- Written by Silvia Mwendia for KenyaKiz
Dogs have long been known to provide various benefits to human beings such as companionship, security and even more recently reduce child anxiety. This is according to the 2015 study, Pet Dogs and Children’s Health: Opportunities for Chronic Disease Prevention? by Gadomski AM et al.
Despite these numerous benefits, little is known about the procedure taken to buy a pet dog in Kenya and the various requirements.
If one is contemplating buying a pet dog for the first time, the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA) is a good place to start. Here the first step to buying a dog is choosing one.
“When you arrive at our premises, we take you around which gives you a chance to see the dogs we have and choose one,” said Fred Otsiaya, Kennel Manager at KSPCA.
After a pet has been chosen, the new potential owner is interviewed.
“Here we ask the possible new owner some questions so as to determine the suitability of the dog that they have chosen. Dogs vary in their temperaments so the one you have chosen may not be the best for you depending on various factors,” said Fred.
“We inquire about small children at their home, whether there are other animals, whether the home is properly fenced among many others,” said Fred.
It is not guaranteed that a potential owner will get the dog that they want.
“We have come to learn that sometimes people want to buy dogs for the wrong reasons such as to lock them up or put them in a cage,” said Fred.
After the interview, the paperwork for acquiring the new dog is done.
“Here we give you all the information you need to know about your new pet such as its age, history, how it was rescued,” said Fred.
At this stage, one is also required to pay a Sh1000 fee to the City Council in order to keep their dog. This fee is paid on an annual basis.
As for the vaccinations, dogs being bought from KSPCA have already had theirs. Each year however they need to be renewed. These vaccinations are rabies and canine distemper.
For a first time dog owner, Fred suggests that one purchases a mixed breed rather than a pure breed.
“Mixed breeds, which are the ones sold at KSPCA, are easier to maintain because they are hardy and resistant to diseases. This is unlike pure breeds which are more prone to get sick meaning more veterinary attention is required,” said Fred.
Another difference between mixed breeds and pure breeds are their price.
“At KSPCA, a mixed breed goes for Sh8000 while a pure bred labrador for instance goes for Sh50000,” said Fred.
Before a dog moves into a new home, there are various measures a potential owner needs to put into account.
“One needs to first organise a space for the new pet. This could be in the form of a dog house or a dog bed which will shield the pet when it is raining or too hot,” said Fred.
If KSPCA is in doubt as to whether you have the right mechanisms in place to house the dog they may pay a visit. They also do follow-up visits once the dog has settled in. If the dog is being mistreated in terms of shelter, feeding and vaccinations, KSPCA may confiscate the animal.
KSPCA also sell cats which also have a similar process. According to Fred, people prefer cats for various reasons.
“Firstly they are cheaper because they cost Sh1000. They are also more independent compared to dogs and help with rat problems,” he said.
For more information on how to acquire a dog, call KSPCA on +254 20 2430318 or +254 20 2404837.