Sunday, September 30, 2007

Update on local community events

Hi everyone,

Abandoned, the website that supports the love and care of all pets, has sent us their monthly newsletter updating us with all of the fantastic community events happening in your area. Here are a few taken from the newsletter, but be sure to sign up yourself at

TEARS - Charity ShopThanks to the overwhelming support from the community, TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society) is delighted to announce that we have now opened a fourth Charity Shop at 149 Main Road, Muizenberg (opposite Muizenberg Park)! Being a NGO, TEARS does not receive funding from the government, and relies entirely on the generosity of the general public and animal lovers. A great way to help us if you are unable to provide financial aid is by supporting our Charity Shops - by either donating unwanted items, visiting and acquiring fantastic bargains, or volunteering your services to help.

Our shops have a vast selection of goods for sale - from antiques and collectables, household items and jewellery to quality, fashionable clothing for gents, ladies and children - we have it all! We are open from Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and Saturdays from 09h00 to 13h00. Our other shops are situated at Harry Goemans Centre, Main Road, Bergvliet and Recreation Road, Fish Hoek, and at our premises in Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale, which is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 09h00 - 13h00.
All proceeds directly support our rescued animals. Donations are always gratefully appreciated! For more information, contact the TEARS Office on 021 785 4482.

PUPP's Raffle
PUPP's raffle will return to Howard Centre, Pinelands on Friday 24th, Sunday 26th November and Sunday 3rd December 2006, from 9am to 5pm. Our presentation and tickets sales were most successful on the weekend of 29th/30th September and I would like to thank Cheryl Hopkins, Shirley Newton and Philiswa for their help and really great effort.Should you have one, or more, of these times free to help us raise funds for our sterilization campaign in the poor and destitute settlements of Cape Town, please call Annette on 021 696 5294 or 072 1061487. Perhaps you would like to sell a booklet to friends and family and receive your own free ticket.1st Prize - Accommodation for 4 at Ngwenya Lodge, bordering the Kruger National Park, for the week 24th November to 1st December, 2007 worth R10 000.00 (transport not included)2nd Prize - Dinner to the value of R720.00 at Peddlars on the Bend, Constantia 3rd Prize - A deluxe barbecue set4th Prize - A gift hamper of Charlotte Rhys perfume and beauty products5th Prize - 3 Litre Magnum Welgemeend Estate Douelle 2000

TEARS - Book Sales, Longbeach MallLike to get your nose stuck in a good book? Then why not support our Book Sales at Longbeach Mall! We have a vast library of books, itching to have their scripts red and pages turned.26 October (Outside Pick ‘n Pay)27 October (Outside Pick ‘n Pay)23 – 24 November (Outside Pick ‘n Pay)

Animal Rescue Organisation - 21st Birthday Party
Animal Rescue has reached the big 21 and we are planning a huge party on the night of Saturday 27 October 2007 at the Groote Schuur High School, Palmyra Road, Newlands. (Right next to the cricket stadium). Top SA comedian Allan Committie (Defending the Caveman & Laugh Out Loud,Mnet) will be our entertainment and Charmaine Noy from Kfm will be our MC. We are sure it will be a hilarious night of fun followed by a Disco featuring all the best loved dance hits up to present day.
Tickets are selling now for R175 pp which includes supper and Alan Committie’s show and the disco until 12pm. We have some corporates who may book a table or two for their staff, so consider this for your friends and colleagues. or call me 021-3965511/ 072 019 6292.

We're still looking for JACK the missing puppy

Jack went missing from his daddy's garden on 18 September at about 18:00. He stays in Bellevue Road in Sea Point, Cape Town. Jack is an Alsation cross Husky and is only 11 weeks old. Jack was wearing a canvas material collar.If you have seen Jack or know where he is please call Astrid on 021 421 0500 or 084 400 42 11. (

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kitten Season!!

I spent the most of today searching for a kitten to adopt. After ‘booking’ one at the local AACL, I arrived to find that my kitten had already been adopted by another devoted pet owner. I then phoned around to the other local animal adoption agencies to find a cat (I was that determined to get one!) and I was certainly surprised.

Not only is kitten season not in full swing yet, but the prices of kittens from animal adoption agencies has skyrocketed since the last ‘kitten season’. The SPCA requires that you pay a R100-00 deposit, then they check out your home. If approved, you may then go and pick your kitten and pay the rest of the fee – R250-00. Initially I thought that this was a bit steep, but then I considered what was included…

- the first injections (usually about R200-00)
- the sterilization (also largely expensive)
- micro chipping (so that you can always find your cat if s/he goes missing)

Which means that you are not only saving money, but are purchasing a fail safe method of reuniting your family with your cat should it ever go missing.

