Friday, August 29, 2008

Puppy Training

The saying goes that you can teach an old dog new tricks, but when you have just brought a brand new little puppy into your home you may be forgiven for thinking that the saying has got it backwards. Puppy training however can be done from the first week that your puppy has entered their new home, and the first few days at home with you can be vitally important to setting the pace to your upcoming puppy training.

From the start of puppy training you need to establish ground rules for your own sake, for the sake of the rest of the family and for the puppy’s sake. This way everyone will know where they stand and there will be less confusion as to what is permitted and what is not. Puppy training, like all forms of dog training requires consistency, and by letting the puppy do one thing today but yelling and disallowing it the next day will only cause confusion and will lead to a puppy that will learn to unnecessarily push and test boundaries – making future puppy training a lot more challenging.

Remember that puppy training should be fun! And it is a wonderful way to spend time with, and bond with your cute little puppy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Breed Profile: Irish Wolfhound

One of the most beautiful and also one of the largest dogs in the world is the Irish Wolfhound. This large animal is most noted for good nature and for its incredible size which generally reaches up to 90cm in height for males and about 80cm for females. When standing upright on their two hind legs these magnificent animals have been known to reach heights of 7 feet and even slightly taller, making them the tallest dog breed – even exceeding heights of Great Danes. With a mildly dishevelled look the Irish Wolfhound is surprisingly easy to groom and does not require vast amounts of animal grooming.

Categorised in the dog breed of sight hounds these are animals that are stimulated by what they see and enjoy playing and chasing playfully around gardens, because of their lively spirits and sheer size they do need to be kept in homes with gardens large enough to suit their own size. Unfortunately these gorgeous animals do not live very long and have a generally estimated life span of between 5-9 years. Despite their size and weight which, can reach up to well over 50 kilograms, Irish Wolfhounds are fast runners and make wonderful animals for competitive coursing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Animal know -how: your pet's collar and leash

Some animal help can be very valuable as choosing a collar and a leash for your dog or cat can sometimes prove to be a little trickier than one would think. Sometimes you can pick out a leash and collar and slip it right onto your pet and other times you have to fight to get them to wear it and a great battle of the wills can ensue – with the results very often being in favour of the animal’s will! With a little bit of animal help we can give you some good advice that can aid you in choosing the right collars and leashes for your specific pet.

Having a collar and a leash itself can provide great animal help – the security of knowing that your pet is ‘labelled’ as it were with your contact details and is securely fitted to a leash and won’t run off is some of the greatest animal help we as pet owners can ever have. But we must be able to choose a collar and a leash that is suited to our pet’s to be able to have the security of this animal help. If your pet is easy about their collar and leash then consider yourself blessed, certain dogs and cats refuse to wear them and provide no animal help themselves by scratching at the collar to try and get it off. If this is the case try out a few different types of collars – but most importantly make sure you have the right size fitted onto your pet!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Puppy Adoption!

It is that time of the year again and spring is in the air! And with spring comes new life and lots and lots of puppies! So it is a good time to chat about and even seriously consider puppy adoption! If you are one of those people (just like me!) who for years has been talking about and nagging friends about wanting a dog then seize the opportunity and adopt a cute, cuddly little pup this year!

Puppy adoption is something that will give both you and your new pup great joy – you will both gain an unconditionally loving best friend and through the puppy adoption you will also be able to give a wonderful home to an adorable little creature! Puppy adoption is a wonderful experience (so I am told) but it does need to be done with some careful thought and through the right channels. Be sure that when you do go into puppy adoption that you are not adopting a puppy from the likes of an illegal puppy mill, if you suspect something illegal alert the SPCA and before you do adopt your puppy be sure to talk to your vet and also check out your local SPCA and animal shelters for puppy adoptions – you may find your new best friend is already waiting for you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dog Health

Dog health is an important factor to your dog’s life and even when your loving best friend is aging it is your love that puts the spark into their overall dog health. When you are caring for an aging animal there is very little that you can always do to make them reverse their signs of aging. You can however make their life easier and more comfortable, and as a devoted animal owner you probably already do. Dog health is about a lot more than just making sure that your pet is eating the right foods and is getting enough exercise. Dog health is also very dependent on the love and attention that you as a pet owner can give to your dog. And when your pet is aging and is beginning to ail you may feel helpless as their primary care giver but all you need do is to continue to give your pet the love and attention that has fed and sustained their general dog health for all these years. As your dog ages their dog health needs to will change so for extra help for your dog’s well being do not hesitate to send us questions relating to your dog health or be sure to ask your vet!

