We offer a specialist boarding service for little pets based at our home in a quiet little hamlet called Sutton Springs Wood, near Calow, Chesterfield (we were previously based in Treeton, Rotherham until 2014). We offer both short and long term boarding for rabbits.
SUMMER AVAILABILITY 2016
We have very limited availability left in July, and August, and filling up fast in September. So don't delay booking your rabbits and guinea pigs in, if you're taking a summer holiday.
4 Little Paws was initially established in 2009 to offer a specialist online outlet, supplying quality natural toys, treats and accessories for little pets. We launched our pet care service in February 2012. We are an experienced family team of animal lovers, and have a wealth of animal care experience between us. The founder of 4 Little Paws has a first class foundation degree in Animal Science and a certificate in Animal Fist Aid, and has volunteered with various animal charities over the last 17 years. She is very passionate about animal care and welfare, staying up to date with the latest recommendations and advances (click for more information about us). Your pet's health and welfare will always be our main priority. We have clean Police checks and are fully insured. You can read customer feedback by clicking here or by looking at the recommendations section of our Facebook Page.
4 Little Paws are an approved rabbit foster carer for Barnsely Animal Rescue Charity (BARC).
We are open by appointment only between:
Mon - Sat: 9-11 am & 4-6 pm (closed Sundays and bank holidays).
ACCOMMODATION FOR OUTDOOR RABBITS:
Here at 4 Little Paws we offer quality, spacious and secure accommodation for rabbits and guinea pigs. Our rabbit boarding cabins, offer a secure 10ft space which they can access 24/7, allowing them to safely exercise, play, relax and sleep whenever they choose. We can accommodate single rabbits, pairs or groups. All boarding groups will be kept separately from other boarding groups (to preventing fighting and cross infection risks). We are the only boarding establishment in the region to offer 24 hour access to an exercise area for outdoor rabbits.
WINTER: We do not heat the cabins, as they are designed for rabbits who are used to living in outside accommodation, and it would be detrimental to send them home to unheated accommodation from heated accommodation - however in very cold weather we provide rabbit safe heat pads. Fresh water will be provided regularly to prevent freezing. The meshed part of the run area is covered with clear polycarbonate sheets to protect from wind and rain.
We do not play music or radio in the cabins (as some other establishments do) as rabbits are silent creatures, and would find the constant noise stressful.
Click here to find out more about our special Rabbit Cabins.
OUTDOOR BOARDING FOR GUINEA PIGS:
Outdoor guinea pigs (April to September only*) stay in either a 3ft x 4ft timber playhouse, or 6ft x 2.5ft secure hutches. They will be kept separately from other boarding groups at all times.
The Guinea Pig Playhouse:
FOOD & EXERCISE FOR OUTDOOR RABBITS & GUINEA PIGS:
You can rest assured that your little pet will receive a healthy diet, lots of exercise time, toys and above all lots of care and attention during its stay with us. Rabbits have access to all of their 10ft cabin 24 hours a day, allowing them the opportunity to play and exercise whenever they choose. The cabins are completely secure and weather proof, and feature super strong fox proof mesh, covered with polycarbonate in the run area, and the indoor part is kept locked.
Here's an example of the rabbit cabin setup:
We will provide your rabbit or guinea pig with plenty of fresh local meadow hay, topped up throughout the day. We also provide a daily portion of fresh herbs and vegetables or forage (pellets must be provided by the owner to avoid digestive upsets caused by a change in food). Toys, litter trays, water bowls and bedding are all provided as standard.
ACCOMMODATION FOR INDOOR GUINEA PIGS AND OTHER SMALL PETS:
We are able to cater for a range of other small rodents such as hamsters, degus and chinchillas within our home. For this service we ask that you bring your pet's own cage, food and bedding. Prices start from just £3 per night, click here to see our price list.
We can also provide indoor boarding for guinea pigs, which we particularly recommend during winter*. For this service we can provide a cage or you can provide own cage, bedding and usual brand of pellets. We provide their hay and veggies during their stay. Prices start from £4 per night / pair.
Please contact us for more information on indoor boarding. Unfortunately, we do not currently have any facilities for indoor rabbit boarding at present.
Please note: we are not able to provide boarding for ferrets, chickens, birds, reptiles, dogs or cats.
HEALTH & HYGIENE:
We will give your little pet daily observational health checks, and monitor their behaviour and food and water intake to ensure they remain happy and healthy whilst in our care. All rabbits must have up to date vaccinations for myxomatosis and VHD (aka RHD)**. We clean all our cabins, cages and equipment with Ark-Klens & Ani-Gene disinfectants (leading high strength veterinary disinfectants) as recommended by the RWAF. In addition they are also steam cleaned. We can provide additional services such as grooming and claw clipping if required.
Our rabbit cabins, and outdoor guinea pig hutches are lined with vinyl flooring, this means they can be completely disinfected between customers and kept clean whilst in use. Whilst it would be nice for the runs to be on grass, it would not be hygienic (as grass and soil cannot be washed or disinfected) and we prefer this method to ensure your pet's health and safety.
OUR PET BOARDING SERVICE:
We understand how much your little pet means to you and will send regular updates by email, Facebook or text, so you’ve no need to worry whilst you are away. We can offer single night stays through to long term boarding.
All our guests are monitored regularly during their stay with us, and rabbits and guinea pigs are fed twice a day with pellets and fresh vegetables and their hay and water is kept topped up throughout the day. Their accommodation is kept comfortable and clean, and safe exercise is provided.
Lauren is at home with the animals all day (apart from trips to fetch hay, veggies or take rubbish to the tip!), so she is there to provide care and attention throughout the day and evening. Because the boarding centre is based at Lauren's home, you can have the added peace of mind that there will always be someone there round the clock, should any emergencies arise.
If you would like to enquire about our pet boarding service, check availability, arrange a visit or make a booking, you can use the contact form to send an email here.
Drop off and collection times - strictly by appointment only between:Mon - Sat: 9-11 am & 4-6 pm (closed Sundays)
*Please note, it is not recommended to keep guinea pigs outside when the temperature may fall below 10C, so we only offer indoor boarding for them from October until Spring. See Guinea Pig Welfare's advice page for more information about winter care for guinea pigs: http://www.guineapigwelfare.org.uk/guinea-pig-care/seasonal/winter/cold-weather-advice/. *
** July 2016 - As you may already know a new variant of RHD (rabbit haemorrhagic disease) known as RHD2 has been found in pet rabbits in the UK. The current combination vaccine only covers RHD (1) and myxomatosis. A new vaccine for RHD2 is just slowly starting to become available in vets here, and is having to be imported. At the moment, due to the fact not all vets are supplying the vaccine, I'm not insisting on rabbits having it for stays over summer. If your rabbit is boarding soon you may wish to consider having it done, for peace of mind, if your vet can get hold of some.
Here's some further information on the disease, from Frances Harcourt Brown, who was, until she retired last month, the only RCVS rabbit specialist vet in the country: