Harare SPCA

Sterilisation or Family Planning

  • Your dog or cat should be sterilised at 6 months old. Do not delay.
  • Sterilisation does not change the character of your dog nor change their effectiveness as a watchdog.
  • Help keep our country’s dog and cat population under control. 
  • Set an example and be a responsible owner, and educate those who do not know.
Reasons to Spay or Neuter cats and dogs
  • Every day, many healthy dogs and cats face euthanasia because there are not enough homes for them. This is because owners do not have their animals sterilised resulting in a population explosion. Female dogs and cats produce young every 6 months. One female dog or cat is capable of producing more than 60,000 puppies or kittens in 7 years!
  • Homeless and hungry stray animals may carry infectious and dangerous diseases which could threaten your children and animals.
  • Unneutered dogs and unspayed bitches can cause many problems for you. They are more likely to escape from an enclosed yard/area, and will spend many hours barking and disturbing your neighbours, or becoming aggressive and unfriendly due to being frustrated. Plus you will have all the stray dogs and your neighbours' dogs trying to get into your property to fight with your pets.
Sexually active male dogs roam and jump fences to get to bitches on heat, and during this time are often aggressive and get into fights or get lost or run over. Un-neutered male dogs are vulnerable to prostate disease and perianal hernias. Your dog will only benefit from being neutered. His character will not change and he will be healthier and happier. Spayed or neutered dogs are just as affective as watchdogs and are as loyal and reliable as they were before being sterilized. They are actually of more benefit to you as they are not distracted by the hormones which drive them to mate, and so will have less desire to wander and get into trouble.

Repeated pregnancies with bitches cause unnecessary strain on the mother’s body often resulting in a painful and life threatening uterine prolapse which is often untreatable. Un-spayed bitches face increased risk of breast cancer. Uterine infections and sexually transmitted diseases are common in un-spayed bitches. When a bitch is on heat, she will want to escape and find a male or her scent will cause the male dogs in the area to try to get to her, often resulting in vicious fighting. Your bitch does not benefit in any way by being allowed to have puppies before you spay her. Your bitch will only benefit from being spayed. Her character will not change and she will be healthier and happier.
Sexually active male cats (tomcats) spray urine to mark their territory and so cause a smell. Tomcats also get into vicious fights over a female on heat. Un-sterilised female cats will go looking for a male. There are no benefits to allowing your female cat have a litter of kittens before you spay her. Your tomcat or female will remain the same and their characters will not change.
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Feeding your Puppy

Never over feed your puppy - little and often is the rule - follow the guideline below:
Feeding your PuppyIf your puppy starts vomiting or develops diarrhea - contact your veterinarian immediately. Puppies can die in a very short time without the proper treatment.
They need food that is easy to digest, such as minced meat, or finely chopped meat. This can be added to cereals such as a baby cereal, porridge, cooked rice and milk. You can also buy specially prepared Puppy Foods in your local Supermarket.
All puppies must always have their own food dish and always have access to fresh clean water all day, every day.
Young puppies - dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 4 months old - will need their own special feeding routine.
Below is a suggested routine:

6 Weeks - 4 Months Old
4 small meals a day. Each one the sizeof the puppy's head.
8.00 am - Cereal with milk
12 Noon - Cereal with meat
4.00 pm - Cereal with milk
8.00 pm - Cereal with meat

4 - 10 Months Old
At this age you can give 3 meals a day but increase the size of these meals. You can now add a prepared adult dog meal or biscuits to the meat dish.

10 - 12 Months Old
Continue to feed 2 meat meals a day or 1 meat meal and 1 meal of dog biscuits or prepared dog meal

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Feeding your Adult Dog

Your dog needs a balanced diet. It must contain the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. This will ensure a healthy, happy dog.
Feeding your dogMost adult dogs over 12 months old can be given their daily ration of food once a day or, if your dog is a small sized dog, you can divide it into two small meals per day. Try and feed your dog at approximately the same time every day. This establishes a routine which the dog enjoys.
Please note dogs that are still growing, working dogs, pregnant dogs, dogs that are feeding puppies, and dogs that are sick or recovering from an illness, will require more than one meal per day.
Make sure your dog maintains a good healthy weight. If your dog starts to lose  or gain weight quickly, or refuses to eat, or is vomiting, or appears to be unwell, please consult your vet as soon as possible.

Though there are many different prepared foods available in the Supermarkets, you may not be in a position to buy these. So, in order to help you, we have listed below examples of other foods that you may have access to, and be able to feed your dog.

Dogs need Protein
Beef, goat, lamb, chicken, rabbit, fish, eggs. Offal can also be given, for example, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.

No small bones!

Dogs need Carbohydrates

Pronutro, baby cereals, bread, rice, porridge, dog meal or biscuits.

Mealie Meal (Sadza) is not an adequate diet on its own and it has no nutritional value for dogs and can lead to skin problems. It must always be mixed with cooked vegetables or a meat soup.

Dogs need Fats
This includes milk, as well as the protein foods above.