Friday, August 22, 2008


When it comes to our pets there are certain questions that we and other pet owners ask again and again. These frequently asked pet questions are asked over and over because the information that pet owners look for is essential and necessary to almost every pet and owner. A pet faq shows that we all need to hear similar sorts of things and even some less frequently asked questions are sure to help you and many others.

That means that a pet faq can help more than just one person and by getting the right answers to a pet faq you can get quality advice and enlightened information that can assist you and many other pet owners. So if you have any niggling questions – no matter how simple or how often you have asked it send us a your pet faq and we can get the right information and assistance to your pet queries that can set your mind at ease to assist you in rearing a healthy and happy pet.

So, any pet faq that you have been thinking about, or any pet faq that comes to mind and you feel you would like to know more about, please send to us and we will do our best to answer them!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bird Flu Concerns

Recently there has been a lot of talk about BIRD FLU in the newspapers and on the TV, so what exactly is Bird Flu and how does it affect us?

In the simplest terms, bird flu is much like the common flu that we are all familiar with, although it has specifically adapted itself to bird hosts. Despite this, bird flu can affect other animals that feed off birds: Avian Influenza has killed millions of birds across the globe in the last five years, and 243 people have died from it (out of the 385 known cases of infection) when caught from birds. Ducks and chickens also catch this Avian Influenza which is problematic for humans as these are the two most commonly consumed poultry meats in the food market. Researchers have reported that a new strain of Bird Flu has broken out near Nigeria, and that this could prove detrimental to human health statistics if not treated properly. If you are interested in further reading on the Nigerian strain of bird flu then you should have a look at the original article found at the following URL:

Bird flu is not to be taken lightly, but there are a few easy ways to take precautions for you and your family members.
1. find out whether your local food market has their poultry checked often for signs of bird flu. These birds seldom make their way into the food market but it doesn't help to make 'double sure'.
2. choose organic bird products that have been carefully tended to and checked before leaving the farm and checked again before entering the supplier's store.
3. if an area has been demarcated as 'infected' you should be duly notified. When traveling through this area, such as certain areas in Asia during the last flu outbreak, it is recommended that you be careful to avoid contact with birds and poultry and only eat very carefully and thoroughly cooked poultry.
4. don't fall into the bird flu hype: while it pays to be cautious you should be careful to avoid falling prey to unnecessary hysteria. Officials will always do all that they can to prevent an outbreak of bird flu.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pet Advice

Pet advice comes in many forms and when applied in the best of ways pet advice can often go a long way in adding great improvement to you and to your pet’s everyday life. Pet advice does need to be practical and useful but there are times when pet advice can be useful, practical and great fun as well…

So have you ever wanted to zhoosh up your pet’s look? Do you want to get your pet to stand out in a crowd and be ooh-ed and aah-ed over with constant compliments and great attention? Well then the best pet advice is to get hold of a great designer or very funky clothing item to do the trick. Yes, yes, of course your cat or dog is already cute enough without any extra added items of clothing but this little bit of well groomed pet advice can be a great way of sprucing up their look and creating a fashionable repertoire for your pet that is sure to keep them looking fantastic!

An added incentive to this pet advice of dressing your little dog or cat up and will even keep them warm and cosy in the cooler Autumn and Winter months! So not only can your pet don the latest fashion trends but they can be well protected and comfy all at the same time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MediPet Insurance

Our pets show us year round unconditional love and we as devoted owners want to be able to show them the same love in return, and what better way to do so than to ensure that their health and medical well being is provided for? With Medipet insurance you can cover your pet form the very young age of just 8 weeks and their Medipet insurance cover will last them for their entire life.

Medipet insurance is the surest way of protecting your pet’s health and your pocket if anything unexpected were to happen and your pet was in dire need of veterinary attention. For just R115 per month for your cat and R125 per month for your dog you Medipet insurance will be as devoted as you are to ensuring that your pet is medically covered and kept in tip top health.

