Think of pets during the holiday break

PET owners are being urged to make proper arrangements to care for their animals over the New Year period.

The City of Greater Bendigo has called on residents not to forget about their pets during the holiday.

Animal control manager Nev Zimmer said if pet owners were going away and leaving their pets at home they must make sure they were well cared for.

He said responsibilities included ensuring pets had access to plenty of food, water and shelter.

"Arrange for someone to come and feed it each day," he said. 

"Also ensure it is exercised so it does not get bored, try to escape or become a nuisance to neighbours."

Mr Zimmer said people should also double-check their pet’s microchip details and registration were up-to-date and that their pets were wearing a collar with a current registration tag.

He said New Year fireworks were also a possible hazard for scaring pets.  

"If possible, keep your pet in a quiet and secure room and remove any items that may be dangerous or break.

“Try to return home as soon as you can after the firework display to check on your pet, or have someone do this for you, to make sure it has not been spooked. 

"Leaving a television or radio on to block out noise can also help keep pets calm."

Bendigo veterinarian Sue Collins said the Christmas and New Year period was an important time to monitor what pets were eating.

Dr Collins said although everyone liked a bit of Christmas cheer, it was important to watch the portion sizes given to pets.

“A small bit of Christmas ham or turkey is OK but don’t treat your pets as a garbage disposal," she said.

"If you wouldn’t be comfortable eating the food after it’s been in the fridge for several days then don’t give it to your pet, it will make them sick too." 

The RSPCA urged pet owners to make sure they were well-prepared in looking after their pets.

"Make sure your boundary fences and gates are secure and that your pet cannot readily escape through them or over them," an RSPCA statement said.

"If you know that your pet is extremely fearful of thunderstorms, consult your vet to see if he or she can prescribe medication that will calm it at times of stress."

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