Hamsters, Rabbits, Cats & Dogs

Over the last few months quite a few viewers have requested for me to make an updated hamster treat collection video for 2015 and I've been reluctant to do so for one very good reason. This is my current treat "collection"...

2.5x mini hamster corn cobs

1x pot of yoghurt/choc/berry drop crumbs

1x giant hamster donut that could easily feed 10 Syrians!

Seriously that's all I have right now!

I used to be really big on buying every treat under the sun for my hamsters and I once had an enormous treat collection. To be fair I also had 10 hamsters living with me at that time so we went through treats at a moderate rate. However when my numbers went down to just two hamsters I found that I was over-buying treats and in turn I was throwing a lot away that had gone " iffy".

So last year I stopped buying treats almost altogether (I still buy yoghurt drops from time to time) and focused on just making my own when I needed as well as relying on other more natural options like fresh vegetables and the rare bit of fruit. I used up almost all of my commercial treats and now I've just become very used to not buying them which is why my "collection" is dramatically smaller.

I plan on continuing with these habits since I find they work well for me and I'm enjoying being able to have control over the ingredients that go into my hamster treats rather than staring blankly at the list of ingredients on commercial treat packets wondering what it all means.

So there is my "hamster treat collection, 2015" for everyone who wanted to see. I doubt I'll be making any more videos on the topic for obvious reasons although looking at the speed my dog treat collection is growing you can probably expect a video for those later in the year!

Erin x

Amylase was playing around on top of her cage (aka my dresser) and I got a few cute snaps of her that I thought you would all enjoy :) x

Im new to the bunny world and I want one but want it to be free randged like jack but what exactly do I need I live in the us and with parents and about how mush would it be. Thank you

My Answer:
Free range bunnies are super fun to look after but you have to do some rabbit proofing first. Ideally you will want two rabbits not just one, rabbits need a companion of the same species to live happy lives. We only have Jack alone because that's how he came to us (he kind of turned up one day) but he will have a friend join him when we have the space. Had we made the decision to actually go out and get rabbits we would have got two not just one.

So for rabbit proofing you need to make sure there is minimal or no wood furniture as most rabbits will chew wood - as you can see most of our furniture is wood but we were very lucky that Jack rarely chews anything - also be sure that all wires are either out of reach or that there are no wires in the room as rabbits will chew through wires in seconds! For free rangers I would personally recommend using a room that has either wood or tilled floors as carpet may get chewed, weed on or just very dirty. Alternatively you could put fleece and towels all over the floor to protect it - this is a good idea anyway as it helps to protect against sore hocks. Provide at least one area of soft floor covering so that your rabbits aren't exposed to hard floor all of the time, this can be in their bedroom area, a fabric dog bed for non-chewers or even your own bed if you have them in your bedroom.

You will need somewhere for your rabbits to call 'home' when they feel threatened or scared or just want to sleep - a bedroom area basically. This can be anything from a shop bought rabbit cage with the door removed to a dog training crate. They should be free to come and go from this area whenever they want 24 hours a day. If you need to lock your rabbit away at night you will need to make sure their bedroom area measures at least 6x2x2ft. You should put their fleece, hay, and some toys in there to make it homely and you will probably find they use it mostly as a bed. You will also want to invest in some food and water bowls, a litter tray and if you have the space some levels for them to jump and play around on.

By the way, rabbits moult so much when the seasons change so be prepared for cleaning up rabbit hair on a daily basis even if you brush them everyday! Also be warned that if you have your rabbits in your bedroom they are going to jump on you at night! At first this will probably disturb you a lot in the night but after a while when they get over the excitement of the new room they will do it less and you will also be used to it so it will disturb you less.

The one hugely important thing you need to remember is to get your rabbits spayed and neutered as soon as they are old enough. This is greatly beneficial to their health and it will make litter training as easy as clicking your fingers. All rabbits should be spayed an neutered by its extra important for house rabbits.

I hope this information has been helpful enough to start you on your way! As I am mainly a hamster care channel I would recommend watching BudgetBunny, 101Rabbits and RosieBunneh for some really excellent rabbit tips. 101Rabbits has her bunnies free ranging in their own room so you can get lots of setup ideas from her :) x

Does everyone have that grandmother who never stops offering food even right after a huge meal? The same grandmother that repeatedly tells you that you look like skin and bones?