Still, it seems excessive that you have to pay so much money, compared to the AACL who charge R150-00 or DARG who charge R250-00. On the other hand, shouldn’t these animal agencies just be trying to find good homes for their pets? And then, if you can’t afford to pay the R350-00, will you be able to give your cat such a good home? What happens if your cat is involved in an accident, or if it has to have special food? Perhaps this is another good reason why pet insurance is taking off locally.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pet Vet

Hi everyone,

Chenna is right about finding a good vet. People who love their pets like a member of the family need to make sure that they know where the best local vet is in their immediate area. I also find it incredibly helpful to have an account with my vet so that if anything has to happen to Milo or Butters then I just nip down and have it sorted out. There is nothing worse than having to hang around filling out forms when your pet is in medical trouble! By having a vet account you just walk in, get the problem sorted out, and worry about payment later.

This is especially a good idea if you have pet insurance. Pet insurance costs very little from a reliable insurance provider like MediPet SA, and you can be sure that you will always have enough to cover the unexpected hip replacement or other ailment. In fact, it really does just cost you the price of two single movie tickets a month to get your cat insured. Just let your favourite vet know about your account details, and everything will get sorted out for you the next time you have to rush to the vet.

People take for granted that there are people-hospitals in their nearby vicinity, and everyone knows how to get there, but don't fall victim to panic and confusion when something happens to your pet and you have to get it sorted out quickly - if you don't prepare before hand you can end up spending valuable hours searching for a vet that is open after hours. (We had to do this for the people in my family the other day, and I was so sorry that I didn't know of any doctors around here that were open after hours!)

Anyway, as the saying goes: it's better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Poster: Chenna

This is just to announce a new poster on our site: Welcome Chenna!

Moving to Cape Town - the vet dilemma

When it comes to my animals I want to know that they are getting the proper – and the best – healthcare when they need it. In just the same way that I want to know that when I go to see a doctor I am seeing a professional who knows what they are doing.

Moving from one city to another means that, like your own doctor, your pet’s vet also has to change. And I had to find a Cape Town vet that was as good to my pets as their previous vet was. Living in busy Cape Town also means that I want a vet that is nearby, accessible and responsible with the decisions made as to my pet’s health.

So far the Cape Town vets I have dealt with seem to be very well trained and are genuinely caring and interested in the needs of my animals. It is not enough for me for a vet to just administer – I also want my animals to experience the least amount of stress possible when at the vet. Whether my pets are making their check up visit to the vet or whether they are going in for more serious reasons I want full peace of mind.

Cape Town is definitely up in the top rankings when it comes to cities who geniunely care about their pets.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another comment on the barking dog bylaw & POLL RESULTS

Hello again,

Alright, I promised a follow up! The POLL RESULTS are as follows:

How many dogs should you be allowed to keep in your home?

53% say that you should be allowed to have FOUR dogs
38% say TWO
7% say that you should be allowed to keep as many as you like

The truth of the matter is that you are only allowed to have two dogs on your property unless you are a breeder residing on agricultural property. If you want more then you have to apply at your local municipality. This applies to your local vet nurse, adoption agency or dog breeder too. This has, apparently, been the law for quite some time, but as a result of the barking dog fiasco, it is going to start getting enforced.

Upset residents who are disturbed by barking dogs say that the lack of regulation as to the number of dogs kept on a residential property is the direct cause of their worries. Adoption agencies are pro this law because it is going to save a lot of animals that are otherwise neglected. In this light, the law makes complete sense.

Of course it is when you consider that there are mean neighbours out there that might report your little yapping sausage dog that everything falls out of perspective. It really boils down to this law having a postive side and a negative side.

There are a number of processes set in place that these doggy police will go through when your dog is reported (to protect you against those nasty neighbours), but it seems that a lot of dog owners are going to be slapped with a hefty fine. This can be up to R20,000! Not the kind of pocket change that a lot of us have lying around.

A lot of people are suggesting that you take your yapping dog to your local vet nurse for a special no-bark procedure, but I can think of nothing worse! Of course, if it a choice between no barking or no living, there's not much to say.

Please send me your comments!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A follow up to the barking dog bylaw

Last week I appealed to our readers to provide us with information regarding the new barking dog bylaw. It turns out that this law was proposed in last week’s Saturday Argus. I got hold of a copy of this week’s Argus and read the follow up article.

