A Taste of New-Age Kennels

taste new-age kennels - image

Your Pets’ Home Away from Home

Excitement looms as your holiday or business trip draws to a near, but with that comes an overwhelming sense of anxiety as you worry about what to do with your treasured pet whilst you’re gone. Luckily, pet kenneling has come a long way since the times of cold, sterile spaces that kept our angels locked up in menial steel cages and concrete runs, with lack of human affection and socialisation with their fellow furry counterparts for weeks at a time. Some kennels may still follow this model, but there is a plethora of modern pet boarding facilities available that seem to outperform even a pet parent’s highest expectations.

With the vast choices available nowadays, it can be quite overwhelming to make a decision, so we’ve put together for you some tips on what to look for in a boarding facility as well as a few options around South Africa that come highly recommended by our Infurmation followers and veterinarians.

Pros of New Age Pet Boarding

  • Most are comparable to pet hotels offering superior services and comforts for your fur baby.
  • They are run by professional and accomplished staff members who are animal lovers themselves and are qualified to deal with different breeds, personalities and training.
  • They provide round-the-clock care and supervision for your pet, which also means you can call to check in at any time of the day or night.
  • They offer an environment similar to that of which your pet is accustomed.
  • They provide bespoke services such as considering dietary requirements, treats, medication, adhering to specific routines, interacting with and exercising your fur child as per your unique instructions.
  • They are responsible with regards to their acceptance policies. They usually require an initial interview with the pet and owners prior to boarding to assess that the pet’s personality and behavioural traits are well-suited to their facility. For example, if the pooch in question exhibits aggressive tendencies, they will likely be turned away as the facility doesn’t want to risk any injuries or harm to other pets or staff members on the premises. Similarly, pets not up-to-date with vaccinations and proof thereof, will be refused acceptance to prevent the risk of spreading or contracting an illness.
  • They give pet parents peace of mind, knowing they are enclosed within a secured area and if they do slip past a staff member on duty, they are still fenced in by an outer wall.
  • Most reputable new age boarding homes offer grooming and training services as well as daily socialisation sessions with fellow fur boarders and humans. This alleviates their anxiety levels and stimulates them physically and mentally, preventing any chance of them becoming bored and potentially destructive.
  • Although the new environment may be unsettling at first, reputable boarding homes will offer specially designed daily routines, quality food, regular exercise and a warm, cosy place to sleep that will have your fur child feeling right at home in no time.

 Cons of New Age Pet Boarding

  • Being able to trust another person to care for your fuzzy friend on the same level as you do, is a challenging bridge to cross but with thorough research on your part along with positive recommendations from friends, family and social media groups, you are bound to find a reputable, temporary option for your loved one. Animal lovers are exceptionally passionate, honest and verbal about service experiences concerning their fur children, so be sure to check the comments section before making a decision on a facility.
  • While most boarding homes insist that all boarders have proof of up-to-date vaccinations, the risk of your pet contracting an illness in a boarding home is sometimes unavoidable. Kennel cough is highly contagious and typically occurs in a gathering of dogs so ensure your pooch is immunised against it.
  • Not all pets are suited to a boarding setting and would fare better in their familiar home environment. Take their personality into consideration. As their parent, you will know what is best for them.
  • Boarding facilities, especially top of the range ones, cost a pretty penny but you can weigh up the cost-benefit ratio of having a friend or relative pop in and check on your pet every now again, which will obviously be far less costly, but consider if this is right alternative for your pet.

Criteria to Consider

With such a selection out there, it’s best to ask for recommendations from either your veterinarian, reputable animal trainers or someone who’s experienced the facility first-hand. If you are unable to source reliable references, consider the following questions:

  • Is the facility in possession of a valid certification, accreditation, quality assurance or awards?
  • Acquire references of people who have previously used the facility and give them a call for honest feedback.
  • Inspect the kennel in person and don’t be shy to ask as many questions that come to mind as your fur baby’s wellbeing is at stake here.
  • Inspect the facilities where pets are housed. Are they well ventilated, clean and welcoming? Is water readily accessible? Are the facilities weather resistant? Is there a good proportion of shade and sun? Is there ample space for them to comfortably stretch their legs in and if they wish, stand up on their hind limbs?
  • Is there a large exercise area with grass and enough space for them to run around in?
  • How often do they get to run around versus staying in their cage?
  • Is there 24-hours security and pet supervision?
  • Are the staff friendly, well mannered and presented? How do they interact with the pets that are currently boarding there? Are the number of staff members sufficient for the number of pets accommodated at one time?
  • Is there an on-site or nearby animal medical facility in case of an emergency?
  • Enquire about additional charges, such as walks, play time or special dietary requirements your pet may need.

Preparing for your Pet’s Stay

  • Pack any medications your pet is currently taking with written instructions of dosages and administration thereof. If your pet is highly strung, bring along some calming pills with instructions. This is especially important over thunderstorm or festive seasons when fireworks are expected.
  • Bring along vaccination records and any other pertinent medical information that may be required.
  • Pack any items of theirs that will provide them with the comfort of home, such as their favourite toy, blanket or even a shirt with your scent on it.
  • Notify staff members of any habits, fears, likes or dislikes they may have, so they are better understood by their temporary caregivers.
  • Give your bundle of fur a strong dip before their stay to keep ticks and fleas at bay.

