Entries by Bronwyn Hayes

A guide to cruelty-free skincare for beginners

With the global move towards consumers becoming more earth-conscious, there seems to be an unprecedented upsurge in the demand for cruelty-free skincare and makeup.  But, what does it mean for a product to be cruelty-free? Are there loopholes? And are all cruelty-free products vegan? Start here if you’re looking to switch to a cruelty-free make-up or skincare routine. What is cruelty-free skincare? For a product to be classified as cruelty-free, it needs to have been manufactured according to a strict system that ensures that it is not tested on animals. In former years, brands were able to get away with classifying […]

Cats and Essential Oils

Our beloved feline companions are very different from most of the other animals under our care. In particular they metabolize and excrete very differently to the rest of us. Their livers do not have a certain enzyme called glucuronyl transferase that humans and dogs have. This enzyme is required in order to be able to metabolize and eliminate some constituents of essential oils. When the cat’s body does not recognize a certain substance, it will store it, until it knows what to do with it. This leads to toxicity. Therefore, it is very important that we familiarize ourselves with which […]

Animal Rights: Victory For Activists As China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets In New Guidelines

China’s agricultural ministry has just removed dogs from the national list of livestock, and has reclassified dogs as pets. The new set of guidelines comes as part of the broader nationwide crackdown on the wildlife industry after the coronavirus pandemic. The move has been welcomed by conservationists who have long campaigned for greater protection of dogs, but some critics have pointed out that legal loopholes for eating dogs may still exist.  Dogs have been dropped from the updated National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources list, and have been reclassified as pets. The species listed in the directory fall under the jurisdiction of […]

The Function of Cat Whiskers

DOMESTIC cats are mostly nocturnal. Whiskers apparently help them to identify nearby objects and catch prey, particularly after dusk. Consider: Cats’ whiskers are attached to tissues that have multiple nerve endings. These nerves are sensitive to even the slightest movement of air. As a result, cats can detect nearby objects without seeing them—obviously an advantage in the dark. Since whiskers are sensitive to pressure, cats use them to determine the position and movement of an object or of prey. Whiskers also help cats to measure the width of an opening before they attempt to go through it. The Encyclopædia Britannica […]

Celebrate National Hug Your Cat Day the Right Way

From the ancient Egyptians to present-day cat lovers, cats are mysterious creatures that have always been symbols of grace and poise. And while their canine counterparts have always had the reputation of being the fun-loving and affectionate ones, cat owners will know that their feline friends are equally lovable and huggable. As such, National Hug Your Cat Day, which takes place on 4th June, is a day dedicated to showing your cat some love in the form of unlimited cuddles – if they allow it, that is. Cats are known for their quirky personalities, which can range from overly affectionate […]

Microbiome science revolutionises pet health

You grab the probiotic yoghurt in the dairy aisle without thinking twice, pop that probiotic capsule every morning with your breakfast, and you know that kombucha tea your sometimes ‘off the beaten track’ friend always offers you, well you’ll take it now, thanks. Why? Two words; gut health.    With extensive research into the overall  health effects of the gut that go far beyond digestion – the gut boosts the immune system, maintains and supports brain and cardiovascular health – the latest trend in digestive health research is the microbiome. The gut microbiome is an ecosystem of organisms, such as bacteria, […]

The big chill: make sure your pets are properly taken care of this winter

Just like people, our pets can feel the cold too. Unfortunately, unlike us, our pets aren’t able to speak out when they’re in pain or sick and, with winter around the corner certain underlying conditions, such as arthritis, and cold weather illnesses like sniffles, can become problematic. “That’s why it’s extremely important to keep your furry family members warm, safe and healthy throughout the next few months so as to prevent any emergency vet visits and unnecessary costs, especially during these uncertain economic times,” explains David Roache, Managing Director of dotsure.co.za. Roache provides the following tips to advise pet parents […]

Montego’s new super-premium Karoo wet food is guaranteed to get tails wagging!

Fur parents are bound to be a lot more popular at mealtime thanks to Montego’s brand-new mouth-watering Karoo wet food range, made with a choice selection of premium ingredients to get their tails wagging for all the right reasons. The range comes in three tantalising flavours: Real Lamb, Rice and Country Vegetables, and Real Ostrich, Potato and Carrots for adult dogs, as well as Real Lamb, Rice and Butternut in Gravy for puppies. And by ‘real’, Montego means real – fresh meats and vegetables, no unhealthy additives and fillers, no fruit and just one healthy grain to ensure all-round nutrition. […]

‘Why is it an essential service?’: Lockdown has not stopped slaughter of endangered sharks

Demersal shark longliners offer few jobs, harm biodiversity The fishing of hundreds of sharks a day is being allowed off Cape shores during lockdown, even though the industry provides relatively few jobs, harms marine biodiversity and offers no food security. “There is scientific data that shows demersal shark longlining is not sustainable. It is not properly enforced but it is taking place under lockdown,” says marine biologist Dr Enrico Gennari. “Why is it an essential service?” asks Gennari, the co-founder of Oceans Research Institute in Mossel Bay. “At most there are about 250 people employed by them. The construction industry employs […]

Dogs trained to protect wildlife have saved 45 rhinos from poachers in South Africa

The dogs, who vary from a beagle to bloodhound, began training from birth before working at 18 months-old at the Southern African Wildlife College in Greater Kruger National Park A pack of dogs that trained to protect wildlife have already saved 45 rhinos from poachers in South Africa. The dogs, who range from a beagle to bloodhound, began training from birth and learnt how to handle all the pressures of real operations before working at 18 months-old. Sean Viljoen, who is based in Cape Town, shared photographs of the dogs in action at the Southern African Wildlife College in Greater […]