Monday, March 31, 2008

Kitty grooming

Grooming your cat is probably not something that you give too much thought to – unless you are already taking great care of your animal. But cats do need grooming attention even though they are renowned self cleaners. Your cat might have a few sensitive areas or might just need a little assistance in keeping their fur in the best possible condition.

Short haired cats will need a little less attention in the grooming department than the long haired cats but will still need to bathed or brushed and may just need a good overall physical check once in a while. By spending some time brushing your cat you will be able to see if there are any changes or areas of your cat’s body that may need some treatment or attention.

With long haired cats you will need to brush and comb their beautiful long fur on a regular basis, in some cases even daily brushing is needed, to help prevent the fur from matting up and although cats do keep themselves – and each other – well washed, you may find it quite helpful in the prevention of fleas and ticks to give your cat a good bath every once in a while.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pet health

Obesity and bad health is not something that is only relevant to the eating habits of humans – our furry counterparts are also vulnerable to incorrect eating and excessive weight that can play havoc with their pet health. By keeping a check on what your cat of dog consumes and how much of it they consume you can assure that your pet will have and will be able to maintain a good bill of health.

Pet health starts by watching that your pet is eating the foods that they need to be eating and that they are not eating too much or too little. Along with the correct eating habits you will also need to make sure that your pet is well exercised. By playing with your animal and by going for walks with your dog you can ensure that they keep fit and are able to feel healthy. Exercising will keep your animal fit and will also help to keep their weight in check, and the walking and playing with your pet will also means that you get in a little bit more exercise too.

Your pet is a part of your family and plays an integral part in your life so it up to you to make sure that their pet health is cared for and well monitored.

Dog training myths

Dog training is a bridge that all of us dog owners need to cross at some point in time. Although we may not go all out in training our dogs we still need certain elements to be covered. There are however tried and tested ways and means of teaching our dogs the things that we need and want them to know. Some techniques however do more damage than they do any good. Here are two dog training myths that you need to try and avoid when you do train your dog:

Dog training myth number 1: you need to yell at your dog to get them to listen to you.
Yelling rarely helps and if it does work it will be a short lived form of help that is not guaranteed to always get the best results. Yelling can lead to over excitement and can get the dog thinking that something is wrong without effectively letting them know what exactly is wrong.

Dog training myth number 2: you need to dominate your dog by using physical force.
As with yelling you may think that this is effective but in long term view it is extremely ineffective in keeping your dog in order. When training your dog you need to be calm, consistent and fair – it’s the only way to get them to learn how and what to do.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Important Pet Assistance

Pet assistance is something that all of us loving pet owners need at some stage. Whether we need assistance with our own pets, if we want to help out a neighbour or if we have found a stray animal, it is good to know who and where to go to for good and reliable pet assistance. We must also remember that as much as we may at times need assistance with our animals the organisations that offer their services can very often also do with our help.

In South Africa there are a number of reliable places and caring people that offer pet assistance services. In Cape Town there is the Cat Assistance Team (CAT) that looks after cats in and around Pollsmoor and aims to give care to the feral cats in the Cape Town area. There is also The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS), which accommodates and looks after stray and injured animals. There is the South African Mass Animal Sterilization Trust (SAMAST) which aims to provide and fund sterilization services in disadvantaged areas and there is of course the well known SPCA which is a long standing organisation that strives to make the lives of animals and pet owners the best that it possibly can by offering its pet assistance services. Look after your pet when you invest in your very own pet insurance policy from MediPet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Puppy Training

Have you just recently brought a gorgeous new puppy into the home? Well then you have probably realised that you need to teach your pup a few things to make them more house and people friendly. Puppy training usually includes the essential basics of teaching your pup not to poop and pee inside the house, to stop nipping and to interact well with other dogs, people or children.

When you start your puppy training decide early on what you are willing to accept and what you are not willing to accept in your house. Consistency and fairness is an absolute key factor to successfully training your puppy in the ways that will be best for both you and the little pup. Also remember that a new puppy is like a little kid – dogs ages are seven times that of their human ages so don’t expect more from a 1 year old dog than you would from a 7 year old child.