Medipet insurance also knows that insurance cover is much more than just paying for medical bills and your Medipet insurance package will therefore also be there for you and your pet in the form of support to help find your animal if they ever do go astray and are missing. You can’t go wrong with Medipet insurance tasking care of you financially and looking out for your pet’s health needs!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Animal stories: Macavity the cat

An animal can and very often does bring vast amounts of joy into our everyday lives. Here is a story about just one little furry feline animal that will make your heart beam and is certain to turn the corners of your mouth upwards.

The town of Wolverhampton in England is definitely home to one of the more adventurous and intelligent animals the world has to offer. This town and its bus drivers as well as the bus passengers have taken to a white cat who catches a bus ride in the mornings. The animal is seen most days jumping into the bus at one bus stop and then promptly jumping out of the bus at the next bus. Getting off at the second bus stop may not be too much of a coincidence for this cute animal as it is located very near to a fish and chips shop.

Nicknamed Macavity after the animal in T.S. Eliot’s poem, this impeccably snow white animal has two different coloured eyes – one blue and one green – and sports a purple collar making him unmistakable and his presence on the very same bus every morning makes him a cat of unusual merit. The cat is regularly seen up to three times a week jumping in and out of the bus and is not accompanied by an owner. The mystery of Macavity has passengers and bus riders very impressed and very amused with this clever little animal.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Not all dogs and cats have the same grooming needs. Depending on your pet’s particular breed type their needs and habits regarding grooming can be quite different to their other domestic animal counterparts. The distinctions in grooming that are most obvious are the differences in grooming needs between long, medium and short haired pets. The first notable thing to say about these differences is that one should not always assume that the shorter the hair, the easier it is to maintain. Although this is a general rule there are a number of grooming exceptions.

The grooming exceptions range from Rex Cats and other pets that sport very little fur and who need a lot of care and distinctive grooming, and may even require sunscreen to protect their skin from harm and sun, as these pets do not have the protection that fur affords other breed types.

Long haired animals require grooming to keep their fur from matting. To do this the best grooming solution is regular combing of the fur and bathing of your dog. Medium to short haired animals do generally require less stringent grooming but still need to combed and bathed. And do remember that grooming is not just an external practice - to keep the fur healthy and strong you can help your pet’s grooming from the ground level by ensuring that they are healthy and that they eat well too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How long does it take for puppies to open up their eyes?

When puppies are born they are, like humans, very vulnerable and need a lot of love and attention. We received a question this week asking us 'how long does it take for puppies to open their eyes after they are born?' - a great question for potential puppy breeders or for dog owners whose pups are becoming mommies this season!

Puppies can take anywhere between one week and two weeks to open up their eyes - until this time they will rely on their mother and their sense of smell to get around and to attend to their most vital needs: food, sleep and mom.

When your puppy first opens his eyes they will be blue. They will then change and become the more permanent colour, often brown, green or a mixture of the two. If you notice that there is drainage seeping from your puppy's eyes then you need to take a soft washcloth that has been dipped in some warm water and very gently wipe away the drainage with an extra soft touch. Check your puppy's eyes often to make sure that there is no drainage and that they comfortably respond to gentle visual stimuli such as moving a toy in front of them and seeing whether they follow it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dog Food

What we eat determines our health, our physical and mental growth and contributes greatly to our overall happiness and life span. The same goes for the effect of the food that our animals consume. Dog food regulations stipulate that all dog food should be manufactured according to certain standards. These standards, for dog food, set out to ensure that all dog food that is sold and marketed must be at a certain level of nutritional value that will be beneficial to our pets. This means that dog food that follows these legal regulations should not cause harm or have counter productive effects on our pets. But how do we as pet owners know which foods meet the requirements? And how do we make sure that the dog food we are feeding our dogs will beneficially contribute towards their health and general well being?

