Live Animals Policy

How we care for our animals at Maxi Zoo.

Question 1: What facilities does Maxi Zoo have in their stores to ensure species appropriate living environments?

Answer 1:  At Maxi Zoo we ensure that our livestock and XXL stores have top of the range animal housing environments with the following dimensions:

We supply for following size units for our small animals in our store:

  • Rabbit unit: 1400x1275x900mm
  • Small animal unit (suitable for rats, guinea pigs & degus; 2 to 4 animals depending on size and age): 1200x600x900mm divided into two units
  • Small animal unit (suitable for hamsters & Gerbils) :1200x400x500mm divided into two units

 Additional note:

  • All animal housing units are decorated to ensure that we provide environmental enrichment to all species sold in our stores
  • At Maxi Zoo we do not house different species in the same units
  • Each of our XXL stores also have a specialised quarantine room, where we can provide care and treatment to any animal that may become ill in our stores
  • Each of our XXL stores have an on call Veterinary surgeon or Veterinary nurse
  • Our XXL stores are heat regulated to ensure that the floor temperature does not drop below a certain level

Question 2: How does Maxi Zoo decide what kind of small animals are for sale in their stores?

Answer 2: Maxi Zoo will only stock a small selection of domesticated small animals; in order for the animals to be housed in our store we must have the species appropriate living environment for that animal. That is why you might have noticed we don’t have species like

  • Chinchillas
  • Chipmunks
  • Sugar gliders

in our store, as we don’t have the correct living environment for them on the shop floor.

Research also shows that some small animal species (such as chipmunks and sugar gliders) can become stressed in a domesticated environment and need very specialized care.

Maxi Zoo only stock species that do well in domesticated situations so no unnecessary stress comes to the animals.

Question 3: What kind of small animals does Maxi Zoo stock?

Answer 3: We stock a small selection of small animal species such as

  • Rabbits
  • Guineas pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Gerbils
  • Degus

Question 4: What kind of fish does Maxi Zoo stock?

Answer 4: We stock a wide selection of fish from different areas of the world such as

  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa

Question 5: Where do our animals come from?

Answer 5: Maxi Zoo Ireland is committed to ensuring that we only deal with reputable, ethical and welfare conscious breeders when sourcing our livestock. A number of steps are carried out before we register a breeder.

The breeder’s premise is inspected to ensure that it meets Maxi Zoo welfare standards.

Subsequent inspections are then carried out to ensure standards are being kept.

We develop a good working relationship with our breeders, and with good lines of communication we maintain high animal welfare standards.

Fish: our fish come from reputable wholesaler and breeder in Europe.

Small animals:  our small animals come from local hobbyists breeders.

Maxi Zoo Ireland do not buy animals from the public to ensure 100% traceability, we also cannot risk the health of our animals by mixing different sources.

Question 6: How does Maxi Zoo monitor the animal’s welfare before they come to the store?

Answer 6: We have many standards set in place that ensure that the animals’ welfare is being met at all times

  • Animals are only permitted to be delivered to the store when they have reached an appropriate age- different  ages for individual species
  • Animals must be in a good condition and of good body weight
  • Breeding facility is of the highest standard
  • Breeding stock are rotated with adequate resting times
  • Breeders are in regular contact with their Veterinary surgeon

Question 7: What happens when new animals are delivered to our store?

Answer 7:

Small animals:  when a store receives a delivery of small animals the following steps are taken

  • Each delivery is recorded to ensure the welfare of the animals during transport
  • We check to ensure the transport units are clean, well ventilated and have a fresh supply of water if travel time is longer that 2 hours
  • We check to ensure different species are not mixed in transport units
  • Each animal is then checked over fully by one of the animal care team to ensure the below areas are clean and clear:
  • We check the animal’s coat make sure it free from parasites and debris
  • We check the animal’s eye, ear, bum, and hocks for discharge or coat discoloration
  • We check the animal’s teeth for over growth and alignment issues
  • We check the animal’s body weight; some animals are weighed so they can be monitored
  • We handle the animal to assess their temperament and monitor closely their behaviour for signs of stress

