Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • 4 Simple Ice Lolly Recipes

    4 Simple Ice Lolly Recipes

    Summer is finally here and in typical British fashion our weather is all over the place!

    One minute we’re reaching for our hoodies because it’s pouring with rain and the next we’re melting like ice lollies at Poundstretcher HQ!

    So to keep you cool when it’s hot and the kids occupied when it’s cold, we thought we’d share our fave ice lolly recipes that are simple, sweet, and sure to get you in the Summer spirit!

    The Fruit Fancy

    Three fruit ice lollies with strawberries, kiwis, blackberries, blueberries and ice

    What you need to make your ice lollies:

    Any sweet fruits of your choice like pineapple, oranges, bananas, berries etc
    Half a cup of water
    Lolly moulds with sticks

    For a good mix of sweet and sour flavours, ‘The Fruit Fancy’ is the perfect pop for you because each lolly can be customised to suit your fancy (of course)! Get your paws on plenty of fruit that is sugary enough to keep up your energy, refreshing to keep you hydrated, and most importantly tasty! Mix half a cup of water with your lemonade. Get some fresh fruit from the market or one of our Dole Tropical Mix Tins ready for your lolly mix. Chop up your fruit in to small pieces that will fit in to your lolly moulds and think about what flavours complement each other. Are you in the mood for a blast of berries like raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry or are you feeling fruity enough for a tropical mix with pineapple and banana? When you’ve sorted what fruits you’re using, add them to the mould and pour in that lemonade/water combo faster than Beyonce can drop a surprise album. Put the moulds in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour then place the lolly sticks inside your mould. Do not remove until they are frozen solid!

    Coca-Cola Popsicles

    Coca - Cola cans and soda in two glasses

    What you need to make your ice lollies:

    Coca – Cola (of course)
    Lolly moulds with sticks
    Optional lemons and/or limes

    If you’re the ultimate sloth who likes to sit and chill out, this is the recipe for you. Coca-Cola pops are by far the easiest ice lolly recipe ever. All you need is the cola of your choice – it could be Cherry Coke, Coca Cola Vanilla, Diet Coke etc – and your lolly moulds. Pour in the coke, add your lolly stick, and then freeze until frozen solid. Voila, the easiest frosty treat in the world to make. Try adding a bit of spice with a few lemons and limes in the mix for an extra kick to your lolly. It may not be the healthiest of these treats but damn, it tastes good.

    Strawberry Milkshake Pops

    Pink ice lolly mix freshly poured in lolly moulds

    What you need to make your ice lollies:

    200-300ml of milk or a dairy alternative of your choice (we recommend coconut milk for dairy free readers)
    Lolly moulds with sticks
    Optional raspberries
    A measuring jug

    Strawberry and raspberry ice lollies with fruit

    Prepare to sing the infamous ‘Milkshake’ song by Kellis while you prepare this milk pop! Now, I don’t want to get too technical but this will require a blender or a hand blender for these ice lollies. Get your milk or dairy alternative of your choice and pour about 200-300ml in your blender or bowl. Finely chop your strawberries and add them to the milk. Feel free to add raspberries or sweet flavours like coconut milk. However if you’re adding more fruit remember to add a little more milk to keep that lolly creamy! Blend it up, pour it in your lolly mould with the sticks and of course, freeze until frozen solid.

    The English Garden

    Cucumber and fruit ice lollies on a wooden backgorund

    What you need to make your ice lollies:

    A couple of squeezes of juice from a lime slice
    Slices of cucumber
    Elderflower cordial
    Apple juice
    A measuring jug
    A shot glass
    Lolly moulds with sticks

    Old chap, the ice lollies will have you come over all British quite suddenly! 'The English Garden' ice lollies are based on the original cocktail drink, however this recipe has been tweaked a little without alcohol (cue disappointed groans from readers). Start off with adding 300ml of lemonade to your measuring jug, 150ml of apple juice, and a shot glass of lime cordial. Stir and mix together. Thinly slice some cucumber and add your preferred amount to the mix then take your slice of lime and squeeze a couple of times for a dash of bitterness. Stir your mixture again then pour in to your lolly moulds, add your sticks and freeze until frozen solid!

    When you’ve made your ice lollies, remove them from your moulds by putting it in warm water to soften the ice a bit. Gradually you’ll  be able to pull your popsicle free and enjoy!

    Have you made some tasty ice lollies? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Poundstretcher in the caption.