The gist of the article set out that there had been a mixed bag of responses from the public regarding this new law. On the one hand, there was a huge amount of hate mail from the kind of dog owners that were deeply concerned about dog health issues and the fact that their dogs’ lives were at stake. On the other hand, there were a number of organizations that supported the law so as to prevent cruelty to animals as there are a vast number of animals being put down daily due to the excess of numbers.

In response, the powers that be have decided to reconsider their idea of impounding barking dogs, and have instead favored the idea of providing barking dog owners with a hefty fine. So what are you supposed to do? There are a number of awful devices that you can use to silence your barking dogs through electronic pulses, but these seem to be unnaturally cruel to the very nature of your dog being a dog.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to get all of the mothers out there to put their screaming babies outside when it comes to supper time, or just-can’t-go-to-sleep time and see if there is a new screaming baby bylaw. Seriously though, when dog health is at stake, it is no laughing matter. There is another aspect to this law, covered in this week’s poll, regarding the number of dogs that are allowed to be kept in any one property. I shall address this issue tomorrow.

Please feel free to send me your comments or opinions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lost Puppy - location

Hi Everyone,

The lost puppy in the previous post was last seen in BELLVUE road in SEA POINT.
Please send us an email or leave a comment if you have seen him - even if you think you have seen him! Thanks.

Missing Puppy - PLEASE HELP!

Hi everyone,

Please help us find Juan's missing puppy! Here is a picture in the meantime:

He is only thirteen weeks old and is lost and lonely - please keep an eye out in your neighbourhood! I'll post a last-seen location as soon as I get one. Please help! There is nothing worse than losing a member of your family.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ragdolls again

Hi there,

Linn from has sent us an email pointing out that some of the breed profile needs to be modified. Please feel free to visit her site for a more detailed profile, as the content included here is just touching on the complexities of this cute cat breed.

Here are some things to point out, quoted from Linn's site:

They also enjoy the company of other pets, including dogs. Due to Ragdolls being trusting, they should never ever be allowed to roam the neighbourhood where they could get into harm's way.

Ragdolls have a soft, medium length coat which sheds just like any other cat breed. Regular grooming assists in removing loose, dead hairs and preventing hairballs and mats.

All cats love to be outdoors and there is no harm in letting them do so - on condition that they are confined to a cat escape-proof and extremely safe outdoor area. --- you can see some of these enclosures on the website.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Breed Profile: the Ragdoll cat

The Ragdoll cat is a short little creature on low legs, and has the remarkable ability to relax all of its muscles and go completely limp in your arms – hence the name ‘ragdoll’. These little kitties attach strongly to their owners, and it is essential that you take care of their cat health needs because they will always rely on you. This is the perfect cat for children or older adults who enjoy the love and affection of a dog, but don’t want all of the doggy hassles.

Ragdolls came from the cat breeder Ann Baker in the 1960s in California. They became a recognized breed in 1965. All ragdolls tend to have blue eyes, and can get very large so you have to watch out for cat health issues. They have medium to long length fur which doesn’t matt – this makes grooming an easy task. The only downside to this docile and affectionate kitty is that they have a no-fight attitude and thus cannot be left unattended, and especially cannot be left to go outside alone – they also don’t hunt so be sure to provide your kitty with plenty of healthy treats.

For more history on Ann Baker’s exact breeding of the ragdoll cat, be sure to check out Wikipedia’s reference at That is also where these pictures are from. There are also a number of beautiful pictures available from championship breeders across the country. If you are interested in adding one of these gorgeous cats to your family, be sure to check out the local breeder Raglin Ragdolls at for more information on purchasing, ragdoll cat health, and ragdoll cat history.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

An animal safety issue

I have, in the last two days, heard everywhere that there is a shocking new law in South Africa regarding animal safety. After searching high and low through online newspaper archives and talk radio logs, I can't find much mention of it. Please, if you know anything about this, email us and tell us!! The only article I have found is posted after this account.

The 'new' law is as follows: BARKING DOGS

If a neighbour of yours complains to the police about your barking dog, the police will come and give you a warning.
If there is a second complaint, your dog will be TAKEN AWAY from you, and the police have the right to have it put down.

This is the most inhumane, revolting and awful law that I have ever heard of. Is it real? Can a neighbour really cause the death of your beloved pet? I have received emails telling me that there are institutions and processes in place to prevent you from being the victim of a nasty neighbour, but I am unconvinced.