There are a few ways in which we can be sure of the standards of our dogs’ dog food. One, we can check that the dog food is certified either by a veterinary association or veterinary institute. This stamp of approval and vet assurance on particular dog food will mean that the dog food has been formulated, tested and is maintained at a standard that is proven to be good for your dog. Other ways is to get your own vet approval on your pet’s dog food. Speak to your vet and ask them about the dog food that is available on supermarket shelves and get expert advice on the best dog food for your little pooch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Your kittens are just venturing out into life and are encountering the world and its realms of interest for the first time. In just the first few weeks of your kittens life you are sure to learn and see first hand the real meaning behind curiosity being so strongly linked to the feature of cats. Kittens even more so than fully grown adult cats tend to let their new encounters ravish their attentions and they are easily caught up in the wonder of anything new, anything that moves, smells and tastes new to them.

Kittens are intrinsically playful and this playfulness is more than just curiosity and liveliness. Playing with you, with other kittens and with a ball, kittens toy or piece of scrunched up paper is vitally important to any kittens development. Through play kittens will learn, they will be able to keep dexterous while strengthening their growing muscles and they will also be able to build up a relationship with you and their near animal counter parts that will lead to strong bonds and good relationships.

Encouraging your kittens to play and spending time playing with them will help to direct their energy, and need to learn, in the right directions. Kittens learn fast and grow up just as fast, with a playful and happy kittenhood you can be sure that your kittens will grow up to be wonderfully reared and loving adult cats.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Looking after new born puppies is an exciting and wonderful experience,
that while having its few challenges can bring vast amounts of joy to both
you and to your new puppy! If you have never had puppies running around in
your home before or if you have grown accustomed to your adult dogs then
getting used to the new puppies may take a little time, and knowing your
puppies and what they are all about can help in making them easier to
understand and much easier to live with when their infamous ‘puppies bouts
of mischief’ strike.

Despite how incredibly cute they are puppies are born blind, deaf and
toothless. During their first week of life puppies spend about 90% of
their time sleeping and about 10% of the time eating. After the first week
puppies will start to become more curious about their surroundings and
between their adventuring and playing puppies will tend to sleep around 14
hours a day.

As your puppies grow they will teeth, play a lot and with your guidance
they will learn all they need to know about being a dog. Puppies are
considered to be adult dogs when they reach the age on one year. At one
year puppies are at the physical maturity of a 15 year old human being.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Your Cape Town Vet

You may sit and wonder about, and even have a few questions, as to what it is exactly that your Cape Town vet can do for your animal. Well, from practical advice to major health and surgical help your Cape Town vet can prove to be valuable to you and to your pet than you could have imagined.

In the wild animals can take very good care of themselves. With reliable Cape Town you and your pet can be aided in taking care of all their health needs. Wild animals in their natural habitats can keep themselves in healthy conditions, can also keep themselves clean and can even, in most cases, take care of their own wounds and other ailments. Wild animals, however, that can live peacefully in their natural surroundings do not have to deal with manufactured foods, cars and city life in the way that our city slicking domestic animals do. Hence your Cape Town vet or local city vet can prove to be invaluable in maintaining the healthy balance of your pet’s life.

With regular assistance in caring for your pet’s health your Cape Town vet can do annual check ups and give your cat or dog their necessary shots that will protect your pet from viruses and diseases that are known to be a danger to domestic pets. And if your pet should ever need emergency or anything more than the usual vet assistance your Cape Town vet is sure to be able to provide all the health care that is needed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cat Food

Choosing what to feed your cat or dog is something that can lead to lengthy periods spent hanging around the pet isles in local shops. Finding something that is both affordable, healthy, and is also enjoyable to your pet can be a bit of a challenge but there a few basic steps that can help make the choices around cat food much simpler. Cat food comes in an extremely wide range of varieties, not only can you choose between dry and soft cat food but within these two types there are innumerable brands and different varieties to choose from. The companies that produce these cat foods do of course have a pretty good idea as to what cats enjoy but as you might – and probably will – experience your cat may have a few fussy ideas of their own as to what their cat food should entail.