    Check out our fantastic Summer ranges in gardening and outdoor toys now so you can stock up on a rainy day ready for the sun to come out. Find your nearest store and browse our cheaply priced offers on our website here.

  • Poundstretcher Arrives In Aylesford!

    Poundstretcher Arrives In Aylesford!

    The red carpet was rolled out for us in Aylesford!

    It was wonderful to meet our local customers who came out in force with their families and friends to shop for some value bargains.

    We have new stores popping up nationwide to bring you all our fantastic offers.

    So we thought we’d show you what to expect from a Poundstretcher grand opening!

    Our NEW #Aylesford store is now OPEN!! #Poundstretcher #Saturyay

    A video posted by Poundstretcher (@poundstretcher) on

    Our Aylesford store celebrations kicked off early in the morning with the first 100 customers in line receiving £5 off their first Poundstretcher purchase.

    There was quite a buzz in the air as people waited outside after spotting our online event page and hearing our adverts on the radio!

    The mayor arrived for a ribbon cutting ceremony in his ceremonial bling to officially announce that the store was open.

    He had a lot of kind words to say, which you can hear on our fabulous Instagram account.

    The mayor of Maidstone has officially opened our brand new #Aylesford store!! #Poundstretcher

    A video posted by Poundstretcher (@poundstretcher) on

    There was plenty of fun for kids with free face painting by Aylesford resident and professional artist Charlotte Savage.

    Face painter Charlotte Savage at our Aylesford store


    She painted adorable designs like Hello Kitty, butterflies, floral designs, spiderman, and many more for FREE all day!

    Even Team Poundstretcher got involved and enjoyed a bit of glitter with matching flower designs while giving out party balloons!

    Two little girls in our Aylesford store with their faces painted

    Our best-selling magnetic fishing game proved to be a big hit with the little ones as they played to WIN fantastic prizes from our selection of kids’ toys.

    From colouring books and sweets to Star Wars activity sets and Disney’s Frozen lunch boxes, there was a prize for everyone to pick!

    Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out the grown-ups!

    We had a special tombola game where if you picked a winning ball out of our jar, a mystery prize would reveal itself!

    We loved seeing your faces light up when you were WINNING your Coffee Tables, Mason jars, Bistro Sets, and more.

    Some lucky Aylesford customers managed to WIN one of our biggest sellers and store favourite, the Jack & Jill Bench Set!!

    Our lucky winners from Aylesford

    A family winning a Jack & Jill Bench Set at our Aylesford store opening

    We love making a fuss of you all by giving you incredible value for money with our big brands at big discounts with bargain deals on all of your kitchen, home, food, and garden essentials.

    If you want to visit one of our fabulous store opening events, keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

    We always post an event online to tell everyone about the dates we’ll be arriving in a town near you!

    Find your nearest Poundstretcher stores on our website here.

    Good luck to our Aylesford staff, welcome to the Poundstretcher family!

  • Your Guide To Kitten Care 101

    Your Guide To Kitten Care 101

    We all know that kittens are cute.

    Whether they’re a fluffy Persian or a hairless sphynx, the adorableness of a kitten is unrivalled.

    But how do you know a kitten is the right pet for you?

    Since we’re half way through ‘Adopt a Cat Month’, let’s give you the ultimate kitten care guide featuring the do’s, the don’ts, and the stuff that most people won’t tell you.

    1. Adopt, don’t shop.

    A ginger mama cat and her ginger kitten in blankets

    With the rise of the internet, a worrying amount of people are buying pets online without researching where they come from. Kittens are okay to leave mama cats from when they’re weaning at 8 – 10 weeks old. They need time with their siblings and mother to learn cat behaviour skills so any missed time with mum could result in long term problems for your kitten. Our friends at the PDSA recommend adopting a kitten from a shelter or buying from a friend or family member. Catteries check their kitten’s health and temperament to ensure that you get the best match for you while a friend/family member will be someone you trust who you know has looked after the kittens properly.  Surprisingly shelters have a high number of pedigree cat breeds, so if you’re looking for a specific breed, keep an eye out at your local cattery.

    1. Neuter your kitten.

    With so many kittens and cats in shelters needing a loving home, it’s vital we stop this overpopulation by neutering our pets. Cats can be neutered at 4 months old, it’s incredibly important that they’re recovered and healed before you let them outside. After all, do you really want an oops litter?

