As the year comes to a close, RSPCA Victoria is asking pet owners to ensure their pet’s
identification details are up to date in the event they become lost during New Year’s Eve
fireworks.
RSPCA Victoria CEO Dr Liz Walker said even the most docile of pets could become desperate
to escape the fear of loud noises and flashing lights.
“Regardless of the steps pet owners take to make their animals safe and secure, it’s
essential their pet is wearing identification, and that both microchip and registration details
are up to date,” Dr Walker said.
The easiest way to check your pet’s microchip details is to visit petaddress.com.au
“Having your pet microchipped gives you the best chance of it being reunited with you
should your pet become lost or injured,” Dr Walker said. “However, if your details are not
up to date it will be difficult for someone who has your pet to find you.”
If you don’t know your pet’s microchip number you can contact your veterinarian, council or
animal welfare shelter who can scan your pet and supply you with the microchip number.
Dr Walker said each New Year’s Eve the animal welfare organisation’s animal care centres
received stray animals who had escaped homes in fear of fireworks.
“RSPCA Victoria makes it a priority to reunite animals with their owners,” Dr Walker said.
“To do this, we will promptly scan the animals to check it is microchipped and search the
microchip database to obtain both the pet and owner’s details.
“We will also contact the local council area that the animal was found in the see if it has
current council registration.”
Most councils have instructions on their website about how to register a dog or cat and a
growing number permit you to register directly via their website.
“Reuniting pets and owners can be done promptly when the beloved pet’s owner is easily
identified,” Dr Walker said.
Tips to keep pets safe during fireworks
• Just because you don’t live near an official fireworks celebration, don’t assume there
won’t be any unofficial fireworks happening near your home.
• Bring your pet inside and try to counteract the noise by turning up the TV or radio
(classical music works well).
• Provide a safe spot or go-to place.
• Cover any windows in this room to further block out noise and to block out flashes of
lightening or fireworks.
• Create a bed from blankets for burrowing and put an unwashed tracksuit or a similar
item in the room so that the pet has your scent.
• Have food available in the room such as Kongs, bones, treat balls and long-lasting treats.
Extended chewing will help calm dogs and stimulation will distract them.
• If you are expecting fireworks, take you dog for a walk in the early afternoon to tire it
out.
• One possible way to shield an animal from these potentially fear-provoking sights and
sounds involves using commercial products such as calming collars or thunder jackets.
• Consider working to desensitize your pet by playing recordings of thunder or fireworks at
low levels throughout a regular day whilst playing your dog or cat with positive stimuli.
• If you know your pet won’t handle these events, seek professional help.
• Some animals express fear by being destructive, with excessive barking or howling,
running away to escape the sounds or other anxious behaviour such as cowering,
drooling or shaking. Never punish an animal for exhibiting such behaviours during times
of stress.

There will be fireworks displays in Bass Coast on Sunday, December 31 at 9.30pm at Inverloch, Coronet Bay and Cowes.