Nairobi's rich facing a challenge of where to walk their dogs

Nairobi's rich facing a challenge of where to walk their dogs

Pet in mud. Photo/Courtesy.

By Joe Kahenya

The ongoing rains have presented some pet owners in Nairobi and its surrounding areas with a challenge of where to safely walk and exercise their pets.

Residents say that the rains have muddied the existing walkways and feeder roads – making it impossible to walk the pets.

As a result, most pets have ended up gaining weight, which according to Christopher Ndiba who deals with pets, could be detrimental to their health. 

According to Ndiba, this is a major problem among Kenya’s rich, most of whom are keeping pets as companions.

Reports also indicate that Kenya is among the countries with an emerging pet industry with a significant percent of households in the urban areas owning pets.

“As a pet owner I have to regularly take my pet out for a walk as part of its exercise regime,” says Ndiba.

Ndiba told Wananchi Reporting that the current cold weather, general wetness and mud, have made it difficult to walk pets without them picking dirt and bacteria.

Ndiba says that regular walking is important for dogs as it forms an important part of their exercise regime.

“Lack of exercise for your dog can make it add weight and lead to aggressive behaviour, which is detrimental to its health,” says Ndiba, who has dealt with pets for the last ten years.

He explains that even with the wet weather, it is possible for the big bodied dogs to be taken outdoors for walks.

“Big dogs have reserve energy and can withstand the cold; small varieties like the Chihuahas and Sausage dogs among others cannot withstand the cold and thus have to remain indoors all the time,” says Ndiba.

“Every time a pet is taken out for a walk, it must be washed and properly wiped using a towel, since the wet outdoors contain bacteria which can lead to infection.

“After washing and shampooing your dog it is important to apply a special kind of jelly on the body and in between the paws,” he adds.

“For the small dogs, which remain indoors, it is important to come up with creative forms of exercises.

“You can for example do exercises like tug of war, whereby the dog bites into a piece of cloth and you take turns in pulling it,” explains Ndiba.

“If you live in a storied house you can walk up and down the stairs with your dog,” he says.

As for cats, use scratch poles, which cats use to sharpen their claws, which is also a form of exercise.

“Sharpening of claws is an important part of a cat’s life,” says Ndiba.

“In the absence of a scratch pole the cat will always find an alternative, which in most cases will be your seat, which will be reduced to shreds,” he warns.

Those who keep cats can also use towers, which are about four feet tall, and which the cats use for climbing.



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