solid floor. Ensure mesh is sufficiently small as mice can squeeze through very small spaces.
  • At PAWS we recommend housing your mouse in a Gerbilarium. If you choose to house your mouse in a glass aquarium, it must be suitably ventilated. Wood cages are not suitable, as mice can chew their way out.
  • Mice enjoy exploring, so an environment with multi storeys, ladders, a nest box, tubes, toys and an exercise wheel are ideal.



  • Spread a layer of Carefresh or Back 2 Nature about 2 inches deep around the bottom of the mouse cage.
  • Do not use sand or sawdust in the mouse cage as this can cause respiratory problems.
  • At PAWS we sell woolly and paper bedding which is ideal for your mouse cage.




  • Mice need a fairly high protein content in their diet to keep them in good condition. A muesli style mix for your mouse is ideal as well as small amounts of fruit and vegetables added for variety.
  • Do not give your mouse human snacks as they may be high in sugar, salt or fat.
  • Provide clean, fresh drinking water daily from a gravity-fed bottle.




  • Mice can move quickly so young children may not be able to handle them easily. Be careful not to handle your mouse too roughly or drop them, as this may lead to trauma.
  • To handle a mouse, slide your hand underneath it with your palm upwards. Lift your hand up slowly with the mouse sitting on it.
  • When a mouse is at ease with you, they may walk onto your palm if you hold your hand open in front of them. Alternatively scoop them up very gently being careful not to squeeze too tightly around the body.
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A ChinchillaThere are two types of chinchilla: The Lanigera, with a pointed nose and angular face, and the Chinchilla Brevicaudata, which is larger than the Lanigera with a thicker neck and shoulders but a short tail. There is a wide variety of coat colours available. All chinchillas have very thick, dense fur.




Chinchillas need a large metal cage with a solid metal base, which includes a climbing area, a sleeping box and a sand bath. As chinchillas enjoy climbing and jumping, a muli-level cage is ideal. The cage should not have a wire base or contain wire shelves as chinchillas are prone to bumblefoot – a condition which causes ulcers and skin cracking on the feet, which is exacerbated by unrelieved pressure on the animal’s feet.




  • Chinchillas will need plenty of woodchips or paper litter at the bottom of their cage as well as hay, which is important for their diet but also used as bedding material.



  • Chinchillas have a sensitive digestive system. They are herbivores and need a diet rich in fibre, so hay should always be readily available to them.
  • The chinchilla diet is low in fat, so it is important to remember never to feed them sunflower seeds or peanuts as both of these are high in fat.
  • Feed your chinchilla twice a day with a specially formulated chinchilla food mix, available from our shop.
  • Water should always be readily available to your chinchilla and is best provided via a gravity-fed water bottle.



  • Approach your chinchilla on the same level by crouching in front of it and allowing it to come to you by presenting the back of your hand for it to sniff.
  • When you open your hand a tame chinchilla will climb on. Support its body weight with the other hand while lifting it up, and have it rest on your arm or against your body.
  • Be careful not to squeeze your chinchilla too tightly as their ribs are easily broken.
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Small Animal Boarding

Did you know we board small furry animals? All pets love Paws, so when you go on holiday, send your V.I.Pet to us and they will be cared for like our own pets


Grey RabbitAt Paws we offer small animal boarding all year round. Even on days we are shut, someone is on-hand to cater for our animals and yours too.

We have a number of enclosures your pet can stay in, either on the shop floor or out the way of the “limelight” if you prefer. For any pets boarded on the shop floor, they will have an “I’m not for sale, i’m on holiday” sign put by them and our premises is constantly monitored by CCTV, so you can be sure they will be safe.


Hamster in Cage

In regards to very small animals, such as mice, hamsters and gerbils, we suggest these are brought into store in their own cages. In busy holiday season, we can also accommodate more very small animals if they are in their own cages.

All pets are fed on their existing diet, so if it is something we do not regularly stock, please bring some with you.


Tip: Pets settle in quicker to an environment if they have items they are familiar with – consider bringing some of their toys and special treats they like.


We want your V.I.Pets to feel at home. All pets are handled, health-checked and given attention each day, by our dedicated staff members. If you have a bonded pair of the same animal, these will be housed together to ensure they feel safe and secure.

Prices vary dependent on animal and is charged per night of your pet’s stay, with bonded animals receiving a discount.


Rates per night:

Two adorable rabbits

Single Rabbit – £4.50                              

Pair of bonded Rabbits – £5.50        

A Guinea Pig


Single Guinea Pig – £3.50

 Pair of bonded Guinea Pigs – £4.50

Long-haired Hamster

Single Mouse/Hamster/Gerbil – £2.25

Bonded Mice/Hamsters/Gerbils in the same cage – £2.75


Single Rat/Degu – £3

Pair of bonded Rats/Degus – £3.75


Single Chinchilla – £3.50

Pair of bonded Chinchillas – £4.25




Call 01600 715367 to discuss your needs and book in your pet. A deposit is required at time of booking and you will be asked to fill in a form on arrival with your details and the needs of your pet.

Please note, we will always try and accommodate your pet, but at busy holiday times of the year we require plenty of notice.

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