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Responsible pet ownership

Young boy and dog

Responsible owners make for happy pets

Pet owners now have a lot more information at their fingertips to help take care of our furry and feathered friends. We are supporting a campaign by the Victorian Government to encourage all pet owners, or potential pet owners to learn more about how to give pets a happy and healthy life. The Making Victoria better for pets campaign is based on LaTrobe University research that shows many Victorian pets aren’t getting the care they need.

The campaign was launched in response to a survey of over 2,362 dog, cat, bird, rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, ferret, lizard, snake, turtle, and frog owners in Victoria. The research found many owners weren’t giving their pets the care they need - not through cruelty, but through lack of awareness.

All pet owners have a duty of care to protect the welfare of their animals and ensure their daily needs are met. This includes providing them with a suitable diet, keeping them healthy and meeting their environmental, behavioural and social needs.

Tips for caring for your pet

  • Feed your pet a balanced diet and provide it with cool clean water at all times.
  • Brush your pet's coat at least once a week. Dogs need to be bathed regularly.
  • Make sure your pet has a dry sleeping area.
  • Exercise your pet regularly.
  • Protect your pet's health with vaccinations, regular worm, flea and tick control.
  • Register your dog or cat with us and make sure your pet wears its registration tag.
  • Keep your pet to your property at all times. Cats should be kept indoors at night.
  • Obedience training will make your dog a better companion and stop it from barking too much.
  • Dogs and cats not used for breeding should be desexed before six months of age.
  • Make sure your dog or cat is cared for while you’re on holidays - preferably at a registered kennel or cattery.

 

What to do if your pet is injured

Your pet may, at some stage, require emergency medical attention.

Being able to recognise the symptoms and provide a quick and calm response will ensure that any further stress is prevented. It will also mean that you can take comfort in knowing you are doing all you can to aid your pet’s recovery.

Distressed animals can respond aggressively. It is important to consider your own safety first. Avoid using bare hands when approaching any animal that has been hurt or is unwell, even if you know it well. Use gloves or a towel to protect yourself.

The first few moments are always the most crucial so use the ABC rule when assisting the animal.

  • Airways – check that the animals airways are clear ensuring no blockages
  • Breathing – look for signs of breathing – chest movement, limbs twitching
  • Circulation – determine whether there is a pulse or whether the heart is beating.

Common types of emergencies

  • Wounds - if bleeding, apply pressure, clean with saline and then apply a bandage. Seek vet treatment if the bleeding continues.
  • Poisoning - contact your vet immediately as poisoning can cause death.
  • Bites - always have bites checked by your vet. Minor symptoms include swelling, but in severe cases insect bites can result in respiratory distress and even death. If your pet is bitten it may experience anxiety, respiratory distress, shallow breathing and blood in urine. Contact your vet immediately.
  • Burns - if your pet receives heat or chemical burns, flush the area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes and seek advice from the vet.
  • Seizures - calm your pet, making sure it cannot harm itself on furniture etc., but do not try to stop the seizure. If the seizure lasts for more than five minutes contact your vet.

Domestic Animal Management Plan 2013-2017

All Victorian councils are required to develop a Domestic Animal Management Plan which is renewed every four years. Our plan was endorsed in May 2013.

The purpose of the plan is to manage issues relating to the welfare of domestic animals, namely cats and dogs. The DAM Plan outlines the services and strategies we intend to pursue and includes activities which will, among other things, promote and educate responsible pet ownership.

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Last updated: Friday, 17 February 2017, 5:16 AM

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