Walk the Talk – Benefits of Walking your Dog

benefits of walking your dog


If your four-legged buddy is anything like ours, they instantaneously light up on hearing the word “walkies”. Not only is this time of day an enticing adventure for them, but they get to meet up with fellow fuzz friends, experience new smells, sounds and places, expend some much bottled up energy and most importantly, they get to spend quality time with you!

Benefits of Walking your Pooch

  1. Expending Energy: All your pooch’s pent up energy needs to be burnt off somehow and there’s no better solution than a daily walk (or run, depending on their fitness levels). Excess energy often translates into hyperactive or destructive behaviour which can easily be appeased with these simple forms of exercise.
  2. Fortifying your Relationship: Our loyal canine companions love spending quality time with us and daily walks are a special time in which to do this.
    Regular walks also ensure your pooch is getting enough of your undivided attention, so they don’t engage in attention-seeking habits, such as nipping, barking and jumping, that may cause some vexation on your part.

  3. Training Time: Regular walks are a resourceful way to reinforce your pooch’s training techniques, work on commands like “heel” and “fetch” along with getting them accustomed to walking on a loose leash as opposed to dragging you along behind them.
  4. Socialisation Sessions: When you’re out and about walking your dog, it’s a great opportunity for the both of you to meet likeminded people and fellow canine critters. It’s a constructive way to strengthen your dog’s social skills, boosting their confidence and making walking endeavours in the future more pleasant for the both of you.
  5. Increases their Trust in you: You’re bound to come across some daunting experiences on a walk or two. Perhaps your pooch is intimidated by an approaching rambunctious dog or child or a loud siren from an ambulance driving past… If you comfort them in a calm and patient manner, your furry friend will come to realise you are there for them and this will certainly reinforce their trust in you, as their pet parent.
  6. Encourages physical and mental stimulation: Some breeds are more inclined to get bored with lack of exercise and company than others. There are many toy puzzles and inventions one can use to keep their pooch entertained whilst you’re out for the day, but nothing seals the deal like a good old-fashioned walk to get the joints oiled up, the blood flowing, and the brain cells incited.
  7. Reduces Roaming Tendencies: Dogs are explorative little souls and once they’ve grown accustomed to their familiar surrounding area, they eventually wish to explore further, which is especially true for unneutered dogs. Regular walks can satisfy their exploratory needs thereby reducing their natural inclination to roam.
  8. Digestive System Support: Walking kicks the body into gear and this includes your dog’s digestive system, aiding digestion of food and the relief of constipation and other gastrointestinal issues.
  9. Weight issues: As dogs age, their metabolisms slow down and if they aren’t kept active, they will gain weight which can lead to many health ailments down the line. By keeping to a regular walking schedule, your pooch will either shed those unwanted extra kilos or maintain their current slim physique.
  10. Arthritic Pain Management: A daily walking routine ensures that joints are kept agile, either reducing any pain associated with arthritis or preventing the development thereof.

If you and your pooch are not used to being walked, start off with shorter, slower walks and gradually increase the pace and distance as you and your canine companion get fitter together.

Puppy Walking Guidelines

Research has proven that the growth plates of puppies don’t close until approximately 12 months of age, although this varies somewhat depending on the breed concerned. Until such an age, it’s strongly advised to limit the intensity and frequency of exercise-related activities before the growth plates have fused properly. Failing this, your poochlet could stand an increased chance of developing elbow dysplasia or Osteochondritis Dessicans which is a deformity in the growth of cartilage that can ultimately result in lameness.

As a rule of thumb, the length of time walking your pup is recommended by the following formula:

Number of months the pup is in age x 5 = Duration (in minutes) of pup’s walk

For example: A 2month old pup multiplied by 5 should only be walked 10-minutes a day, while a 6month old pup multiplied by 5 can be walked 30-minutes a day.

Please note: The term “walking” here refers to strolling, not power-walking or running.

