Arthritis in pets: a winter warning

THERE is so much to look forward to when it comes to winter; curling up on the couch with your dog or cat on your lap, hot chocolate in hand and a feel-good movie on TV. However, what many pet parents don’t realise is that the colder weather brings existing ailments, such as arthritis, to the forefront.

People with arthritis know first-hand that cold weather worsens their pain and stiffness, and the same applies for pets. This is mainly due to the increased blood flow to the major organs, which is how the body stays warm; however, this also means there’s less blood flowing to the limbs, making the joints colder and stiff.

Unfortunately, with pets, it’s more difficult to tell when they are in pain. While dogs will show physical pain, cats are notorious for hiding injury, pain and illness.

WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS IN PETS?

There are many reasons why your dog or cat could be experiencing joint pain associated with arthritis, explains Dr. Guy Fyvie, Nutritional Advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

• Age — As pet gets older, joint cartilage progressively wears away. While it is much more common in senior pets, younger dogs and cats can suffer from arthritis too.

• Breed — Certain breeds are more prone to developing arthritis. ‘At-risk’ dog breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Germen Shepherds, and Rottweilers. ‘At-risk’ cat breeds include Himalayan, Persian, and Siamese.

• Excess weight — Weight puts additional stress on your pet’s joints and cartilage and increases the risk of pain and arthritis.

POSSIBLE CAUSES

• Accidents or trauma — Trauma to cartilage may lead to arthritis later in life

• Congenital or hereditary defects — Some breeds may have congenital or hereditary conditions that make them more prone to developing arthritis in later life.

DOES MY PET HAVE ARTHRITIS?

Dr. Fyvie says if you notice any of the below warning signs of joint pain in your dog or cat, then your pet may be suffering from arthritis, and you should schedule a consultation with your vet as soon as possible. Addressing the problem early on can spare your pet more aggressive treatments, like surgery. Read on for some of the signs to keep a look out for.

DOGS

• Stiffness, especially after resting

• Hesitation to go up and down stairs

• Lagging during walks or tiring easily

• Preferring to lie down rather than sit or stand

• Whimpering, growling, or snapping when you touch their joints

CATS

• Decreased activity

• Trouble jumping on or off surfaces

• Not using their litter box

• Walking stiffly and limping

• Social reclusiveness — While most cat parents are tuned into the little details and quirks of their cat’s personality, like their ability to open a door or proclivity for attacking feet at night, it can be difficult to determine when behaviours that seem unusual are signs of a deeper health concern.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION IN MANAGING ARTHRITIS

The food your pet eats plays an important role in their overall health and well-being. For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your pet’s arthritis and joint mobility health, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d and mobility range of foods. Made with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d is the only food clinically proven to improve mobility in as little as 21 days.

KEEP YOUR PET’S WEIGHT IN CHECK

“Excess weight puts additional strain on the joints and increases inflammation,” says Dr Fyvie. Maintaining optimum weight should be a priority for all arthritic pets. “The vet will objectively assess weight, recommend nutritional and lifestyle changes, and prescribe pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication as necessary.” A food like Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility can also help to support pets’ joints and help lose extra kilos or maintain a healthy weight.

Source: News 24

Pet lover’s quest to bring stray Mauritian dog to SA

Pietermaritzburg animal lover, Lilisha Chetty, her husband Gavin, her sister Nishana Maharaj and a friend Niven Dhewnarian have embarked on an intensive crowdfunding campaign to bring a stray dog from Mauritius to a forever home in South Africa. The group met the dog, Hanna, while on holiday on the island.

A teary-eyed Chetty, who returned from an emotional seven-day trip, has so far raised R5683 through backabuddy.co.za crowdfunding platform and has invested her own money to bring Hanna home. Chetty, who already has four fur babies of her own, Olaf, Elsa, Anna and Roxy – a PARR rescue dog, will add the sweet Hanna to her family.

Chetty said that Mauritius was such a beautiful island paradise but for animal lovers, the amount of strays is heart wrenching.