When it is animal safety at stake, I am no quiet voice. Is there anyone out there who can comment on this? I have a sausage dog and he yaps all the time! Our neighbours once sent us a nasty letter telling us that we must be abusing the small dog and they are going to report us to the SPCA. Worried and scared, we phoned the SPCA and they just laughed - 'dogs bark!' they said. What if these neighbours call the police?

There must be something in place to ensure animal safety - do the complaints need to be from different neighbours? What if everyone else in your neighbourhood doesn't mind your barking dog? Please leave your comments and email me any information.

Here is one mention of the new law, found at

Don't get me wrong. Incessant dog-barking would drive me right up the garden wall were it not for the five strands of electrified wire on top.And it's usually my own dog, imagining there's a burglar on the other side of it, that provokes me into conducting an exasperated conversation with a canine.Often Stan himself doesn't truly believe he's warding off burglars. While I am working he tends to signal his general boredom with life by going out on the front lawn, if we let him, and barking at the sky."For heaven's sake, Stan," I shout, rushing out, "give me a break. Stoppit, come inside, for crying out loud."He's always pleased to get this sort of attention, and wags his tail.At least we don't let him stand at the front gate, like the neighbourhood dogs are allowed to do.

While walking Stan and Kali round a single block we pass two Staffies, two black Labradors, two Jack Russells, a German shepherd, a Rottweiler and two very stupid boxers, one of which immediately throws himself up and around in anti-clockwise circles.All of them express their noisy annoyance at our daring to walk past their gates with our own dogs.Amid the uproar I remark to my wife: "I'm glad we don't live round here." Then she reminds me we do.But I would never want them to be seized and impounded, merely because they were doing their doggy best to protect their owners' properties.Yet that is what could happen under the new by-laws being considered by the City of Cape Town.

They would enable people to spy on their neighbours and report to dog police, who can then pounce on offending pets.The maximum penalty will be a fine of R20 000 (for the owner) and death (for the dog). At this stage no executions are planned for the owners, as well, which comes as a relief.

If it is a disappointment to some, they should realise that even Beijing, whose clothes we now all wear and on whom we increasingly model ourselves, hasn't got to this stage. That city has also passed new laws to control dogs, and stipulates that no household may have more than one, like babies, whereas Cape Town will still allow us two.Some Beijing admirer in City Hall is behind the times.In addition, Beijing has ruled that dogs may be no taller than 35 centimetres. This is something that Cape Town hasn't thought of, either, which is good news for all local pooches above ankle height.

Nor has the city yet urged neighbours to inform on each other, though no doubt this will happen in due course.If barking dogs are banned, can crying babies be far behind?It will help to take our minds off crime. Dogs are much easier to nail than drug dealers, and no one's going to arrest you for knocking on a dog-owner's door.We might even end up eating our dogs, which is one way to stop them barking.As the Beijing gourmets say, you can't have your dog and eat

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Leah: Pet Pictures

Hello again,
I got some wonderful pictures from Wendy in Cape Town. Her dog is called Leah, and is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Ridgeback! Wendy got her from TEARS when she was about four months. The funniest thing about Leah is that she insists on sitting on your lap (no matter how obvious it is that she doesn't quite fit on the chair with you) and she loves to give her owners a good lick - even if they are just walking past or sitting down!

Great Pictures!

A follow up on teeth brushing

This is just a follow up to yesterday’s entry on animal health and teeth brushing. There are many different methods that you can use to brush your cat’s or dog’s teeth – but the most important thing to remember is that you cannot make your animal spit out whatever you brush their teeth with. That is why special animal toothpaste is recommended.

The most popular animal toothbrush for dogs is a little silicon finger glove that has toothbrush-like bristles on it. These are readily available from pet shops, and make brushing your dog’s teeth a lot easier. Alternatively you might choose to get a doggy toothbrush that has a handle – especially if you have a bulldog or a larger dog that produces a lot of saliva!

Brushing your cat’s teeth is another thing altogether. You need to coax your cat into letting you put your fingers in her mouth – never mind the toothbrush! Once your cat is comfortable with your fingers in her mouth, introduce some toothpaste. Once she is comfortable with the taste (mmm, chicken) then you can introduce a small cat toothbrush. Remember, don’t brush too hard because it could hurt your animal.

The more you brush their teeth, the more comfortable your animal will become with the procedure. Please don’t hesitate to email us if you have any queries!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another Exciting Poll!

The question: how often do you brush your pet’s teeth?
The results:
66% say ‘Never!’
16% say once a week
16% say when they need it.