At the end of the day, you know your puppy’s capabilities, although it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult with your veterinarian regarding the amount of daily exercise your specific breed requires. For instance, a hyperactive Jack Russel may require a fair share more activity than a puppy Bulldog.

Dog-friendly Walking Spots around South Africa

Safety First:
Always chat to someone who is familiar with the area you are opting to walk in. They will know the safest routes. Remember, when you are adventuring in nature, you may often be alone, without any nearby help so proceed at your own risk and take the necessary precautions.

Western Cape

Kwa-Zulu Natal

  • Salmon Bay Beach, Ballito
  • Alfred Park, New Germany
  • Glenholme Nature Reserve, Kloof
  • Umhlanga Lighthouse Beach, Umhlanga


Eastern Cape

  • Chintsa East, East London
  • Bonza Bay, East London
  • Hogsback Forest, Hogsback
  • Blue Water Bay, Mazeppa Bay
  • Mazeppa Beach, Mazeppa Bay
  • Oyster Bay Beach, Oyster Beach
  • East and West Beach, Port Alfred
  • King’s Beach, Port Elizabeth
  • Sacramento Trail, Port Elizabeth
  • The Haven Beach, Wild Coast
  • Second Beach, Port St. Johns


Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson



Dog fighting- Now punishable with a prison sentence!

dog fighting now punishable by prison sentence

Dog fighting is a terrible blood hungry sport in which dogs are forced to fight one another for entertainment and profitable purposes. It’s one of the most horrific forms of animal cruelty, because dogs are typically raised in isolation, so they spend most of their lives in short heavy chains. These four-legged victims of abuse are forced to take steroids and their ears are cut off in cruel ways to avoid opponents from grabbing them during a fight.

The most common breed being used in these unthinkably cruel activities are Pit Bulls. These dogs have to endure pain and suffering, while the blood-thirsty spectators and abusers cheer for every fresh wound, broken bone and punctured lung. The brutalities continue for hours and some of the dogs eventually die in their battle against humanity.

dog fighting now punishable by prison sentence

Is there any justice for the brutality?

To date, proper punishment for these horrific acts was extremely unsatisfactory with perpetrators often merely walking away with nothing but a fine. Last week however saw a big win for the NSPCA and SAPS. Two culprits accused of involvement in the organising of dog flights got handed a sentence of direct imprisonment without suspension or the option of a fine. These two, together with 7 other suspects tried to evade the NSPCA inspectors and SAPD after arranging a vicious dog flight on 22 June 2018.

Honourable Magistrate P. Lourens who handed down the sentence said that, “It is necessary that this evil be addressed- because this, is evil” and that “we have reached a level of civilisation and constitutional values where a clear message has to be sent out to the people who want to commit these heinous and barbaric acts, that they will be punished and not just acknowledged”.

We could not be happier and our joy is echoed by the President of the Pit Bull Federation of South Africa (PBFSA), Jeanette Erasmus who said, “This is the best news”.

The court case against the remaining seven accused continues on the 13th of November.

Can abused Pit Bulls be rehabilitated?

Sure, with the right love and care a Pit Bull can be saved from their trauma and neglected past.

Meet Ruth, a Pit Bull saved from a dog fight.

Ruth suffered from heavy injuries to her face and neck. Her one ear was also torn apart. According to the gentleman who saved her, Ruth was like a baby that needed to be handled with love, care and lots of patience. That’s exactly what he did!

Here’s what the poor pooch looked before her recovery:

dog fighting now punishable by prison sentence

Check out the video here: Ruth before recovery.

Here’s what she looks like now:

dog fighting now punishable by prison sentence

Check out the video here: Ruth after recovery

After Ruth’s 28-day rehabilitation, she found a loving home. She’s now the queen of the house. Her new family gives her the life she’s always deserved. Her day is filled with face-licks, snuggles and treats.

Aww…we love happy endings!

What can you do to help our precious Pit Bulls?

It’s not an easy fight! We don’t always have the resources or knowledge to combat animal cruelty. We can however educate ourselves and report dog fighting, if we come across such brutalities.