“I noticed the stray dogs on my arrival. We fell in love with Hanna and it was evident she really wants an owner. She would creep up behind people and sit beside them. I think she was pretending she had owners. She didn’t know what it was to be petted or cuddled so we had to teach her,” said Chetty.

Described as a gentle soul often shooed away by holidaymakers and resort staff, Hanna developed a bond with Chetty.

“The hotels have strict policies on feeding the animals. I used to smuggle food from the buffet and take Hanna to my veranda to feed her. She is a smart dog who knew my plan. Eventually, when she got used to us, she would walk around with us and sleep on our veranda at night.”

Chetty also discovered a park on the island used as a dumping ground for unwanted dogs. She rescued six dogs and, on the last day of her holiday, spent the last of her currency on 20 bags of food to give to the park caretaker to feed the dogs. Chetty is also working with an organisation in Mauritius called Wellbeing of Strays that is in dire need of funding.

In the past week, Chetty has managed to get Hanna sterilised, dewormed, vaccinated and chipped so that she is ready to make the journey.

“We are waiting for the bloods to be sent to South Africa and then we can arrange her flight. She is currently recovering in foster care. We are hoping to have her here in three weeks,”she said.

Once Hanna’s adoption is concluded, the remaining funds raised will be used to help sterilise as many dogs as possible in Mauritius. “This will be an ongoing effort. A sterilisation camp for 18 dogs will cost about 15 000 Mauritian rupees; converted that is about R5000 and we are planning on doing a few camps a year,”said the passionate dog-lover.

Those considering donating to help Chetty achieve her mission to #bringhannahome can check out more on their Facebook page. You can assist Hanna on www.backabuddy.co.za/bringhannahome

Source: Public Eye

What To Know About Owning A Pet If You Work Full-Time

As it turns out, your parents were right: owning a pet is indeed a big responsibility. Animals require constant love, care, and attention, and having one in your home requires a schedule adjustment and a lot of your time. Of course, many feel that it’s worth it in the end, but still, if you’re thinking of getting a pet, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. This is especially true if you have a full-time job that keeps you out of the house for long hours on a regular basis. It’s absolutely still possible to own a pet (or pets) even with a busy job, but it can also make things a bit tough. There are some things no one ever tells you about having a pet while working full-time that you should be aware of before you get into the situation.

For one thing, it is definitely easier to own pets when you’re not working 40 hours a week — I say this as someone who has three cats and recently went from working full-time in an office to working from home all the time. Being away from your pets for the majority of the day is upsetting for everyone involved: you miss them, they really miss you, and it makes your schedule outside of your job a little bit more hectic.

Luckily, most people can make it work for their lifestyle, it just requires a little bit of extra effort, which (I would say) is worth it in the end. Here are a few things you should know about having a pet while working full-time:

You Should Choose A Pet and Breed Based On Your Working Hours

If you don’t already a pet and you’re thinking of getting one, you might want to choose one based on your hours. If you work a lot, like more than 40 hours a week, with an unpredictable schedule, you might not be able to get a dog at this point in time. Dogs are a lot of maintenance – they need exercise and they need to be taken outside to go to the bathroom. If you’re set on getting a dog, pick a breed that is more low-maintenance, like a Maltese or Boston Terrier. Do some research before getting one.

If you’re open to something other than a dog, cats are much easier to care for even when you’re not home all the time. They don’t require a ton of attention, and thanks to their litter box, don’t need to be taken out to go to the bathroom. Reptiles and fish, as well as other kinds of animals, also might work better for you.

You Need To Build Your Schedule Around Them

Everyone acts like having a pet is all fun and games, but that’s not true. If you’re working full-time, you need to plans all of your non-working hours around your pets. For example: if you want to grab dinner or drinks with friends after work, you will probably need to stop home first to feed or let your animals outside. If you live alone, with no one else to care for the pet, impromptu sleepovers aren’t going to work.

You’ll Probably End Up Spending Extra Money

If you choose to get a more high-maintenance pet and you work a lot, you might have to pay someone to take care of them throughout the day. Dogs shouldn’t really be kept inside for more than eight hours a day, and some can’t be in alone for that long. This is especially true if they are puppies who aren’t totally trained yet. You might need to hire a dog walker or someone who can come by and let them out and feed them. That’s not exactly cheap!

