With the great outdoors never more than a few minutes away, Cape Town can be a great place for dogs, cats and all other manners of pets, which locals keep in abundance. There are dog minders and pet grooming services in most areas, along with excellent veterinary services.
According to South African by-laws, dogs are supposed to be leashed except in specially dedicated areas (such as De Waal Park, listed below). In practice, there’s no real policing of these laws, and people let their dogs run free on most beaches and on public nature walks (such as those up Lion’s Head).
If you’re looking to adopt a pet locally, you might want to visit DARG or the SPCA, organizations where stray or abandoned pets are rehabilitated for placement with loving owners. They can ofter be had for free, or at a nominal fee covering the cost of their vaccinations.
- DARG: Visit http://www.darg.org.za or call 021 790 0383.
- SPCA: Visit http://www.spca-ct.co.za or call 021 700 4140.
Whether you consider keeping a pet in South Africa expensive will largely depend on where you come from. Listed below are the costs of basic services and food for dogs and cats.
Collars cost around R20 to R60 at supermarkets. It will cost you R30 to R50 to have a collar engraved. Virbac and Identipet microchips (which will help animal shelters identify your pet if it goes missing) can be implanted for a mere R200, following which you can register your pet with the South African National Pet Register (SANPR) for an annual fee of R136, or only R38 if you’d prefer to go with a UV stabilized nylon tag. Visit http://www.sapetregister.co.za/ for full instructions.
The cost of the main dry food brands for dogs and cats are listed below. The prices are those of Pick ‘n’ Pay, the nationwide supermarket chain (see the product search on http://www.pnponline.co.za for the latest prices).
Dogs Dry Food:
- Vitagen Senior 6kg bag: R88.99
- Pedigree Chicken and Rice Flavor, Adult Dog, 7kg bag: R119.99
- Nutriphase Lamb Flavor, 8kg bag : R134.99
Cats Dry Food:
- Friskies Gourmet Flavor, 2kg bag: R71.49
- Whiskas Beef, Lamb and Rabbit Flavor, 2kg bag: R77.59
- Purina One Chicken and Rice Flavor, 1.5 kg bag: R93.59
Neutering a dog can cost R500 or R600, whereas spaying is generally in the R700-R800 bracket. Sterilizing cats is significantly cheaper – between R100 and R250.
Veterinarians typically charge between R180 and R240 per consultation.