Friday, October 31, 2008

Summer and your long haired pet

Summer is the time when you wan to be able to sit back and enjoy the weather, but of you have pest you know that summer is also the time that they moult! The shedding of fur keeps your pet cooler in the heat of the summer months but can be aggravating in a number of ways to pet owners – there are however a few ways to make fur shedding more bearable!

For one you can give your dog or cat regular baths as they start to shed their fur. This will help to wash out the already loose fur sending it down the drain rather than leaving it to be shed around the house. In between baths you can give your cat or dog a good brush down! Brushing your pet will have the same effect as bathing them and may be an easier option if your animal does not take too kindly to bathing!

Sometimes keeping your pet outdoors is not really an option so to keep fur off of your couches and carpets you could get your pet their own blanket or cushion to sleep on when inside. This cushion or blanket can then be thrown into the washing machine or vacuumed clean.

A great way to get rid of the fur on your clothes and furniture is to get hold of a sticky roller – these are available in most stores and with a few rolls over your clothing all the fur sticks to roller and your furniture and clothing will be absolutely fur free in minutes!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

DARG Protest: Making the News!

Click on the image to make it bigger!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Puppy Training - setting the rules

So, you have just arrived home with a brand new puppy and the family is ooh-ing and aah-ing, and you are becoming increasingly enamoured by your pup! During all of this, you are convinced that your pup is the absolute cutest puppy ever to have graced the surface of the earth right? Right. Until the next morning that is. Puppies are new to the world and are even newer to your home, they do not know your rules, and to begin with they do not even know that there are rules. This is where your patience, unconditional love and fast growing, and very necessary, puppy training skills need to kick into action.

Puppy training does not have to be daunting or complicated, but even before you start your puppy on a puppy-training regime you need to decide first and foremost what you are willing to allow and what is not at all tolerable. Shifting the rules at a later stage will only lead to confusion and, from changing the rules, your inquisitive pup will only learn to test boundaries where and when they think they can get away with it.

Puppy training gives you and your new little critter a great chance to get to know one another, so make your puppy-training fun, remember not to shout but to talk firmly and rewarding your puppy with a game, a pat or treat when they do something right!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Being part of a caring and responsible structure always pays off with good dividends and being a member of Medipet insurance pays off not only for your own peace of mind as a devoted pet owner but your animal’s health and medical needs score all the way! Medipet has created an insurance package for your cat and for your dog that will take care of their medical needs and costs without you having to worry about any piling-up veterinary bills.

Medipet offers you cover from illnesses to surgeries and will even step in to help you with advertising and rewards if your pet was ever to run off or go missing.
With Medipet you cat and dog’s health and medical requirements can be covered from the age of just 8 weeks and Medipet cover lasts for life. Most puppies and kittens are placed in their loving homes at around 6 to 8 weeks of age, which means that you can have your pet’s health covered by Medipet from the very start of their life with you and being in control of your animals’ health and medical needs right form the word go means that you are able to offer your pet the highest quality of life for their entire life!

Pet Health

Your pet dog or cat is probably strong and healthy and keeping them in tip top pet health is the best thing that you can do for them! Ensuring that your already healthy pet is kept in good health is something that you can do at home with just a few easy steps and with the addition of an annual visit to the vet your dog or cat is sure to maintain that bounce in their step and that sparkle in their eye.

Remember the saying that cleanliness is next to Godliness? Well, it is a good saying to live by if you want to keep your pets healthy! Give your cat or dog baths as and when they need it, check their ears and if needs be give them a cleaning from time to time. Cats and dogs are playful and occasionally they get into tussles that do not cause harm to their pet health but may cause little pet health niggles that if left alone may lead to more serious pet health concerns so make sure that any scratches are treated and kept clean, and wipe clean the secretion of a watery eye with a damp cloth. By keeping the smaller pet health risks in check, and by knowing your pet’s state of health you can go a long way in preventing any unwanted future pet health problems!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Becoming a vet

The end of the year is fast approaching and it is time for school leavers to be considering their careers and prospective studies. Well, if you are leaving school, or if you are in the market for studies or a career change have you ever thought of studying to become vet? If you like animals, care about them and their health, and you want to spend your professional career surrounded by pets or animals of just about any kind, size or shape then a professional veterinary career may be the right job for you!

