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Everything you need to know about registering your dog or cat in Victoria

With April being pet registration month (your annual registration fees are due on the 10th of April), I thought it was a good time to chat about all things pet registration.

Did you know that every dog or cat over 3 months of age must be registered with your local council in Victoria? It's a legal requirement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

As a pet owner, it's your responsibility to ensure you register your dog or cat with your local council.

And despite being fined if you don't, there are many benefits to registering your pet in Victoria, which we'll cover in this guide.

Read on to discover why pet registration is essential, what to do if you've moved house, pet registration fees and how to register multiple pets in Victoria.

Why it's essential to register your dog or cat in Victoria

When you register your dog or cat with your local council in Victoria, they're given a unique (lifetime) pet tag with a number. If your pet ever escapes, this tag helps the animal management staff to locate you and return your pet.

Paying your annual pet registration fee also helps to:

  1. Provide local facilities like dog parks, dog poo bags and bins and pounds or shelters.

  2. Create community events or incentives such as pet expos, discounted microchip and desexing days and discount incentives for new pet registrations.

  3. Give training courses and tools to your local animal management staff who attend to nuisance complaints, rescue stray animals, manage shelters, etc.

  4. Cover staff who work with Domestic Animal Businesses (pet shops, breeders, boarding kennels, catteries, etc.) to ensure they are compliant with the mandatory codes of practice for animal welfare.

  5. Cover specialist staff who are trained in dangerous and restricted dog management and keep a database that tracks these dogs.

  6. Cover the cost of dog bite and dog attack education programs and provide the local community with free dog bite prevention education.

  7. Support your local emergency animal welfare centres to ensure they have enough cages, food, bedding, bowls, etc., to care for the animals that come into their facility.

  8. Identify where your pet may have been stranded if you've had to evacuate your premises in an emergency.

How to register your pet with a new council when you move house

When you're moving house, it's easy to forget all the organisations you need to contact to update your details.

But don't forget about your pets!

If you move house, you'll need to contact your new council to register your dog or cat with them. If it's the same council, you'll still need to update your address so they know where your pet lives.

You can either do this at the annual renewal stage (April), but it's best to do it straight away.

Most councils will take into consideration that you've paid the previous council's pet registration fees and either waive the fee until the following year or charge you a pro-rate amount (if the fees differ between councils).

Also, remember to update your pet's microchip details so if they're ever lost, they'll know where to find you.

Dog and cat registration fees in Victoria

Your local council sets dog and cat registration fees in Victoria. Although they are pretty affordable, you'll be eligible for discounts if your pet is:

  • Desexed

  • Over 10 years of age

  • A working dog

  • Used for breeding by the owner of a registered domestic animal business

  • Obedience trained with a certificate issued by a Government approved organisation

  • A microchipped dog who is registered with the GMA

You will also receive a discount if:

  • You hold an approved concession card issued by the Department of Social Services or Veterans Affairs

  • You're a registered foster carer of animals

Another way to receive a discount is to be a member of an organisation approved by the Minister, including:

  • Australian National Cats Inc

  • Dogs Victoria

  • Feline Control Council (Victoria) Inc

  • Master Dog Breeders & Associates

  • Responsible Pet Breeders Australia

  • The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Australia and Victoria Inc

How to register multiple pets in Victoria

If you own multiple pets, you will need to register each one individually with your local council.

Each council will have a maximum number of pets that you're allowed to keep on your property at one time, so it's best to check these requirements prior to purchasing more pets.

These restrictions are in place to ensure the welfare of your pets (e.g. you're not living with a multitude of cats that you can't feed, so they annoy the neighbours for food!).

The council need to check that your pets are:

  • Keep in a healthy environment

  • Not a nuisance to your neighbours

Final thoughts on dog and cat registration in Victoria

As a pet minder and dog walker, I see the value in pet registration.

For example, if you're away and your dog escapes, you want to know that they'll be returned to you quickly as your details of pet ownership are recorded.

There's nothing worse than seeing animals ending up in shelters with no way of tracing where they've come from. It can be distressing for both the owners and the pet.

So please make sure your pet is registered and renew it by the 10th of April.

If you need a pet minder while you're away or someone to pop in and check on your pets during the day and take your dog for a walk, I'm here to help.

You can see all of my services here.

Booking pet sitting is easy using my online booking form.

And here are a couple of my other blogs you may be interested in reading:

Until next time, pat your fur babies for me!

PS – If you've got any stories of times when pet registration has helped you (e.g. your pet was lost and returned), I'd love for you to share them in the comments below.


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