Look out for the following signs:

  • Pit Bulls on chains in small spaces.
  • Residents with multiple unsterilized Pit bulls that look aggressive.
  • Pit Bulls with scars, especially on their faces and ears.
  • Purpose built fighting pits or square makeshift fighting areas with blood stains on the floors.
  • Regular change in dogs at specific properties. As dogs are killed, new one’s are purchased.

If you witness or hear of dog fighting, please contact the NSPCA at 011 907 3590 or pop them a mail at [email protected]. Don’t worry, your identity will remain YOURS! Reporting is 100% anonymous.

dog fighting now punishable by prison sentence



4-day-old orphaned piglet finds home at SPCA Farmyard

piglet finds home SPCA farmyard

Jack the piglet

Jack the 4-day-old piglet was found as a stray and taken to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, he has been a light for everyone that has met him on the farmyard.

Piglets are the cutest little farm animals around, they make cute noises, wiggle their little bottoms and curly tails, and run around like dogs. They are sweet natured and highly intelligent creatures and to be honest, they just make us flipping happy!

So when we saw the adorable video posted on the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Facebook page, we couldn’t help but squeal with excitement. They recently took in a tiny orphaned piglet, just four days old, that had been found as a stray. They named him Jack and started his care programme.

We got in contact with the SPCA and checked in on how Jack is doing.

“He was found as a stray – we are feeding him every 2hrs – he is just 4 days old. He is being babysat by our amazing Horse Care and Farmyard Unit Manager Lindsay Willis.”

He is currently being fed a mixture of cow’s milk, egg yolk, honey and probiotics every 2 hours to make him strong and healthy. As any little piggy would, Jack loves eating.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has a specialised farm where they keep all the animals that need healing and care. Our awesome contact at the SPCA let us know they are also looking after an orphaned foal at the moment.

You can watch Jack devouring his meal below. He is just the cutest!

Meet Jack – our orphan piglet

Hold on to your hearts people!We have an amazing new addition to our farmyard.Jack is an orphaned 4 day old little piglet who is being lovingly cared for by our amazing Farmyard Manager Lindsay.

Posted by Cape of Good Hope SPCA on Thursday, 8 November 2018





Somalia’s cheetah smuggling ring

Somalia's cheetah smuggling ring

Cheetah cubs rescued in Somaliland, which is on the trafficking route from East Africa to countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are cared for at a centre in Hargeisa set up by Namibia’s Cheetah Conservation Fund.(Laura Orozco)

Africa’s big cats are being trafficked to rich households in the Middle East who want ‘something more exotic’

Dubai — Campaigners are calling for urgent cross- border action to halt the illegal trafficking of cheetah cubs from the Horn of Africa into wealthy Gulf states, where the animals are kept as pets and traded and paraded on social media sites.

In the past two months, 11 cheetah cubs have been rescued in three raids by the authorities in Somaliland, an autonomous region inside Somalia, which has become a main trafficking route for cheetahs out of East Africa into the Middle East.

Somalia's cheetah smuggling ring

Laura Orozco

Technology firms have made public commitments to crack down on their sites being used by illegal wildlife traders, but the online platforms remain awash with adverts for endangered animals, including cheetahs.

“The rising trade in cheetahs and other animals for luxury pets in the Middle East is helping to drive critical populations of wildlife to extinction in Somaliland and North and East Africa,” said Shukri Ismail, Somaliland’s environment minister.

The rescued cheetahs are being cared for by Somaliland vets and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), a Namibian research and lobby institution, which has 14 cubs in a temporary “safe house” in the capital, Hargeisa.

Since the CCF began working with the Somali-land government in 2011, it has intercepted more than 50 attempts to traffic cheetahs.

But, said the CCF’s assistant director of Illegal Wildlife Trade, Patricia Tricorache: “We believe as many as 300 cheetahs are smuggled from Africa into the Middle East every year.”