    1. You’ll envy their freedom to take long naps everywhere.

    A ginger kitten sleeping with his paws outstretched

    Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day so your kitten is going to be spending a lot of time in the land of nod. Some kittens will fall asleep on your knee for a cuddle. Be warned though: they will look as cute as a button so you’ll have permanent pins and needles because you don’t have the heart to move them. Kittens have a natural talent for sleeping in unusual places like the radiator, in the middle of the stairs, or on the kitchen counter. Just make sure you check the washing machine and bath before use otherwise kitty may have a rude awakening!

    1. But you also need to prepare for the crazy.

    Forget the crazy cat lady stereotype - cats are the real crazy ones! Your kitten will chase after non-existent objects, be fascinated with plastic carrier bags, hide behind steps to pounce on you, and generally exhibit baffling behaviour. Just think of this as entertainment that’s one of the perks of being a kitten owner.

    1. Keep up with vaccinations.

    It’s so important to vaccinate your kitten and keep up with their regular booster jabs. It’s good for your cat and your bank balance in the long run!

    1. Make some noise.

    A tabby cat yawning

    No, we don’t mean blast out the heavy metal for your kitten! One common mistake people make when they get a kitten is stopping all of life’s normal activities for fear of scaring their new addition. Get your cat used to everyday noises like the hoover, television, and the dishwasher instead of staying very quiet. For your kitten to grow up in to a well-adjusted cat, it’s vital that they socialise with the people coming and going from your home as well as getting used to life’s daily routines.

    1. Kittens need a lot of stuff.

    Even though cats have a reputation for being independent and aloof, kittens need a lot of  toys, accessories, and attention. Get your little fluffball toys that bring out their natural hunting instincts like fishing rod and ball toys. You’ll get to watch your kitten act like their ancestors and the difference is incredible. A choice of cat beds of varying textures is also great for when your kitten wants a well -earned snooze after all that playing and jumping.

    Make sure you have plenty of scratch posts that are sturdy enough for your cat to lean against to scratch their claws. If your scratch posts aren’t stable enough, you could end up with the common complaint amongst cat owners of their beloved pet sharpening their claws on the sofa!

    1. They’ll eat a lot…

    You’re already jealous of their nap opportunities so prepare to be green with envy because it’s recommended that kittens should eat 4 to 5 small meals a day! Kittens begin being weaned at approximately 8 weeks old when they can start to leave their mother. Cats are true carnivores so they must live on meat, a vegetarian diet would be incredibly dangerous for their wellbeing. When your kitten is 6 months old, it’s time to go to a standard two meals a day. Never feed them cow’s milk as this might give them a bit of tummy trouble, while treats should be monitored to avoid a podgy pussycat!

    1. You’ll be eager to let them outside…

    A tabby kitten looking longingly out of the windo

    Your kitten will reach the stage where they get cabin fever. They’ll look longingly out of the window while meowing and you’ll be counting down the days until their release. Kittens can explore the outside world after their first vaccinations are complete at 13 – 14 weeks old. It’s important that your cat is neutered and recovered from surgery before they start going out to ensure there aren’t any accidental pregnancies. Your kitten might feel excited, scared, or overwhelmed when exploring your back garden so it’s important to supervise them on their first outing. Make sure your garden is safe by covering ponds, checking for anything sharp, and avoid putting products on your lawn.

    1. But you’ll also worry about them going too far.

    Some cats don’t like to leave their territory, while others will venture far and wide. It can be scary for first time kitten owners when their beloved pet goes wandering away. Before you let your cat outside, get them microchipped and begin to practise recall with them indoors. Reward them with treats when they come back to you and repeat these steps on their first outing so they know it’s important to return when called. If you’re a nervous wreck at the thought of letting your cat outside, try calming your nerves by using a lead and harness on your kitten on their first outing? You’ll be able to supervise where your kitten goes, get them used to being in the garden, and if they’re rusty on their recall there’s little chance of them running off.

    A kitten holding a sign saying 'Adopt A Cat Month' in pink letters

    Want more pet tips? Visit our friends at the PDSA here.

    Fancy a chin wag? Tweet us, tag us on Instagram, and comment on our Facebook!

    Find your nearest Poundstretcher store here to get all your kitten care essentials from food, litter trays, toys, and more!

  • Get That Summertime Saladness With Mason Jars!

    Get That Summertime Saladness With Mason Jars!

    British Summertime officially starts on June 21st … and knowing our luck it’ll probably still rain!

    So while you’re waiting for the sun, why not do a bit of Summer meal prep?

    After all tis the season of the salad and June 16th is the official Fresh Veggies Day!