Dogs need Vitamins & Minerals
Cooked vegetables can be added to your dogs diet, leftover or even vegetable peelings can also be used as long as they are well cooked and soft. Mix together with 2 of the above. No Onions!

Though we do not agree with giving dogs bones, we do understand that it is sometimes the only source of protein and minerals available.

The best bones are beef shin of knuckle bones

Bones do supply calcium, and it is natural for a dog to enjoy chewing a bone and it is good for them - it keeps the jaws exercised and helps to keep their teeth clean.

Never ever give sharp little bones like those from rabbit, chicken, chops, fish or bones that have been cooked, as they become brittle and can damage the dog's throat and put your dog at risk of internal injury.

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The Outside Dog

If you are going to keep your dog outside, then you have to put in the effort to ensure his wellbeing.

The Outside DogYour dog needs somewhere to live

A water and wind proof kennel, raised off the floor at least 10cm - use some bricks or bits of wood to do this. It should have an entrance hole large enough for the dog to get in and out when he wants to, and for you to clean it out or change bedding when necessary. Use a blanket, sacks, canvas, cardboard or newspapers to line the kennel. This will keep your dog warm and dry in the wet weather and cool in the hot weather. You will need to change this bedding every few weeks. Use this opportunity to dust the kennel with flea and tick powder.

Your outside dog needs lots of water to drink
You will need a large heavy container that the dog cannot knock over. Change his water every day and make sure the container is clean and never allow it to get empty.

Your outside dog needs food
Feed your dog at approximately the same time every day and make sure the food bowl is cleaned before the next meal.

Is your outside dog safe
It is against the law to allow your dog to roam loose outside your property. They can cause traffic accidents, fight with other dogs, kill other peoples' pets, injure themselves and also attack and bite your neighbours or children passing by and for which you can be taken to court.

To keep you and your dog safe you will need a secure fence or wall with no holes or gaps. Most dogs can jump quite high so make sure your fence, walls and gates are high enough to prevent your dog from jumping out or even other dogs from getting in. If you have female dogs, male dogs can be very determined to get in to mate with them. Alternatively you could build a large kennel area that has a strong wire mesh fence around it - this is known as a 'dog run'.

Never tie your dog up to a fixed place

In terms of Section3(1)(g) of the Cruelty to Animals Act (Chapter 19:09), which states "any person who cruelly or unnecessarily ties up or confines any such animal or causes or permits any animals to be tied up or confined" shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.

Dogs that are tied up for any length of time become very unhappy, bored and lonely. They will often spend many hours barking or howling and upsetting your neighbours.

A dog needs exercise
If you do not allow your dog to exercise, he will become unfit, lazy and unhappy. If you cannot walk your dog, at least allow him some freedom within your yard. Maybe get your children to throw a ball and play 'Fetch'.

A dog likes company
Dogs are pack animals and do get lonely. They need you or another animal as part of their pack. Lonely dogs will also bark constantly and will not be well socialised.

A dog likes to be clean
Make sure the dog's area is kept clean of faeces. This will cut down on flies, smells and the risk of disease - so it is better for you and your family too!

Caring for your old dog
As your dog gets older the best reward you can give him is to keep him fed, clean, dry and warm, and to allow him to live his last years in some comfort. He will feel the cold more and will enjoy being quiet, but will still enjoy your company.

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Cats & Kittens

In order to stay healthy and happy, a cat needs:
  • A balanced diet
  • Access to the outdoors
  • A bed with a blanket
  • Companionship - to be played with
  • Veterinary care
  • To be spayed/neutered
  • To be looked after if you go away on holiday
  • To be groomed regularly

Cats & KittensWhere your cat lives
A cat that lives outside needs shelter from hot or cold weather. Your cat should be able to go in and out of the house.

Food and Water
A cat needs a balanced diet and will not thrive on scraps. Cats require a greater proportion of meat than dogs and need a higher level of protein and fat in their food. There are many types of cat food available that provide a well-balanced diet, including tinned or dried food. Your cat should be given fresh drinking water at all times, especially if you choose to feed dried products. Feed adults cats twice a day. Kittens, elderly cats, and pregnant cats will need several smaller meals daily. Cats do not have to be hungry to hunt - it is something they do naturally, although toys may help to fulfill this need.

Human Company
A cat is less demanding than a dog. Giving your cats attention will show them that you care. Cats are generally independent animals, and will seek companionship when they want it. For times when your cat might want to be alone, you should provide a quiet retreat.

Cats kept in dirty conditions can become infested with worms, ticks, fleas or lice. Sleeping and living areas should be kept clean and dry. Healthy cats have glossy coats and clear eyes. Ears and noses should be free from discharge, dirt and infection. Teeth should be strong, white and not discoloured. Infected gums, if left untreated, can cause suffering. Ask your vet for advice.

Cats are vulnerable to many diseases that can be dangerous and costly to treat. Vaccinating helps prevent illness and reduces the risk of infection to other cats. Cats need regular de-worming and flea treatments.