She said the animals are usually smuggled across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen and then taken to Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Luxury pets

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), many owners of big cats and primates post pictures of themselves and their animals on social media sites, sometimes posing with celebrities. In August this year, for example, a newly opened café in an upmarket suburb of Dubai shared videos on its Instagram feed of a cheetah eating meat off its floor after a customer brought the animal inside.

Somalia's cheetah smuggling ring

The big cats are in demand by rich clients in the Gulf States who post pictures of their exotic accessories on social media.

Tim Husband, the technical director at the new Dubai Safari Park, estimates there are as many 3 000 big cats kept domestically in the UAE. “It’s a status thing,” he said. 

“People already have a fast car so they want something else, something more exotic.”

The images posted by the UAE’s super-rich could not be further away from the harsh reality of the cubs’ capture by traffickers, the grim conditions of their journeys and their slim chance of long-term survival.

Daniel Stiles, a Kenya-based independent wildlife consultant, said more needed to be done to discourage people from keeping pets like cheetahs. “You need to stop the demand and that means addressing cultural aspects,” he said. “Animals like cheetahs are status symbols and as long as they are regarded as such, people will still want to have them.”

The UAE is taking steps to clamp down on exotic pets. Since January last year it has been illegal to own, breed and trade cheetahs and other animals, including snakes and primates. Federal Law 22 is a regional first and has been widely praised by animal welfare campaigners.

Hiba Al Shehhi, acting director of biodiversity at the UAE’s ministry of climate change and environment, said that “cracking down on the illicit wildlife trade is one of the government’s top priorities” and that it had been partnering in awareness campaigns in schools, shopping malls and airports in a bid to change attitudes towards exotic pets.

Dubai’s customs officers have received training and detection equipment to help them to spot wild animals being smuggled into the country.

Al Shehhi said that UAE border officers seized 11 cheetahs (out of a total of 21 big cats) between 2013 and 2017 and that the ministry was developing an “integrated system for reporting and tracing wildlife violation cases”.

Thriving black market

It is still possible — and legal — to get a private zoo licence in the UAE, and a number of wealthy families continue to keep exotic pets. And, despite the new law and its threat of stiff fines (up to R1.9-million) and imprisonment, a thriving online market for big cats and other now-banned animals, such as monkeys, snakes and crocodiles, continues.

A search revealed scores of UAE-based animal dealers selling a variety of animals on Instagram and WhatApp groups. For example, a female cheetah was advertised for R156  000, a tiger cub for R156  000, a serval for R183  000, a meerkat for R19  000, a slow loris for R11 700, a baboon for R15 600, a young monkey for R9 700, a hyena cub for R58  000 and an albino python for R7 000.

In several cases, the online posts could be clearly linked by phone numbers, branding and Google map locations to licensed pet shops in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other Emirates.

An independent data analysis of the online cheetah trade by a wildlife crime agency published in September, found that between February 2012 and July this year, 1 367 cheetahs were offered for sale in 906 adverts on various websites and social media channels. Instagram accounted for 77% of all adverts, with the rest appearing on YouTube and other local classified sites. Almost two-thirds of the adverts were linked to Saudi Arabia and the top four sellers appeared to be located there, and 10.8% were associated with the UAE.

Al Shehhi said the ministry had partnered with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to monitor online sales, but said that most of the adverts were “posted by fake channels outside of the country”. She said 60% of “such content” had been taken down. She didn’t say how the percentage was calculated.

Instagram and its parent company Facebook (which also owns WhatsApp) are among the companies that, earlier this year, joined the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, along with organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund, which aims to reduce wildlife trafficking online by 80% by 2020.

An Instagram statement said: “Our community standards do not allow for poaching or the sale of endangered species or their parts, and we remove this material as soon as we are aware of it … We have systems in place to prevent the sale of illegal goods, and do not allow ads around the sale of endangered animals.”

Last year the photo-sharing site launched a pop-up content advisory warning triggered by hashtags associated with the sale of endangered animals and animal abuse. But the system does not have a setting for Arabic language posts, and in two months of monitoring UAE-based Instagram accounts, which are mostly in Arabic, there were no such advisories. There was also no option to report posts for their animal-related content.