Well according to Dan that's me when it comes to my pets. I always worry that they aren't eating enough and that they look too thin which often leads to me over feeding them with a "just one more spoonful won't hurt!" attitude. I half blame their bowls for being bigger than they need to be so now I have found a way to have no excuses for it with tiny hamster sized, eco-friendly bowls!

These are made very simply with natural egg boxes. Just make sure there are no eggs in them first!

There are two types of bowls you can make with these egg boxes, large and small sized - or what I would call Syrian and Chinese/dwarf sized. Use the bit where the eggs sit to make large bowls and the bits that stand up in between the eggs as the small bowls.

(Syrian sized)

(Chinese/Dwarf sized)

Just cut around them with scissors and make sure that they aren't too deep!

I gave both hamsters some watery porridge in these today and realise that they are also water proof so you can use them for all types of foods! The best part is that the bowls are made from natural materials and safe colours meaning your hamster can chew away at them when they are finished, now that really is recycling!

Erin xx
Each time I clean out Einstein and put him in his little travel cage I am saddened as I am reminded that thousands of rodents including hamsters, mice, gerbils and even rats are kept in these cages their entire lives. This cage was for sale in a shop as a 'large hamster cage' and purchased the day I brought Amylase home as I was worried she would chew her way out of the cardboard travel box. The shop keepers of course assumed that I was buying the cage for her to live in when the reality was that I had a cage more than 5 times the size of this waiting for her at home. The cage I had waiting only just met the bare minimum cage size requirement of 80x50cm so let me say again... it was 5 times bigger than this.

In this image you can see Einstein's (Syrian) wheel stood next to the tiny shop bought cage. Einstein's wheel is 11" in diameter which is the recommend size for all adult Syrians and yet there is no possible way it could fit in this cage. Even if the cage was tall enough to fit the wheel in there is no way you could fit anything else in!

There is so much scientific evidence proving how unsuitable these cages are that it still shocks and annoys me that throughout the world owners are given misguided information suggesting that these cages are acceptable.

Even the hamsters are telling us they are unhappy,  when a cage is too small hamsters become stressed and exhibit 'bad behaviours' such as bar chewing, monkey barring, biting, over-chewing, a reluctance to interact with their owner and other antisocial behaviours. The huge amount of stress caused by this also leads to a decline in health and a shorter life span. Ever heard the myth that hamsters only live for a year on average?
Did you know that in reality a healthy, happy domestic hamster can live to be 3 years old or more?

(Examples of commonly seen bad cages)

The worst bit is that owners with suitable sized cages are often mocked by those with unsuitable sized cages.
"It doesn't need a cage that big, it's only a hamster!"
The truth is that no hamster cage will ever be big enough because hamsters are travellers and burrowers. They dig huge burrows deep underground that stretch over several metres. During their waking hours they travel miles across the land in search of food and nesting materials so how can a cage ever be big enough?

I genuinely think that we will never be rid of these tiny cages in shops because too many people refuse to accept that they are no good as anything but a travel cage. All we can do is keep trying to make a change one person at a time through educating. Take a moment to look at your hamster's cage, is it above the 80x50cm minimum? If it is take a photo and post it somewhere public. Add a description that explains its size, cost and how important it is that hamsters live in these cages and not the joke cages you find in pet shops. Ask people to share your image because someone out there will see it and whether that's a person who has a hamster, knows someone with a hamster or who may get one in the far future it will get the message out there and it will make a difference to someone and to their pet.

So until next time...
Erin xx

This is a question I have tried to answer in the past yet it keeps coming back to me time and time again. I don't blame the people who ask in fact I think its my own fault as at the time I was not able to fully explain why I had to move countries ergo why I had to rehome my 6 hamsters in May 2013.

I knew at some point the fully story would needed to be explained but for a long time the topic was (and still is) very emotionally raw for me.

I first would like to say that I am a "pets for life" person and there are very few situations which actually call for a pet to be rehomed. I always get my pets with the intention of having them for their entire lives but I was never to know what events would occur that year and I feel with all my heart that rehoming my hamsters with selected family/family friends was in their best interests.

I'm going to answer the easiest question first and then the harder one below xx

Why Didn't You Take Your Hamsters With You?