Okay, so seriously, brushing your pet’s teeth is ESSENTIAL! Dogs and cats also get cavities like we do, and most specialists recommend that you brush your dog’s teeth twice a week. With cats the same frequency is recommended, but definitely harder to achieve. Work it into a grooming program if you can!

Not brushing your dog’s teeth can cause bad breath, and this is usually indicative of periodontal disease (98% of bad breath in animals is caused by periodontal disease). If untreated it can lead to bacteria infection which can spread to other parts of your dog’s body through the bloodstream. Make sure that you check this out if your dog does have bad breath and you are not an active brusher.

Something else that you may not know is that you cannot use normal toothpaste on your pet. Why? It’s simple: it’s not meant to be eaten. Any school child knows that to make himself sick he just needs to eat a bit of toothpaste, and that’s what will happen to your dog. The reason? Your dog is definitely going to swallow whatever you put in his mouth! You can get special yummy toothpaste for your cat and dog at your local vet, grooming parlor or pet shop.

Cats, as we all know, are a difficult bunch and you are going to have to coerce your cat into thinking that brushing her teeth is fun. You have to ease her into the idea, rub her cheeks, use your finger instead of a brush, and always always stop before she gets grumpy. Dogs will love the attention, but cats will run away if they sense a tooth brushing coming their way! Turn it into a fun game or grooming and your cat might even look forward to the experience.

Be sure to vote in this week's poll!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The truth: Pet diaries

Good morning!

Graeme sent me this hilarious 'pet diary' email. Keep reading!

Excerpts from a Dog's Daily Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards. There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released -and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Friday, September 14, 2007


Hi everyone,

Please please please help this worried dog owner: Zoë has gone missing and they are desperate to get her back.


My name is Zoë, here is a picture of me when I was a lot younger. I am now 4 years old. I am a spayed female German Shepard X Collie. I jumped over my wall on Saturday night, 1st Sept, I know my family is terribly worried about me and sad that I am missing.

Please help me find my way home You can call my owners 021 712 7769 or 072 539 3439 or you can take me to the SPCA in Grassy Park or the Southfield Vet.

Zoë went missing in the Plumstead / Southfield area, she is wearing a collar, but no tag. She is the size of a Border Collie with the colouring of a German Shepard.

Reader query: Persian kittens


We got an email today from a parent wondering if Persian cats were safe for kids – and also enquiring where it would be possible to get one from. Unfortunately we don’t know where the emailer is emailing from in South Africa, but we will give a general answer that will help all Persian-cat seekers.

First off, our vet nurse advises that the only problem that a Persian kitten might present is if your child has allergies - this is because the Persian is a long haired breed. You might also be thinking of Toxoplasmosis but this is a problem to pregnant owners and transferred in faeces and is applicable to all cats.

As for where to find your new pet, has a great list of breeders listed on their site – here are a few to get you started on your search:

Balouchi Persians are in Durban North. Check out their site at - You can call Christelle Horne at +27 31 563 3755

Cathroy Persians are in PMB. Check out their site at - You can call Morag Roberts at +27 33 3863838

Catstellation is in Bloemfontein. You can call Quinton at +27 83 309 2106

ChaCha Persians is in KZN. You can call Charmaine Turner at +27 39 31 44727 – and check out their site at

Chattapaws Persians is located in Johannesburg. You can call Susan or Mary at +27 83 457 7182 / +27 84 390 3344

Cherie-Finesse are located in Cape Town. You can call Alida Delport at +27 21 919 7593
For more information.

There are hundreds of others on that site, and if any of them don’t have the perfect Persian for you, you can be sure that they will know who do. You might also want to enquire at your local vet and check online at places like Gumtree and Junkmail – as well as Hope this helps!

Some Kitty Litter Tips

Choosing the right kitty litter tray for the newest addition to your family is not as easy as it sounds. There are two simple options: the enclosed litter tray and the open one. Some people suggest that a closed tray might make your cat shy about going to the bathroom should it ever have to do so in public, and, on the other hand, can make your cat dislike it because s/he feels too enclosed.

So what is a good cat owner to do?! The safest bet would be to choose the open box and to place it in a specific room – such as your bathroom or other area that isn’t very open. Of course, this is entirely dependent on your specific cat because each animal has its own personality, and consequently their own likes or dislikes. If your kitty doesn’t like the open box, then you may have to either enclose it, or replace it with an enclosed variation. Most cats like the open box, so it is a safe bet to start out with.