International action

According to the findings of a questionnaire submitted at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Russia last month, there were only 32 confiscations of cheetahs globally between January 2015 and June last year. The UAE said it made no confiscations during this period.

None of Somaliland’s 50 seizures have been included in the Cites data because the country is not formally recognised as an independent nation and is therefore not party to Cites.

Recognised or not, the government in Hargeisa is trying to stop the smugglers at source and in August passed a new forestry and wildlife conservation law, giving added protection to wild animals as well as new powers to prosecute illegal animal traffickers.

Just days after the law was approved, the country recorded its first successful prosecution of two men who had been caught with six malnourished and dehydrated cubs in El Sheikh near Berbera on Somaliland’s northern coast.

Ismail called for more international dialogue, especially with Gulf countries, about the trade in endangered animals. “We are very concerned that if this goes on any longer, the cheetahs will go from being an endangered species to being extinct and we will not be able to rescue them,” she said.


Once found all over Africa and Asia (including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Arabian Peninsula), cheetahs are now thought to live wild in just a handful of African countries and in a small area of Iran.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List, the globally recognised conservation inventory, designates cheetahs as “vulnerable” (one category away from “endangered”) and in 2015 estimated the adult population as under 7 000.

Infringement on their habits as a result of agriculture, roads and tourism and depletion of food stocks are two of the main reasons for their dwindling numbers. But hunting in retaliation for livestock attacks and trophy seekers have also played a part. 

Historic records refer to people catching cheetahs to use them to hunt as sport for the aristocracy. Today, the wealthy buy them as exotic accessories to show off to their friends. 

Source: Mail & Guardian
By: Louise Redvers Louise Redvers

12 of the most cat-friendly dog breeds, according to experts and owners

(Getty Images)

Cat owners who want to bring a dog into their home, or dog owners looking to adopt a cat need to be strategic, since not all of our furry friends play well with others.

To compile a list of the most cat-friendly dog breeds, INSIDER consulted sources such as the American Kennel Club, PetHelpful, and Vetstreet, as well as pet forums on Quora.

Keep reading to learn about 12 dogs that get along well with cats, from beagles to bichon frisés.

Beagles are friendly, with an easy-going disposition.

Wikimedia Commons / Juanelverdolaga

According to the American Kennel Club, beagles are a natural choice for cat owners because they’re friendly and have an easy-going disposition.

Bred to hunt in packs, these scenthounds play well with others. PetHelpful reports that beagles might chase cats outdoors, but will cohabitate peacefully (and even snuggle) inside.







Golden Retrievers are playful, yet adaptable.


Golden Retrievers are known to be playful but they’re also adaptable, according to the AKC. This means that they’re good with cats of varying ages and sizes.

In fact, a Quora user notes how his Golden Retriever and his cat were inseparable, writing that they “slept together, followed each other around, and groomed each other.”







Cavalier King Charles spaniels are small and affectionate.

tanakawho via Flickr

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel (a type of English toy spaniel) is a small, affectionate breed that gets along with humans and felines alike. Cavaliers, which range in size from just shy of 6kg to 8kg, have “a penchant for smaller creatures,” according to Animal Planet.

But as a Quora user observes, the relationship between a Cavalier and a cat might be dependent “on how the two are introduced and how positive or negative actions between them are reinforced daily.”






Basset hounds are well-behaved.

American Kennel Society

Basset hounds are an excellent choice for cat owners: Despite having a reputation for being lazy or stubborn, it’s unlikely for them to have temperamental problems, according to Vetstreet.









Labrador Retrievers are gentle and outgoing.

Poi Photography via Flickr

Despite their large size, Labrador Retrievers’ gentle and outgoing disposition means that they get along well with people and cats.

“Having owned and trained over 50 Labrador Retrievers, I can say they generally get along well with anybody or anything that will let them,” aQuora user says.








