Our furkids are part of the family, and just like you have all the important numbers for your kids on the fridge, these are the pet services you need to have on speed dial.
Here are 5 essential pet services that you absolutely need to know about — not only will they be lifesavers in emergencies, but they’ll also help make sure that your pet is happy and healthy.
1. 24 hour and emergency vets
Accidents and sickness can strike at any time. The usual 9 to 5 won’t work if your pet needs immediate assistance after hours (and Murphy’s Law states your pet will always get sick just after the regular vet closes). 24 hour animal hospitals are becoming more popular and vet practices now even have emergency staff on call. These services do come at a premium though, and in case of emergencies, it is essential to have pet insurance.
Here are just a few 24 hour vets in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban, but we suggest finding out which 24 hour vet is closest to you and saving their details BEFORE there’s an emergency.
Emergency vets in Gauteng
- Fourways Vet Hospital
- Florida Veterinary Hospital
- Valley Farm Animal Hospital
- Bryanston Veterinary Hospital & Specialist Centre
Emergency vets in Cape Town
Emergency vets in Durban
TIP: Away from home? Google “24 hour vet near me” and ensure that your GPS is on.
2. Mobile pet groomers
Washing the dogs is no fun — it inevitably results in a half-wet house and a half-washed dog. Rather hand this one over to the experts who come to you.
Mobile pet groomers are the best thing since sliced bread. They’ll come to your house, wash your filthy dogs and return them, incredibly clean and nails clipped — as if by magic. Leaving you free to do whatever it is you’d like to do (may we suggest passing the time by looking at these hilarious pictures of animals who think they’re human?).
On a serious note though, it’s much easier to enlist the services of mobile groomers who come to you, that way you don’t have to worry about anything happening to your pets en route. This is especially important if you have cats that hate to travel, or pets that need to be sedated when groomed. Your pets are already in their own environment and will probably feel more comfortable. It’s definitely one of our favourite pet services.
TIP: Give your pet a furstyle that’s appropriate for different seasons — shorter in summer and longer in winter.
3. Dog food delivery
Vet pet shops can easily be found in almost any shopping centre, but if you’re looking for better deals and convenience, try going online. Most online pet stores offer free delivery and usually have a larger variety of food, toys and accessories. Some also sell over-the-counter treatments, like tick and flea medicine.
Here are some South African online pet stores to try:
Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of feeding your pets good-quality food. Raw dog food is, well, raw and doesn’t contain wheat, soy or any carbs. Most raw dog food will consist of organ meats and organic vegetables.
South African raw dog food suppliers to try:
TIP: Buying in bulk means more value for money, so if you’ve got a big freezer, definitely go for that option. Just remember to clearly label the human food and the dog food…
4. Doggy daycare
If, like most of us, you work and aren’t at home during the day, and there is no one to keep your pooch company, you might want to consider sending your dog to doggy daycare — even if it’s only for a few days a week. Your dog will be able to socialise with other dogs and get the attention they need while you’re out.
Most doggy daycare facilities open relatively early, making it easy to drop your dog off on your way to work.
Here are a few doggy daycare options in Gauteng and Cape Town:
- Happy Tails Daycare, Fourways
- Paws Resort, Midrand
- Dogzcreche, Blairgowrie
- Mckaynine, Honeydew
- Proud Hounds, Gardens
- Canine Creche, Plattekloof
TIP: If you pay for more than 1 month at a time, most day cares will offer you a reduced rate.
How embarrassing is it when your dog jumps on your guests every single time someone new enters the house? Or how about when you’re in the park yelling your dog’s name over and over again while it chases hadedas ignoring you completely?
No one wants to be that person, so make sure you invest in training before you have a lovable but totally disobedient pooch on your hands. Like this guy:
And if you’ve slacked off on the training, it’s not too late — despite what everyone says, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Sometimes getting an animal behaviourist to come to your house and address the issues directly can be more effective.
An animal behaviourist will see how your pets behave in their own environment and let you know what you can do to create better habits.
TIP: You will usually need at least 4 sessions, as changing pet behaviour takes time.