Kitty litter itself is also an amazing item – you can even get sophisticated kitty litter with odor control that masks any unpleasant smells resonating from the litter tray! Normal kitty litter works fine, but always replace the litter often to make sure that it is safe and comfortable for your cat to use. Litter trays are a great idea – especially if you live in a flat or complex that doesn’t have a garden.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another funny pic

Here's today's funny pet picture!

The importance of socialising your puppy

It is essential that you make sure that your puppy is well socialised in his or her early years so that they will get on with other dogs and even children as they grow up. There are a number of different ways that you can socialise your pup – taking them for walks in this beautiful spring weather is a definite must, and there are a lot of interactive puppy lessons on the go at puppy training facilities across the country.

A dog that wasn’t socialised as a pup with puppy training will have difficulty playing with other dogs, and might feel hostile towards other animals when you, his or her owner, are around. People also have to be socialised, but that is why we have to attend school. Your dog doesn’t have that, and more often than not the only people he will see are you and your immediate family.

Make sure that your puppy has the very best future ahead of him or her, and provide them with puppy playmates and puppy training school so that they experience a high socialisation factor. Puppy training facilities also allow your dog to interact with other dogs in a controlled and calm environment – just in case.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another cute picture for cat lovers

Here's another cute picture I couldn't stop giggling at:

Skye and Trevor: Pictures - how can you resist?

Hello everyone!

Louise sent me pictures of her gorgeous pups - The Great Dane is Skye and the Bull Mastiff is Trevor. Look at those paws!

Pet insurance for peace of mind

There is never any telling when or when accidents may strike, and it can be the scariest thing when they do. This is especially telling when an accident happens to your beloved pet – no matter how close you are to your pet, you never know what they are thinking, or what they want to tell you. This is clearly one of the motivations for pet insurance in South Africa.

Insurance can be a costly item for a member of your family, but you never let the price deter you from peace of mind and knowing that your children will always be looked after just in case. The same applies to your pets – they are also a part of your family – but luckily pet insurance doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. It doesn’t even make a dent in your bank account – for the cost of a movie and popcorn for two you can have your cat or your dog covered with the best pet insurance for a whole month.

Keep all of your family members safe with MediPet pet insurance, and don’t let panic strike when you are faced with costly bills for hip replacements, accident cover and more. Dogs will be dogs just like boys will be boys: make sure that your pet has the best life experiences and you can have the peace of mind knowing that they are always in good hands.

You can contact MediPet insurance toll free on 0800 MEDIPET or email them at

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reader request: STUD NEEDED


Got an email from Randall today - he is looking for a good-natured male Cocker Spaniel to mate with his beautiful female, pictured below.

If anyone knows of a breeder or a pedigree male in the Western Cape, please let us know and we'll pass on their details to Randall!

Love Comes in All Sizes

Hello again,
I have been getting a lot of sweet pet emails with cute pictures - going to start putting them up here so that everyone can see! Here's todays pic, titled Love comes in all sizes!

If you have any similar pictures, please feel free to send them to me so that we can share them with everyone!

Worried cat owner: getting the answers

Hello everyone,

We got an email today from a worried cat owner regarding pet health, and I thought that we should share this information with everyone just in case you are going through the same problem. There is nothing worse than worrying about your pet and not knowing what to do - thank goodness there is always someone that you can ask!

This was the query:

I am sending this email trying to find out what is wrong with my 1 year old female cat. She started moaning yesterday and seemed very restless. A short while later we noticed she was bleeding from her behind. At first I thought that she might be on heat and that it's not serious but now I'm not so sure anymore. Although she hasn't been eating as much over the last 2days, her nose is still wet and she does not seem ill but the bleeding has gotten a lot worse. I live far from town and have no transport to get her to a vet but I do not want anything to happen to her either. Can you possibly advise me and set my mind at rest? She is very lovable and almost human in a way and this is the first time that I have seen so much blood from an animal on heat. Is it normal?

Our great team vet nurse got on the case immediately with a helpful pet health response:

We need to find out if the cat is spayed, if so then it could be a bladder infection in which case she needs to take her to the vet quite urgently.
If she isn’t spayed then it sounds like she is in season. The calling/wailing noise that they make is normal and their appetite does decrease. The bleeding normally lasts between 5 – 6 days. It is best to keep the cat indoors so she does not become pregnant or get hurt in the process. There will be a lot of tom cats around at this time and fights are a common occurrence.
If she is still worried having her checked over is definitely recommended.

We all hope that this information was useful. If you have a query, don't keep quite! Especially when it is pet health at stake. Email us at and we'll give you all the answers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Poll Results

Good morning South Africa! (It sounds like Groundhog Day, doesn’t it?)