    This lightweight healthy wundermeal is just what we need for a lunchtime pick me up when it feels like we’re roasting like rotisserie chickens.

    They’re ridiculously easy to make and with the right ingredients you can have a tasty low calorie meal.

    Let’s face it, nobody likes a soggy salad but with the help of our new BFF and favourite 2016 trend: the Mason Jar!

    Why should I start using a glass jar for my salad?

    Multiple Mason Jar Salads with the fork tied to the glass

    Other than a Mason Jar salad looking really cute and colourful, there’s method behind this Mason Jar madness.

    An air tight glass container will keep your food fresh by keeping out as much air as possible, while plastic lunch boxes can sometimes make your food taste like… well, plastic!

    To get the perfect salad, it’s all about how you layer your ingredients in your jar.

    The ingredient at the bottom of the jar, layer 1, is always your dressing. When you tip your salad in a bowl or on a plate, the dressing will cover the top without being soaked up.

    Layer 2 is something a bit chunkier that will stop the dressing splashing your leaves while layer 3 is usually the stuff you want to stay dry until it hits your plate. Usually it’s your crunch like croutons, nuts, or seeds but can also be a thicker ingredient too.

    Your leafy greens are always your final layer to create the salad bed when you tip the jar upside down to make it all fall on the plate.

    You can have as many layers as you like for a Mason Jar salad, as long as your first and second layers follow this formula you can mix and match your other layers.

    The Beetroot Blaster 

    A bowl of tasty carrot and beetroot salad

    Eat a rainbow for lunch with this blast of bright colours and sweet succulent flavours! Not only will your colleagues marvel at your desk dining art but your kids will love your glowing gourmet lunch too, so a this Mason Jar salad is a great way to get them eating healthy.

    Layer 1: A light balsamic vinaigrette will bring out the sweetness of those beets!

    Layer 2: Beetroot will make this sweet salad appear radioactive when tipped on a plate!

    Layer 3: Bacon bits – we hate to go bacon your heart (get it?!) carnivores, but these little crouton chums are vegetarian yet still full of deliciousness!

    Layer 4: A little grated carrot can hydrate your salad and stop it from being too sweet. Plus the purple and orange look really pretty together!

    Layer 5: Mixed lettuce leaves for a crunchy blend of flavours for your salad bed.

    The Edgy Veggie

    A bowl of broccoli

    Technically this isn’t a salad but we’re throwing it in here for an honorary mention! As well as keeping soggy salads at bay, your jar will also stop your veggies from turning to mush so you can tip them on the plate ready to reheat. If you're feeling cheeky, drizzle with a bit of gravy after you've reheated your roast! So if you have any leftovers from your Sunday roast this is perfect for making the start of the week Monday Funday!

    Layer 1: Roast potatoes or parsnips to soak up that gravy goodness on top!

    Layer 2: A little bit of chunky cauliflower will soak up any bits of gravy your spuds have missed.

    Layer 4: Leftovers like carrots add more moisture to your mix and a subtle sweetness to this vegetable powerhouse!

    Layer 5: Tender broccoli will give you protein, iron, and a slice of Sunday lunch while you work.

    The Protein Packer 

    Jars filled with colourful pulses like lentils, chickpeas and more!

    Breaking a sweat at the gym for those cheese grater abs? Then you need the protein packer salad! Filled with protein and fibre rich ingredients like chickpeas, seeds, and nuts, you’ll be energised ready to pump iron at the gym after work!

    Layer 1: A drop of balsamic vinegar or olive oil for flavour enhancement.

    Layer 2: Cherry tomatoes or sundried tomatoes for a burst of sweetness.

    Layer 3: A little sliced cucumber keeps your body and this salad hydrated!

    Layer 4: Subtle chickpeas that truly pack a hefty punch of protein.

    Layer 5: Turkey or chicken breast for a meaty sweetness.

    Layer 6: A light sprinkling of iceberg lettuce to keep you refreshed and watered before your workout!

    The Vampire Slayer 

    Chopped red onions in the shape of a heart

    This is the salad you should eat if your colleagues have no sense of smell and romance is off the cards for the evening! Full of our favourite pongy veg like spring onions, red onion with a chilli kick of jalapenos, it’s a tasty and tangy treat!

    Layer 1: Sour cream and chive or cottage cheese will cool down any heat. If that’s not your bag then a little garlic mayo will do the trick too!

    Layer 2: Sliced Bombay potatoes for a classier version of cheesy chips.

    Layer 3: Red onion and spring onion thinly sliced and mixed.