Papillons have a “more the merrier” attitude.


Visually striking and intelligent, papillons – whose name, inspired by their wing-shaped ears, means “butterfly” in French – have a “more the merrier” attitude.

This means that they’re quick to befriend all creatures, cats included, according to Vetstreet.








Bichon frisés are popular for their affectionate disposition.


Notable for its fluffy, cloud-like appearance, the bichon frisé’s affectionate disposition makes it a popular breed.

Although PetHelpful notes that more easy-going cats could find bichons to be too doting, their loving nature means that they grow equally attached to humans and other pets.








Pugs make good playmates for cats and dogs.

American Kennel Club

Lively and relatively large for a toy breed (they can weigh upwards of 9 kilograms), pugs make good playmates for both cats and fellow canines.

“Pugs tend not to be especially aggressive, and most pugs realise that a standard housecat could take it down three times out of five,” writes a Quora user.







Maltese are companion dogs with a relaxed nature.

American Kennel Club

Bred to be a companion dog, Vetstreet describes the Maltese as “spunky” and “happy.”

Plus, according to PetHelper, this breed’s relaxed nature means that it keeps to itself even when sharing space with a cat.








Shih Tzus have a sweet disposition.

American Kennel Club

Like the Maltese, the Shih Tzu is a companion dog.

Despite their historic status as the pets of Chinese emperors, Shih Tzus are more sweet than arrogant, according to Vetstreet.









Japanese Chins are adaptable, with cat-like agility.

American Kennel Club

Animal Planet explains that the Japanese Chin’s even temperament means it can adapt to new situations – like living with energetic kittens.

In fact, this flat-faced toy breed could even be described as a “cat in a dog suit“, thanks to its acrobatic body.








Boston terriers are friendly and obedient.

American Kennel Club

Intelligent and lively, Boston terriers are easy to train.

Although its fierce face might convince you otherwise, this sturdy breed (which typically weighs between 18 and 25 pounds) gets along fine with kids and other pets.









Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

Source: Business Insider
by: Zoë Miller , Business Insider US



5 star pet hotel opens in CPT with a black cat as its CFO

5 star pet hotel appoints black cat cfo

Mr. Sailor Brown is going to be running the show. Image: Instagram/ @atfritspets

South Africa’s first five star pet hotel for cats has opened its doors, with Mr. Sailor Brown as its Chief Feline Officer.

AtFrists opened in Cape Town in 2015 as a luxury dog hotel and recently relaunched to a bigger and more lavish venue, also adding a cat hotel to its offerings.

The hotel has a grooming parlour for beauty therapy as well as a salon.

Making room for cats, founder and owner Yanic Klue said they appointed Mr. Sailor Brown as the CFO of the pet hotel to change the negative perceptions about black cats.

“They are always associated with evil and witchcraft, so they are the least adopted of all rescue cats” Klue said. 

The hotel is a “one-stop-shop” for cats and dogs. It includes overnight deluxe and platinum suites, babysitting services, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and a pet shop.

“Cape Town is the 9th biggest city for domestic animals. The responses from pet owners has been amazing” Klue said. 

Source: TimesLive
by: Odwa Mjo



Gauteng weather: Heatwave warnings issued

Heatwave conditions with extremely high temperatures expected over Gauteng.

gauteng weather heatwave warnings issued

It’s still supposed to be Spring but that memo went missing. According to the South African Weather Service, heatwave conditions are expected across large parts of Gauteng this week and will more than likely last until the weekend.

Residents can expect temperatures to range between 33 and 36 degrees. The SAWS says the heatwave is due to the dry conditions we’ve been plagued with recently.

Temperatures are expected to rise to 33 degrees in Hammanskraal and Pretoria on Monday with Johannesburg clocking in at 32 degrees and Springs at 30 degrees.

It will steadily increase over the weekend, with temperatures of 35 degrees forecasted on Friday. It will begin to cool down again on Saturday, with a 27% chance of rain on Sunday.

