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Guide to Owning a Pet in Singapore

Offering unconditional love and companionship, owning a pet can offer a range of benefits – aside from having an absolutely adorable furry friend by your side. For starters, research has shown that having an animal companion can greatly improve your immune system and boost mental health at the same time. Be it a rabbit, hamster, chinchilla, or pup – having a pet of your own can truly be a life-changing decision. So, if you are seriously debating on getting on, check out this guide for some useful tips to make the process a little easier.


Are You Ready For a Pet?

An exciting journey awaits if you do decide to get a pet, but like all voyages, there will always be ups and downs. Sure, owning a pet might be a fun concept. However, do keep in mind that you will have to provide the utmost care for your new furry family member. This means that you will need to clean, potty train, feed and walk your pet on a daily basis. Do your research and weigh out the pros as well as cons of having one. On the other hand, if you live with your family or a landlord, make sure to check if they are okay with having an animal around the house and only get one after receiving the green light from them. If you are still up for a full-time role of caring for your pet after all that, then congratulations – you are ready to own a pet.


Know the Rules

Getting a pet when you reside in this nation comes with a variety of rules that you, as an owner, need to abide by. For example, there are certain exotics animals that you are not allowed to purchase and own, which include hedgehogs and iguanas. Additionally, if you live in a Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment, do check out the list of approved dog breeds on their website before getting one of your own. Do also note that cats are not allowed as pets in HDBs as it is believed that they are generally difficult to contain within the flat and may pose as an inconvenience towards neighbours. On top of that, you may also be subject to a pre-screening check when you purchase a pet, in which the retailers have to make sure that you are fit to own one.


Consider Your Budget

Making sure that you are financially responsible is vital in providing quality care for your pet. Aside from the initial vaccinations and sterilisation (if any), you will have to bear in mind the future costs of medications, food, treats, grooming, transportation, veterinary checkups, toys, cleaning equipment, and amenities. It can be extremely expensive, especially when it comes to dogs, so you should only commit to owning a pet if you are financially ready for one. It will also be beneficial to estimate the expected costs of owning a pet that you have in mind and check if you have the money as well as resources to care for it in the long run.


What is Pet Licensing?

If you decide to get a dog, you will need to apply for a licence of ownership with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). This is a measure to control rabies, in case of an outbreak within the city. If you are currently residing in an HDB, you can only own 1 dog per residential unit, while individuals who stay in private properties can own up to 3 dogs. After applying for the pet licence, do also ensure that your dog is implanted with a microchip. The licence will then be valid for the duration specified – up to 3 years – and renewal before the expiry of the licence is required by law.


Where to Get a Pet?

Once you have decided on the type and breed of animal that you wish to own, it is definitely time to research on where to get one. Buying a pet may be easy, especially when you want to own a specific breed of puppy or bunny. However, if you do not wish to spend a fortune on buying a pet from premium breeders or importing from overseas, look towards adoption drives instead. Aside from the affordable adoption fees of $200 to $300, you will also be providing these precious animals with a new home and family to live with. Animal welfare societies like the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and House Rabbits Society of Singapore (HRSS) have many adoptable furry friends as well, so feel free to head down and check out their selection of pets if you have the time to spare.


What to Do When You Go Overseas?

A common problem that travel-lovers face is not knowing who to entrust their lovely pets with when they go overseas. If you do not have a trusted pet-sitter or friend to help take care of your pet, consider opting for reputable pet hotels or boarding kennels instead. With a variety of quality pet resorts in Singapore, rest easy knowing that your precious furry companion is in good hands since such accommodation options are usually equipped with luxurious facilities and plenty of treats to keep them occupied while you are gone.