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Christmas wish for fewer pound puppies at Lake Mac

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Hunter pet owners have been urged to be extra-cautious over the Christmas break as a combination of Yuletide foods, festive events and hot summer weather creates added risks for canine and feline companions.

The holiday period also sees an increase in dogs going missing after being spooked by fireworks, or falling ill from heat and dehydration, or after eating cooked bones and other no-go treats.

Lake Macquarie City Council senior ranger Paul McIntyre issued the timely warning.

“Ham and turkey bones, chocolate and nuts are all high-risk food items that dogs might have more access to over Christmas – either through owners feeding them as treats or by scavenging food left lying around,” he said.

“All cooked bones can be deadly for dogs, so please steer clear of them for your pet.”

New Year’s Eve fireworks are another major cause for concern at this time of year.

“Families will often head out to celebrate the occasion somewhere and leave their dog at home,” Mr McIntyre said.

“Many canines are extremely sensitive to fireworks and will dig under or jump over fences, which you’d otherwise think were secure.”

Such risks highlight the importance not only of microchipping dogs, but of ensuring details attached to each microchip are kept up to date.

“Unfortunately, Christmas is a time of year when we see more canines going missing and ending up with our Rangers,” Mr McIntyre said.

“And, it’s just as important to get cats chipped.

“It’s more common for them to be without a microchip when they come to us.

“Without microchips, it’s often very hard to track down their owners.

“This is a particularly vital message to get across this year because many of our local dog and cat rescue organisations and foster carers are already at capacity.”

Among the recent arrivals of dogs without a microchip is a beautiful boxer-cross pup that carers have nicknamed Belle.

Animal attendant kennel hand Rochelle Deller said Belle would go to a local pet rescue agency with the hope of finding a “forever home” in coming weeks.

Go to lakemac.com.au for more information about pet registration and microchipping.

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