Pretoria will get the brunt of this heatwave, with temperatures peaking at 37 degrees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, it will drop down to 30 degrees, with a 30% chance of rain.

Residents are warned to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially between 10:00 and 15:00, and to drink plenty of water. To maintain an adequate level of hydration, it is advised to drink more water than you would typically consume.

Thirst is the first sign of dehydration so drink enough fluid before you start feeling thirsty. It would be best to avoid coffee and alcoholic drinks as these could cause dehydration.

Another tip is to soak your feet in buckets of cold water. Soak towels in ice water and place these on your shoulder.

Hot air rises so avoid upper stories, and stay away from extra sources of heat such as incandescent light bulbs or appliances.

And if you’re a pet owner, remember that they will also be affected by the heatwave. Remember to leave enough water out for them, and a cold, damp towel on the floor will help keep their body temperatures down.

Take them to the vet if they are panting rapidly, drool excessively, vomit, if their skin is overly warm and their muscles twitch.

Source: The South African

Cheryl Kahla by Cheryl Kahla




IN PICTURES: 5 Dog Hotels You Should Know About In SA

Treat your furry friend to the ultimate in canine luxury.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa

Going on vacation can be stressful for a fur baby’s parents – where will they leave their puppers, and will they be properly taken care of?

As it turns out, there may be a solution for your furry friend near your vacation spot.

From five-star establishments to luxury emporiums – here are a few South African pet-friendly hotels and resorts at which you can leave your furry family while you enjoy your holiday:

1. At Frits Dog Hotel

The five-star dog hotel in Cape Town was launched in December 2015. A salon, spa, retail store, gourmet meals, themed movie nights and even private suites are all part of the package. There are also webcams allowing owners to monitor their pets 24/7.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - At Frits Dog Hotel

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - At Frits Dog Hotel

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - At Frits Dog Hotel

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - At Frits Dog Hotel

2. Must Love Dogs Luxury Emporium

This Johannesburg establishment has suites specifically created in small, medium and large options – for “breeds who are accustomed to living indoors and are used to sleeping in mommy and daddy’s beds”, according to their website. High-end food options, treats and exclusive extras are offered. A webcam is also available, should the owner wish to check in on their pet throughout their stay.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Must Love Dogs Luxury Emporium

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Must Love Dogs Luxury Emporium

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Must Love Dogs Luxury Emporium

3. Sunshine Pet Resort

Whether you need nightcare, long-term boarding or just daycare while on vacation, this resort near Paarl can sort you out. Their services include individual play sessions, extra walks and outdoor exercise time on a six-hectare farm. The resort welcomes both dogs and cats, as well as birds.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Sunshine Pet Resort

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Sunshine Pet Resort

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Sunshine Pet Resort

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Sunshine Pet Resort

4. Zimzala K9 Hotel

This boutique hotel for dogs is in Stellenbosch. It offers daycare, overnight accommodation, exercise, play and pampering. A specialist dog shop is also on the premises, for all your dog’s needs.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Zimzala K9 Hotel

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Zimzala K9 Hotel

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Zimzala K9 Hotel

5. Paws Resort

Run by a couple of qualified veteranians, this Midrand resort offers luxury kennels and kitty cabanas for your pets. Overnight stays or pop-ins for a spa day at their grooming parlour are offered. Pets with special medical needs are also welcome at the establishment.

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Paws Resort

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Paws Resort

5 dog hotels you should know about in South Africa - Paws Resort

Source: Huffpost

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How your cell phone could find a home for lost and abandoned animals

How your cell phone could find a home for lost and abandoned animals

 “Oh Whizkers is South Africa’s first free mobile app to reunite lost pets with their families,” says Logan Hing.

Logan Hing’s commitment to animal welfare started when a puppy was brought to his doorstep two years ago. The four-week-old puppy, who Hing named Jade, was given to him by a man who found her in a nearby veld. Assuming she had strayed from home, Hing put up posters and posted on social media – to no response. Either she had been abandoned or her owner couldn’t be found. Hing took Jade in. But the experience left him wanting to do more for other animals that go missing on a daily basis. The moment was the catalyst to an initiative that improves the safety of missing pets around South Africa.