    Layer 4: Jalapeños if you dare to spice it up!

    Layer 5: A layer of cooked kale seasoned with ground garlic for extra flavour!

    Two Mason Jars filled with salad

    Have you made any Mason Jar salads with our fantastic jars? Send them to us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #Poundstretcher so we can drool over your delicious desk lunches!

    On a quest for a bargain? Find your nearest store right here and pop in to say hello!

  • Top Tips For Travelling With Your Dog

    Top Tips For Travelling With Your Dog

    Summer holiday season is officially round the corner!

    You’re all set for travelling: the case is packed, the kids are covered in sunscreen, and your better half is trying to update the sat nav for the journey.

    Then you spot that face and those big eyes full of love.

    It’s never easy leaving your pet at home but it’s even worse when you know you have a week of sun, sea, and sand while they’re in kennels waiting for their human to come home.

    So why not take your critter with you? 
    A golden retriever dog wearing a hat while laying next to a suitcase

    Hundreds of Brits every year take their pets on holiday, with dogs being the most popular holiday companion of choice.

    If Fido doesn’t find the car scary, hasn’t been unwell recently, and is (relatively) well behaved then there are plenty of dog-friendly hotels and self-catering holiday cottages in the UK and abroad.

    It’s important to be sensible about your pet when you’re on holiday.
    A hipster woman takes photos of her holiday spot with her dog on an old vintage camera

    After all, if you’re going to somewhere like Disneyland, it’s probably not a good idea that your pooch comes with you just to be cooped up in a hotel room.

    If you’re going to be off on dog-free adventures all day, it’s much better to leave your dog with a friend or family member they trust.

    Pack all their essentials like their favourite toys and treats so they don’t get homesick.

    And if you’re worried about them missing you, sleep with a throw or blanket for a few days to give your dog so your scent can comfort them while you’re away.

    So you’ve got your dog friendly holiday destination sorted, what else do you need?
    A little girl is sat holding her dog's lead in the park

    Planning your journey is essential when travelling with your pet. It’s far easier to go exploring if you’ve got the kids and your dog too if you stay in the UK rather than go abroad.

    Which means chances are you’re likely to be driving.

    Remember to check the weather before you book and plan your journey. Cars become incredibly hot quickly which can cause heat stroke that could turn deadly for your dog, so pick a day with a fairly cool temperature to set off. Plan the quickest and safest journey where you can take regular breaks to stretch your beloved pup’s paws and give them the chance to respond to nature’s call.

    It’s so important to keep your dog safe while travelling in the car.
    Sable Cocker Spaniel puppies wearing tartan ribbons while peering out from their puppy crate

    Yours, your family’s and your dog’s safety can be at stake if your beloved woofer isn’t properly seated in the car. If you need to stop quickly to avoid an accident or if your dog decides to move in to the driver’s seat, your journey could prove to be fatal.

    A dog crate is a fantastic way to travel with your canine companion. If you’ve used a crate during puppy training then you’re off to a good start because your dog already feels safe inside it and knows that it is their space.

    Don’t worry if your pet is new to crates and do not feel bad about using one either!

    It’s natural to feel a bit guilty about crating your dog, however if you start off using it indoors as a safe space where your dog can relax then they actually enjoy being in their little den.

    In the months leading up to your holiday, put their favourite treats, cushion, and dog bed  inside to make your dog feel positive about the crate if it’s all new. They'll eventually view travelling in the car as relaxing and fun!

    If there’s too much hate for the crate, another alternative is a doggy safety harness. It acts as a seat belt to keep your pet from flinging forward in an accident and to stop them from escaping to the driver’s area.

    You’ve finally reached your destination after multiple toilet stops, u-turns, and arguments with the sat nav. So what else do you need to keep in mind?
    A family all dressed in white playing with their pet German Shepherd Alsatian dog on the beach

    Pay attention to signs in case they say any beaches or parks are dog-free zones and if there’s any dogs without a lead that are behaving badly.

    When you’re travelling and in a new place that you don’t know very well, you have to remember that this is not the same as walking your dog back home in their familiar territory.

    There may be people around who are frightened of dogs who might think that your dog’s happy barking and jumping about is actually a sign of aggression. Unless you’re in a dog park, keep your dog on the lead. Even the best behaved dogs struggle to contain their excitement sometimes and can get a bit hyper!

    Your dog will be massively overwhelmed by all the new sights and smells to experience when you're travelling, so it’s vital that you brush up on teaching them the basics of training like sit, stay, and recall to keep them from becoming uncontrollable while excited.

