Friday, 29 November 2013

Max the magnificent Ridgeback

Meet Max the pedigreed tan Ridgeback of Jaco Badenhorst of Whiteriver in Mpumalanga.
On these photos Max is 17 months old.

Pet ownership allow individuals to be alone without being lonely.

Scientific research done by Alan M Beck and N Marshall Meyers of the School Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University in Indiana had a closer look at the relationship between pet owners and their pets.
See the full report at the bottom or read it at
In their research they claim that although pet ownership is beneficial to all humans, the benefits to the elderly are tenfold.
Pet ownership requires time and money but may improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, loneliness and depression.
Pets require care and this leads to movement and exercise during daily feeding, walking and grooming.
This is how Nyeisha Scott, animal behaviorist puts it:
" Older individuals may suffer from bereavement and loneliness and even though pets can not replace human relationships, they can help fill the void and provide constant and unconditional love."
As allways, we are grateful to Mediline and NIH for their permission to publish extracts from their website.

Health enhancement and companion animal ownership.


School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1243, USA.


The relationship between people and companion animals, on the one hand, explains the bites and zoonotic diseases that occur among those with companion animals and, on the other hand, appears to enhance the psychological and physiological well-being of many people. Presently, no less than 56% of households in the United States have animals, typical of developed countries around the world. 
It is well documented that people denied human contact do not thrive well. All indications are that companion animals play the role of a family member, often a member with the most desired attributes. Animals play special roles for children, aiding the teaching of nurturing behavior and appreciation of non verbal communication. Ordinary interactions with animals can reduce blood pressure and alter survival after a heart attack. 
For some, pets increase the opportunities to meet people, while for others pets permit them to be alone without being lonely.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

American Ragdol - an amazing cat

Have a look at this beautiful cat with her blue eyes. Her name is Shelby  and she is an American Ragdol.
Shelby's proud owner is Liesl Fourie of Pretoria. Thanks for the photo Liesl.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dogs pose problem in park

This article first appeared in the Sanparks Times Spring Edition (September 2013) and was written by René de Klerk.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is the only national park in South Africa
where owners are allowed to walk their dogs. This however comes at a price as
irresponsible owners do not always clean up after their dogs. It is estimated that
around100 000 dogs set foot in the park annually. The park is ideal for walkers as sections include forest areas such as Newlands and Cecilia Forest.
With such big numbers of dogs passing through the park it is inevitable that nature will call, but owners should learn to be more courteous to others.TMNP addressed the problem by placing clearly marked bags and bins specifically for dog faeces,but this has not eliminated the problem. It is also not a case of signage not being clear enough. “Signs are as visible as possible to the point of actually being ugly.
People that are aware of the conditions of their permits should already be carrying
their own bags,” explains Wanika Rusthoi, SANParks public relations officer for the
Cape region.Silvermine used to be known as a bin-free environment, but now you will see bags and bins especially for dogs.
This poses another problem as people discard food and other waste in the same bins. This in turn attracts baboons and can have other health risks.
Dog faeces contain diseases such as E.coli and tapeworm that can be contracted by
humans.Bacteria seep into mountain water systems and because it thrives in water, it
can affect fish and other water species.
But who cleans up after inconsiderate owners?
In the end rangers and even maintenance teams will assist with keeping the tracks clean.
The problem also causes a lot of complaints from the public.
Although dogs are to be kept on a leash at all times, some do not adhere to these rules.“Dogs that run free are likely to follow animal tracks. Other dogs will then follow the same path, eventually resulting in new paths,” said Rusthoi. The park then needs to rehabilitate these paths.
Most dogs will follow their instinct and attack moving objects. The park has
received reports of tortoises,oystercatchers, otters, moles and porcupine that have
been attacked. In extremeb cases dogs attack rangers and visitors. “One person had
suffered severe injuries and had to put her horse down after being chased and attacked by a dog.”
Dog owners are currently getting away with the act as rangers first have to give a
written warning. Only if the person is caught a second time, a fine will be issued
and the permit cancelled.
“The park has completed an Enviromental Management Plan, but at this stage
regulations and fines still need to be gazetted,” says Rusthoi.
There are many responsible dog walkers using the park that leave only their footprints
behind and the park is grateful for their support and cooperation, but more will
have to be done to rid TMNP of unsightly surprises along the pathways.

Monday, 9 September 2013

"The Yellow Dog" initiative

"The Yellow Dog" is an initiative suggesting that pet walkers and owners tie a yellow ribbon to their dog or to the leash to inform other pet owners that their dog prefers not to socialise.

One often see dogs frollicking with each other on the beach or park when off their leash (hopefully only where it is legal to let them run free!)but not all dogs are sociable.

Having stated the above, by no means does this suggest that the yellow ribbon dog is dangerous:It simply means the dog or owner (or both!) needs space.
There can be many reasons for this such as:
- Health issues.
- The pet is old and frail
- A bitch on heat
- Shyness
- Rehabilitation after rescue
- Training.
This initiative is strongly supported by vets and therapists internationally and has now reached more than 45 countries including South Africa.
Read more about it at:

Important. Please remember that the Yellow Dog initiative by no means includes dangerous dogs. If you have a dangerous dog do not use a yellow ribbon/ Such dogs must be strongly restrained and muzzled like always.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Heat danger for dogs

As summer approaches it is a good idea bear in mind that dogs need special care when the temperatures goes in to the thirties.
Dogs do not have an efficient system for cooling like humans or heat adapted animals such as Gemsbuck or Camels. Their sweat glands are in their paw pads and tongue and panting is their main way of sweating.
When temperatures reaches the high thirties watch out for the tell tale signs of approaching heat stroke:
Rapid panting and bright red gums and tongue as well as thick saliva are all danger signals.Look out for watery bloody stools,diarhoea and staggering.Lethargy and lack of coordination and vomitting are all signs of heat stroke.
Rapid treatment is required before your dog falls in to a coma followed by respiratory collapse and even death.
Avoid overheating by not exercising dogs in the heat of the day and keep its weight under control. Obese dogs suffer most. A muzzle could restrict a dog from panting causing a heat build up. Don't leave a dog in a car - even on a cool day! When it is pleasant 22 C sunny day outside, the temperature in a car can reach 47C in less than an hour, even with an open window and a sunshade up. Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence. You will also always remember that your dog suffred and died a cruel death. If you see a dog in a car on a hot day, please call the police. Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke: Older dogs, long hair breeds,dogs that are overweight or have short snouts. Treatment. If your dog shows any of the above symptons it must be treated as an emergency. Urgently lower their body temperature but do it gradually. Douse your dog with cool water(Not cold) or put him in a shower and run cool water over him. give him small amounts of cool water to drink and put him where there is a breeze or a fan.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pet Empowerment in Townships (PETS)


See what is all about at: