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Owning a pet

Before obtaining an animal, there are many things to take into consideration.

Pet housing

Dog owners need to ensure their dog is secured to their property. Allowing a dog to roam in an unfenced front yard or unsecured open area is an offence against the Domestic Animals Act. Learn more about the confinement of dogs on your property

We’ve strengthened restrictions for cats to protect both their safety, our native wildlife and also prevent community nuisance from roaming cats. Learn more about Bayside's cat curfew

Pet shop and /or shelter registration

A person must not operate a pet shop or shelter on a premise that is not registered with the Council.

Don't forget to check local animal shelters when considering buying pet.

Sale of animals

All animals offered for sale must be weaned and fully self-sufficient. 
The minimum age of animals for sale is:

  • 8 weeks for dogs and cats
  • 5 weeks for rabbits
  • 4 weeks for guinea pigs
  • 3 weeks for mice.

Juvenile birds must be self-sufficient and should be fully feathered (moult permitting).

Unweaned animals must not be on the shop premises.


Dogs and cats must be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to sale to cover such diseases as canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis and canine parvovirus for dogs, and infectious feline enteritis and feline respiratory disease (cat flu) for cats.

All dogs and cats sold must have a vaccination certificate signed by a veterinarian stating that the animal has been vaccinated in accordance with the label instructions of the manufacturer of the vaccine. This certificate must indicate the next date for further vaccination and any obvious defects.

No animal with a potentially life threatening defect apparent at the time of sale should be sold.

Care information

Purchasers of pet animals must be given literature about feeding, desexing, parasite control, health (including procedures for emergency treatment during the guarantee period), housing, responsible pet ownership and current legislation covering the registration of pets.

Guarantee and refund

If your animal is not acceptable because of health or other reasons that are supported by a statement from a veterinarian (excluding accidents) within 7 days of purchase, pet shop proprietors must take the animal back and refund all monies or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If the animal is returned within 3 days for any other reason, the pet shop must refund 75% of the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If the animal dies or is euthanized as a result of a disease that is traceable to the point of sale, the pet shop proprietor must refund the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

Other pets

Cats and dogs make great pets, but are not always the most practical or best option. Other pets may better suit your current lifestyle or situation. A small pet such as a bird, fish or rabbit can be a great way to introduce young children to pets. Just remember that these pets often require just as much care and attention as a dog or cat to stay happy and healthy. The Victoria State Government website has further information on:

What types of pets can I own?

Some animals are not suitable for life in the suburbs. The Local Law 2 regulates the type and number of animals you can keep on a single property. This protects the amenity of the area as well as looking after the welfare interests of animals that are unsuitable for a residential area.

With relevant permits, you are allowed to have 6 different types of animals on one parcel of land.

AnimalAllowed in 6 (per property)
Domestic birds (excluding noisy birds)20 maximum
Domestic fishNo maximum limit
Domestic mice20 maximum
Domestic rabbits4
Domestic turtles, tortoises, frogs and the likeNo maximum limit
Guinea pigs4
Horses/donkeys and the likeNone
Large birds and/or noisy birdsNone
Poultry (chickens only, roosters are prohibited)10 maximum
Any other agricultural animalsNone