Starting out at the kitten phase you will likely be feeding your kitten softer cat food that they can easily digest. As kittens are young, they are more likely to try out foods that older cats may steer away from, so as your kitten starts to grow and moves onto more solid cat food you can experiment with different cat foods to see which ones meet their approval. By speaking to your cat’s vet and to other cat owners you can find out which cat foods are the healthier options and then be guided by your cat’s own delights in choosing flavours and treats to keep their cat food interesting and their diets in top form.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

MediPet Insurance

Pet insurance may be a new idea to some but when you look into the numerous benefits that it affords both you and your pet you will soon see that insuring your pet’s health with Medipet insurance can go a long way in protecting both you and your dog or cat. Medipet insurance offers health care cover to both dogs and cats and you can take out reliable insurance cover for each one of your pets. For the cost of about two movie tickets you can ensure that your pet will have the best and most reliable health care when they are most in need of it.

With Medipet insurance you can cover your pets health from just R115 per month for your cuddly little cat or R125 per month for your gorgeous pooch. Medipet insurance also offers your pet more than just basic health care cover as Medipet insurance is prepared to step in and help you beyond the means of health cover in that they will even assist you in covering the costs of advertising and offer a reward to help you retrieve your pet if they were ever to be missing. And if you ever need veterinary advice this forum and the Medipet insurance website are your portal to great advice and help.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Animal safety and your dog

Do you find that your dog develops a mean streak when it is around other dogs that lead to serious animal safety concerns? You can train your dog to be vigilant and weary without them becoming fighters that jump at every gate that they walk past and being belligerent around other animals and people that they do not know. Dog fighting can lead to unfortunate problems and animal safety concerns, but with the right training and knowledge you can train your pet to heed your calls and listen to your commands that can save you both from dangerous animal safety situations.

Sufficient dog training and a good relationship with your pet can ensure that when a stressful or unexpected situation arises you can have enough control over your pet to protect both their animal safety and the safety of others around you. Animal safety needs to take both your pet and other people and their pets into consideration.

Being aware of your dog’s character and the ways in which they will respond to different situations and animals can help save you unnecessary worry about animal safety and stress when your dog comes into contact with other animals and people.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Animal Watch Dogs

The value of a good watchdog can be immeasurable but when you do choose and train your animal to be guard to protect you, your family and your property be sure to have properly trained so that while they are protecting you they can do so with putting themselves in as little danger as possible. An animal will love, serve and protect and with the right training your animal can be trained to respond in the necessary ways and with the correct amount of haste and manner.

Any dog that is trained whether it is a big animal or a smaller dog can be a successful guard dog. A key component is teaching your animal to recognise a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation. One of the first steps is letting your animal know that it is good to make a noise to either attract attention and help or to scare off any would be assailants.

Bigger animals such as Rottweilers, Great Danes and Dobermans are generally perceived to be the better watch dogs as they have both the bark and the bite when it comes down to the crunch but they too need to be properly trained to learn how to react and to protect both you and themselves.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cat Brushing Solution! The Cat Comb

Yesterday we spoke about how you can ease your kitty into a brushing routine, but what happens when he absolutely hates to sit still? This great Cat Comb device is just the solution!

This device is a wall mounted corner plastic comb that features plastic brush bristles. It is soft enough to give kitty a safe brushing yet tough enough to remove all of the stray hairs that usually end up around your couch or bed. Watch as your cat rubs himself along the bristled edges all day and has a great grooming time!

The particular device featured above is called a 'Cat-a-Comb' and also includes two plastic holders for Catnip to attract kitty and make grooming a fun occasion. The Cat Comb is a great way to make grooming more enjoyable for your cat, and is light on your pocket too. There are a number of different manufacturers who produce this wall mounted comb so pop down to your local pet shop or vet to get one that fits your budget. You could also choose to make your own cat comb in your home for your kitty's favourite corner. Here's a quick check list if you intend to make one:
- buy two inexpensive, soft pet brushes. You will want to remove the handle and plastic backing.
- stick the bristle part to a flat piece of plastic or hard cardboard. You can get plastic chopping boards quite inexpensively from a store which can then be cut down to size with a pair of safety scissors.
- punch holes into the lid of a very small plastic container. Put catnip in the container, and attach the back of the container underneath the bristles with double sided tape. (the lid should be facing up so that you can add more catnip in whenever you want to)
- Make sure that everything is securely in place and that the bristles will not come off the backing should your cat push hard on them.
- affix the plastic or cardboard backing to the wall neatly and securely. It is a great idea to make a double corner device like the one in the picture because your kitty will love rubbing up and down his favourite wall end!