    But finally the most important tip we can give you is: Keep the water flowing to make sure your dog is hydrated throughout your trip.
    A majestic husky dog drinking water that's being poured from a bottle in to someone's hands

    A travel bowl and a water bottle will let you keep the liquids up but also remember to keep an eye on temperatures if you’re out and about. Dogs should always have access to a shaded area where they can have a break from playing Frisbee and exploring.

    Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your amazing holiday adventures!

    For more pet tips, visit our friends at the PDSA for more here.

    Want to have natter with us? Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to have a chinwag!

    Find your nearest Poundstretcher and Pet Hut here to get incredible offers on all your pet essentials.

  • Tips To Keep Your Pets Cool For The Summer

    Tips To Keep Your Pets Cool For The Summer

    Feeling hot, hot, hot? Then it’s likely your pets are too!

    Animals are just as at risk from developing heat stroke as we are. Every year thousands of pets suffer from the ill-effects of warm weather.

    So we thought we’d share some hacks to keep your critters cool for the Summer!

    1. DON’T leave your pet in a hot car. 

    Three Shar Pei dogs with their heads hanging out the car window

    Cars can reach high temperatures very quickly, like an oven the heat accumulates inside. If the temperature outdoors is 22 degrees Celsius, your car’s temperature can soar to double that or more. Dogs are especially at risk because some people still think their furry friend will stay cool with the window open. Sadly it is estimated that thousands of dogs die in hot cars each year. If you see a dog struggling while left on a warm day inside a vehicle, do not be afraid to ask a store assistant to make an announcement on the tanoy or even call the police. You might save a beloved pet’s life one day.

    1. CHECK the floor temperature with your feet.

    If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet then it’s way too warm for your pets’ paws. There has been a rise in cases of mostly dogs – and a few cats – getting their paws burned purely from going for a walk or playing in the garden on a hot day. Try to keep pets indoors near a fan or in an air conditioned room when the day is a melter. If your pet is desperate to go outside, try to keep them on the grass or in a shaded area when the sun has gone in a bit. Make sure they don’t stay out for too long and keep an eye out for when they want to return indoors.

    1. For SMALL ANIMALS put a cold tile inside their home.

    Five guinea pigs sitting in a row

    By placing a small tile inside your critter’s cage, you’ll keep these cuties cooler in the heat. Unlike cats and dogs who have the option of sleeping on the cold tiles in the kitchen, small pets find it incredibly difficult to keep cool in the warmer weather. They can’t open their cage door to get out and thanks to their fluffy coat and wool bedding they’re permanently set for Winter weather. If they ignore the tile or are fearful of it, try putting it under their main little house to help your pet realise it’s not scary.

    1. Keep a fan nearby.

    For our pets it’s a gigantic wind machine, but to us it’s just a fan. Open the windows to let the air circulate and keep the fan on to make the room even cooler. It’s perfect for dogs, cats, and small animals that have to put up with this weather in their fur coats.

    1. Let your pooch paddle! 

    A long haired dog enjoys cooling in down in a blue paddling pool

    Paddling pools are not only perfect for your little ones during a heat wave but pets too! They’re brilliant for keeping the kids entertained as well as your dog. Dogs are brilliant swimmers and love water but if your canine is a little timid, take baby steps to make them feel safe. Positive association is key so make sure to have lots of treats on hand. It’s important to always make sure your children and pets are supervised when using the paddling pool.

    1. Make an ice pack RETREAT for your cat.

    Using frozen peas or ice cubes wrapped up in a towel, you can turn your cat’s bed in to cooling relaxing retreat. Put the wrapped up ice inside a cushion in a shaded part of the room with the fan on. To make it even snugger, put the cushion inside a cat cube so the thin walls and roof act as shelter from sun rays that will keep their body covered. Even pets can get sun burn so it’s important to keep an eye on kitty for signs of heat stroke, especially if you own a hairless or fluffy breed.

    1. CHECK your reptile’s thermometer.

    A young boy smiling and feeding his pet Iguana some kale

    Although they’re mostly cold blooded, owners of exotic pets like reptiles and snakes must keep their temperatures regulated throughout the changing seasons. Make sure you check the thermometer and monitor any changes or drops in the heat. Avoid placing their terrarium in direct sunlight or warm rooms. If your scaly pet BFF needs a hot climate, then they will love this heat! Just switch off their tank heater for a few hours while carefully monitoring the temperature, after all you don’t want your buddy to overheat either!