Highly-Recommended Pet Boarding Homes Around South Africa

Cape Town


  • Must Love Dogs – Fourways
  • Fluffs-n-Tufts – Bryanston
  • Sandton Cat Lodge – Sandton
  • Puppy Palace Daycare – Parkmore
  • Farm Girls – Chartwell
  • Cattery on the Hill – Rispark
  • Menlyn kennels – Rietfontein – Pretoria

Kwazulu Natal

  • Ralun Kennels and Cattery – Pinetown
  • Paws for Thought – Dolphin Coast

East London

  • Paws and Claws

Port Elizabeth

  • In Good Hands
  • Sardinia Kennels

Please note: While these boarding facilities come highly recommended by fellow pet parents and veterinarians, it’s vital to conduct your own research before entrusting your pet to anyone, regardless of the reviews a facility may have acquired.

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson




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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SA’s pet care industry on the rise

Image: Pixabay

Many a pet owner treats their furry companions as vital members of the family. According to a 2017 study by Boomerang Africa conducted in six countries, including South Africa, 72% of South African families laugh at least once a day because of something their pet does, such as kissing, licking or chasing someone or something.

It is no surprise then that pet owners want to do the best they can for their “fur kids”.

“The global trends of pet parenting and pet humanisation whereby pet owners regard pets as members of the family has filtered down to the South African pet care industry, encouraging consumers to spend more on pet products, spoiling their pets as one might spoil a child,” reads the South African Pet Care Industry Landscape Report from Insight Survey.

“As result of this, South African pet owners have become more vigilant in their purchases of pet care products, opting for products and services that treat pets as part of the family.”

While the pet food industry has taken off locally, there are booming opportunities for other sorts of businesses.

Pet insurance

This service, says Juanita Aitkenhead, founder and Editor of the Pet Health Care website, provides financial cover for a medical procedure or emergency on a dog or cat. Some plans also offer a limit on routine care like vaccinations.

“It definitely has grown over the past five years because people have realised they need insurance because vet care has become so expensive,” she says.

One visit to the vet can cost R800-R4 500, she says, depending on what type of pet you have and what is wrong.

Along with improved veterinary technology, she says, vets needs to understand the anatomy of many animals so their education is more intense compared to a normal doctor.

She advises people to read the fine print of their cover carefully and to take out insurance immediately on getting a pet. “People must keep in mind and understand once an animal is diagnosed with any illness, that will be excluded from the pet insurance cover if you get cover after the diagnosis.”

Pet-specific products: ‘Catios’

Morne Combrink saw a gap in the market in 2012 when he met many pet owners through an animal charity who asked for a way to keep their pets safe while they were outdoors. “People wanted to protect their pets from getting lost or killed in an accident,” he says.

He started Pet Safety Solutions last year and specialises in constructing enclosures for pets. These enclosures can be an extension from a window or any access point from the house. A “catio”, he says, is a concept from the USA and Europe that is gaining popularity in SA. Simply put, it is enclosing an existing patio for specifically, you guessed it, a cat.

Completed a large catio today. The rain did hamper us a little bit, but we got the roof done just in time ???

Posted by Pet Safety Solutions on Saturday, 20 October 2018

“I’d say 80% of what I build are for cats because it is so difficult to keep cats in your property,” Combrink  says. “Dog enclosures have been less popular. I am getting a lot of requests from shelters to upgrade their existing infrastructure.”

With a two-week waiting list of clients, he says he’s noticed that this is taking off in SA. Each of his jobs are custom-built to cater to the property and home. “It must be aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the property. It must also be built so it can be easily removed.”

Pet-specific: cat ‘wine’

An American company, Apollo Peak, also specialises in a non-alcoholic “wine” for cats. Though not yet available in SA, The Pinot Meow – yes, really – is made from organically grown cat nip, fresh beetroot and natural preservatives to help hold the taste and colour.

SA's pet care

Pet sitters and other accommodation

When pet owners go on holiday, someone has to look after their pets. If there is no family member or friend available to help out, options include taking the pet to a hotel, kennel or cattery or hiring a pet sitter.

“People now have a luxury touch to kennels and catteries,” observes Aitkenhead. She says it is a wonderful opportunity for people who love animals and want to start business around pets.

However, people need to do their research, she advises, and know how to maintain high levels of hygiene to keep disease from spreading, or know when to limit the number of pets, and how to separate different types of animals.

Much like a baby sitter operates, a pet sitter will either visit a pet owner’s home when they are away to take care of the pet (services include feeding the pet, cleaning the poop and so on), or stay at the owner’s home to do the same thing.

“Pet owners like when the sitter send feedback, photos of the dog or cat – that increases the credibility with the owner,” says Aitkenhead

“Some sitters charge R60 for visit, and it can go up R450 a day if they are staying over.”

