With the holidays fast approaching and the festive season upon us, the time to relax with family and friends is finally here! Braai’s, parties and end of year functions…our social calendars may be filling up to the brim with activities. With more time on our hands to go out, its important not to forget about our four legged friends. We’ve put together a list of some pawsome activities and places to visit with your pets this festive season, and the best part is they’re all right on our doorstep here in Durban!

Get Your Paws Wet

Since Durban is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning warm weather, it seems fitting that we begin with our golden shores. Cool your dog down this summer at one of Durban’s pet friendly beaches.

With easy access from the M4, La Mercy beach is perfect for early morning or lazy Sunday afternoon walks. This beach does not have any leash restrictions, allowing your pooch to frolic and sprint to its hearts content. There is also a picnic area where you and your pet can enjoy a snack before hitting the waves again.

Address: South Beach Road, la Mercy
Opening hours: 24 hours

For a quieter spot that’s more secluded, give Trafalgar Beach a try. Although it isn’t very well known, it is one of the most ideal beaches to take your dog for a stroll in Durban. Since the beach has less people, you can let your furry friend run around without a leash, and not worry about inconveniencing other bathers.

Address: Travel along the R61 until you reach San Lameer then take the next turnoff on the left.
Opening hours: 24 hours

Our last beach on our list is Umdloti. Warm waters, golden sands, kid friendly rock pools and dolphin spotting-this will not only be a treat for your pets, but one for you too! The beach is dog friendly but it is preferred that your pooch is on a leash as well as cleaned up after! No one wants to sun bathe next to doggy poo.

Time for a snack

Next on our list are dog friendly restaurants where you can catch a meal with your four-legged best friend! Our locations are ideal and are combined with great meals and even greater views.

After a jog on Durban’s Golden Mile stop by at CIRCUS CIRCUS BEACH CAFÉ for lunch. Choose from a range of pasta’s, burgers and wraps for yourself, whilst the staff treat your pet to a refreshing bowl of water. It’s perfect for the whole family, whether being a breakfast treat or a pit stop on your morning or afternoon exercise route!

Further down Durban’s promenade is Surf Rider’s Food Shack. Known for their delicious burgers and pizza’s, you can grab a great meal whilst surveying the beautiful Indian Ocean. One better is that they have a special dog menu for your pooch. What are you waiting for?

Whilst Beach Bums is known as a much-loved party spot for revelers, it is also a fantastic family lunch location, all wrapped up into one awesome restaurant that overlooks the ocean. With the beach just  a stones throw away, you can enjoy your cocktails or beer on the deck and take your pet down for a dip before lunch. As is expected with its perfect location, Beach Bums can become quite busy, so leashed pets are a requirement.

Sleep it off

Our last stop will be a place to rest your heads on at night. The Oyster Box Hotel doesn’t just pamper it’s two legged guests. After a stay in one of its garden villas, you will feel like the queen of England and your pet-one of her corgis. At the Oyster Box , pets are treated as guests just as much as the humans are. Spoil your pet with a choice of one of their many pet beds, suited perfectly to your animals needs or treat them with pet cuisine off one of their several pet menu’s catered to their preferences!

On a tight budget this season?

For those of you that have difficulty transporting your animals, or are on a tight budget, here are a few ways to treat your pets at home these holidays:

For our cuddlesome canines, you can put some dry food or small treat pieces with a tiny pinch of fresh cinnamon into clean cardboard containers like toilet paper or paper towel rolls and plug each end tightly with hard fruit wedges. When your dog plays with the roll, he will smell the cinnamon, hear the dry food rattling around inside and eat his way through the fruit to get inside. It serves as a surprise treat as well as being fun to play with.

For our feisty felines, we have to work twice as hard as cats are independent animals which can make it a little more difficult to get them to play for a extended period of time. For a simple DIY holiday cat scratcher toy, take an old Christmas stocking made of a heavy duty scratchable material, cut it to open up flat, then wrap it around a piece of wood securing it tightly with string or using a staple gun. Get a rounder piece of wood to create a rolling toy that your kitty will have to chase after.

The most important point to remember is that no matter what activities you choose, your pet will mostly enjoy spending time with you – as you are the most important thing to them. Whether tossing the ball around, or dangling that toy mouse, they will definitely love and cherish the one on one time that you spend with them these holidays!

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