Fish:  when a store receives a delivery of fish the following steps are taken

  • Each delivery is recorded to ensure the welfare of the fish during transport
  • We check to ensure the transport bags are clean
  • We check the temperature of the transport units to ensure they are at the appropriate level for the species in the unit
  • Our fish house care team will then carry out the following steps when acclimatising new fish to the aquarium display
  • The aquarium display lights are dimmed to reduce stress of the fish
  • Each species is checked in the transport bag for signs of illness or stress
  • Each bag is then opened &  placed into the aquarium display to help regulate the water temperature (left for a minimum of 20 minutes)
  • The fish are then gently introduced into the tank

Additional note:  Maxi Zoo doesn’t sell any livestock (including fish) on the day of their delivery; a minimum of 24 hours no sale policy is placed on all newly delivered livestock to ease the animals’ amount of stress

 Question 8: How does Maxi Zoo ensure high welfare and care standards?

Answer 8: At Maxi Zoo we have a daily animal care and husbandry schedule which includes the following

  • All animals are health checked daily
  • All livestock is fed daily with species appropriate diets
  • All animals are handled regularly
  • Keep an eye on our staff pockets!  You may spot little critters such as well-sociable rats just hanging around
  • All environment housing units are deep cleaned weekly and spot cleaned daily
  • Each of our XXL stores has an on call Veterinary surgeon or Veterinary nurse available should there be any need
  • We also invite the store Veterinary surgeon to do animal care and husbandry inspections

Question 9: What happens when an animal becomes ill in our store?

Answer 9: There are a number of steps taken in the event of animal becoming ill in one of our stores

  • The ill animal is taken to our specialised quarantine room
  • It will them receive additional heat (ill animals are unable to regulate the body temperature)
  • The store Veterinary surgeon is then contacted as well as our company Livestock Manager
  • Veterinary treatment and instruction is carried out
  • Animal is then assessed again by the vet before it is fit for sale
  • In the unlikely event where an animal is seriously ill and Veterinary treatment is unable to ensure full recovery, the decision will be made to have the animal humanely euthanized to avoid unnecessary pain and distress

Question 10: How does Maxi Zoo make sure that you go home with the right pet for you?

Answer 10: At Maxi Zoo our staff are trained to help you make the right decision when thinking about sharing your life with an animal.  They will ask the following type questions to gain more knowledge of your lifestyle and what commitment you are able to give to your new friend.

  • Is the animal for you or for a child?
  • If you’re buying an animal for a child, what age is the child?
  • What kind of hours do you work?
  • Do you have other pets at home?
  • What budget will be available for the care and husbandry for your new pet?
  • Will the animal be living indoors or outdoors?
  • If living outdoors, do you have adequate housing?
  • If living indoors, is everyone in the household comfortable with the pet?
  • Does anyone in the household suffer from allergies to hay, straw, pet hair or dander?
  • Are you aware of the life span of the pet you are choosing?

Maxi Zoo has a sale of animal policy.  Under this policy our staff have the right to refuse the sale of animal if they believe the animal welfare is at risk in any way.

Question 11: Why is it better to buy an animal from Maxi Zoo?

Answer 11:

  • Maxi Zoo set the standard of animal care and welfare for pet retailing in Ireland
  • Maxi Zoo had dedicated personnel to ensure highest standard of animal husbandry and care
  • Maxi Zoo only use registered  vetted animal suppliers
  • Maxi Zoo goes above and beyond the animal welfare laws in Ireland and adheres to European law

Question 12: What returns policy on animals does Maxi Zoo provide?

Answer 12:


At Maxi Zoo we do everything we can to ensure that all animals leave our store in top health but fully understand that there are some instances when an animal may die prematurely, and that can be distressing for family members. We want to make this unlikely event as painless as possible while offering the following returns policy:

Small animals

  • Customers must have a valid receipt and copy of ‘Pet Ownership Certificate’
  • Maxi Zoo can only offer a full refund once the cause of death has been determined by a veterinary surgeon. Maxi Zoo will not offer a refund should it be found that the cause of death was due to accidental death or miss care of the animal by the customer
  • It is essential that all care and guidelines given by our staff are followed to ensure the well being of your pet

Question 13: What happens if I buy an animal and they become ill?

Answer 13: At Maxi Zoo we want to ensure that all our animals sold leave our care in good health.

If you should become concerned about your new pet’s health within the first 7 days in your care please follow these steps:

  • Contact the store you purchased the animal from ASAP
  • Describe the illness and symptoms to our staff
  • Our staff will then provide you with the best possible solution for your pet