Animal ownership requirements

As a responsible pet owner, you have an obligation to care for the health and wellbeing of your pet, as well as a duty to ensure their activities don't interfere with your neighbours or the environment.

On this page you will find information about:

Responsible pet ownership

  • Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment – understand your responsibilities and requirements for keeping pets in the city.
  • Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle – do your research and involve the entire family in making these important decisions.
  • Identify your pet – increase the chances of being safely reunited if found lost or wandering.
  • Register your dog.
  • Remember to let Council and the microchip registry know if your contact details change.
  • Provide a secure escape-proof fence or enclosure – a roaming pet is in danger of becoming lost, injured, killed or harming wildlife.
  • Ensure your enclosure is regularly cleaned – to prevent smell or odour from being a nuisance to others.
  • Manage noise – animals kept on the property are not to cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Adequate space to exercise and be comfortable – dogs walked on leash at all times in public, unless in a designated off leash area.
  • Provide your pet with a proper diet and a clean supply of water – appropriate to their particular needs.
  • Provide veterinary care for your pet - help your animal live a healthier and longer life.
  • Desex your pet – reduce unwanted litters and prevent disease.
  • Socialisation – build confidence in new situations and learn manners to reduce problem behaviour.
  • Training and enrichment – provide mental and physical stimulation for your pet.
  • Caring for your pet in an emergency – include your pet in your disaster management plans.
  • Love and consider your pet – when you go on holidays, seasonal, weather events, special occasions, as well as during their senior years.

Seasonal and holiday pet care

Fireworks and thunderstorms

Many animals can become distressed from loud noises caused by weather events or special occasions.

Help protect your pet:

  • Ensure your pet is safely contained indoors i.e. laundry, garage, closed room or dog crate.
  • Larger animals should be unrestrained to prevent harming themselves.
  • Keep your pet calm by remaining calm yourself.
  • If they are displaying anxious behaviour, try not to pay attention and reinforce the negative behaviour.
  • Leaving a radio on may defer their attention on outside noises.
  • Ensure your pets are wearing their registration tag and/or ID tag and are microchipped. An identified pet is never lost for long.

If you know your pet is anxious during fireworks or storms, seek advice from your vet as to other methods to help calm your pet.

The Queensland Government provides advice about creating a pet emergency plan.

Our Lost & found animals page contains information about what to do if you your pet is missing.

Holidays and leaving your pet at home

If you are going away and can't take your dog or cat, here are some ideas to make sure they stay safe over the holidays.

  • If you are able to, leave your pet in a boarding facility, that way you know they are safe and secure while you are away. It also helps avoid any nuisance behaviours that may occur in your absence.
  • Most boarding kennels and catteries require pets to have their vaccinations up to date.
  • Summer is a very busy period for these facilities so book well in advance.
  • If you are leaving your pet at home, have someone come and check on them daily. Ensure they are contained and cannot escape, and plenty of food and water is supplied.
  • Make sure your pet is used to being left alone for long periods of time prior to leaving. If pets aren't used to this they may become distressed and cause a nuisance to the neighbours.
  • Ensure your pet is registered and microchipped, and details for an alternate contact are listed on the registration. If you are away and your pet ends up at the Council pound, we can contact your other listed contact.

Summer and winter pet care

Tips for caring for your pet during the warmer months of the year.

  • Never leave your pet unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle as heatstroke can occur. It only takes 6 minutes to lose your furry friend. The temperature inside a car can reach over 50 degrees after only five minutes.
  • Always make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Make sure your pet's enclosure is escape proof and provides shelter from the weather.
  • Try to avoid strenuous exercise with your pet on extremely hot days and refrain from physical activity when the sun's heat is most intense. Early morning or evening walks may be best.
  • If your pet is carrying a few extra kilos don't encourage them to run in soft soil or sand as this is strenuous exercise.
  • Pets can get sunburnt, especially short haired pets or those with pink skin and white hair. Apply pet specific creams before going out in the sun.
  • Make your pet an ice treat on a hot day.

Other good water ideas to keep your pet cool this summer:

  • Multiple bowls that can't be tipped over
  • Clam shells or kids pools for cooling off
  • Few ice cubes in your pet's water bowl
  • Freezing treats and giving them ice blocks

Old pets are more prone to heat related illness like heat stroke. Heat stroke can increase the risk of skin cancers when enjoying a day out in the sun. Considering a trim for our long-haired pets during the warmer months to decrease the body temperature. Signs of danger to watch out for:

  • dog is in distress including vomiting or drooling
  • fatigue
  • heavy panting
  • difficulty breathing
  • diarrhoea
  • seizures.

Livestock escapes can increase in search for food and water during warm weather. To help reduce wandering livestock:

  • check fencing on a regular basis
  • ensure enough feed available or supplement feed
  • ensure fresh water and ample shade available
  • provide council with stock list on your property
  • provide signs on agisted properties with a contact person to be notified if livestock are found wandering.

During colder weather, you may notice your older pet seeming to slow down and like us, just wanting to stay snuggled up in bed. What you may be seeing are the early signs of arthritis. Some warning signs include:

  • difficulty jumping in to the car, up on the furniture or climbing stairs
  • stiffness especially in the morning
  • difficulty getting up or lying down; you may notice your dog slowly lower himself down
  • reluctance to walk, play or chase the ball
  • sleeping or resting more
  • lethargy
  • less excitement when greeting you
  • muscle loss over spine, hind legs and shoulders.

Cats also suffer from arthritis, but because they are relatively small and very agile they are even better than dogs at hiding or covering up mobility difficulties. We generally don't take cats for a walk around the block either, so it is harder to see a limp or a change in their mobility. Some warning signs include:

  • hesitation when jumping up or down from your lap or from the furniture
  • not landing very gracefully when jumping down
  • reluctance to climb the fence or climb trees
  • unwilling to move freely in and out of cat flap
  • inappropriate toileting, especially if the litter box has high sides
  • reluctance to be picked up or moved and less tolerant around people
  • hissing, scratching or even biting when touched
  • being withdrawn and less willing to interact other pets
  • matted or scruffy coat as they may be too sore to turn around and groom themselves.

There are also things you can do at home to improve your pet's quality of life:

  • keep your pet's weight in a healthy range to reduce the load on the joint
  • provide a dry and comfortable bed, away from draughts and with plenty of padding
  • heated beds can provide relief in winter
  • coats and jackets will help prevent your pet feeling the cold
  • reduce the number of stairs your pet must climb - use a non-slip ramp
  • use a portable ramp to help your dog in and out of the car
  • make sure food and water bowls are easily accessible
  • provide an additional piece of furniture so your cat doesn't have to jump so high to reach his favourite sunny spot
  • exercise your pet in moderation; gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles toned.