Our pets are part of the family. Leaving them at home when we are preparing for a long-term mission abroad, is often not an option! But anytime you travel with your pets, it can be tricky, complicated, and expensive.
*If you are planning to bring your pet into or out of Senegal, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com for guidance on your specific situation, as each destination or origin country is different.
For your convenience, here is a brief list of viable veterinary services in Dakar, in order of professionalism comparable to Western clinics. They all work with expatriates and their pets, so you can expect a level of quality and attention that will reassure you.
Dr. Gabi Faye (Bombo Veterinaires), Plateau: 70 569 66 99 (*English-speaking, Takes online credit card payments)
Dr. Annabelle Ndiaye, Sacré Coeur: 77 630 63 49 (*English-speaking)
Clinique Vétérinaire du Lavoir, Mamelles : +33 478 97 47 04
Dr. Medoune Kassé, 77 256 38 15 (*English-speaking, Can do house visits)
Dr. Ibrahim Bitar, 77 519 11 99
Dr. Armand Senou, Mermoz : 77 638 63 20 (Can do house visits)
For our clients: Call us to ask about our discount program before visiting!
Pet Supplies & Food
Food: You can find a limited selection at Auchan, Carrefour, Casino, and most of the other Western-style grocery stores. They have some canned food, various bag sizes, and a few other accessories. Prices will be much higher than what you may be used to as the demand is very low and all products are imported. For multiple choices and quality, a better option is to go to your local veterinarian in Dakar, as most also have an animal supplies shop in their clinic; which offer toys, leashes, cages, food, treats, and more.
Supplies & Toys: You can also find pet supplies, cages, and toys at the pet store in Sea Plaza, on the Corniche next to the Radisson. Be prepared for high prices, again; for example, a medium-sized rope toy for dogs is about 15.000 CFA ($30). There is also a small pet store near Marché Karmel in Plateau, which caters to small animals such as birds, hamsters and guinea pigs, and fish. If you take a taxi to the market and ask for the “Boutique pour les animaux” people should show you the right direction.
Dog Walkers & Sitters
As discussed above, the Senegalese who love animals and who have our sensibilities about how to treat and interact with them, are very few and far between. Even the Senegalese who love animals, tend to use some (light) physical force to emphasize dominance, especially dogs. It’s good to know this in case you plan to leave your pet with your guardian, or call a Senegalese neighbor to take your dog for a walk. Be sure to stress that this is not something you do, and provide some alternative approaches.
You can always ask us for a reliable dog sitter/walker as well.
Adopting an Animal, and Taking Your Pet Back Home
To us, animals are innocent in a human’s world; especially when they suffer as strays in busy urban areas with cars, no medical care, and no available food. When we see stray animals in Senegal, we have strong pity for them, in general; we want to do anything we can to help them. Often we ‘fall in love,’ and have an overwhelming urge to take them into our care and off the street.
If you want to return with a pet you adopted while abroad, there are so many hoops to jump through, timelines to be respected, and steps to take – it can sometimes feel intimidating. Luckily, most of the veterinarians in Senegal are very used to these procedures with expatriates, with most countries in the world, and can help you.
All the veterinarians mentioned above provide “passport” notebooks for people looking to export animals from Senegal, with all the necessary vaccinations, blood tests, and provisions necessary. They are all well-versed in the process, and will help you along every step of the way. You’ll need to show your pet’s “passport” at the airport as well.
Especially if your pet was living on the street, it can be especially expensive to treat them, care for them, and fulfill all the requirements to export them. Make sure you are well-informed of these procedures, and how much they cost, before you commit yourself (and your heart!) to taking an animal home with you. Also, make sure you are well-versed in your particular airline and country’s requirements for bringing a pet back from Senegal.
*If you’re interested in finding a former-stray cat or dog to adopt, please contact LPA (League for the Protection of Animals), which also has a Facebook page. They often have official adoption periods; but always have fostered kittens and puppies available and in need of a home, which have been vaccinated and sterilized.
Here is a quick overview of what’s required before leaving Dakar with your pet (this is tailored for those who have adopted animals from the street, but can still be applied for you if it’s not your case):
Rabies: Animals living on the street in Senegal can be exposed to rabies – and while rabies vaccinations are available and required to bring an animal home, rabies treatment can be a bit scarce when bit – so be careful when interacting with your new pet. A vaccination is the first thing to do.
Ticks & Fleas: Almost 99% of the animals you will find in Dakar have ticks and fleas – unless you find a newborn kitten or puppy, but chances are they have already been given one or the other from their mother while feeding. You’ll need an anti-tick and flea shampoo, but also a monthly vaccination administered by the veterinarian that circulates in the blood and truly kills off any blood-sucking insects. You’ll have to re-administer the vaccination every month for 3 months, until you leave the country.
Worms & Parasites: As will ticks and fleas, most animals, especially dogs, have worms. They tend to have intestinal worms (check their droppings for tiny white worms), and also something called “mango worms,” which is not pleasant at all (you can Google it if you’re curious), which they catch from sleeping in the sand. You will be able to notice where these worms live in the skin, by the scabs and pumps all over the animal.
Vaccinations: They will need several vaccinations as well, especially if you’ve found a puppy. Your veterinarian will help let you know what the required ones are.
Blood Test: As with the other steps, a blood test is required for various diseases that might prevent your new pet from getting on the plane with you.
Sterilization: You’ll need to consider sterilizing your new pet. If they are a small puppy, you’ll need to wait a few months, but if you do it before they are a year old, (especially for males), you will find that the dog is calmer, less aggressive, and curves behavior such as humping and peeing to mark territory.
Bath: Your dog or cat, if you’ve got them from the street, will need a bath! If they are a puppy or kitten, you can feel free to do it yourself at home – if you’re up to it! – you’ll need both an anti-tick and flea shampoo, but also perhaps a disinfectant shampoo if they have any wounds, scabs, or worms. Some people prefer to simply get a bath at the veterinarian as well.
*Keep in mind, that for specific requirements – as every country is different! – please feel free to contact Niofar Executive Relocation for your personal case: firstname.lastname@example.org.