    1. Let your RATS go pea diving.

    This tip may just be relegated to pet rats but it is an ingenious idea! Simply fill a paint tray with mid temperature water to create a mini pool with a shallow and deep end. Cook some peas and when they’re cool, place them inside the water-filled tray. Release your ratties and marvel at their incredible diving and swimming skills to fish out those peas! It’ll cool them down, give them exercise and a lovely healthy treat!

    1. Dog owners can make Pup-sicles! 

    Four pink bone shaped ice lollies for pet dogs to stay cool

    No we’re not going crazy, this is really a thing people! If you don’t want to be holding the lolly stick for your dog then it might be better to use an ice cube tray to keep this treat smaller. You can use fruits and veggies like peas, sweet potato, carrots, or tomatoes, blended together to pour inside your moulds for a healthy lolly. Top up their protein with chicken or beef broth lollies or tuna in brine for a low fat meat feast. Instead of water, use the brine from inside the can of tuna as your lollies’ bases and only add water if it’s needed to make a larger pupsicle. If you have a blender or food processor you can always use that instead of having a transparent effect ice treat!

    1. Keep the WATER topped up.

    A young Jack Russell puppy drinking water from his owner's hand

    And finally the best advice we can give to you is to keep your pets hydrated!! Ensure your pets' water bowl and your cup is topped up with refreshing water!

    Want to know more about caring for your pets? Our friends at The PDSA have a fantastic website here.

    Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages now and let us know all about your Summer plans with your pets!

    Want to bag a bargain? You can find your nearest Poundstretcher here.

  • What’s New Pussycat? It’s Adopt A Cat Month!

    What’s New Pussycat? It’s Adopt A Cat Month!

    From our partnership with the PDSA and our fab Pet Hut stores, it’s easy to see that Team Poundstretcher loves animals.

    So we thought we’d focus on our fave felines this month because June is ‘Adopt A Cat’ month!

    Infamous for being solitary, aloof, and generally treating us humans as if we are their personal servants, you’d be forgiven for mistakenly  thinking these fluff balls are not a companion animal.
    A cat enjoying breakfast in bed


    Maybe this stereotype has some truth.

    But they’ll also sit on your knee, nudge your hand for scritches, defy gravity when they play with you, and look at you with those giant cat eyes full of love.

    Not bad for an animal whose favourite hobbies include vengefully eating grass to throw up later, convincing you to feed them every 2 hours, and silently judging you.

    So what do you need to know if you’re adopting a cat?

    Cats should be adopted as the only kitty on campus, unless the other cat is a litter mate they've grown up with. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule sometimes but generally cats like their own company better. Sometimes they get along with dogs and other times they hate them, it really depends on the cat you’ve picked to adopt.

    I already have a cat but want to adopt another one, should I?
    An older cat meeting a kitten and sniffing their face to say hello

    There’s a lot to consider with introducing cats for the first time. Older cats generally accept kittens easier than adult cats but be aware that your kitty might get a bit too much for your older puss to deal with. After all, they’re coping with a new feline face in your humble abode that’s got twice as much energy! Talk to your local animal shelter about it to see if they can suggest the right cat for you. Make sure both cats have separate beds, toys, and a space to chill out away from one another.

    I adopted 2 kittens from the same litter… but they look nothing alike. Have I been given the wrong cat?

    No you don’t need to be calling The Jeremy Kyle Show for a DNA test! Prepare to have your mind blown: cats from the same litter can have completely different fathers. Cat’s eggs can be fertilised separately by different males as well as all by the same male cat. So your cats could appear different because they may actually be half siblings!

    Do they really sleep a lot?

    A cute kitten sleeping

    Prepare to be jealous of your cat because they can sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day on average!

    Do cats need litter trays?

    Cats can be trained to go outside when nature calls so it’s always handy to have a kitty flap so they can come and go. However if your landlord will not allow you to have a cat flap, don’t worry because there’s always a litter tray just in case  your cat doesn’t let you know when they want to go outside. As long as you have ultra-absorbent kitty litter and clean the tray twice a day then there’s no danger of any cat-astrophic smells filling your house.

    Are cats really scared of dogs?
    A St Bernard dog hugging two grey kittens

    Some cats are. It depends on the individual, if you already have a dog it will be wise to chat to your local animal shelter about whether one of their cats is able to live with pet dogs and what their personality is like. If a kitten is raised with a dog though, they’re more likely to not be afraid.

