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Pets You Can Have in Adelaide

Pets You Can Have in Adelaide

Adelaide is one of the most pet-friendly places in the world. From traditional and popular pets like dogs and cats to some exotic and native ones such as lizards and birds, the city of Adelaide is a safe space for animals and animal lovers.

If you’re looking for what type of animal your next pet will be, you’re in luck! We examined the city’s laws and restrictions and identified the traditional and exotic/native pets you can have in Adelaide.

Traditional Pets

Traditional or common pets are animals that have been domesticated for generations. These animals are typically bred in captivity and are often no longer living in the wild.

With that said, we’ve generated a list of the most popular traditional pets you can have in Adelaide.


Photo courtesy of PureWow
Benefits of Owning One: Owning dogs is beneficial because these animals are known to be unconditional lovers and they will remain loyal to you. They’re also great for your mental health and physical fitness. 

A 2018 survey by the Australian Parliament House discovered that dogs are the most popular pet in the entire country.

In the city of Adelaide, dogs (with the Maltese breed at the top) hold the record for being the most-owned pets.

Doggy parents like us find this percentage to be understandable, as dogs are very pleasing to the human eye and we aren’t required to hold a pet permit to keep one. 

However, there are some important nationwide laws that we still have to follow (and you too if you’re planning to get yourself a fur buddy).

These laws include the following:

  • In South Australia, all dogs must be registered, immunized, desexed, and microchipped. These can be done in veterinary clinics.
  • Some places require dogs to be put on a leash.
  • Some places require dogs to be put off-leash.
  • Some places don’t allow dogs at all. You can check these places by visiting CityofAdelaide.
  • Dog breeders in South Australia are required by law to include a breeder ID in their marketing process.
  • If you want to check the lengthy yet complete standards and guidelines for animal breeding and trading in the country, you may visit the CDN.Enivronment.
Wonder-fur Tips: If you’re planning to get a pet dog, you have to tick a lot of boxes first before fully committing to your goal. For example, you have to determine if the breed is ideal for your lifestyle, habitat, and needs.
You must also pick the right food and train them regularly. Dogs have a very playful nature too, so we advise preparing yourself physically!


Photo courtesy of HumaneSociety
Benefits of Owning One: Cats are known to lower the stress and anxiety levels of their owners. They are also low-maintenance pets and don’t require rigorous supervision or training.

With small noses, soft fur, and big charming eyes, cats are some of the cutest pets you can have!

Cat people like us will love Adelaide because of the city’s few requirements when it comes to cat ownership. Unlike dogs, cat owners are not required to register their feline buddies unless their area really requires it (Adelaide Hills, for example).

Additionally, Adelaideians who want to own this furry and purry animal need to follow these nationwide regulations and restrictions:

  • In South Australia, all cat owners are legally obliged to immunize, microchip, and desex their pet cats.
  • There are also certain areas that impose cat curfews or total cat bans.
  • Some places will require you to put your cat on a leash or in a cage. For a more comprehensive guide regarding this matter, you may check WalkervilleVet.
Wonder-fur Tips: Cats get easily stressed, most especially if you forcefully hold or pet them. We strongly recommend not forcing attention on your feline friend (both for your and your pet’s sake).
We also advise keeping your cat/cats indoors. We know how much these animals love to roam, but it would be unwise to just let them wander especially in the outdoors where the chance of getting injured or lost is very likely.


Photo courtesy of PBS
Benefits of Owning One: If you like exciting and energetic things, you should definitely get a rabbit, as this playful animal is an entertaining ball of energy. We also love rabbits because they are very docile creatures and fun to play with.

We are definitely happy that the city of Adelaide doesn’t prohibit ownership of these hopping cuties, unlike some places in the country. Rabbits like the Mini Lop, Netherland Dwarf, and Plush Lop are too precious not to be friends with!

First-time rabbit owners must keep in mind, though, that owning bunnies isn’t just all fun and games. There are responsibilities and legal obligations that must be followed, as these pets can become invasive to Adelaide’s wildlife in the hands of a negligent owner.

These responsibilities and regulations include the following:

  • Rabbit owners should consider desexing their domesticated bunnies.
  • Domesticated rabbits must be kept captive and must not be released to the wild.
  • An escape-proof pen or cage is required of all rabbit owners.
  • Australian wild rabbits can’t be kept as pets.
  • Rabbit owners should ensure vaccination.
Wonder-fur Tips: Since rabbits are very playful, they can get messy at times. We recommend cleaning the cage or pen of your bunny every day, and don’t forget to groom them too!
Speaking of the pen, your rabbit’s home must be spacious so that your pet won’t get stressed. And you shouldn’t stop them from playing too because if you do, your bunnies might develop behavioral disorders.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs
Photo courtesy of FourPaws
Benefits of Owning One: Fans of cute and cuddly things will enjoy owning guinea pigs, as these rodents are very adorable, endearing, and friendly. 
We also believe that the low-cost vegan diet and long lifespan of guinea pigs are great for first-time owners!

