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We understand... you and your dog you and your cat now is the time to register your dog desexing can reduce aggression in dogs that every dog can bite that good owners lead to good dogs

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Desexing and Microchipping

New laws for dog (and cat) owners come into effect on 1 July 2018.

The laws and rules include:

•Mandatory microchipping of dogs and cats
•Desexing of dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018
•New rules for breeders who sell dogs and cats
•Introduction of a statewide database, called Dogs and Cats Online.

These new laws will simplify dog registration process, make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, help identify and put a stop to puppy farms and reduce euthanasia rates.



Desexing your dog is a socially responsible thing to do for a number of reasons:

  • It reduces the tendency for aggressive  behaviours towards people and other dogs
  • It reduces territorial behaviour
  • It helps control your dog’s urge to wander
  • It reduces anti-social behaviours like leg mounting (humping), urine marking in male dogs and oestrus bleeding in female dogs
  • It reduces the likelihood of cancer and other diseases  of the reproductive organs - uterine, ovarian and mammary diseases in female dogs and testicular cancers, some prostate diseases, perineal hernias  and adenomas in male dogs
  • It increases the likelihood of your dog enjoying  a longer and happier life
  • It eliminates unwanted litters of puppies
  • There are council registration rebates for a dog that is both desexed and microchipped

Many people believe that a bitch should have at least one litter to be a healthy, long-lived dog. There is no evidence  to back this up, and desexed dogs are shown to live long and happy lives.

Desexing can only be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon, and is a routine procedure performed under general anesthetic.

The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 defines desexing as:

desex means to permanently render an animal incapable of reproducing (and desexed has a corresponding meaning).


For female dogs, it involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus via a small incision 5 -10cm long either along the abdomen or the flank (the side of the abdomen). For male dogs, it involves the removal of both testicles through a 2-3cm incision just in front of the scrotum. A tattoo can be placed on the inside of your dog’s ear to signify it has been desexed.

Your vet will attend to the post-operative requirements of your dog and normally dogs are ready to go home a few hours after the procedure. Your vet will also give you detailed advice on how to properly care for your dog at home in the days following surgery.


Vets may grant an exemption based on it posing an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat or adversely affecting the growth, development or wellbeing of the dog or cat. The exemption is logged by the Vet against the dog or cat’s record in Dogs and Cats Online. If the dog or cat has not yet been entered into Dogs and Cats Online, the Vet will create a new record.

Certificate of desexing

If your dog has been desexed, but you do not have a desexing certificate or other acceptable written evidence, you will need to arrange a vet of choice to examine the animal and provide a written statement of their professional opinion in relation to the dog's neutered status.

​Visit our page on the desexing requirements from 1 July 2018.



Microchipping your dog and cat will make it easier to quickly reunite you with your pet in the event that your pet becomes lost.

It is important that you remember to update your details on Dogs and Cats Online (from 1 July 2018) if you move house or change contact details.

A microchip is a tiny electronic chip approximately the size of a rice grain which has a unique identification number. The microchip number is the link to the owner’s contact details which are held on the statewide database, Dogs and Cats Online.

The microchip functions by emitting a radiofrequency signal when energised by a scanner passing over the dog or cat.  The identification number on the microchip is displayed on the scanner and can be cross-referenced with contact details held on the statewide database, Dogs and Cats Online.  When a microchip number is searched, an authorised user, such as councils, vets, RSPCA and AWL, can contact the owner to ensure the pet’s safe return.  It is important that the details held on Dogs and Cats Online are kept up to date.

By law, only a qualified implanter can microchip a dog or cat.

Contact your local vets to ascertain the cost of the procedure.

The Dog and Cat Management Board is a proud supporter of Chip Blitz. Chip Blitz offers $10 microchipping events at locations around South Australia. Please visit for locations near you.

Not only is having your dog or cat microchipped abiding by the law, but you also become eligible for a registration rebate for ‘standard dog’, if your dog is desexed as well.

Visit our page on the microchipping requirements from 1 July 2018.