The results of our first poll are in! The question was where did you get your pet? And the results:

55% from a private breeder
11% from a pet shop
33% from an adoption agency

Most of the pet owners that I know are the kind of people who prize their pets as members of the family, so I expected that the majority of the vote would lean towards the private breeder option – but I must add that I was surprised that 33% got their pets from adoption agencies! That’s great news for abandoned cats and dogs in South Africa.

There are a number of great adoption agencies in South Africa – Wet Nose being one of the finest around because they take an active interest in their animals, and update their website regularly to keep visitors informed about when animals get adopted and more.

Private breeders, on the other hand, are also a great place to get your pet from because you will get a complete family tree history for your puppy or kitten – peace of mind is essential when you are adding a new addition to your family.

Thank you so much for voting, it was definitely a pleasant eye-opener. Place your votes for this week – this is a great new question that should pose some fun results next Monday: How often do you brush your pet’s teeth?!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Winston: pictures - how cute is this little guy?!

Hi Everyone!

Mandi sent me some pictures of her beautiful pup Winston. Check them out, and don't forget to leave your comments!

Cat Scratchers: get rid of those bad habits

All cats scratch, which is why it is so important that you make sure that you provide your kitty with a nice scratching post so that they don’t ruin your expensive furniture! Cats don’t distinguish between furniture and scratching posts initially, and will always go and scratch what feels best. It is not bad cat behaviour to scratch – you just need to direct your kitty to the right place to do it.

To improve cat behaviour it is highly recommended that you purchase a specialized scratching post, or find out how to make your own. Then you need to encourage your cat to play around the post until they discover how great the scratching post feels. If it is a good alternative to furniture, you might find that your cat starts to leave your furniture alone!

Something else you may wish to consider is attaching things to your existing furniture that cats generally don’t like. These items include anything that sticks to fur (like sticky tape, prestik or double sided tape) and metals like tin foil. Remove the attraction of your furniture and your kitty will learn good cat behavior in no time!

Cats are easy creatures to please, and they love to be attended to (and waited on) day and night. Making sure that your kitten always has plenty of love and attention will occupy their mind, and won’t leave them bored and frustrated which is the cause of most scratching. Keep your cat happy and they will exhibit good cat behavior. You might also want to clip your kitty’s nails on a regular basis so that they don’t drive him or her mad.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A fun cat news article

Hi everyone,

I was catching up on the latest news at and came across this hilarious animal article, and I thought that I just HAD to share it with you all. It is about an animal behaviorist school in New York – the Acatemy – that encourages cat owners to behave like their pets in order to understand them better! I can’t wait to read all of your comments about this one!

Please note that the text can be found on the News24 website at this address:,,2-10-1462_2169306,00.html – and it is also included in full here.

Getting to know your cat - 24/08/2007 14:42

New York - To know a cat, you must walk a mile in its paws, say animal behaviourists running a training school in New York where cat owners get to behave like their animals to understand them better.

The "Acatemy" is offering cat owners various classes such as"cat-isthenics" where you exercise like a cat, climbing on oversised scratchers and batting an oversized ball of yarn, and "cat-napping" where you curl up on a bean bag and snooze.

"People are going to learn a lot just by acting like a cat, and people are going to relieve a lot of stress in their lives," said Warren Eckstein, a radio show host and author of How to Get Your Cat to do What You Want.

The school, set up at New York's Daryl Roth Theatre by Del Monte Foods' catfood label Meow Mix, argues that if people can think like their favourite felines it will foster mutual understanding between cats and their humans.

Carol Puttra, 50, of New York and her 19-year-old daughter Anastasia attended the six-day training camp hoping to understand more about their deaf cat who twitched her ears a lot for no particular reason they could see. "She's so much more mysterious," said Puttra. "We'd love to learn more about her."

What makes cats happy?

Feline behaviourists, cat therapists, veterinarians and pet psychics were on hand to answer questions about what makes animals happy.

The Amazing Kreskin, aka George Kresge, a mentalist who became popular on a television show aired in the United States and Canada in the 1970s, says he spends much of his time reading the thoughts of his beloved cats Miss Kitty, Squeaky and Bugsy.

He said cats "know our whims, they know our feelings and our body gives off heat. The way we touch them tells them an awful lot".

"I say this as a mentalist and with a degree in psychology, You want to learn a lot about a person, see how they treat animals," said Kreskin who is holding a seminar at the event.

