Caring for your pet

Choosing a pet

Deciding to become a pet owner requires considered thought and planning. You must be ready to take on all the responsibilities that come with owning a pet before you choose a breed of animal. It is important to make a choice that suits your lifestyle and priorities.

To help you make the right choice, see choosing a pet on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Owning a dog or a cat

If you do choose a dog or a cat for your pet, then it is important that you desex, microchip and register your dog or cat.

Caring for your dog or cat

You can look after your dog or cat's health by making sure it is vaccinated, regularly wormed and protected from fleas and ticks. Also make sure it has a dry, comfortable and secure area on your property.

The below links have some infomation around responsible pet ownership for cat and dog owners:

Are you a Dog Owner? (PDF 567Kb)
Are you a Cat Owner?' (PDF 2Mb)

You can find more information on your dog's welfare needs or your cat's welfare needs on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.

This video has captions you can turn on and off using the video controls.

Owning more than two dogs or cats

If you want to own more than 2 dogs or 2 cats in your house or more than 1 dog or 1 cat in your apartment or unit then you will need to apply to Council for a multiple pet permit.

Training your dog

Training your dog will make your dog a better companion and help prevent it from barking and being aggressive. The Council Online Community Directory lists dog training clubs.

Keeping your cat inside at night

It is important to keep your cat inside at night as it may attack wildlife such as birds, get hit by a car, be injured or injure another cat in a fight, transmit diseases such as feline AIDS, or spray, scream and annoy neighbours, especially during mating season.

To prevent your cat getting out at night, lock your cat inside in a dry, well-ventilated space with a bed, water and kitty litter tray.

For further information on cat confinement - enclosures and fences, visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.

Owning a bird or a chicken

Canaries in an aviaryA bird can also make a great pet. If you choose to have more than 4 birds as pets then you need to apply to Council for a multiple pet permit. There are also some bird breeds that require a Council permit, such as a rooster, goose, turkey and any native bird.

There are also restrictions on how many birds you can keep, for example, you can only have a maximum of 40 domestic birds in a house and 5 in a unit.

If you want to keep more than 6 chickens on your property you also need to apply to Council for a multiple pet permit. You also need to apply for this permit if you want to build a chicken coop any closer than 6 metres to a dwelling on another property.

Caring for your bird

It is important that you look after your bird's health by making sure its cage is big enough and located in a comfortable place that is not too hot, sunny, cold or windy and has the appropriate accessories. You must also make sure that you feed your bird the correct diet.

You can find more information on your bird's welfare needs on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.

Keeping chickens

To keep chickens on your property you need a secure, strong and lockable chicken coop with nesting boxes and enough space for them to roam during the day.

You can find out more information in our Guidelines for keeping chickens (DOC 142Kb).

Owning other animals

Other popular pets include rabbits, fish, horses, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, mice, amphibians and reptiles.

You will need to apply to Council for a multiple pet permit if you want to keep more than 2 of some of these animals in your house or unit, including mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and turtles.

You can learn more about other pets and their care and welfare needs on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.