Skip to Main Content

Responsible Pet Ownership

Kingston City Council is committed to encouraging responsible animal ownership, improving the welfare of dogs and cats, supporting and facilitating the benefits of animal ownership and companionship, reducing nuisances and providing opportunities for pets and their owners to integrate safely in the community.

View our Domestic Animal Management Plan.

Before purchasing a pet

Owning a pet can provide rewarding companionship, however each year many abandoned cats and dogs have to be euthanised because potential owners did not carefully consider their purchase. This helpful list of considerations may help you to decide whether a new pet is right for you. 

Things to take into consideration before purchasing:

  • Will you be able to keep the animal for its entire life (10+ years)? 
  • Do you have any future life plans that will leave a pet you choose homeless?
  • Does a pet fit your lifestyle, activities, sporting pursuits and priorities (do you have time for a pet)?
  • Can you afford to pay for your pet’s food, toys and veterinary bills?
  • Will you be able to regularly exercise and groom your pet?
  • Is the type of pet you’re considering suitable for your home? Some animals require a lot of space and stimulation and it is cruel to keep them in small homes or outside spaces.
  • If purchasing a cat, can you confine it for the first 3 weeks?
  • If purchasing a cat, are you prepared to keep it indoors at night (in the house, shed or garage)?

For more useful information, visit the RSPCA website.

After purchasing a pet

After purchasing a pet it is also important to understand and ensure their daily needs are being met. This includes providing them with a suitable diet, keeping them healthy and meeting their environment, behavioural and social needs.

Find out more from the RSPCA about your pet’s needs and discover tips to help them feel happier in your home.

Permits required

Please note, it is a legal requirement for you to register your pets. There are many benefits that come with pet registration. 

Find out more about the benefits of pet registration or register your pet.

Compulsory desexing

All new applications to register a dog or cat will require the animal to be desexed, effective 1 January 2009. 

Dogs and cats are able to start their reproductive lives at a very young age and throughout their lifetime they can potentially deliver many litters of unwanted kittens or puppies that end up tragically being euthanised. Animals that have been desexed commonly have a more placid and relaxed demeanour and desexed dogs and cats have a reduced desire to wander at large. In addition, the risk of dogs becoming territorially aggressive is greatly reduced. Find out more about compulsory desexing

Separation anxiety

It’s a great idea to take time out from your usual day-to-day activities to help a new dog settle into life in your home, but it’s important to be aware that most dogs will experience separation anxiety when you return to work or study or leave the house without them for extended periods of time. They are so used to our company that they struggle to cope when we leave. Not knowing what to do, they often turn to vocalisation and destruction to relieve their stress. 

There are things you can do to help your dog be happy at home alone. Find helpful hints and more information from RSPCA.

Caring for your pet during hot weather, thunderstorms and fireworks

Please remember to keep your pets cool, safe and comfortable during hot weather, and be aware that your pets may become scared during fireworks and thunderstorms.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your pets safe, healthy and calm during weather events and holiday periods: 

  • During hot weather, try adding ice blocks to water bowls to keep water cool, and if you are home during the day, bring your pets inside and let them rest in a cool part of the house. Walk your pets early in the morning and take care not to let them stand on hot asphalt, as their sensitive paw pads can easily burn.
  • Never leave your pets alone in a parked car. Pets can overheat even when the windows are down or the car is in the shade for a short period of time. If you notice an animal alone in a parked car, please call Victoria Police on 000. 
  • Learn the signs of heat exhaustion, including restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite and displaying a dark tongue. If your dog or cat shows symptoms ensure you take them to a veterinarian immediately.
  • Lessen the chance of your pet becoming upset during thunderstorms or fireworks by bringing them indoors and remaining calm yourself.
  • Make sure your pet is registered, in case they escape to get away from a particularly hot location or noisy event, such as thunderstorms or fireworks.

Read more information from the RSPCA about caring for your pet during thunderstorms and fireworks.