Necessary and very useful Matric subjects to study veterinary science are Maths, Science and Biology. These subjects stand you in good stead to get into a university and the grounding they give you will go a long way in your vet studies. As long as there are animals vets will always be in demand, it is a great career with a wealth of opportunities for specialisation and you can choose whether or not you want to work with domestic pets or wild animals. So in the near future, you could be saving a dog’s life or doing research on elephants in the Kruger Park!

For more and detailed information on vet info visit the South African Veterinary Councils website at

Friday, October 24, 2008

DARG's protest against the new animal by-law

Main Road – Hout Bay
Phone - (021) 790 0383 Fax - (021) 790 2050 Email - Web -

Dear Friend of DARG

You’ll doubtless know of the City of Cape Town’s new Animal By-law which is presently open for comment from the public. You’ll know too that there are many voices against the by-law, ours among them, and you will likely have seen some media coverage on the subject.

While we agree on the need to consolidate current legislation, we believe that the Animal By-law should result in improved animal rights, be easy to implement and should not render an already flawed system even more difficult to administer. (Some of our objections are noted in greater detail at the foot of this message.)

We need your support in voicing effective opposition to the By-law and in ensuring that the opinions of animal rights groups are taken into account by the City. You can help directly by –

• Attending our Promenade Parade on Saturday 25th October at 10:30. We’ll meet at Three Anchor Bay, opposite Sea Point Place and, at 11:00, will walk to the Pavilion to present a Memorandum to a representative of the Mayor;
• Circulating this message as widely as possible;
• Joining our Facebook Group at;
• Downloading the Animal By-law at;
• Before 31 October, emailing to directly voice your concerns to the City.

Let us put our collective voices together to ensure that the Animal By-law serves our City, its citizens, and our animals, in the best way possible.

We hope to see you on Saturday.


Joy Giovanini

Key Animal By-law Concerns
The by-law, as it presently stands, is unconstitutional and is a violation of animal rights. In particular –
• The by-law intends to unreasonably curtail the number of animals that may be kept on any premises;
• It suggests monitoring processes which will be at best, ineffective, and at worst impossible to administer;
• The draft document is silent on the qualifications of persons charged with enforcing the by-law;
• Where more than two dogs will live on the premises, a permit will be required, for a fee, and the consent of neighbours will need to be sought;
• The provisions to seize, impound and “destroy” animals are a disgrace and, far from encouraging responsible animal ownership, will have quite the opposite effect;
• The education of animal owners, as well as animal sterilisation and adoption campaigns have not been addressed by the by-law.

We have compiled a detailed schedule of objections and shall submit this to the City.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The internet and your pet

Nowadays the internet is the serious buzz word – not only can you access hard to find information, share information and connect with friends and family but you can also have immediate access to a wealth of other services too! From online pet shops to applying for Medipet insurance cover you really do have the entire world within reach.

Just beyond your fingertips lies a world where you can get the best animal health insurance cover from Medipet insurance just by filling in a simple on line application form. Having Medipet insurance cover already makes your life a lot easier and makes the safety of your pet’s health as secure as you could hope for! While you are taking care of your pet’s health and applying for Medipet insurance you can double up on your internet adventure and visit an online pet shop and buy a treat or two for your gorgeous little animal!