Hing realised that it was very difficult to reunite an animal with its owners through traditional methods of communication. He created a mobile app to connect people in close proximity to each other in the event of a missing pet. “Oh Whizkers is South Africa’s first free mobile app to reunite lost pets with their families,” Hing says. The app allows users to either post a photo of a missing or found animal, which then uses geolocation tags to alert everyone else using the app within a 20-kilometre radius. Rather than hoping someone sees a poster or message on social media, Hing’s app passes on the information directly to relevant people, which in turn ensures that pets are returned home sooner. And all this because of one lost abandoned puppy. “Since Jade came into our lives, it inspired the project to become a reality,” Hing says

Hing has since improved the app to promote community involvement. He hopes that it will bring together nearby pet owners and encourage volunteering at animal welfare organisations. As anyone can download the free app, it’s a way for everyone to get involved in making sure that animals in their neighbourhood end up happy, healthy and looked after. 

Thanks to Hing’s innovative thinking – and Jade – thousands more missing pets may have a better chance of finding their way back home.

Source: EastCoastRadio



Are you emotionally ready to part with your pet this Festive Season?

Are you emotionally ready to part with your pet this Festive Season?

The holidays are (nearly) here, and while you may have planned your vacation down to a T, have you ensured your-fur family is safely looked after if you aren’t going to a pet friendly holiday destination?

To assist with your holiday prep, consider these handy tips as you and your family prepare your fur kids for the holiday season ahead:

  1. Hire a sitter – If your animals are prone to anxiety of any sort, your best bet is to arrange for a house-sitter to come and stay with them at home while you’re away. Doing so will mean that the animals will be reassured by being in their own space with their own bed and toys, even though you won’t be there. If you don’t have someone in mind, check out your community vet or Facebook page for recommendations, and fully brief your pet sitter on your animals’ eating habits, whether you want them walked or not, and how to administer any medication.
  2. Pack for your pooch – If your pet is going to be staying at someone else’s home while you’re away, make sure that their bed and favourite toys go with them too so that they have something familiar with them. If there are animals at their ‘holiday home’, make an introductory visit beforehand, so that your animals can get to know all their hosts while you’re still around. Send an old unwashed item of clothing of yours to add to your pet’s bed while you’re away – it will make their bed smell of you and should be a comfort in your absence.
  3. Choosing the right kennel facility – If kennelling is your holiday pet solution, make sure to meet the people that will be caring for your pet while you’re away. If possible, choose a kennel that has space for your dogs to exercise during the day, and ask if you can take their bed from home too or if they can send you pictures while you’re away so that you have peace of mind that they are ok.
  4. Something to calm the nerves – If your dog is prone to anxiety, chat to your vet about medication that can help with this, or consider other interventions such as anxiety wraps, and show their carers how to use them. Before you leave, take your dog for a walk or play a big game with them. Using up some of their energy before you leave will help them keep calm during any changes in their environment.
  5. Consistency of diet is key – One of the most important things to consider when booking your pets into a kennel, doggy hotel or dropping them off to stay with a friend is that a sudden change in diet can negatively impact their health and well-being during their stay.  Be sure to take enough of your dog’s regular food to last while you’re away – this is particularly important for animals who are on specialist diets. This is to ensure there are no digestive issues caused by incorrectly transitioning across food types, or brands, while you’re away as transitioning food takes time and must be done according to strict feeding guidelines.

While animals may be far more adaptable than we realise, Field+Forest believes pet owners should ensure all the boxes are ticked when leaving their pets behind this festive season. If your best friend is well fed, well looked after, and gets plenty of stimulation while you’re away, chances are strong that they’ll be just fine while you’re gone. But still, nothing beats a tail-wagging emotion-filled welcome back lick like you’ve been gone forever when you get back!

Source: Field + Forest

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