Weather Updates
Monday, March 27, 2023

Keeping your Dog Safe


puppy being microchipped

It is now an ANKC requirement that all puppies registered with Dogs Victoria (or any other state body) must be microchipped prior to registration. 

It is now also a Department of Primary Industries requirement that any advertisement for a dog for sale in Victoria lists the microchip number. All puppies sold, adopted or given away must be microchipped. 

All councils in Victoria require dogs and cats to be microchipped prior to registration.

Visit the Agricultural Victoria website of the State Government Department of Economic, Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources DEDJTR for a contact list of microchip registries to ensure your pet's details are up-to-date.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a silicon chip about the size of a grain of rice, to be inserted into the animal just under the skin. The microchip contains a unique identification number, which is recorded on a central integrated database along with the owner's name, address and telephone number. This number may be read from the inserted microchip via a hand held electronic scanner, providing the avenue for finding details of the owner and a quick response if the dog is found as a stray. The database does not allow anyone to check on dogs owned by a particular person. The microchip has been adopted worldwide as the preferred means of positive identification for companion and other animals.  

Dogs Victoria and ANKC require a microchip number as positive identification of dogs to participate in hereditary diseases control programs.

Information on microchips can also be found at the Microchips Australia website or by downloading the Microchip for Life (.pdf) DPI brochure.

Golden Retreiver

Sticks and stones can break dogs' bones The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is warning that an innocent game of fetch can ruin a day out and lead to serious injuries to your dog.

Dr Matthew Miles, Exectuive Officer of the AVA's small animals interest group said that dog owners should avoid throwing potentially dangerous objects for dogs to retrieve such as sharp sticks or objects they can swallow.

"Veterinarians see a seasonal influx of dogs suffering from distressing injuries they suffered while retrieving objects", Dr Miles said. "Most commonly we see serious injuries where dogs have injured their mouths or impaled themselves on sharp sticks. These injuries can be fatal or lead to infections and long-term health problems".  

"Larger dogs also have a problem with choking hazards like smaller sized balls such as super-balls or golf balls".

"A game of fetch is great exercise for dogs, but we would encourage dog owners to buy a purpose-built fetching toy", Dr Miiles said it was also important not to over-exercise dogs during retrieval games.  

"Vets also see a number of dogs with injuries to their legs as a result of being over-worked during games of fetch", he said.

Safeguarding pets during bushfires

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has some tips for animal owners on how to look after their animals during the summer bushfire threat. Dr Matt Makin says that it is very important for pet owners to know how to take care of their pets in a bushfire emergency situation. The key is to plan ahead.  

 "Even if you don't live close to the bush you should have a plan for yourself and your animals. Make sure you have the equipment to move your pets such as labelled carriers or cages plus plenty of water and under no circumstances should you lock pets in cars", says Dr Makin.  

"Ideally pet owners should have a place to send their animals if they need to evacuate. Family or friends may assist or you could get together with neighbours and make a plan for your area that includes a safe place for pets", say Dr Makin.    

The AVA advises pet owners to check with their local council and see if animals can be brought with their owners to designated evacuation centres or if they have a special place for animals to go. If animals can't be evacuated then the AVA advises identifying a safe area that poses a minimal fire hazard. 

  "Bush fires have taught us some tough lessons, especially in regards to the importance of animal identification. So remember to ensure all your animals are appropriately identified in case you get separated from them", says Dr Makin. 

If your animals are injured seek veterinary assistance immediately but expect delays. Burns should be treated in the interim with cold water and the animal kept in a shady area.  

Thunderstorms & Severe Weather

If your pet is frightened by thunderstorms, loud noises and strong winds, try these tips to help reduce your dog’s anxiety to keep you and other members of your family and your dog safe.

  • The art of distraction:
    • Playing a game using an engaging toy to keep your dog busy.
    • Playing music or having a TV on may help to muffle the sounds.
    • Used frequently, you may find this distraction technique will delay your dog's anxious response.
  • Create a safe house:
    • Give your dog access to a hiding spot, even if it is under the table or a bed.                                                                                
    • If your dog attempts to get inside when frightened, consider installing a dog door.                                                             
  • Gradual exposure:
    • CDs of frightening noises can be useful by gradually exposing your dog to loud noises which may in time, reduce anxiety.
  • Keep your dog indoors in a secure place during the severe weather:
    • If your pet is not normally kept indoors, consider making a safe and cosy spot for it in the laundry or garage.
    • It is common for frightened animals to try to escape from their yard to a safer location.