On line pet shops offer a wide range of pet products and the greatest benefit is that on line pet shops are never likely to be out of stock and they deliver to your home or local post office. So thanks to a little innovation and the internet you can treat your pet and along with Medipet insurance you can protect your pet’s health all in one day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adoption Tips

If you are planning and animal adoption you are bound to already know that you will be entering into a long term and loving relationship with an extraordinarily adorable little creature. But finding the right animal and going about the adoption process can prove to be a little tricky so here are 5 helpful adoption tips to help you go about finding the cutest and most loving animal!

1. Consider your space at home and whether or not you have a garden of the appropriate size for the animal you are considering for adoption. Cats and even small dogs can be kept indoors – but keep in mind that this means you will need to house train your animal.
2. If you already have your mind and heart set on a particular cat or dog for adoption make sure that you have the appropriate home for them and that you have plenty of time to spend with the animal. Dogs need regular walks and cats do need plenty of human company too.
3. If you already have an animal at home you need to be sure that your pets at home will be accepting of a new family member – the last thing you want is for you animals to be fighting or for your new cat or dog to be ostracised.
4. When you feel that you are ready to step into an adoption take a look around at a few animal shelters and speak to a local vet or breeding society about finding the right pet for you.
5. And lastly have fun! Enjoy the process of finding your new best friend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dog Health: your German Shepherd

German Shepherds, also known as Alsatians, are a strong and extremely popular breed of dog. Not only are they great watch dogs but they make a wonderful family pet as well and can easily be trained to obey simple and even more complex commands. Taking care of a German Shepherd’s dog health is something that does not need to take a lot of work and can be done with a few simple dog health tips!

Grooming your German Shepherd is best done on a weekly basis but during their shedding season the long haired Alsatians may need daily brushing. Bathing your dog once a month will also aide in reducing shedding and will help keep their fur in top condition! Another way to keep your dog’s health in good order is to give them regular exercise, walks in the park and even dog training can double up as a mental stimulator that will offer exercise and a bonding opportunity for you and your dog!

Dog health is something that can be taken care of in little doses and if you keep an eagle eye on your dog’s health you can prevent long term and dire problems.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding the right pet shampoo

So your snow white poodle looks more like a dark chocolate brown? Well then it is time for a bath! If your pet is a little smelly, a little (or a lot) dirty or just needs a pick me up to get their fur looking absolutely gorgeous a bath can do the trick! But what is the right shampoo to use? What shampoo will have a positive rather than a negative effect on animal health? And just because a shampoo says that is made for animals, how do you know that it is suited to your pet?

Shampoo is usually a chemically based product and some chemicals can have skin irritant factors, this is why it is important to make sure that you are using a shampoo that is approved for animal use. As with most pet related things the best way to assure that you are using a shampoo that won’t harm your animal’s health is to get your cat or dog shampoo from a certified vet or vet shop, this way you can even discuss the shampoo options with knowledgeable vets. Shampoos can also be great way to aide animal health and prevent your pets from fleas, ticks and even rashes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cat Quotes

Last week Friday we had a range of very candid and very cute quotes about man’s best friend – the dog. This week we venture into a few very true and very loving quotes about the regal domestic cat:

"Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
- Mary Bly

"For a man to truly understand rejection, he must first be ignored by a cat."
- Anon

"I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul."
- Jean Cocteau

"There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats."
- Albert Schweitzer

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat."
- Tay Hohoff

"God made the cat in order that humankind might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger."
- Fernand Mery

"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person."
- Dan Greenberg

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
- Leonardo da Vinci

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
- English Proverb

"Beware of people who dislike cats."
- Irish Proverb

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
- Winston Churchill

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
- Anonymous

"There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats."
- Anonymous

"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch."
- Leo Dworken

"One cat just leads to another."
- Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, October 16, 2008

General CAT Information

We all of our own private intellectual stock piles of seemingly useless information but one day – or at least at the next party – we are sure to find a use…or at least great conversation topic…that will make all our accumulated facts extraordinarily useful! Well, for when such a time comes here is some ridiculously interesting information on our not so average feline friend: the domestic cat…

The scientific species name for the domestic cat is Felis sylvestris catus and the closest genetic relative to the domestic cat is the African Wild Cat, also known as the Felis sylvestris libyca. There are also European and Asian wild cat varieties that share very close genetic markers to that of our modern day domestic cat.

