Responsible Pet Ownership

Owning a pet is great fun, but it does come with responsibility. Much of being a responsible pet owner is understanding your pet's needs and being aware of your responsibilities to the community.

Dog owners should do a few simple things to keep their pets out of trouble and their neighbours happy:

  • Make sure your dog is properly fenced in at home.
  • Use a leash when you are out.
  • Train them not to bark excessively.
  • Stop them from roaming or being aggressive.
  • Pick up any litter left by them in public.
  • Make sure they are registered and identified so they can be returned if lost.

Your Responsibilities

Your dog is an important part of the family unit and should be cared for as responsibly as you care for a family member. You should keep them safe, exercised and happy. You are responsible for the care of this pet for the duration of its life and are responsible for everything your pet does. It is a full time responsibility that needs to be carefully considered.

Council seeks to help people resolve animal management issues without formal action, but has a duty to maintain a safe environment for all in the community and to ensure that animal ownership does not create health or safety problems.

Caring for your Pet

Caring for your pet's welfare is a full time commitment and there are many factors that need to be considered before acquiring a pet.

Selecting the right pet for your lifestyle is an important place to start. Choose a breed that matches your lifestyle and your environment (house, yard, flat). Make sure that you can devote the necessary time to training, exercising and socialising your pet.

It is also important to determine whether you can afford the veterinary check-ups, vaccinations and food that your pet will require during its lifetime. Ask Council or your local vet for advice if you are not sure.


Registration and identification of pets and other animals is important for the well being of the animals themselves, owner's peace of mind, and to allow Council to plan for future community needs.

In the City of Mitcham, all dogs and cats must be registered each year, and dogs must wear an identification tag. Most other types of pets do not require registration, but it's always a good idea to check with your pet shop, vet or Council.

Dog and cat registrations are an important investment in your pet, providing safety and security, as well as assisting Council to contact you in case your pet is lost, injured or involved in an incident.


All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing people's quality of life and increasing neighbourhood tensions.

Barking dogs are the most common animal behaviour problem Council is asked to deal with. Ongoing barking is often a symptom of another problem, and understanding what makes your dog bark is the first step towards solving this problem, both for the dog involved and your neighbours. Talk to Council, your vet or pet shop for advice.

If you have an animal noise complaint, you are encouraged to resolve the matter yourself by speaking with the person responsible for the noise. They may not be aware of the noise impacting you. Discussing the matter may result in a suitable compromise for both parties.

If no compromise is reached and you wish to lodge a formal complaint with the City of Mitcham in relation to an animal or bird which is creating a noise or nuisance persistently to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with your peace, comfort or convenience, please complete a barking dog log sheet or Noise Log Sheet.