Dogs can now sit with passengers on a SA airline. But your dog needs to be tiny

Dogs can now sit with passengers on a SA airline. But your dog needs to be tiny

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  • LIFT has launched a dog-friendly booking option which allows passengers to travel with their dogs in the aircraft’s cabin.
  • This exemption was previously only offered to authorised service dogs and most of South Africa’s airlines still require pets to be booked as cargo.
  • Dogs flying on LIFT will, however, need to be small enough to fit under the seat.
  • And will be confined to a carrier bag, with restrictions on the pet’s in-flight movement.
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Passengers will now be able to fly with their dogs aboard South Africa’s newest airline, LIFT, which took to the skies in December 2020. The dog must, however, be small enough to fit into an under-seat carrier bag.

Allowing pets into an aircraft’s cabin to travel with their owners is uncommon in South Africa. Most major local airlines, including FlySafair and South African Airways (SAA), have a strict policy against transporting pets alongside their owners.

The only pets exempt are authorised service animals – like guide dogs or assistant dogs – which can travel with their owners in the aircraft’s cabin.

LIFT, which operates daily flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, is the first local airline to allow non-service dogs to travel with passengers on a limited schedule. Passengers hoping to travel with their dogs will need to submit a special request to LIFT at least 72 hours before the intended date of travel. 

Only a limited number of dogs will be allowed on selected flights according to a dog-friendly schedule. Dog-friendly seats are situated towards the rear of the plane.

Dogs can now sit with passengers on a SA airline. But your dog needs to be tiny

The primary limitation on dog-friendly travel is the dog’s size. The dog will need to fit into a carrier bag no bigger than 28cm x 20cm x 45cm. The dog must also be at least ten weeks old, and the carry bag must contain puppy training pads or absorbent sheets.

Additionally, passengers won’t be allowed to have their dogs seated on their laps or the adjacent seats. Instead, the dog will travel in the pet-friendly carrier bag underneath the seat in front of the paying passenger.

“After take-off‚ you are welcome to move the carrier bag forward‚ however‚ neither the dog nor the carrier bag may be placed on the seat,” notes LIFT.

This seat will be blocked-off and will not accommodate another passenger. The cost of a dog-friendly booking – for the blocked-off seat – will be equal to the fare paid by the accompanying adult.

All dogs travelling aboard LIFT flights must be up-to-date with their vaccines – with proof supplied to the airline – and no pregnant dogs will be allowed to fly. Any dog over the age of seven needs to be cleared to fly by a vet.

Dogs should not be fed within four hours before departure to avoid nausea or soiling the carrier bag, as recommended by the airline.

“Many loving ‘paw-rents’ can’t always make use of pet hotels, family or friends to look after their pets,” explains LIFT co-founder Jonathan Ayache, in detailing customer feedback which led to the decision to introduce dog-friendly flights.

“Moreover, they want these four-legged family members to be included when they travel, and this has up until now not been possible when travelling by plane.”

Source: Business Insider

SPCA calls for information regarding abandoned animals

SPCA calls for information regarding abandoned animals

THE five rabbits that were found, with twelve guinea pigs and two chickens, dumped at Wessel Lourens Dam, in Vredekloof last week.

Cape Town – The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is seeking the public’s assistance with information that can lead to a successful prosecution of a perpetrator, believed to have been responsible for dumping a variety of animals in Brackenfell last week.

Twelve guinea pigs, five rabbits and two chickens were found dumped at Wessel Lourens Dam, in Vredekloof, and were found by a member of the public, who reported the matter to the SPCA.

SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams said four of the rabbits were found hunched up and petrified in one of the dog kennels (at the entrance of the dam), while the fifth was found being chased by the residents.

She said the twelve guinea pigs were found in a box – that was taped up – with babies, with no food or water, and were malnourished. She said they were sitting on top of each other.

“They had absolutely no way of escaping, as the box was sealed with tape.The chickens were running on the road, confused and scared. We are calling on the community for any information that can lead to a successful prosecution in this matter. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA appeals to members of the public to be vigilant and report any incidents immediately, where animals are abandoned,” she said.

Abrahams said it was a criminal offence, in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, to abandon any animal.