The words you choose to use to communicate with your puppy during puppy training are the words you will use to communicate with them for the rest of their lives so make sure that you use good, clear and simple words with your puppy that you will still feel fine using with them when they are all grown up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Some interesting kitten facts

Here are some interesting and even some useful kitten and cat facts that all cat owners should know:

• Ailurophilia is a word meaning "love of cats"
• The nose pads of kittens and cats is ridged in a pattern that is unique
to each and every cat, just like that of the fingerprint of a human
• A cat's heart beats twice as fast as a human heart. A kitten’s heart can
beat even faster and reaches from 110 to 140 beats per minute.
• The largest cat breed is the Ragdoll
• The smallest cat breed is the Singapura
• You should not pick kittens or a cats up by the scruff of their neck,
only mother cats can assuredly do this safely
• One female cat could have more than 100 kittens during her life while
she is still breeding
• Sir Isaac Newton, the incredible man who discovered of the principles of
gravity, also invented the extremely useful cat door
• Cats eyes come in three shapes: round, slanted and almond
• The color of a kitten's eyes will change as it grows older

We are constantly learning new things about our beloved pets and some of these facts are incredibly intriguing!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Animal Accident: when it helps to have MediPet behind you

Do you have a plan in place in case something was to happen to your beloved cat or dog, or other pet? Safety and animal accidents are not something that you have to over think, but by giving it a bit of practical and well reasoned thought you can avoid panic and problems when – and if – something unexpected were to happen to your animal.

Be sure that the vet that you choose to take your pet to is in the near vicinity of your home. Having to travel a distance to get to a vet in an emergency is not going to be the ideal option. In instances of a pet accident getting your animal to help as quickly as possible is often the most important factor. So be prepared to get your pet to a vet by knowing where the nearest vet is and by knowing the best route to take to get there.

An animal accident is the last thing we want to think about and is the last thing we actually want to happen to our pets. Whether it is a small paw injury, a car accident or a fight with another dog we don’t want to see our pets in an accident or in any pain resulting from one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Animal Kennels: thinking about winter

With winter just around the corner we need to make sure that our animals are protected from the bitter cold. If your cats or dogs spend a lot of their time outdoors or if you leave them outside of the house when you go out then kennels or another safe and enclosed structure is essential.

Kennels provide a safe space for your pet to crawl into when it is raining and when it is cold. If your animal is going to be spending a lot of their time outside then it is a good idea to leave their food and water bowls close to their kennel and also leave a dog blanket or a cushion inside of the kennel to add comfort and warmth. If you have more than one animal you may want to get each of them their own kennel or you could opt for a larger size kennel to fit both animals – that is of course if they get along well and are used to being in such close proximity to each other.

Kennels provide good protection from rain, wind and cold weather and will give your pets a cosy place to snuggle up in while they are outdoors.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good hydration is essential in this hot weather!

In the summer heat it is very important to ensure that your pets are getting in enough water to sustain them throughout the day. When temperatures are up so are our needs to drink and it is essential to every aspect of your dog or cat health to get in the right amount of water to prevent dehydration in the hot summer months.

When you leave for work in the morning be sure to check your cat or dog’s water bowls and fill them up with enough water to last them through the day. Also be sure to leave a bowl outside for your dog if you close them outside while you are away from the home. Dog and cat health is reliant on getting the right nutrition and the right nutrition in the necessary amounts. Dogs often will resort to drinking out of swimming pools and willf ind drain water and other undesirable water sources if the cannot find a clean good bowl of water.

Drinking water from places such the swimming pool and drains can lead to illness and stomach troubles.Keeping a watchful eye on your pet’s water bowls and ensuring that they always have access to clean fresh water will go a long way in ensuring good dog and cat health.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dog Health

Dog health is an issue that needs to be taken seriously and as a loving dog owner you know that you need to be observant as well as informed when it comes to your dog’s health. There are certain health related concerns that regularly come up with dogs that you can be informed about and can be prepared to handle before they even happen. One of these is dog diarrhoea and constipation which is something that can affect dog health from their earliest puppy stages right into their later adult life.

