Harare SPCA
click for answer  What should I do if I see a puppy vendor?

The Harare SPCA have very limited resources and cannot always attend to calls regarding puppy vendors.

If the SPCA is unable to respond, as these vendors often come out after the inspectors have finished work for the day, and you are concerned about the condition and well-being of the puppies, you are within your rights to go to the closest police station and ask for a policeman to accompany you to where the vendor is.

You can either ask the policeman to confiscate the puppies and then drop them at the closest reputable vet, or if you have the time, to arrest the offender and ask for him to be charged with illegal vending and cruelty. Again the puppies need to be taken to the closest reputable vet.

Please ask the vet to write a full report about the condition of the puppies (hydration, parasites, body condition).

click for answer  Why should I sterilise my pet?

Sterilisation is a small and simple operation carried out on both male and female animals to stop them from being able to reproduce. It does not change the character of your dog or change their effectiveness as a watchdog.

All pets should be sterilised unless they are pure bred and are registered with the Kennel Club of Zimbabwe. Breeding should be done to improve or at least maintain the breed standard. The potential parents should be evaluated by a veterinarian and a breed judge for hereditary problems or diseases and conformation as well as temperament before deciding to breed them. Worldwide there is a huge surplus of animals being born every year. There are not enough homes for all the animals and so many of them end up in shelters or on the streets, many of these animals end up being humanely euthanised.

There are also many health benefits associated with sterilisation, especially in dogs. Dogs, especially the bigger breeds, are prone to cancer. Un-spayed females can develop mammary cancer as they get older, which can require surgical removal or in untreated cases even euthanasia. Un-neutered males are prone to testicular cancer which can also require surgery to remove it, but it can spread to other parts of the body easily and be fatal. Dogs are also able to catch sexually transmitted diseases such as TVT which, if left untreated, results in a painful death .

As well as catching STDs all unsterilised animals will seek a mate. This means that they will be more likely to escape from your property and go looking for a partner, hence they will be vulnerable to dangers on the streets.

Unsterilised animals are also at higher risk of being stolen for breeding purposes.

click for answer  Where can I take my dog for training?

Simple obedience training as well as socialization with both humans and other animals is essential for all dogs.
There are lessons at the Kennel Club of Harare (0772283181) every Sunday morning from 9am.  
All dogs are required to be fully vaccinated and owners need to take their vaccination books to prove this on the first visit.
Puppies can only join lessons 10 days after their rabies injection which is generally done at 12 weeks of age.
To get more information join the Kennel Club Facebook page.
There are also private trainers who will come to your house for more one on one training session.
Please only use reputable trainers. If you are unsure ask your vet or knowledgeable persons for referrals.
It is recommended that you have a trainer train you and your dog together in order for you to build up a relationship with your dog, as it is no use having a dog which will only obey to your trainer.

click for answer  What is a microchip and why should I microchip my pet?

A microchip is a small electronic device enclosed in a glass cylinder and it is about the same size as a grain of rice. It does not require a battery of any sort as it is activated by passing a hand held scanner over the area which exudes radio waves that activate the chip. The identification number of the chip is then transmitted to the scanner. This number is used to find the animal’s owner through a data base.

Many animals go missing from their homes either by escaping from the property or through theft. All stray animals that are brought into a veterinary surgery or the Harare SPCA are automatically scanned to check for a chip. If the animal is chipped it is a simple procedure to reunite the animal with its owner, provided the information on the data base is current. Please ensure you update your information should you change address or phone number.

The microchip also serves as proof of ownership as the owner’s details are on the data base.

click for answer  Do I need a vicious dog to guard my house?
No. You need a loyal dog to guard your house.

If you want a dog to look after you, treat it in a manner which nurtures its innate protective instinct. Allow it to roam your property and get to know your family, staff and friends. Interact with it by inviting it into your family circle. Some people don’t permit their dog inside the house, which is fine, but the dog should be familiar with the smell, sight, sound and touch of his whole human family.
In order to make your dog loyal you need to interact with it daily and play games and do basic obedience training.

