Choosing and caring for your pet

Choosing a pet

Pets can be a great addition to any family. Besides offering companionship and affection, pets can help you and your children to appreciate loyalty, responsibility, friendship and respect. They can also improve your health and reduce stress.

Choosing a pet is something you and your family should consider carefully—do you like smaller, easy to care for house pets or larger animals that might live outside?

If you are considering adding a dog or puppy to your family, make sure you get it from a responsible owner or breeder. Breeders must now meet new laws when breeding dogs and they must also give you a supply number when you take ownership of the dog or puppy.


There are a number of responsibilities pet owners need to meet including:

  • caring for the animal properly and providing for its needs
  • identification (i.e. microchipping) and registration
  • responsible ownership (e.g. desexing)
  • effective control of regulated dogs (i.e. dangerous, menacing or restricted dogs).

Animal permits

You may need a permit to keep:

  • more than the allowed number of domestic cats or dogs
  • more than 2 dogs for breeding, racing, sale or showing
  • cats for breeding or showing
  • certain native and exotic species of animals.

See permits and licensing for animal exhibitors.

Permits may be required for other animals, including race horses. You may also need a permit to keep more than a certain number of poultry.

Contact your local council to check whether you need an animal permit for your situation.

If your dog becomes pregnant and has a litter you need to meet new dog breeding laws and register as a dog breeder.

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