All cats, long or short-haired, benefit from regular grooming, and it provides an opportunity to check for parasites. Long-haired cats need special attention to keep their coats free of tangles. Grooming helps to get your cat used to being handled.

Every year hundreds of thousands of cats are destroyed because there are not enough suitable homes. Female cats can produce many kittens every year. In six years a pair of cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 cats. By constantly producing and rearing kittens, the health of a female cat can suffer. Pregnant and lactating female cats need extra food. Kittens generally suckle from their mothers for about 3 weeks, gradually starting to eat additional food. Female cats are naturally protective of their young, so a quiet place should be provided for them. Kittens should stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old. To prevent unwanted kittens, have your cat spayed/neutered - an operation performed by a vet.

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Pet Health & Vaccinations - Helping you keep your family safe too!

Vaccination Information:

Dogs - When to vaccinate and for what

6 Weeks - 1st Parvo
9 Weeks - 2nd Parvo Booster or *5-in-1
12 Weeks - Rabies & *5-in-1
1 Year - Rabies
Yearly - Rabies &*5-in-1
*5-in-1: This vaccination consists of Parvo, Hepatitis, Para Influenza, Distemper & Leptospirosis

De-worming can be done at the same time as the vaccinations and thereafter every 3 to 6 months.
De-worm twice during pregnancy - Gestation period 63 days.

Cats - When to vaccinate and for what
6 to 8 weeks - Cat Flu
12 to 14 weeks - 2nd Cat Flu and Rabies
1 Year - Rabies and Cat Flu
Yearly - Cat Flu
Every year - Rabies
De-worming from birth to 3 months - every 2 weeks. Thereafter once every 3 to 6 months.
De-worm twice during pregnancy - Gestation period 65 days.
Information about Diseases
Vaccinating your pet is by far the easiest way to help prevent spreading these terrible diseases. Puppies need to be vaccinated before taking them out into public.

Canine Parvovirus (Parvo)

Caught by contact with infected dog faeces. This virus can survive in the ground and environment for up to 9 months. Without treatment roughly 80% of dogs will die.
Mainly affects young dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months old, but can also affect older dogs which have not been vaccinated or had regular boosters. Young puppies affected can suffer from heart problems and die. Other symptoms common with Parvo are severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Affected dogs often become dehydrated and develop weakened immune systems.
There is no specific treatment, but the dog may be put on a drip for dehydration; with antibiotics to prevent other infections taking hold, and given medication to prevent vomiting.

Canine Hepatitis

Spread by contact with saliva, urine, faeces, blood or nasal discharge of infected dogs. The urine can remain infectious for up to 1 year and can remain in the environment for many months.
Type 1 causes a kennel cough type infection.
Type 2 causes an infection of the liver (hepatitis).
There is no specific treatment for this disease but the symptoms themselves are treated. Death can occur but most dogs will survive with the correct medical treatment performed by a veterinarian.

Para Influenza

This is a highly contagious respiratory virus also known as "Canine or Kennel Cough". It is spread through the air and can spread quickly for up to 2 weeks after the infection and is most common in places where many dogs are kept together, eg. boarding kennels and dog breeding facilities.
A persistent coughing (can be wet or dry cough), fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, not eating and depression.
Mild cases may be treated with cough suppressants, but the dogs should be isolated as they are highly infectious to other dogs for up to 2 weeks after. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia and become life threatening. Seek veterinary advice immediately.


Lepto is a disease caused by bacteria. The source of the disease is mainly by infected urine, or by contaminated water, so dogs at risk are those that swim or drink from stagnant water or ponds - especially in areas with a high rat population.
Fever, lack of energy, increased thirst, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and jaundice (yellowing of the membranes, eg. eyes, gums). Severe infection can lead to kidney and/or liver failure and death.
This involves antibiotics, being put on a drip with fluids, and supportive care. Dogs with a mild infection can recover but will carry the bacteria for months afterwards. Their infected urine is a risk to other dogs and humans.

Canine Distemper

Most commonly spread by direct contact with an infected animal and by coming into contact with bloody secretions, eg. saliva, vomit, etc.
Dogs of all ages can be infected. There are a variety of symptoms from fever, depression, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea. There is often a discharge from the eyes and mouth. Dogs mildly affected can recover but many will go on to have long term neurological damage. This will include nervous twitching, walking in circles and possible seizures, as well as eye problems and hardening of the nose skin and pads on their feet. Dogs with severe symptoms often die.
There are no specific treatments. Often they are put onto a drip giving fluids to prevent dehydration, and medication to control seizures.


At some stage all dogs will suffer from parasites. They may be worms, ticks, fleas, lice or mange mites. If you see the signs it is best to contact your local SPCA or a veterinarian for advice as soon as possible. This is kinder for your dog and better for you and your family.
Regular dipping of your dog will help prevent your dog from getting some of these parasites and their diseases, along with regular de-worming. Puppies under the age of 6 months cannot be dipped, so only puppy shampoos and powders may be used.

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