The cat is thought to have first been brought into cohabitation with humans in Egypt around 4000 years ago. Here the cat was highly regarded and held with god-like stature. Since humans started breeding and specialty breeding the cat has taken on new forms of its wilder origin. This means that certain genetic traits have been recognized in the cats and they have been bred in such a way that these features are brought out and with specificity have been made more prominent in breed to breed. In this way we now have a larger array of cat breeds, colors and temperaments than were originally found in the wild. We now have a range of Persians, short and medium hair cats that can range from pure black to mottled and striped in a wide range of colours, body shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Medipet Insurance packages

Applying for your insurance package with Medipet is so incredibly simple and can be done online in five easy steps! Insurance packages are renowned for being troublesome but with Medipet’s insurance cover all the trouble and hassle of having taking out insurance is taken out of the equation! Your pet’s health and well being is Medipet’s priority and Medipet is committed to making sure that your pet’s health is properly taken care of with the best service and convenience to you. This means that by filling out on online application you can have fast and professional service that will cover your finances and your pet’s health for any unexpected accidents or illnesses.

The Medipet insurance package is designed to be affordable and comprehensive; this allows you as a pet owner to be able to give your pet a secure medical future without having to strain your budget. Insurance packages with Medipet cost just R115 per month for cover for cats and R125 per month for cover for dogs and give you health cover for up to R25 000 per year per pet.

To get a reliable and financially secure health insurance package for your pet visit the Medipet website at and fill out the five-step online application form today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frozen Yoghurt for Dogs

Does your dog need a change in their eating habits? Want to be able to offer your pooch a wider variety of dog foods that will keep them happier and healthier in an all round sense? If you answered yes to these questions then you will be glad to know that Jody Rogers has started a new dog food feeding frenzy that is fast becoming a big hit with dogs and their owners! Called ‘Yoghund’ Jody found a healthy and simple way to add taste and variety to your dog’s diet. Yoghund is a frozen yoghurt meal that is made from natural products that offer the same benefits to dogs as good healthy yoghurt affords humans. New dog foods such as this frozen yogurt mean that now your dog can eat something tasty – and slightly more interesting than a regular bag of dog food – all while maintaining great health with a distinguished doggy pallet.

With flavours like banana peanut butter and blueberry vanilla your dog is sure to enjoy the coolness in the coming summer months, they will definitely benefit from the good health aspects of the frozen yoghurts and with a change in flavours and dog food this may be just the pick me up your dog has been waiting for.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pregnant Cat Health

Deciding to breed your cats or finding yourself in a situation where your female cat is pregnant means that you have some work ahead of you, but it is fun work! And helping to bring a cute and healthy litter of cats into the world can be incredibly rewarding! Cat health is a huge priority in breeding as the health of both parents and especially the cat health of the mother will go a ling way in determining the overall – both short and long term – cat health of the kittens.

Before you start to plan breeding or if you have a female cat there are a few simple things that you ought to know. For one, a female cat reaches sexual maturity at around 6 to 10 months and a male cat reaches maturity a little later from about 9 to 12 months of age. It is very important to make sure that the female cat is in good health as she will need the strength of a good healthy body to be able to give birth to a healthy litter of kittens. Female cats are pregnant for about 9 weeks and usually give birth to litters of around 2 to 6 kittens.