We - myself and my partner - moved from Wales (a country in the United Kingdom) to Cyprus, an island 2000 miles east of the UK located near Egypt. Though there were originally plans to take two of the hamsters with us after a lot of time and thought I realised that we only wanted to take them for our own selfish reasons. I only wanted to take them because I loved them, not because it would be in their best interests. The hamsters would have had to travel in the cold cargo hold of the plane for over 5 hours.
This alone would be stressful not to mention the noise of the engines, the smell of other animals (including predators like cats and birds) but on arrival they would be brought out into a humid climate of 38C+ after coming from a cold climate that averaged 10C on a warm day!

I am always telling people over and over again to keep stress levels as low as they possibly can for hamsters as they are prone to many stress-related illnesses including wet-tail which kills almost all of its victims. Stress is the most dangerous emotion a hamster can experience so how could I justify putting them through all that just so I could keep them to myself? How could I live with myself if they became ill or worse still didn't survive the journey?

It broke my heart to admit that I couldn't do it.

Knowing that plenty of people wouldn't understand and that I would be unfairly hated for rehoming my pets I did make the right decision and although I miss them deeply I do not regret it.

Why Did You Move Countries?

So onto the reason I had to move because this is where many people get confused.
To explain this I have to lead you through the events of 2012-2013 to give you the backstory necessary to understand my decision to move. I have cried on and off while writing the following paragraphs as it was an incredibly dark and scary time in my life which I wish I could erase from my memory. If you do wish to leave a comment bellow this blog post please bare in mind that you are not just talking to a computer screen but to a real person who has been through these events and the severe mental illness that caused them.

*The following paragraphs talk in detail about severe mental depression. This may not be suitable for all readers. Please continue at your own discretion*

I've lived in Cyprus since the age of 11 and have always considered it to be my home. Its where my mother and half of my family live, its also where most of my memories come from. In October 2009 I moved from Cyprus back to my birth country, Wales to live with my dads family and finish my education. It all went smoothly for the first two years and I even met my partner Dan in school there. Together we bought our first hamsters and opened our YouTube channel which has since been very successful.
Everything was great!

At the beginning of 2012 after experiencing several stressful events plus events and memories from my childhood that I have never fully come to terms with or understood my grandmother passed away suddenly. Having never dealt with a family death before and having always felt that I struggle with expressing emotions properly I hit a huge wall where every feeling that had been locked away in my past suddenly evolved into monstrous beasts that wanted to come out all at once. My instinct was to just get on with things but as soon as I was locked away in my room it was as though I wasn't me any more. I became a monster inside myself and I was scared.

I did everything I could possibly do to separate myself and the monster. Only letting it out when I was alone, but it was so... so dark. It had the darkest, most evil thoughts and I was terrified of what it might do. Would it hurt someone... could it do worse?

It didn't take long for people to realise something was wrong. I became distant, locking myself away more than usual and my emotions were scattered. I couldn't identify one day to the next, I was forgetful, clumsy and always on the edge of tears. I started self harming to let out some of my emotion. It made me feel relief and the fact that I felt relieved over harming myself made me feel sick.

I was taken to a doctor.

After spending about an hour talking to the doctor about all of this I was tested and diagnosed with severe depression. I was only just 18 years old.

Over the next few months I was back and forth to the doctors, they had put me on Citalopram - an antidepressant - and kept uping the dose when it wouldn't work for me.

Slowly things got worse.

I couldn't see a point in anything. All I could see for my future was what I saw in everyone else around me. You get up in the morning to go to work to pay for the bed you sleep in so that you can get up the next day and go to work. Even typing that sentence has gotten my heart racing in anxiety. I fear the thought that life is as pointless and meaningless as working to live and only living to work but I couldn't convince myself that it was anything less than that.

When I knew no one was home I would scream at my own reflection until I made myself hoarse. I would punch myself, cut myself, slam my head against the wall in frustration over my own feelings... There were other, worse things too but I want to forget...

When the medication wasn't working on its highest dose they changed me over to Lustral, a stronger antidepressant. Again they kept messing with the dose when it clearly wasn't working for me.

At the beginning of 2013 I had a complete mental breakdown.

Looking back I can't identify myself with that person. It wasn't me any more.
I was messed up massively, completely disconnected from everything in the real world and I could no longer tell the difference between what was a dream and what was really happening. I would stay up until the early hours of the morning not realising it was even night time. Some nights I wouldn't sleep at all just because I didn't want too or I would stay up for days on end not realising I hadn't slept thinking that the previous day had been part of a dream. What day was it? Was it day or night? Should I even care what day it is?