Animal Welfare Society of South Africa spokesperson Allan Perrins said hundreds of animals get abandoned in Cape Town every year. Perrins said there was no need for anyone to abandon their animals.

“We have a non-selective admissions policy and offer a sanctuary to hundreds of unwanted and abandoned animals annually. Domestic animals are almost entirely dependent on their owners for their welfare and well-being, so anyone who turns their back on their pets is almost certainly condemning them to an avoidably slow and agonising death,” he said

Perrins said pet abandonment, in all its evil forms, was inexcusable and totally avoidable – and comes at a huge price to the animal and to shelters with a non-selective admissions policy.

“It can take many man hours and a lot of money to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home an abandoned animal. When not recovered by animal welfare organisations, they become feral marauders.

“Once they are labelled as such, they suffer unimaginable cruelty at the hands of intolerant home owners and road users. Many contract diseases and become infested with parasites, resulting in a rapid deterioration and painful death,” said Perrins.

He said people should surrender their animals to their nearest animal welfare shelter regardless of its condition or reasons for surrender.

Anyone with the information on the matter can email [email protected] or call 021 700 4158/9 during office hours.

Source: IOL

‘Fairy tails’ come true: Netflix show finds forever homes for SA shelter dogs

‘Fairy tails’ come true: Netflix show finds forever homes for SA shelter dogs

The 13-part South African series ‘A Dog for Life’ will see the show’s ‘ideator’ match shelter dogs with their forever homes around Cape Town.

This isn’t your average matchmaking show, in fact, you won’t find any mismatches, cringing blind dates or awkward conversation starters here, only tears of joy, heart-warming moments, and laugh out loud encounters. This is A Dog for Life, a 13-part South African docu-reality series sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition which will air on Netflix from 15 June 2021.


A Dog for Life is a show about the extraordinary, very tangible bond between people and shelter dogs. It is impossible to determine the rescuer from the rescued,” explains owner of production company Grays Matter Films, Samantha Gray, who produced and co-directed A Dog for Life.

Over the course of the 13 episodes, presenter and show ideator Sue White will match shelter dogs with their forever homes around Cape Town. Through a quirky doggy dating process, Sue helps humans to look beyond the fluff and fall in love with the one.

The dogs are a mix of scruffy, grubby, perky, goofy, beautiful, shy, boisterous, delinquent, and angelic. Despite being abandoned, with a stroke of luck they have found their way to their halfway houses at existing shelters – Fallen Angels, Animal Welfare Society of South Africa, Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch, Honey’s Garden, Animal Anti Cruelty League (AACL), DARG, WOOF Project and Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

“Getting involved in a show like this was a natural fit for us. Hill’s has always been committed to transforming lives, those of pets, and in turn their pet parents. Since 2002, the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Programme has provided shelters with the life-changing nutrition they need to help homeless pets find forever homes,” says Carla Bath from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.


Gray and White say A Dog for Life delivered on all their expectations of being sniffed, slobbered, and yes occasionally weed on, but they didn’t mind that in the least.

“I especially loved being able to showcase the extraordinary, very tangible bond between humans and shelter dogs. Having been blessed with rescue dogs throughout my life, with animal welfare very close to my heart, A Dog for Life really resonated with me. And, of course, landing the show on Netflix was the ultimate tail-wagging moment,” says Gray.

So, how does the matchmaking process on A Dog for Life work? Gray provides a brief overview without giving away too much:

  1. Sue interviews potential families and then goes about looking for a fur baby at the partner shelters that will match the different family’s lifestyle and needs.
  2. The people of this story are as unique and special as the dogs are; artsy, funny, millennials, retirees, and from all walks of life. They all divulge their reasons for wanting to be a pet parent.
  3. Sue then assesses their needs and compares them to her catalogue of hopeful dogs, curating a selection for them to choose from.
  4. They will match the temperament of the dog to the temperament of the home. They don’t want to match a 12-year-old Chihuahua with a marathon runner looking for a running buddy.
  5. They know the pooches may need a little makeover, and some might need help with ‘social awkwardness,’ that’s why they bring in the experts to guide them and ensure these fur babies have nothing standing in their way. From grooming sessions with animal behaviourist Kieran Piper, they’ll make sure they’re shiny, bushy-tailed and can confidently put their best paw forward.