This charming animal is one of Adelaide’s most popular pets. and we certainly know the reason why. With tiny ears, glimmering eyes, short limbs, and round heads and bodies, guinea pigs will always provide us with cuteness overload!

Owning a guinea pig or guinea pigs in Adelaide also doesn’t come with several legal obligations. This doesn’t mean, though, that you can simply go ahead and get one, as there are some important factors you have to consider first.

Just like most of the animals on this list, guinea pigs are very sensitive pets and they require an environment that’s great for their mental and physical health. 

Here are some major reminders you need to keep in mind if you’re planning to keep one as a pet in Adelaide:

  • Spacious and heat-free housing is required.
  • Dental care is also crucial to the survivability of guinea pigs.
  • The government recommends desexing your guinea pigs.
  • Breeding guinea pigs will require you to get a permit if the number becomes too many. You may see the type of permit you’ll need in Business.Gov.Au.
Wonder-fur Tip: Guinea pigs get scared easily, so it’s important to maintain a gentle and careful attitude when interacting with them. We also recommend a noise-free settlement for your guinea pig buddies, as loud noises can traumatize them.


Photo courtesy of Fishlab
Benefits of Owning One: Numerous studies have shown that simply watching fish swim around in an aquarium is quite beneficial for your mind and heart!

These multi-colored swimmers will fill your heart with overflowing joy. Fish are known to be effective stress-relievers, and they’re fairly easy to obtain as Adelaide, has countless aquariums that sell different breeds. 

Colorful and docile breeds like mollies and guppies are some of our favorite ones, and we also recommend those who want to be fishkeepers to start with them! We also think that white clouds, bettas, and platies are also great beginner choices!

It’s also important to remember that although Adelaide doesn’t require you to own a bunch of permits to keep fish as pets, there are certain aquarium breeds that are off-limits. 

These breeds are referred to as restricted noxious fish and must not be kept or released into Australia’s waters. Some of these noxious fish include the following breeds: 

  • Yellowfin Goby
  • Baikal Sturgeon
  • Shortnose Sturgeon
  • Yangtze Sturgeon
  • Lake Sturgeon
  • Russian Sturgeon

The complete list can be viewed at Pir.Sa.

Scaly Suggestions: Your fish’s home must be equipped with aquarium essentials such as filters, heaters, chlorine removers, decors, and substrates. 
We also strongly suggest getting an aquarium that’s large enough for the type and quantity of the fish species you have.

Native Pets

Native pets refer to animal species that have originated, evolved, and adapted in Australia’s ecosystems. These pets are commonly labeled exotic because of their rare or unusual traits and “wilder” characteristics. 

The country is very strict when it comes to these native animals, but there are certain breeds that you can still keep in Adelaide. This section of the article will discuss the most popular native animals to keep as pets in Adelaide.


Photo courtesy of TheAustralianMuseum
Benefits of Owning One: Birds are very easy to take care of, and they boost morale, reduce stress, and provide companionship. Additionally, we find birds to be extremely intelligent and very easy to train!

Keeping birds as pets is becoming more and more popular in Adelaide. With brightly colored feathers and cheerful personalities, these cute fliers and chirpers will always have a special place in our hearts!

Moreover, potential bird owners only need to follow a few very important nationwide regulations and restrictions. First and foremost, the Australian government strictly prohibits the capture of native Australian birds in the wild.

If you want to keep a feathered and flying friend like us, you must also purchase one directly from a licensed breeder only. 

Additionally, ownership of all native Australian bird breeds will require a Biodiversity Conservation License. The Biodiversity Conservation License is necessary to keep, trade, buy, or sell native or exotic animals for a living.

These famous bird breeds will require you to get the permit:

  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Australian King-Parrot
  • Channel-billed Cuckoo 
  • Crimson Rosella 
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Rainbow Lorikeet

And here are some non-native breeds that don’t require the permit:

  • Bar-shouldered dove
  • Bourke’s parrot
  • Brown quail
  • Budgerigar
  • Chestnut-breasted mannikin

If you want to check the complete list of Australia’s birds that require and don’t require a permit, you may visit NtGovAu.

For Your Feathered Fellow: Birds are very playful animals, so you have to make sure that your birdcage is large and spacious enough for the type of bird you have. 
Additionally, always remember to include perches, ladders, swings, and toys in addition to the housing.


Photo courtesy of A-ZAnimals
Benefits of Owning One: We recommend lizards for first-time pet owners who are looking for an animal that’s very clean and not noisy! Lizards will also not take most of your time, as they don’t require training!

Some people might find reptiles off-putting or terrifying, but lizard enthusiasts like us know that they’re really fantastic pets! 

We love them because they’re bizarrely cute, funny, low-maintenance, and equipped with some of the most unique abilities in the entire animal kingdom!