You Need A Pet Emergency Contact Number

No matter what kind of pet you have, you should have someone you know you can call if you need something at the last minute. For example: if you have to stay super late at work, and you need someone to feed your cats, is there anyone who can drop by your house and do that? If you know you’re not going to make it home in time to take your dog out, can someone do it for you? Have at least one person in mind and talk to them about it beforehand. This can give you more peace of mind.

It’s Harder To Notice If They Aren’t Feeling Well

The downside to working full-time while having a pet is that you don’t get to spend as much time with them. Because of this, it’s easy to ignore signs that they aren’t feeling well, or to not notice that they’re doing something out of the ordinary. You might miss signs that they are sick or that’s something wrong, which definitely isn’t ideal. Make sure to keep a close eye on them when you’re around.

They Are Going To Feel A Bit Lonely

Most pets generally like to be around people, especially their owners! If your pet is home alone all day long, they might start to feel a bit lonely or depressed (this is another reason why you’ll want to be careful with certain breeds of dogs and cats). Even if your pet doesn’t need to be taken out during the day, you might want to hire someone to do it anyway just so they don’t get too depressed.

You Might Want To Consider Getting Them A Friend

Because your pets could start to feel bummed out about being alone, you might want to consider getting another pet to keep them company. Yes, that’s taking on a lot, but it’s something people do quite often. I have three cats, and they have each other to hang out with while my fiance and I aren’t around. My parents have a dog, and she’s the only pet there — she’s pretty lonely without anyone all day, and gets so excited when they come home that it’s a little sad.

You’ll Feel Guilty

Millions of people leave their pets at home while they work all day long. It happens every single day. As long as you’re around the rest of the time and taking care of them the right way, you have nothing to feel bad about. You’re not doing anything wrong! That said, you still might feel guilty every morning as you leave for the day and they stare at you with sad eyes. It’s hard to avoid!

You’re Better Off With A Set Routine

A strict routine is better for your pet and for you. It keeps everything organized and it can help give both of you peace of mind. Make sure you’re feeding them at the same time every morning and night, and set up little rituals that you do every day with them. Routines can be comforting!

You’re Going To Miss Them A Lot

Honestly, it stinks to leave your pets alone all day! While your life probably won’t revolve around them completely, you will find yourself missing them while you’re sitting at work.

Source: Bustle

Yulin Dog-eating Festival 2018: In China dogs are vilified.. but attitudes are changing.

BRITAIN’S biggest animal welfare charity is waging a hearts and minds campaign to end the horrors of the notorious Yulin dog-eating festival. The RSPCA says it is helping to fuel a backlash against the event that has become a byword for cruelty by changing China’s attitude towards animals.

Chinese teachers are at the heart of the campaign, learning how to pass on to their students a deeper understanding of how animals should be treated with kindness.

Over the last year, more than 600 teachers – 200 from the same region as Yulin – have been on animal welfare awareness programmes run by the RSPCA’s international department.

With horrific images emerging this week showing dogs being butchered and blow-torched in a filthy Yulin slaughter house, global pressure is mounting on the Chinese authorities to act.

Yet seasoned campaigners against the Far East’s dog-eating traditions have long known that pressures for change have to come from within the country rather than being enforced by international condemnation.

By working with Chinese teachers, the RSPCA says it can now hear voices joining the chorus of criticism against the dog meat trade.

Paul Littlefair, head of the RSPCA’s international department, said today: “This improvement in attitudes to animal welfare in China has been unprecedented – almost a revolution. The tone has definitely changed, and people are becoming increasingly outspoken about their love for animals and their distaste for cruelty.

“While it is disheartening and very frustrating to see cruelty continue in China, there’s a wider context. An extremely dynamic debate has emerged within the country about the dog meat trade and other individual examples of cruelty which is being aired largely through social media. We’ve seen this debate evolve over the past two decades.