Gray and White added that time and time again, through the stories they encountered, their paradigms continued to shift.

“We met people we ordinarily would not meet, and we fell in love with them. All of them. They shared their hearts so fully and openly. They were brave in their vulnerability and astonishing in their courage. Some families and our interactions made us laugh until we cried, and with some, we wept. We stand in authority here, knowing with absolute certainty that dogs are the greatest rescuers of all. We cannot call them ‘rescues’ – we, the humans, are the rescued. Quite frankly, the earth would be a miserable place without dogs. And if you didn’t know that already, you will after watching A Dog for Life.”

Source: The South African

Pet tummy trouble – what to do

Pet tummy trouble - what to do

There are few things worse than your pet having an upset tummy. Dr Guy Fyvie, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinary adviser, says that excess gas and changes in your pet’s poop can be very distressing for pet parents. “Just like us, cats and dogs need a balanced gut microbiome and when this is out of sync it can lead to a troubled digestive system and a very unhappy pet.”

An ‘upset tummy’, which may include vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, weight loss or constipation, are all common signs that your pet may not be feeling well. A visit to your vet will help to diagnose what the issue may be and recommend steps to help your pet feel better. In fact, one of the most common reasons dog parents visit their vet is because of digestive disorders.

Dogs and cats (and our) digestive tracts contain billions of microbes and other microorganisms — including both desirable and undesirable bacteria that are unique to each pet. With over a decade of research, Hill’s has become a pioneer in the study of pet microbiome health and has found that a pet’s gastrointestinal health can be positively impacted by nutrition. “It is these insights into gut microbiome health and nutrition that has shown us that incorporating a specific blend of fibre rich ingredients and prebiotic fibre, will support and nourish this pre-existing gut ‘ecosystem’ — the microbiome,” says Dr Fyvie.

Pet tummy trouble - what to do

It is with this knowledge that Hill’s has developed a food that promotes healthy stools in as little as 24 hours. Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome helps to balance your pet’s unique gut microbiome and influences the transition between disease and health.  This new food provides pets with:

  • A revolutionary blend of active fibre ingredients to activate the gut microbiome, and support health and well-being.
  • Great tasting food that encourages pets to eat even through periods of illness.
  • Prebiotic fibres help promote healthy gut bacteria.
  • Enriched with psyllium to support regular bowel movements and bowel health.
  • Clinically proven antioxidants support a healthy immune system and natural defence.

“This first of its kind nutrition has been made possible by science. Whether it’s conducting industry-leading research, analysing nutrient levels in each of our products or selecting optimal ingredients for your pet’s health, Hill’s is driven by science results you can see – in every little transformation,” concludes Dr Fyvie.

Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome is available for cats in both a 1.5kg and 5kg bag as well as a chicken and vegetable stew and for dogs in 1.5kg and 10kg bags. 

*Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome food is available at veterinary practices only

For more visit

 /HillsPetZA  @HillsPetSA  @HillsPetFoodSA  /HillsSouthAfrica 

Media contact Republic PR | Julia Rice | [email protected]



Protein alternatives for pets – what’s the big woof?

Protein alternatives for pets – what’s the big woof?

By Tilana Mare, Nutritional Development Manager at Montego Pet Nutrition

Pets are like people in more ways than we realise. They love a meal that’s full of flavour and benefit greatly from food made with quality ingredients, and they, too, can be allergic or intolerant to certain ingredients in their food, which is where protein alternatives in their food becomes essential.

How do I know my pet is allergic to certain foods?

Vomiting, diarrhoea and itchy skin are just some of the concerning symptoms to look out for in both cats and dogs. More specifically, dogs may land up with chronic ear infections, while cats may experience wheezing, gas and bloating as a result of eating certain foods that don’t agree with them.

It’s often large, giant or specific dog breeds like Great Danes and Boerboels that experience food allergies. In cats, Siamese and Siamese cross-breeds have shown more prevalence to food allergies than other breeds. But, just like us, each dog and cat are different and unique, making it all the more important to see what works best for them.

