Winter embrace in the country is in full swing, and an animal hospital in Khayelitsha has sent out a message to pet owners to keep their dogs warm.
Mdzananda Animal Clinic is concerned about dogs, more especially puppies, which are left to sleep in the open during the chilly days of winter.
Rosalino Stone, the hospital manager, said in winter there are a lot of stories regarding abandoned dogs, who have to brave the cold on their own.
“Some people do not realise that how quickly a dog can die because of cold. If you feel cold, and then you must know that an animal is also feeling cold too. It is worse for the puppies, they are more vulnerable. It is the same in summer when it is hot, the dogs are feeling hot too,” Stone said.
Stone also said they have noticed that neglecting the dogs by their owners is more prevalent in the area as opposed to abusing them.
She said those who wish to have dogs they should consult them first for advice.
“Most dogs go starving in December when most people are away on holidays as they are left alone in the houses.
We advise residents to consult us first before buying a dog so that we will discuss how to take better care of them(dogs).
They must know who is going to look after the dog when everyone is away. Residents must also be clear about the intention of owning a dog, like if it is for protection or just rearing.
We also make them aware how much it would cost them to have that particular kind of a dog for food and other things,” she added.
Stone said they work hand-in-hand with dog owners in the area to ensure that dogs are kept in good condition.
She also said most residents are showing interest in Husky dogs, but the environment in Khayelitsha is not good one for them.