I was still working at this point, in a pharmacy in the neighbouring village but I dreamed my way through the days and barely working. Locking myself in the staff toilets to punch and hit myself when I felt like I needed a release.

After having been on the waiting list for 6 months I was finally booked to see a private counsellor. She was one of the nicest people I ever came across and was a wonder to talk to. I felt great after leaving her office but it faded quickly as I arrived back to my room. The place that was now entirely associated with this new disturbed life of mine.

Since my diagnoses there had always been one place I could find myself in again. The real me, the one that had slipped away from my real life. YouTube and my pet hamsters were what kept that spark of Erin in me. My real life wasn't known to anyone there and I could just be who I wanted to be. I feel that I never lost myself on YouTube and I am proud of that because I can still say the person you have been watching for the last 2 and a half years has always and will always be me. Exactly who I am.

By this point in my real life I was lost, I was not Erin. I was almost begging to be locked away somewhere. I would sleep on the floor at night instead of my bed - I still don't know why - but I remember closing my eyes, holding my breath and just willing my heart to stop beating. I didn't want to die I just wanted to stop.
I wanted everything to stop.

Just stop.



This was my darkest point. I felt like there was no hope. Like the black emptiness I felt inside was flooding out into the world and that just beyond the horizon was where the cloud ended... but I could never go there because you can't run from something that is inside you. Wherever I went in the world I knew the darkness had to be there because I would be there. There would be no escape from it so why bother trying any more? Why sleep? Why eat? Why get up? Why even cry when I had cried for so long and it had done nothing for me but make me sleepy and sleep made me not want to wake up. Why torture myself with sleep when it would take me to a world I couldn't stay in. A world I didn't belong in. I remember being so tired that I would laugh hysterically to myself, how funny everything seemed. How desperately funny... insanely funny...

In February 2013 my mother flew over from Cyprus on business and I went to stay with her in the hotel for a week. I don't think she really knew what to expect.

It was an emotional first couple of days but there was already a huge difference in me. Being back with my mum, talking about home (Cyprus) and just being silly made me forget everything. It was almost as though the last year had been a distant nightmare.

I couldn't ignore this. Only days before I had been certain that the only escape for me was the end of my life and there was the solution staring me in the face the whole time. I was sure I couldn't run from the darkness but I was going to die anyway if I didn't so why not at least die while trying to run away.
That's exactly what I was going to do. I was going to run away, go back home to Cyprus where I belonged and live with my mother again. It was my last chance to get better.

And there is was. The stubborn, determined spark that was me.

Going back to my dads house after that week was hard. That room was still associated with the monster and it still brought out this freak in me. I said and did horrible things. Things I wish I could take back.

My mind had something to focus on though. I had lost my job so I was home 24/7. Nights and days had no meaning whatsoever any more. Time doesn't exist so why follow it?

After talking to Dan we went ahead and booked one way plane tickets for May 8th 2013 to go straight back home. This was in March so we still had lots of time to kill!

We had next to no money, just enough to buy the plane tickets. We packed as much of our lives as possible into two 23kg suitcases and two 10kg hand luggage bags and either sold, donated or left the rest with family.

Realising that the hamsters could not come with us (after making the decisions I talked about at the start of this blog post) I made plans for them to be rehomed. But not just anyone could have them. I wasn't going to advertise them or sell them, they were going to go to family and close friends who I knew would take great care of them for their whole lives. We had 6 hamsters. Phoenix, Tatty, Cwtch, Molly, Crash and Hope.

Hope and Crash went to live with my aunty as we had always been close, she had a house full of hamsters and I knew they would be well cared for.

Phoenix went to live with a friend whose daughter had recently come into the world of hamster showing. I had always planned for Phoenix to be a show hamster and I knew his energetic and loving personality would be well matched with the daughters and that she would love him deeply and forever.

Tatty, Cwtch and Molly were all fostered by YouTuber AnimalMadCait for a short time as their forever homes couldn't take them right away. Tatty is adored by his new owner as are Cwtch and Molly by theirs. Cwtch and Molly live in the same home.

So there we were. I was heartbroken for saying goodbye to the hamsters but it was absolutely the right thing to do for them.

We boarded the plane on May 8th and never, ever looked back.

The summary of my answer is this. We moved countries so that I would have a chance of living again.

As I write this post we have been back in Cyprus for 9 months. I have been off my medication the entire time. I am now completely recovered from depression, I have a job in a nursery school, two beautiful hamsters, a rescue rabbit and my adoring partner Dan who has stuck with me through all of this and even gone as far as moving half way across the world for me.

We've been living with my mother since moving back but I feel ready for us to go out on our own now.
We plan to get out own apartment near by this year and start our life properly with our little pet family.

So although the main point of this post was to answer that dreaded question at long last it has also given me the opportunity to speak out properly about something many people are still ashamed to talk about and who knows, maybe it will help someone out there.

I promise my next post won't be as dark!

Until next time...
Erin xx
A question I've heard a dozen times since building Amylase's natural style cage is "How do you clean it?". It seems a few people feel that these type of cages must be very difficult to maintain but when you think about it the only differences between these cages and "domestic" cages is the substrate so there should be no difference and no extra effort for cleaning.

Well in fact these cages are even easier to maintain than regular cages as well as cheaper and much more economical. 

Along with being the original creators of these style cages the Germans also came up with a wonderful cleaning method that is beneficial to both hamster and owner, it helps to keep the owners wallet heavy, the hamsters stress minimal and still gives you a clean and hygienic cage.

I do want to say first off that although I use soil in my cage that is because I don't have access to other preferred substrates. Ideally you want to use one of the following substrates for the main area of the cage: aspen, Aubiose (hemp), megazorb or kiln dried wood shavings. 

Do not use: cedar, non-kiln dried shavings or corncob substrate.

Cleaning The Main Cage (Soil or other)

The first thing to note is that this main area only gets cleaned out once a month (every 4 weeks). This does not lead to more smells but it does allow the hamster to be less stressed as their home is not getting up-turned every week. The larger the cage and the better ventilated it is, the less likely it is to smell at all in the month.

When you have decided that its cleaning day you need to remove all of the hamsters toys and accessories from the cage - some owners say its best not to remove the hamster but that is up to you. I always remove Amylase to her travel cage.

Mark the cage into thirds. Identify the third you feel the hamster uses the most and begin removing this and binning the dirty substrate. 

Now with the remaining substrate mix it around together dragging the least used substrate at the bottom to the top. 

Leave the substrate to breath for 10 minutes and prepare to add the clean substrate. You'll want to add an equal amount to the amount you removed. 

Add the clean substrate and mix it again. When you are done compress the substrate down to create a stable terrain for burrow building. 

Re-add the toys, accessories and hamster.

Cleaning The Sand Cage

This is even easier! Providing that your hamster doesn't pee much in the sand then you will only ever need to fully change it when you feel it's old or a bit wiffy. 

In the meantime you just need to spot clean every 3 days. This requires two things, a scoop and a sieve.

Scoop up the areas of sand that are dirty and pour them into the sieve, the clean sand will fall through back into the cage while the dirt and droppings will remain in the sieve. Bin the dirt and you're done!

It really is a lot more convenient and the hamster is not suffering from stress caused by a constant changes in surroundings and smells. Because you still keep 2/3 of the old substrate the cage will always smell familiar to your hamster, it will always smell like his own territory. You don't need to buy as much substrate either as you only need enough to fill a third of a cage not a whole cage, better for you, better for your hamster, better for the environment!

Perhaps this easy cleaning method will edge you more towards considering natural style cages in future, if you are considering it be sure to check out some German hamster forums first for tips and advice!

Until the next time...
Erin xx

All in all the product is great! Made from natural woods safe for hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals who like to chew. The wood is bare of any varnishes and appealing to the eye. Two thick, durable wires join the sticks allowing for your to bend it into any shape you wish while the wire remains unseen. A great addition to any cage especially those with a natural theme!

That being said buying this from Viovet is not such great value for money since they raised the price at the end of 2013. The smallest size used to cost just 83p yet it has been increased by 45p to £1.28.

The timing of this increase is a little concerning as with the Christmas season upon us pet owners will be rushing to buy new supplies of their pets and Viovet will be making plenty of money from this season alone. So why do they feel the need to increase the price of this product?

Because of this increase in price I am only giving the product 4 paws. Had I written this review last month it would have been 5 paws without hesitation! Take a good look around your local pet shop and other sites first before settling for this price! The product itself is brilliant!

Until next time!
Erin xxx

So by now most of you will know of my recent experiences with well known online pet-suppliers Viovet but I wanted to delve into a little more detail here and really explain the situation and how the company responded.

So I first made an order with them near to Christmas 2012, it was a small order of just 7 items and at the time I lived in the UK where their warehouse is located. It was, I have to say, on of the best uses of money I have ever experienced. Not only were the products top notch and wonderfully cheap but delivery was prompt and the way they packed it would have made any other company feel the tug of guilt at their collars.

Though only a small order it arrived in a larger-than-needed box wrapped in fragile tape and inside it was like and old game of lucky dip. The box had been filled with packing foam so the items were protected from being bashed around and from knocking against each other. There was not a dent of damage to any of them.

When I moved home to Cyprus in May 2013 I discovered almost immediately how difficult it was going to be to get my pet supplies. Weeks of searching for a pet care company who would post to the island lead me to dead end after dead end until I post by a friend reminded me of the company Viovet and prompted me to take a look at their delivery options - well I was thrilled to bits, they delivered to Cyprus! Though postage would be €11 for a 1.5kg parcel I'm not one to complain and quickly filled up my shopping cart with everything I wanted. I spent several days trying to get as much as possible for the weight allowance and eventually placed my order happy and excited for its arrival.

A few weeks later it arrived (Cyprus isn't great for time keeping even with post!) and I was overjoyed. The only problem I had was that I knew from the moment I saw the box that this wasn't going to be as well packed as last time. Boy was I right!

On the box it read "Fragile - Handle With Care" but this is as far as packaging went. I opened up the tiny box to find all of the items loose and packed in together. No bubble wrap, no packing foam not even any brown paper between the items! They had traveled over 2000 miles passed through Royal Mail, Air Mail and Cyprus Mail hands and the whole time they had been allowed to freely roll and bash around in the little box. In fact when I picked up the parcel at the post office I found it upside-down under several other boxes where it had clearly just be tipped out of the bag by the post man - well that Cyprus Mail for you!

This bad packaging had actually caused damage to a box of Pedigree milk bones leaving a large hole in the back of the box. Thankfully as far as I know nothing else was damaged!

This then lead me to my next problem. I had been sent the wrong item instead of something I needed!
I had ordered a special drip free, spring-loaded water bottle as the heat here causes normal water bottle spouts to expand and leak so I hoped this new bottle would be better suited to the climate. Unfortunately, what they sent me instead was some kind of Crittertrail bottle designed to go on a specific cage. It lacked an actually spout and instead was just a useless lump of flimsy plastic with a hole in the bottom for drinking from. I would highly expect this kind of bottle to leak more than a little as there was no kind of system for keeping water inside... it was just a hole. Useless is an understatement.

So I had paid €11 on post and packaging only to get no packaging and €1.50 on a bottle I never received.
Needless to say I was not happy.

I proceeded to write a long letter of complaint to the company stating my dissatisfaction, a day later I received the following reply from a staff member:

Dear Erin *****,

Thank you for your message we received via Facebook. We really appreciate your kind comments and we strive to maintain a good name for our company.

We are sorry to hear that you have received the wrong item and sadly, as a company we do sometimes make mistakes when dispatching and packing orders. We have looked into this for you and we regret to say it was a mistake on our behalf. We would be more than happy to refund you in full for the Superpet Critter Deluxe Water Bottle » 118ml Bottle, and we do apologise for the inconvenience caused.

We are so grateful that you brought this to our attention, and we are now looking into new and improved ways to be able to deliver overseas. For you and other customers in the future. In regards to future orders you may place with us, we would more than happy to fulfil any requests you have to the future orders and how they are packed to be sent over to Cyprus, such as bubble wrap around the items or fragile tape on the outside of the box, we are more than happy to fulfil your instructions to the best of our ability as we can assure you we do not take damage to our orders lightly.
Please do not hesitate to add a short note into the 'notes to VioVet staff' box at the checkout this will stop the process of dispatch so I can double check the order before we do dispatch it. I will ensure that our warehouse team are given this message at the time your order is packaged. I will make sure that this is done to the best of my ability, to prevent further issues regarding future delivering overseas.

We would not expect you to return the bottle to ourselves, as this was a mistake on our behalf. As stated previously we will refund you £1.11 for the bottle and we hope you will be able to make use of the one you received.