In older dogs and in puppies diarrhoea can quite adversely affect dog health. The dogs can quite quickly become dehydrated due to a large loss of fluids and can very quickly lose a lot of essential nutrients too. Diarrhoea is not always a serious problem but it can sometimes be a symptom of a bigger problem and if untreated it can also lead to bigger health problems.

Some causes of diarrhoea in dogs are stomach or intestinal viruses, intestinal parasites – such as worms – or a change in diet may also take a while for your dog’s stomach to adapt to. In this case you can check for worms, visit your vet or slowly phase in a new food. If the problem persists for a few days then a dog health check visit to your vet is the best way to get to the root of the problem.

Friday, March 14, 2008

SPCA annual Mutt of the Year!

The SPCA is holding its annual “Mutt of the Year” competition on Sunday the 16th of March 2008 - that is in two days time. The competition is open to any one who owns a mixed breed dog, or mutt, and is a competition that requires no formal dog training. It is a great way to show off your dog and their beauty, their character and is a wonderful opportunity to spend the day in the company of other mixed breed dogs with their loving owners. Categories in the competition include:
Dog with the longest tail
Animal/Owner look-alike (both looks & personality)
Bark like a dog
Best Pup and the prestigious title of Mutt of 2008

Mutt of the year competitions are quite widely held and they celebrate the love for your dog no matter what kind of mixed breed he or she happens to be, whether they have had dog training or not. Specific breed dogs can be beautiful and are acknowledged for their usual grace and beauty but there is nothing like a ‘pavement special’ or a mixed breed and the extra special animal character that comes from a loving and lively mutt.

For more information contact the SPCA on (021) 700-4141 / 082-921-3347 or visit their website at for information and entry forms.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Puppy Adoption

Have you recently adopted a puppy? I bet he or she is the cutest ting you have ever seen! But integrating your puppy into everyday household life can lead to a few snags here and there. There are ways to make the process of making your home puppy friendly without having to change too much about your home. Puppy adoption is a real blessing and nobody wants this blessing to come with any frustration or lots of cleaning up behind your family’s newest member.

A puppy needs guidelines from day one of their puppy adoption and without having to be a strict tyrant you can make their new home comfortable and fun for both them and for you with a few and simple puppy basics. Number one is to get your puppy potty trained. Do this by feeding them at regular times and then by taking them outside at regular times too. They will soon get used to the routine and will stop any unnecessary messing on your floors.

And remember that it is never too early to learn, so quite soon after your puppy adoption you can start training your pup with dog training techniques that use repetition and reward systems to stop your pup from nipping and to teach them to obey your commands.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some interesting cat health facts

Have you ever sat in awe and wonder at some of the things that your cat does? Have some of their peculiar activities led you to wondering if their cat health and mental health is all in check? Well, cats are most definitely unique and very special creatures with some unusual yet cat-normal habits. Here are some interesting, and even some bizarre facts about the wonderful animals:

Cats have 230 bones in their little bodies, humans on the other hand have 206 bones.
The cat’s collarbone – or clavicle – is free standing, meaning that it is not connected to any of the other bones. This allows for the cat to fit and even squeeze through spaces that need only to be the size of the cat’s head. So your pet’s cat health is not in danger when you see him or her squeezing through seemingly impossible spaces.
It may take up to 2 weeks for a kitten to be able to hear properly and their eyes, known to open after 2 days, usually open within to 7 and 10 days.
And one last intriguing fact is that cats use their tongues to scoop liquid into their mouths backwards. So if you notice some strange things about your cat it may just be a feline quirk with no need for concern for their cat health.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pet blog update

Dear Readers,

The benefits of having a pet blog like our one here at SA Pet Lovers is that you can get sound advice from our resident vet nurse regarding the health of your pet. The internet is a growing enterprise that allows you to get fast, free advice regarding your pet in just a few moments - the perfect way to calm down a panicky pet owner when s/he doesn't know what's wrong with their cat or dog. Over the last seven months we have dispensed personal tips and information to everyone who has emailed us looking for help, and now we are going to publish forthcoming queries on this blog forum to provide the South African pet owners community with all of the extra help that they can get!