“That’s reflected in events such as the controversial Yulin Festival, which has polarised public opinion and become an embarrassment not only to the authorities in Beijing but also to many Chinese citizens in Guangxi itself.”

Two decades ago, dogs were regarded by Chinese officials as a threat to public order, leaving the animals vilified and often mistreated. Today, 10 per cent of Chinese households have dogs as pets.

There was widespread outrage earlier this year on state and social media when a police officer beat a dog to death.

With more than 50 million dogs kept as pets, enlightened regional authorities are introducing progressive, dog-friendly programmes. Students are being taught the importance of responsible pet ownership, with the RSPCA’s teacher support courses complementing the Chinese curriculum.

One teacher from a secondary school in Pingxiang, a town in the same region as Yulin, has taken part in two of the recent courses.

Mrs Nong Haizhen said: “The RSPCA’s training taught me so much about the needs of other animals and our responsibilities towards them, how we should be kind and not harm them simply to satisfy our own needs.

“In the classroom, children learn about responsible pet ownership and showing kindness to stray dogs. We’re working to transform our attitudes towards and treatment of animals, to build a more compassionate and animal-friendly, modern society.”

The RSPCA’s international department reports how teachers taking the courses are keen to reflect the revulsion felt by many over the dog-meat trade, particularly as it often involves the theft of family pets.

There are also hopes that China will soon adopt the kind of legislation the RSPCA campaigned for more than a decade ago for the UK’s Animal Welfare Act.

Mr Littlefair added: “Our work with teachers in China and supportive comments from government officials show there’s real appetite for a kinder, more empathetic approach to the treatment of animals.

“We hope to see this translate into the passage of the country’s first ever animal protection law soon, and recent official statements on the prospects for this are certainly encouraging.”

Source: express.co.uk

‘Planet Earth’ Host Urges Everyone To Leave A Spoonful Of Sugar And Water In Their Yard To Save Humanity

Bees are seen as one of humanity’s biggest enemies, and yet they help to keep us alive.

You don’t have to be a tree hugger to respect the environment that you live in.

For two million years, before the agricultural revolution, humans foraged the land and brought thousands of species of animals to extinction.

 We can say that millions of years ago we didn’t know better, but now we do.

Bees are pollinators, and without them, we wouldn’t be alive. They are responsible for feeding 90% of the world’s population.

David Attenborough, the voice behind The Blue Planet and Planet Earth, warns “if bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humans would have just four years to live.”

That may become a reality at the rate things are going.

In a heartfelt Instagram post, the 92-year-old documentary maker shared that “in the last five years, the bee population has dropped by 1/3.”

There is a way to make a difference.

Attenborough says by leaving a teaspoon of sugar and water in your garden or lawn, you can help to rehydrate them when they’re tired.

“This time of year bees can often look like they are dying or dead, however, they’re far from it. Bees can become tired and they simply don’t have enough energy to return to the hive which can often result in being swept away. If you find a tired bee in your home, a simple solution of sugar and water will help revive an exhausted bee. Simply mix two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach.”

In turn, these bees are going to give you health and happiness!

Source: SHARED By Moojan | 

 

7 Important things to consider when choosing the right pet to adopt

A pet is a lifetime commitment, as in, the pet’s lifetime, and is not a decision that should be taken lightly or made impulsively.

So, you’ve made the decision to adopt a pet – good for you!

Now, it’s just a case of choosing the right pet to suit your lifestyle and circumstances – an important decision all of its own! All too often we see pets being neglected or given up for adoption because they are inconvenient or do not fit well into the owner’s life.

Taking time to research your options, before making an adoption decision, is one of the most important things to do, and will set you up for a fulfilling relationship with your new pet.

The Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (PFI) has compiled the below list of considerations to help you decide on what type of pet to bring into your home:

  1. Personal preference and history: To start with, it’s important to be clear on what type of pets interest you and which do not. Often this is influenced by one’s history – the pets they may have grown up with and the relationship that they had with those pets. Also consider your own preferences now and what sort of consequences of the pet you’re willing to live with – would you be happy to have a litter box in your house that needs to be cleaned regularly? Can you live with pet hair on your furniture? Are you sensitive to noise or will a certain level of barking be acceptable to you? Do your allergies allow you to live in harmony with the pet? These are all indicators that will not only lead you to a specific type of pet, but perhaps a certain breed too.
  2. Space: What is your living arrangement like, how much space does it allow and is it secure? Based on this you should pick a pet that can happily exist in the space available. If you are renting, be sure that your lease allows for you to keep pets.
  3. Time availability: do you have ample time at your disposal to focus on your pet? Regular play is very beneficial for both cats and dogs and training and regular walks a must for most dogs (especially those more active breeds and types). Limited availability may mean a more independent cat or fish is more suitable.
  4. Level of activity: are you able to incorporate more strenuous activity and exercise into your routine, which more active breeds of dog, for example, require? Or would a less active breed or cat be more suitable?
  5. Budget: pets do not come cheap. Aside from the adoption fee that most shelters charge there is the ongoing expense of health care and veterinary checkups, grooming, routine pest control, food, toys and pet insurance to consider. Feeding a registered pet food that meets your pet’s nutritional requirements is essential for longevity and good health. Find a brand that suits your budget, confirming they’re a member of the PFI to ensure you’re feeding the best that you can afford – a brand that has committed to producing safe, nutritious pet food.
  6. Family dynamic: It’s very important that the entire family is on board when deciding to get a pet, as they will no doubt need to help out with raising the pet from time to time. Whether or not you have or plan to have children may also influence the type of pet you decide to adopt. Also consider your future plans and desires to ensure that this is indeed the right time to be getting a pet.
  7. Knowledge and understanding: It’s a good idea to research the type of pet and breed that you’re considering. There’s a great deal of information available, which will aid you in understanding your future pet’s unique needs and make it easier to commit to their general life expectancy. The better equipped and prepared you are to meet these needs, the more relaxed and settled your pet is likely to be.

A pet is a lifetime commitment, as in, the pet’s lifetime, and is not a decision that should be taken lightly or made impulsively.

Source: South Coast Herald

WHISKAS® scoops coolest pet food award, and we are paw-sitively ecstatic!

MYTH BUSTED: YOUR DOG’S BAD BREATH ISN’T ACTUALLY NORMAL

Why their oral health is as important as yours

While your pooch’s breath may never smell like a bunch of roses, if it carries a pong that makes you want to pass out, something’s amiss and your dog could actually have gum disease. Sadly, your canine can’t tell you if something is wrong, so it’s up to you as a pet owner to get to the bottom of what’s causing the odour.

Research shows that 4 out of 5 of dogs over the age of three years have gum disease, caused by plaque and tartar build-up around the gum line. The good news is this stat can be reduced by an effective dental care routine.

“So many dog owners forget to check the condition of their pet’s teeth. Bad breath is often ‘brushed over’, when in fact, if left untreated, can lead to the deterioration of your dog’s health and standard of life. That is where PEDIGREE® DentaStix™ comes to the rescue – it’s a cleverly formulated daily chew to help you keep your dog’s teeth clean and reduces plaque build-up,” says Ashleigh Sanderson, Senior Brand Manager, Dog Portfolio.

But how can dog owners tell if their dog has gum disease, besides checking for bad breath?

Some other underlying clues include red, inflamed or bleeding gums, a receding gum line and tooth root exposure, loose teeth, calculus (tartar) build up and in severe cases, a change in eating behaviour – such as preferring softer foods, or chewing more on one side of the mouth.

PEDIGREE® DentaStix™ is recommended by vets and can be introduced as a morning or evening cleaning routine that you have with your dog. So, when you brush your teeth, they can chomp on PEDIGREE® DentaStix™ – what could be easier?

The chew has a unique X-shape and a mildly abrasive texture, with active ingredients, that when fed to your dog daily, is scientifically proven to reduce the build-up of plaque at the gum line, where it matters most. What’s more, they are low in fat, free of artificial colour and sugar and contain real meat flavour for added deliciousness.