A good place to start out, when you have established that your cat is in fact pregnant, is with the basic cat and cat pregnancy information, this means that it is good, useful and very interesting to consult with a vet or cat breeder. They will be able to give you vital information and will help to prepare you for the birth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dogs: man's best friends

Dogs are man’s best friend and right throughout history they have been acknowledged by some of the most influential people, writers and comedians who have captured the nature of our relationships with our pets in some very candid words:

"Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit,
you would stay out and your dog would go in."
- Mark Twain

"Man is a dog's idea of what God should be."
- Holbrook Jackson

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person."
- Andrew A. Rooney

"To his dog, every man is King;
hence the constant popularity of dogs."
- Aldous Huxley

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."
- James Thurber

"Reverence: the spiritual attitude of a man to a god
and a dog to a man."
- Ambrose Bierce

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend:
and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx

"A dog is not "almost human," and I know of no greater insult to the canine race than to describe it as such."
- John Holmes

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."
- Woodrow Wilson

"The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don't know...How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what's its own and what's alien."
- Plato

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make
a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you,
but he will make a fool of himself too."
- Samuel Butler

Thursday, October 9, 2008

NEW: MediPET of the Week!

Medipet is all about the pets! As a pet insurance company Medipet is so much more than just any old insurance company – they care about you as a pet a owner and they care deeply about the well being and general happiness of your cats and dogs! With your animal’s health and medical needs well looked after by your medical insurance through Medipet you can sit back and enjoy the good times that you spend with your pet and Medipet is glad to be able to be part of the caring bond between you and your gorgeous animal! So much so that Medipet even wants to share in your joy and let others ‘ooh-and-aah’ over the extreme cuteness of your pet too, so why not show off your cat or dog in their Sunday best by sending a picture of your pet to Medipet and let your pet be the Medipet of the week.

This is a great way to show off your cat or dog’s good looks or to show them in a cute or funny situation. Visit the Medipet website at to see all the Medipet of the week pictures and remember to mail pictures of your pet to either or to register on the website to submit your pet pics!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MediPet Insurance for pets

The idea of pet insurance started as a safety net for your pet’s health but Medipet insurance goes far beyond just being a safety net. Medipet insurance has established insurance packages that take care of your pet’s health, their safety and do so all while offering you animal support with financial security.

If your pet were ever in an accident or in need of medical help the last thing you want to be worrying about is your finances. Medipet insurance knows this and is designed and committed to ensuring that your pet will receive the best medical treatment. Medipet insurance offers you up to R25 000 cover per year per pet, and this cover is free to be used for procedures such as hip replacements, tumor removals and any other treatment of a prolonged illness.

Medipet insurance payments are made out within ten days of your claim and this prompt and secure service means that you will be never be left with veterinary bills that could pile up into thousands of Rands of debt and you will always be able to feel assured that your pet’s health is being securely cared for by you, a professional vet and Medipet insurance.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

DID YOU KNOW: Dogs in Space

Did you know that dogs were the first living Earth-borne creatures to enter space? During the 1950s and 1960s, the USSR launched a program that is commonly known today as the 'Soviet space dogs programme' which saw a number of friendly pooches finding out what it means to travel into the final frontier. They were used to determine whether or not space flight and travel would be safe for humans.

Scientists chose female stray dogs for this program for a number of reasons, but primarily because:
- dogs were best suited to the long periods of inactivity that they would experience on their trips
- stray dogs were more likely to cope with the stressful space traveling, and would not pine for their adopted family members like the average household pet might and,
- special devices were constructed to collect the dogs' waste matter that were particularly designed for female dogs rather than males.

Each dog wore special pressure suits and bubble helmets, just like you would imagine you might see in a cartoon drawing. These suits were specially designed to keep the dogs safe and healthy while the climate and environment changes around them.

Other creatures who were also included in space flights include rabbits, mice, rats, flies, and a number of plants and fungi.

2009 anticipates the release of the animated Russian feature film titled Star Dogs: Belka and Strelka which is inspired by the first successful Earth Orbit mission with the two legendary Russian dogs Belka and Strelka. As an interesting aside, Strelka went on after her successful space mission to have six puppies, one of which was presented to President J.F. Kennedy's daughter and continued to have her own puppy family!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Dog lovers in the Cape Town area will be pleased to hear that a local Hout Bay pooch was rescued this week by the friendly DARG team and Penzance Vet clinic. Please read the following story and see if you can contribute in any way to Buksie's case!