She advises people who are looking for pet sitters to be specific about their requirements and then to get a quote.


TEARS Animal Rescue – precautionary call-to-action campaign launched to foster in times of need

TEARS Animal Rescue – precautionary call-to-action campaign launched to foster in times of need

TEARS Animal Rescue – Call for Foster Volunteers

TEARS Animal Rescue has launched a precautionary call-to-action campaign encouraging Capetonians to sign-up up as temporary emergency foster volunteers in the event of a natural disaster or socio-political unrest threatening the safety of the companion animals in its care.

The TEARS Kennel and Cattery is currently home to 99 dogs and puppies, and 93 cats and kittens ~ excluding the 32 dogs and puppies and 48 cats and kittens registered as part of its formal Foster Care Programme.

The TEARS Veterinary Hospital and Kennels are situated in Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale, which shares a boundary wall with the informal settlement of Masiphumelele. On Tuesday, 8 August, protesters associated with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) barricaded the entrance with burning tyres and rocks.

TEARS Operations Manager, Mandy Store comments, “Unfortunately, last week’s strike action made it impossible for TEARS staff, living there, to come to work safely, but it also posed a potential fire risk for the property. Therefore, to be proactive and as part of a crisis preparedness strategy, we have invited Capetonians to complete an Emergency Foster Questionnaire should they be willing to consider temporary fostering in times of need. Fostering requires some due diligence on our side, so we’d like to have a shortlist of vetted foster families ready should it ever be necessary for us to initiate an emergency evacuation of the TEARS Kennel and Cattery.”


In April 2020, within 48 hours of the State of Emergency Lockdown announcement, TEARS successfully evacuated 110 dogs and 130 cats to emergency foster homes. The call-to-action and evacuation initiative, which was referred to as “The Great Escape,” turned a potential disaster into a blessing as rescue pets were able to spend the lockdown in safe, comfortable, and loving homes ~ thanks to the hundreds of Capetonians who made it possible.

Become part of TEARS’ lifesaving foster network.

If you are based in Cape Town and have a heart for animals, please complete the online questionnaire.

For more information, the public can call TEARS on 021 7854482 or email

Source: TEARS Animal Rescue

Looking to adopt &/ Foster for Tears Animal Rescue?
Search our TEARS Animal Rescue Directory Listing!

TEARS temporarily closes its Kennel and urges the public to embrace pet adoption as adoption crisis grows in animal welfare sector


TEARS temporarily closes its Kennel and urges the public to embrace pet adoption as adoption crisis grows in animal welfare sector

TEARS Animal Rescue has announced that its Kennel is temporarily closed as the organisation is currently 88 animals over capacity with 338 animals in its care ~ including those in foster care. As a result the Shelter has confirmed that no new adult dogs or puppies will be admitted to TEARS until adoption numbers increase.

Says TEARS Operations Manager, Mandy Store, “Our foster network is stretched thin and our Veterinary Clinic and stray runs are at capacity with adult dogs needing care or are awaiting admission into the Kennel. TEARS Kennel adoptions are down by nearly 40% based on last year’s averages and we’ve simultaneously seen a massive spike in the number of animals, especially dogs, being surrendered because pet owners aren’t able to feed their pets.” 


TEARS is urging the public to support the “adopt don’t shop” movement and highlighting the need for more Capetonians to consider opening their homes to homeless pets this Season by hosting a “Forever Home for The Holidays” Open Day at its Cattery and Kennels this weekend from 10h00 – 14h00 on both Saturday and Sunday.

TEARS Kennel Manager Luke Kruyt comments, “The temporary closure on admissions will enable us to provide the vital treatment, rehabilitation, and care that every rescued pet deserves, while we focus on increasing adoptions and fostering to help save more lives. We hope our Forever Home For The Holidays Open Day will highlight that rescues are the best breed and encourage families or individuals to adopt a rescue pet, which in turn will provide a vital “second chance” to another homeless pet in need.”

For those who prefer a virtual “adoption window” they can check out potentially “purrfect” pet matches via the TEARS website at and clicking on the Adoption link.

TEARS Head of Marketing and Fundraising, Lara Van Rensburg emphasises how the public can make a positive impact on the current crisis by fostering and/or adopting a rescue pet. “The increasing imbalance between pet adoptions in relation to pet homelessness is a tragic trend being experienced by all local animal shelters as more and more pet owners struggle to care for their pets and coupled with that, there are less pet-friendly rentals available for animal lovers.  In addition to needing more people to open their homes to rescue pets , we urgently need to ensure that Cape Town identifies as a pet-friendly city and that local businesses are also invested in addressing the causes of pet homelessness and community health by donating to companion animal sterilisation and vaccination programmes.”

Those who are interested in donating to TEARS can do via the TEARS bank account:

  • Acc Name: TEARS
  • Bank: Standard Bank
  • Current Bank Account: 072062886 / Branch No: 051001

Donations to TEARS are tax deductible, with donors receiving a Section 18A tax receipt.


For more information about the TEARS Forever Home for The Holidays” Open Day this weekend you can find more details on

Source: Tears Animal Rescue


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