Skip Links

Responsible pet ownership

Responsible Pet Ownership

Find out how to be a responsible pet owner including tips for looking after your pets, fines for unregistered pets and restricted dog breeds.

Responsible pet ownership includes caring for your pet's welfare needs, along with registration, microchipping and adequate confinement of pet to your property.

Tips for looking after your 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.

There is information on the Agriculture Victoria website which will help you to make the right choice about the best pet for you. Being a responsible pet owner ensures you and your pet can enjoy a long and happy relationship.

Keep your cat safe and happy at home

The RSPCA is Australia’s most well-known and trusted animal welfare organisation, with a long history of providing evidence-based animal welfare advice to the public. In 2018, RSPCA launched the Guide to Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home. This is a free resource aimed at advising cat owners on how to provide for their cat’s welfare and also help protect native wildlife by keeping their cat contained to their home, with safe outdoor access (e.g. through a cat-enclosure).

Take Your Pet

Take Your Pet is designed for those who understand that pets go beyond than just being our companions or friends. They are family.

As your one-stop online resource for all pet-friendly places, accommodation and business listings in Australia, here is a link to their cohesive platform and community will also allow pet owners alike to share their experiences so that their recommendations can serve as a resource to those looking for new adventures with their pet.

Legal responsibilities

Victorian legislation requires all dogs and cats over 3 months of age to be registered with their local Council. You do not need to register other animals, such as birds, fish or rabbits.

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

To claim a pensioner discount, you must provide evidence that you hold a current valid Pensioner Concession Card. Health Care Card holders are not eligible for the pensioner discount..

If you have more than 2 dogs or 2 cats in a house, you will need to apply for an excess animal permit from Council before you can register your new pet.

Restricted dog breeds

If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed you must declare this at the time of registration. Heavy penalties apply for owners who fail to declare this information or do not comply with the obligations and responsibilities outlined in the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

There are five specific breed or breed type dogs that are restricted breed dogs in Victoria. These may be pure or cross bred Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasileiros, Japenese Tosas, Perro De Presa Canarios and the more commonly known, Pit Bull Terrier. Read more about restricted breed dogs.


In accordance with the Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994, all dogs and cats over the age of 3 months are required to be registered with their local Council .

On the spot penalties can apply to any dog caught wandering at large and not under effective control throughout the State of Victoria. These fines are usually quite expensive and if your dog is unlucky enough to be impounded, add to that, the cost an impounding fee and you may be forced to pay costs in excess of $250.00 to have your dog back with you.

Powered by