Pet care and management

Choosing a pet

Deciding to become a pet owner requires considered thought and planning - all potential pet owners need to be sure they are ready to take on the responsibility of owning a pet before making a choice of breed of pet. More information is available from Council's Service Centres.

Dog management and care

As a responsible dog owner you should:

  • exercise your dog daily
  • clean up after your dog
  • have your dog de-sexed if it is not intended for breeding
  • ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date
  • ensure the dog is unable to escape from your yard
  • ensure your dog is under effective control in public (on lead)
  • register your dog with Council.

Dog obedience

Obedience training is essential for all dogs, regardless of breed, size or age. A few weeks of training can make your dog well behaved and easier to control. 

Some important commands for all the family to teach your dog to obey are ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’.

Cat management and care

As a responsible pet owner you should keep your cat confined between dusk and dawn. Did you know that trauma is the leading cause of death in pet cats?

A 2020 study found that the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is 4.5 years and the average life expectancy of an indoor-only cat is 15 years! Keeping your cat indoors between dusk and dawn more than doubles its life expectancy and reduces roaming related accidents and injuries. 

With the proper care and attention, no matter what stage of life your cat is at, they can thrive when kept safe at home. As an added bonus, the local wildlife around you is free to flourish when cats aren’t roaming. 

Read more on safe cats and safe wildlife.

Other things to consider as a responsible cat owner include:

  • keep your cat confined between dusk and dawn
  • have your cat de-sexed if it is not intended for breeding
  • ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date
  • provide your cat with a healthy varied diet
  • register your cat with Council.

For information on keeping your cat contained, see the RSPCA site on Keeping your cat safe and happy at home

Read more on nuisance or feral cats

Children and pets

Dogs and children have a very special bond. Dogs can provide children with companionship and loyal friendship and in return children can provide their dog with affection and endless opportunities for activity and interaction.

Young children who are bitten by dogs most often know the dog - it's either their own, a friend's or a neighbour's dog. More often than not, these bites occur in and around their own homes.

Dogs and young children should always be supervised. Teach your child the Dos and Don'ts:

  • Don't approach a strange dog without permission from the owner.
  • Do approach a dog slowly with the back of the hand extended.
  • Do curl your fingers and allow the dog to sniff.
  • Do stroke the dog gently on the chest, shoulder or under the chin.
  • Don't approach dogs that are sleeping or eating.
  • Do stand still like a fence post if approached by a strange dog.
  • Don't squeal or jump.
  • Do avoid eye contact with the dog.

Codes of Practice

The Victorian Government has introduced two codes of practice for private owners of dogs and cats, to provide guidance for standards of care of your pet.  Further information on the codes can be found at the Department of Primary Industries website.

Deceased animals

If your animal is deceased or you move house, please notify Council so that the animal can be taken off our files.

If you find a deceased animal on Council property, contact the Council's Operations Centre for pick up on 1300 88 22 33