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Purchasing a Pet

Is a Pet the Right Choice for You?

Before purchasing a pet, there are many important decisions to make and factors to consider.  Are you committed to caring for your pet?  The average lifespan of a small dog is 11 years and for a cat it is 12 years.  That's a big commitment to make and one that needs to be considered before you introduce a new pet to your home.

Other important factors include:

  • Do you have time to exercise, groom, train and play with a pet?
  • Will you have enough money to provide food, shelter and veterinary care for your pet?
  • Who will look after your pet when you are away?
  • Do you rent and are you permitted to have pets?
  • Is your property large enough for a pet?
  • What hours do you work and will the pet have company during the day?
  • If buying a puppy or kitten do you have someone to look after it during the day for feeding purposes?
  • Can you confine your pet to the premises?  Do you have suitable fencing and/or enclosures for your pet?
  • If you're buying a cat, are you prepared to have it inside at night time?
  • Will your new pet get along with your other animals?

See Council's New Cat or Dog Checklist for more information and to get an idea of the typical financial commitment involved with a new pet.

New Cat Or Dog Checklist (PDF, 817 kb) (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Dog Registration Application Form (PDF, 77.7 KB)

Choosing the Right Breed

Whether you are choosing a cat, dog, fish or bird, it's important to purchase a breed that suits your lifestyle.  For example, if you're not very active and you want to purchase a dog, you should choose a breed that does not require a large amount of exercise.  If you are choosing a bird and you live on a small block close to neighbours, you might not wish to buy a large loud bird like a cockatoo.

Avoid choosing a breed that is fashionable as this can lead to unhappy outcomes for both you and the pet.  Remember, cute puppies can turn into 50kg dogs that require a lot of space, food and attention.

Call the Petcare Information and Advisory Service on 1800 331 783 for assistance with choosing the dog or cat that's right for you.  The Petcare Information & Advisory Service will send you a survey that matches you with the dog or cat that meets your needs.  For other pets, consult your local veterinarian, pet shop or the RSPCA to discuss a breed suitable for you.  Once you've chosen a breed, you need to consider where you will purchase your pet.

Where to Purchase

You can purchase your pet from many places such as registered breeders: the Animal Welfare League, the RSPCA, animal shelters, pet shops or private residences.  The type of pet you want and its role in your life will determine where you purchase.  No matter where you purchase your pet, you should ask for certification by a veterinarian that the pet has had all the relevant vaccinations and worm treatments and has had a health check prior to purchase.  This will give you the best start possible with your new pet.  Under the Queensland Government's Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, all cats and dogs must be microchipped prior to release for sale or giveaway.

Useful Links

Animal Welfare League
ph: (07) 3202 4688 (general)
ph: (07) 3812 7533 (clinic)

RSPCA Queensland
ph: (07) 3426 9999 (general)
ph: 1300 852 188

Restricted Dog Breeds

If you're thinking of purchasing a dog, you should consider the breeds which are restricted in Queensland following legislation passed by State Parliament in 2001.  The following dogs are currently listed as restricted breeds in Queensland:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

Note: This also includes crossbreeds or offspring of these breeds.

Regulated dog breeds are also managed by the State Government.

No new registrations for restricted dogs are accepted by Council.  Existing restricted dogs registered by Council are subject to an annual renewal process.  A registration fee in addition to the permit fee is required to renew the registration for a restricted breed.  A restricted dog permit is specific to the individual dog, and is not able to be transferred to another dog.  The permit for the restricted dog ceases upon death of the restricted dog.

Should you wish to make a request to report a suspected restricted dog in Ipswich, contact Council on (07) 3810 6666 with details including suspected breed, address and location of the dog.

Responsible Pet Ownership

Pet owners have a responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of the animal and the greater community is kept paramount at all times.  This responsibility extends across basic animal rights such as access to food and water, shelter, health, welfare and ethical treatment, to compliance with Council's Local Laws and Permits which are designed to manage animal ownership in Ipswich.

To be a responsible pet owner, other important factors you need to consider include:

  • Registration: For the welfare of the community and our pets, it is important that Council has a record of all dogs, cats and their owners.  All dogs and cats must be registered once they are three months of age with a renewal of registration each year.
  • Identification: Many lost animals can not be returned to their owners simply because they have no identification.  If relevant, buy your animal a well-fitted collar and attach an identification tag to it.  Registration tags are provided by Council for both dogs and cats upon registration and it is a legislative requirement under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 that the animal wears this tag.
  • Lost Animals: Council has a database which holds details of all animals that have been reported as lost, found or impounded.  If you have lost your animal, or found an animal, contact Council on
    (07) 3810 6666 to list it on the database.
  • Nuisance Animals: Some animals can be a nuisance to neighbours due to excessive noise (eg. barking dogs), roaming, odour and waste.  It is important to keep your animal confined to your property at all times.  If you become aware that your animal may be causing a nuisance to your neighbours, it's good civic responsibility to act upon the advice and investigate the nuisance.
  • Training your pet: Training your pet is the first step to achieving good behaviour.  You get back what you put in.  Through repetition and reward, most pets are easily trained.
  • Public places: Dog faeces cannot only be displeasing to your eyes, nose and shoes, but can also carry significant environmental and health risks.  Please carry a bag or container suitable to pick up your dog's faeces when you take your dog for a walk in a public place.  Animal owners are required to clean up after their pets be they a dog or horse (or anything in between).  It is a breach of the Local Laws to not clean up manure or faeces left by your animal in a public place with on-the-spot fines starting at $75 for this offence.
  • Worming and Vaccinations: These are also important for the ongoing health of your dog or cat.  Like humans, dogs and cats can attract disease which can severely affect their health so it's important to maintain a regular health check-up and vaccination schedule.
  • Microchips: Under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, it is now compulsory that a person who becomes the owner of a dog or cat that is not implanted with a microchip must ensure the dog or cat is implanted with a chip before it is 12 weeks of age.  Ipswich City Council does not microchip animals - please contact your local veterinarian for this service.

Animal Cruelty

If you witness or are aware of incidence of animal cruelty, contact the RSPCA on telephone
(07) 3426 9999 or email them at Cruelty Complaints.

Further Information