People who want to relocate to Singapore may face a challenge if they want to bring their pets with them. While Singapore is a pet-friendly country no different from western countries, bringing in your pet from another country and taking care of it requires a lot of planning, patience and money. As such, expats should be prepared before moving to Singapore with their pets.
Rules and Regulations
There are a couple of regulations that expats need to follow when bringing their pets to Singapore. Some of these rules are:
- Your pet should have a health certificate.
- Your pet will be quarantined for 30 days for observation and inspection. You are allowed to visit your pet during this time. If your pet acts in any way considered strange and worthy of further investigation, it will be quarantined for another thirty days.
- While your dog is in quarantine, find a place to stay. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) requires that you get a dog or cat licence, which is renewable every year. However, you need to have a place of residence before you can get a dog licence.
Pet Restrictions In Your Living Quarters
There are pet restrictions in public housing (HDB). Cats are expressly forbidden, and so are large breed dogs; small breed dogs are allowed in HDB, but only a single dog per living unit.
A number of private residential apartments do not allow large breed dogs such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Private residences and commercial areas are allowed to keep up to 3 dogs, as long as they meet all of AVA’s requirements. It is up to the building management’s discretion to manage the number and breed.
Cost Of Pet Care
The cost of taking care of your pet in Singapore is high, from feeding, to grooming, to visits to the vet. Vets in Singapore can charge as much as human medical doctors, or even more.
Pets are banned from public transportation, unlike many countries that allow pets of certain sizes or breeds on subway and buses. However, there are pet transportation services that charge based on location and the size of your pet. Also, normal taxis can take your pet, as long as you tell the phone operator that you have a pet with you when you call to book a taxi. These are additional costs that add up whenever you need to take your pet to see a vet, a groomer, or even to the beach.
Alternatively, you may consider to engage a house call grooming service by Likeable Pets to groom your pets in the comfort of your home. It is a convenient way to get your pets groomed without the hassle of transporting them.
Pets In Public
Pets are generally banned from a lot of public places, such as parks, restaurants, and cafés, except when the pet is a guide for a handicapped person. There are recreational areas specifically for pets, and there are also areas where pets are allowed to go, such as Bishan Park, West Coast Dog Run, East Coast Park, and Singapore Botanical Gardens. There are also pet-friendly restaurants and cafés in Singapore, such as Canopy, The Tanjong Beach Club, and The Green Door Café.
When you walk your dog in public, you are expected to put them on a leash and pick up after them if they make any mess, just like a responsible dog owner. For certain large breed dogs, you might also have to muzzle them when out in public.
Singapore’s weather is rather hot and very humid, weather that is not very friendly or healthy for many animals. Dogs and cats are more susceptible to skin diseases that are fungal, and may even contract tick fever if not vaccinated against it. Diets have to change and you may even need to trim their fur regularly and keep it short.
Whether you are thinking of relocating your dog with you to Singapore, or adopting a local cat from one of our shelters, you need to understand what you are getting yourself involved in before making any decision, because a pet is a commitment for at least a good 10 to 15 years.
Kally is a true blue Singaporean who has been relocated twice, first to Shanghai, and who is now based in Kuala Lumpur. Having gained 20 years of experience in the corporate world, she decided it was time for her to hang up her briefcase and heels to indulge her twin passions, writing and travelling, which give her pure enjoyment and liberation. As much as she enjoys travelling and writing, she strives to assist people in making their lives easier. This is shown at MiddleMe.net, where she is the founder and writer.