From their wall-climbing prowess to their ability to camouflage, lizards always leave us in awe whenever they display their extraordinary skill set! Their colorful scales which typically have shades of green, gray, red, and blue also make them look very majestic.

In Adelaide, you’ll typically be required to present a reptile license before you can have an exotic pet like a lizard. There are, however, certain species that are no longer in need of a permit.

The species that don’t require a permit are the following lizards: 

  • Central Bearded Dragon
  • Common Barking Gecko
  • Shingleback Lizard
  • Eastern Blue-Tongue Lizard
  • Central Netted Dragon

You must not forget, though, that these lizards must still be bought from a breeder or pet shop that has a reptile-selling license. It’s also illegal to capture them in the wild.

Scaly Suggestions: Lizards are very particular when it comes to their habitat. We firmly advise creating an environment that replicates your pet’s natural habitat (typically leafy, marshy, and rocky).

Also, make sure that the food you give them is balanced, as lizards are omnivorous reptiles. The food we usually give our lizards ranges from small animals like mealworms or snails to plants like dandelion or mulberry leaves. 


Photo courtesy of AdelaideVet
Benefits of Owning One: If you’re saving space, turtles are the perfect pets for you, as they don’t require a large area to live in. They’re much more comfortable inside their own shell and also don’t require your attention to feel happy!

You can make your home a more invigorating place by having a shell-ebrity as a pet! Turtles are also included in the pets you can own in Adelaide, and we certainly think you should have one, as the turtle lovers in our team truly enjoy keeping them.

Turtle ownership in Adelaide, however, isn’t as easy as lizard-keeping. If you’re planning to keep these shelly and shy reptiles, you have to present a Native Animal Keeping License.

Here are the turtle species you can keep if you have the Native Animal Keeping License:

  • Kreft’s Turtle 
  • Murray River Turtle 
  • Saw-shelled Turtle 
  • Long-necked Turtle 

Capturing them in the wild is also illegal, and you can only obtain a turtle from a licensed seller or pet shop that raised the animal in captivity. 

Releasing some invasive turtle species in the wild, like the Red-Eared Slider, is also prohibited by the national government.

Scaly Suggestions: Turtles are not low-maintenance pets because they require proper temperatures when it comes to their habitat. 
For long-necked species, water temperatures should be between 18 and 22 degrees, and for short-necked species, between 20 and 24 degrees. To maintain this temperature, we strongly suggest purchasing and installing a thermostat.


Photo courtesy of GreenAdelaide
Benefits of Owning One: Frogs are perfect as non-traditional pets because they have certain abilities and looks that are really peculiar yet super interesting to watch. They also have a very long lifespan and don’t shed fur or leave too many droppings.

Do you want to leap on the frog hype train just like us? These amphibians might look unusual or even outright scary at first, but they can be amazing pets once you get to know them.

We’ll have to be frank with you, though: frog keeping in Adelaide will require you to get a Biodiversity Conservation License no matter what the breed of the frog is.

These amphibians are some of the most-protected animals in the country so this requirement makes sense. Additionally, we also had to find a licensed seller before getting to keep one.

Releasing frogs back into the wild is also greatly prohibited. Frogs reproduce rapidly, and they have a tendency to become invasive and spread diseases once unchecked. 

Here are the most famous frog breeds in Adelaide:

  • Brown toadlet 
  • Brown tree frog 
  • Banjo frog 
  • Spotted marsh frog
  • Burrowing frog
Slimy Suggestions: Glass and plastic containers are the most optimal frog tanks! Just remember to let fresh air inside the tank by using mesh on the container’s top or sides!
We also recommend adding a water filter to your frog’s home, as it will remove chemicals that are harmful to your pet frogs!

Reasons Why You Can’t Keep Some Animals as Pets in Adelaide

Reasons Why You Can’t Keep Some Animals as Pets in Adelaide

Here are several reasons why you can’t keep some animals as pets in Adelaide or in the country:

  • Unrestricted hunting and keeping of some native animals can result in extinction which will ultimately lead to severe damage to the environment.
  • There are certain species that can never be tamed.
  • Some species that have been unlawfully introduced to Australia’s ecosystem became invasive pests and disease carriers.
  • The majority of native animals are nocturnal, and some—like possums and gliders—can only be housed in cages that resemble completely enclosed outdoor aviaries.
  • Animals like male wallabies and kangaroos can be harmful to people once they reach their sexually-mature ages. 
  • There’s a continuing need to introduce new animals with diverse genes since local species have a short life cycle of birth, breeding, and death. Keeping these native species in captivity may result in inbreeding.
  • There are animal species that are protected by the Biosecurity Act of 2014. This act establishes extensive biosecurity measures to protect the country’s economic, agricultural/tourism sectors, environment, and way of life.

FAQs about Pets in Adelaide

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