Even if your dogs sleep outside, allow them to join the family inside during the evening while you are all in one room. This sense of belonging will make your dog feel protective over your family and property.
click for answer  If I put mustard in my dog’s mouth will it stay awake to guard my house?
Putting mustard in a dog’s mouth will not only make it feel ill, but will make it afraid or resentful of you.

In order to build a strong relationship with your dog it needs to trust you.

By doing something unpleasant you break this trust..

It will also make it much more difficult for you or your vet to give the dog any medication or check inside its mouth if it is unwell.
click for answer  If I cut out the lingual frenulum (stringy bit under the tongue) will it prevent my dog from getting worms?
No. Worms are a parasite that live in the intestines of humans and animals.

Animals can get worms by eating or licking the ground where another animal with worms has defecated.

The only way to treat parasites is to get deworming tablets from your veterinarian. Deworming tablets are given according to the weight of your dog.

When deworming your pets it is recommended that you do all the animals and humans on the property on the same day to avoid cross contamination.

To avoid catching worms from your pets make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after working with soil and before eating.
click for answer  Does pouring used engine oil on my dog stop fleas and ticks?
No. Fleas and ticks are parasites that live in the fur and bite the animal’s skin to suck blood.

In order to get rid of ticks and fleas the animal needs to be treated with the correct dosage of a chemical that kills the fleas and ticks but does not harm the dog.

There are several options to choose from. Dogs can be washed with a topical dip. Most vets sell concentrated dip that needs to be mixed with the correct amount of water and then the dog needs to be saturated with the solution, or often vets have a dip area with a tank or old bathtub filled with the dip and water mixture and will dip your dog for you for a small fee.

There is no charge for dipping at Harare SPCA.

Puppies under 3 months of age should not be dipped.

You can spray your dog with Frontline or Fipronol which is available at most vets. There are small tubes of a topical flea and tick treatment that can be applied between the dogs shoulder blades, the common ones are Frontline and Advantix.

There are also tablets that can be given to the dog to kill fleas and ticks. These can be bought from most vets.

Before treating your dog yourself talk to your vet or research the options. Topical treatments are not great for dogs that like to swim. Most treatments vary according to the size and weight of your dog and it is possible to poison it by giving the wrong dose or treating it too often.

Putting engine oil on the coat will not kill the fleas and ticks, but it does increase the risk of the dog catching on fire if exposed to a naked flame. We see many cases of dogs with horrific burns due to this practice.
click for answer  Does sterilisation cause my dog to get fat?
Sterilisation (a small operation done on both males and females to stop them being able to reproduce) does not make a dog fat.

It is recommended to sterilise your dog just before they become sexually mature, which is usually at about 6 months of age.

Between 6 and 9 months is when most breeds of dog start to mature and are less "puppyish" and spend less time playing unless play is instigated by a person. This reduction in exercise can lead to weight gain. It has nothing to do with the operation.
click for answer  Can I neuter my male dog by tying a tight elastic band around its testicles?
No! Not only is this very cruel and inhumane, it is also dangerous to the dog.

Restricting the blood flow to the testicles will cause them to die and begin to rot whilst still attached.

This can lead to the dog getting an infection. Dogs will lick and chew at areas of pain and have been known to chew their testicles off when they have been tied off with an elastic. 

Neutering is a very simple and quick operation but must be carried out by a qualified veterinarian in a sterile operating theatre.
click for answer  Will cropping a dog’s ears stop it dog from getting ear infections or from getting bitten by flies?
No. Cropping a dog’s ears is completely unnecessary.

It is done for 2 reasons; cosmetic reasons or to avoid injuries in illegal dog fights.

People believe some breeds look better with their ears cropped and then set to stand straight up.

In most European countries it is now illegal to crop ears and tails as it is an antiquated and cruel practice. Not only do the dogs suffer after it has been done whilst healing, but dogs can be left with phantom pain that can cause aggression, or the nerves in the ears can be damaged and scar tissue can cause the ear to bend or crumple up.

As most reputable vets refuse to perform this surgery many people resort to performing it themselves with no anesthetic or pain killers given to the dog. Cropping a dog’s ears is of no benefit to the dog whatsoever.
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