This old boy was attacked by a a group of dogs. His owner, who lives in Imizamu Yethu, rushed him to DARG on a Sunday afternoon.

He was soaked, bloodied, freezing and in shock. Jenny, the nurse, was quick to warm him up with the water bottle (donated by the kind public!) and then rushed him to Penzance Vet (they were closed so the vet on standby was kind enough to come in).

Buksie was operated on right there and then. He had 17 puncture wounds, 2 of which were in the lungs! We’re happy to say that Buksie survived and was able to go home with his very grateful owner who managed to contribute, very proudly, R100 towards his bill. While that was a great help, it still leaves an outstanding R600 to pay!

If you can help by donating towards Buksie’s vet bill, please contact us! (Ask for Jenny at 021 7900383) Also, check out DARG's great new website at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Give a dog a home this Sunday!

Note this Sunday, the 5th of October, off in your diary with a bright red pen! It is once again time for the annual Pedigree Give a Dog a Home event which will be taking place at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre from 12 in the afternoon. The event sets out to show off the cutest, most adorable and most loving animals that find themselves in need of a home. The Emma Animal Rescue Society is an animal rescue organisation that holds firmly to its pro life policy and often houses up to 180 dogs and 120 cats at any given time. With these numbers of animals in need of a loving home it means that you could easily find the right cat or dog for your family strutting their stuff on the cat walk this coming Sunday!

The event will be presented by a host of celebrities from former Miss Universe Michelle McLean and Good Hope FM’s Bradley Knight to Western Province rugby greats such as Paul Delport, Schalk Brits and Ross Skeate, who will be walking down the cat walk with all the gorgeous pets!

After the Give a Dog a Home event you can also make your way with your new found cat or dog to the Blessing of the Animals event to be held by TEARS in the Company Gardens. This event is open to all and is held in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi and starts at 4pm.

For more information on these events and on The Emma Animal Rescue Society visit

DARG: EARTHLINGS screening tomorrow night in Cape Town

The Labia Theatre has been given permission to screen the documentary EARTHLINGS... and has kindly offered to donate all proceeds to DARG!

Tickets cost only R30.00 and EMI has promised to supply some Moby CD's as give-aways. Pre-booking will be necessary - please call The Labia Theatre on 021 424 5927.

DATE: Friday, 3rd October 2008 - one night only
TIME: 8pm
VENUE: The Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town

EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research)but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Gladiator / Walk The Line) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist MOBY.

Kindly support us and invite all your friends, colleagues and family members to do likewise. All funds raised from tickets purchased (even if one does not attend the screening) will be used to pay for medication and Vets bills.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Your pet vet

We all know that a vet is our animal’s version of a general doctor but just what exactly can we expect of our pet’s vet and when is the best and necessary time to take our cats or dog to go see a vet?

Vets are their to take care of your pet’s health in every aspect that you cannot – that means that you can take care of your dog or cat’s health at home in terms of making sure that they get the right amount of exercise, ensuring that they are eating the right foods in the correct amounts, and as a pet owner it is also your responsibility to make sure that your animal is kept safe from harm.

How you do all of this is with some helpful vet advice on the do-s and don’t-s of what to feed your pet, how much exercise to give them, etc. but there are times when you need a vet’s professional hand to help keep your pet in tip top condition. This starts from the age of 6 weeks when your cat or dog needs their first round of inoculations. From there on out for the rest of their lives you pet will need vet check ups, booster inoculations and may even need a vet in an emergency situation.

Ideally your pet’s vet should be close to your home, and it is very helpful to keep a record of what your pet’s health history in case you ever move or change vets.