Other tips to keep your dog’s teeth healthy include:

  • Making sure your dog has an oral health examination at your vet at least once a year
  • Training your dog, ideally as a puppy, to get him/her used to having teeth brushed, using a canine-specific toothpaste and a toothbrush
  • Making sure to provide chews, toys and treats that are safe – many people don’t realise that bones, stones, sticks and tennis balls can damage a dogs teeth or gums

“Your dog uses his teeth for much more than just eating. He uses them where we would use our hands – to hold, carry and play. From licking to leaning in, dogs have a special way of giving affection to their owners, and now you can now say goodbye to smelly breath and unhealthy teeth and gums and enjoy your pet at its best,” says Sanderson.

PEDIGREE® DentaStix™ are available in most retailers and are made for small, medium and large breed dogs. They are scientifically proven to help reduce tartar build-up by up to 80%. This chewy treat is not suitable for young puppies under 4 months.

Source: WHISKAS®

 

Working like a Dog

Tips for Dog-friendly Offices and Employees

Working in a fast-paced office environment can be demanding and when that third cup of coffee just doesn’t seem to reign your enthusiasm back in, it maybe time to consider introducing this strategy that’s all the rage – and with good reason!   

An increasing number of businesses are becoming dog-friendly to reap the plethora of associated benefits that pets provide to humans, especially in the work environment, such as:

  • attracting millennial workers
  • retaining top talent
  • improving employee morale
  • improving employee health and wellbeing
  • enhancing staff’s work-life balance
  • spurring creative collaboration in the workplace

Read on to discover how you can make your workplace a warm, welcoming space for dogs and employees alike!

Getting your Landlord and Employees Onboard

Before initiating anything, acquire approval from the relevant authorities in your office as well as the building landlord to secure your vision for a dog-friendly workplace. In a democratic and collaborative workplace, it’s important to openly discuss the implementation of impending policies with your employer as well as fellow employees. While most people love pets, some may have their reservations about working in such an environment. To make sure you have everyone onboard, strike a formal or informal conversation through the office grapevine, a company meeting or even a short survey. Finding out how open your colleagues are to this change, allows you to become better equipped to gradually introduce a dog-friendly policy within the organisation which can ultimately have a positive impact on everyone.

 

Guidelines for a Dog-Friendly Workplace                      

Once the aspiring vote is unanimous, it’s important to transcribe it into a formal policy document so that it is readily accessible for everyone to read in case they have any queries or confusions.

  Aspects to be covered in the policy should specify:

  • exactly the types of animals permitted in the workspace
  • vetting criteria for office pets
  • office rules and regulations that pets and owners must abide by
  • designated areas where pets are permitted and not permitted in the workspace
  • specific reasons for rescinding pet privileges

By implementing the following guidelines, you can fully prepare your workplace and colleagues to welcome man’s best friend with open arms:

  • Procure the necessary supplies such as trays, water bowls, mats, toys, cleaning items and beds – while pet owners should be expected to bring their own pet supplies, it is important to ensure the availability of general items that can be used by all canines.
  • Dog-proof your officeare there any areas in your workplace that maybe of danger to dogs? Be sure to check electricity and wiring connections, garbage disposal areas and places that can be potentially harmful for visiting hounds. Ensure that these concerns are addressed before you start inviting pets into the space.
  • Create dedicated workspaces and interaction timeshaving cute and lovable pooches walking around the office can be distracting to say the least! If your office is spacious enough, you should ideally create pet zones featuring kennels and play areas where owners can interact with their dogs during designated times. However, for smaller offices with space constraints, you can demarcate areas where dogs are allowed.
  • Make use of the space outside the officeexplore areas such as rooftops, terraces and patios adjoining your workspace to build play areas for pooches where they can get fresh air and exercise. Some dogs may not enjoy being confined indoors for long periods, so this could be the ideal solution for them.

Turning your office into a dog-friendly zone is worth all the pedantic preparation. Be ready to make any changes in case you feel there’s anything that can be improved upon to make this experience even more enjoyable for pet owners, their loyal companions as well as pet-less colleagues.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

——————————————————————————————

Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Keep pets warm this winter

With winter temperatures settling in Cape Town, the pets of the Khayelitsha township are feeling the effects. The team at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic have, for the third year in a row, created an easy way for the public to help keep these pets warm.

