Pets & Animal Care

HJ Lea Oakes trusted since 1675

HJ Lea Oakes is one of the longest established independent animal feed manufacturers in Britain, with a history dating back to Swettenham Mill in 1675 where the Lea family began milling feeds to supply the Cheshire farming community. Centuries later, still independent and family run, and very proud to be part of the country’s rich agricultural heritage. The company has seen many changes and expanded to become one of the largest feed manufacturers in the region, supplying the agricultural community with a vast range of quality feeds across the UK.

HJ Lea Oakes Pet Food Superstores based at four locations in Wheelock, Aston near Nantwich, Congleton, and Wardle, supply high quality and great value own-branded labels such as Equerry for Horses and Ponies, Nurtura for Dogs and Cats, Peckers for Wild Birds and Heritage for Smallholders and Farm Feeds, as well as supplying a vast variety of leading brands at very competitive prices.  We’ve got it all – for Puppies to Pigeons, Chinchillas to Cats, and a massive range of accessories and toys, free and easy parking, and friendly advice.

Our chain of Pet Food Superstores will have a variety of monthly promotions and savings across many of our products, keep an eye out for the new offers available in all of our stores. This summer we have got a shop full of treats for you to spoil your pets, from supplements and treatments, to beds and lots of accessories and toys. For more information on any upcoming events or offers visit our website, phone 01270 753 295 or come in for a look.


With over 25 years’ experience working with dogs, Cumbrian based Professional Dog Trainer, Ingrid Grayling, has helped literally 1000’s of dog owners to train their dogs to enable both dog and owners to have a fulfilling, happy and enjoyable life together.

Now, she has decided to share her knowledge and vast experience and has launched a new service offering animal lovers the opportunity to become professional dog trainers through her 3 day intensive training courses – Train the Trainer The Grayling Way.

The courses will run throughout the year with an option of either one-to-one or a maximum of 2 individuals on each course at any one time. Ingrid offers a highly personal experience for the participants on all of her courses and says:  “The course is extremely interesting because of the mixture of both theory and practical work. I wanted to create a really personal course where people receive my undivided attention and gain the most out of it at the highest level” says Ingrid. “Also I want my students to walk away armed with enough knowledge and confidence to set up their own business”.

The course includes not only the practical techniques and approaches to training any type of dog, but also covers the necessary people and business skills for a successful and professional career as well as a 6 month support period from Ingrid once the course ends.

For more information please visit or call 01931 715282

Keeping pets warm

They may well be covered in lots of cuddly fur, but they can still suffer from the cold, and that’s why we’ve put together these top tips to keep your pets safe and warm this season.

Cats and Dogs

Don’t leave cats and dogs outside

Never leave them in cars or unheated conservatories and caravans

Make sure your pet does not lie on frozen ground for a long time

Dogs with fine hair like greyhounds should wear a suitable dog coat

Keep cats indoors during the dark winter nights

Take your dog on shorter walks, more often

If your dog gets wet during cold weather, towel them dry as soon as you get home

Protect your pet’s feet from ice, grit and salt by drying their feet after they’ve been outside.

Be wary of ice river banks and frozen ponds, as dogs can easily fall in.

Dogs with thinner coats should wear a dog coat in cold weather, and if you are worried about your pets body temperature, you can gradually raise it by placing them next to a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.

Small fluffy pets

Put extra bedding in hutches

Place a blanket or piece of carpet over the hutch to keep it warm but make sure air can still get in.

Check water bottle aren’t frozen every day

In really cold weather, move small pets indoors to a warm shed or car-free garage. Make sure they still have access to an exercise run.

If you do bring the hutch indoors, keep it away from other pets and loud noises.


Float a large ball on the pond’s surface so that if the water freezes you can remove it, so your fish get enough oxygen.

Dog Blood Donors
By Helen McCrorie
Senior Vet at Hollybank Veterinary Centre
As with humans, dogs sometimes require blood transfusions. We have access to a National Pet Blood Bank which can provide us with lots of different blood products but sometimes a transfusion directly from a donor is most appropriate for our patients. This can provide platelets that are essential to help the blood clot.  No products available from the Pet Blood Bank can provide us with such components.  The added benefit to our patients of having donor blood is that it is available immediately, without having to wait for it to be delivered from the blood bank.
We appreciate that many people may not be familiar with the procedure for dogs to give blood. We only ask dogs who are over 25kg in weight and not on any medication.  We perform a thorough clinical exam and run a full blood screen on all dogs prior to them donating to ensure that they are in good health.  We clip fur from the neck and place a needle into the jugular vein to collect the blood. Most dogs happily lie comfortably on their side whilst this is being done. The whole procedure only takes about ten minutes and afterwards they can have something to eat and drink and a big fuss.
We like to send all our donors home with a free bag of their normal food as thanks to them and to their owners for their participation.  Dog blood donors really do save lives and we are incredibly grateful.  By the very nature of blood donation we often need to call on our donors at short notice.  We understand owners may not always be available to bring them down and so try to maintain a list of a number of suitable ‘donor’ dogs.
This year we are also planning to run a blood donor session for the Pet Blood Bank.  This works in the same way as human collection does and we organise the premises, donors (and refreshments!) for the Pet Blood Bank to collect blood for their national bank that aids dogs all over the country. They will take blood in exactly the same way as described above here at Hollybank and instead of being used immediately it will be stored by the Pet Blood Bank to help dogs all over the country.
The Pet Blood Bank is a registered charity that was launched in 2007 and has since provided over 10,000 units of blood products and helped save thousands of dogs lives. If you would like your dog to be considered as a donor there are certain criteria that they need to meet.
Donors should:
  • be aged between one and eight years old
  • weigh more than 25kg
  • have a good temperament
  • never have travelled abroad
  • be up to date on all vaccinations
  • be fit and healthy
  • not be on any medication
For any further information or to register your dog as a blood donor please contact Helen McCrorie on 01606 880890 or For more information about the Pet Blood Bank visit
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