Caring for your pet
On this page:
- Choosing a pet
- Owning a dog or cat
- New Year's Eve and fireworks
- High heat days
- Owning a bird or chicken
- Owning other animals
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 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 information around responsible pet ownership for cat and dog owners:
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 below has captions you can turn on and off using the video controls.
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.
Click here (PDF 5Mb) for a copy of Council's 'keeping your cat safe and on your property' flyer which provides some information and advice on confining your cat.
For further information information on cat confinement - enclosures and fences, visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.
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.
New Year's Eve and fireworks
Fireworks may be fun and exciting for humans but they can be terrifying for animals. Some pets get so scared by the noise of fireworks that they will try to escape, so make sure your property is secure and escape-proof.
Things you can do to make your pets feel safe:
- Bring them inside. Close the windows and draw the curtains or blinds; turn on the TV or radio for background noise; and
- If you can, stay home with them and distract them with treats, games and cuddles.
Make sure your cats and dogs are registered and easily identifiable (microchip, collar with their name and your phone number) in case they do become lost. Make sure their microchip details are up to date so we can contact you if your pet is found.
High heat days
Just like humans, we need to ensure our pets are nice and cool during high heat days. Cats and dogs can also overheat and suffer from heatstroke, they cannot respond to heat in the same way we do.
Cats and dogs only have a few sweat glands in the feet and around their noses so they’re not able to cool themselves down easily. Animals rely on panting and external cooling to lose heat.
Please provide extra care and keep them cool in well-ventilated and shaded environments with access to clean fresh drinking water.
Please click here for tips on how to care for your pet during high heat days.
Owning a bird or a chicken
A bird can also make a great pet. If you choose to have more than 15 domestic birds (caged non-poultry) for a premises other than a flat, unit, apartment or townhouse, for which the maximum allowed is 5, then you need to apply to Council for a multiple pet permit.
If you want to keep more than 4 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.
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.
Please see our Keeping Chickens flyer (PDF 218Kb) for further information on how to keep your chickens happy and healthy and to avoid causing a nuisance to your neighbours.
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.