Dogs and puppies

Whether you’ve owned dogs all your life, or are considering getting your first canine companion, there’s always something to learn. Knowledge is the key to being a dog parent, so talk to other owners and research as much as you can before taking on this big responsibility.

Before getting a dog

Always do extensive research before bringing a dog home. Consider which breed would fit into your lifestyle; their size, sex, coat, exercise requirements and if a purebred, do they have any known health issues.

RSPCA Victoria adoption centres are full of wonderful dogs waiting for their forever homes. Find your new best friend today!

Adopt a dog

Buying a dog

Please don’t buy a dog from anywhere you cannot guarantee their welfare is the top priority. Visit in person, always ask lots of questions, view the condition of all the dogs and trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, contact RSPCA Victoria and get our Inspectorate on the case.

Tip off

The responsibilities of dog ownership

To learn all about being an amazing dog parent, here are a few of our top tips to get you started. You can find comprehensive advice at the bottom of the page.

  • Vaccinate your dog regularly and as advised by a vet.
  • Maintain a regular worming and flea treatment regime.
  • Take your dog to a vet if they are sick or injured.
  • Provide a balanced diet.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water.
  • Complete basic obedience training as a minimum.
  • Use a collar, ID Tag and microchip to easily identify your dog.
  • Protect your dog from harm.
  • Provide an appropriate shelter.
  • Ensure your dog gets enough exercise.
  • Mentally stimulate your pooch with toys and other enrichment.
  • Spend time with your dog.
  • Groom your dog as needed.
  • Desex your dog if not breeding and if you only have one dog
  • Be financially able to provide for your dog.
  • Know your legal obligations.

Your dog and the law

As an owner you are legally responsible for any harm or damages caused by your dog.

Dog owners should be aware of the Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and the offenses that are punishable by law. Additionally, local governments often have their own legislation that specify additional requirements of dog ownership. Contact your municipality to find out more.

For more information about owning a dog, check out the articles below:

Vaccinating your dog

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Boredom in dogs

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Pets during fireworks or storms

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Animals in hot vehicles

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Dogs that suit living in apartments

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5 of the best dog toys

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Bringing your new dog home

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