Rise in demand for pet-sitters

2014-12-11 00:00

WITH dog kennels and dog hotels bursting at the seams this festive season, the demand for pet-sitters is also on the rise.

Liz Taylor, owner of the Dargle Dale Kennels, said her kennels have been fully booked since ­September.

“We have turned more than 100 families away since becoming ‘chock-a-block’ … and we will be full throughout the festive season.”

Gail Green, owner of Petmor Kennels who also said her kennels were full, said they have had some requests to house unconventional pets too.

“We have housed and had requests for snakes, rabbits and pigs, which were weird.”

Green said some owners are very attached to their pets and feel bad to leave them at the ­kennels.

“A few months ago, we heard a jingling of the fence and when we went to check, it was one of the owners who snuck in to give their dog a bone,” she chuckled.

This year pet-sitters seemed to be on the top of the query list, said veterinarian Derek Clover from the Hayfields vets.

“More people are asking for pet-sitters as they find the stress of keeping their dogs in a cage painful.”

Debbie Stanbaugh, a partner at Kingston Pet Sitters, said more and more people have been calling in everyday. “The strangest request I received recently is to house-sit 24 rats and I am really not one for rodents but by the end of the four days, they were all still alive.” she said.

“Another overwhelming request was for 15 dogs in Hilton. They have little personalities that you see, like this one dog that I cared for would not walk outside the yard. I had to carry him into the vet like a little baby.

“One couple asked me to treat their dogs like children and another told me to scream ‘billies’, which stands for biltong and sent their dogs running crazy for treats.”

Candice Swanson, a partner at the Durban Dog Hotel in Umhloti, said their business has no cages or kennels and dogs are basically supervised at all times. “The hotel can hold five dogs at a time. They are given constant attention, treats and can sleep anywhere they would like to.

“We give them walks on the beach, garden space and they are exposed to a playroom.”

• raisa.soodyal@witness.co.za

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