Pets & Animals

Living with a pet is rewarding but they need looking after. We give you advice on how to choose an animal companion and the facts about pet insurance. Plus how to build a doghouse step by step, what you need to raise chickens in the backyard and the best ways to pet-proof your home and garden.

Click here to get the full step-by-step instructions for this project. Click here to download the project PDF The frame of the doghouse is made from 70 x 35mm pine, and features a timber floor. The sides are clad with pine boards and a metal roo...
15 Pet Hints

Save money and time with these hints and tips 

1. File claws with sandpaper Most dogs don’t like having their claws filed, but doing so will keep them in good condition and avoid splitting in cold weather.  To ease your dog’s stress about the nail-filing devices used by groomers, cut a smal...
Install A Pet Door
More than half of Australian and New Zealand households have at least one dog or cat as a domestic pet. More and more, animals are becoming part of the family. While it is common to keep larger dogs in the yard for security, most owners also allo...
Choosing Animal Insurance
In Australia and New Zealand, we absolutely love our pets. There are more than 33 million pets across Australia, with 38% of Aussie households owning dogs, 23% owning a cat, and 12% with both. In New Zealand those numbers are even greater, with 58%...
How to build a chook house
Keeping chooks in the backyard has become popular again in recent years as more and more of us have rediscovered the benefits of owning these feathered friends.   Chickens are great fun to have at home and they are fantastically sustainable. Not only...
Healthy Happy Chickens

Ensure your chooks are healthy and happy by following these simple tips

Chooks are fast becoming popular backyard pets as they produce a constant supply of fresh eggs, manure for the garden as well as companionship and education about where food comes from for kids.   Keeping chickens is a fully rewarding experience, but...
Make A Cat Climbing Tree
Keep kitty entertained and save your furniture with this cat climbing tree.  Elaborate multi-level cat trees are popular products in pet stores, but they aren’t cheap and usually can’t be adapted to suit your home.  This DIY play equipment will...
An old-fashioned case isn’t very practical for modern travel but is great as a retro accessory in the home.   They are commonly stacked for a bedside table or used singly as a storage trunk, but this project takes the idea a step further.   This suit...
Setting up a fish tank,

Design an aquarium full of colour to liven up your living room

They’re easy to keep and an attractive tank full of colourful fish doubles as an eye-catching design feature in a room. According to Anthony Ramsey, manager of Auburn Aquarium and Pet Centre,  looking after fish is relatively straightforward, eve...
Backyard Beekeeping

Honey can be harvested when a frame is three-quarters capped with wax

Bees and human beings have co-evolved over many thousands of years and in the last century the relationship has spawned a global industry.  Recent times have seen a boom in urban farming and sustainable living, putting hobby beekeeping firmly back...
Handyman Magazine, DIY, Pets, Build a Chicken Coop,
The aim of a coop is to protect chooks from cold winds in winter and extreme heat in summer plus supply timber perches for roosting and boxes for egg laying. Position the coop under a tree for shade and cover the floor with straw, timber shavings or...
A new house is an expensive dream for most of us, but the same does not have to be true for our four-legged friends.    Use recycled fence palings and roofing, plus inexpensive 42 x 19mm pine and plywood, to build a luxury dog house in a weeken...
A dog playing in the sea with his owner

Pets will give you and your family hours of fun

There’s no doubt living with a pet enriches our existence and brings unquestionable rewards. Animal ownership is a rite of passage for a child, a source of lifelong memories and a comfort to the elderly and those who live alone.   A survey from 2008...
Sussex chickens in a group

Chickens will live a long and healthy life if raised in the right way

Having chickens in the backyard means much more than a daily bounty of fresh eggs.   Free-range chooks keep the garden healthy by aerating soil and fertilising with their manure. They also control garden pests such as slugs and reduce kitchen waste b...
Dog being cleaned with a vacuum cleaner

Take the time out of pampering your pet by following these simple tips

Whether you're having problems with cats making their way onto your dinner table, dogs digging up your lawn or birds escaping their cages, you'll need help keeping your pets under control.  Here's a list of handy tips for looking after your animals s...