    Can cats live with babies?
    A mother introducing her baby to a ginger kitten

    There are many common fears about cats and babies that are blown out of proportion. The most common myth people talk about is whether their cat will harm their baby by thinking the cries are the sound of another cat or even laying on them. A lot of these fears come from folklore that cats are evil – in reality cats love warm cosy blankets and sometimes cuddling up to their owners as if they’re a human radiator! Be sensible but do not panic, just make baby’s bedroom off limits for your critter during nap time if you become too anxious about it. With any pet it is important to supervise your child while they interact. We’ve all been the victim of a young toddler’s curious drool drenched grabby hands, so imagine what it’s like for your feline friend who doesn't understand what’s happening!

    Is it dangerous to be near a cat while pregnant?

    No, cats are not dangerous to be around pregnant women. This stigma comes from a large amount of moral panic about cats and toxoplasmosis. It’s a parasite that can potentially be passed on to mum and baby if they’re cleaning a litter tray regularly. It’s transmitted to cats if they’re eating a bird infected with the parasite. Surprisingly it is easier for toxoplasmosis to be picked up by humans from meat and even soil when you’re doing a bit of gardening. It’s really rare with house cats but just in case you’re worried, simply use disposable gloves and wash your hands with anti-bacterial hand wash after cleaning the tray.

    Do cats play?
    A small kitten on a scratch post cat toy

    Cats really enjoy playing! Toys that bring out their hunter gatherer instincts like balls with bells inside they can chase and kitty fishing rod toys make cats go crazy! When you play with your cat you see them in a new light because they behave how their feral ancestors did. It’s amazing to watch these little weirdos get in touch with their instincts!

    Want to find cheap pet supplies ready for your new furry friend? Visit The Pet Hut website and Poundstretcher online to find your nearest stores!

    Still stuck about whether to adopt a cat? The PDSA has some fantastic advice on their homepage.

    Follow Poundstretcher on Facebook and Twitter for the latest budget buys. Also why not check out The Pet Hut on Facebook and Twitter for news on offers, products, and adorable animal pics!

  • The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    It’s National Smile Month!

    National Smile Month is the UK’s big campaign to raise awareness about oral health and keeping your teeth squeaky clean.

    Our smile is a way that we express our happiness, which is often overlooked when people talk about their gnashers.

    So to celebrate National Smile Month, we thought we’d share an A-Z guide of the weird and wonderful things that make us smile:
    A row of different smiles wearing lipstick

    Awkward moments…because they’re funny, especially at glitzy award shows.Kanye West's infamous awkward moment at the MTV awards

    Bed… because there’s nothing better than rolling ourselves up in bedding like a burrito.

    Chocolate… a winning smile guaranteed!

    Dogs… there’s too many reasons to list why!
    Two women smiling with their dog on the grass

    Eyebrows… because if they’re not on point it’s a deal breaker.

    Friends and family… our two favourite F words!

    Gardening… proven to lower stress and makes your yard look beautiful.

    Hugs… a big bear hug always makes us smile after a bad day!

    Ice lollies… guaranteed to make you smile, especially if they’re homemade.
    3 Homemade Lollies

    Jack and Jill Bench Set…because everyone seems to love it!

    Knitting… it’s calming and also very necessary if you want to stay warm and stylish in a zombie apocalypse!

    Leicester winning the Premier League… definitely made us smile.

    Makeup… no matter what your gender, a good smoky eye is beautiful.

    Nescafe… because it makes us smile from 9am until 5pm.

    Oreos… because you can twist it, lick it, and dunk it!
    A stack of chocolate biscuits

    PDSA… their great work always makes our smiles beam with pride!

    Queen… both the band and Her Majesty!

    Reality TV… the trashier, the better.

    Sunshine… don’t forget the sun cream though!

    Tea… nothing beats a good cup of PG Tips in the morning.

    Unicorns… we believe, do you?
    Two unicorns with a cup of tea

    Vacations… everyone needs a good holiday to unwind and see the world.

    Weekends… because we get to sleep in, eat all the food, and relax!!

    Xanadu… the cheesy Olivia Newton John film is a camp classic! I mean, roller skates and neon brights? Yes!

    Yourself…try to find one thing each day about yourself that you like, you’re guaranteed to smile.

    Zzzap… who else remembers this nineties kids TV show on CiTV?!

    Be the reason someone smiles today illustration
    Want deals that are sure to make you grin with a beaming smile? Find your nearest Poundstretcher here.
    Have you entered our National Smile Month giveaway? Visit our Twitter and Facebook pages to enter!

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