Pet psychic Emerald DuCoeur was offering to connect with people's cat - both alive and dead - to find out about their previous lives, their health and views on harmony.

After a six-day stint in New York, the Academy is making an 11 city tour of the United States starting on August 29 in Pittsburgh and ending on November 4 in San Francisco.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pet FAQ Launch

Hi everybody,

This is to announce that we are now opening the PET FAQ section on this blog. Simply email all of your queries relating to pet care, pet health, medical issues and more to us at and we’ll get the whole team onto it straight away! There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait in long queues at the vet, or not knowing exactly what you have to do to help your pet when they are ill – so take advantage of this forum today and get all of the information that you require for free.

We’re trying to build the SA pet community through interactive blog postings, so please send us your pet pictures and stories so that we can share them with the rest of the world. The Pet FAQ section will be able to provide you with reliable advice and great tips to help you to provide your pet with superior care. Cats and dogs nowadays are being elevated to family member status, and as such it is essential that you provide them with the same love and attention that you would your children – after all, your pup grows up to think that he’s one of the kids anyway!

Now that our SA PET LOVERS blog is in full swing you can bookmark this site and check back every day for advice, tips, stories, pictures, jokes, pet faq and much more! Every day there will be a new addition to the postings, including pet profiles, vet advice, general tips, community events and other information for your cats and dogs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The benefits of giving your puppy his/her own space

Many dog and puppy trainers will preach the benefits of teaching your dog where his or her own dog cushion is in your home. By ensuring that your pooch has their own little space that they can go to in order to feel comfortable, you make sure that the dog is comfortable, relaxed and at ease in your home. This can also prevent unexpected sneaky excursions into your bed in the middle of the night, and, with proper training, can even help to stop your dog from sitting on your furniture.

A dog cushion provides more than just a comfortable place for your dog to enjoy – it also provides them with a place of obedience. This means that your dog will learn to associate certain actions or rules with their comfy cushion – such as ‘stay’ or ‘lie down’ when you have guests. This can be achieved with the proper training. Cushions, leads, collars and other accessories can be great aids for training your pup to have good dog behaviour.

There are many different styles of cushions to choose from. Many pet owners choose their dog cushion to suit their home décor, but you can also choose fun patterns to suit your dog’s personality if you would prefer. Choose something soft and comfortable that your dog will look forward to lying down on, and see how much happier it will make them. Whether you choose a dog bed or a dog cushion, it is essential that you provide your dog or puppy with their own space where they can enjoy their lazy days and relax in style.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Kitten Season

I have recently been looking around for a new addition to my home – a little cat with a bit of personality. I was, however, taken completely off-guard when, to my dismay, the pet shop near my home told me that I should call back in November as it isn’t yet kitten season. Kitten season? Are you serious? I thought that kittens were common all year round. It turns out, though, that kittens are abundant only near the end of September and thereafter: after hearing a few other people talking about their frustrations in finding kittens I decided to investigate this matter further.

The AWS (Animal Welfare Society) in Philipe encouraged me to come at the end of the month so that I could have my pick of the litter, and numerous pet shops in the Western Cape area all told me to call back in a month or two. After checking various online classifieds, newspapers, community handouts and tabloids I discovered that there really weren’t many kittens out there looking for a new home: they were all older than six months, and their owners were either moving or allergic!

Something else that you will have to consider is that you have to be very careful when buying (or adopting) a kitten in a private manner (like through the classifieds) because more often than not these kittens can be feral offspring and might not be the loving and attentive pet that you hoped for. Most adoption agencies will tell you the kitten’s heritage if they know it, pet shops almost always only stock the tamed kind, and private breeders can guarantee you of your new kitten’s pedigree or superior genealogy.

The DARG association, amongst other adoption agencies, breeders and veterinarians, insists that the worst thing that you can do is adopt a pet on a whim. This can lead to neglect and inconvenience, and is often the reason why these institutions fill up so quickly. If you want to get a puppy or a kitten it is essential that you think through the whole thing very carefully and make sure that it is what you want to do. Maybe kitten season isn’t such a bad idea after all – it gives you the time that you need to think about your priorities. Cats and kittens are independent animals, but they still love a lot of attention and a good home.

So back to the kitten season: it turns out that you can get kittens easily from about the end of September all the way through into the next year. That gives you plenty of time to find just the right cat with just the perfect personality to be the newest addition to your family! We’ll be doing a number of breed profiles over the next few weeks so that should help you to make an informed decision if you are looking for a special kind of pet – be sure to check back often!