Once again, please accept our apologies on this matter and we can assure you we are taking all possible precautions to ensure this doesn't occur again.
Kind Regards,

So I read the email reply several times before deciding how I felt about it. In the end I was happy with their response, it seemed genuine at least and they did seem very willing to make changes in order to prevent it happening again. I am still however unhappy that it took a letter of complaint to make them realise how unacceptable it was to send a parcel overseas with no protection at all. I know from friends in the UK that they still receive well-packaged parcels from Viovet so why do those living abroad have to ask for a service they already paid from via P&P?

Regardless I have decided to forgive Viovet on this occasion and have ordered from them again. The order should be arriving around the first week of October so watch this space for information on whether or not they have learned from their mistakes! Until then don't let my review put you off ordering from most people have good experiences with them and I am really hoping mine was just a one off!

If you are particularly concerned with items not being packaged properly do make use of their 'notes to viovet staff' box that can be found at the bottom of the page when you are checking out on their website. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, you have paid for that service and you have every right to get it!

Until next time, take care everyone!
Erin xxx

The Trixie Natural Living Seesaw Tunnel has been a great addition to my small pet supplies. Made from natural bark-coated wood and pet safe glue it's suitable for use in the cages of most pet rodents including mice, gerbils and hamsters.

Unlike some Trixie products the Seesaw Tunnel does not use any metal pins to hold it together - instead the frame is held together with pet safe glue which is sturdy and safe and the tunnel joined on using safe wooden pins.

In the centre of the tunnel is an 'pop-up hole' which gives your pet a quick escape route and also makes any cleaning of the toy much easier.

The toy measures 25x11x12cm and will fit in all rodent cages without problems although with small, lone-dwarf-hamster cages like the Mini Duna or Duna Fun, owners may find that it takes up most of the cage space.

Though this toy is suitable for many pets it would probably be better suited to those with high energy levels and a healthy curiosity. I find that although my shy Syrian does use the toy occasionally, he does not get as much use out of it as I would like.

If you have a larger pet there are other things you could do with this toy to make it suitable for them. For example in a rabbit or guinea pig cage you could fill the tunnel with hay or vegetables to encourage eating through play.
In a rat or ferret cage you could mesh up the two ends and insert a ping pong or jingle cat ball into the top. When the animal pushes on one end of the tunnel the ball passes under the hole encouraging your pet to play chase with it - you could even do this for cats!

The cost of this toy from my local pet shop was €6.90 which is a good price for a Trixie product - you can find this toy in a few online stores for between £5-£7 which again is a reasonable price however only a few online shops actually stock the product.


Large enough for most rodents
Safe for chewers
No metal pins used
Can be adapted for bigger animals

May not fit in small, lone-dwarf-hamster cages
Hard to find shops who stock it

Overall the product itself is good and the cons apply more to accessibility over design - my final rating for the Trixie, Natural Living Seesaw Tunnel is 4 paws out of 5 although if the rating was given on product design alone it would have been 5 out of 5.

Links to find the product online:
I originally came up with this idea after seeing a similar product made with coconut shells on the Little Pet Warehouse website.
At £5 it's not the worse price in the world but why bother buying one when you can make something similar out of recycled materials!

What You Need:
Whole Walnuts
Wool or Thick Thread
A Washer or Wooden Bead
A Wire Hair Pin
A Nail
A Hammer

- Using the nail find the weakest point in the join of the walnut shell and force the nail in. Wiggle it slightly until the shell cracks down the middle.

- Remove the walnut from inside (don't worry if you don't like walnuts because they make great treats for hamsters, mice and gerbils!)

- Once you have enough shell halves (10-15 is usually enough) take the nail again and hammer it through the side of the shells to create a small hole. Do this with all the shells.

- Tie the washer or bead to the end of the wool - this will stop the shells sliding off.

- Thread the shells onto the wool, the first shell should be inside facing down so it covers the washer or bead. The other shells should all face with their inside upwards. Do this until the wool is nearly full.

- Tie a loop in the top of the wool so you can hang it up. You can use a hair pin bent into an 'S' shape to attach it to the top of the cage.

- Fill the walnut halves with treats!

Your small animal will love finding the treats hidden inside it, not only that but it makes a terrific climbing and chewing toy that even Gerbils won't destroy right away!

Have fun with making the Walnut Treat Hanger and don't forget to share your finished designs on our Facebook Page! -

See you soon!
Erin xx