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Raising Dogs In South Africa
Here's What You Can Learn From A Seasoned Dog Owner
Regardless of your political opinion or your thoughts on the current crisis, there’s one thing we South African pet parents have in common - we love our animals.
If you’re yet to join the ranks of those who are owned by… Uh, own dogs, here’s what you can expect when raising dogs in South Africa.
Health & Safety
Our beautiful country is unique, and as such, we need to take certain things into consideration when raising a pup here.
1. The South African Heat
The Highveld heat is dry and scorching, while the Lowveld is more humid. Either way, the heat can be extremely detrimental to a dog! Take precautions to make sure your pooch is always safe.
Ensure they have cool water readily available and a shady spot, no matter the time of day. Also, never leave your dog in a hot car, even if the windows are cracked.
2. Socialising Your Dog
We teach our kids Stranger Danger, but we need to teach our dogs the same! It can be hard to socialize our dogs so that they behave well with friends but teach them to be protective at the same time. You got to check their behavior.
Dog training is a great idea to assist with this issue. That way, you can give your dog a signal when they’re to be friendly with someone, and a different one so they know to snap into protection mode.
3. Potential for Poisoning
As much as none of us want to consider this, it does happen. If your dog sleeps outside, it’s advisable to make sure that they’re contained in a small area or a crate tray and can’t roam the property freely at night.
Check the yard before letting them run free in the morning. It may sound like a waste of time, but it could be the difference between your dog living or dying.
Cost is always a factor, especially in today’s economic climate. Here’s what you can expect:
- High-quality dog food: anywhere from R400 upwards per month.
- Vaccinations: R1500 to R2000 for a puppy. R500 per year thereafter.
- Sterilisation: R1000 to R2500 depending on size of dog.
- Pet Insurance: R250 - R400 per month per pet.
- Bedding, Toys: Up to R1000.
- Grooming: A few hundred rands.
Adopting a Dog in SA
I always encourage people to adopt a dog in need if they’re looking to become a pet parent. You may be that pup’s only chance at a better life.
Don’t just choose the first organisation you come across. Find one that is reputable and has great reviews. Some of them will sterilise your pup for you or update vaccinations. Do your research first.
Whether you’re looking for a Great Dane or a chihuahua, there’ll be the perfect dog just waiting for a loving parent at an SPCA nearby.
Don’t brush the SPCA aside and go straight for a rescue organisation. Chances are there’s an SPCA near you and there may just be a little fluff waiting for you right there.
2. Rescue Organisations
There are a number of rescue organisations around the country who work with stray or abused animals. Once these pups are nursed back to health, they too need a loving home. Here are just a few of the wonderful places helping our animals.
- Wetnose Foundation
- Pug/Pekingese Rescue
- Dogtown SA
- TEARS Animal Rescue
Fur babies are a blessing
Don’t let the cost of living or the worry that a dog will take up too much of your time put you off giving a needy fluff a second chance.
Regardless of anything, raising dogs in South Africa is an incredibly rewarding, loving experience and I recommend it to anyone and everyone!
About the author
Mike Powell is a dog fanatic and writer. He's passionate about sharing his extensive experience of having dogs as part of my family, so you can improve your own relationship with your dogs. Find out more at Dogembassy.com
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