Don't forget, you can email us here at for reliable advice from a qualified veterinarian nurse, and ensure that your pet is always in good hands when you have the best pet insurance for complete peace of mind. This is just another way that MediPet SA is making sure that the SA pet owning community gets all of the help that they need! This pet blog exists for its readers, so don't hesitate to drop us an email or post a comment - or even just send us pictures of your furry family! We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pet Pictures - from Julie

Dear Readers,
Julie is one of our devoted readers that has spent most of our time with us as we've grown from a simple advice blog to a community blog with a serious interest in pets - you will all remember her as Binsky's mom. The following are her furry family, nicknamed the zoo and we're so pleased to feature them here on SA Pet Lovers! Thanks for all of the input Julie, your pets are beautiful!
This is Kimble:

... and the Twins - too cute! (one of them is Kimble from above, the other is Gizmo)
... and beautiful Bellie:

and finally the dogs in the home, Tyson:

and gorgeous Nula:

Animal allergies

Have you recently developed allergies towards your pets? Are have you suffered from allergies to animals most of your life and are desperately wanting to somehow bypass them so that you too can be a loving animal owner? Well there are solutions to both of these problems. Allergies toward animals are often caused by an unusually high sensitivity to what is presumed to be caused by sensitivity towards animal fur. Animal fur however is quite harmless in itself. What makes the animal fur so potentially effective on your health are the tiny allergy triggering proteins called allergens.

Allergens are secreted by glands in the animal’s skin and are present in the animal’s dry skin, saliva and urine, because animals lick themselves clean the allergens from the saliva dry out the animal’s fur and can become airborne. The myth goes that long haired animal’s are more likely to cause allergies, but it is not necessarily true as it is not the fur but the allergens on the fur that cause the allergic reactions. By keeping your animals well groomed, clean and by regularly vacuuming up after them you can drastically reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction to your animal.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Oh no! FLEAS!

Does you cat or dog have fleas? This pesky little bug can cause hours of hassle and can leave extremely itchy and annoying bites all over you and your pets. When you first notice that your animals are scratching that is the best time to leap into action and to get rid of the fleas while they are still quite easily controllable.

Fleas get onto your pets and into your house through dust, sand and by coming into contact with other animals that already have fleas. Thankfully they are easy to control and when you have seen that your pets are extra itchy you can do something quite quickly and easily to get rid of the impending flea problem.

Many pets do not enjoy being bathed but bathing your pets with an anti-flea shampoo is one of the simplest and also one of the surest ways to get rid of the fleas. Other good anti-flea products include powders, collars and for a fast acting result when you are unable to bath your pets you can give them anti-flea pills that get to work within half an hour. Once fleas are left to their own pesky devices your job to get rid of them will be much harder than if you caught them early on.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pet sterilization-only clinic

Dear Readers,

The following article is from the News24 website and may give you cause for thought as you consider this week's poll about cat sterilization. Please vote and share your opinions with everyone else!

The South African Mass Animal Sterilisation Trust (SAMAST) recently
announced the establishment of the first ever permanent “sterilisations only”
animal clinic in South Africa.
A 12m-long shipping container at Mdzananda
Animal Clinic is being converted into an operational sterilisation clinic where
all SAMAST funded sterilisations will take place.

"We are so excited to be a hairs breath away from reaching this goal and
with just a little more help, a fully operational, permanent sterilisation
clinic will be up and running in Khayelitsha, the largest informal settlement in
the Western Cape,” say Tamsin Nel, director and fundraiser of SAMAST.

SAMAST is appealing for product and any financial support in support of
this project. “No donation is too big or small,” says Nel.

Clinic about hope and compassion“Mass sterilisation is a pro-active
solution to eliminate the cause of a lot of misery. This is why this unique
clinic is about hope and compassion.”
SAMAST has been campaigning for free
mass sterilisations to become a daily occurrence in underprivileged areas since
September 2006 and has so far funded 735 sterilisations at the cost of R110-250.

SAMAST believes that the only way to address animal over-population is
to be consistent and focused. They are able to pay for eighty-five
sterilisations every month and are working towards a funding target of 365 spays
and neuters per month in Khayelitsha before turning their attentions to other
areas in need.

Managing your pet’s health“Each time a community member has their cat
or dog sterilised they are empowered because they now have a far more manageable
task of care-giving. They no longer have to deal with the hopelessness of litter
after litter of unwanted dead and dying kittens and puppies. I have seen how
this (sterilisation) impacts very positively on the level of care their animals
receive, and the fewer diseased and sick animals with mange and ringworm for
example, the healthier the human population is too because they are less at risk
in contracting scabies or being covered in ringworm,” says Nel.

Contact SAMAST at 021 794 3761 or emailed on
for more information on pet sterilisation, or donations.
Read more:

Keeping up to date on animal health

Having pets and having to take care of them can sometimes feel like you have children to take care of. And in many ways you do but that does not mean that you have to fret and worry pedantically about your cat or dog’s animal health. Your pet needs some basics to ensure their good health and you can take care of these quite simply and easily.

First off is their food and nutritional needs. With great vet endorsed and nutritionally researched foods available at local shops you can be sure that your cat or dog will be getting the essential food requirements that they need to grow and age with. On top of these foods if your vet recommends something extra or a specialized type of food your pet will still be getting the right foods that they need to ensure good animal health.

Once you are certain that your pets are getting the right foods you can look to their grooming needs. Short and medium hair pets usually need less grooming than long hair pets, but by keeping them clean, bathed and brushed you can keep your animals looking good and it will go a long way to keeping their animal health in check as well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Some cat litter trivia: the man behind the idea

In 1947 cat litter was invented by a man named Edward Lowe. He had found a hardy and absorbent gravel-like substance that was being used to clean up factory floors. He thought to try it out as a means for cat trays and it worked! So for the last 61 years our indoor lives with our pets have been a lot easier to handle thanks to one man and his practical thinking when it came to cats.

The cat litter that we use today is still just like that of the type that Edward Lowe first tried out but we have also made some changes and even some advancements in the cat litter industry over the six decade period. Now you do not have to go around to factories or find factory suppliers for your cat litter, you can just pop down to a local shop and buy bags in suitable amounts from 2.5 to 10 kilogram bags.

The newest improvement in the cat litter front is silicone litter which is more absorbent and gives off fewer odours than the usual gravel cat litter. With practical trays and litter box liners we can be glad that Edward Lowe once tried out something new.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Read our pet blog - we're here to help you!

Who or where do you go to when you are in urgent need of good and trustworthy information relating to animal health? Your vet is of course the ideal source for information and advice but seeing your vet is not always practical, and if you need the information really suddenly it is good to have someone and somewhere to get advice from quickly. A pet blog with good information and reliable animal advice is a great and very fast way of finding the information that you need.

A pet blog is a space that gives you and me the chance ask questions, share advice, exchange animal tips or even just tell each other about the cutest thing our pet did earlier in the day. With Medipet’s open forum and pet blog you can be informed and stay informed about the latest news and events regarding pets. You can pick up information extremely quickly about your cat or dog’s needs and you can even ask a professional for vet advice. Don't forget - you can email us at for quick answers and reliable information.

With the Medipet team’s pet blog you have access to an ideal way to share information and search for any information that you need on your pet’s day to needs and long term happiness.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Poll results: cutting your pet's nails.

Have you ever considered cutting your pet’s nails? If you have not then now may be the best time to give it some thought and then to practice some animal help and do it! The last poll question on this site asks how many times you cut your pet’s nails, if you answer never then you may be surprised to find out that there are a number of people who groom and cut their animal’s nails on a regular basis.

The results were as follows:
once a year - 21%
once every two months - 14%
once a month - 28%
never - 35%

Having indoor pets means that you cat or dog does not get the chance to run around outside, which is how animals usually and naturally keep their nails ‘filed’. Cats are known for scratching trees and by digging up sand dogs keep their nails sharp, short and naturally groomed. Sometimes a pet might just have long nails that do not wear down as quickly as they grow and they may need a bit of animal help to keep their nails in check. To have your pet’s nails cut you could take your dog or cat to a grooming parlour or you could learn to cut their nails yourself. If you are doing it yourself you should invest in a pair of dog or cat nail trimmers that will make cutting their nails much easier and safer.