The power of protein alternatives – especially for chicken adversity

While chicken is a great protein source that provides essential amino acids to support strong muscles and provide energy, up to 25% of dogs can have an adverse reaction to it, so a protein alternative is a must.

In this case, lamb, venison, and beef is a go-to protein alternatives for dogs with chicken sensitivities. It’s iron- rich and a great source of B vitamins and Zinc. Venison is seen as a novel protein source making it a perfect choice for a hypoallergenic diet.

Chicken is also a common ingredient in cat food and one that tends to cause more allergic reactions in cats. In this case, trout, for example, is a tasty, high-protein alternative that is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, providing vitamins and minerals essential for your cat. Trout also nourishes your cat’s skin, improves hydration, and safeguards a healthy, shiny and soft coat.

Other pet food pros and no-no’s

For dogs with joint health problems or sensitive skin, consider adding collagen to their diet. Better yet, opt for a dog food that already contains collagen. This will support active and growing joints while soothing and repairing the skin.

With a little trial and error, you can find a protein alternative for your pet to help alleviate any pain or discomfort, allowing your fur baby to tuck in at mealtimes without feeling sick later on. Remember to give it around six to eight weeks before you judge whether the new food has made a difference or not.

A limited-ingredient diet for adult dogs and cats experiencing digestive disorders and intolerances, delicate stomachs, or skin sensitivities can make the world of a difference.

Montego Karoo Venison & Lamb for adult dogs and Montego Karoo Trout & Lamb for adult cats offer hypoallergenic solutions to these challenges, and Montego Karoo Beef & Lamb with added collagen for adult dogs supports muscle development, tendons and bone strength while keeping skin moisturised.

Source: Montego

Emergency help needed for flooded Khayelitsha pet shelter

Emergency help needed for flooded Khayelitsha pet shelter

A Khayelitsha animal clinic’s homeless dog shelter flooded in last week’s rainstorm. The Mdzananda Animal Clinic reports that their organisation is in desperate need of assistance. Homeless dogs needed to be moved to their small hospital cages during the flood as they had no other space for them.

“It’s only the start of winter and the pets are already struggling,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communication Manager. “Just last week we found a 10-year-old dog wondering the streets in the rain. His feet were worn down and his joints painful from arthritis. He had no hair on his back and was covered in fleas. We looked for his owners but couldn’t find them. We named him OG. OG received warm food, a soft bed and medication for his pain. But when the shelter flooded, we had to urgently make space for OG and the other dogs in our hospital unit,” says du Plessis.

Du Plessis says that they urgently need to upgrade their shelter unit to prevent future flooding and to ensure that their homeless dogs have a warm place to stay until permanent homes can be found for them.

Upgrading the shelter will cost just under R100 000. “We did not expect that we’d need to do such an upgrade. Winter comes with increased expenses too. Our electricity goes up by 50% to keep our patients and facility warm. We also just spent R10 000 on fixing a leak in our operating theatre’s roof,” says du Plessis.

The flooding is not the clinic’s only challenge. Their hospital is full to the brim. Puppies are arriving at their door in hypothermic states and pets are being knocked over by cars driving badly in rainy weather.

“Our clinic treats up to 1000 community pets per month. With the cold weather pets can take longer to recover, so our hospital stays full. We are just so grateful that we can help so many animals. Without our clinic and one other animal organisation in Khayelitsha, most pet owners would have little to no help for their animals as private veterinary fees are too high for them to afford,” says du Plessis.

The clinic is appealing to the public to give an emergency monetary gift to help them upgrade their shelter unit and care for the increased number of pet patients in winter. Bank details: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Savings account, Reference: Winter+Your Name. For further information visit or contact [email protected]

On a good note, OG is safe and warm at the home of one of the organisation’s staff. He has picked up weight, the hair on his back has grown and he enjoys wearing his cozy jacket. He is now waiting for a perfect family to adopt him.

Ten-year-old dog OG

Ten-year-old dog OG

Issued by: Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager of Mdzananda Animal Clinic

For press enquiries contact: Marcelle du Plessis, [email protected]

Source: Mdzananda Animal Clinic