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New to Nairobi and thinking about getting a dog?
11 Jul

New to Nairobi and thinking about getting a dog?

Posted by Expat-to-Expat, on behalf of our guest blog writer: Amy L. Rapp.
Thanks, Amy, for your very useful contribution!

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"Many people arrive in Nairobi and shortly after their embassy or company's security briefing they have a knee jerk reaction and run out to get a big dog. Frequently they do not think about anything but getting a big, scary looking dog!

Please ask for some advice before getting a dog without fully considering your lifestyle, family etc. Kenya is waking up to litigation like the rest of the world. There is a very good chance you will be sued if your dog bites someone on your property these days

Where to get a dog?

  • If you want a dog you can check out the KSPCA (Kenya Sociey for the Protection and Care of Animals). They always have dogs and cats available for adoption.
    020 243 0318 or 020 240 4837
    www.kspca-kenya.org
  • The East Africa Kennel Club lists both pedigree dogs for sale and mixed breed dogs looking for a new home.
    0734 650 213 or 020 209 2319
    www.eastafricakennelclub.com
  • If you are considering a purebred, look up their breed information on either http://www.akc.org/breeds or www.ukcdogs.com to see what the breed characteristics are; temperament and size. They also list grooming requirements and exercise requirements as well.
  • Embassies, organizations and schools as well as Vets offices oftentimes have flyers up with dogs being left behind and looking for a new home.

DO NOT BUY A DOG OFF THE STREET, OR ANY OTHER ANIMAL!
Dogs purchased from the street, rarely live beyond the first ten days. Many are sick with Parvo or Distemper. Some have died of Rabies!  Do not put your family at risk. It’s also illegal to buy turtles or birds from the roadside as all wildlife belongs to the government.
 
A few things to consider:

  • Adding a new puppy to your family is the equivalent of adding a toddler. They are just big enough too make a mess, but not old enough to understand what they are doing.
  • Oftentimes an older dog may be just the thing for a busy family. Puppies have sharp teeth and small children have soft skin. Puppies and small children often don’t play well together as children like to run, kick a ball, ride a bike and make lots of noise. All those things trigger the prey drive to chase, jump and nip. If you have other small pets; cats, birds, gerbils etc a dog with a high prey drive may be difficult to train to not chase or eat other small pets.
  • You have to also consider where your next posting may be. It’s expensive to ship pets and unfair to leave a part of your family behind when you leave post. It also sends quite a message to young children, if you leave behind a pet would you leave them behind?
  • More and more countries are trying to pass BSL or Breed Specific Legislation. This means that dogs of certain breeds may not be kept in certain cities. If they are allowed, they may be required to be in a muzzle when off your property or locked into a padlocked cage when no one supervising them. Some insurance companies have refused homeowners insurance to families with certain so called “dangerous” breeds.
  • If you are considering a purebred, look up their breed information on either www.akc.org/breeds or www.ukcdogs.com to see what the breed characteristics are; temperament and size. They also list grooming requirements and exercise requirements as well.
  • You should also check with the breeder or a reputable Vet to see what it will cost for feeding a dog of the size or breed you intend to acquire. Vet care tends to be more expensive the bigger the dog. So ask for a fee schedule for spaying, neutering. Be sure to ask about costs for monthly flea/tick preventative, possible boarding, crates and shipping."

Amy L. Rapp
Companion Dog Trainer
Canine Education, Welfare and Rehoming
AmyLRapp@aol.com
+ 254 733 255 406

(photo: East Africa Kennel Club)

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