“We are excited to launch this year’s Wagging Winter Shoebox Drive. We know that the public wants to help the township pets in winter but does not always know how to do so. With this drive you can choose which pet you wish to help and pack a shoebox filled with goodies to keep them warm this winter,” says Marcelle du Plessis, fundraising and communications manager.

During winter the Mdzananda Animal Clinic is packed to the brim, she says, with pets that need medical assistance increasing during this time.

“Many township pets are not allowed into homes even when it is cold and raining outside. Many do not have kennels or any form of shelter and as a result the number of pets in hypothermic states arriving at our doors increases,” says Du Plessis.

“We are however happy to announce that we have seen an increase in community members investing in kennels for their furry friends. The clinic has also, in partnership with the Purple Kennel Project, been able to hand out a number of kennels for pets needing shelter. We will also be hosting a kennel building event on Mandela Day.”

During winter the clinic also sees an increase in animals with broken bones as people’s caution on the roads tends to decrease in rainy weather, resulting in animals being run over by cars.

With the Wagging Winter Shoebox Drive you can help one pet stay warm at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic this winter. “Not everyone has the funds to donate towards looking after a pet but many people are able to pack a shoebox full of goodies,” says Du Plessis.

The steps in packing your shoebox are easy:

1. Find a shoebox (or any box)

2. Choose which pet you would like to pack for (puppy, kitten, dog or cat)

3. Pack it full of goodies for your chosen pet

4. Drop it off at one of the drop spots

Goods suggested for placement in boxes include Hills A/D tinned food for recovering pets, Milko Pup or Kitty Milk for bottle-fed puppies and kittens, soft food, pellet food, a hot water bottle or heating beanbag, blankets, washing powder to wash blankets, a roll of black bags for daily disposal of dirty newspaper cage lining, leads and collars, chewy treats, catnip treats and cat litter.

The drop spots to deliver your shoeboxes include:

  • Mdzananda Animal Clinic, 21297 Govan Mbeki Road, Khayelitsha
  • 2A Pavilion Place, 281 Beach Road, Sea Point (24h security)
  • Mowbray Veterinary Clinic, 84 Durban Road
  • Woodstock: Contact Kerry-Lee on 082 297 6048
  • Capri Village: Contact Debora on 082 3666 726
  • Constantia Hills/Tokai: Contact Ann on 082 414 4771
  • Higgovale/Oranjezicht: Contact Stefanie on 082 390 1670

For more information, visit the Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s website at www.mdzananda.co.za.

Source: News 24

This ‘Uber for pets’ now has hundreds of SA minders to watch your pet – after nearly being a babysitting service

Tumi Menyatswe founded Minderz in 2016 after watching friends struggle to find trustworthy babysitters for their children.

“The initial idea was to provide a reliable service, predominantly for single mothers, to get someone to lend them an extra hand,” she tells Business Insider South Africa.

This would give the mothers peace of mind as they ran errands, or provide the option of someone else to fetch the kids if a parent got stuck.

But thanks to regulation pertaining to working with children – strict regulations – actually running such a service turned out not to be viable. Among other requirements, according to the Children’s Act, a person working with children needs to apply for a police clearance certificate.

With the risks around the all-too-common kidnapping of and violence against children, as well as the costs involved in ensuring compliance with the regulation, Manyetswa had to rethink her business model.

“I did my research and saw that there was a need for pet care when people travel.”

Minderz now has 600 pet minders ready to house-sit, check on pets daily, and walk your dog while you are away. Much like Uber, the platform connects pet owners with minders in their vicinity.

The prerequisite to being a minder is that one must love animals, must have owned a pet before, and ideally should have volunteered at an animal shelter and have a year of pet-sitting experience.

“The people must genuinely care about pets and must have an understanding and sensitivity of what goes into their care,” says Manyetswa.

The company is based in Cape Town, with a few minders in Johannesburg, and smaller groups each in Durban and Pretoria.

Source: Business Insider